About half a year ago, a group of us thought it’d be fun to get away for the weekend on a reading retreat of sorts – where we do nothing but get through our TBR pile all weekend. I think most of us figured it was just a passing idea, until Sara (Geek Girl’s Book Blog) got us to buckle down and really pick a weekend that we were free, and last weekend – February 23 & 24 – ended up being available for most of us. Heading up north to Jenn (Lost in a Great Book)’s place, Sara drove Wendy, Christa (More Than Just Magic) and Andrea (Cozy Up With a Good Read) while Chandra (@sakuralovestea) and I took the train – all the while jokingly calling ourselves a convoy (hence how the hashtag #BloggettesConvoy came about)
Leaving in the afternoon on Friday, we all reconvened at the train station before heading out to our first stop: the LCBO. Dinner and then groceries followed. With 7 of us wandering around a No Frills, we got a few curious glances with the teenaged cashier laughing to the person in front of us and asking “field trip??” I think with our varied ages and looks, we left a lot of people confused whether it was a class trip or a mom with daughter & friends!
After finally arriving at Jenn’s, we all immediately swarmed to the piles and piles of books everywhere – jackets still on. We cracked open the wine and sat around the fire chatting before Chandra pulled out her laptop to get some writing done. The deal was that if she wrote 1000 words, we’d get waffles for breakfast. 1500 and there’d be chocolate chips in it too. That seemed to be the cue for the rest of us to pull out our books and get some reading done. I brought Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Day the Falls Stood Still to read, as well as my tablet, to see whatever I might feel like reading at the moment. For that evening, I thought I’d start The Diviners by Libba Bray. Jenn’s pile of books were enticing for many others and since she needed to read them and couldn’t lend them out, Wendy & Sara picked ones to read right away so they could finish it that weekend. Shortly after midnight, we called it a night with dreams of dancing books & waffles in our mind.
Saturday morning, we woke up to Jenn having already gone out to get a few groceries and fresh cut flowers! (What a fantastic host! 🙂 ) We had a delicious filling breakfast (with the promised waffles!) that turned out to become a birthday breakfast for Wendy. After a lazy morning of reading after all that food, we ventured out to check out the small town (aka 3-block main street). What an adorable village. I always said I wouldn’t want to live somewhere suburban, that I’m a city gal but it was so quaint and quiet here that it’s beyond suburban. I think I could do rural areas. Every shop we went into, Jenn knew the people inside. We visited the bookstore, 2 cafes, a toy store and the brewery. Before we left the main stretch, we stopped into another grocery store to pick up some provisions for our taco dinner where we were approached by an older gentleman who asked if we were a class. Sigh. At this point, Jenn has now become “Mama J”.
While attempting to check in on Facebook the night before, I saw an entry for the village jail so of COURSE we had to go see that! Turns out it’s North America’s smallest jail and Chandra was ready to go break me out of it but it was locked and Jenn couldn’t find the people who had the key. 🙁 Jail fail.
Once we got back from our afternoon adventure, we had a late 4pm lunch of delicious veggie lasagna before settling in to read some more. Christa & Sara – in a few hours’ time – managed to fully plot the book they’re writing together. AMAZING. At this point into the evening, we felt it was time for a break and while Chandra, Christa, Jenn & I were talking about the hilarity of New Girl, Youtube clips ensued and then became a full on “Let’s just watch New Girl” for the evening. I’d say it was a success since we managed to convert some newbies into fans. 😛 Hunger finally struck later in the night and thus was the start of the new tradition “10pm tacos” where we ate a WHOLE lotta tacos really quite late at night. SO STUFFED. After a few more hours of New Girl episodes, we finally called it a night close to 1am.
Sunday was another delicious morning with homemade (“made in someone else’s home”) croissants & pain au chocolats, bacon, waffles and mimosas! We finished up breakfast, read a bit more and – you guessed it – dove into a few more episodes of New Girl. 🙂 Early afternoon, the car convoy was getting ready to leave while Chandra and I stayed back since our bus wasn’t for a while. Had a lovely relaxing weekend of great food and great company.
And don’t think that’s all we did… here’s a rough recap of our collective reading/writing accompishments for the retreat!
- Read 8.5 books
- Wrote 6100+ words of various WIPs
- Plotted 1 book
- Wrote 1 blog post
I’d say that’s a pretty productive weekend! 😎 Thank you to Jenn for being such an amazing cook & host!
I’ll leave off with a snapshot of some of our delicious meals, and a collection of the #BloggettesConvoy tweets!