Free shipping on orders over $99* (exclusions apply). Free promo scarf on Chisholm Trail Collection orders over $300while supplies last.

0

Your Cart is Empty

July 30, 2023 7 min read 14 Comments

Listen, we know it tends to cheapen the sentiment to say it year after year, but does it really, if we mean it from the bottom of our hearts? Because, y’all… this week was THE BEST MEETUP EVER!

Yes, it was hot – per usual. Yes, it was a zoo – per usual. But here’s what felt distinctly different this year: the energy. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how or what made it feel this way, but there was a palpable joy in the air. For four days, we existed in an orb radiating with gratitude and friendship and welcoming and warmth. The showroom walls seem to still be reverberating with the sound of laughter and outfit encouragements, of connections being made over common ground and new friendships being born, and of the sweetest symphony of southern accents and jingling jewelry.

We were able to hug familiar faces, greet some fresh faces for the first time, and put faces to names of gals we feel like we’ve known forever – perhaps the most notable and celebrated being the one and only Katie Frey! What a treat it was to see her smiling face and have her grace the Meetup for the first time; her joy and enthusiasm truly is infectious, and lemme tell ya, she didn’t miss a beat, not even on the dancefloor – we think she and Mitchell might be betrothed.

It's impossible to put an experience like this week into words, but we’re gonna try.

DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY

These gals must’ve misheard the old adage and thought “the early bird gets the wardrobe”! By the time we were ready to unlock the doors at a ripe 8 a.m., W. Grand Ave looked like a TSwift concert. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but we were both pleased and amused to find a gaggle of gals (and a couple guys) gathering outside the showroom, and – as has become the norm among this group – striking up new friendships while they waited. At last, the doors swung open and the shopping spree began, and can we tell you a secret? For us, the emotion we feel watching that initial surge, the seek-and-find for deals and steals and that one White Whale you hope will be under the tent, is akin to the excitement we feel watching our own kids hunt Easter Eggs. It’s a joy by proxy that makes all the hard work worth it.

Wednesday evening, we made our way over to Vallarta’s for a little music and Mexican food and let me tell ya, both did NOT disappoint! Our amazing Ulmer duo, LeAnn and Jo-El, better known in the biz as 2Country4Nashville, treated us to their talents as we enjoyed some dinner, drinks, and dancing. We swooned over LeAnn’s flute skills through their rendition of Amarillo by Morning and were charmed by Jo-El’s Willie Nelson impression through a verse of Luckenbach, Texas.

Oh yeah, and there was that little ol’ part where the sisters took to the mic to make this teeny tiny announcement: FT. WORTH GRAND OPENING PARTY WILL BE OCT. 5TH-7TH aaaand there might just be a private concert from the Cosa Salvaje herself, Ms. Tanya Tucker! More details to come, but mark your calendars and make your hotel reservations – it’ll be a whole weekend of fun.

DAY 2 – THURSDAY:

We kicked off the morning by getting our Health & Wellness on with a 7a.m. group walk around downtown Yoakum, and then once again, we were back at it bright and early at The Mothership. We had so many shoppers and so many sale racks that it was almost too much to shop in a single day, so we let the Wednesday shoppers sleep on their decisions, but gave them until about 10 a.m. until we started having to clear those HOLD racks, and boy, did they take that deadline seriously! It felt like Thursday was “Second Opinion” Day, and y’all, it was so heartwarming to be a fly on the wall and hear these newfound friends amp each other up and work through their decision-making together. (At one point, we overheard one Addict being critical of her own body and she was met with charming chastising, “We only do positive self-talk in this dressing room!”)

Because Thursday was Billy the Kid-themed, we had a private showing of the collection’s original inspo, Young Guns, over at the Grand Theater. First of all, if you haven’t seen that movie in a while, rest assured – it holds up! We LOLed multiple times. Second, not only was the Grand Theater the perfect place to escape the unbearable afternoon heat, they also had a life-size Barbie box you could hop in and take a picture, which of course, most of us couldn’t resist doing!

After the movie, it was on to pizza and BINGO, baby! We popped next door to Central Station where we were treated to a delicious buffet and open bar and then played six hilarious rounds of BILLY BINGO for some pretty awesome prizes – a gift card accompanied by socks or a scarf or a bag… “but wait, there’s more! A DDR STICKER!” Mitchell had a whole one-man show keeping us all in stitches as he called the games, and of course, Hedy made a whole presentation singing The Eyes of Texas when a Longhorn bag was won by an Aggie. Safe to say, Day 2 was a 10/10!

