Chicago “Meet the Senior Bachelor” Event Summary

Wow, did we ever have a great time in Chicago! Check out the photos on the SB Photo Page. Here was the agenda—

"Meet the Senior Bachelor" Agenda for Chicago:

Thursday, September 29th, 7:15PM- 10:15PM:

"Early Arrival Dinner" and "The Sturgis Improv Entertainment"

For those of you who arriving early, we have a great time planned! Be sure you book this one early as you do not want to miss it! On Thursday, September 29th for dinner we are going to go to a fabulous place that has no less than three restaurants. We will dine at "La Cantina" which is part of the The Italian Village Restaurants a mere block and half from the Palmer House Hotel. We got a special Senior Bachelor rate of $25.00 which includes gratuity and taxes. There will be a cash bar and it looks like we will have the lower level all to ourselves (so I expect you all to be loud and unruly.)

We dine at 7:30 PM so we'll assemble in the Palmer House Hilton lobby at around 7:15 PM for the short trek there. Dress should be dressy casual.

Special RSVP Instructions: Please call 312-332-7005 and ask to talk to "Mina" or "Gina" (that's no joke!) They are the only ones with whom you can leave your RSVP request. Tell them you want to RSVP for the Senior Bachelor dinner. This is very important so they can get an accurate dinner count. They will not take your credit card at this time. The restaurant is limited to 120 diners so, please, make your reservations early. As we have mentioned before, Chicago is a very busy place this time of year and Mina has been very gracious to set things up this way so, please follow these RSVP instructions to ensure a place at dinner. Reservations will be cut off on Wednesday, September 28th. The hotel early bookings at the Palmer House indicate that many of you are coming in on Thursday and we do not know how many local Ladies will join us so please call soon. If you go to voice mail, clearly state your name and phone number so Mina can mark you down.

After dinner at around 9:15PM, we will walk back to the Palmer House Hotel and assemble in the State Ballroom around 9:30PM for some great entertainment—The Sturgis Improv! They’ll have you rolling in the aisles with their special form of comedy. We’ll also have free drawings for terrific door prizes!

Friday, September 30th, 7:00AM- 5:45PM:

I will meet and mingle with anybody who is having breakfast at the Palmer House Hilton from 7:00AM until 9:00AM. At 9:00AM we will open for registration. REGISTRATION WILL BE OPEN ALL DAY! When you register, if you have submitted the materials, you be assigned a time for a small group meeting on a first come, first served basis. The number of women in the small group meetings will depend on how many women show up for the Meet the Senior Bachelor Event and the number of time slots available. Every effort will be made to make the small groups as small as possible and they should never be larger than five women. Priority for the small group meetings will be given to women who have submitted materials by the September 16 deadline (we will have a Master List to verify receipt of your submission materials.) The small group meetings will be held in Salon 2 in the hotel’s conference area. Please, please be sure you are on time for your meeting as we will likely be unable to reschedule small group meetings.

At about 9:30AM, 11:30AM and 4:00PM we will have a large group meeting in the State Ballroom for about 20 minutes where I will discuss the Senior Bachelor Search and Journey and answer your questions. There will be a lunch break on your own from 12:00-2:00PM. All other times we will be conducting the small group meetings.

Saturday, October 1, 7:00AM- 5:45PM:

The schedule for Saturday, October 1 will be exactly the same as Friday’s.

Evening Group Events!

Friday Evening, September 30, Odyssey Dinner Cruise - We are christening this as the first "Senior Bachelor Cruise"! We'll all grab cabs and leave the hotel as soon as we can after 6:00 PM and meet at the Navy Pier. If we arrive early enough, we'll spend some time playing there and assemble for some group photos. Then, around 6:45PM we’ll have our embarkation photos taken as we board the Odyssey. Embarkation photos will be available for a special Senior Bachelor Rate of $10 and will include a 6x8 photo of you with your friends and me (if you want!) AND an extra-special 4x6 group photo taken on the Observation Deck. The photos will be displayed when we disembark when you can purchase them. Then we cruise, eat and party on our own deck with our own jazz combo from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM. We’ll also have free drawings for terrific door prizes! I'll be going back to the hotel to rest up for Saturday but you Ladies can party on! (Call Rob at 312-396-2227 right away to make your reservation.)

