I’m a stay-at-home mom. I live in the suburbs. I homeschool. My life isn’t exactly what you would call exciting…
But last week I enjoyed a special trip that took me from my home in northern California all the way to the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Along the way I spent time in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, each for the first time. I crossed the Mississippi River for the first time (not counting fly overs). I walked down music row in Nashville, Tennessee, and also visited the gorgeous Gaylord Opryland Hotel. While in the Appalachian mountains, I saw a wild black bear. I spent the week with old friends from all over the country… who I technically had never met before! Oh, and I got to bake cupcakes and decorate cookies!!
I think that will be enough excitement to last me a while! =)
Ok, let’s start back at the beginning…
Long before I had a blog, I posted my work on Flickr. Through Flickr I have met many lovely, and talented ladies from around the world. Many who I now consider true friends. Last year I met my good friend Sharnel, in person for the first time (I posted all about our fun week in San Francisco, here).
This year, a group of Flickr friends all passionate about cookie decorating, planned a weekend of chatting, relaxing, and cookie decorating in the hills of Tennessee. This fun weekend was made possible by one of the ladies in our group of friends who has an in at a beautiful campground in the Appalachian mountains. So a small group of ladies flew in from around the country, and we gathered at Cookie Camp! And if that doesn’t sound like enough fun… two of my good friends and I added to the weekend with a road trip! Maryann, Callye, and I began our trip in Oklahoma City, where we packed up the car and headed east! We drove and chatted, and drove and chatted some more, and a day and a half later arrived at our destination in Tennessee.
A toast to our trip (the evening before we headed east). L to R- Callye (Sweet Sugar Belle), Maryann, and me (Glorious Treats)!
Along the way, we stopped for lunch with Kristan (Confessions of a Cookbook Queen). I first met Kristan earlier this year at a bloggers workshop at Wilton (read all about it here). It’s so amazing how the internet can bring people together from around the world! And just in case there is any doubt… yes, Kristan is just as cute, sweet and sparkly as her blog!
Continuing east, we crossed the Mississippi river and drove on through Memphis, Tennessee.
And what kind of road trip would it be without a few unplanned stops? As we were driving through Nashville (each for the first time) we knew we just had to stop! A quick drive around town, walk down music row and a horse drawn carriage ride gave a mini tour of “Music City.”
We arrive at camp… no cell service, no internet, just lots of beautiful peace and quiet!
The first afternoon of camp included a sighting of the camp mascot Zuzu, a baby black bear.
Each “camper” brought a decorated flower cookie as a gift to thank our host! So many different colors and styles, and yet I think they all look really beautiful together!
(left) Me (right) Marlyn
We spent the weekend “playing” with sugar! Lots of cookie decorating, learning from the styles and techniques of our friends, and sampling a few cookies along the way! I made up a batch of my Chocolate Cupcakes as a special treat, and they all disappeared quite quickly =)
It was so amazing to be face to face with long time friends, and some of my “cookie idols”.
Here is a little sampling of our weekend “play time”
And what’s camp without a bonfire and some s’mores?
(L to R) Me and my beautiful and talented friend, Marlyn
By the end of the week we were all exhausted, but also so happy!! It was so special get away from the regular routine of life, spend time with friends and enjoy doing something we all love… decorating cookies!
Several generous companies sent along some beautiful goodies for us to enjoy at camp.
A huge thank you to our camp sponsors!
Photo thanks to Sugar Rush Treats for allowing me to use several of her gorgeous photos of camp!