Hi everyone!! After the conference I went full force into my book tour and haven't stopped having fun since! Today I get to take a break, write a post, go to the gym, do some laundry, and try out a fancy restaurant in Seattle called Sutra! More on that later 🙂
It's really hard to put into words what I experienced at Vida Vegan Con. It went by in a blink of an eye. I didn't have a chance to meet half the bloggers that were there. I stuffed myself silly. I learned a great deal. I met some of my favorite vegan bloggers that inspire me daily. There are SO many people to list, including the ladies above (Amie, April, Amber, Megan, and Jill). JL, Gena, Lisa, Nicole, Kate, Dawn, Kristina, Sherri, Julie, Bryanna, Terry, Grant, the TX crew, Colleen, Elizabeth & Colleen from VegNews, and a whole ton of people I had already met before on various trips to the west coast.
It's so cool to meet someone that you feel like you've known forever for the first time in person. I stayed with one of my bfs and she witnessed my first interaction with a few people we bumped into at our first meal in Portland (at Homegrown Smoker). We literally squeeled, jumped up and down, hugging for what seemed like 10 minutes. She turned to me later and said "You've never met these people before?". She totally didn't understand the blogging community. She didn't get how we could be so friendly with people we'd never met before. But I had a feeling it would be this way. Leading up to the conference I wondered what it would be like. I wondered, will I actually like these people in person? Will their online personalities translate the same in person? I found that I loved most people even more, that many bloggers are very shy in real life, that just like any conference people break off into small groups and hang with those people most the time, and I'm not the only short vegan in the world. I was thrilled to see other petite people because you can never really tell how tall someone is from their blog LOL (I'm looking at you Terry Romero, you foxy babe)!
My notes are buried in the bottom of my suitcase and since I'm living out of it for over another week I do not want to disturb it's perfectly packed contents. Great swag bag with Food For Lovers queso, red rice, XOXO pepper grinder and more line the bottom of the case. So you want to know about the classes at the conference? As always there are too many great options to choose from and you can't go to everything. Photography workshop was up first. It was way too short. I didn't feel like I got enough information. The emphasis was on lighting, which I guess is everything in food photography, and I learned a lot about it and new tricks. I felt like I needed another hour of class to really come away feeling like I could take better food photos and how to use my camera better.
I then opted for the Chocolate cooking demo with Fran Costigan, because it was chocolate and I love watching other cooking instructors do their thing. This was my first time to meet Fran and we had a ball. After we got back from Whole Foods I just relaxed before lunch. After lunch I skipped the next session and chatted with people. I guess I wasn't feeling like doing classes so much. I was a bit overwhelmed by everything happening so fast, trying to sell my book to people, and being"on" the whole time. And I wanted to save some energy for the Galarama that night! Had a blast there, eating again, dancing and making a fun flipbook with Megan of Go Places.
photo courtesy of JlGoesVegan.com
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's talk of planting seeds of compassion was hands-down my favorite of the con. She is one of my favorite people in the world! I also really enjoyed the Writer's Block workshop with Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The whole class was full of good vibes and everyone had wonderful things to say about each other's written pieces we did in class. The Marketing panel was very awesome, and solidified many things I already do and don't do. I think working with and being friends with Stephanie of Vegan Mainstream has given me some expert marketing knowledge though there is always room to learn more. Jess Scone (one of the con's organizers) was adorable as ever moderating the panel and brought up great questions that must have been burning on everyone's minds.
The food was one of the best parts of the conference because it was all vegan and delicious. No wondering if you can eat something or asking a billion questions! Breakfast was a buffet of fruit, gluten-free pancakes, tofu scramble, biscuits and gravy, So Delicious yogurt, and more. I was so happy to see kale on the lunch buffet after all the Coconut Bliss I consumed. Sunday's lunch was super delish with tacos and raw chorizo, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. I could not believe how much food I ate.
The ladies behind the conference, Janessa, Jess, and Michele (pictured here with Leigh-Chantelle, Michele is hiding because she is deathly afraid of cameras), did an amazing job organizing the function and thinking of every little detail. Also want to thank the awesome sponsors that kept us fed and happy. It was a blast to attend and can't wait for the next one! Hey ladies, you should REALLY consider doing it in Austin next time. Great central location and wonderful little vegan city.
It was so awesome meeting all of you! If you look in the acknowledgements of Blissful Bites you will see that I thank everyone in the blogging community for your constant inspiration and love. After this conference I really understand how much you all mean to me. *group hug*
What was your favorite part of the conference?