When Grace was 2 months old, it was the middle of John’s busy season. He was working long hours and Grace was going from that squishy newborn phase to that oh my god why won’t she stop screaming phase. So when I saw tickets for Mom 2.0 in Orlando go on sale it seemed like a good idea. Actually it seemed like an excellent idea when the baby was screaming and I was exhausted and the idea of even an hour away was a luxury, let alone 3 days. So I purchased a ticket and didn’t think about it much where it was being held other than in a year I was going away.
Fast forward a year and I found myself standing in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando. Taking the elevator up to my room, hearing that sweet click sound that a hotel door makes when it opens and standing in a beautiful hotel room with a giant bed that I wouldn’t have to share with anyone. I felt like a kid at Christmas. And it was so tempting to blow off the conference and just lay down on the bed and sleep until my roommate arrived or to sit on the balcony and read a book.
But I was there for the conference so I went down to the lobby and headed to sessions. Though I made a promise to myself that I would make time for myself over the next 3 days and find time to relax and recharge.
I decided that Mom 2.0 and 3 Nights at the Ritz Carlton Was My Mother’s Day Gift to Myself.
So over the next 3 days I took in some conference sessions and took in the pool.
I sat on the deck with a glass of wine, while I perused what to do next.
I went to the Sunfest welcome party and enjoyed dinner with old friends and new friends.
I had lunch and beers at Highball and Harvest and learned that Instagram is probably where I should be focusing.
I networked over lunch with friends at the beautiful Bleu Restaurant near the pool.
I sipped rose and helped my friend meet her blogging idol, and hung with some of my favorite Jersey bloggers.
I hugged friends whose faces I’ve seen online but who I’ve never met in person.
I dipped my toes in the pool and laughed with friends. I let the staff at the Ritz Carlton do what they do best, make vacation seamlessly relaxing. I ordered cocktails and we had someone adjust the umbrella just right so that our white Jersey skin, didn’t fry in the Florida sunshine.
I stood in the lobby of The Ritz Carlton chatting about travel blogging while holding a cup of gummy bears from complimentary candy bar The Ritz Carlton put out.
I drank champagne in the Dove suite and skipped a session because free champagne and cozy spaces wait for no one, especially when you are with such a fabulous group of friends.
I breezed past Julianna Margulies in the lobby because I didn’t recognize her and I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I stood inches away from Barry Watson, only realizing it after a friend pointed it out. And I rode in an elevator with Andrew Shue who said “Welcome to the Ritz Carlton” and I said thank you, only later realizing it was him when I saw pictures from the Iris Awards on Instagram.
I fluffed up the pillows in the bed at The Ritz Carlton and slept without interruption. And I laid in bed past 6 am and leisurely made my way to breakfast. No one rushed me or hassled me.
It was a wonderful 3 days in a beautiful place, surrounded by people who I am happy to call friends.
Then I went home and I was well rested and recharged and ready to celebrate Mother’s Day with my family. And rather than past Mother’s Days when all I wanted was a break from Mom life, this year all I wanted was to be with my family.