Howdy! As promised, here is my bloviated recap of my week in Nashville at our sorority's 49th National Convention. Yee-haw!
This is the second time I've been to Convention, and I am so glad that I went. The last time I went (check out my posts from July of 2004), I was going in a completely different capacity...an alumnae chapter president. They offered good training and networking opportunities with the other alumnae women (some of whom were presidents of their respective chapters and some held other offices). I was really hoping that the same kinds of opportunities would be provided for collegiate chapter advisers. Unfortunately, that did not come to be. I spent the majority of my time along with the other women (collegiate and alumnae alike) in business sessions, learning more about upcoming programming and changes to our Constitution & Bylaws, and I also attended three workshops designed for collegians (one on discipline, one on financial matters, and one on House Corporations). All were interesting and I feel like I've learned more and am smarter than I was a week ago today, but still...I feel horribly unprepared for this whole chapter adviser thing. With recruitment (we called it "sorority rush" in my day) right around the bend, I don't really have much time to wallow in worry. Anyway...where was I...oh yes, Nashville. I met some wonderful new women and got hugs and hellos from sisters I've not seen in two years, which is nice. Our meetings and lodging were in what I'd consider to be "the most spectacular hotel ever constructed" - the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
. The facility was HUGE. Gorgeous and HUGE. The internal workings made it look and feel like Europe. The balconies overhung (is that a word?) cafe-style restaurants and the whole hotel centered around a very large, lush, gorgeous garden (and numerous waterfalls!) Unfortunately, the photos I took just don't do the facility justice. Their website
has photos, but here's one I took on my own:
Gorgeous, isn't it? There were numerous other conferences going on at the same time in the hotel, and the place was just packed. It was nice, though (well, all except for the rotten food and the L-O-N-N-N-N-G walks from my room to the training rooms, but I digress...)
In the evenings, we generally had social time with one another (and let me stress how big "one another" is...there were over 600
sisters there!). On one evening, most of us left the hotel and headed over to the Grand Ole Opry
for an evening of music and entertainment. I like country music, I guess, but I had no idea how much I'd enjoy the show. The facility itself is much smaller than I'd imagined, and the grounds were beautiful and the people were very kind. Unfortunately, most of the photos I took didn't come out (please
, Santa, bring me a new camera this Christmas!), but here are a few that actually don't look so bad:
When you first step onto the Opry complex, you see the BellSouth Roy Acuff Theater
. This is where they broadcast the show "Nashville Star"
on the USA cable network
Not too long thereafter, you'll pass an informational sign about the property:
(An informational sign...now THAT'S
a "wow" shot if ever a "wow shot" existed. Simply thrilling!)
And here's the best shot I took the entire time I was in Nashville:
(God, I need a new camera.)
On another evening, we ventured out to the Two Rivers Mansion
for a tour and dinner. The home is just gorgeous, and it's easy to see our founders living in a home like that. Our organization was founded in the middle-1850s in Georgia, and it's so easy to see how the three upper-class young ladies that started our sorority could have come from homes like that. At the various meal times, we had a variety of speakers who came to share their inspirational stories with us. Three of whom are sisters as well (Sarah Stone
, Mercedes Ramirez-Johnson
, and Rikki Ragland
). We also met a family whose lives were directly impacted by the philanthropy
that we support. It was wonderful to feel like, in some small way, my involvement in this organization impacted this wonderful family. And, too, it was fantastic meeting new sisters and learning more about our organization and one another. It was a good experience. I'm glad to be home
, but it was a good experience.
While I was gone, a package from my wonderful Secret Pal
came in the mail:
I love my SP8! She sent me lots of yummy yarn (Crystal Palace Deco-Ribbon in "Chocolate Almonds" and the very soft Crystal Palace Musique in "Monet" and some pretty Noro and, my absolute favorite, a YUMMY thuck skein of Billy The Kid in "Petroglyphs"). She also sent me a WONDERFULLY yummy mint foot lotion and a bamboo crochet hook (niiiiice!) and two cute tags ("I Am A Crochet Goddess" and "Got Yarn?") and a Starbucks card (mmmmmmm.....caramel macchiato.....) and two beautiful Austrian crystal charms and some cute Sheep-Fetti! Thank you, SP! You rock! :)
Ohohohoh! I almost forgot! Shelby
has asked that all of us in the SP8 game answer a few additional questions to give our Pals more info on what makes us tick. Here we go:What is your favorite season of the year?
Fall. I love everything about fall...the way the air smells and the colors of the season and the anticipation of the upcoming holiday season...I just love it. Oh, and I adore sweatshirt-and-shorts weather, and fall's the perfect time to pull that off.Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Well, I'd love to go back to San Diego with my hubby in tow for a romantic getaway. I love San Diego. Love La Jolla. Love it, love it, love it. Until recently, I might have said that an Alaskan cruise would be the perfect vay-cay for us, but given the recent tragedies at sea (illnesses and murders), ummm, no thanks. It'd be fun to take a European trek, too. Paris, London, Rome...wow. Someday, I'll be independently wealthy and I'll be off...If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
Well, I've always wanted to go to Manhattan (New York, not Kansas). I want so badly to go to Ground Zero and pay my respects and see the site. I'm also dying to SHOP IN NEW YORK!!! And take in all of the hot spots. I'd also love to go back to Kaiserslautern and see how much it has changed since I left there to return to Indiana in 1978. I'd also love to visit Australia.If you could pick any job (and be well-paid), what would it be?
If I could have my own little store (maybe a yarn store or a Greek merchandise store) and be as well-paid as I am in my Federal position, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Or if I could make GS-12 pay selling Southern Living At Home
or Stampin' Up
products, I'd be all over the idea. I've always wanted to work in a voluntary capacity at a hospital (patient advocate) or teaching adults how to read. Wow, if I could make GS-12 level pay doing that, BAH BYE DoD! (Wait, I thought Jennifer worked here...)If you were going on vacation for one week, and had to take ONLY ONE project with you, what would it be?
Well, I'm not currently crocheting anything, so you'd think this'd be an easy question to answer. I dunno...maybe I'd start on some Christmas gifts (scarves, mittens, hats, etc.)If you won a shopping spree to your favorite yarn shop, what would you get?
Well, I'd definitely stock up on Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky
and Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande
and a complete line of bamboo crochet hooks made by Crystal Palace
OK - I am off to bed. Have a great Tuesday, everyone!