Dear Gentle Friend,
I'm so glad you were able to stop by this morning. I have so much to tell you...I have just returned from one of the most memorable occasions of my life. Victoria's Bliss Event was truly Bliss! I was so eager to share everything with you, because I knew that you wanted so badly to be there, too. I just knew that you would feel the same emotions of joy and excitement as we heard the plans for the magazine and saw the new cover for the first time!
Sit down and I will pour a cup of tea for us. Then, I will share everything with you.
As you know, my friend Sharon, of C'estChouette, and I shared a room at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas where Bliss was held. She arrived early and had the room ready and everything figured out. I was so glad she knew where to go--the Anatole is so large and spread out (and I am directionally challenged). We had many laughs over my never knowing which way to turn when coming and going! The hotel is beautiful and our room was huge. It was so nice sharing it with such a gracious friend. We had not met face to face before, but have been friends for a year and a half at MakeMinePink, whom we were representing at the Bliss event. We had a wonderful time talking into the wee hours after we returned from the Bliss functions each night.
I arrived on Friday afternoon and Sharon met me in the lobby. After hugging and doing the happy dance, she took me to meet another MMP friend who had come to the Southern Lady convention (also being held there) and had a booth in the Emporium. Suzi, of Polka Dot Rose, is just a sweetheart. Then it was time to get ready for the first event, a Champagne Reception with the staff of Victoria.
The reception was held in a lovely room on the Peacock Terrace. The most gorgeous flower arrangements, roses, of course, decorated the tables. Hors d'erves were served with champagne and non-alcoholic beverages. Then, we were able to mingle with the other guests and meet the staff. Phyllis Hoffmann is just a delightful person. She was so gracious and made an effort to speak to each person there. (She really listened, too. Sharon shared that her husband used to bring her wine to drink while she soaked in a bubble bath and read her newly arrived Victoria at the end of the day. Phyllis quoted that Victoria moment when she unveiled the cover!) Her staff is just as friendly and approachable. It was so refreshing and put us at ease.
Phyllis Hoffmann (right) talking to other guests
Phyllis Hoffman's son, Brian--Event Planner
After a good night's sleep, Sharon and I walked over to a nearby Denny's for breakfast (the restaurants in the hotel were a bit pricey in my opinion). We didn't have anything planned until registration at noon, so we were able to just visit and eat at a leisurely pace. It was so nice... Then, we headed back, toured the Emporium and did a little shopping before going up to the room to change into our "Pink" outfits. After changing clothes, we headed downstairs to the registration desk. And look what we each received--gift bags filled with wonderful goodies! At 2 pm, we had our first event of the day--Afternoon Tea. The food was delicious and we had more opportunities to visit and exchange business cards with the lovely people we were seated with. The menu? Oh, yes~~We dined on Summer Gazpacho, Layered Salmon Terrine, Tea Sandwiches and Mixed Berry Trifle. To-die-for!Next, we were entertained by author Alexandra Stoddard. She gave us an overview of the books she has done in the past and what she is currently working on. She will be featured in the premier issue. Her husband was there and we had many giggles over his comments, bows and loving gestures to his wife.
Our next speaker was one of my favorites, Alda Ellis. She is an author of many books, but is best known for her books on setting a lovely table. She also has her own store, called Alda's Forever, which specializes in silver items such as the lovely vases used in the rose arrangements.
Following Alda's talk, came the moment we had all been waiting for: A sneak peek of the premier issue of Victoria! Phyllis Hoffmann took the stage to talk us through a Power Point slide show highlighting what is to come. She shared about 6 or 7 pages, to tantalize us. It is going to be a beautiful issue--a seamless transition from the Victoria we all loved and lost and will love once more! (Thank you, Phyllis for understanding our needs to have this magazine back in our lives ...) After the presentation, the staff of Victoria fielded questions from the audience and answered each thoughtfully. (And, may I add, through out the event, they were always available during breaks, and more than willing to talk and answer private questions.)
The day's events ended with a wonderful Dessert Reception in the Wedgewood Room. We had dessert for dinner! We have Brian (son) and Katie (daughter-in-law, married to Brian's twin) Hoffmann to thank for that ...they certainly know what women want! Just look at the spread:
Sharon and me
Gentle Friend, I am sorry that this has taken up so much time. It was such a wonderful weekend. I cannot express how I felt. We laughed together, felt the excitement and could not help but feel that this is a pivotal moment in each of our lives. Victoria is back! And we are so glad...
I have so much more to share with you, dear friend, but it will wait until tomorrow. Until then,