Monday, September 19, 2016

Second Beach Retreat - Surfside 2016

Are you ready?  Round Two is about to begin.  My "tweeners" have moved on, the linens are clean (thanks to the mighty Val), and we have cleaned as much from the refrigerators as we can.  It is CRAZY how much food is in this house.  Crazy, I tell you.  Arrivals begin and as they stake out their temporary homes, several of us make a mad dash for the water in order to get a swim in today.  It's a now or never type thing and I really need my time in the water to help keep me grounded.  Now, back to the house and get ready for the evening plans.  We are off to the Red Snapper again for our welcome dinner.  It's a great chance to connect with those you may not have met before and for old friends to reconnect once again.  

While sitting at the table, I notice a beautiful glow coming through the front door and run to check it out.  Yep, caught just the tail end of the sunset.

As it is Roberta's birthday, we are foregoing dessert in order to do the Happy Birthday thing back at the house.

I LOVE that she danced through our wonderful rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" and yes, I have candles so it is time to make that wish and expel some air.

Okay --- cake anyone?

As crazy as it seems, some people are already achieving a productive status.  Yes, you are right.  I am not one of them.  Lori, however, IS and has her first TA-DA's.  Beads of Courage bags are already coming together.  You go girl.  Moments later, she also has a larger TA-DA.  What the what?

We have a harvest moon tonight, prompting many of us to go and make our attempt at capturing the moment.  This is the best I could do.  It's also the end of the night for me.  I'm kinda tired and making an early exit.

I think this is day eight for me and the early morning does not disappoint.  One thing about going to sleep early, those sunrises are just that much easier to catch.

As I walk around the room, I spot Sharron's project from the last eight days.  I have to tell you that these are simply gorgeous and the photography does NOT do them justice.  Truly amazing.

It's time for the Beads of Courage demo again (Lori had learned at a previous Brazos retreat) and this time Johnnie is recording it for posterity.  Is that a good thing?  I'm thinking NO.

Sue Ellen has a TA-DA with a bag she has made.  I really need to give bags/purses a try.

Just some random shots around the house.  One daylight, one later.  I think my camera went into hiding today.

But it came out in time for a walk down the road to try and capture the sunset again.  Once again, I miss the big moment and just get the afterglow.

Debi has taken some orphan blocks from Sherri and turned them into zip bags and a purse.  It's a great TA-DA although Elisabeth will frown when she sees this.  (And the scrap battle continues on.)

Carol is also introducing everyone to her original Beach Sunset cocktail even served in wonderful glasses also provided by Carol.  She definitely came prepared for retreat.  Now a word of warning on these --- can you say WOW?  They are super strong and Johnnie and I take deep breaths after the first sip.  In all fairness though, I move right onto a second one.  Yep --- a muddled brain seems right for tonight.

It also makes me want to take selfies I guess.

Okay --- the moon is back we are all once again trying so hard to get the perfect picture.  I'm not sure if the moon has drawn the card players outside, or the noise from the amateur photographers on the deck.  We have music playing and it truly is a wonderful night to be outside.  At least my best shot has some color to it tonight.

I take a last man standing picture before heading to bed.  Technically that doesn't make it what I am calling it.  Therefore, what should this be.  How about MY last pic of the night.  See ya'll tomorrow.  (I KNOW -- unheard of for me to sleep so much at retreat.)

Good morning.  Breakfast is smelling diving and Roberta actually has Lori cooking this year.  I will never forget the picture from last year where she is sitting on the counter while Roberta prepares our wonderful fare.

New friendships are being made and that part makes my heart oh so happy.

Even the deck is active already and these are the true last men standing.  More power to ya gals.

The sun is already up but hiding behind the clouds, thus giving us a pretty cool view.  What a great thing to see first thing.  I need to move to a place where I have an unencumbered eastern view and then I would like the backyard to have the same thing only facing west.  How hard can that be?

Chatting and just having a bit of fun while waiting for breakfast.

After my walk down to the t-shirt shop, I notice that the neighbors are around again so I make a second request for a photographer and am happy to report that they have accepted the task once again.  Everyone out onto the deck please.  This weekends participants are:  Back row - Carol Zaretski, Janet Yatska, Suzanne Montgomery, Marcia Eich (hiding as usual), Debi Kendrick, Theresa Irving, Sue Ellen George, Val Venable, Lori Plummer.  Middle row - Eveline Hogan, Laurie Thompson, Dora Cruz, Sharron Evans, Deb Hayter.  Front row - Stacy Blake, Johnnie Smith, Charlotte Cronkhite, Roberta Ross, Lydia Blalock, and on the ground is Stephannie Brown.  Loving those smiling faces.

