“Bringing people together isn’t a luxury, but rather an essential component to our spiritual well-being.” – Russell Simmons
This quote pretty much sums up the past weekend for me. I need to connect with others who are like-minded and share (at least some of) the same values and ethics as me. It fuels, refreshes, inspires, regenerates me. That’s why conferences and vegan festivals are so important to me. Even though I’ve been at this vegan thing for almost 11 years and a vegan business owner for 8 of those, I always learn something new and enjoy my time connecting with old and new friends. I’m not gonna lie, it’s totally a social event where you smother people with hugs, eat your weight in treats, and take home not only tons of swag, but great memories and experiences.
In other words, Vida Vegan Con is pretty badass and we are privileged to be a part of it! Big thanks to the organizers, sponsors, attendees and volunteers!
I started my Friday with a workout at PlantFit with Ed Bauer. Someone had posted on the VVC FB page that they wanted to workout so I set up an early class for us before registration. Surprisingly 9 people came! It was a blast and I was pretty sore for a few days after.
I barely took any photos and didn’t open my computer up the whole weekend. It was relaxing to just check out and enjoy myself. Below are a few of my favorite authors; Robert Cheeke, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Amber Shea Crawley, and Dreena Burton. These were taken at the Galarama Saturday night, which raised $4,000 for the Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW! Just wow!
This year I went to the more deep discussion classes rather than the practical classes. It was interesting and I love hearing different perspectives on other social justice issues. The food was delish with many options for every dietary preference. I got to connect with old friends and meet bloggers I’ve only “met” online. So of my favorite bloggers were there and I didn’t even get a chance to meet everyone. The classes kept us busy! But there was a lot of fun things sprinkled throughout.
Portland has the best food in the country next to Los Angeles and New York. I went to Prasad (pictured above, my last dinner with Lisa, Heather, and Nicole) a number of times and it still remains one of my favorite places for nourishing and delicious meals. I wish we had one here!! Also tried Canteen and had one of the most amazing bowls of my life. The Southern bowl had bbq soy curls, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and quinoa topped with cashew ranch.
I really can’t wait for the next VVC and I have a feeling it will be in Austin sometime soon. Now I’m gearing up for my presentation at BlogHer Food Conference going on June 7-8th! Hope to see some of your there!
P.S. Before the con I spent quality time with my best friend who lives in Portland. She took me to Breitenbush hot springs and it was one of the most magical places I have ever been! I highly recommend you go for at least a day to dip in the springs.