Friday, March 18, 2016

French Lick Bloggers Meet-Up 2016

After two years of wanting to attend I finally did it!  I was finally able to attend the French Lick Blogger Meet-up in French Lick Indiana.  WOW!!!  What a whirlwind of a weekend it was.  I left my home on Thursday night to sleep at my sister-in-laws house because she lives about 8 minutes from the airport.  From San Francisco, I flew to Chicago, where I met my first of 3 roommates for the weekend.
The 2016 French Lick Teach Blogger Meet-up and Retreat in French Lick, Indiana. The theme was "Take your Passion and Make it Happen"
This is Kristen, from the Traveling Teacher. Only teachers can pick up other teachers in an airport and be besties by the time you board the plane.
Teacher bloggers meeting for the first time at the Louisville Kentucky airport for the French Lick Teacher Blogger meet-up and retreat
Once in Louisville, we found my luggage and waited for Erin Harken from the Red School Desk, she would be our traveling companion as the Hotel shuttled us from Louisville Kentucky to French Lick.  Our driver gave us a little history lesson along the way as we all got to know each other.  It was a nice 80 mile drive or 1 1/12 hours. Either way you looked at it, it was a long ride.

My other two Roommates were Chris Dorries from The Scoop in Second Grade and Jessica Bennet from Tales from a Countryside Teacher  You can follower her on Instagram.

On Friday night we had delicious drinks and some dinner at the Power Plant.  Followed up by a large group of us gathering at the West Baden hotel in the lobby for conversation and just some hanging out.
Thee following morning we worked on the items we needed for the scavenger hunt.  Yes that's right, grown women running around the hotel in search of items on a list and taking crazy photos. It was a great bonding experience and a ton of fun.  We were able to find all 17 items on the list and submit our entries.  Of course no one in our group won, but again, we had a lot of fun trying.
French Lick Blogger Meet-up 2016 Scavenger HuntFrench Lick Blogger Meet-up 2016 Scavenger HuntFrench Lick Blogger Meet-up 2016 Scavenger Hunt
At the Blogger meet-Up We watched an AMAZING video made by Chad Boender better known as Male Kindergarten Teacher  This is a must see.
After a very delicious lunch, a few speeches and a group activity, it was time for the grade level Favorite Tools Swap.  Some music was played as we passed the gifts around in a circle.  Once the music stopped, the gift you were left holding was the gift that you got.  I laughed once I saw who my gift was from-  Mine was from Tiffany Gannon- from Tiffany with a (y) to Tiffani with an (i).  In it was some great little tins, some post-it notes in several different shapes and some really great Sharpie Flip Chart Markers.  I already have an idea for those speech bubble notes.  You should have seen me packing that basket into my carry-on.  I am a master-packer  I deserve an A+
 French Lick Blogger Favorite Tools Exchange.
We had 4 Round Table discussion sessions.  There were so many fabulous ones to choose from that it was hard to pick. Here is what I finally decided to do.  Two about curriculum and two about blogging. I learned something from each and every one.  Now, I just need the time to implement them.
1. Writing- Jodi Southard
2. Centers- Katie Mense
3. Increasing your Followers-Latoya Reed
4. Streamlining Your Social Media- Brenda Hart Frady

Our event also had many great sponsors.  I won a raffle prize.  I was super excited about it being that I don't own any of Maria Dismondy's books yet and have been wanting them for a while.
We also walked away with a lot of SWAG.  I love the Cute Vera Bradley bag, and just look at all the other goodies below, the GoNoodle lanyard, Astrobrights card stock, Kwik Stix Paint and Pencil Grips, Creative Clips note cards,  Die cuts from Creative Teaching Press, The Better Life Bag key Chain and Those adorable inspirational quotes.  
French Lick Blogger Meet-Up Sponsors, Vera Bradley Bag
French Lick Blogger Meet-Up Sponsors
Saturday Night we had an 80' s Theme Dance Party.  So much fun. Brought back a lot a great memories for me. Yes I lived the 80's.  I even wore my favorite pair of earrings from high-school.
.The French Lick Blogger Epic 80's Dance Party
Here are a few more from the night- you might recognize a few of these other people in the photos.
It All Starter With Flubber,  Nicole Swisher from All Things Apple in 2nd

Tiffani Mugurussa from Time 4 Kindergarten and Nicole Swisher All Things Apples in 2nd at the French Lick Blogger Meet-up Epic 80's Dance Party
Megan Wheeler. from Mrs Wheelers First Grade,  Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard, Amy from Teachers Pay Teachers and Elizabeth Hall from Kickin' it in Kindergarten
Blogging friends from French Lick Meet-up 2016. Amy Teachers Pay Teachers, Kindergarten Smogasboard, Kickin it in Kindergarten, Mrs Wheelers First Grade
I love our big group photo-

Sunday Morning we met once again to snap a few last minute photos, say our goodbyes before brunch to those who weren't staying and to take a group photo in our cute t-shirts.
The 2016 French Lick Teach Blogger Meet-up and Retreat in French Lick, Indiana. The theme was "Take your Passion and Make it Happen"
The 2016 French Lick Teach Blogger Meet-up and Retreat in French Lick, Indiana. The theme was "Take your Passion and Make it Happen"
Before I left I had to relax for a few minutes on the porch of the hotel.  All I can say is that Holly and her team know how to throw an event.  It was the best I have been to- better than Vegas.  It was real, it was meaningful and it was fun.
The 2016 French Lick Teach Blogger Meet-up and Retreat in French Lick, Indiana. The theme was "Take your Passion and Make it Happen"
Next year I will go a day earlier so I can be there all day Friday just to relax and take advantage of their spa- it looked amazing.  After all, if I'm going to fly all that way, I might as well enjoy a little me time.

Want to read mores about this fabulous weekend and see more pictures, just follow the blog hop we have going.

1 comments:

Kristin Hendrickson said...

So much fun!!! I am so glad we met, were roomies and became friends all in one weekend!!

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