Saturday Evening, October 1, Dinner and "Crazy Hat" Party! - The restaurant isn't finalized yet but it will be within walking distance of the hotel. We'll meet in the lobby at 7:00 PM and go to dinner. After dinner, we'll return to the Palmer House Hotel around 9:00 PM for the Crazy Hat Party and other FUN activities we think you'll enjoy. We’ll also have free drawings for terrific door prizes provided by the supporters of the Senior Bachelor.

Like I said on the blog, better get your rest before you come to Chicago! But wait, there's more....

Sunday, October 2, 7:00 AM-9:00 AM:

I'll in the breakfast room and will meet with everyone there. And from 9:00 AM-12:00 noon I'll will meet in small groups, or one-on-ones, depending on how many Ladies are still present.

In the next section I have provided many comments from the wonderful Ladies who attended the Manhattan Beach Event below. Like the early explorers, they have paved the way for events to follow! I applaud their "couer"-age, energy, warm spirit and their readiness to party!! We all enjoyed the event and I look forward to many fond memories from Chicago- as should you.


In Your Own Words

We are proud to allow a regular blogger, Brenda (aka “Click Girl”) provide the description of the Chicago “Meet the Senior Bachelor Event” from a participant’s point of view. Enjoy her writing—we did! Thanks, Brenda.

CHICAGO TRIP - PART I

Hello Everyone!! Sorry for the lame photos! I am most definitely better 'directing' (remember that I direct professional shooters - but don't actually do it myself) ... but I think I am finally getting used to this little cam ... and hopefully will do better with the next batch of pics! Check our Cathy in Carolina and SB site - as they are posting people shots there. Hope I can make up for my poor photography skills with my impressions (ha ha).

Sooooo ... I have a few minutes before I have to get dressed for the Cruise ... so I'll try to give you a little bit of an overview. I did try to quickly scan through the Blogs - and have received a few Emails asking some specific questions - so I'll just try to do a general commentary here.

First - some of you were cracking me up ... because you were asking for pics before we even arrived! I didn't arrive until around 4 p.m. yesterday (Thursday). I tried to go online last night when I got in (2 a.m.) - but the connection was not working. This morning, I got up early and tried again - and finally got hooked up to the internet. But - the Blog was 'down for maintenance' ... so I wasn't able to post. So this is really the first time I've been able to access the Blogs.

So ... here goes:

First - this environment is a lot different than MB. MB is more of a 'resort casual' environment. This is 'big city' ... and not as relaxed and laid back. But it is lively and active. I heard some of the girls (not mentioning any names, Cathy) ... were out checking out the scene last night. : )

Once I got settled in, I met up with my friend, Jackie (Jacqueline in Illinois) - and her daughter. They are in the mother/daughter pic that Joe posted. We got down to the lobby just as the photo was being taken. We heard that there were about 75 here - for the 'early arrivals'. For those making comments about the quality - it really was just a kind of 'grab shot' - before everyone went down the stairs - and walked down to La Cantina. The temp was about 65 degrees - and just great walking weather.

I found it hard to recognize people from The Blog ... but, during the course of the evening I met Chandra and Paula ... and Yvonne from Hawaii was on the other side of the room - but I couldn't actually see her. Someone pointed out Cathy in Carolina - but I didn't actually get to meet her ... but spoke to her on the phone tonight. I was actually surprised at how many people came up to me and asked if I was Brenda or ClickGirl. As you may have heard - my hair is different now - than in the pic on my Blog. I have lighter brown hair, with blondish highlight - and I have given over to the natural 'chemo curls'. : ) I have mentioned that before - but I'm sure not everyone was paying attention to how I was wearing my hair these days. ha ha Anyway - it was a pleasant surprise to have people recognize me!

Outside of La Cantina was the first time I spoke to Joe. I saw him earlier - but he was busy ... and I didn't want to interupt him. I went up to him - and said that I was Brenda Curry (forgetting that he didn't even know my last name). Then I said, 'You probably know me better as ClickGirl'. He threw out his arms - and gave me a huge hug - then said he was expecting a brunette (ha ha). Then we had a nice little chat. He truly is a 'gem'! And Nancy is one lucky lady!! Was a real pleasure meeting him.