DAY 3 – FRIDAY:

Marathon shopping is a serious sport, so first things first, we had to stretch it on out! Our dear friend and physical therapist Whitney Boone guided us through some simple stretching and muscle movement and taught us a lot about why we hurt where we hurt, how to prevent it, and how to help it. Then, as a special treat for all those who made a move with us at 7 a.m., Audrey took the group on a rare tour of the shipping room – where the metaphorical sausage is really made! If you ever get a chance to check it out, you absolutely should, it will blow your mind.

Meanwhile at the Mothership, these DDR-clad cosmic cowgirls showed up looking red, white, and beautiful! Not only did they look beautiful, many of them did something even more beautiful: they donated blood as part of an MD Anderson drive in honor of our longtime friend and the gal who can be credited with the origins of the Addiction Meetup back in 2018, Ms. Beki Smit.

The day was full of more shopping, sale-seeking, and socializing, before everyone disbanded late afternoon to go get ready for everyone’s favorite evening activity: the BBQ and boot-scootin’! (Huge shoutout to the DDR “event elves” who did a stellar job making the Sweet Home Hall look out of this world – puns intended.) We enjoyed a yummy dinner catered by the consistently delicious Andy’s and then cut a rug to some superb country music by the talented family band, Southpaw.

And this year, we had an extra special treat: line dancing lessons! We figured it would be a fun way to get gals out on the floor, because even though we definitely had more this year than ever, the Addiction Meetup is still a girls’ trip for many – and there’s only so much Mitchell to go around! Let me tell ya, it’s a pretty stunning sight to see so many well-dressed women out there getting down and having a good time – in sync, no less! (And yes, Miss Katie and her sweet momma, Pam Frey, got in on the Cupid Shuffle!)

The sisters got up and said a few words, which always gets everybody a little choked up (including them), as they express heartfelt gratitude for every extraordinary thing this beautiful group of women has brought into their lives. They said some sweet thanks to the employees and let the cat out of the bag that the DDR crew will be taking a team trip to Lake Charles! (If you haven’t heard about their last trip, well, it was one for the books.) And of course, we had to give credit where it was due and bestow the annual awards for Best Dressed (Liz Lundemann, who we swear had 3 or 4 wardrobe changes a day), Best Turquoise (a hard tie between Miss Alice Fisher and Jo-El Ulmer, who have now made a pact to share statement pieces like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Squash Blossom), Farthest Traveled (this year, after some geographical confusion, it went to Idaho and the lovely Heather Burch), and a trio of awards for Best Vintage/Old School DDR to Kristen Brandt James for beautiful velvet tank, Paulette Taylor for an amazing vintage halter, and honorary Franz-family member the stunning LaDawna Pierce for a darling vintage Mexican Embroidery dress!

Oh, and everyone took a turn in the super-cool 360-degree photobooth, many of us for the first time, by the way, so those pics should be quite comical. We wrapped up with a sing-along rendition of Family Tradition and took our tired selves to bed.

DAY 4 – SATURDAY:

And alas, we’ve come to the end of the road. Because most of our Addiction gang is in from out of town, Saturday is a half day of events. Cheryl always does a jacket signing – and it should not go unacknowledged that she was in the boot room, Sharpie in hand, a full hour-and-a-half ahead of schedule so she could get to as many people as possible! Then we all gather in the showroom for a touching toast to this remarkable group and all the goodness and beauty they represent – as Mitchell eloquently put it, they are the thread that keeps DDR stitched together. Afterward, we file outside and do our best to follow line-up instructions for the group photo, which is getting so big that we might soon have to have a satellite snap it from space! And then, all the pretty party animals begin to hit the trail.

The final day of the Addiction Meetup is always bittersweet. On the one hand, everyone is exhausted, attendees and employees alike. On the other hand, it’s kinda like leaving summer camp; these people have been your best friends for the week and you’re not sure when you might see them again, but you really hope y’all stay in touch. It’s always our hope that everyone who makes the trek to spend Addiction week with us leaves with full hearts, fuller suitcases, and at least one new friend!

