Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ohhhhhh, Opryland!!! and Big Zero Birthdays...

by Jeanne Adams

When a friend turns thirty - you know, the big THREE-OH! - it's often the time to plan one heck of a party, right?

I mean, it's not everyday a gal reaches that milestone, that mark of maturity and magnificent vibrant LIFE! It's an achievement. You remember turning thirty, don't you?

(Or if you haven't turned it yet, just hush, don't make us have to sick the GR on you...)

So, when you're an organization of romance writers, mostly women, it's REALLY an achievement to make it to the big birthdays. Next year, RWA turns thirty. The conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, will be a celebration of all that's fabulous, past and present and headin' into the future, about RWA. How cool is that?

The pillars of our industry are going to be there, some of them are going to be speaking, some will be there to present awards, some will just be there having a grand "birthday" celebration with the rest of us. Seriously, this is going to be one great shindig.

Now, some of you may be yawning over this. Some may be rolling their eyes over my enthusiasm, thinking (or saying to your monitor): "...Just another conference in another town..."

Well, let me just beg to differ. I need to tell you that the hotel is a party alllllll by itself.

Seriously.

If you've never been to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, you have missed an experience. (No, they did NOT slip me an envelope to write this. Although if they choose to now...welll...we could tawk...) Grins.

The sheer magnitude of this place rivals the best spa, the best hotels, the best resorts I've ever seen. Now lest you think that a specious comment, I've seen and stayed in a number of the Ritz Carlton's properties, several Fairmonts, seen a few luxury suites and even stayed in the Mt. Kenya Safari Club.

(Ever stay there on your trips, KJ? Woweee... Heeeeyyyy, I could write a blog about that one too...*makes note for future post*)

Sorry, momentary diversion. Where was I?

Oh yes, the Gaylord Opryland.

The waterfalls begin as soon as you leave the lobby, which is huge, and features comfy seating areas and a coffee bar. There are gardens and waterfalls, riverboats, fountains, grottoes, and pathways all over the hotel. I walked and walked and walked just for fun INSIDE the amazing, fabulous atriums. I never saw the same places twice unless I chose to, but when I decided to return to my room, the paths were well marked and I easily found my way. The food was great in all the venues I sampled, from Irish Pub to Rusty's Sports Bar to the Jack Daniels Saloon. I didn't try it, but I heard the sushi place was pretty cool too. (They even have a "food court" type option, very good and pretty darn reasonable!)

Oh, and the Coooookkkkiiiiieeees! OMGosh, they have this cookie place....Ohhhhhh. It's called Christies. (Trish, do they just sell these at Opryland?) And the cookie place had ice cream in luscious flavors. Yummmmm.

Did I also mention that there's a Godiva shop in one wing? Hmmmm?

Oh, yes, there is. *dreamy sigh*

It doesn't seem to matter what room you're in, or what floor you're on, the views are lovely. In a brisk walk, you can get to a nearby mall (they also run a shuttle), or take another shuttle to the Opryland Center for music. It's just cool. If you're so inclined, you can also visit one of the biggest darn Bass Pro Shops I've ever seen!

This weekend when we were there, they were finalizing the Christmas decor. Talk about breathtaking!! Oh, my goodness. Millions of lights, an enormous nativity scene outside, and elves, bears and nutcrackers, (oh, my!), lights, balloons and glittering Magi inside made the place a virtual wonderland for holiday visiting. (Check out the videos on YouTube by searching Gaylord Opryland Hotel - there were so many...all gorgeous!)

I found myself wishing you could all see it now AND in July.

Then again, in July, the gorgeous pools will be open; it was a bit tooooo nippy for swimming this time of year! I stopped into the Spa - fabulous! - and checked out the nightclub - hip and cool - and had a ton of fun just exploring.

So, if you're an RWA Member, you saw the HotSheet with the lineup of speakers from Sherrilyn Kenyon to Jayne Ann Krentz to Nora Roberts and back to our own BB Friend, Sabrina Jeffries. What's not to love about THAT? I don't care what city we're in (well, I do, but rhetorically...) that is one heck of a line-up right there. I'd go just for that. Then, there will be the fab-o workshops, as always.