Dinner at La Cantina was a nice little buffet - and we went down these long, steep stairs into a sort of basement area - that had several little rooms with tables. Everyone just sat where they wanted - and in little groups. The thing that amazed me - was that most of them had never met before - and most of them were not Bloggettes - but they all seemed warm and friendly and acted like they were with old friends. It was fun to watch everyone - and just see what a diverse group of women had come to be part of this venture.

Richard made the rounds in the small rooms ... and just as we were finishing our meal (Jackie and I were last in line) ... Richard came into our room. There were about 20 or so ladies, at about 5 tables - and lots of lively conversation was going on. When Richard came in and sat down - everyone turned towards him - and he just started chatting. A couple of ladies had asked him what he wanted to know about the women involved ... and so he was asking some questions. But - being women - the women really wanted to know about Richard ... so the conversation turned back to questions about him.

He was sharing that he was surprised that more people didn't ask about what he did for a living ... and what he did for a certain period in his career. He talked about his life as a Stockbroker - and that he saw so many of the men around him that were living this life of drinking, cheating on their wives and just 'running' - but not really spending time with their families. He said that he decided that was not the kind of life that he wanted to live - and so they made changes in their lives - to allow him more time to be with his boys. It was very touching - when he talked about his relationship with his boys - and he said that rarely a day goes by that he does not talk to all three of them. There was a 'Dad's pride' in his voice.

He said that it was a harder transition for his wife - because she grew up in a lifestyle where they had people helping them and that it took a sacrifice to do what they did. For him, it seemed that it wasn't really a sacrifice - but a choice that he made (that's my impression). Anyway - he seemed very excited and happy and lively. Smiling ... and good sense of humor. This was my first time to really hear him talk - and he came across as a nice fellow. I'm hoping to have a few minutes to talk to him about Pop&Me - at some point ... but I am trying to be courteous and respectful of those who have actually submitted tapes and bios ... because this is really 'their party'. So I am trying to be sensitive to that.

Okay - so ... after dinner we all headed back to The Palmer House (which is gorgeous - but has a really strange elevator system). I've traveled around the world - and been in new and old hotels - but haven't ever seen anything quite so complicated. To go to Jackie's room - I had to go all the way to the first floor (I'm on 15) - and then back past 15 to her floor. There are - at least - three different banks of elevators. I've seen some that go 1-10 and then 10-20 ... but these are all varying numbers - and staggered - like L (lobby) to 10 and 15 to 20 on one elevator - then 11 to 14 and 21 to 24 on another. Very confusing. And the halls are like a maze ... but by the time I leave - I will have it figured out (ha ha).

When we got back from dinner - we all went to 'The State Room' - which is the general meeting room ... and Joe talked a little and Richard talked a little ... and then Joe introduced his niece and her Improv Group. They entertained us for a bit - including some funny little 'SB' sketches - and they were really terrific. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it - and it was a fun evening. Then - Joe gave away door prizes to several - a really nice perfume and then there was a drawing for six ladies - to sit at 'The Captain's Table tonight. They were pretty excited.

In between things - Joe signed about half of the women up for their meetings ... and the rest stayed after to sign-up. Jackie and I went down to the little 'Cigar Bar' (I think that is what it was) ... and talked until after 2 a.m.! It was fun getting to know each other - and sharing impressions and thoughts on everything.

Somebody asked about Breakfast ... and I'll leave that for someone else to describe ... because Jackie and I grabbed coffee/tea from a little cool coffee shop on the way to the walking tour (they have a lot of those kinds of coffee shops all around - very neat).

Looking forward to getting to know others from our group tonight ... and we are all meeting up at Navy Pier to have a group photo - and to wave to the live web cam!! So Everybody go to that website that Joe gave us ... and watch at 6:15 - whatever time zone this is (ha ha). It is one hour before Eastern Standard. I'm so bad! : )

So ... to show you how wrong that Anon was - I have just cut into about fifteen minutes of my 'getting dressed time' for tonight! So I'll sign off for now ... and will try to take better pictures tonight! I'll even put my glasses on! ha ha

Missing all of you!!!

Warm regards,
Brenda

10/04/2005 12:55 AM


CHICAGO TRIP - PART II

Hello Everyone! Just your ‘roving reporter’ – checking back in. And … again … just to prove to that Anon that you are very important to me … as I sit here writing it is 2:53 a.m. Chicago time! : ) Before I forget … thanks for all the comments. Glad you enjoyed my last posting (on my Blog). I’m going to write about tonight … before I forget everything that happened.

