Rest & Rejuvenation

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Prepping the Bride

As someone who “opted out”‘ of a big wedding and eloped I do not have the experience of planning a wedding but, in my world of aesthetics I have seen more than my share of stressed out brides. I know the value of fresh, clear, glowing skin on and in the days before the wedding day.

These events leading up to your wedding bring more photos and entertaining than any other time in your life;  The showers, Jack and Jill. and don’t forget the bachelorette party!  The planning of your wedding should include time for facials so your skin can be in it’s best condition in the weeks before the wedding.

At Skin Catering we suggest a series of facials before the big events start to give the skin a healthy glow, clear up any imperfections and help make make up application smooth and easy, not to mention an hour to yourself  just to be quiet.

We suggest starting six months before the big day with monthly facials. The week of the wedding we have a special facial for the bride that can be done any time during the week right up to the day of the wedding.

We also recommend putting Gift Certificates for facials and massage on your registry!

 

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The Team That Plays Together, Stays Together

Our team is fairly new.

Not to massage, not to the industry, just to each other.

Since we don’t get to spend a lot of time together in the same room, it’s fun to hang out and enjoy life outside the quiet massage room.

In September, some of us went to a cooking class (complete with wine) at 4 Brothers Gourmet Deli & Market in South Hadley!

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Cheers to (part of) our team!
Amy, Leanne, Kim, and Ariel are pictured above.

Thanks to the chef brought in by the owner of 4 Brothers, Michelle, we learned to make crepes and homemade pasta, with sauce!

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Chef letting Kim saute onions, tomato, and garlic for the sauce

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Chef rolling out the pasta dough we made.

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Leanne & Kim in awe of pasta that doesn’t come from a box.

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Amy showing us her handywork

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Ariel tasting the goodness!

It’s important for our crew to live, laugh, and love while we play, so we can continue to bring you our best when we are at work!

Speaking of 4 Brothers Gourmet Deli, we are happy to say, we will be there one Thursday evening a month at one of their 2 monthly wine-tasting events, doing free chair massages (and offering a coupon for future services!)

The next three dates we will be there are:

  • October 10th, 5-7pm
  • November 7th
  • December 5th

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” – John Wooden 

and I certainly couldn’t build SkinCatering without them!

Livin’ In The Hall of Fame

On September 26th, 2013 the leading ladies of Western Massachusetts banded together for our Winners Photo-shoot that will be featured in the October issue of the Western Massachusetts Women’s Magazine.

You remember my Karen’s Angels video compadres right? Karen Boyd of Mix 931, and Meghan Rothschild & Emily Gaylord of Chikmedia.

Well Karen, myself, and Emily all won for our categories (we’re putting all our efforts into votes for Meghan next year!) so we Harlem-Globe-Trotted down to the Basketball Hall of Fame, in Springfield MA and got our professional pics taken.

After our group photo we had to wait for individual head shots to be done … What’s that saying about idle hands?

With so many props around us, it was difficult to behave…

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3 Leading Ladies

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Robot Impressions #fail

 

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Our fabulous fun-times photog (and fellow award winner), Tanya Costigan of Bowties & Butterflies Event Planning

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Fellow winners, and YPS members, Elizabeth Ginter and Pamela Thornton

 

 

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Karen, Leanne, and Emily

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Basketball Mural Fun – LIVING ART

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Karen having a talk with Mike

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The 3 of them couldn’t figure out the real problem

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Gasp!

After our individual photos were done, we found our way over to The Colony Club in downtown Springfield, MA where we were treated to champagne, shrimp cocktail, and a gourmet cheese platter, to celebrate our success!

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Leanne Sedlak & Elizabeth Ginter

And of course, no evening celebration would be complete without a belly dancing lesson from Emily!

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Thank you again, everyone who voted for us!  We appreciate it!

The awards dinner is on October 10, 2013. We’ll be sure to bring our cameras since we’ll be all dolled up.

If Your Body Could Talk

I’m guilty of it too – of not being nice to myself.

For a long time I used self-deprecating humor as a way to get laughs. I would joke about my ‘fat ass’ and be the first to giggle about my multiple bellies.

Then one day I got sick of it.

I guess you could say that putting myself down no longer served me.

I wanted to love my body.

… and no amount of exercise or healthy eating changes could make that happen… yet.

I was miserable with how my body looked.  Actually that’s not true.  I was unhappy with how my body felt, which in turn, warped how I felt about my looks.