This year, we have the extra fun of the hotel being a "guest destination" too. I'm already plotting and scheming to get a weekend away here, just for me and the hubster. I want to take him on the Delta Riverboat Cruise, just the two of us. Fab-U-Lous.

This place beats all heck out of Las Vegas, in my book. I loved the themes out there, but the smoke and gambling-focus was so distracting.

At the Opryland, it's apparently alllll about the guest experience. Hey...next summer that means it's all about US!! Yeah!

So, have you ever been to a massive "attraction hotel" like this before? Like Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, or that water park one in Chicago?

What about Nashville and the Wild Horse Saloon? Anyone been there? (There are mustangs on the ceiling...)

I'd love to hear your favorite destination hotel experience. Just for fun, I have a box of Godiva to give away....tempt, tempt, tempt...

99 comments:

Anna Campbell said...

Ha! He's MINE!!!!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Jeanne, am I in the running for the Godiva? I've got to control the GR all day. I'll need some sustenance!

Wow, what a great post. And doesn't that hotel look fabulous? I can't wait to check out the hotel. Looks like nothing I've ever stayed in before.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Heeeeey, Anna! You snagged da' boird! :> *fake NYCity accent*

Grins.

The hotel IS fabulous. I've never stayed there prior to this, but I've also never stayed in any hotel like it.

It's very verdant and green too, with all the gardens and waterfalls and stuff. Love it!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, and since it'll be winter for you when you come next year, you'll love the warm, under the glass, watery fabulosity of The Gaylord. Grins. I wonder if they'd let us have riverboat races? Bwah-ha-ha!

Joanie, we're going to have to watch out for your gladiators. WAAAAAAAAy too many hidden paths and grottoes for snagging unwary Bandita Buddies. (But some serious cliffs and waterfalls for shield sledding! I checked it out...wasn't brave enough to try a run of it though, without your boyz to watch out for security...)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, have to warn everyone too, that I do believe that if they're bringing any fairies, elves, or other fae with them, it may be hard to get them to leave.

Magical, I tell ya', just magical!

limecello said...

Oooo um, never been to a big hotel like that - other than... the Vegas Strip. Does that count? Oh and uh... The Grant Hotel in Taipei? I guess that's a destination? Maybe? Kinda? Sorta?
Heh tempting us with chocolate. :X I'm still bitter I haven't won tim tams and scads of others have. :P I also sooo want to go to RWA. [Someone asked me point blank - but why would *you* go?" *sniff*]

Congrats on the GR, Anna! :)

jo robertson said...

Thanks, Jeanne, for the great preview of the Opryland Hotel. I was lucky enough to stay there for an education conference a number of years ago and it's gawgeous! I remember getting lost -- a lot -- but I imagine it's clear to anyone not directionally challenged like I am :-D.

What better place could there be for the very young RWA to turn the big 3-0?

mariska said...

Congrats Anna ! :)
I haven't tasted any Godivas, are they good ?

Since i live in Indonesia and never been gone further than Singapore *g* so those pictures are awesome, Jeanne !

Tawny said...

STUNNING!!! Oh wow, I can't wait. We're going for a week because Hubby is a total bluegrass fiend and wants to visit Opryland and all the fun stuff. It'll be like a second honeymoon, except I'll be at workshops instead of the spa LOL.

I've spent a lot of time in Vegas, Jeanne -actually I lived there for 3 years, so I've done quite a few of the fancy schmancy wow hotels. But I don't think I've ever seen one quite like this.

Tell ya what, I'll decide after I see it ;-)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

The hotel is totally awesome. And Jeanne, those Christie Cookies are made here in Nashville. They mostly go out by mail order, lots of gift tins for holidays, birthdays, corporate gifts. But you can find them at a very few retail locations -- one being the Opryland Hotel! OMG, I love those cookies. You can just taste the butter when you bite into them.

I think the conference is going to be fantastic next summer. We're planning all kinds of cool things to celebrate the 30th anniversary.

Lynz Pickles said...

