::deep, serious exhalation:: I’m home.
How I got home is another post entirely. It was an awful, awful, horrific, terrible, and otherwise never-again-ever experience. But as I cried into my Twitter stream overnight on Sunday in Austin airport, THIS WILL NOT DEFINE MY BLATHERING EXPERIENCE.
Because, y’all. Y’ALL. That shit was awesome.
I did nothing that I anticipated doing. Seriously. Although I am a planner of epic proportions, I literally threw my hands in the air and let other people be the boss of me. I did not sleep as much as I wanted to, but I didn’t miss the sleep at all. Every night, every SINGLE night, there was the realization of “Oh, man, did y’all realize how late it’s gotten?” and we all scattered to our beds for a couple hours of sleep before we began again.
The food in Austin. Oh, the food. Seriously, I had no meal that was less than stellar, and for someone who likes food? This is the mark of a fantastic vacation. Hell, even the food in the Austin airport – where I spent 30 hours straight – was not bad at all. (It is, in fact, still airport food.)
So I’m not an outgoing person. At all. I am not the person who circulates in a crowd and introduces myself to others and does the right thing. Because I am, actually, very very shy and assume everyone hates me from the get-go. I tend to stay in one place and hope that everyone else does the right thing and then, in turn, I meet everyone. (This was my MO on Friday night at the Blathering Living Room BBQ.) But even for me, who is obnoxiously shy, it was incredibly easy to talk to EVERYONE there. I kept saying “These are my people!” because they were. I’d never met ANY of them before, and yet. And yet. It was just so .. easy.
Perfect example: I overpacked by an assload of clothes. I took the cutest stuff I own, and like eighteen dresses, and a million shoes, and jewelry even though I don’t wear any and .. in reality? I wore jeans and knit shirts most of the time. Because everyone loved you anyway.
Anyway. Highlights or something of that nature (sorry, y’all. THIRTY HOURS IN ONE AIRPORT.)
- The hooker in 211. At first, I felt like I was being all judgey by assuming anyone who answered a call with “Thanks for calling. Am I visiting you tonight, or are you visiting me?” was a hooker, but as it turns out, she was – in fact – a
hookerlady of the evening.
- Seeing that everyone does, in fact, have a head larger than a 700k square picture.
- I mentioned the food already, right? The food. DEFINITELY THE FOOD. Migas, gingerbread pancakes, snickerdoodle cupcakes, Homeslice pizza, THAT Z’TEJAS STEAK AND MASHED POTATOES AND ANCHO FUDGE PIE, Amy’s Ice Cream – our meal plan went something like this: Lobby Coffee, First Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Shopping Snack, Lunch, Shopping Snack, First Dinner, Second Dinner, Fourth Meal.
- The people. OH, the people. Seriously, you’d think 50 women you’ve never met would be overwhelming – and to a shy person, it WAS – but everyone was so awesome that you kind of fell into a group that suited you. And your group fluctuated depending on what you were doing, and there’s just NOT ENOUGH HOURS to spend time with everyone, but damn. It was just so amazing.
- Austin is AMAZING. I didn’t know what to expect, but it far exceeded anything I could’ve hoped for. Such a quirky, fun-loving town with fantastic people. Seriously, the local Austin-ites are what kept me going in the airport. Our Austin-area Blathering ladies seriously were fantastic and kept me entertained and I knew there were easily five beds at my beck-and-call if I never made it home.
- I am in, like, very few pictures from the event. Some of you may doubt I was even there. Well, call any staff at AUS, and they’ll vouch for me.
- The Organizers did a fantastic job, seriously. Everything was so cute and precious and fun and easy and they all should feel mighty proud that they accomplished all that and still remained friends.
- Basically, The Blathering is like a sorority rush weekend, but you’ve already been accepted and you’re not judged on your boyfriend or your GPA.
More than anything, I took from The Blathering that I have such a small, small piece of real estate here on the internet. I have a small world of readers (Kelly and I often joked that our daily stats should be on our nametags), and I don’t get out of my circle often enough. I need to do that more. The community of bloggers that I walked into on Thursday is such an amazing one, and I need to expand a bit.
As soon as I sleep off the Austin airport, I’m on it.