What’s that line about how can I miss you if you won’t go away? I really did miss you, but there’s no way I’ll catch up on my blog reading. I’ll just have to start fresh… as soon as I can.
Anyway, I had a GREAT time at the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) annual conference last week. Ironically, I have no photos of the four other women from our League who went with me…
Annual conference has THE BEST goody bags. We got May Books, but given that our League’s new focus is literacy, I loved that our complimentary Georgetown Cupcakes were bagged accordingly. Washington DC is my college town, so I had high expectations of them as a host League, and boy did they exceed those expectations.
The opening ceremony is full of pomp and circumstance. This year, I got to line up and process in with my friend and fellow president from another VA League. I hadn’t realized before that we joined the Association before they did, but since we line up by decades, it was a happy coincidence that our Leagues are both “girls of the ’80s.”
The host League’s reception is always fun. Two years ago, we were in Philly’s Reading Terminal, and I sincerely never expected a League to top that, but JLW managed. The venue was the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the food was amazing, and we were all entertained when the Nationals mascots showed up and enticed a few delegates to dance.
I’d also strongly recommend the museum if you’re in the area. I love reading personal tidbits about the artists, and many of the exhibits feature detailed information about the artist, what was going on in her life, who or what inspired the work of art, etc.
As much information as I gleaned, as much as I enjoyed brainstorming with the other delegates from our League, one of the high points of the conference for me was the awards ceremony on the last night. I intentionally booked our League at a table with Northern VA, but two other Virginia Leagues joined us, and we had a great chat. I’d heard my friend mention that one of their past presidents was joining us for dinner (for those not familiar with the region, Northern Virginia is basically a sprawling suburb of our Nation’s Capitol), and thought little of it. So when I suddenly realized I was sitting next to someone I knew, a friend of my sister’s, I’m afraid we both made a scene.
That’s the beauty of the League. Fast, long-standing friendships are formed by training and working together to improve our communities. When you move, your League membership moves with you, and you have an instant network to plug into as you settle into your new place. And you just never know when your paths are going to cross again.
And last night, my League held its annual dinner and wrapped up our year of 80th anniversary celebrations. Yeah. Do the math… We were the University League before we eventually became the Junior League of Charlottesville. It was absolutely the perfect way to a celebrate a very challenging but productive year.
Have you ever seen a prettier cake?! Believe it or not, the cake wasn’t my favorite special touch.
That honor goes to our own little history book that the Meetings & Events Committee crafted as a surprise for the rest of us. Why yes, it is in my handbag and I will carry it around with me and make people admire it. I’ve had to look at vacation and baby photos, so humor me if you’re local, okay?
So that’s what I’ve been doing. How ’bout you? What have I missed in your life?