Sunday, June 23, 2013

I am SO happy to say that everyone had SAFE TRAVELS to Bellagio and the Creative Retreat has begun!  It's such a wonderful group of ladies (and a few guys :)  and I had so much fun meeting everyone yesterday!  I'm also so excited to have Teresa Collins and Jeanne Oliver teach this year!  They are both so talented and also so NICE!  They both brought their hubbies and those guys are great too!  It was funny because you saw all the guys talking and all the girls talking, but yhey had fun talking with my hubby (who left today..boohoo) and another guy who is here as well.

So we had an opening reception for the Creative Retreat on Saturday evening on the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni's Pergola overlooking Lake Como, and it was BEAUTIFUL!  Here are a few pictures of everyone...

Here's most of the group, minus the guys and one more girl coming

Enjoying getting to know each other in this perfect location
A vintage car procession also took place last night at the hotel

Then of course the reason for the event on this week...

The San Giovanni Festival and Torchlight Procession!  This is an AMAZING experience that my family has done twice and I knew I wanted to host one of my Creative Retreats during this week so everyone could be a part of this night!  It is truly magical with the towns people coming together to light torches, walk through the town to the Church of San Giovanni (St. John) and have a time of celebration together.  It is an annual event they have to celebrate St. John and come together at the church named after him.  The fact that we tourists can be a part of this local tradition is just SO special and a real "bucket list" item to me.  Here are some pictures from the Torchlight Procession:

The 2 people in the above photo start the torch lighting process

Then they pass the fire on until everyone's is lit

Then we start walking through the town with everyone

I love that we are a part of the local people and their tradition

Some of the ladies enjoying the procession with their torches

Two ladies who met last year at my retreat came back this year, love it!

Walking through the town, you can see the lights forever...

As it gets darker the lighting is just beautiful

We even let Isabella hold my torch for a while!

And then at the end is a BIG celebration!

It was a GREAT start to a weeklong event here in Bellagio and I'm so excited to be here with everyone!!  I know it's going to be a wonderful time with everyone and time to relax, be creative and enjoy getting to know people and make new friends!!

If you plan on coming NEXT YEAR, the dates are May 17-24, 2014 and you can SIGN UP under the REGISTRATION page over here ----->  

There are about 8 spots left for next year, so sign up soon if you're interested!!


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