Spraguefest 2013 was held in Atlanta October 9 – 12, 2013. This gathering of friends from the JessicaSprague.com community was my first visit to Atlanta. I had such a great time! Here are my top 10 moments in no particular order.
1. first margarita – I drove from the Orlando area to Altanta. After 8 hours alone in the car I was ready to have some fun. Within an hour after my arrival, I was already sipping a mango margarita with Hannah, Sabrina and a group of other Spraguefesters as the sun went down.
2. courtyard discussion – After dinner on the first night, we sat outside in the courtyard of the hotel talking about scrapbooking, photography and technology. It was great to be among people who love so many of the same things as I do.
3. lunch at the Varsity– We had lunch at the Varsity. The food was typical of a burger and fries place but what I loved most was my company. Our group sat at 3 different tables with our free Varsity hats on. We had such a fun time taking pictures of each other and chatting about our experiences taking photos of other people. I was glad to hear that my Spraguefest friends have some of the same issues as I do!
4. reuniting with Hannah – I met Hannah at Spraguefest in Chicago in 2010. She and I bonded over cheeseburgers at the Billy Goat Tavern and pizza at Giordanos. Hannah is a mom like me so we have a lot in common. We were roommates for Spraguefest in Las Vegas in 2011 and for this Spraguefest in Atlanta. Hannah is so much fun and we think a lot a like. Remember #1 from above? I was craving a mango margarita when she asked if Sabrina and I wanted to share a mango margarita pitcher. Also on our photo tour, there was an area that resembled a jungle on one side and very urban city on the other. That thought was running through my head when I turned around and saw Hannah posing like she was in the jungle for this photo. I enjoy every minute with Hannah!
5. Olympic ring fountains – Ann Marie, Sabrina and I were checking out the fountains in Olympic Park when I saw some people standing in the middle of one of the fountains and getting their photo taken. I decided we had to do that too!!! The fountains spray water in different patterns and intermittently. When the other group was done, we asked if they would take our photo. So I grabbed Ann Marie’s hand and found a saw an opening in the water and made a run for it. We made it inside without getting wet and so did Sabrina!
6. Skyview Ferris Wheel – I must start by saying I am afraid of heights… almost any height. The second step on a step stool? Too much. Sabrina wanted to go on the Skyview Ferris Wheel and Ann Marie and I were game. The first thing they showed us when we got in our ferris wheel car was the panic button. I was sure that it wasn’t a good sign. The ferris wheel starts moving and the air was so stagnant in there that I started feeling a little panicky. Thank goodness Sabrina found the air conditioning vents. Once she opened those up I felt fine. We enjoyed a 15 minute ride in the ferris wheel of great views of Olympic Park and Atlanta. This pic is a selfie taken by Ann Marie. She is the queen of selfies! She takes great ones!
7. inspired by Jessica – It was wonderful to see Jessica again! She has created such a wonderful community and I learned all the basics of digital scrapbooking from her. She shared with us her insight about the scrapbooking industry and some of her ideas for the future. It is inspiring to me how passionate she is about everything she does. On the last day of Spraguefest, I also won a Silhouette Portrait and received the silhouette classes at JessicaSprague.com for free. Thank you Jessica!
8. running Gary – I met Gary at Spraguefest in Chicago. As Anne of Green Gables would say, he is definitely a kindred spirit! He is local to Atlanta and organized an awesome photo walk for us in Piedmont Park. Our first stop was of this statue near the 14th street entrance. We were all taking pictures of the statue and I told Gary he should go over there and pose like he is running. He held this pose for at least 2 minutes while everyone took his photo! I love being around people who pose for fun pictures and enjoy doing it. That was probably one of the many reasons I fell in love with my husband when we were dating!
9. group photo – On the photo walk in Piedmont Park, we came to an area where there were stairs that led down to the perfect place for a group photo with the Atlanta skyline in the background. Of course there was nobody around and we didn’t have a tripod. So, Gary and I laid on the ground and tried to set up our cameras to take the group shot. I do not ever use my timer and somehow it was put on burst mode so it took 10 photos after the timer went off. The photos just weren’t perfect so in the end I did seek out another person to take our photo. I forgot that my camera was on the timer so when the person I found took the photo, the timer started so we all asked him to stand very still. We were all laughing and we did get this photo.
10. CNN studio tour – Ann Marie, Sabrina and I took the CNN VIP Tour. It was so cool to go behind the scenes into the control room and newsroom. At one point our guide explained to us how the anchors use teleprompters to read their scripts. He asked for a volunteer to try out reading from the teleprompter and I volunteered of course! I found it really stressful but did enjoy trying it.