The Marvelous Mighty Summit

Right after I stepped off of the plane on my way back home from Mighty Summit, I was immediately swept up into the Blogalicious whirlwind, which led to this post and short hiatus from my blog.  Now that we’ve got our 2011 conference in the can, I am excited to pick back up where I left off!  I contemplated just letting it go and not worrying about posting a recap of the trip, but I just couldn’t – it really meant so much to me that I wanted to get it all down on “paper” to share with you and to remind myself of all of the greatness that came out of it.

The trip started with a carpool ride from the San Francisco airport to our host hotel, Boon Hotel & Spa.  The attendees were matched with others that had similar arrival times and we were grouped into rental cars to drive our way to the Russian River Valley in Sonoma Wine Country.  In my car was Esther, Isabel, Katie, and Joanna.  I already knew Esther and Isabel, so that was a great reunion.  I spent the ride getting to know Katie and Joanna and catching up with the others.  We got along swimmingly.  So much so that we had zero problems agreeing to stop at In and Out for a quick meal on our way to the hotel.

Speaking of the hotel, it was perfect.  A small, beautiful property of about a dozen mini villas all surrounding a gorgeous pool and jacuzzi.  I have to shout out the food too – the Lavender Scones were to die for.  Upon arrival we were ushered into our full-body massages or given the option to lounge by the pool and sip wine while waiting for everyone to arrive.

And so began the weekend of dreams.

We were so spoiled all weekend and it was divine.  And I was so excited to meet bloggers like Kathryn and Victoria – it was a treat to get to know them one on one!  That night we dined a la food truck, which was a California Taco Truck that pulled right up into the hotel’s courtyard just for us.  I was thoroughly entertained by serious and silly stories courtesy of Victoria G. and Kayla, and everyone was in a festive mood (hence Maggie and HJ in their hats, above), and we spun our Mexican noisemakers and chowed down on nachos and tacos and margaritas.

At the end of dinner we were gifted with a gorgeous Epiphanie bag (thanks Maile!) that was filled with goodies.  Some of my favorites (besides the bag, obvs), are my gold Tieks, copy of The Happiness Project (by fellow Mighty Summiteer – and lover of The Wire – Gretchen Rubin), and the bamboo dahlia necklace from Feisty Elle.

{For more on the delicious goodies we received, check out Willo’s post}

We turned in and after a restful night’s sleep, we had breakfast by the pool and pulled ourselves together for a rough day of…WINE TASTING. ALL.DAY.

We started the day off at Moshin and then made our way to Arista and concluded the boozy field trip at Hop Kiln, complete with a cheese tasting class by the fabulous Helen Jane (who is someone I totally admire) while giggling with Lori and Willo.  I really can’t capture the feeling of the day in words but between the warmth of the people (everyone was amazing), the breathtaking scenery, and the barrels of wine – it was simply perfect.

And just when we thought the day couldn’t get any better, we were hit with an easy poolside dinner of pizza and beer AND a late night campfire, complete with s’mores and Baileys and lots (LOTS) of laughing during which I loved getting to know Kristen.  Then it was jacuzzi time!

The next morning, after a breakfast sponsored by Intel, I got to see the famed California Redwoods up close and personal on a hike through the forest while strategizing with Sarah and getting tips on how to overcome my pet peeves AND how to become a roller derby girl. Thanks Rachel and Pam!.  The walk was refreshing and brought out the best of us ~ someone came up with idea to do a pyramid in the middle of the forest and well…we DID.

Then it was time for the part of the weekend we had all been waiting for: our Life List Lunch.  The lunch took place (after another, ahem, wine tasting) outside, in the middle of a vineyard overlooking the Valley at Thomas George Vineyards.  A striking setting for an important occasion.  One by one, we each stood up and read 5 things off of our Life Lists that we hoped to accomplish in the next year.  We were asked to write down those 5 things on a piece of blue paper and carry them around in our wallets as a constant reminder of our goals for the next 12 months.  It was so inspiring to hear everyone’s goals and to feel so supported when sharing your own.

That night we ended the weekend at the 5-Star Michelin-rated Applewood Inn were we got gussied up (I was coveting AB’s shoes) for our last hurrah.  Kirsten and I spent the bulk of the meal laughing our behinds off, while Stacy and I plotted on how women can take over the world.   At the end of dinner, we were presented with beautiful 5-ring gold necklaces by Lemonade Handmade – to represent our 5 goals for the coming year, it was such a touching moment!

Of course, we didn’t want the night to end, so we ended up in the jacuzzi until the wee hours of the morning, chatting, plotting, and of course, laughing.

Thanks to Maggie and Laura and their team for the invitation and for a phenomenal weekend.  I honestly felt so at home with the entire group and am thankful for my new band of friends.  I was skeptical at the thought of a “summit” with no workshops or panels or structured work time – how on Earth were we supposed to get anything accomplished?  I have to say that I proven completely wrong – just having those creative minds all in a supportive environment was all of the structure that we needed.  By the last day, I felt as though something inside of me was awakened, and things became almost crystal clear for me.  It was an experience that I shall not soon forget!

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Comments

  1. Aaah, just reading this takes me back. How lovely to wake up nestled in the trees, with a pool, hot tub right out your front door, and 20 amazing, inspiring women to connect with. Loved Mighty Summit!!

    So great meeting you, Stacey. Wish we could have connected while I was in DC, but it was clear after I had such a great time with all my friends there, I need to go back sooner than later! Please come visit me in SF, too. :)

  2. JoAnna says:

    It was so much fun chatting with you at The Mighty Summit, Stacey! How could you not be compelled to write about something so incredible?

  3. Lori says:

    What a wonderful recap of such a fun weekend! I’m so glad I had the chance to giggle with you and look forward to more fun times in the future! xo

  4. It sounds like an absolutely wonderful trip! So glad you had such a great time!

  5. Jonez says:

    Sounds like a fabulous event. I’m jealous… a full day of tasting wine?! Girl….

  6. Funkidivagirl says:

    Wow; sounds wonderful!

  7. Ananda Leeke says:

    I am so glad you were able to attend and reap the benefits of the MS. You continue to inspire me to have more joie de vivre and fun in my life. Thanks for sharing the photos too.

  8. Justice Fergie says:

    I appreciate you! And likewise.