We don’t know about y’all, but as we settle into bed after the 5th Annual Addiction Meetup, our feet are throbbing but our hearts are swelling.

14 Responses

Patricia Burns
Patricia Burns

July 30, 2023

I agree with Cheryl!💙🐺
My heart is full with wonderful memories & laughs with all of the fabulous Sisters! And
Thank You to all of Double D for the love & hard work. The gathering was perfect🥳

Denise M Blanchard
Denise M Blanchard

July 30, 2023

What a fun week with old friends and new friends. On our way home, we were already making plans for next year! Thank you for a great week and for all the fine Texas hospitality! Until next time, we will be Double D-ing in style!

Pam Frey
Pam Frey

July 30, 2023

Our girl Katie had the time of her life and left Texas with a huge smile and a handsome boyfriend 😉 Ladies, you treated Katie like she is your own for that we are forever grateful ♥️🔹🐺🔹 #529 #530 Wolf Pack Proud ❣️

Dorie Tucker
Dorie Tucker

July 30, 2023

One of the best! I so enjoyed my time with everyone and found a really small world after all!

Suzanne Nichols
Suzanne Nichols

July 30, 2023

Wow, that looked like so much fun. I’ve been to your shop in Yoakum a couple of times. I’m more interested in what you’re going to do in the stock yards in Oct. I’m only about 30 miles from there. Please share more information about that asap.

Thanks,

Suzanne DDR enthusiast

Sarah Votaw
Sarah Votaw

July 30, 2023

Loved reading this so much! So beautifully written @halley! Y’all I can’t quit smiling, looking at pics and just in general I’m still buzzing from this meet-up! I love y’all so much and I know it takes a lot of work to pull these meetups off so, I want to sincerely thank the DDR family and everyone involved for making this meetup the BEST! Adding the blood drive event for Beki Smit was the cherry on top! Now go put your feet up and enjoy a little rest! Love, Sarah

LeAnne & Jo-el / 2Country4Nashville
LeAnne & Jo-el / 2Country4Nashville

July 30, 2023

We just had the best time with everyone!!! Can’t wait til October now!!!!! Thank you DDR for everything!!

Sandra Blandford
Sandra Blandford

July 31, 2023

The Line Dance instructor was Nancy Lee Cornelius of San Antonio, Texas area. She teaches both beginners and intermediate line dancing. I have danced with her for many years. You can find her on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/303847099700209/user/1837950895/?cft0=AZW-pTkvDW56k-ZcOh1G-PaPsvixzslOuiHNmeObjxkEO9IBQHhd-pbPUOdtfhVDwsdFJME9zYGj51JNqadI14go5twRH7e9VHp2OkzOHiMf9fth1n1NxKrcQPsPKlF9TkkTpujKGaPZ_E7jymrc90q7qhoSbiGYr6cdCeIvdM3A240Gh7odNH4YS185YW-Actk&tn=-UC%2CP-R

Sandra Blandford
Sandra Blandford

July 30, 2023

The Line Dance instructor was Nancy Lee Cornelius of San Antonio, Texas area. She teaches both beginners and intermediate line dancing. I have danced with her for many years. You can find her on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/303847099700209/user/1837950895/?cft0=AZW-pTkvDW56k-ZcOh1G-PaPsvixzslOuiHNmeObjxkEO9IBQHhd-pbPUOdtfhVDwsdFJME9zYGj51JNqadI14go5twRH7e9VHp2OkzOHiMf9fth1n1NxKrcQPsPKlF9TkkTpujKGaPZ_E7jymrc90q7qhoSbiGYr6cdCeIvdM3A240Gh7odNH4YS185YW-Actk&tn=-UC%2CP-R

Lavada Varner
Lavada Varner

July 30, 2023

Kicking myself for late arrival! October is make it up days!! Im in!! You gals are beyond awesome. At my age, friends are few, this matters!

Diana
Diana

July 30, 2023

My cheeks hurt from so much laughing and smiling. I didn’t know that was possible.

Beki Smit
Beki Smit

July 30, 2023

It was the Best One yet! Still chuckling to myself and wiggling with gratitude! Love you all! ♥️

Beki Smit
Beki Smit

July 30, 2023

It was the Best One yet! Still chuckling to myself and wiggling with gratitude! Love you all! ♥️

Cheryl McMullen
Cheryl McMullen

July 30, 2023

I’m still smiling!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.