It has taken me a while to get my shit together and get this post done. Partly, it’s because you know… I’m a total procrastinator. And partly it’s because I needed some serious downtime before I even thought about putting together my thoughts and compiling pictures and stuff. I’ve been pretty impressed by some of the recaps out there. Jay did a totally awesome series of them and will totally put this to shame, but then there are lots of us bloggers and readers and authors out there that have been writing about their time at GRL, and it’s great seeing all their pictures. I’ll post some of those in the last post.This was my second year at GRL, so I definitely went into it in a difference headspace than the first one. The first year, in New Orleans, was very much about connecting with my bestest friends that I talk to online. I made a little time to meet new people, but mostly it ended up being a drunken weekend with friends. And that was wonderful — it reaffirmed my feelings about the genre, the community (because honestly… a weekend like this that puts the good feelings back after a year of reading people spaz on each other on GR is a good thing, I tell you). I have a circle of friends that I’ve gotten to know really, really well online, and meeting them all (except for a couple) in New Orleans was amazing. So going into this year, I was prepared to get to see them again but also get a little bit of time getting to know some new people. I’m glad I had that time the first year, because being able to appreciate this year without the rush of everything being new all at once was really needed — this particular retreat in Albuquerque was so well put together, the resort was amazing, the coordination very very smooth and so many extra people than the first year, some which I didn’t even expect to be there! It was really, really wonderful.
I’ve grown up driving to New Mexico from where I live in Oklahoma, and to Colorado, so from the start I really wanted to drive to this retreat. It worked out that way, thankfully, and was a LOT of fun. Me and my two besties above, Laura and Tina, drove from Dallas to Amarillo, TX on Tuesday and spent that evening having TexMex and drinking wine and watching porn in the hotel. PORN PARTY! You all know what I’m talking about — a bottle or two of Skinny Girl wine from CVS, everyone’s favorite videos, and that friend who unfortunately has to work to catch up on (Tina) sighing at our outbursts of “THAT’S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COCK I’VE EVER SEEN!”
Wednesday was spent driving to Santa Fe, ogling the land as it changed into pretty mountains, and listening to Dan Savage podcasts in the car. We made it to Santa Fe (after getting lost in the canyons and bemoaning the lack of cell reception) and met up with friends for lunch (Sadonna, MJ, Sue, and Piper). We met up with Chris and shopped for a while. Getting to see her was so nice and getting a big hug! I’m most proud to say that over the last year we’ve become much better friends and I love getting her emails. Getting to spend time in person together is just so much better.
Getting to the hotel and spending dinner in Albuquerque at El Pinto was amazing. I finally got to meet Laddie (and company!), another bestie online who I’ve been waiting to meet forever and was even more amazing in person than online. I got to meet Marguerite Labbe, who I sat with during dinner and feel horrible about not getting to know better (those margaritas hit FAST!!!). I got to see Heather C again, who is adorable and I love! And I got to meet Leigh and Gyn who I hadn’t really known before but were great (Leigh is the source of most of the amazing photos!). And finally, my biggest surprise of the night was this funny, cute, totally great girl who I realized halfway through dinner was Jay (of JoyfullyJay fame). We’d talked online some, but never gotten to know each other really well. She may have been one of my biggest surprise friends during the trip. I love her so much and I felt like we really connected and formed a great friendship Pics of dinner:
Dinner turned into a late night at the hotel. Laura and I weren’t ready to go to bed and since we were all geared up for the drinking to come decided to spend the night in the Casino bar, just chatting and seeing other people there. It ended up being a rather quiet night compared to the ones to come but it was a REALLY long day — all that driving, the afternoon walking around Santa Fe and shopping and then our evening out.
More to come tomorrow! I’ll talk about Thursday, the first official day of GRL and share more pics!
*Thanks to Leigh who took many of the pics over the weekend, and in this particular post many of the ones while we were out for dinner at El Pinto!