That was the turning point for me.

I started to be nice to myself.

  • I stopped saying mean things about my body (to myself & others).
  • I would smile in the mirror and find something good to say.
  • I began to love & respect myself.

It worked.

I no longer felt disgusting, which led to me wanting to do nice things for my body (like eating better, exercising, and rewarding myself with spa treatments.)

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Here is a simple Active Imagination Exercise that one of my business coaches taught me to talk to (and hear) my inner voice.

It works for other aspects of your Self as well.

The point is to view your inner voice, or your body in this case, as if it is a person standing in front of you, separate from yourself, and you have a conversation with them.

How To Get Started:

1) Be somewhere quiet(er), and get comfortable.

  • Sometimes, for me, this means I am laying in bed just after waking up.
  • Sometimes I am sitting on the couch, lamp shut off.
  • Other times I sit or lay on the floor, letting my body settle how it feels most comfortable.
  • You can even do this sitting in your chair, in your office, with the door closed, feet on the floor, hands in your lap.

2) Breathe.

  • A slow steady breath in.
  • A controlled exhale out.

I do this as many times as it takes until I feel calm and relaxed. Some days it is just a few breaths and I’m there.  Other times it takes me a few minutes to get into that space.

3) Listen to the noise.

  • Cars driving by.
  • Birds chirping.
  • People murmuring.

Take in all the busy-ness.

4) Listen to the stillness.

In between the noise, there are pockets of quiet. Find them.

  • It’s like moving the dial on a stereo to fade the music from the left speaker, to the right.
  • Imagine turning down the bass, and bringing up the treble.
  • Just let your ears do the tuning.

5) Begin the conversation with yourself.

  • You may choose to write or type out the conversation.
  • You may choose to speak out loud.
  • I personally like the quiet & stillness of just thinking the conversation in my head.

What feels right for you? I don’t think there is a right or wrong way – do what feels authentic for you. 

This was the dialogue I had with my body this morning, so you can see how it works:

Me: Good morning, Body.

(Then I be quiet, and listen for what the response is – don’t force it. Just listen.)

Body: Good morning, Leanne.

(Oh good! My body is awake and ready to talk!)

Me: How do you feel today, Body?

(Stay quiet, listen for response…it may take a few minutes, or the answer may come quickly.)

Body: I feel strong.

(I’m pleasantly surprised! I was not expecting that answer.)

Me: That is really great to hear that you feel strong because I have a lot to do today. What do you need me to do for you today?

(Again, quietly I listen…)

Body: I need you to stay hydrated today. It makes me feel weak when you don’t drink enough water.

(I blush a little, feeling guilty that I make my body feel that way.)

Me: I’m sorry I do that.  I can drink more water today.

At this point, instead of listening, I start to run down the list of things I could be doing to treat my body better, all the tasks I need to get done today, all the appointments I have to prepare for and it gets really loud in my head.

…and I realize I’m holding my breath and my butt is clenched tight with stress…

EXHALE.

INHALE.

EXHALE.

(…quiet space again)

Me: What else do you need me to do?

(…listening without judgement…)

Body: Don’t get too busy and forget to eat.  It makes me cranky.

Me: Oh…

I remind myself that the point of the conversation is to find out what my body needs TODAY.

Not yesterday, not tomorrow.

Just RIGHT NOW.

And all my body asked of me was to be hydrated and fed.

It didn’t yell at me.

It didn’t call me names.

It didn’t drag me over the coals for all the bad things I’ve done to it.

My body lovingly, and quietly stated what it wanted from me for today.

Simple.

INHALE.

EXHALE.

(Back to quiet, ready to hear what else my body had to say…)

Me: Ok Body, I promise to drink water and remember to feed you today.  What else would you like me to know?

Body: I really appreciate the quiet space you made to talk to me today. It makes me feel loved.

(I blush again…my body is so sweet & nice, not angry or hateful for my past transgressions…)

Me: You’re welcome.  I love you. Thank you for supporting me as I build my business.

Body: I love you too.

And with that, I felt complete and understood the conversation was over.

I opened my eyes and was ready to start my day.

I had no idea that my body was so kind and forgiving.

I should really be nicer to her.

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Home Is Where Your Flip Flops Are

Recipe for good skin:  a fantastic hat, saltwater ocean spray, and relaxing by a good campfire to make you look & feel a few years younger.

