It’s late and I can’t sleep. I should be in bed, recovering from my trip to the Haven Conference in beautiful Atlanta, Georgia.
I was officially a Haven “Newbie” since this was my first year attending the conference. It was amazing. It was dazzling, and I have never been so terrified in my life.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
I drove for two days to get there. Do you know the things that go through your mind when you are under the spell of highway hypnosis?
I was sure they would not let me in.
I was sure I would be the only new person there.
I was sure it was going to be a terrible waste of time and money.
I was afraid my kids would be wearing dirty clothes while I was gone.
Or that they would be living on junk food.
Or that the world would end without me being at home to save it.
But, none of those things happened.
I walked into the conference dragging my shabby old luggage past the valet parking, and was immediately captivated by the beautiful hotel.
This stunning display of furniture by Ballard Designs met me at the door.
I began to feel faint at the sight of it.
I felt completely of my league.
I was a little fish in a BIG sea.
I waited in line to check in.
I am not good at waiting. It is very difficult for me. I was so nervous I almost threw up standing in line at the counter.
I was certain the girl at the counter would know how many page views my blog gets per month. Wasn’t it tattooed on my forehead?
She would smile sympathetically at me, knowing I didn’t really belong there, and instead of giving me a room key, she would hand me the keys to a broom closet down the hall.
But, that didn’t happen either.
This is a true story.
The imagination is a powerful thing when you are terrified.
Upon checking in, I was handed this beautiful swag bag. It was full of complemetary goodies from dozens of vendors who were so happy that we were there.
I almost passed out with shock that I actually got a room key and a bag of great free stuff.
I really thought I would have to get into the car and drive home again.
After I found my room, it was time to explore the hotel.
The garden was fantastic.
It was full of beautiful southern plants we just don’t see much of here in Wisconsin.
I wanted to take this beautiful Sycamore tree home with me.
The garden was also full of incredible water features. I thought died and went to heaven.
Later, they served cocktails and horderves and had music in the garden while we all got to know each other.
It was magical.
Just like magic, all of us “Newbies” got to know each other.
I met my room mate and so many other sweet people.
I could even eat and drink without having butterflies in my stomach.
The next day we visited the hall of vendors and sponsors. There were so many of them.
They all had such wonderful displays.
I loved these teal chairs from Ballard Designs.
I decided I need to sell everything I own and buy one or my life won’t be complete.
These fabrics from the Online Fabric Store were made into pillows!
Ooh, la la!
I found out GMC sponsored a group of bloggers to go to the 100 Mile Long Yard Sale and purchase items to decorate a home for Habitat for Humanity.
How cool is that?
On to the classes! I had a great time learning to use Ryobi powers tools. I even won an Air Strike stapler!
I can’t wait to use it!
Everyone was super nice and helpful, we all were snapping pictures right and left.
You can see lots more fun shots of the action on Instagram with the hashtag #havenconf.
It was a blast and I learned so much!
The last night, there was a fabulous good bye party.
There were chocolate fountains and champaign…..
there was cheese, and wine…….
there were orchids and candles on the tables.
We ate and drank and danced until the wee hours of the morning.
We talked about 80’s music, blogging, kids, and husbands. We had so much in common!
Those of us that started out as Haven Newbies became Haven Mavens!
Everyone was so sweet and fun, I can’t imagine why I was so nervous in the beginning!
I really need to get out more!
I can’t wait to go back again next year!