I arrived in San Francisco for Beading by the Bay on a rainy Thursday morning. I was traveling alone, so I was extremely nervous about parking at DFW, checking and claiming my suitcase, and finding the right shuttle to my hotel. The tasks were easy because everything around both airports was plastered with extremely helpful signage. I was starving by the time I checked in at the hotel, so I devoured a California Croissant in the restaurant while pouring over brochures for tours of San Francisco. I realized I should have come a day earlier so I could do more touristy things, but I know better for next time. Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf will have to wait.
I opted to go shopping in downtown Burlingame since there was a free shuttle from the hotel. I browsed independent clothing shops and candy shops before coming across the Art and Soul gallery. It was an amazing art consignment shop with mobiles, antiques, jewelry, lampwork, handmade soap, and fine art. The piece I purchased was Jackson Pollock-inspired piece by Chesney, the lady who owned the shop. I had food and art, and the only other thing I could need was sleep. I went back to the hotel to take a nap before the dessert reception.
I woke up 2 hours later and donned the cute outfit I chose to go with my Star Struck necklace. I got a call while I was getting ready from Sue. We are facebook friends, and we both live in Texas, but we had never met in person. We met in the bar and recognized each other immediately since we both closely resemble our facebook photos.
Sue had wine and I had my usual Jack and Coke, and we chatted with our Puerto Rican bartender Jose. He was fascinated with our giant crystal jewelry. Either I tip well or Jose liked me because Sue and I got fabulous service the rest of the weekend.
We headed over to the room and it was so beautifully set up. We got big hugs from Marcia and found a table with another facebook friend, Karen. We opened our retreat and Swarovski gift bags and oohed and ahhed over all the goodies. Then coffee and dessert, yum!
Ron Rock gave a wonderful presentation about the Swarovski elements and intertwined it with upcoming fashion trends. It was very inspiring! Then, he handed out some fabulous door prizes: from calendars to big boxes of crystals, everyone got something cool!
Sue and I had more drinks at the bar, talked about networking and teaching beading, and special ordered cheese fries from Jose. A great first day, for sure!