Last weekend, my friends and I planned to do our Annual Girls Weekend Camping Trip but at the last minute, there was a little glitch and one of our key members was unable to attend.

Since the deposit was already paid and we were pretty much packed and ready to go, my friend Mila and I decided to forge on by ourselves.  Not to be out-smarted by disappointment, I discovered a way to bring our friend with us to camp!

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She was pretty quiet on the ride in to Newport, RI but once we arrived at the campsite, she perked right up! Melville Pond Campground was the perfect size and our site looked like a magical glen where fairies would come out at night to dance.  It was very peaceful – unlike our nightmare neighbors with screaming demon children during our last trip when we went to NH.

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After oooh-ing and aaaah-ing over what a great choice we made in picking campgrounds, it was time to get to work.  Our dear friend Robyn was in charge of supervising, while Mila and I were set to the task of putting up the tent.

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Putting up the tent was fairly easy, except that once it was all done, one of the tent poles that was questionable to begin with due to a crack in it, decided to snap like a twig.  After an hour of splinting and duct-taping the ‘broken wing’ (as we called it), our home away from home was up …and a drink was definitely in order!

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Next we unpacked the rest of the truck to set up camp.

Robyn tested out the chairs to ensure they were fung shui around the campfire while Mila and I went up to the pavilion to use their electrical outlet to blow up the mattress.  I had a converter from my truck, but the pump for Mila’s bed was over 100 watts and kept shutting off the power, so we schlepped it up around the corner.

Getting the mattress BACK to the campsite, however, was a different story.

While I personally don’t have any pictures of the events that followed, many campers came out to see this spectacle, with their cell phone cameras in hand, laughing, as they snapped picture after picture of the purple-headed pack mule.  I’m sure a brief search for ‘Camper With Air Mattress’ will bring one up.

You see, the air mattress didn’t fit in the truck all blown up (duh) and our rope wasn’t long enough to tie it down to the roof (cuz that would have been simple), so I told Mila to drive the truck back to the site, and I would walk it down by myself.  How hard could it be? I carefully hoisted it up onto my head and upper shoulders, held onto the sides with my hands and set off to walk the tenth of a mile back to camp.

Little did I realize, the triple-layered inflatable would bounce so fiercely with each step, that I wouldn’t be able to contain it.  After 1000 or so steps, I gave up and just walked it along, rolling it end to end until Mila could park the truck and come running over to help.

An icy cold beverage was definitely in order…

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Because no camping trip is complete with just two incidents during set up, a third (albeit, minor) situation came upon us.

While making our beds, Mila discovered that her husband sent the WRONG sleeping bags with her.  She had planned to bring sheets and a blanket, as we have always done.  He said, “No No No, all you need is this sleeping bag and you’ll be plenty warm.”  Needless to say, a mummy-style sleeping bag doesn’t cut it on a queen-sized air mattress.

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As they say, things come in three’s, so with that, the debacles were done and over with for the weekend and it was only good things from there on out, but dinner and drinks were definitely in order.

Getting ready, we were pleasantly surprised to find private shower rooms at the campground that didn’t need quarters!  Here’s a snapshot of Robyn getting ready to go.  We said she didn’t even need to change, she looked so good already!

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Into town we went, to a fantastic little restaurant called Asterisk.  It was a special little place on Lower Thames St. in Newport down by The Bodhi Spa (a new hydrotherapy spa coming soon!)  The restaurant has a delicious menu full of variety, as well as an entire sushi menu.  Robyn was intrigued by that most of all.

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To celebrate our girls weekend, champagne flowed, as we enjoyed the perfect breeze flowing through the open doors, dining semi al fresco.

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Our table was nestled in the side with a very comfortable banquette and adorable pillows.  This is where Robyn decided to park it for the remainder of dinner.  The champagne made her feel all warm & cozy, so she snuggled with the pillows until it was time for dessert.

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We discovered that Asterisk actually used classy garage doors on the front of their building, so in good weather, they roll them up to provide many people with desirable seating.

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Of course, no dinner is complete without cheesecake!  This was the tallest, fluffiest cheesecake I have tasted since eating Lorraine’s Cheesecake in Hansport, Nova Scotia.

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After dinner it was time to head back to camp.  Robyn got in the spirit of things, using a headlamp to show us where everything was in the dark, again, supervising as we built the fire.

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As always, her supervision pays off – our campfire was amazing!