Projects in the works.  Roberta and Charlotte with One Block Wonders in process.

Yesterday, (I think) Carol discovered that we have a drive thru daiquiri store within walking distance of the house.  She has since become a regular customer and in doing so mentioned that they have Jello Shots too.  Several of us mention that we have never had a Jello Shot and so a trip is made to retrieve three dozen of them.  Yep, three dozen.  Watermelon, Apple, and Blueberry.  I think it's a party night.

Carol and I take a walk down the beach for some personal time and are rewarded with lovely colors reflecting from the sunset.  The days sure seem to fly by while here.

I loved our time together and it will truly be one of the highlights in my memory bank of this weekend.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.

Okay, it's time to check something off the list.  Guess what?  I don't think they are very good.  But, hey -- it's off the list.

For those who are choosing to remain sane, Or perhaps not --- fun can be found without the help of a Jello Shot.  Val comes over to show me her recent fabric.  HAHAHAHA  -- it's as bad as my cloud pictures.

Johnnie with a TA-DA

Sharron with a Ribbons of Love moment.  LOVE when these blocks start coming together.

Great minds at work.  What can we do with this?

The sun went down but Lori is concerned because the moon did not rise.  Seriously!  It took a LONG time and then we spotted it coming up over the water.  Camera.  Where is my camera?  Ugh, I just want one really good moon picture.  This one is lacking the water.

A couple more random shots from the room

 And that's it for me.  I will let the partiers have it again tonight.  Last pic.

Day nine makes an appearance with a bit of a calmer attitude.  It is the last full day here and unfortunately it is also the end of the fun for Debi, Theresa, and Marcia.  I am SO SAD to see them go.  It has been such fun being here together each day and sharing so many wonderful giggles.

I think I may hang out in jammies all day.  Miss Roberta comes over to talk future retreats with me and it is the best opportunity for cuddles.  I LOVE this picture.

Val and Stacy make it down to the beach and although I have seen Val actually down there a couple of times, there was no proof until now.  Too bad I was so excited to take the picture that I jiggled and blurred it.  Someone get a new photographer please.

Oh dang -- the final good-byes are taking place and I am pretty sure someone is having a hard time with it.  Come on Debi -- it's only until November.  After THAT retreat is the hard one to say good-bye to Sharron cos it takes FOREVER until September again.

Laurie with a TA-DA

Suzanne has been busy and has several TA-DA's to share:

This one is a finished Round Robin that I worked on as well.  I adore what Suzanne did to finish it.

Janet with another Round Robin that is almost complete.  It just needs one more row to be added.

Lori has been working on the units for these blocks the past couple of day.  Putting one together definitely deserves a TA-DA

Okay, I am making it my mission tonight to actually catch the sunset.  I have walked down to the drive thru daiquiri place to sit on the deck and watch until the timing is just perfect.  It's here and I am off to the bridge to shoot the pictures.  YES!  Finally.  It could be crisper, but heck, it's just my phone.

When I return, Lori and I take a walk down the beach together for some gal pal time and a chance to visit one on one before this all comes to an end.  We REALLY need to get together more often.

After arriving back at the house --- it has gotten dark again and guess what.  The moon is making it's appearance right over the water again.  I am ready.  After success with the sunset, I am feeling confident.  Let's do this.  Oh yeah!  I have to actually go down to the water, but it works.

Oh dang.  It is the LAST, last pic of the night.  Look how many are still up.  Yes, you can see that I did get dressed at some point today.  No, it wasn't to walk for the sunset picture, although I'm sure clothing was appropriate.  It was because Lydia and I chose to pack up the van this afternoon and all we have left is our clothes and machines.  I have been doing handwork all evening and it is definitely time for some sleep before trying to put this house back together tomorrow morning.

The morning is a whirlwind of activity.  The entire house has to be put back in order and since the first group had the extreme pleasure of setting it up, these gals get to take it down.  I think the first end is a bit more exciting, but in the end I think the work is about the same.  We are finished ahead of our deadline and with a quick farewell by the last four --- Surfside out!

Hello, once again, Houston  Now, let's point this car home.  Thanks to all who participated.  I am already looking forward to next year and we are already totally booked for both weekends.  Nice.


  1. Another marvelous post. I. AM. NOT. MISSING. THIS. RETREAT. NEXT. YEAR.!!!!!!! Hugs, Allison