So … I have photos … but my cam is having battery problems – so I can’t download them yet. I’m going to get new batteries in the morning – and will post as soon as I can. Lots of fun stuff! Also – I’m just going to post the pics on my Blog – because it is just easier to do … because I can just type in the descriptions as I go. Would be too hard to explain to everybody. But … I will post here to let everyone know that I the pics are on my Blog.

Tonight we had a terrific night! We all made our way down to Navy Pier – and boarded ‘The Odyssey’ – which was quite a large ship – with three different floors (decks). We were in the center area – and had the entire space to ourselves. We had our own private band – and they were quite good. We even had special ‘mood lighting’. As we boarded ‘The Odyssey’, a professional photographer took a picture of each of us – with Richard (who was not, by the way, wearing the Captain’s outfit). : ) I was with Jackie and her daughter, and Cathy (in Carolina). This was my first ‘face-to-face’ time meeting Richard (though, of course, I had seen him from afar, and heard him speak … but had never actually met him). As I was getting in place for my photo – Cathy came up and told him that I as Click Girl. He pulled back and with a big grin said, ‘Click Girl!!’. It was too funny. He said he’d heard that I had changed my hair color (I’m just cracking up over all of the stuff about my hair – because I’ve had it this way for a couple of months … but – it does look quite different). Anyway – we posed – they got the shot and he asked when I had gotten in … so I told him. And … then it was Cathy’s turn for her pic. So … first impression on the one-on-one moment? He was really funny. His reaction to meeting me was just too nice. And appreciated.

Once we were all on board … we were told to go to the top deck to have a huge group photo done. To get to that deck – we had to climb up three stairways – and Richard was holding the door. Apparently, someone made a comment about all of the stairs … and I was just coming up to the door. Richard said something about ‘well, this is supposed to be about adventure’ (or something like that) – and something about it being good training for the trip. I laughed and said – yeh … and we’re doing it in heels! We all laughed – and made our way up to the top – which was outside. The weather – by the way – was absolutely incredible! No jackets or sweaters needed. Just beautiful!! Once on the top deck, I think there were about 100 people in the photo … and maybe another 20 downstairs who opted not to be in the shot. After the shot was taken – we all went back downstairs – and shortly after, ‘dinner was served’. Well … actually … it was announced that the buffet was open. The food was very good. I’ve been on lots of these ‘dinner cruise’ type things – and often the food is marginal, and you are really paying for the cruising experience. This time – we had an absolutely stunning view of the lights of Chicago outside … and really good food which included a salad, noodles with a light cheesy sauce, asparagus, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, curried vegetables, chicken and veggies and salmon … and lots of yummy looking deserts (which I did not partake in) … and good strong ‘Hotel’ coffee. The wait staff was very friendly and helpful … and served us drinks all evening long.

After dinner – the band played … and the gals danced. Richard had been asked on Thursday night (by our little room) – if he danced. He told us that he liked to dance – but just didn’t really know how – despite having lessons (and he told us his dance teacher’s name – but I can’t remember it at the moment. Actually – I will probably never remember it) … and he actually did a little sample of one of the dance steps. He said if he got a couple of drinks in him – he would dance … but because he very seldom drinks – it doesn’t happen often. Now I didn’t see him drinking at all … so it must have been the mood lighting … or the 125 gals who were there to meet him … be he got out on the dance floor – and people were lining up to have a 10 second spin around with Richard … and photo flash was flying. That dancing was pretty tame … but everyone was really enjoying it.

Joe and Richard gave out some door prizes (more perfume … and we all get chocolate from – somewhere – and then several people got free one-year memberships to Perfect Match.com). After the door prizes – Cathy told Joe that Click Girl wanted to have all of the Bloggettes meet over at the back of the boat – and asked if he would announce it. Now – what I learned from that – was that if you wanted to get something done – ask Cathy … because she ‘makes it happen’! Anyway … all but about two of the Bloggettes came back – and we all went on the back deck … and Umberto took some great shots of the Bloggettes – with the beautiful Chicago skyline behind us. So … look for those pics soon! It was so great meeting all of the other gals from the Blog! Too fun!!

