I arrived in Miami about an hour late, thanks to a passenger on the previous flight trying to flush a bottle down the airplane's toilet. Enough said about that. Was greeted at the airport by Elena, Jen, Sue, Val, and Nicole. Jumping and hugging ensued, and then we drove to South Beach for what we were told would be the best Cuban food in Miami. Sounded good to me. We'd be met there by those who'd arrived earlier in the day, and were staying with Jacquie....Gina, Marita, Lil, and Juliet.
The restaurant is Versailles (crazy name for a Cuban place, huh?), and the food (and fabulous sangria) just kept coming. All thanks to Jacquie. The owner happens to be one of her clients (like Elena, Jacquie is a lawyer), and we were treated royally.
Elena, me in the middle, and Marita
Nicole, Gina, and Sue
Juliet and Jacquie
Elena and me again
Val (who clearly is having a great time)
Gina, Sue, and Jen seranaded by the Cuban equivalent of mariachis
After we were totally stuffed we piled into cars for the 1 1/2 hour trip to Elena's home in Key Largo. We got a quick tour of her large and warm and welcoming house, discussed who'd be sleeping where, and then took our first look at our studio for the week. A living/dining room transformed into an artist's paradise.
It wouldn't look like that for long. You know how your workspace looks in mid-project? Multiply that by 12 and you can imagine.
We tore into our gift bags (see the previous post), exchanged more gifts, talked and talked, then eventually found our way to our respective beds and rested up for Day 2....our first full day together, and one that would be packed with creative energy. We'd also get to meet the rest of our group, two of Elena's local friends, Linda and Patty, who'd been unable to meet us at the restaurant.
Tune in tomorrow (or later today if I can manage it) for our fabulous second day at The Keys 4 Art, 2010.