Part II of the "Meet a Porcupine" trip to Lake Champlain. Notice how I call this trip by many different names...as if I can't decide which one works best. That's a fair statement. I can't figure out an 'best' title for it - Maryam, the good witch of the East - with performance art hair that tells a story all its own, calls it the Marketing Big Chill, then rightly points out that - no one died.
So, regardless of what title it has today, the trip to gather a group of net marketers and brainstorm or master mind ideas at Lake Champlain was Suzanne Falter-Barns' idea. I have spoken of her before - and will speak of her again - so get used to her name. She's a tall, statuesque lady with a great smile. It's clear she enjoys life - and wants others to enjoy it, also.
Joining us at Suzanne's palace of luxury - out in the middle of nowhere - with the moose (quick, who knows the plural of moose?), was traveler extraordinaire and web SEO expert, Marc Harty, and exuberant (funny), Maryam Webster - who helped yours truly with a little personal problem. And, at the last moment... the true to her word, Lena West showed up on Saturday night, all tuckered out from dealing with bad rental car dealers and chancing the trip in her very own car, accompanied by the deep-voiced, sexy Eric. Ooohh Eric! (sorry, Lena - I did that just to make you roll your eyes.)
The weekend consisted of a lot of talk about the web and how to optimize for keywords and how to blog and why you should blog - and naps. The naps were prevalant throughout. Talk a little, have a snack, nap. Wake up, hit the bathroom, go out on the deck and look for porcupines, have a snack, talk a little, and...nap. Marc absorbed a whole book while he was napping. In between, our energetic hostess and her attentive husband trekked down to the lake for a swim. Now, I am not going to bring up the Lake Champlain monster - but - I held my ground throughout the weekend and never did make it down to the dock.
Here's what happened - I swear - it was not pre-arranged - no, really...
During our lengthy discussions of Internet marketing and what to charge for product, one or another of the group would bring up the lake, and going out on the boat. I endured the sidelong glances - since everyone knew I wasn't going anywhere near that boat - and waited patiently for them to finalize their plans. "I'll be fine," I said. "I'll drive you," Suzanne said. She even smiled. But, I got the feeling she wanted to take the boat.
Why, I ask you, did they feel the need to commune with nature - when nature was present all around us? The home was rustic to the hilt, with wonderful wooden beams and wooden floors and the wonderful scent of cows all around. In fact, we were informed that the knotted rope hanging just behind the sofa that was in front of the fireplace (we did have a fire on Saturday nite - it was so cool!), was the only way into Luke's room. Luke is the 12 year-old son of the host and hostess. He was not in attendance, till the last day. At any rate, the rope led up to pocket doors and Luke's lair, which he shares with two enormous turtles whose names I have forgotten but who tried, during the entire weekend, to climb out of their little home and...nibble on our toes.
Ok...so there is another way into Luke's room...it sounds better the other way. And, when Luke got home, he shimmied up that thick rope like it was nothing. Show-off. Marc managed to climb the rope, also. Putting the rest of us to shame. We have it on tape...somewhere. Write to Maryam and ask her to share!
Back to the trip on the boat. Suzanne wanted to drive us to Vermont for dinner on Saturday night. On the boat. Once again, I was told I did not have to go on the boat, if I really, really, really didn't want to - then Larry would stare at me for a half hour, like I had three eyes on my bald head. Every couple of minutes he would say, "Why don't you like the boat?"
The continued pressure finally got to me and I said, "Ok, I'll go on the boat."
I admit I enjoyed the collective cheer that went up. The fact that a half an hour later it began to rain - really hard - and we had to cancel the boat thing, is not my fault. The fact that I am in tune with the rain Gods...well, if I told you what I had to do to please them...I'd have to kill you, is not my fault. Well, yes it is. I know how to get out of a boat when I have to.
End of story. For now. We went to a lovely little restaurant aptly named The Turtle, in downtown Essex (if there is such a thing) and we saw a celebrity. Our own Governor Pataki came in and ate dinner there, with his wife. Ah, if only we'd brought our cameras!
On to other things...relevant to the whole women's marketing online thing. Like...this. Telling fun stories. We love'em. Gosh, if only I had that movie of Marc climbing Luke's rope...
p.s. we only saw a porcupine once!