Friday - Chicago IL Gathering

Friday is traditionally the "arrival day" for most people at the gathering. I was SO exhausted from no sleep at all Wednesday, plus going to sleep at 3am Thursday night, plus waking up every hour on the hour at the hotel because of strange noises and so on. I probably slept through until 11am or so - but even then it wasn't good sleep.

To make things more confusing, somehow I put my wrong phone number on the contact report for everyone! I guess I am just really sleepy this week :) So I tried to email and contact everyone to make sure people could find me. Jilly, Jeanne and I convened downstairs in the early afternoon to be there when editors began to roll in. We had a lovely lunch, and stretched out to relax.

Over the next few hours Lynne and Donna came in, and Helen returned with her son. Beverly, our Tatting editor, skyped in with us to share ideas. We brought out goodies, talked about our businesses, and settled in. We had a small group! Jill came up with a fun exercise where we all found something interesting in our purse to talk about with the others.

At about 5:30pm, once we'd gathered people up, we decided to go for a walk in the nearby park, which was a main reason we'd booked this hotel. They even said there were deer in the park! Jeanne was sleepy and decided to take a nap while we went out.

The park is WONDERFUL - but getting to it on foot is nearly impossible! First, we walked a long block on the hotel side. That was fine, because there was a sidewalk. However, there was no way to cross the street to the park side. No lights, and a busy two lane each way highway. We eventually ran across at a break. (With a young child, so we were being extra careful). Then we had to walk along the side of the park to get to the trail - and there was no sidewalk here! What kind of a park makes it impossible for humans to walk to it! Still once we got into it, it was quite lovely. We kept talking about looking for deer.

Then it began to rain a bit. Donna and Lynne decided they'd had quite enough and headed back with Jilly's umbrella. Jill, Helen, her son and I decided to keep going. We encountered cool hanging caterpillars, squirrels, chipmunks, herons, and other creatures. Then we ran into a handsome guy with his daughter and we had fun drawing maps in the dirt to figure out where we were on the trails. He was quite helpful! We went on further and saw a deer! It was awesome.

I *loved* the deer - it was one of the natural highlights of my weekend :) I adored walking in those quiet woods.

Finally we had to leave the deer behind. We headed back to the hotel.

Helen's son wanted to swim in the "fun pool" but the other editors were hungry - so I changed into my swimsuit and went into the pool with Helen and Noel. We had a lot of fun in the jacuzzi, and playing volleyball and playing basketball. It was a blast! I loved my pool time. Eventually the pair were worn out, and we changed back into our clothes.

Helen and Noel headed home, and I joined the dining editors. They were just finishing up dinner so I ordered something and joined them. We hung out in the lobby for the evening, and soon Deb joined us! We had great fun talking and laughing. I imagine we didn't get to bed until after 2am.

Here is a slideshow of photos from Friday!

Friday Slideshow of Photos

Saturday Gathering Notes

2010 Chicago Gathering Notes