Thursday, July 23, 2009

Le Retreat....Again


It's now an annual tradition to head up to Gainesville to Le Retreat House (www.leretreathouse.com). I went with a DIFFERENT group of friends this time, but the exact same dates....and 'this' group has already scheduled the retreat for the same time next year (we get 20% off an already incredibly, affordable price, and the owner also has a fifth night free program, so I'm looking forward to that perk next year!). This year we had a mix of scrapbookers, quilters, and readers. First, I can't say enough about how much I love this retreat house (who am I kidding, I'll be happy to say enough, words are my hobby). 4 bedrooms that sleep 4 people each all decorated in seasonal themes. 4 full bathrooms, with destination themes (Australia, Paris, Asia, the Caribbeans). Three big work rooms, and a completely furnished kitchen, and utility room (laundry, anyone?). The owner, Lisa, thinks of everything-paper goods are provided, and all sorts of fun details. Towels, bed sheets, extra blankets if you are cold, individual fans, if you are hot. Ironing boards, cutting tables, die cuts, work station lights, extension cords....you name it-she's got it ready, including a bowl of chocolate-what more do you need? Internet, and cable are provided. I also love that she uses the 'best' of toilet paper, soaps, and even has baskets of hand towels in each bathroom, did I mention there are four? What a dream. The house looks little from the front, but it's really very large! I know I described it last year, but....I just want to emphasis what a great place it would be for a retreat, and I'm so glad someone pointed it out to me! We worked on individual projects after arriving on Tuesday, with one quilt shop stop midday, and then headed 'downtown' to the Main Street Pub for dinner.
Last year we each were assigned a meal to bring. This year, we let someone else do the cooking. (Just fyi, if you go, you can have your meals catered, we got this information in advance, but we decided to paint the town red, or whatever color you paint small towns that roll up their sidewalks at 5, maybe pink?).
The Pub is one of just a few places open in the evening for dinner, but you don't need much more! The food is great, and affordable (which makes eating out a real non-issue. I recommend the Southwest Chicken meal, but nobody had any complaints about any of the food!) Wednesday we worked....again, and then headed down the street (or rather, 'downtown') to the Fried Pie Company. It was pretty hopping, and we made reservations due to a recent article in the Dallas paper totting them as the best in the tri-state area, and beyond. Again, the food was excellent (not typically my luck in smaller towns), and we each conquered the fried pies (yum). Note to self-try the coconut next time. I had apple this go round! Most of the table tried out the Apricot...

They don't lack for flavor options, INCLUDING sugar free pies (I can't tell you much about those, I assure you that's not where I was focused). We headed back to the Retreat House. I decided this go 'round to scrapbook, and I got a ton done, including completing my 2008 album, yay! I've also started my vacation album from last year, and a gift album for...well...a gift! (No worries I'll work more, I'm meeting a friend tomorrow for MORE scrapbooking). Everyone was very productive, which was so nice. We also had a very usual cool spell,which was lovely (82, at the end of July....in TEXAS!). We ordered pizza, and ate out on the big front porch for dinner. Side note: I love front porches, I dream of a front porch of my own. This one wraps around the front and side of the house, and is complete with a ceiling fan. I think I love this location b/c it's small town Texas, but just large enough with 'stuff' to do, and a history to lure you! I stayed up very late Wednesday night to complete my book, which means that when I got up this morning, I could be lazy, and just observe others at work. :O) Jolene and I carpooled, so we decided to drop by Whitesboro on the way home, only 20 minutes away. I've made it back, and in 362 more days, I'll recreate this trip once again. I like retreats b/c you can't feel too guilty about the things you aren't doing around the house, and ideally you get work done, but at the very least, you get caught up with old friends, and new friends! I look forward to hearing all the scrapbook pages of everyone's lives that they manage to create over this next year!

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