Congrats, Anna!

I've never stayed in an attraction hotel before. I don't think I've even ever seen one. They sound wonderful, though, so I'd love to go one day. Until then, I'll be over here sulking as I read all the wonderful experiences people here are sure to relate! *sob*

Christine Wells said...

Oh, wow, Jeanne, you're making my mouth water--and not only for the Godivas! Ooohhh, really tempting to brave the interminable flights over... But no matter where it's held, the main attraction is always hanging out with the Banditas and BBs! I will really miss you all if I can't be there.

Virginia said...

Congrats Anna on nabbing that rooster today!

Oh wow that hotel looks fabulous. I have never been to a grand hotel myself. My purse can barely afford a Holiday Inn. I would just love to go stay in a place like that just once, just to see what it is like. I guess I will just have to read about it and just dream about it, unless I won the lottery or something and then we all could go.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jeanne, thanks for the virtual tour! I'm planning on being at the conference in July. [Just have to let my boss in on the plans!] And the Gaylord looks and sounds like a great place to spend the week!!

Emmanuelle said...

Nope, never been to one of those hotel. I hope I'll do it sometimes. My next trip in the US is next april...hmmmm... I'll have to figure something out ;-)

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Anna.

I've never been to any of the places you've mentioned. We did stay at the Paris in Vegas. It was beautiful. I wish I got to stay at the Raffles Hotel when we visited Singapore.

Helen said...

Well done Anna what do you have planned for him

Jeanne
Oh how I wish I was going next year that Hotel is stunning. I have never stayed in a hotel any where near like that. Your post has made me very envious of all you lucky Gals that will be there at the conference next year and WOW the guest speakers are fabulous I have heard Sherrilyn speak and she truly is a ball of laughs such a lovely Lady she came to Australia in Feb for the Aust Romance Readers Convention.

Godiva chocolates are really awesome as well.

Have Fun
Helen

Deb Marlowe said...

Thanks for the sneak peak, Jeanne! It looks fabulous. Can't wait!

We've taken the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge, several times- they love it! My eldest vows he's going to build one of his own someday.

PJ said...

Congrats, Anna!

Jeanne, the Gaylord sounds fabulous! Can't wait to sample it's delights next summer. :)

I've never stayed in a hotel quite like what you described. The closest I've come is probably one of the Disney World hotels. When I read your question, the hotel that came to mind first was the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. It doesn't have the "theme attractions" but it's infused with old world elegance that transports the guest back to the early 1900's and a slower, more genteel time of life. It's a place where you can truly cast your cares away and simply enjoy the experience.

http://www.grandhotel.com

Andrea said...

Oh, wowee!! Can't wait to attend my first RWA conference next summer! Thanks for the sneak peek at the hotel, Jeanne. It's gorgeous!

The nicest hotel I have stayed in would have to be The Luxor in Vegas. We've stayed there twice and still haven't see it all. It's like its own little city. Even the elevators are awesome. ;-)

Barbara Monajem said...

Heh. Yes, I've been to the Gaylord Opryland. I got fixated on one particular tree fern. I'd never seen a tree fern before, and I'd always thought of ferns as awesome, primeval plants, so a giant one just blew me away. Are there giant horsetails, too, or did they go out with the dinosaurs?

I've been to a few very cool hotels in Las Vegas -- the Bellagio and the Encore come to mind.

Laurie said...

Hawk's Cay Resort in the Florida Keys!!

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Jeanne, that hotel looks fabulous! And it was just too kind of you to give me a sneak preview of my summer vacation (because that's what RWA is for me--in spite of all the work that gets done, it's totally my just-for-me summer vacation).

Because I've got one kid at home today with strep, it's the third day she's out of school (one day thinking it was a fever virus, second day to get diagnosed, third day for the 24-hours-on-meds before you're allowed back in school) and it's dark and rainy. I SO needed this little reminder of happier, warmer days on the horizon!

RWA's 25th anniversary was my first conference, & it was a real eye-opener. I can't wait to see what happens on #30. :-)

Linda Henderson said...

