Monday, April 30, 2012

Laurapalooza 2010 Wrap up

I know it's been almost two years, but I never got around to finishing it until I was working on a speech and had a question about going to Laurapalooza alone and I did, so I want to post a link to this. Also, just a question does anyone else ever read a Facebook post and want to go off in their own status about it but you know it's none of your business and the person will recognize themself immediately? Okay, just me? ;) The Saturday theme could be “Loving Laura in a Lindsay Lohan World”. It was incredible everyone started sharing how they had come upon the books, how their interest grew, and their family experience as compared to that of the Ingalls. Everyone found it to be an emotional experience. I was sad to realize this was the last day. Officially, we closed with a spelling bee and tin pail lunch. I succeeded on my first word, but lost on my second when I spelled “grammar-actical” instead of “grammatical.” As we sorted out cars for the drive to Walnut Grove, I ended up riding with Melanie, a woman who had spent the entire time dressed in a completely authentic 1880s outfit. We had a fun time getting to know each other on the 2 hour drive. I had been to the site a couple years before and as a child. This was a “pageant” weekend; one of the weekends in July where the town puts on a play about Laura’s life in the town along with other special events. These weekends bring in hundreds to thousands of visitors from all over the world. I headed first to the museum and official gift shop for a quick look before the bus tour. Walking to the bus stop, I saw two to three hundred people waiting for Dean Butler’s autograph. A fellow participant and I talked about how approachable he had been all during the conference. The bus tour was nice though geared towards a crowd that doesn’t know Laura’s wedding anniversary as well as their own. An Australian attendee was excited by the tour because they don’t have school busses in her country. It was fun to see her excitement. Afterwards we enjoyed the community wide Lion’s Club dinner; I may have enjoyed eavesdropping on a certain author sharing his opinions with the current owners’ of the Ingalls property. Afterwards, I checked out a couple souvenir stores that are trying to make a go of it in the little town. As we headed out to the play sight shortly before the start, we could see the storm clouds gathering. When we arrived, we were told to stay in our car until the storm cleared. As we were on the prairie, the lightening would seem to travel more then 180 degrees around us. It was very nerve wracking, but by the end of the evening I felt like Melanie and I were old friends. The next morning, I was sad to say goodbye to the rest of my new friends. At the same time, I was excited to see my dog. The trip back was uneventful. I spent the time thinking about all I had learned and the people that I had met. I didn’t know how many friendships I would continue online for the next two years. I knew than I would mail my 2012 registration the day pre-registration opened.

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