I signed up to attend Blog Sugar months ago. I thought it sounded like fun, and since it was fairly local for me, I really wanted to go. I tried to get both of my girls to go with me, but only Gennifer wanted to attend. So we bought our tickets, and watched as other blogger friends joined in and bought theirs too. Then we talked about it. Made arrangements with our out of town friends, and eagerly waited to September to arrive. It came. It went. It was everything and more than we thought it would be!!! My friends Holly and Tammy came from Arizona and Bakersfield, respectively, to attend with us. And friends, Deb and Linda, joined us too. Since Holly and Tammy were here in town for the weekend, we picked them up Sunday about noon, and then met up with Deb and Linda for lunch in Anaheim first. I didn't get pictures of this, but my daughter Gennifer did. It was also Holly's birthday, so thanks to Deb and Linda, we got to share a giant red velvet cream cheese cupcake after lunch that Holly graciously shared with us. Then we drove out to the conference in Westminster. When we arrived, the line was already forming out front. Bloggers we knew, but didn't. Ladies, whose lives had played out for us on the pages of their blogs, but most of whom we had never spoken to before. It was a very strange feeling. Gennifer was like a celebrity!! There were screeches, and hugs, and smiles, as all of these ladies revealed their identities to one another. And within minutes, it was as if we were all old friends. Here she is meeting some of her friends.
Many of these women are artisans who make and/or sell their wares on Etsy or Big Cartel. So seeing them dressed in their finery, with headbands, bags, pins, jewelry and scarves and such, that we were all familiar with, was so fun to see. I did bring my camera in with me. But only took a few photos. When viewing them later at home, late that night, I was so disappointed that they did not reflect the true beauty that we saw upon entering this venue. The event was held here.
We didn't JUST eat at the conference. We attended three different mini classes. There were several guest speakers, each giving a little class, that we could sign up for. Gennifer and I chose the same three. Our first one was a photography class. We learned a lot of great tips from this. After the first class, dinner was served. It was a chicken pasta primavera that was very delicious. Following dinner, there were two more classes. These were followed by a short video that featured the story of the charity that Blog Sugar had chosen to support. This was a charity to prevent and/or help children who have fallen victim to sex slave trafficking. Such a sad, horrible thing, that quite frankly, I didn't even realize was happening. There were various things being sold to bring awareness to this, and I purchased a shirt where the proceeds went to help this charity. Here is a picture of our friend Janna modeling one of the t-shirts.
The afternoon and evening progressed flawlessly, due to the incredible planning and orchestration of this event by Rachel Reeves from No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane
You just never know who is reading your blog. As we stood to leave that evening, I was approached with a tap on my shoulder by a young woman who said to me, "hello, you don't know me. I am a stalker. I read your blog every day. I have read every part of it. I love your blog. I want to have lunch with you, and go with you to find rooster dishes. I look for them everywhere I go. I saw you stand to leave, and I had to come and meet you." I glanced at her name tag, and I knew I didn't know who she was. But as she was speaking, I realized that she had to be the "Amber" that has left comments from time to time, but I was never able to reach her when I tried. She said she didn't currently have a blog, but was going to start one soon. I was so taken aback, and touched by the things this young lady had to say. I was speechless. Touched doesn't really even describe it. It was a powerful moment for me. I hope I am not getting her name wrong. Amber is what keeps coming to mind. She was a pretty lady, with one baby and another on the way. I hope she starts her blog soon so that I can continue to keep in touch with her. She made my day! You never know who you are speaking to when you hit publish. Who your words may touch.
So there you have it. Blog Sugar 2011, in a nutshell. In a word...magnificent. I will be there next year. I don't even mind being one of the "older" ladies.