As the evening progressed … everyone became much more comfortable … and really started some high energy dancing. And Joe … and Umberto … and some other guy (who I think might have crashed the party – but the ladies didn’t care and were waiting in line to dance with him and Umberto too – ha ha) … all joined Richard on the dance floor. Richard was, I have to say, an extremely good sport. And, for someone who doesn’t dance a lot … he really got into it. He was doing all kinds of different dance ‘stuff’ (being egged on by the gals) – and at one point he was throwing his hands into the air (along with everyone else) – and he was sweating up a storm with his dancing! And once – Richard and Joe even danced together … which had everyone laughing. They were so fun. At one point – I believe that almost everyone – was up dancing. I even danced! And I never dance anymore.

As the boat pulled back into port … the band wrapped up and almost everyone was on their feet dancing and shouting … and it was just a really fun evening! Thanks to Joe and Richard (if they read this) … for an amazing and fun evening!

But … the best part was yet to be! : ) As we were leaving – we could purchase the photo with Richard – for $10. The other people (who were not with SB) – were paying $20! In our packet – we got a little print piece with a pic of the Odyssey, our main photo with Richard and a small pic of the group shot. I gladly paid my $10 … and had my biggest laugh of the night! I was even showing strangers my photo … because my hair was flying up … and it is such a hoot! I can hardly wait to show you … and once I get batteries, I’m going to take a pic of it – so I can download it to my computer. You will crack up! Richard though, looked terrific in his crisp white pants, pale blue shirt and dark jacket … and a very nice smile on his face … because, of course, he had his arm around Click Girl (ha ha ha ha). Just joking. He smiled like that for every pic. : )

So … that was our evening. A lot of us came back to the Cigar Bar … and I got back to my room just after 2 a.m. – so will be crashing as soon as I post this. Tomorrow is more small and large group meetings, dinner on our own, and at 8:30 … ‘The Crazy Hat Party’! I’m going to the Art Institute … and Contemporary Art Museum. We are going to try to get some better pics of some of the Architecture too – because today we couldn’t ‘dawdle’ – or the Docent would have gotten mad … so I had to keep moving. But there were several buildings that we wanted to go back and shoot. Looking forward to all of that!

Will try to post the pics … as soon as I am able! Hope ya’ll have a grand day!!

Warm regards,

Brenda aka Click Girl (who is beginning to feel like a little SB Celebrity – ha ha)

10/04/2005 12:56 AM


CHICAGO TRIP - PART III

Slept in on Saturday … (because I was up until nearly 5 a.m. in the morning - getting stuff ready for posting on my Blog). Then I went to the General meeting at 11:30, in the State Ballroom. As we were coming in, several of us had a chance to stand and chat with Joe. He is such a great help … and really works to keep things moving along and on schedule. What a guy!

This meeting was very informal – everyone sat around at tables or pulled up chairs. There were drawings for more Sees Chocolate and Perfect Match.com – one year memberships. There were lots of people getting a chance to go away with a gift – which was nice. And Everyone got a ‘People’ gift bags with goodies too.

Richard talked about where the SB venture came from … and how it has evolved. Overall, I was impressed with Richard - and he felt genuine to me. He is very passionate and excited about the path he is on and ‘the job’ that he has undertaken – wanting to be the Poster Boy for those – especially – over 50. He shared, in spoken word, many things that we had read over the past months … and, hearing it in person, it made sense – and seemed more ‘real’ – than having just read the words in the Newsletter or on the Blog.

He said that he will be looking for suggestions and comments – as this is about more than just him – and that it would take all of us to move this effort forward. A lot of people asked questions – and there was good general discussion about ‘the SB movement’. I opted out on getting in on the more personal, trip related meet-ups – but heard from others that he was very open to answering any question asked during those sessions. And, that certainly was the case during the larger meeting. In addition, he is quick to make sure that points are clearly understood. If someone seemed to have misunderstood something – he was good to take his time – and go back and re-explain – so that there was no misunderstanding.

After the meet-up, we went to The Berghoff Restaurant – and had a wonderful meal! Very good!

