Monday, October 24, 2011

The Blathering 2011 - Just as Amazing As You'd Imagine.

The summer after my 3rd year at Guelph, I did a European Study Abroad that was run jointly with Michigan State University. I was the only Canadian. And back in the pre-Facebook days, there was no way to really connect with anyone pre-trip. So off I flew to Schipol, knowing no one.

It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I not only met two incredibly dear friends as well as other friends with whom I'm still in contact, I also completely changed my study and career plans based on the course curriculum. But jumping into the unknown like that was such a learning experience.

I was sad to miss the first two years of the Blathering, I swore I'd go this year. And when it turned out that I'd be once again flying somewhere without having met anyone, I figured "Eh - you've done this before. It'll be fun."

But you guys? It was way better than I'd imagined.

These are the authors of blogs I've been reading for ages, sometimes for years. Following along with the triumphs and challenges of their lives, I feel like I've gotten to know them. So many of these folks feel like Kindred Spirits, people who just get it. And this weekend affirmed my suspicion - it's totally true. It's not often that you can plop into a room of over 40 women and immediately feel like you can just be you. But that's part of the magic of this gathering.

This weekend was an amazing blend of two things: discovering that the folks that I'd ho
ped were great were even greater, and finding a whole bunch of people who jumped immediately into the even greater camp. Sadly, there were a whole bunch of folks with whom I didn't get to spend much time. That's why I can't wait until next year's festivities. A'Dell - I'd be honoured to be deputized if you need another helping hand!

I do want to give some love to the people who made the weekend unforgettable:

- My phenomenal roomies - Lauren and Miriel. Best wing-women ever.
- The Organizers, for all their hard, hard work. Amazing food, drink, decor, setting and atmosphere. And NO DRAMA. You ROCK.
- A'Dell, Emily, and Manda, with whom I'd like to shop for vintage goods and cowboy boots, eat ice cream and mock hippies each and every weekend.
- Katie, Jen, Elizabeth, and Jessica for making me squeal with laughter all through dinner.
- Jennie, Kristie, Kate, Carissa, Jess, Christina, and Elsha for all the Sunday shopping and pizza eating shenanigans. Thanks, Christina & Elsha, for the airport shenanigans, too.
- Elizabeth, Jonna, Kelly, Natalie, Natalie, Jen, Tara, Elisabeth, Sarah, Regan, Andrea, Sarah Lena, Erica, Erica, Erica, Heather, Julie, Julie, Shelly Miranda, Hillary, Michelle, Becca, -R-, Linnea, and all the rest of you with whom I didn't get to hang out nearly as much as I wanted to.

I wanted to spend more time with every single person I met. I guess that's on the 'To Do' list for next year. Until then - let me know if any of you want to come on up and visit Canada's capital city.

I'm pretty lucky, though -- these guys were waiting for me when I got home along with their sainted father. They make waiting for 2012's gathering worth it.


  1. Oh, the kids are super cute!

    I love the cd.

  2. You were such a highlight of my weekend. You're the loveliest, Sarah! Expect those cruise questions shortly ;)

  3. I'm so glad we got to spend some time together Sunday, because I'd barely talked to you before that! Also, thanks for being our airport driver so I didn't end up sitting there for hours before my flight.

  4. I'm so glad I got to meet you and crack up over name ridiculousness over dinner! And your kids! Ah, they're precious!

  5. It was great to meet you! I'm so glad we got to sit together at dinner, too. And thanks for the CD!

  6. Thanks for totally letting me attack you about my VAST Canadian knowledge at the BBQ ;-) It was fun, for me, to reminisce like that and be reminded how much I love The Tragically Hip!

  7. Thanks again for the CD! I wish I had gotten to talk to you more, I feel like I totally missed half the people there.

  8. I too wish we'd have been able to chat more. That's what next year is for, right?

  9. So cool to meet you. Thanks again for the cds and the Smarties! You were just lovely.

  10. I loved, loved, loved meeting you. Can't wait to talk more at next year's Blathering... and lots of twitter in between!

  11. So nice to meet you! Getting home and seeing the babies is the best!

  12. It was awesome to meet you! Thanks for the lift and the company on Sunday. So glad we stayed late or I would have missed you! Your kids are too cute.

  13. I mean, HONESTLY, SARAH. Could those faces be any sweeter?! You have always been such a support and an encouragement online, and I loved seeing you and your personality in action. You are wonderful and it was so fun hanging out. I can't wait to see you again!!