The Blathering. MAN.
I knew of the event in its first year, but it was just far enough away and I was just too shy and too removed from Internet life to feel comfy enough to meet these lovely ladies who were meeting so closeby. I wanted to be in Chicago, I REALLY wanted to be in Austin, but NOW. I finally made it to NOLA.
The benefit to (probably) being one of the last recappers for the weekend means that I can kind of see what everyone else has written and STEAL THEIR IDEAS. Don't think I won't, new friends. I CAN TALK A LOT, you might have noticed this by now.
I think the thing about the Blathering is this: you will meet the most amazing ladies. And you will LIKE them, you will want to know more about them, their families, their accomplishments. You'll find insane senses of humor that match yours and people who like to just walk around as much as you do and people who don't think it's weird that you know more about their kids than you know about your coworkers kids. And these people will know you, at least a little, and when they ask to meet up to get a meal or wait for a cab it will be NORMAL. Your inbox might grow a little and your texts might increase and your Twitter feed will explode. You'll find your newest role models, people who you can reach out to, ladies that will inspire the crap out of you and make you want to be better and more and, at the same time, exactly who you are.
Here are the things *I* will not forget:
– I have met lots of people at airports. People I KNOW in REAL LIFE and have MET BEFORE. And I've been awkward and uncomfortable and very "oh, remember me?! Now we're going to hang out and I haven't seen you in ages!" This was NOT my experience. I get off the plane, my almost-dead phone starts buzzing (with ANONYMOUS numbers because even though I STARTED the Facebook cell number posting, I didn't DO anything with it). I meet @jayesel (happy and charming), @lauradiniwilk (hilarious and comfy instantly), @happilyeverme and @littlemissmel (GORGEOUS AND from near me- stealing her) and instantly we're talking about Blathering alibis and Jen's due date and BAM. Four people I could comfortably rely on for the rest of the weekend in case everyone else was insane.
– @happilyeverme and I walk forever (STARVING) before… deciding on a lunch spot across the street from the hotel. Po' Boys. Talking to M about her babies and her work and, you guys- SHE IS FUNNY. Beautiful and sweet and down-for-you in the way that makes you want to have many adventures together because she would never, ever leave you in a dark alley.
– I meet my Th night roommates (@rambleginger (of the perfect hair and famous politics who oozes kindness and smarts) and @barbetti (a great mom role model who is tall and sweet and is SERIOUSLY pretty)) for five minutes before caving for a supposedly quick nap. Wake up and am walking around disoriented-ly when they come back from the evenings plans. (Whoops.) But it's ok because we stay up talking and laughing and I finish their drinks from Port of Call and I'm pretty sure I tell them about taking family road trips in a one-ton truck and sleeping on a shelf made for plants. You can tell them anything. Also, ask them about books you should read.
– Friday brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. Light on the jazz, heavy on the cake options. I give @shelikespurple (my internet soulmate) her first hug, order a screwdriver and luck into a table with her, @kristie999 (HOT and CLASSY), @rambleginger, @jesabesblog (BE HER FRIEND, she is wise) and @ebj123 (you adorable crafty genius, sorry about that bird poop). Eat a biscuit in line, have too much (impossible) cheese on my omelet.
– Stroll with @snoozical (SO funny, completely down to Earth, AWESOME) and @megglesp (SHARP, so pretty, also instantly comfy). Find a chandelier slightly out of budget ($185,000) and a gay wedding complete with a second-line parade. Make a new friend at Lush who invites me to his drag show.
– Friday night dinner. Meet almost everyone. People are rad. @twoadults (totally understands how much I want to squeeze her babies, GORGEOUS, funny) hangs out with me, even when @polkadot_hippo (Alligator Poem reader, RIDICULOUSLY witty, coming to a city near me) comes over and makes fun of my life-long desire for a Segway tour.
– Saturday morning tour of Sucre, the Garden District, Lafayette Cemetery #1 with @happilyeverme, @mamabub (BEST roommate ever, sassy, AMAZING hair, SWEET as can be, FUN IN A MAJOR WAY) and @justexpressive (another of those people I've wanted to meet since forever, just as genuine and great as can be expected. This is repetitive, I KNOW, but she is also SO PRETTY.) @justexpressive and I basically take the same exact pictures.
