Ricki Eichler and Ms. Judi Morgan brought the Texas Active Rain group together + one special surprise blogger who flew in all the way from Temecula Valley California just for the occasion. None other than Tom Plant aka the Active Rain Ambassador. Rickiand Judi put a ton of effort into planning this event in Bandera Texas and invited everyone to come and finally meet in person all of our friends we have come to know and love on Active Rain. My hat is off to you ladies, you did a great job, and all we had to do was show up! I had been having a hard time deciding if I wanted to make the drive of almost 5 hours each way to go, and I am so glad I did. Tom Plant had flown all the way from CA to be there, so I felt bad, for about two seconds since I was having so much fun. Everything was perfect from the mouth watering BBQ, glorious clear bright blue Texas skies, warm weather, games, to the spot they picked to host the party. The Pomarosa Park is nestled in the heart of the breathtaking Texas Hill Country. Bandera is located about 40 miles from San Antonio, and Ricki has the Pomarosa RV Park listed for sale.
What really made the day so special however was getting to talk to each other in person instead of on the computer. Putting voices to faces, and also meeting the spouses of our fellow bloggers who put up with all the time we spend on the computer with our "other life". They were all good sports, and we must have had 100 cameras going off all during the day. I staged one group shot where we were all pretending (some probably weren't) taking pictures of each other while the spouses took pictures of us.
Bandera is a Texans dream, and some of the party went into town for a tour, while some of us hung around the big park area playing with the geese, ducks, goats, tossing horse shoes, taking pictures, eating, but mostly just enjoying being with each other. I got to spend time with my friend, and partner of the Texas Real Estate group Marchel Peterson, and met her husband Gary. Carl Winters was there with his beautiful wife Ceil. Oh we even got the wedding plans stated for Tex and Miss Molly (Tex is the Texas Real Estate groups mascot, a handsome longhorn and Miss Molly is the pretty longhorn gal that Carl Winters found for him...I'll be writing a post about the wedding and yall are all invited to participate. Hey, don't laugh, not many people can claim they have been involved with a wedding for two longhorns :). Lots of nicknames came about, Ceil is now known as "BWP" (beautiful wedding planner), of course Ricki is now "Vanna," Tom is "Sneaky", and I'm sure that Deb Brooks has one for me after the kisses by "stinky breath" my poodle, Rhett Butler smothered her with kisses.
Of course Tom Plant doesn't know his new nickname yet, but he will soon I'm sure...it's hard to keep a secret around this bunch. Tom was the auctioneer for the pies, cakes, puddings, and cobblers that were brought to raise money for David Wilder's family. Which is how we ended our day? Now I caught the expression on his face, so he can't hide from this one. Ricki you're in on this deal too, my friend, you pretty laughing face is easy to spot too. What happened, I was kinda running around trying to keep up with who was the winning bid on which dessert and keep track of how much money we were collecting. So it gets down to no more stuff to auction off, so Sneaky and Vanna start auctioning off the half eaten deserts, well just as I was coming up to the table Tom has about ¼ of a Cherry Cobbler left over that Don Eichler had made, which I had commented on was my very favorite. I mean it was good, so Tom says "OK we have some left over Cherry Cobbler left Liz, so let's start the bid off at $50", while looking right at me! $50 for a left over Cherry Cobbler???? What could I do, I had to bid on it, and of course no one overbid me, darn! J. Not really, I was happy to take it. In fact, Don, I had it for breakfast, and it was just as good maybe better.
Here's a breakdown on the yummy desserts that got bought by our AR bloggers: Trey Thurmond got a Pecan Pie, I (Liz Carter) got a Coconut Pie, while my husband Bill Gronvold walked away with Ms. Judi Morgan's famous Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce + Chocolate Chip Cookies. Carl and Ceil (BWP) Winters got some left over Cheese Cake and something else...there was a lot going on, so I didn't get them all. Gary and Michel Peterson got the Chocolate Fudge, Tom got a Mystery Cake, Allen Kirkpatrick and his lovely wife Michele got an Apple Pie ++, Pam Crouch got another Apple Pie, Ms. Judigot a Chocolate Fudge Pie, and Jem Woods walked away with some Brownies. Gail Tassey and Edward Lui,I know got something good too, and I'm sure there is a lot I'm forgetting, but you get the idea. Marchel Peterson and Liz Carter created a lovely, handmade, unique flower arrangement and presented to to Ricki Eichler and Ms. Judi Morgan for all their efforts in putting this great party together. Please you don't have to thank us...it was the least we could do! (we had not brought anything, and should have thought about it so I clumbed some Texas designed napkins together that Ceil Winters had brought, we didn't even bring the napkins :), and pictured is Marchel presenting them to Ricki & Judi, while I take another photo :)
I can't tell you how glad I am that I went. It was so much fun to meet all the people I've been talking to for over a year, and come to know and care about in person. Everyone is exactly like them seem on active rain,genuine, warm, fun, caring, and just plain nice...well except for my new friend Tom was a little naughtyJ. We raised by my count, which I'm sure is low, $1,115 for Jason's good friend David Wilder's family. So it made it an even better "feel good day". After the auction Jason shared a few of his thought with us about David, who had lost his battle with cancer just a short while ago, as I'm sure most of you knew or read about here on the rain. Jason said he was grateful that at the end he and David got to tell each other how they really felt. David told Jason that he loved him, and Jason got to tell David that he was his hero. A good lesson for all of us, remember life is short and don't forget to tell your loved ones how you feel about them, and be thankful and grateful for every day, and every friend and family member in your life.
Active rain is a lot more to most of us than a place to express our thoughts, advertize our listings, and gain Internet exposure. It's also a place to make new friends, grow, learn, and have fun too. Hopefully our Texas group will have another get together, and I for one will plan on being there. Thanks again Ricki, and Ms. Judi for a truly wonderful day, I had a great time. Liz Carter
I will be putting a post on, but wanted you to meet the wedding planners we have so far, which I named above, and I will also put a few more pictures on here. I took 161 pictures so if you would like me to e-mail them to you in a group please let me know and I'll be happy to share, there are some great ones, and we did have so much fun, just not enough room or time. Here are our wedding planners. Tex & Miss Molly are getting married in June. They are the Texas Real Estate group's mascots...two longhorns, a true symbol of Texas. Gotta have fun while we're out here on the Internet, looking for buyers for our sellers. Active Rain is also a great source of getting referrals from all over the US, so its great meeting the agents you talk to on the computer and know they are going to give the clients you send them outstanding service with their Real Estate needs. Pictured below left to right is Carl Winters, Deb Brooks (also pictured on the right side holding Rhett Butler, Liz Carter's red poodle), Judi Morgan, Liz Carter, Ceil Winters, Marchel Pererson, and the hostess Ricki Eichler. The Wedding Planners :).
Jason Crouch is #1 to us :) :) :)
Edward Lui & daughter, Liz Carter Marchel Marchel Perterson & Liz Carter of Texas Real Estate group
Allen & Michele Kirkpatrick
Pam Crouch with homemade apple pie Judi Morgan & Tom Plant
YALL COME BACK NOW, YOU HEAR!!