It’s been a pretty stressful year so far. Since Hubby’s accident in February, life has been tough. Work, work, work. Farm, farm, farm. Family, family, family. It’s easy to lose one’s self when there is little to no down time. When the opportunity to sharpen up social media and marketing skills AND get some rest and relaxation at Casino Rama presented itself, you bet I accepted!
Something I have learned this year is that is it imperative that we take time out for ourselves. We cannot do our jobs well and be the best we can be for our clients if we’re exhausted and burning the candle at both ends. We cannot take care of our families and be present in our kids’ lives if we’re wiped out and drained. If going on a retreat is what it takes to revitalize one’s soul and re-energize one’s body, then by all means, go on a retreat!
Revitalized and Re-energized
I reconnected with great friends I don’t get to see often.
Because I live in Northern Ontario, the only opportunity I get to see my social media friends is when there’s an event or conference we’re all invited to. Some of my closest friends are the ones I’ve made in the past few years through social media. We’ve seen each other through thick and thin. It was great to spend time with Geek with Style, Good Karma Baby, Alexa Clark, Mom vs. the Boys, Lil Miss Kate, Mommy Kat and Kids, Maple Leaf Mommy, Jenn Annis, kickass-living, raisingmyboys, simplystacie.net, NinjaMommers, mybitsandbleeps, and other amazing ladies. I was also excited to finally meet Bewitchin’ Kitchen, Peg City Lovely, Curtains Are Open, and My Life in the Sun! We’ve known each other online for years, but this was the first time I got to meet them in person. I also had the opportunity to get to know some amazing bloggers like One Modern Couple, Amidst the Chaos, and Brunette Baker.
Of course, it’s always an amazing time when with Chantel Bedward and Garrett Tonge! If I were ever stuck on a deserted island, I’d want to be stuck with these two. I don’t know if we’d be adequately prepared for surviving the elements or if we’d be able to provide for our own with makeshift harpoons or anything, but I do know that we’d have an endless amount of fun and laughter.
I take that back. We may be able to survive and find our own food. Chantel is a science babe and she also has killer shoes she may (or may not) sacrifice to fashion a hunting implement so we could catch our own food.
Those last two random paragraphs adequately describe the retreat. Getting together with friends in such a relaxed atmosphere allowed for lots of catching up, crazy conversations, and going on tangents!
I was happy to attend a conference again.
A few years ago, I used to attend several conferences a year. I would attend on behalf of brands, clients, or affiliates, and it would be go, go, go for the entire duration of the conference. I enjoyed myself and acquired useful tips for conducting business, but I often felt rushed with the back to back sessions. This time, there was just the perfect mix of social media and brand sessions and relaxation time.
With plenty of time to go for a swim in the salt water pool or grab a bite to eat with a friend.
Good times at Casino Rama
Okay, I won’t delay any further! We did enjoy some good ‘ol casino time! I have to say that my favourite was the Big Bang Theory slot machine. I won $160 and my good friend, Sherrie Mae was beside me, screaming “Cash out! Cash out!” I LOVE that woman! A good friend tells you to cash out when you’re up!
In all seriousness, I love that Casino Rama strongly believes in the practice of “know your limit, stay within it”. We were given a tour of the casino and the resort, and I was impressed with the services the casino has for its patrons and how they emphasize responsible gaming.
Casino Rama Resort
Learning about the history of the resort and the casino was a real treat. I’m a big trivia buff, so all of the info was of real interest to me.
We also got a backstage tour of the concert venue at Casino Rama. It was interesting to learn that Faith Hill performed at the Grand Opening!
A Good Night’s Sleep…Every Night
Nothing short of luxurious — Our suite at Casino Rama Resort was very spacious and offered the perfect elements for a relaxing time away. In between sessions and leisure time, I was able to sneak away and get some client work done. On one of the days, we had the option to attend a session on how to play roulette. I totally anticipated attending, but after finishing up some client work, I fell asleep! I ended up napping for two hours! I can’t even remember the last time I took a nap, because I’m not a napper!
A Food Blogger’s Haven
I had to laugh when I checked the #LetsGORama hashtag on Instagram during our Welcome Dinner at St. Germain’s. ALL the #LetsGORama photos on Instagram were of FOOD! Of course! “You know you’re at a social media conference when…”
Social Media Sessions, Learning, & Connecting with Brands
Staying Relevant in an Ever-Changing Market with Karen Sterling, VP Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.
Gabriel Mederos from TELUS spoke about how TELUS works with content creators (like YouTubers) in innovative ways. As a #TeamTELUS advocate, I’m always excited to see how TELUS stays ahead of everyone else when it comes to social.
Thanks again to Casino Rama and SJ Consulting for a wonderful retreat. Equal parts learning and freshening up our skills, and getting some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Disclosure – I was invited to the #LetsGoRama Retreat at Casino Rama Resort by SJ Consulting. All thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.