I've never been to a hotel like that, but I am hoping to make it to Nashville next year for the big literacy signing. My niece lives an hour away and her husband works in Nashville so they know their way around.

TerriOsburn said...

Looks like the GR will be getting some sun today!

I am SO excited to be staying at this hotel next summer. At the tender age of 22 (which was a LONG time ago...lol) I moved to Nashville on a whim and got a job at the now defunct Opryland USA theme park. This made me a sort of employee of the hotel as well.

You cannot explain in words how fabulous this hotel is (though Jeanne does a pretty good job here). You have to see it. It's a world inside a world. And they even have the dancing water fountains a la Vegas, but inside!

I can't wait!

Kirsten said...

Hi Jeanne! What a great post -- defintely has me in the mood for summer! We've had a series of storms here in the Pac NW, which is great for getting snow in the mountains but is making us a little stir crazy. And the barometric pressure is wreaking havoc with my migraines. Argg!!

The lush green atriums look wonderful. I doubt I'll ever leave the hotel! I skipped the last conference but I think I'll be making the trek east for the 30th Anniversary. I can't go TWO years without seeing all the Banditas and BBs!

Christie Kelley said...

Hmm, a cookie shop named Christie's. Yeah, I think I'll like that.

Jeanne, the place sounds awesome and now I can't wait for July! I've never been to Nashville so I'm really looking forward to it.

As far as destination hotels, I don't think I've been to one unless you count some of the Disneyworld hotels.

Great blog, btw!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Lime! Taipei? Have to go look that one up. :> And hey, Nashville will be a blast, you should come.

Tracy Garrett said...

It's just as beautiful in the summer, trust me. And the Wild Horse is a really cool place. I used to live in Nashville - I'm looking forward to returning for a few days.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jo! It is beautiful isn't it? I did get lost a couple of times, but the hotel assures us they will have direction-givers (staff to help) and all that as well as good signage.

Should keep us all on track!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Mariska! They don't have Godiva in Singapore? Oh, poor you. :> They're really fabulous. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Tawny! Doesn't it look cool? I've been to Vegas a couple of times (tho' not lived there!) and this just beats 'em all.

Of course if you really like the gambling, it's not as fun, but otherwise it's just delish!

TerriOsburn said...

I'll back up the rec for the Wild Horse Saloon. But really, you just have to head down to 2nd Avenue and take it all in. From Tootsies to the Ryman to the Wild Horse. All walking distance from each other.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Trish, you're so right, you can taste the rich, real butter. All the cookies were just fab, mouthwatering marvelousness.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Lynz! I'm going to be right with you, drooling over whatever people tell us. I love the idea of destination hotels, so I'll be excited to hear what people say. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Christine, you MUST come! It will be so fun and we will have magalicious Bandita fun. :>

Suzanne Welsh said...

WE may be ready for Nashville, but I wonder, IS Nashville ready for the Bandits? hehehe

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Virginia, if you win the lottery, don't be worrying about US! :>

BTW, I love most of the Holiday Inns I've stayed in. There's one along our route to see family that's always our stand by stopping place. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Suz! Thanks for dropping by. Get to your boss right now, girlfriend, 'cause you HAVE to see this place. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Emmanuelle! You're coming in April? Hopefully for fun. :> Can you stay thru July and join the Bandits for Conference? Grins.

Terry Odell said...

I LIVE in the land of themed hotels.
In light of the recent Harlequin developments and the RWA decision, it should be an interesting conference. I might have to scrape the funds together.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Jane! :> Isn't Paris in Vegas fun? We stayed there a couple of years ago and had so much fun in the shops and restaurants.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Hey, since one of the Banditas lives here, the city has already gotten a taste of 1/20th of the Banditas en masse. :)

Christie, we'll have to take your photo in front of the Christie Cookie display case. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh Helen, lucky you that you got to hear Sherrilyn! I'm looking forward to hearing her speak.

traveler said...

