“Love it. Live it. Share it.”
Good Morning Stamping Friends! I just got home from the 30th On Stage Live in Orlando last night. I left palm trees and came home to a snowman on the lawn, but that’s okay…it’s great stamping weather! The convention was incredible…there were thousands of stampers there…I heard numbers of 6,500 to 8,000…not sure how many, but it was ALOT. Everything flowed right along though, it was really well organized.
The Convention Center was amazing. An Uber driver told us it is the second largest convention center in the country. It is so large that we actually got lost when we went to register on Wednesday. We were changing hotels that day, so we hadn’t been to our second hotel (Rosen Center) yet and we got lost in the convention center trying to find the skywalk to the hotel (it’s THAT big!) These photos were taken from our hotel room window (very early in the morning when the sun was just rising).
The skywalk on the very left of the second picture went to our hotel, which was a very grand hotel. This was part of the pool, with my new friend, Tricia from North Carolina, swimming on the left. (you can just see her head). : )
I met lots of new friends, including the woman from Maine that I went with. We had never met before the trip but we ended up having alot in common. We had the same name, “Dawn”, we both have three sons, and our youngest sons both have Down’s Syndrome. Pretty amazing! This is her on the far right, and on the left are two great ladies from Florida, that I just know we will meet up with again. They are Gail and Rhonda. I just love them both.
Gail and Rhonda and the other Dawn are all part of Stella MacKay’s group, “Stamping For Others”. Stella and I share the same last name, but we’re not related. She lives in California and I live in Maine. She and her group took me in and they even let me go out to dinner with them. It was so much fun! Thank you to Pam from Florida who organized the dinner and gave us a ride to her condo and then to the restaurant in Kissimmee. One of the ladies, Darla Watson from California, second on the left, has earned the trip to the Greek Isles. We are all so very happy for her! And thank you to her for giving us a ride back to our hotel. I hope I can meet these ladies at another convention some day!
I started to tell you back in the beginning of this post that we got lost in the convention center. Well, two very nice ladies found us wandering the halls. They had a car and offered to drive us to our hotel. (Stampers are the NICEST people!!!) We got on an elevator to get to their car, and on walked this man who I immediately smacked in the arm and said, “I know you, you’re Dawn Griffith’s husband!” (I had seen him on her blog). Later, after a good laugh, I found him at a Main Stage session and asked for a picture (and apologized for smacking him). : )
First, I asked his wife, Dawn Griffith (Dawn’s Stamping Thoughts), if I could have a photo with her husband! She just laughed and said “sure…just don’t smack him!” LOL!!! Such a nice and fun-loving couple! : )
So, getting back to the kind ladies that dropped us off at our hotel…we went up to the desk to register and they didn’t have our names. After a moment of panic, the man at the desk figured out that we were at the wrong hotel!!! We were at the Rosen Plaza instead of Rosen Center (very confusing). But…he gave us a voucher for a taxi to drive us to the right hotel. At every turn, people were just so nice. Now, meeting Dawn Griffith’s husband was exciting, but it didn’t end there. I have been friends with Brian King (Stamp With Brian), on-line, for a few years, but I had never met him in person. He told me to find him at convention so he could “hug my neck”. I couldn’t find him the first morning because southern gentleman that he is, he was sitting in the back of the room and I was looking in the front. But I did find him that afternoon, and a couple of times throughout the convention, and I was just so happy to finally meet him. (Hi Brian!!!) He’s so sweet, and so talented!!! ❤
I also ran into some of the other “stamping superstars”. On the first morning of convention we didn’t know how to get from our hotel to the convention center (remember, we had arrived by taxi but there was a skywalk somewhere to walk to the convention center). I spotted Mary Fish (Stampin’ Pretty) going up an escalator so we followed her…I knew that she knew where she was going! Finally I had to tell her we were following her, and she chatted with us and was just very friendly. We got in line with her to wait for the doors to open, and there was Ann Schach ( The Stampin’ Schach) and Mike Funke (Stampin’ Style) right in front of us! We got to chat with them two mornings in a row, which was another real thrill!
I also ran into Patty Bennett (Patty’s Stampin’ Spot), who was so lovely and gracious to me…
And I ran into Angie Juda (Chick n Scratch), who took the time to chat…
It was all very fun and exciting! Thank you to everyone who made it such a wonderful trip. And thank you to my husband, Tim, who gifted me with the trip as a birthday present, and took the week off from work to care for our son Joseph (who has Down’s Syndrome). He’s the best husband ever!!! I hope I’ve conveyed a little bit of the excitement of On Stage Live 2018, I’ll share some more tomorrow.
Stamping Peace, xo Dawn