WUG Weekend Meet Up #1 / Jekyll Island,GA

By: SunsetSailor , 7:45 PM GMT on March 01, 2011

Last fall while photo shooting with Willow 13, we started a conversation about how we treasure Jekyll island which is a barrier island and state park off the coast of Georgia and how much we would like to share it with our e-buddies from Weather Underground.  That conversation evolved into the first photographer's weekend face to face meet up President’s Day weekend 2011

L to R kneeling-gatorgal & Bikervet,
standing-willow13,Sunsetsailor,Skert,AUphotos& ; ; ; ; ; ;,Dixiedaughter

Our e-buddies traveled from as far away as 300 miles in their autos and on motorcycle to stay at the Hampton Inn, which is brand new and nestled right behind the primary dunes system. It conveniently has a cross over boardwalk to the a mostly deserted beach and sunrise vantage points plus a heated pool and spa. Willow13 and I met up with them on Friday night for the first time at Seajay’s restaurant right on the Intercoastal Waterway. Bikervet became our ultimate party mixer by starting us off with lots of laughter while we enjoyed our meal on the outside deck.

Weather blessed us (as your would expect for such an auspicious occasion) with beautiful clear nights in the 40-50s and days in the 60-70s range, AND a full moon!

Over two sunsets, two nights, and two sunrises we shared our local knowledge, places to eat and favorite photo locations with our new face to face friends. They shared their great photography tips with us and we had a truly wunderful  time .

WUG MEET UP PHOTOS (click on image for WUG photo page)

And the photo shooting didn't stop at the Sidney Lanier bridge. The road trips home provide (as they always do) more photo ops.
Taken by Skert outside of Waycross.

On a personal note, I had no idea how this effort would turn out. Naturally, whenever I deal with anything connected with the internet, it can turn out to be a grab bag. However, I have been around this site for a while now, (even served a voluntary rotation as a photo moderator) so I had a pretty good idea that the majority of WUG members already share many characteristics in common - an appreciation for nature and the out of doors, a willingness to encourage newbie photographers or bloggers, an interest in weather & meteorology, and for the most part being proactive about life and its opportunities. So setting what little negativity I might've had aside, I just went ahead with the WUG meet up plans. Never would I have guessed that it would produce one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Magically, almost,  e-buddies were transformed into friends... Now my dream is for more WUG weekend meet ups all over the country, no, the whole world-one going on near you so you'll have the opportunity to experience this wunderful transformation too. A special thanks to Willow13, Gatorgal, Skert, Bikervet, Dixiedaughter & AUphotos - you made it happen for me.

By unanimous vote, we will do it again next year.

 WUG Email me or leave a comment here if you are interested in being on my mailing list for President's Day weekend 2012 or if you want details on how easy it was to host this event so you can have one in your area.

I would like to thank Susan Christian, Director of Sales, of the Hampton Inn &
Suites-Jekyll Island
for providing a discount for our WUG group and her
excellent staff for their assistance in making our reservations.

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25. Willow13
11:00 PM GMT on March 08, 2011
Thank You So Much to Laura for making this a most successful first Annual Wunder Photographer's Meet-Up!! Thank You All (Gatorgal, SKERT, Bikervet, Dixiedaughter & AUphoto) for coming!! We couldn't done it without you!! It was absolutely fabulous and you all made it so! I hope the ones that didn't get to come will be here next year! Thank You Again, Laura, you made it happen!!
Member Since: September 16, 2003 Posts: 21 Comments: 2722
23. suzi46
1:04 AM GMT on March 06, 2011
just wonderful Laura..just found your blog and all the stunning shots you all took..amazing group photo too..would love to do something like this up here in our area of ME/NH/MA/CT..hmmmm..we'll put our 'thinking caps' on for next year..regards, susan :)
Member Since: February 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5710
22. jekylldreaming
1:49 AM GMT on March 05, 2011
Here I was on the island and since I haven't been paying much attention to the blogs/photos, I had no idea. You all got some great pix! For various reasons I haven't done as much photography this year on Jekyll, but always enjoy looking at what others do...I am strictly an amateur! Please include me on your notification list for next year if it will be on Jekyll around the same time...we're hoping to be here again. LOVE JEKYLL!
Member Since: February 1, 2008 Posts: 5 Comments: 2
21. NumberWise
2:52 AM GMT on March 04, 2011
SunsetSailor, I've been trying to look at this blog for a couple of days. I was sure there were some wonderful photos lurking here (and I was right!).

I'm using Chrome, and whenever I clicked on your blog or on your name, I got an error message - "This webpage is not available." Tonight I tried using IE, and it works fine.

I haven't had this problem (yet!) with any other blogs on WU, and I don't know for sure that it's a Chrome issue, but I thought I'd let you know.

