My very first blogger’s conference turned out to be a series of small serendipities in spectacular fashion. San Diego was the setting, and BlogHer ’11 the stage. It started with my flight to San Diego, where as I sat in my assigned seat flipping through the pages of the conference agenda, the young woman next to me asked if it was my first BlogHer. She was on her way there too, and was one of the presenters. In fact, her picture was in the brochure, as the woman on the other side of me pointed out. This is how I came to meet Jenny Eckton, who I would see many times again throughout the weekend, even though there were nearly 4,000 women in attendance at the conference. Jenny has a great vibe about her and we became instant friends, sharing a cab to our hotel.
After dumping my bags in my room, I caught up with Emily Vanek at the very end of a Meet & Greet at Syrah Wine Parlor in the Gaslamp District. I was introduced to spark plug, Rachel Ferrucci who literally stops traffic. As several of us were leaving the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain where we all indulged in some to-die-for ice cream sundaes, a car stops and a woman yells from the window, “RACHEL!!!” It was Sugar Jones. Whom I stalk on Twitter. Only sort of kidding. We all piled into her car and our group grew by three. What a fun night!
The next evening after a full day of business, I met up with several Denver bloggers and a few more people I follow on Twitter and would meet face-to-face for the first time: the big sister I never had, Carissa Rogers and my Tucson buddy, Becca. Despite random meetings throughout the weekend, I wish I had seen more of them both.
Later in the evening I have Carissa to thank for showing me to the special room set-up to meet with Jenny Lawson, THE Bloggess!
What an honor. And, I have another amazing blogger to thank for snapping my picture with Jenny with her iPhone when my Evo wasn’t cooperating – Cecily. Cecily was taking my picture with the Bloggess! Couldn’t get more surreal than that.
On Friday afternoon I had a very special lunch with TocaBoca.com at Lou & Mickey’s. Great food. There were about 35 or so bloggers there. I thought the blogger sitting across from me looked familiar as we started chatting. Could she be the speaker I was looking forward to meeting at my next session? Sure enough, it was Nirasha Jaganath, better known as Mommy Niri. We’ve had conversations on Twitter and now here we were, face-to-face. So many of my friends have gushed about how sweet and smart Niri is and I couldn’t agree more.
Friday only got better when that night I attended a private party at the posh San Diego nightclub, Stingaree, and ran into another blogger I admire and had been trying to meet up with since arriving in San Diego, Liz Peterson, who is hysterical! If you aren’t following her on Twitter, you should be. She’s @MintCool. Will someday ask her how she came by that name.
Saturday morning started off with a slow roll out of bed as I missed a workout session with Bob Harper of NBC’s Biggest Loser, but caught up with him afterwards at a breakfast Q&A on healthy eating and exercise. I don’t really remember much of what we talked about that morning, but do remember how good he smelled…
I couldn’t have asked for a better first conference to attend. I learned some great new information, but more importantly to me, I met some fabulous people that I hope to stay connected with for a long time to come – both professionally and personally.