(This is the article only - see previous post for pictures.)
The last four days in Antwerp were amazing. The work hard-play hard mentality is strong amongst myself and my colleagues and it's great. Thursday and Friday were IGLTA Board Meetings and Convention Planning Meetings and they went so well. Both IGLTA's future and our 2010 Convention in Antwerp are looking fabulous.
Thursday night was the official kickoff for Antwerp Pride. There was a reception held at the Art Museum which was absolutely incredible. A majestic building - the art is divine and it was great mingling with city media and event planners. We were all together anticipating the event. After that we were trammed to an outdoor area where there was music, champagne and new friends. We got to see a new (to me) area of Antwerp and saw even more of how beautiful the city is. After the shindig George and I returned to Twilight to chat with our friend Geoffrey.
Friday night we dined at the Radisson SAS and had a wonderful meal with the Vice Mayor. Following the meal was a sing-a-long to the movie Mamma Mia! You can imagine what a fun event that was. It came complete with candy microphones and party goods. We all sang and danced through the movie. After, we walked to Popi Cafe - a really fun, chic bar near the river. Tons of people were there for drinks and we all made new friends and got to know old ones better. The city is incredibly hospitable.
The late party of the night was a fetish party called "A Hard Night." After a couple cocktails a couple board members and myself thought it would be fun to check it out. After a long walk through the city (with pit stops at a couple other cool bars) we boarded a shuttle at The Boots (a huge leather/fetish club) and went. It was my first one and quite an interesting place. Definitely fun with my friends to check out new things.
Saturday is the main event of Pride - Navigaytion - which was spectacular. A couple non-IGLTA friends came down from Rotterdam to hang out. The event is part circuit party - part boat party - all fun. Basically you enter and there is ample boats to dance on as well as the shore. The boats come and go and you mingle and dance and drink. It was incredibly fun.
The after party was at Red & Blue - the big club that sponsors Navigaytion. If you haven't been to Antwerp and love dancing you're missing out. This club is one of the best in terms of design, music, decor - everything. It is also some of the best fun I've had in Antwerp hanging out with and making new friends. Definitely a must see.
The final night was a bit early - we were home at 4 - but we couldn't keep up with the Europeans after the work/party combo of the past few days. The whole week was amazing and we all left with the excitement that we'll be back next year during our convention. Until then, Antwerp!
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