Friday, January 23, 2009

All good things must come to an end

Let me just begin this post by saying that ScrapMap has already begun accepting deposits for the Second Annual Ultimate Scrapbooking Cruise, which will take place at the end of January 2010. Go on over there and plunk down your $100 deposit, because you will regret it if that cruise fills up and you just have to live vicariously through the lucky participants two years in a row.

In the ten-plus years that I have been a scrapbooker, I have attended right many scrapping events--conventions, trade shows, retreats, classes, and crops. I claimed for several years that I wasn't interested in a scrapping cruise because I'd either want to crop or to cruise, and I was skeptical that both could be done in a single trip. I'm here to tell you that I was mistaken. The Ultimate Scrapbook Cruise was the best of both worlds, and Mary Beth and I had a blast. The six-day cruise consisted of three days in port and three days at sea, and for the most part classes were only held on the days we were at sea, so that we did not miss out on any chances to explore the locations where the ship stopped.

We arrived at our stateroom to discover that ScrapMap had sent us all bottles of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. It was just the first of a number of little surprises that made the cruise so much fun. I can't say enough about how well organized this trip was and how beautifully the ScrapMap staff had planned out every detail. We were all so excited at the opening gathering, where our awesome teachers were introduced.

Karen Rusell, Donna Downey, Teresa Collins, and Margie Romney Aslett

And of course, Heidi Swapp

The classes themselves were wonderful(hello? did you see the list of teachers above?) and I hope to post some photos of my projects as I get them completed. The smallish size of the classes, about 25 people in each, meant that we actually got to interact with the instructors, which was fun except that it meant I had plenty of opportunity to make a fool of myself when I introduced myself to Karen Rusell.

One of the things that really struck me about this event was how well the participants seemed to "click." At some of the events I have attended, the women who travel together tend to stick together and not socialize much outside their group. We made so many new friends on this trip, and were amazed at how nice and friendly everyone was. We especially had fun with our dining companions, Tina and Debbie, who are sisters and Good People. For some reason, every single photo that we asked someone else to take with my camera came out blurry. Clearly my 40D loves me best.

A few highlights:

* Learning to use the Bind-It-All in Teresa's class. I had been eying this cool tool for a while, but now it is definitely on my must-have list.

* Playing with canvas, paint, alcohol ink, book text, toilet paper rolls, etc. in Donna's class.

* Margie. She is just hilarious and so much fun.

* Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Mary Beth and I rode up to a mountaintop on a chair lift and then bob-sledded down despite one of the employees' warning that it was "for the young people." We ate lunch at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, a crazy fun place to hang out.

And I saved the best for last: On the final evening there was a cocktail party where ScrapMap gave away over $10,000 in prizes, including THREE cruises. I didn't win one of those, but I was even happier with what I did win--a spot in Karen's online photography class! Can you believe it? It was fate, I tell you. Can't wait to get started on that.

And now this post is much too long and I am up MUCH too late. There are more photos from the cruise at my Flickr if you're so inclined.


Catherine Holman said...

Hi Cyndi,
That cruise looks like fun! Wish I had time to scrapbook. I have 3 years worth of photos stored away in a trunk.
Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comment!

Michelle said...

Looks like so much fun!!! I can't wait to see the finished projects. I'm so insanely jealous!