Then we went to the Art Institute. We particularly went to see the Impressionist paintings … and one of my favorites, ‘A Sunday on La Grande Jatte’ (1884-1846) by Georges Seurat. We didn’t realize that you could take pics inside – so we asked about it – and were told that as long as we didn’t use flash, it was okay. So … I had my pic taken in front of that painting. Will post that pic when I have it. During our viewing, we were interrupted by an Asian Prince and Princess with about 6 security detail and 2 AI guards. I asked if it was okay if I sat down – and one of the security detail said that it would be better if I waited. So … I waited. Anyway … I then asked one of the AI people who they were … and he said he didn’t know their name … just knew that they were important. Anyway … just a little ‘excitement’ in the museum. : )

When we were leaving, we went into the Museum Store – and I got a little magnet, a little framed repro and an umbrella with Seurats' ‘A Sunday’ painting … and the sales gal says, ‘Hey, we’ve got a theme going here’. Ha Ha

After being in the presence of such great pieces of art … we went across the street and had a coffee … and contemplated all of the greatness. Not really … we talked about our impressions of the SB stuff … but it sounded much better to say we were thinking of Art. (ha ha)

Next … there was THE CRAZY HAT PARTY!!
I have to say … I thought it was a dumb idea. Sorry … but I just couldn’t see dragging along stuff to make a silly hat … or spending money in Chicago to buy stuff … so I just was going to go – but not wear a hat. But once in Chicago, there was so much ‘buzz’ about the hats … and Jackie from Illinois had an extra hat with her – that just happened to match well with my outfit. And … it had a little black veil … which I thought was appropriate – since I wasn’t in the running for Richard’s partner. : ) When we walk in to the State Room … it was just amazing! The energy and excitement … and just the positive feeling that was there … it was contagious! I was glad that I participated ... and it was great fun!

There were Songs sung, Skits performed … a Conga Line around the room – led by Richard … and Richard was Dancing with everyone. And I don’t mean just slow dancing! He was doing the Twist and really ‘dancing up a storm’. Someone asked who said that Richard couldn’t dance – and I just wanted to mention that Richard was the one that said he couldn’t really dance – when he was talking to us after dinner on Thursday night. He didn’t think he was very good. He said that he was open to learn though. Anyway … he was just such a good sport – dancing and just doing everything that anyone asked of him. I think the pics speak for themselves! We had an awesome time!!

We celebrated the person who came farthest – 2 from Hawaii and 1 from Nova Scotia. And we determined that there were so many great hats – that we couldn’t decide on just one … so we all were winners. It sounds like there is still something going on with the online thing – but Joe will be the one that will update you on all of that. Also – a group of the ladies got together … and did cute little decorations for each of the tables. I put the Red Heart Bracelets on our table … and got several donations. I gave Richard one – and I told him it matched his hat … and he said he would pay for it. I told him that I was giving it to him - as a courtesy (since I paid for them) – and he was appreciative, and glad to wear it. And … well … it did match his hat. : )

At the end of the evening, Joe and Richard got up … and made a couple of statements. Richard said that many people have asked him, during this process, if it was overwhelming to him. He said that he always says ‘no’ – that it isn’t. But he said, ‘tonight, for the first time, it is the closest that I have come to feeling overwhelmed’. He wasn’t meaning in the sense of not being able to handle things … but just being so ‘moved by the moment’. It’s really hard to describe the feelings … and I honestly was surprised that I felt so strongly about it. But it was truly a magical evening (as someone else commented earlier). There was just such a great spirit. And I was truly impressed with the way that Richard treated each person with great kindness and respect. It would have been easy for him to favor the more beautiful, thin, well dressed women … but I saw no favoritism at all. In fact, I really gained respect for him when I saw how he interacted with all of the women … and how kind he was to all of the participants.

On a personal level, I had the chance to interact with him several times on Saturday … and thought maybe that he wouldn’t remember me any more. But he definitely did. Several of us Bloggettes had talked about having a photo done – together – and did that on the Cruise – but there were a lot of people who didn’t make it into the photo … or were not on the Cruise. So we decided that we wanted to try it again – during the Crazy Hat Party. I had talked to Joe earlier in the day – and we were discussing The Blog – and I was saying that I’d like to see us raise the level of the Blog … and make it a place where we were really making a difference. He was saying that they really do want to hear ideas and comments from people … and I said that there was a big difference between ‘constructive criticism’ and being ‘nasty’. He said that I was absolutely right – and had hit the nail on the head. I talked to many of the ladies … and a lot of them said that they stay away when the posts start getting nasty and negative … and I suggested that we do a pic … and all do the Peace sign … and we could start a ‘Let there be Peace on the Blog’ campaign. Everyone that I mentioned that to – really liked the idea … and wanted to know if Richard could be in the shot with us. So … I went to Richard – and told him what we had in mind, and asked if he would mind. He said he would love to do it … and said let’s do it now! So we gathered everyone … asked Umberto if he would shoot it … and you can see the results of that shot on my Blog page.

