Thursday, July 31, 2008
Loving More West in the Redwoods
I returned a few days ago from the Loving More West Coast Conference at Brooktrails Lodge in Willits, California. Above are some of the shining faces of the folks I spent time with. I had a really great time. I'd never been to that part of California before, and the redwoods are truly magnificent.
This was my first time attending the west coast conference, though I've attended and presented at the Loving More East Coast Conference many times. It was a great opportunity to meet new people and to say hello to several I hadn't seen in some years. And Brooktrails Lodge was a beautiful setting, quite comfortable with hotel-like sleeping rooms and two hot tubs.
Of course, it was great seeing Robyn and Chuy again and meeting Loving More's office manager, Amira, for the first time. These three people are the glue that keeps Loving More running, and they contribute a tremendous amount of time and effort to making the world a better place for polyamorists. Be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org .
I especially loved seeing Gypsy Jack and meeting his partner, Dee, shown here to the right. Jack played guitar for us at the conference, and he played at the first gathering of poly people I ever attended, at a private home in the Bronx - best I can figure it was about 1997, and I hadn't seen him since until now. It was lovely meeting Dee finally.
It was also great to see Bob McGarey (pictured here at left) and to meet his partner, Pam. Bob is a fabulous poly therapist and the roving poly therapist for the weekend. He really knows his stuff, and I highly recommend him to whomever is looking for such a resource. I hear he gives good phone.
I very much enjoyed the company of my traveling companion from San Francisco, fire spinner John, shown here at right, who is a heckuva nice guy and has actually made a living giving fire shows. Alas, due to forest fires in the region open flames were not permitted and we were unable to see his full show, but hopefully that opportunity will come along again some day.
Presentations at this event were every one top notch. Robyn, Amira, Bob, and several others shared their expertise and made it a weekend well worth the investment of time, money, and even gas. I really enjoyed the presentation put on by veteran poly presenters Dawn Davidson and Akien MacIain (left) - they really know their stuff.
Lastly, the Sensual Festival on Saturday night was a lot of fun. There were stations set up for everything from body painting to blindfolded enjoyment of the aroma of various sensual oils, to blindfolded yummy food tastings to blindfolded sensation play - and of course, we can't leave out the sensual massages, or Gypsy Jack's serenading us on the guitar. I really hope we'll be doing that again at Loving More East Coast Conference Retreat at Easton Mountain Retreat outside Albany, NY (Saratoga Spring, NY) September 5-7, 2008. A lot of people have already registered, and it promises to be another dynamite Loving More Retreat. Hope you will be joining us!