The hardest part about going to BlogHer for me was not about what I was going to pack. Or how many shoes I was going to bring. The hardest part for me was getting on a plane without my children, praying I get home safely and in one piece.
So when my husband received this text message from me as I boarded my last flight home, I had a minor panic attack. Was it some sort of premonition?
Anyway, the good news is, I'm back from San Diego. And yes, I packed too many shoes. But! I did manage to wear at least three different outfits a day, making good use out of all the clothes I brought with me.
My experience this year was different from last year. I had expectations this year, whereas last year, since it was my first time at BlogHer, I didn't really know what to expect. Maybe it was a little more fun last year, but still, this year was worth it and I have no regrets. I think the fact that I was so far from my children made it that much harder for me to just relax and fully enjoy myself, you know?
The best part about blogging conferences is meeting up with old and new friends. It's the connections that make travelling all those miles well worth it. It's the late night discussions by the pool, or eating pizza in the lobby at 2 a.m. with other awesome bloggers. It's hanging out outside and having a heart-to-heart with a friend. It's telling strangers you're in San Diego for a blogging conference, yes, a blogging conference, um, YES, a blogging conference, that's right, with 3,000 other women, and a few men.
Blogging is a very personal thing, and we are all connected in some way, so to meet the people you read about daily is sort of like meeting your best friend and a celebrity at the same time. (Jim actually explained it to me like that, and I totally agree!) Blogging conferences are a reunion of sorts. The depressing part is when they end. It's sort of like going to that high school dance on Friday night, having a great time, and having fuzzy memories come Monday morning. It's already getting excited for the next time, even though it's an entire year away.
Of course, BlogHer is also about the fabulous parties on the roof-top patios of very cool hotels. It was kind of hectic going from party to party, but I am not complaining! Sitting in the VIP section with Mario Lopez, Danielle, Julie and Caitlin at a Softcups party was pretty hilarious. A period party with A.C. Slater? I mean, how can you not have fun?
Other highlights of San Diego included...
Getting the chance to sit down and talk to Britt for over an hour, sipping strawberry daiquiris in the sun. She's even more awesome to talk to in person. Equally awesome to talk to is Tanis.
Hanging out with Summer at the Clever Girls party, and walking all the way back to the hotel in our poor, tired feet. But laughing all the way...
Travelling to San Diego with the awesome girls from Mom Central Canada made my flight to San Diego go by super fast (well, that and the two Ativan I took) and attending the Canadian Embassy party—that was one of the best parties of the entire weekend. So many fabulous people all in one place!
I am so glad I spent more time with Jill this year. Last year we barely had time to say hello, but this year we finally had a chance to catch up at the Moms Fashion File party on Saturday night.
Attending Sparklecorn for the first time was very... sparkly. And fun.
And Stephanie and I hung out with Suzy from Hot Comes To Die Saturday afternoon. Did you know Suzy has been on both Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm? She's so cool.
Of course, I went to the annual Cheese-Burg-Her party. I had to see it to believe, but yes, it was really a party with... cheeseburgers. And fries. And drinks and music. It was very cool. Now I regret not eating a cheeseburger! But I did have some fries. Mmm... fries....
Danielle and I spent a lot of time hanging out in pedicabs that almost killed us, and at all the fabulous parties drinking really yummy drinks.
Late night gatherings in the hotel were also really fun...
And getting to hang out with and rock out with the gorgeous Amy...
I also enjoyed spending some time alone. It's always important, I think, to get off and do your own thing for a while. BlogHer can be very overwhelming!
I loved meeting Kat for the first time, and hanging out with these funny ladies a few hours after I arrived in San Diego.
I bumped into Amy and Ann walking from the convention centre to the hotel, and of course we had to take a picture, because Ann is one of my favourite bloggers ever.
I can't believe I didn't take any pictures with my roommates Lotus and Leslie! What's up with that? Anyway. BlogHer'11 was great. The Voices of the Year ceremony was incredible, and Bon (whom I love) made me cry, and Britt made me smile. Everyone did a fantastic job, as usual.
See you all in 2012... back in New York City, which is only a very SHORT plane ride from home!