The Hilton in Niagara Falls isn't as great as you'd think it would be. Impressive, yes, with it's fluffy beds and glass-enclosed pool (with a twisty slide!) but the housekeeping was (searching for a nice way to put this) dreadful, and the service severely stunted.
The company I was keeping, though, made up for the broken pen left in the tub* and wine-soaked sheets left on the bed for a second day and no washcloths in the room.** With a vengeance.
I've never laughed so hard for so long. Or met such a bunch of sparkly people.
Random House (woot!) sponsored a cocktail party to kick things off, and we all received copies of the new book The Gargoyle - I'm hoarding mine for the weekend, when I can disappear for a few hours with this very cool and pretty freaky book. (Yes, of course I'll tell you if it's wonderful.)
There was much carousing and giggling and getting to know one another, late into the night.
The next morning, we had a round-table discussion of what blogging meant to us, the hows and whys of we began to blog, the bloggers that weren't there that we considered close to our hearts. The Hilton's internet service faded in and out (not so impressive, since they'd known we'd be coming for months and the wi-fi for the conference room had been specifically ordered) but the mood was upbeat and fun.
Later we toured a winery with an excellent guide and ate many cheeses and drank much wine, then went off to the Hard Rock Cafe for supper. I managed to have a serious political discussion and not alienate anyone (altho' I think I blurted out a bit too much) amidst the babble of the crowd - then it was back for more craziness (now with extra wine!) and some side-splitting laughter.
Then the weekend was over, and it was time for BFF....to be over.
I'm so glad I went. Even if the pen I swiped from the conference room did break and run all over my purse. Small price to pay, to spend time with so many neat people.
*We don't know either. But it was there when we checked in.
**Lovely new towels. Just no washcloths.