Grrrrreat photos, Everyone, and I love the smiles!
Member Since: October 22, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1810
9:53 PM GMT on March 02, 2011
I had so much fun on this WUG photo shoot. I learned a whole lot that can only come from one on one contact w/others. Little did I know I had a Canon 7D waiting for me when I got home, my Valentines present. It arrived at the golf course 1 hour after I left. I would have been so distracted by that new toy that I would not have been able to concentrate like I did with such a great group of folks. Can't wait for the next one.
SKERT (now you folks know why they call me SKERT)
Member Since: March 3, 2005 Posts: 72 Comments: 11
19. lousyfocus
4:47 PM GMT on March 02, 2011
This is absolutely fabulous to read and see that this plan came together so well. These results are super!
Member Since: October 20, 2009 Posts: 53 Comments: 99
18. nocaneindy
1:21 PM GMT on March 02, 2011
What a great story! I'm glad you were all able to meet up and everything went well. That is a very good idea, having meet ups like that.

BTW I think that pic above by Skert is simply WUnderful!
Member Since: September 21, 2007 Posts: 34 Comments: 522
17. ChrisAnthemum
3:06 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
Yes, yes, count me in if I can possibly make it! Wish I could have this time! Would LOVE to meet such Wunderful people face to face!
Member Since: January 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5078
16. idzrvit
2:47 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
I'm 100% envious! It looks like all who attended had a great time! The photo with all of you on the beach is in my favorites. What a great candid shot! Next year, I plan on attending! Count me in!
Member Since: March 17, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
15. shoreacres
2:11 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
How clever! So that's what that remote control is for.... ;-)
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15292
14. SunsetSailor
2:07 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
Shore, that was my photo. I used a tripod and a remote control. If you look closely you can see it in my hand.
Member Since: June 22, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 2326
12. shoreacres
1:58 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
Laura, the photos are just wonderful - who took the one of the group? The Sidney Lanier bridge is gorgeous - although I expected it to be spanning the Chattahoochee River.

Keep me on the list. Traveling with OtherBug was great, but meeting some real WU friends would be even better!

Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15292
11. AUphoto
1:57 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
Ooohhh oooohhhh pick me, pick me to be on the mailing list! I want to go again and again and again!!!!!!
In all seriousness, leave bikervet at home and I would do it in a heartbeat! Bahahahahaha Ferol!
Thanks Laura and Dorothy for all your efforts to make this a success! We had a great time and look forward to the next one!
Member Since: June 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
10. teach50
1:52 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
I am so happy for all of you. What a great time you had. Thanks for sharing the photos.
Member Since: July 12, 2004 Posts: 11 Comments: 46
9. auburn (Mod)
12:35 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
WOW...this is great...I miss the WU get togethers for sure!...I am happy you guys had fun!
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 552 Comments: 52073
8. oneshotww
12:35 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
So glad you all had a great time! That whole area is so pretty and so full of photo ops, good to hear that the Weather Gods cooperated!

When I attended a WU meet up in FL a few years back, it was like meeting old friends. We had a blast.

We did a pancake breakfast at a State Park in the middle of Florida in early December. Everyone brought a toy with them that was donated to "Toys For Tots". It was a great way to meet friends and do some good at the same time.

Member Since: October 12, 2003 Posts: 322 Comments: 1810
7. Sharrose
12:07 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
Sounds just wonderful! Maybe next year the dentist will not be taking so much of my travel money. I am so glad to hear everyone had a beautiful time. The images are awesome! I hope to make it out for next year. ~Sharon
Member Since: February 21, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 1125
6. got2dogs
12:05 AM GMT on March 02, 2011
Please, please, please, put me on your list Laura! and, thanks! May not be able to make it, but we'll just have to see what the yr brings! Thanks again for putting all of this together for all of us to share in the joy!!
Member Since: December 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1393
5. Patrap
11:18 PM GMT on March 01, 2011

Wunderful time was had seems.

And great photo's as well.

The Best part of the wunderground is the sharing.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 452 Comments: 144123
4. Bogon
10:32 PM GMT on March 01, 2011
Hey, Sailor. :o)

I know of two communities on Weather Underground, the photographers and the bloggers. They overlap here and there. I upload photos, but that's mostly a sideline with me. I work harder on the blogging. During my time at WU I've made the (still strictly virtual) acquaintance of several bloggers, but I admit I'm mostly clueless on the photo gallery side. Maybe if I had twice as much time in each day I could keep up with both worlds.

I'm glad all of you had an opportunity to take your virtual community to the next level. Maybe someday I can find my way to a WU rendezvous. It would be great to put faces and voices together with the words and pictures.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 88 Comments: 5056
3. dixiedaughter
9:25 PM GMT on March 01, 2011
Oh Laura, this is perfect. What a wonderful job you have done on this blog. Thank you so much for everything you did to make it all happen. I encourage everyone to try to do a WU meet up. Dorothy described it as "forever friends" and that is how I feel as well. Lifetime memories too!
PS: Durward and I have already said we would not mind traveling to any part of the Country for another WU meet up. We could meet new friends and have a new place to travel.
Member Since: January 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 19
2. SunsetSailor
8:49 PM GMT on March 01, 2011
Skye, we've talked about changing the venue - East, West, Middle and South FL  as well as Jekyll to get more folks involved. I'm sure with some more of our WUG friends helping out we could make that happen.
Member Since: June 22, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 2326
1. Skyepony (Mod)
8:43 PM GMT on March 01, 2011
I really wished I could have made this. It was far & I have little kids that demand my focus. Maybe someday closer.

I'm amazed by the photos ya'll took. Wow.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 418 Comments: 43828

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