Monday, October 3, 2011

WIA 2011: Let the Fun Begin!

We arrived on Thursday, the 29th—two women, three days, 10 pieces of luggage, a cooler, and one yoga mat—ready for our woodworking adventure.

After registering, we headed for the Keystone Bar & Grill to meet up with what turned out to be a gathering of about 40 conference attendees.

A jocular time was had by all and the evening set the mood for what was the best WIA I've ever attended.

One reason the event was so enjoyable was due to the fact that for every year you attend, you add more friends to your circle of woodworking buddies.  Many of these guys who've been friends for years on facebook and twitter were meeting for the first time face-to-face.

And they were like a boisterous batch of puppies (I mean that as a term of endearment)—playing hard together until they dropped from exhaustion.

I wasn't able to keep up with the big dogs over the weekend and was in bed most nights by 9:30. But a bunch of these woodworkers went out each night until about 2:00 a.m., crashed hard in the hotel, and were seated in the front row of a seminar by 9:00 the next morning.

I don't know how they did it.

Moreover—without exception—every single one of these guys had brought only one piece of luggage with him to the conference.

And I don't know how they did that either.


Be sure to check out the other bloggers' websites throughout the week for their take on the conference:
Vic Hubbard's Photo Album
Uppercut Woodworks
Tom's Workbench
Matt's Basement Workshop
The Bois Shop
Peter Follansbee
Logan Cabinet Shoppe
Giant Cypress
Penultimate Woodshop
Taylor Garage
Renaissance Woodworker
The Garage Shop
Digital Woodworker
I'm sure I've missed a few, so let me know if I have and I'll add it to the list.


Shawn said...

Holy Crap! Look at all that luggage! You're right, going camping is not a smart idea for you.

EMBO said...

I'm even more grateful now that you hauled my box back! Good thing, though--Dean nearly got us arrested for having a few inches of saw blade in his carry-on...

Kari Hultman said...

Shawn, Nancy just reminded me that I did not include her book bag or laptop in the photo. I think we need a bigger car....

Emily, glad you guys made it through unscathed! I heard about other woodworkers who had to be a little clever with their packaging. Shannon had to take Steven Taylor's mortising chisels with him because they weren't allowed on the plane. Vic was concerned about getting his fret saw through luggage. Can't wait to hear all the stories. :o)

Jamie Bacon said...

Thanks for the pictures. Looks like a great time. Can't wait to see all the other post about WIA. Gotta get there one day!

Aaron said...

Kari, it was great seeing you again this year. I wish we'd had more time to talk. Or maybe we did and I can't remember because I wasn't drinking lemonade. :)

That is an impressive amount of luggage. If you were flying that would be a $300 overcharge, at least!

bowyerboy said...

So what you're saying is that all of those bags were full BEFORE you even hit the Marketplace??? Impressive. My wife hates me. She packs for 1 day and has 10 bags. I pack for 10 days and have 1 bag. The secret is the reversible brown/black belt. :-)

Dyami Plotke said...

Glad you had as nice a time as we did. It was great to see you and Nancy. For the record, I think we actually stayed up until 3:00 am most nights. Next year we'll have to trick you into napping one day so you can stay out with us. You'll either change your schedule and do WIA from 1:00 pm to 3:00 am or ignore us all and get off the bus.

helen said...

hehe, that looks familiar! We went on a recent road trip to visit the in-laws and I had to haul with me a bunch of lumber and stuff to finish up my book scanning project (had to return hubby's family tree book).

The bell hop helping us load up the cart gave me a funny look....I just laughed and said, "yeah some girls bring cases of makeup, clothes, and shoes...I bring lumber and construction tools..." I got an approving smile from the guy LOL!!

Have fun out there and looking forward to your posts!! Really wanted to go this year but hard to haul my 2 year old along without her going crazy.


Matt Gradwohl (Upper Cut Woodworks) said...

Kari is was great to see you both, sorry we only had a short time to chat. You two are in my tops for favorite people to see at WIA. But, why'd you bring your own beer? Wasn't the 5 beers for $5 deal at the Keystone good enough?

Tom Buhl said...

Too many sharp implements for me, So had to share my $25 with United Airlines. Saved s/h but with prix fixe expense.

I too appreciate meeting the people behind the avatar. That's the highlight for me. Just think of the stories we can share at the 25th WIA. I hope you young 'uns stay in shape to push my wheelchair through the crowded Marketplace aisles.

Tom Iovino said...

It was great seeing you and Nancy again... and, yes, the nocturnal activity was rough... Like you wouldn't believe...

I'm looking forward to next year...when you guys bring two dozen bags and a team of Sherpa porters... :-)

Anonymous said...

It was great meeting both you and Nancy. I had a great time hanging out with both of you. Next year I'll have to bring our alpaca's to help shlep you two bags around ;-)
I put a few pics of the weekend on my blog:

Shannon said...

Great weekend Kari and it was great to see you again. You can tell Nancy that Heather wants to hand out with her next year as it sounds like she had a very mellow weekend. Our luggage cart looked the same as yours except we had a booth with a workbench, sawbench, computer, saws, planes, etc.

Kari Hultman said...

Jamie, Vic Hubbard posted a bunch more photos--click the link at the bottom of this post.

Aaron, it was great to see you, too! You must have held your lemonade-substitute well because you seemed perfectly coherent to me. Of course, I wasn't out with you guys 'til 2:00 in the morning...

Bowyerboy, that is correct. I'll have to invest in a reversible belt for next year!

Dyami, you have some kind of crazy stamina. Glad you made it home okay in spite of your lack of sleep.

Helen, I bet you've become part of that bell hop's "You won't believe this" stories. :o)

Tom, in 25 years none of us will be young 'uns. Gah! Let's change the subject, shall we?

Tom, Sherpas and llamas--great idea! Wonder how they'd fair in the hand tool olympics...

Nik, it was very nice meeting you, too. Good luck with your alpacas and sustainable living projects. I'll look forward to seeing your photos.

Shannon, it was great to see you and Heather, as always. :o)

Kari Hultman said...

Matt, I wish someone had been filming you Saturday night. You guys were wound up before you left the hotel. And I've heard stories.... :D

Megan Fitzpatrick said...


A) I'm glad that bench needed taping...I think that's the most I saw of you (which makes me sad)

B) I had more than one piece of luggage, and I live in town

Kari Hultman said...

Megan, I'm glad a friend told me "You'd better get up there to see Chris' bench! You won't believe it!" Otherwise, I might never have run into you. :o)

Vic Hubbard said...

Kari, I was very happy to finally meet my two favorite Facebook friends. You are both not only beautiful ladies, but great people. I hope I can talk Sylvia into the trip. She and Nancy would love each other. If I get to go again next year, we have to work to get Charles there, also. That would almost be perfect. Perfect would be having Black attend, too. THAT would be a hoot!

Bob said...

Well I must say, I've been having a chuckle just perusing the photos and comments. So if a person were actually THERE, then there must have been much hilarity.
Plus, I gotta get me one of them "more clamps, dammit!" t-shirts.
By the way, your spiffy new profile pic is awesome! I like it.