It is POURING! Not just raining but serious torrential downpour. Palm trees outside the room bent over sideways, whipping around like the hair’s gonna be blown off their heads. A flash flood warning is in effect until midnight. Remnants of Hurricane Isaac maybe? Mike says yesterday afternoon brought a ferocious dust-storm – they have a name for it – “The Boobs” or “Her Boobs” something about boobs I asked him to repeat it twice and then got embarrassed and stopped asking. He said people flying in got caught in this big boob in the sky which I’m sure some of them didn’t mind. At any rate we are “having some weather,” as they say. This time last year we were splayed out on our lounge chairs beside the pool sunbathing in the dry desert heat.
All of Facebook seems to be making their way here – Desert City is famous for being everybody in the world’s “favorite event of the year,” seems like, you hear that over and over, and it did win “Best Event Under 500” at the WAG awards two years ago. This is a party event – with or without thunderstorms. Long lazy days, dancing all night, parties all night in the pools (lots of big and little pools, waterfalls, fountains and grottoes tucked all around the property) parties in the rooms. just one big party. No routines, no NASDE strictlys, just partaay.
This is a resort – golf, weddings, conventions – with walkways, paths, winding terracotta staircases, lattice balconies, hidden grottos, and many buildings of different shapes and configurations all painted desert gold or clay colored stucco. Charming and atmospheric. Super duper friendly, accommodating staff. I learned from last year’s mistake so this year am close to the ballroom in a lovely suite (think the entire event room block is 2-room suites) so I’m cozy and happy except that Genieboy isn’t here with me so I have no one to be irritated with. It’s disorienting.
As charming as it is this is the last year at this venue. Mike has been lusting after an AMAZING property – owned by the same company – an enormous, splendiferous water-park wonder-world right next to the airport – and next year we will be there! Ohhhhhh boooy! Make your arrangements early (and maybe plan on extra days – this is a top vacation spot) cause I have a feeling next year will sell out.
Never made it to the ballroom last night (long day of travel on icky USAir which doesn’t have even have radio much less movies or wifi) but was welcomed as I arrived with huge bear hugs from Deborah Szekelelelely, Victor, Sarah Grusmark, Mike Heath, Laurie Schaefer, Brent and Kellese, Alex Waller, JB and Robin Brodie, and Mr. Mike Gadberry himself; pools were filled with dancers I could barely make out in the dark; lotsa people carrying shoe bags heading towards the ballroom. Parking lot was so full you were lucky to find a space. Jordan and Tatiana kicked off the event with their opening workshop at 7 pm. It’s 11 am as I write and everyone’s still sleeping so I have a feeling it was a grrrrreat night of dancing.
Today is workshops all day – Brent and Kellese, Maxence, Mark and Sharlot, Tony Schubert, Brandi (who looks fantastic because she drinks disgusting smoothies made of blenderized frog,) Ben and Melissa, Benji, Jessica and Lindo, Parker, and Michael Kiehm (what a lineup, right? And that’s only today! More tomorrow! So much exceptional talent and information here, you could get a PhD in west coast this weekend.)
Tonight: Jack and Jill prelims (including Masters – Mike wouldn’t neglect Masters since he IS one.)