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After a few hours relaxing around the fire, it was time to head to bed.  Robyn and I have been roommates many times in the past, and tonight was no different.

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Sleeping fitfully through the night as my air mattress deflated around me, I awoke early.  I admit, it was difficult to stay grumpy when I had this peaceful sight.  I gave thanks for the sunshine and the stillness around me as I listened to nature wake up around me.  It sounded just like a spa CD that plays during appointments.

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Robyn & Mila started to wake up and get hydrated.  We discussed plans for breakfast, and what we we would do that day.

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We love a good diner for breakfast, and right across from Melville Pond was this gem – Cindy’s Country Cafe.  Hands down, the best breakfast food I have ever tasted in my life. (And I’m not just saying that because  I’d been awake since 5:30 am waiting for coffee!)

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Like a hobbit, Robyn loves breakfast, so we took a look through the Daily Specials and decided what to get.

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Little did we realize how much food we actually ordered.  That is STUFFED FRENCH TOAST and an OMELET WITH TOAST.  What you don’t see pictured is that I also ordered Portuguese French Toast.  Biggest, fluffiest, bestest breakfast ever!

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After a little shopping in town, it was time to head to the beach (to sleep off the breakfast).  Robyn preferred to stay in the shade to protect her glossy skin. Luckily she had her sunglasses on the whole time, but just in case, we added a hat and some refreshments.

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Diligent about skin-safe practices, Mila and I both slathered on sunscreen after a dip in the ocean, then settled in for a long-summer’s nap.

[Insert Public Service Announcement here: Friends don’t let friends go without sunscreen!  Not only do you want to protect yourself from skin cancer, but you don’t want to speed up the aging process either!]

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On our way back to camp to prepare for dinner (yes, pretty much all we do is eat, sleep, drink, and go to the beach on these weekend trips) we saw a car ‘pulled over’ by the maintenance crew.  They politely asked him to slow down because he was flying through the campsite.

I overheard his response: “Oh sorry, I didn’t know. This is my first time here to this campsite.”

This confused me because

1) What campsite IS it ok to drive fast?

2) It was also my first time at this campsite and they told me at check-in what the speed limit was

3) The map of the campground to find your site also stated the speed limit

4) This sign is posted multiple times along the camp road.

DUDE – HERE’S YOUR SIGN. (a la comedian Bill Engvall)

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Dinner was spent at a local pub called Coddington Brewing Company.  They actually make their own beer there, which was pretty cool.  We kept it simple this night, having a few fresh seafood apps before heading back to camp.  I think we were all just focused on what our dessert would be – S’MORES!

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Our last evening, we made the most of it.  We played Rummy by the fire, relaxed with cold bevvies, and snacked to our hearts content.  My heart was full and so was my belly.  It’s moments like these that give me the best memories to take me through the stressful days of building a business.  It was good to just let go and unwind, to cater to my spirit.

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Good night Melville!  We hope to come again soon.

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Home is where your flip flops are.

Packing List for Glamping

I’m getting ready to go away with for our Annual Ladies Camping Weekend Trip, also known as the TTM Convention of New England.  I look forward to this trip every year as a way to Cater To My Spirit!

Typically my kind of camping involves cushy beds in lux hotels and a spa, but once a year we ladies like to pretend to ‘rough it’ as an inexpensive excuse to go to the beach every day, drink around a campfire, and prove that we can take care of ourselves.

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As the appointed fun-ensurer, it is my duty to make reservations and create the list, then divide up the tasks to the attendees.

I’ve adapted Coleman’s Tent Camping Checklist for our trip:

COLEMAN LADIES TENT CAMPING GLAMPING CHECKLIST

CAMP COOKING

  • Portable Grill and Cook Stove 
  • Plenty of fuel menus
  • Grill Gloves
  • Griddle
  • Skillet 
  • Pot Holders
  • Cookware 
  • Cooking and Eating Utensils 
  • Skewers
  • Corkscrew
  • Knife for Food Prep possible intruders
  • Plates, Cups, and Bowl
  • Can Bottle Opener
  • Tables and Chairs
  • Coolers with Plenty of Ice or Ice Substitutes  for booze
  • Plenty of Food marshmellows, chocolate, and graham crackers, and other such snacks
  • Paper Products and Trash Bags
  • Foil for Lining Cookware and Wrapping Food
  • Beverage Jugs flasks or Water Carriers filled with Drinking Water booze
  • Water Bottle: a must have when the grill drinking gets out of hand