What a great post. Loved learning about this extraordinary place. I haven't as yet had the opportunity of experiencing a hotel of this type but it would be wonderful.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Deb, it's gonna be a blast! Hey, tell us about Great Wolf Lodge...we have a gift certificate for a couple of nights there from a charity auction so i want to hear all about it.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

PJ, you've stayed at Mackinac? Ohhh, I want to go there. Ever since I saw the movie Somewhere in Time I've wanted to go there.

Tell us more about it!

Louisa Cornell said...

Most of the hotels I stayed in are a blur as I was on tour singing and generally spent most of my time in a train, sleeping in the room or singing or rehearsing in an opera house.

I cannot WAIT for the conference this year. It is my only vacation all year and the past two conferences have been an absolute blast for me.

This hotel looks amazing! I can't wait.

Wonder how the GR will do in a town like Nashville where fried chicken (sshhhh) is king?

Lucky GR to visit La Campbell in Oz today. It is cold and gloomy here.

Sabrina said...

Jeanne, you HAD to mention the cookies and the Godiva. You just had to mention them. Sigh. I LOVE COOKIES AND GODIVA! And waterfalls and all that other stuff, but there's cookies!

Ahhh, conference is going to be fun this year (except for the whole Harlequin mess.

Minna said...

I've never been in hotels that would be quite that fabulous.

Miljoonasade: Marraskuu (November)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxW6DeHJme4

catslady said...

We waited 15 years to have kids and were luck enough to get some nice traveling in during that time but I can honestly say I don't think we ever did a destination hotel - I wonder if they are more often today. We did take a cruise and that's sort of like one big hotel lol. It also was our favorite vacation because you didn't have to worry about luggage or changing hotels and there were so many wonderful side trips if you wanted to take them but if not there was more than enough to do aboard ship. Turning 30 didn't bother me since I didn't have kids yet and still felt like one but I'm only one year away from 60 waaaaaaaaaaaaa.

PJ said...

Catslady, I'm two years away from 60. I'll celebrate with you! :)

PJ said...

Jeanne, staying at Grand Hotel on Mackinac is like stepping into that movie. I wanted to "dress" for meals and carry a parasol while I strolled the grounds. She's a grand old lady. (pun intended)

Pat Cochran said...

Never have been to one of the "big"
hotels! My best hotel experience
was on our Venice trip some years
ago. We stayed in centuries old
castles which now house luxurious
five-star hotels. One of the hotels
is housed in what was once a Doge's
palace! Some digs!!

Pat Cochran

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Andrea! Okay, now you have me curious...what's up with the Luxor elevators? :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Barbara M! Aren't those ferns and orchids great? LOVED them. What was it like to actually STAY at the Bellagio? I walked around in it, but didn't stay there.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Laurie! Awww, c'mon, you gotta tell me more than the name. what's great about Hawks Cay in the Keys? Grins.

I'm making a list. Like Virginia, I thinking lottery win. I think I'll go hotel hopping for a month.

Haha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi susan! Commisserations on the sick child. Mine's home too because of the 24 hours-plus-fever-free rule insituted to combat H1N. He got tylenol in him, a good night's sleep and was rarin' to go, but had to stay home one extra day. urg.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Linda H! Oh, I hope you WILL come in for the Literacy Signing. You'll know the Romance Bandits by their balloons. grins. Hopefully we can do it in Nashville too, but we've tried to have an RB at each signing author's chair so our wonderful blog buddies can find us.

Its a great opportunity to meet your favorite authors too, not just us. grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terri! You worked for Opryland? How cool!

Oh, the dancing fountain! Wheeee! I could see it from my faces-the-atrium balcony. It was a huge kick to sit and watch the fountain "show" complete with lights and music. The kids loved it too - proves my inner child is alive and well - and one little guy wanted to just go join the festivites and jump IN the fountain. ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh Kirsten, you'll LOVE it! All lush and green like where you live, but SUNNY! The atriums have filters on the glass, I believe, but the sunny day just made the place sparkle like a jewel.

There's a whopping 9 acres under glass! WOWOW!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Christie! Aren't you caving it? Or are you done? :> If so, Whooopeeee! Another Christie book!

I thought about you with the cookies. They were great...

