Thursday, August 11, 2011

Traverse Trip: The Best Part of Blogher11

If there was anything I overestimated for Traverse trip, it was my own ability to keep up with posting on a daily basis as we traveled. The two previous road trips before we took off in our shiny blue chariot caught up with me and I found myself completely exhausted by the end of the day, unable to string together a coherent sentence.

Don't worry, there's still lots of stories to tell, just not all at once.

Blogher is exhilarating, a bit scary, and completely overwhelming. It feels like you are running from sessions to lunch, the expo hall, parties, and people are always wanting to talk to you. There is never enough time. You suddenly recognize bloggers that you have read forever, and to meet them in person is every bit as thrilling as discovering them online.

It's kind of surreal, really to see someone and know immediately who they are only because you read their blog.

Everyone goes into conferences with expectations. For some it's to learn more about their craft, for others it's to make connections with brands. My goal?

Have fun.

Probably that isn't the most business savvy way to approach Blogher, but I wanted, more than anything, to meet the people who I have read for the past five years. Sure, the sessions were good. Hillshire Farms put on an amazing food photography session that gave me lots of practical tips on how to shoot my food photos far better. Hopefully you will see an improvement in the coming months! I also really enjoyed a session about pitching articles to editors, which was really helpful. There was a session on online bullying, which I enjoyed as well. However, that wasn't the best part.

My favorite part about conferences is bonding over food with fellow bloggers. Sneaking off site to some local restaurant has turned out to be my favorite way to actually get some quiet time with people. Blogher was no different, as Erica Ehm invited a bunch of us to join her for breakfast in Mary Jane's, tucked just below the Hard Rock Hotel. About ten of us bonded over eggs benny, talking about our kids and how much fun we were having. (I haven't linked to everyone-so many!) Conference food isn't usually that good, but my eggs benny were delicious.

As I scrolled through all my photos once I got home, I realized that I only took photos of food. How did THAT happen?

Eggs Benny. YUM

Come to Mama, little Benny

Later that evening, we Canadians kidnapped Loralee (she came pretty willingly. I bribed her with Purdy's hedgehogs) and went out for dinner at Cafe Chloe.

Not just meeting Loralee but actually getting to spend time with her was the highlight of my Blogher. When I first began blogging about five years ago, I was a little wary of some of the more popular bloggers from reading posts about Blogher drama. Loralee was the kindest, most friendly person ever, and I soon fell in love with her blog. We have attempted in the last few years to meet up when I've been in her area, but somehow it has always fallen through. Not this time.

Before you know it, we were literally eating off each other's plates. I have discovered that she loves food just as much as I do, so we ordered two main dishes and then shared them, along with a really tasty tart with vanilla ice cream. We laughed more than I had in months, ate, and I marveled at how while we had only just met in real life, it felt like I'd known her forever.

She also shared how she accidentally ripped the entire door off the front of a gas pump. I remembered reading about it online, but it was far more hilarious to hear her tell the story in person.

Leaving Blogher and all the wonderful people I met was a bit of a let down, like post Christmas slump, until we arrived at a gas station just outside of LA.

Looks like Loralee isn't the only person who forgets

Apparently Loralee isn't the only person

With sore feet, a car full of stuff, and 4 tired women, we were on our way back to Vancouver in the Traverse. What else would we see? You'll have to come back to find out.

Coming up in the next week:

We visit Voodoo Doughnuts in downtown Portland, You'll see the stats from all three road trips I've taken this summer, and find out exactly what we ate while we traveled. There's also going to be a review of the Chevy Traverse since I spent six whole days in the car, and a review of the Toshiba NB555D that I had the chance to use on our trip.

Also, next Tuesday August 16th I'm hosting a Food Revolution Twitter party (#foodrevparty) about back to school lunches, AND there will be prizes here!

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