– Beignets with @mamabub, @lifeinatinytown (another super-mom, warm, incredibly friendly) and @sarabelleplaine (covet her hair, HILARIOUS, SMART). Followed by headshots with @smmollahan (cute!, manages to be everywhere at once, very caring). My MINOR Blathering regret is not shooting my headshot people FIRST THING because this ended up being my only shoot over the weekend and I'm so sad to have missed @mauralessa, @shelikespurple and @snoozical.
– Saturday night dinner. Hanging out with my table ladies (all mentioned above except for @psuedostoops who is TALL and STUNNING and smart and @hbapothecary who is JUST AS ADVERTISED plus an EXTRA dose of awesomeness and sweetness). Meeting @narmalie who is not only gorgeous and talented and funny, but in LOVE with her job, passionate about her family and New Orleans and education and GAH, listening to her and @psuedostoops? I WAS IN HEAVEN.
– Sunday morning breakfast goodbyes at the B&B. Quick headshots (which are lovely) with @justexpressive, I'll show you soon. Realizing that I missed so many ladies, some of who I spoke to a little, ALL of who I sincerely was excited to meet. @booksnchickens, WHAT HAPPENED. I HAD SO MUCH TO SAY TO YOU and you just IMAGINED ME A HUSBAND! With photographic proof! @Amy_Estes, you live close and thus CANNOT escape! @LittleLeafAsh, you didn't get to practice with my 50mm and I didn't get to fawn all over your bangs and Gabe and nerdy photo nerdiness. @laurenpetron, @arwenelizabeth: We barely spoke, but I'm pretending we got more time in because I consider you BOTH internet bright spots, INTERNET SUPERNOVAS, in fact. We'll catch up on all that unnecessary "talking" later.
– I mentioned my MINOR regret, but my MAJOR regret? The same as everyone else: not getting to speak to everyone I wanted to and put them on speed dial. Missing @simplykat and @stateiamin, not talking enough to @aprilapryll and @bearca and @andreaunplugged and @cluelesshopeful and @mrsdangelo and @tubasheila. Sitting at a table with @notraisingbrats and @hillarycopsey and not saying MORE, because I LOVE them. Not making @ericahuff adopt me. Letting @regan talk me into her signature drink (The UBER classy Sparkling @Regan), but not making her tell me her running secrets. Meeting @mauralessa after YEARS of considering her one of the sweetest and most LOVELY people on the internet and wanting to adopt her mom and make her let me shoot her wedding BUT THERE WAS NO TIME, I AM SORRY MAURA. I need to go to PHILLY.
-Sunday. The SAINTS/FALCONS game (thanks to @ericahuff and @regan, SERIOUS SERIOUS THANKS) with @smacdo03. Pretzels. I don't have to say more because I WENT TO A SAINTS GAME AT THE SUPERDOME. And Sarah is AMAZING company who sang the Star Spangled Banner like a foot away from me with the voice of an angel. She is SO GREAT and easy to talk to and thank YOU too because it would NOT have been the same with anyone else.
– Staying with @snoozical and @Incog (seriously. This gal is SO thoughtful and funny and delightful. SO MUCH DELIGHT.) for one last night. A perfect wind-down complete with a reappearing @rambleginger for another dinner and more beignets. Even MORE Sucre the next morning and I bought a photo of a little girl (which didn't sound creepy until Susie pointed it out. "Oh, you went to New Orleans and you bought a little girl?" THANK YOU, SUSIE.)
* I was one of those people who really didn't want to name names because GAH! What if I forget someone?! So, please, forgive me if I did and let's text or something. REALLY.
Also! I used Twitter handles because it seemed the most… anonymous? If you'd prefer different, PLEASE tell me and I'm happy to change or unlink ASAP.
UPDATE: DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE? I just had to get out of bed because I MISSED A VERY, EXTREMELY important section. I BASICALLY SKIPPED THE ORGANIZERS. The very people who go OUT OF THEIR WAY to make our time awesome and special and organized and pretty. I wish that I could have had more time with @adellstevens, @mightymaggie, @notthatyouasked and @insidedog along with the organizers I did get to hang out with a bit and mentioned up above. Seriously, your committment to this event and to making everyone have a great time is phenomenal and SO appreciated and I know that YOU all are the very reason that WE all had so much fun. THANK YOU.
This gorgeous dog (and his/her gorgeous friend) were somewhere in the Garden District. I wanted to steal him, but then they started growling so maybe it was a good thing I didn't. Also, my luggage was big, but not THAT big.