Tell me about your Disney experience if you pop back out of the cave. I'd love to hear. I've not been to Disney in years and we're going to take our boys next year...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Tracy G! You'll have to look all of us up when you're there.

See? She'll back me up. The Wildhorse is COOL!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooops, nearly missed your recommendation too, Terri. I didn't realize they were all w/in walking distance! How fab!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz, I kept thinking, as the lovely hotel staff were so delightful, "Oh, lordy, are you ready for 2400 romance writers next summer? 'Cause you ain't seen NUTHIN' yet!"

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Terry, I do hope you'll make it! It'll be so fun to have you there.

Tell me about the Disney resorts, we're takin' the boys next year...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Trish, you're right! And I guess since 2/20ths were there this weekend, the glass got at least a tremor of a shake at the pure awesomeness of the Banditas and BB's en masse. :>

LOL about taking pix of Christie in front of the Christie's Cookies! We SO have to do that!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Traveler! Truly, it is an experience. :>

Given your moniker, I'm guessing you LIKE to travel. What's your fav destination?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Louisa! It's cold and gloomy here in DC too, so I'm thinkin' the GR lured our own La Campbell into temptation and sin and got her to carry him off to Oz. Grins. How's that sin comin' on, Anna? SNORK!!!

Considering how much you've rocked the contests in your last two Nationals Louisa, I'd be worried if you HADN'T had a blast! hahah! You are da woman!

Nashville will be all that and a bag of chips, I'm thinkin'!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah, Sabrina. I really DID have to mention the cookies. Really. They were SO good. SO good. You are going to just lurve them.

Oh, and a stroll around the atrium to your room? That takes care of the calories. Seriously. It does.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Minna! Have to say it was pretty fab. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Catslady, I envy that time, pre-kids, to travel with your honey. We got in a couple of trips, then blammo! Kids! I wouldn't change a thing, but traveling a bit more would have been nice. :>

I do think destination hotels are a more current mode - people want to be entertained everywhere. Disney started it, but I think a lot of hotels looked at Disney and Vegas and thought, "Hmmmm, attraction to the HOTEL...hmmmm...kaching!" Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, PJ, now I HAVE to go. You know how sometimes you see something from a movie and it's just such a disappointment? The Exorcist stairs, for instance. So atmospheric and gloomy and scary in the movie. In real life? Next to an Exxon. *eye roll*

But to hear that Mackinac's just like the movie? Oh, now I really do have to go...with my paramour and my parasol!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ooooooh, Pat! That has Opryland beat by a mile. Staying at the Doge's palace? Ohhhhh, yeah, baby! :>

I'm dying to see Venice. It's been on my "MUST GO" list since I was in high school and saw pictures of the gondoliers and the bridges.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey ya'll! Just added some extra photos to the blog - flowers and waterfalls - courtesy of fellow RWA Board member Ruth Kaufman. Aren't they gorgeous???

Lady_Graeye said...

I'm still searching for my great hotel getaway. I will let you know when I find it. I love those chocolates! Yummo!

Beth said...

Fabulous post! I can't wait until the conference and that hotel is gorgeous :-)

Is it too early for me to start packing? *g*

Susan Sey said...

Kirsten wrote: I skipped the last conference but I think I'll be making the trek east for the 30th Anniversary. I can't go TWO years without seeing all the Banditas and BBs!

And I can't tell you how glad I am to hear you say so, roomie. :-) I had a wonderful time with Caren, Claudia and Deb last year (mmmmwah! to those ladies, btw) but I would cry bitter tears if you stayed away another year.

Susan Sey said...

Jeanne wrote: He got tylenol in him, a good night's sleep and was rarin' to go, but had to stay home one extra day. urg.

I'll see your urg and raise you an OMG because my kid is totally bouncing off the walls here, too. I'm like, "Listen, you. You're SICK. ACT SICK."

But alas. No. She feels fine. The miracle of antibiotics.

On the plus side, it's my other daughter's birthday today, so at least we all got to go out to lunch together. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Beautiful sneak preview, Jeanne!! The hotel looks truly gorgeous, and that cookie shop is calling my name. Are you sure its name is christie's and not KATE'S? Really?? Could you double-check? ;-)

Can't wait for this conference! What a great lineup of speakers! I get to see Nashville for the first time and hang out with my Banditas!

