Thursday, May 23, 2013

Red Hat Society Southern Hospitalitea Convention in Atlanta, Georgia

April 24-28, 2013

After completing our packing the night before, Doug and I arise this morning, get ready, eat fruit and Cherrios along with drinking our morning cup of coffee and head out to El Paso, Texas. We love our small town, Alamogordo, New Mexico. However, to fly anywhere, we must first drive 90 miles to El Paso. We arrive timely, get through all the rigmarole at the airport and board our Southwest flight heading firstly to Dallas, Texas where we change planes. We have now been up since 3:00 a.m. MDT. Our flight takes us to Houston where we just land to allow people to deplane and others to board. Now, we truly are heading to Atlanta for the Red Hat Society Hospitalitea Convention. We arrive in Atlanta at 7:30 p.m. EDT. We get into a cab after retrieving our luggage and head to the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel. On getting to our room, we unpack, freshen up and get a bite to eat at a restaurant in the hotel. Exhausted, we fall into bed at 9:30 p.m.

Thursday morning, April 25, 2013, I have a pool splash party to attend hosted by Queen Joann Miller of the Bionic Babes chapter from Reston, Virginia. It is a fun time, especially because the pool is heated and it is quite cool in Atlanta this time of morning. I make new friends and we have a grand time. I return to our room to change clothes before boarding a bus taking us to Georgia Aquarium for a gourmet luncheon celebrating the Red Hat Society 15th Anniversary. This is a world class aquarium and the dolphin show is excellent. Unfortunately, no photography allowed so no pictures of these beautiful creatures. It's back to the room after some shopping at the Hat District for a costume change to attend the Queen Mother Board private dinner at Pitty Pat's Back Porch restaurant. Down home Southern cuisine and quite delicious.

Friday morning, April 26, 2013, I dress in my saloon girl costume and go to meet Empress Tara and several other Red Hatters from Miss Kitty's Social Club for breakfast and an update on this Red Hat chapter. The rest of the day is mine so after shopping in the Hat District, I return to the room, change into more casual Red Hat attire and Doug and I go exploring the area around the hotel. We find a lovely place to eat lunch, Max Lager's, and they too are celebrating their 15 years in business. There is a lot of statuary in Atlanta and we enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of this lovely city. Just before the "Low Tea" the National Red Hat Society Ambassadors gather for a Meet and Greet with Jo Eliot aka Lady Cranberry presiding.  Friday evening brings  the Opening Ceremonies and Welcome Dinner called a "Low Tea". For this event, I don purple overalls, a purple western shirt, a red sparkly cowboy hat and red sequined boots. I am located at Table 82 and hostesses for our table are Rhonda and Misty Garrett, a mother/daughter duo from Colorado. A dear friend, Queen Gwyn Kelley from Dallas, Texas is also at this table and we have a great time reconnecting. After dinner, I join many on the dance floor for line dancing.

Saturday morning, April 27, 2013, brings the Back Porch PJ Breakfast and this is one of the most looked forward to events. Yes, we really go to breakfast in our PJ's or some semblance thereof. Doug comes down with me just to photograph the interesting people and their costumes. I look like a bag lady because I'm carrying various bags with items in them for another event following on the heels of this one, Tea Cup and Saucer Exchange of which I am a hostess.  Guest speaker at the breakfast is author Victoria Wilcox reviewing her new book, titled " Inheritance" Book One, (Southern Son, The Saga of Doc Holiday). I buy her book and get her autograph. Afterward, Doug and I again have some free time to spend exploring and we return to Max Lager's for lunch. Time for another costume change, this one is a "High Tea" where we all dress in antebellum style ensembles and have our photos made with Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper and Vice Queen Linda Murphy of the Red Hat Society. After dinner, there is more dancing.

Sunday morning is check out time and I must miss the Farewell Glitz and Grits Breakfast because of having to be at the airport timely. It was a marvelous convention and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. In fact, I'm waiting for information on the convention next year in San Francisco so I can register for it.

Carla heading out for the splash party with the Bionic Babes chapter

L: Carla ready for Anniversary Luncheon R: Carla ready to go to Pitty Pat's Back Porch Restaurant for dinner
Carla in Saloon Girl costume ready to meet members of Miss Kitty's Social Club chapter
I would be remiss if I didn't include some photos of the hotel architecture
Another shot of this fabulous hotel
Red Hatters in the Hat District taking hat making lessons
Max Lager's is celebrating right along with us and the food is delicious
This is just one row of their brewing apparatus housed upstairs
Carla, ready for the "Low Tea" and some line dancing
Red Hatters have a romance going on with highly decorated Solo Cups, but this is the ultimate creation
Their Queen created these ensembles including purses that serve as saddle bags
Everyone figures out a way to attend and get around
My friend from Lewisville, Texas , Queen  Linda "Zoomy" Ward. See that decorated Solo Cup!
Carolyn Roche from Texas-Too cute!
Just look at Kathy Harrison's beautiful Solo Cups
Here am I with a group who came as miners. Imagination runs rampant in the Red Hat Society!
This is a group of "Hun E Boo Boo's"
Another long time Red Hatter from Houston, Texas
An excellent idea for displaying "15" years of Red Hatting
Our lovely hostesses at Table 82, Misty and Rhonda Garrett from Colorado
Two of our table mates, Linda Dye and Sema Henderson blowing lip whistles included in favors from our hostesses
Carla and Doug arriving at the PJ Breakfast. Do I look like a bag lady or what?  Photo by Red Hat Society official photographer, Doug Carraway
Bonnie Mitcchell just became an American Citizen the day before and we celebrated her
Carla's #82 table mates at the PJ Breakfast
Misty and Rhonda Garrett, our mother/daughter duo hostesses at table 82. They are Queens of their respective chapters and don't you just love their crowns! Very creative pair.
My friend from Dallas, Texas, Queen Gwyn Kelley of the W.O.M.B.A.T.S. chapter
My sister Ambassador from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Barbara Broussard
Another architectural shot of the 10th floor of the hotel
An outside view of the hotel. As you can see, it bows out from the bottom causing it to become known as the pregnant hotel.
A group of Red Hatters waiting for the elevator going to the PJ Breakfast
Carla with all her necessary little bags
Many Red Hatters come in matching costumes
Aren't they cute and colorful!
Aren't they a great looking group. That is Mary Stuart on the left. She's been Red Hatting from the very beginning!
On the right is Queen TooToo, our 2011-2012 Red Hatter of the Year
The gal on the right with the Tina Turner hair style is Shanda Taylor-Boyd, U.S. Army retired
Two lovely ladies ready for the "Formal High Tea" on Saturday evening
Carla, feeling every bit as elegant as Scarlett O'Hara
L to R: Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen Cooper, Carla and Vice Queen Linda Murphy
Ladies waiting to be photographed with our fearless leaders
Delightfully elegant in their vintage costumes!
A quick shot of the ball room filled with Red Hatters
A sea of Red Hatters in the hotel lobby
Queen TooToo in her outrageous hat box hat creation. Love it!
Brenda and my friend Gwyn again on the right
Red Hatter of the Year 2013-2014, Queen Mary Mims

Looking lovely as always, our table hostesses, Misty and Rhonda Garrett
Someone took one last shot as the evening ended
I apologize for not getting all the names of those photographed, but you know who you are. Hope you had as grand a time as I and are looking forward to San Francisco in August, 2014. Wonder what the theme will be?? Maybe "Sweet Sixteen"?

Doug and I shared the photographic honors this time. Thanks, Doug for your help.

This is all I have to say for now.

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