Blogher '10: bravery and cheeseburgers

08/16/2010 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Bloggy, just plain fun, oh the places we go | 21 Comments
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So, any day that ends with cheeseburgers and cocktails has to have been an awesome one, right?

Yes.

And no.

I was so excited for my first (and only) day at BlogHer that I woke early and hit the subway in plenty of time to make it to midtown Manhattan for that morning’s welcome session.

Then I got on the wrong train. And ended up in New Jersey. And took three connections to get to the conference hotel because the line I needed was closed for the weekend.

And rolled in to the conference nearly THREE HOURS LATER.

I was devastated and so anxious that I burst into tears somewhere between Park Place Station and Times Square. It was awful.

Did I mention that my conference pass was being held in someone else’s name at the concierge desk? And that I was schlepping all of my luggage?

Thank goodness for Erin. She retrieved my pass, gave me my room key and helped me calm down.

When I finally collapsed into my chair for my first session of the day, I was a sweaty, teary mess with makeup collecting in pools on my face. But after some deep breathing, a nervous glance around the room and inordinate amounts of water, my brain landed from Mars and I relaxed.

The first session — a panel on privacy and boundaries in blogging — was my favorite. It featured Jenny Lawson from The Bloggess, Julie Marsh from The Mom Slant and Jory Des Jardins from BlogHer.

These ladies were funny and real and they totally kicked butt.

As soon as I set foot outside the room, I walked right into Kacia and Amanda, who were heading to lunch and invited me along. Thank. Goodness. There’s nothing scarier than being adrift in a sea of people and feeling totally alone. I didn’t have lunch plans or dinner plans that day. I just assumed I’d run into my hometown friends.

Ha. Haha.

I’d only met Kacia the night before and was struck immediately by her kindness. Especially when I shoved my camera in her face and asked her to take a photo of me and my PPD-mama friends at the meet-up arranged by Katherine Stone. I was thrilled to have lunch buddies and grateful for the invitation. Again: it’s surprisingly easy to feel alone among 2,000 people.

After scarfing hotel buffet fare, we ended up across the street at Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes.

(Amanda, me, Beth Anne, Kacia and Allison, whose camera took this shot.)

The day kept getting better. More sessions, a trip through the exhibition hall that somehow left me with three huge bags of swag, a chance encounter with Mrs. Potatohead.

I decided, late in the day, to sneak up to the room and call home. Big mistake.

When I heard Small Fry’s sweet little voice on the other end of the line, I lost it. I had been missing her more than I imagined, and in that moment, if you’d landed an airplane on top of the Hilton, I would gladly have climbed in and headed south.

I also was a little (A LOT) afraid of my plan-less evening. I mean, I had passes to the parties, but no one lined up to go with. Everyone at the conference was communicating through Twitter, and with no web access on my phone, I was waaaay out of the loop.

After a pep talk from my sweet husband, I hung up, tapped out a few text messages to some of my NC peeps and headed downstairs for the closing keynote.

About an hour later, when I’d given up hope of having company for dinner, a message from Fadra and Sue lit up my phone. Hallelujah.

Things got fun fast.

We went to the Volstead, where I gushed all over Maggie Mason and Laura Mayes and devoured an entire plate of mac-and-cheese skewers. Like at the State Fair, only without livestock or carnies.

(Sue and Fadra and mac-and-cheese heaven.)

I floated out of there on a cloud after meeting some of my blog heroes. I thought it couldn’t get any better until I ran into Gabrielle Blair in the hotel lobby on our way up to change for the night.

DONE.

I’d died and gone to bloggy heaven.

What’s left to do but party?

First: Sparklecorn. Then, Cheeseburgher. With a few diversions in between.

(Sparkly!)

(FINALLY meeting Mae and Mandy. Didn’t get nearly enough time with these ladies.)

(Tasted like peanut butter and jelly. And rainbows.)

(Beth Anne, me, Katherine and Casey.)

(Andrea and Erin getting their cheeseburger on.)

(Andrea, me, Sue and my gigantic arm.)

(Winding down. Cheeseburgers + couches = awesome party.)

If I had to whittle down my BlogHer experience into just a few words, I’d choose these:

Overwhelming.
FUN.
Exhausting.
Exhilarating.
Scary.

And totally wonderful. I conquered a few fears, met some amazing people, formed exciting new friendships, laughed my ass off and ate a lot of all-beef patties with ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles and cheese.

I’m so glad I got to go.

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21 Comments »

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  1. The someone’s name you can’t remember is Casey Mullins from Moosh in Indy. We sure look like we’re having fun!

    • Oh my goodness! I’m an idiot. Met Casey the previous night but totally didn’t recognize her! Editing now — thank you!!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Suzanne, Suzanne. Suzanne said: @teammandy YES! Just posted it. Still blogging about #blogher. ๐Ÿ™‚ http://bit.ly/cQd5Km […]

  3. I’m so going next year! I met a number of folks at Mom 2.0, which is smaller and more intimate. Im an extrovert but I don’t know if I could handle 2400 women!

    • Oh, I wish I could go to Mom 2.0! I’ve read such wonderful things about it, and lots of my favorite bloggers will be there. And, I agree: smaller and more intimate is definitely more my speed!

  4. What a fab time sis! Hmmm, cheeseburgers and a Charm City cake?! So proud of you for being brave and taking this leap. You rock! Ps. Love the dress and necklace…not what I remember you buying…hmmmmm. =)

    • Busted!

      Man, when I tried on that Gap dress again (on the day before I was to leave), I felt like a linebacker. So I made a hail-mary trip to Stein Mart and scored a new dress for $27!!

  5. I felt anxious for you while I was reading this. I am so proud of you for going by yourself and so glad that it all turned out great in the end! Plus you had cute outfits.

    • Thanks for the outfit approval! Color, color, color right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Loooove the Anthro necklace….so jealous. As soon as I saw Ree post on Pioneer Woman that she bought one while in NY, I scooted to Durham to see if I could find one, but came up empty. Lucky You!

    • I bought it in NYC! Maybe Ree and I were there at the same time. Who knows! I think it means that she and I are kindred spirits. Right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. CHECK HOW INTO THE PEP TALK I AM!

    Gold star for Casey! Most attentive at drunken pep talks for sure.

    • Totally! Also: love the group-hug stance.

  8. That sounds really scary and I kind of can’t breath just thinking of going to NYC without every second planned. I’m just that way. I’d applaud you if you could hear it. So glad for the good times you had!

    • Thanks, Korinne! Really appreciate your kind words!!

  9. You win for the most awesomeness packed into one day!! I am so glad you made it after your crazy morning! I had a BAHH-LASSST with you. Even in the WP geek lab ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. So sorry to hear your day started off with the wrong train mishap, and I know that I would have felt the exact same way, only not sure if I’d be able to recover!! So happy to read of your great time afterward and all the wonderful people you met!

  11. I got on the wrong train once in Japan and I nearly laid down and died from the panic.

    • Thank you SO much for stopping by my blog! And of course for letting me tackle-hug you after your panel at BlogHer.

      You just totally made my day. Twice!

  12. It was wonderful meeting/running into you! And wasn’t lunch AWESOME. *drools*

    • You too! Love your blog, by the way. So glad to know you!


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