Anna, you really do deserve the Godiva! Just sayin'. :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Lady Graeye! If you love Godiva, you'd love those Christie Cookies...Oh, my...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Heehee, Beth. I wondered the same thing and I haven't yet UNpacked! Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah, Kirsten! As if you needed any other reason than the gorgeous hotel, your roomie neeeeeeds you! :> We took good care of her, but we all pined for you dear! (And for Tawny and Jo, and everyone else who didn't make it...)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, man, Susan, you totally win. TWO of them bouncing off the walls together? Yikes!! At least mine has been playing video games and reading and bouncing off the walls with the dogs which, while noisy, isn't nearly as noisy as doing the above with a sibling!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kate, we can rename it for you...

Grins.

As to Anna deserving the Godiva, she surely does. Do you think it would keep well, on the way to Oz?

Kate Carlisle said...

Um, I'm pretty sure that box of Godiva will need to have a layover in California on its way to Oz. Just send it to me and I'll take care of it. ;-)

Pissenlit said...

Nifty, RWA has been around as long as I have. Okay, I'm hushing now. ;)

Wow! Nopers, haven't been to any of those places or any places like that at all! They look and sound fantastic though! Mmmmm, sushi, cookies, ice cream and chocolate! Er, though maybe not all at the same time.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kate, a layover, eh? Uh-huh, sure...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Pissenlit, you just hush. Hahahah!

Hmmm, you may be right about the "not all at the same time" thing.

Snork.

p226 said...

One of the neater hotel type places I've been to was many years ago. It was the Radisson in Dubai, UAE. It had a small bar on the top floor. Me and about twenty buddies invaded it, only to find it'd been conquered first by the 130th airlift out of our home town. They left their cards stuck to the wall. We ran into the Foster's rep for most of Asia. He bought us drinks for two days.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oh, how cool! Did you have a view of Dubai from the top floor? Also, running with the Foster's rep? Lordy, you probably managed to sink his freebie stock for months. Heehehheeee!

Julia Smith said...

I'd hoped - but why, I have no idea - that I could make it to the next RWA conference, but it's going to have to be Manhattan for my first ever one. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel does sound extravagant.

The fanciest hotel I've stayed in so far has been the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax. Yes, I do live in Halifax. It was a staycation for me, but a vacation for my friend, in town from Ontario. It was very luxurious to walk to downtown things and then just go back to our room.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Julia! Oh, Nova Scotia! :> I've wanted to come see your fair province for a long time. Grins.

Would you recommend the Westin?

Nancy said...

Anna, congrats on taking home the rooster!

Jeanne, I'm not sure I've ever been to a destination hotel, except Disneyland. However, my ambition is to go to Asheville, NC, to the Grove Park Inn, which also has a spa, during the holidays and see the gorgeousness of Biltmore.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Nancy! You will NOT be disappointed. Biltmore and Grove park at Chrismas are a sight to behold, a true experience.

I've never forgotten the first time I saw the fireplace in the main lobby. It truly is large enough to roast an ox, whole.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks for popping on today, everyone and celebrating the upcoming fun at our RWA 30th!! Appreciate all the comments and fun.

Grins.

off to bed now...to dream of Christie's cookies!

limecello said...

Jeanne - this might help [or not] http://images.google.com/images?q=the%20grand%20hotel%20taipei&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi :P
Also... I so WANT to go to RWA - but can I afford to is the question :\

Andrea said...

Jeanne said: Okay, now you have me curious...what's up with the Luxor elevators? :>

Because the hotel is a pyramid, the elevators move sideways and up instead of directly up. It feels different. My kids LOVED it. *g*

Mari said...

I have never been to one of those kinds of hotel-resorts, but if I could book it for just my family I might try it. I went to one of those gigantic waterparks before and there were just way tooo many people there.
Don't know why, but I've always wanted to visit Dollywood in Tennessee:)