When we were ready to leave, we went to say good-night … and thanked Joe … then went over to thank Richard. We did a little ‘friendly’ hug … and he personally thanked me for all that I had done with participating in the Blogs … and for my positive attitude. I really appreciated that – and felt it was very sincere.

After that … more ‘chatting’ in the Cigar Bar … until 2 a.m. again (though we promised ourselves we would go to be early – ha ha) … and a lot of the gals were out having fun. We were supposed to meet up with Chi-Town – but when I checked to see what time she was arriving – Cathy in Carolina said that she was not going to make it after all, because it was so late. Our Crazy Hat Party lasted longer than I think any of us expected. So … I didn’t get to meet Chi-Town, though several of the gals met her earlier in the day and said that she was very beautiful!

Sunday morning - 8AM Breakfast – Richard makes the rounds and gave out fresh cut pineapple to everyone. I gave him an orange from Florida – and told him that it probably really came from California. Ha Ha At breakfast, one of the gals was saying that ‘the Police’ came to their room – because they were making so much noise … so our Bloggettes really know how to have fun! : )

Richard invited everyone to come to his Suite between 9:15 – 10:00. We talked, shared, people asked questions and made suggestions and it was a very open forum. Richard talked about the reason that the Newsletter needs to be passed on – and why they keep asking people to send it to friends and family … so that the base could be expanded – so that big companies and organizations like (like the big Drug companies and AARP) would start to pay attention to this grass roots movement. He was sharing that we need a broader reach as a group – if we want to be heard. We talked a lot about marginalization … about advertising and how it is not geared for us … and things that we could do, individually, to help change that. I’m sure you will be hearing more from Richard on all of that! I left at 10 – but heard that they went until 10:30. I had to scoot … and get to the Airport.

I was so tired … but just so ‘full’ also. I made it to the Airport early. I was flying on ‘Ted’. Now – something that I didn’t report before – was on my way out from Tampa, I was talking to my sons fiancé (Carey) – and commented that I wondered why someone would name an Airline ‘Ted’ – and I said that I was glad that I was flying United … because I wouldn’t like to fly on a plane named ‘Ted’. Well, much to my surprise, ‘Ted’ is a part of United … and so I was flying on ‘Ted’. When boarding the plane, I asked how the Pilots were doing – and wanted to make sure they were awake and clear headed. I was told to go in and talk with them – so I did. They were both very nice and friendly (and wide awake). So I asked them about ‘Ted’ … and relayed the conversation with Carey, and said I just was curious. So … do you know where that name came from? My guess was ‘Ted Turner’. Any other ideas? I’ll answer in an upcoming Blog! The winner gets … to Win! : ) No prize though … just the satisfaction of knowing you were right. : )

Anyway – we boarded a few minutes late … and I was seated in the middle again (no fun) … between a man and a little lady who kept the window covered the entire trip … and who had to crawl over me twice to go to the bathroom – once, when I was doing my photos on my laptop. Anyway – I was sooooooo tired … and the gentle rocking of the plane had me falling asleep while we were still on the runway. Unfortunately, my snoring woke me up … three times!! So I tried to stay awake the rest of the trip. Got Home around 5:20ish p.m. We had a delay getting our bags - because of lightening (we are ‘The Lightning Capital of the World’) … but by the time I found a cab … and we headed out … there was a beautiful blue sky and puffy white clouds. Was a great site … and a nice ‘Welcome Home’.

It was so great meeting everyone … and with our 40 Bloggettes … I felt honored to be among their numbers! Was a very special time … and I am so glad that I was able to be part of it all! We did miss those who were not able to be there … and it would be so great to have a Bloggette meet-up at some point down the road! I hope that we will keep the energy going … and, as so many have said, this is not the end … but the beginning of something great and exciting!

That’s it for my travelogue! I hope that the photos and the three travelogues have given you a little insight into what went on in Chicago … and showed some of our excitement at being there!

Peace to All,
Brenda

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