BookTini's "Getting to Happy" retreats are a vital part of the fabric of our social organization. During the off years of our national retreat, chapters are encouraged to plan a day or weekend of local fun, relaxing bonding activities for their members in October. It's a time meant to forget all responsibilities and let your hair down. Members also discuss our inspirational themed selection for the month, intending to leave with a refreshing outlook on their personal lives, and a stronger connection to their fellow book club boos.
This year, our inspirational themed selection was Year of Yes: How To Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. Despite being chartered a mere four months ago, our Twin Cities chapter planned a fall escape to the Elbow Lake Lodge Cabins in northern Minnesota, October 22-23, where they bonded, cooked, gossipped, twerked, discussed other books, like Get Yours by Amy DuBois Barnett, and painted BookTini wine glasses.
In a new twist for the rest of the club, our West coast and East coast chapters decided to break away from doing local retreats and say “Yes!” to our first ever regional retreats on each side of the U.S.
Our Brooklyn chapter headed down to Washington DC, October 8-9, for a full weekend hosted by our DC-MD-VA chapter. Despite the rain on Saturday, the ladies enjoyed Taste of DC, "the Mid-Atlantic regions premier culinary cultural festival". They then met up in the evening for dinner at Washington, DC’s famed Ben’s Chili Bowl, and later enjoyed the night life together. On Sunday, they ventured to the brand spanking new National Museum of African American History & Culture, where they toured and discussed Year of Yes over lunch at the museum’s restaurant, the Sweet Home Café.
Our Oakland/East Bay, Sacramento, Oakland Hills and Uptown Oakland chapters traveled to the Seacrest Oceanfront Hotel in Pismo Beach in California's central coast area, October 14-16. They started the weekend with a turned up roof top Meet & Greet, with hilarious icebreakers, a self service cocktail bar, and music.
Their plans for ATV rides on the beach Saturday morning were sullied by rain, but the various chapters continued their agenda of individual chapter bonding time for the first half of the day: Oakland/East Bay enjoyed a catered lunch with raucous bonding games; Sacramento attended a wine tasting and got new tattoos together; Oakland Hills planned a spa day and a wine tasting social; and Uptown Oakland attended brunch, ventured to the movies for The Girl on the Train, and planned their upcoming holiday social and 2016 community service project. The chapters linked again later that evening for drinks and dancing at The Library Lounge in San Luis Obispo.
Before their trek back to Northern California, the ladies ended their weekend together with a Sunday brunch and an intimate discussion of Year of Yes in the hotel's Pacific Banquet Room.
No doubt everyone had a great time at their respective local retreats, and we're all looking forward to 2017's national retreat on the east coast next October!