SLEEPING AND COMFORT

  • Air Mattress, Cot or Camp Pad
  • Sleeping Bags 500 TC sheets, pillows from home, and thick comforters
  • Tent Fans and Tent Light

CAMPING GEAR

  • Tent, Poles and Stakes
  • Lantern with Extra Fuel or Extra Batteries
  • Extra Lantern Mantles
  • Waterproof Matches
  • Compass, Maps and Portable GPS
  • Flashlights or Headlamps with Extra Batteries [our friend Mila brings her hubby’s fishing headlamp, so we will keep that on this list] 

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  • Ground Cover or Tarp
  • Multipurpose Knife or Multi Tool and bat
  • Camp Saw
  • Rope, Bungee Cords, 550 Parachute Cord or Wire

PERSONAL CARE

  • First Aid Kit
  • Camp  Beach Towels
  • Biodegradable Soap (this is a given as we only use non-toxic soaps at home anyway!)
  • Citronella Candles and Insect Repellent
  • Layered Clothing [author note: enough for 6 costume changes during the 2 day trip]
  • Rain Gear boots… If it’s raining, we are leaving for a hotel.
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet Paper  we don’t camp where there isn’t a flushing toilet with toilet paper already provided

EATING/FOOD PREP

  • Coffee  Directions to cafe or diner
  • Coffee Pot
  • All-in-One Portable Sink
  • Plastic Zipper Bags
  • Pot Scrubbers and Rags (… just kidding!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Tin foil

SLEEPING AND COMFORT

  • Tool Kit: Hand Axe, Rubber Tent-Peg Mallet and Tent Stake Puller
  • Tent Repair Kit
  • Extra Tent Stakes
  • Pillows
  • Whisk Broom and Dust Pan Floor mat for wiping feet outside the tent so the inside doesn’t get dirty in the first place

CAMPING GEAR

  • Fire Starting Kit: Butane Lighter, Cotton Balls, Strike-A-Fire or Trioxane Tablets, Fire Starter [log] and Waterproof Matches
  • Firewood for Camp Fires [Author Note: we can’t bring in our own, we have to buy it there]
  • Fuel Funnel (if using a liquid fuel lantern or stove) 
  • Lantern Carry Case
  • Lantern Stand
  • Long-Nosed Butane Lighter

PERSONAL

  • Digital Camera with Extra Batteries  cell phone with camera
  • Clothesline
  • Cards and Games
  • Flare, Signaling Mirror and Survival Whistle lead-lined billy club
  • Pad of Paper, Pencil or Pen
  • Radio with Weather Band Pandora Radio / iTunes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen

I think that about covers us for this weekend!

 

Our schedule usually follows as such:

Friday afternoon

  • Pick up everyone going on the trip

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  • Arrive & set up camp
  • Go for dinner & drinks
  • Arrive back at camp just before the gate closes for the night
  • Sit around campfire eating snacks, partaking of refreshments, playing cards, and giggling
  • Go to bed an hour later

Saturday

  • Wake up at the ass-crack of dawn thanks to sounds of mother nature and unruly children nearby

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  • Curse at children and shake our fists at them, threatening terror upon them while they sleep
  • Nominated person makes a coffee run as the others nap with their heads on the picnic table
  • Coffee Wench arrives, much to to everyone’s relief
  • Pour over all the adventure options while sipping java
  • Attend Adventure

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  • Hit the beach
  • Enjoy beach all day, complete with a liquid lunch and plenty of snacks
  • Go back to camp to change for dinner at a restaurant in town
  • Walk around town on bloated bellies, shopping (usually for hats)
  • Seek more adventure

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  • Go back to camp & play cards and polish off the last of the weekend’s beverages while sitting around the fire
  • Stumble to bed

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Sunday

  • Wake up at the ass-crack of dawn thanks to sounds of mother nature and unruly children nearby
  • Curse at children and shake our fists at them, threatening to find them when they go home
  • Send out the coffee wench
  • Pack up camp
  • Go find a diner for breakfast
  • Go to the beach until it’s time to head home
  • Drive home, tired, sated, and happy – talking about the trip we will plan for the winter to a lodge, but never actually do.

 

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See you back at the spa on Monday!

Check back later for an updated blog post about our 3rd Annual Convention to see if anything new and exciting happened.