This past weekend was my second weekend in a row spend out-of-town. I had a fabulous time, though! I went, for the third straight year, to the 2:1 Conference. Just as in previous years, it was an excellent weekend of fun, fellowship, and learning. My Top Ten moments were…
1. Flying! I love to fly, but it’s an extremely rare treat for me. My absolute favorite part is takeoff. I’m the totally unseasoned traveler sitting there with the big, goofy grin on my face from the moment the engines start to rev. My husband left me a note Friday morning, telling me he loved me, would miss me, and to enjoy my plane ride because he knows how much I love it. I found that very endearing considering how much he hates to fly himself.
I love it! Seriously. Did I mention that I love to fly?
Oh, and this was my first time ever to book my own flight, so I requested a window seat. That means I got to sit by the window all four flights (a connection both ways), snapping camera phone photos out the window like a fool. I don’t care. I had a great time!
2. Going to Chicago. I have never been to Chicago, so that was a special bonus for the 2:1 Conference this year. I just wish I’d allowed an extra day for sight-seeing.
My first glimpse of Chicago.
3. Meeting online friends. One thing that I love about going to blogging conferences is meeting online friends in person. This one was extra special because, instead of being on the East Coast, it was in Chicago. That meant that many West Coast bloggers were able to come. I was so excited to see Kendra again and to finally get to hug the necks of Connie, Kim, and Marianne.
4. Meeting two former Biggest Loser contestants. Now, I’ll confess that I don’t watch Biggest Loser as faithfully as I did when I was morbidly obese, but I’m still a fan. That means I was giddy with excitement to find myself talking to Jerry and Estella from Biggest Loser Season 7.
It turns out that the resort where the 2:1 Conference was held is also a Biggest Loser Resort location. So cool!
5. Worshipping with fellow bloggers. I was telling my friend, Ashley, on Sunday morning that my favorite part of the conference – the part I’d been looking forward to all weekend – was the worship service. I’m not as super-spiritual as that may make me sound. I often feel like I keep God on the peripheral of my life, rather than at the center where He should be. However, there is something amazingly powerful about worshipping with a roomful of people who are worshipping because they want to and not because it’s just something they do on Sunday morning.
I’ll never forget the first 2:1 Conference where the Sunday morning worship was impromptu because so many people were missing worship with their church families. That was an amazing time of worship. Each subsequent 2:1 Sunday morning, where Sunday morning worship is planned and on the schedule, has been equally powerful. It is seriously the highlight of my conference weekend every time, though it really made me miss my church family since I haven’t been able to be with them for two weeks.
6. Being comfy. One of my favorite things about 2:1 is the “come as you are” attitude. I did take my favorite boots and some cuter-than-around-the-house clothes, but my travel outfit included my favorite walking shoes – very much appreciated for trekking through Atlanta and O’Hare airports.
7. Finding sweet tea. After a long weekend of no sweet tea and only Pepsi products for this Coke-loving girl, I think I may have heard the angels sing the Halleluiah Chorus when I spotted the McDonald’s in O’Hare. The girl who took my order got a chuckle over the Southern girl who was so excited to find sweet tea at last.
8. Eating at Chili’s. I haven’t eaten at Chili’s in forever. Prior to leaving home, I’d already gone online and scoped out the Detroit airport, where I had an hour and a half layover on my way home, for eating establishments. I knew there was a Chili’s and that I would, if nothing went wrong, have plenty of time to eat there. So, I was very excited for two on-time flights.
I didn’t realize the photo was so blurry until later. I was sitting facing west and the sun was going down. I could barely see anything, but I have this weird thing about sitting with my back facing openings or doors (I can’t do it.), so I just sat there, blinded by the setting sun.
9. Having a room to myself. Maybe I really am weird and unsocialized. I prefer to believe, however, that I really, really enjoyed having a room to myself because I am a bathroom hog and an introvert who likes to decompress at the end of a people-filled day. Whatever it was, I really enjoyed having a hotel room to myself.
10. Getting refreshed. I so enjoyed a weekend of amazing, knowledgeable, encouraging speakers. I left with some great ideas I can put into place in on my online world and some much-needed encouragement for my off-line world.
If you ever get a chance to go to the 2:1 Conference, I strongly encourage you to do so. The next one is in October 2015 in the Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk, North Carolina! I’m so excited and already making plans to attend.
Did you do anything fun this past weekend?