I don't quite know where to begin so I'll start with the hotel. We stayed at the Grand Hotel which was just beautiful! I don't know how we got so lucky because the hotel assigns the rooms and we ended up in the Grand Suite. I looked it up when I got home and to stay in the room it's $875 a night!
Now the decorating is not how I would decorate but it was beautiful in a very fancy, regal, old palace way:
This is the front of the hotel:
The entrance to our room:
This was my bed:
This was once we were in the room- the hallway leading to our room and lounge area:
This is the lounge area where we also had a room that we could entertain and serve beverages to guests we had come into our room!
We had formal dining for supper. It was delicious!
Here's our menu for supper:
I had the banana-strawberry soup with candied pecans, the salad,
the garlic beef and the pumpkin torte with blood orange sauce.
Here's a picture of the beef:
Here's the pumpkin torte:
Here's the dining room musicians and a picture of the dining room:
Here are a few more random pics of the hotel and of the bridge at sunset- it was so beautiful!
On to the retreat:
The main speaker was Anthony Campolo. He was interesting. He talked about having a servants heart and showing Christs love even when it's not comfortable. He convicted me of a few things!!
Gracia Burnham and Katie Brown were the break out speakers. Gracia was the missionary who got kidnapped and held for a year and her husband was killed in a gun fight. I enjoyed her talk. Katie Brown is a lifestyle personality on TV- she also was good but they both just basically told their life stories and we felt like we didn't take anything out of their speeches. Still they were very interesting though.
The musical performance was Selah! I love them so I was very excited to hear them live. This was actually the most powerful moment for me. Todd (the main singer) has had a very rough year as they lost a baby this year. He ended up speaking about the loss of pregnancies and how it is a real loss etc...
He ended up having people stand that lost children in pregnancies. Now it's been 10 years since I lost the twins and 99% of the time I'm fine, but boy did it hit me then.
I don't want to say alot about this but lets just say that with my in-laws there were some very hurtful things said at that time so when my mother in law took my hand as I cried and my sister in law hugged me and shed tears herself it was very healing.
The interesting thing was that when Katie Brown was telling her story- she also has lost children and spoke about the hurt of what others say at that time. I don't think it was a coincidence that we were all together for both of these experiences.
God brings healing- it may take years, but it's in His time and it's so sweet!
We had such a good time. Lots of laughter and I mean lots- lots of great food, beautiful scenery and good fellowship.
Who could ask for more!