BlogHer ’11 San Diego: Recap

Working titles for this post at various points during the weekend include:

I Knew It, Everyone Hates Me

Holy Shit I Won An iPad

Poor Choices In Footwear

Sparklecorn Really Is As Amazing As You’ve Heard

PLEASE LET ME HOLD YOUR BABY

I Knew It, Everyone Loves Me

I’m Never Drinking Again

A Surprising Number of Word Origins Involve Genitalia

Where Are The Damn Cheeseburgers?

I Missed My Kids

and

No One Was Mean To Me

The worst part of the whole weekend was getting there a full day later than most of my friends (they attended a special extra conference day on Thursday) so I missed out on some of the parties swag fun. But the travel gods smiled on me – at least on the way THERE – and I was checked in, freshened up, and hanging with my roommate Molly less than 30 minutes after we landed. WINNING.

Approximately 30 seconds after that, I won an iPad. Yeah, no kidding. There was a booth for RetailMeNot (which I used and love and recommended BEFORE they rocked my socks with the iPad) down at the exhibitor hall and they had one of those money blower tank things – like on Ellen, where you stuff cash in your bra – except you had to stuff Monopoly money through a slot into a little box. I was doing not a very good job and figured I’d be lucky to get $5 and a water bottle when the guy working the booth outside the tank made kind of a funny face and then my 30 seconds was over and when I stepped out he said “I think someone just won an iPad.” ME. ME IS THE ONE WHO WON AN IPAD.

(True fact: I have an iPad. The fate of this one is still up in the air. Go ahead and start sucking up, family members. Christmas is coming.)

Thursday night was a party sponsored by Clever Girls, one of the networks I belong to. I enjoyed the free champagne. I enjoyed it SO MUCH in fact, that I agreed to be in a contest that involved dancing to Smurf This Way (as in Walk This Way changed to be more smurf-friendly). I was smurfing terrible, but my team was awesome.

Me, Jill, Blair, Mae

On Friday I had scheduled myself pretty thin and ended up sort of alone for most of the morning. Ok, so not ALONE – it’s hard to be alone when you’re surrounded by 3,600 bloggers. But besides sitting with Suz in a session and hanging with Amy whenever I got a chance I spent a lot of time anxiously asking if anyone was sitting here and attempting to charm people who instantly forgot my name. I’m proud I put myself out there a little bit, but it took so much energy and courage I felt like I’d been hit by a bus by dinner. Although getting to meet Elmo (the real, no kidding Sesame Street Elmo with a hand up his butt, not some guy in an Elmo suit) and chatting with Morgan were high moments. Morgan wins at being able to talk to someone she barely knows for a full hour without once visibly rolling her eyes at my… uh… enthusiasm.

Sesame Street Session on being more fun on your BLAAAAAHG

My kid is carrying this photo around going "WOOOOOW". I swear to you he doesn't even know who Elmo IS but he can tell I'm special.

P.S. That is totally by baby-snatcher face. I TOLD you I wasn’t cool.

Friday night I went to some parties and drank a little too much and got a hideous (fake) tattoo that said “Bad Girl” and made a fool of myself in a pedicab by not recognizing a famous blogger and then I threw myself at two MORE famous bloggers who were incredibly kind and gracious despite my slightly tipsy state. I also met Maile, the creator of my gorgeous camera bag, during the ONLY MOMENT of the weekend when I wasn’t carrying it. I almost fell over dead and shouted at her about how I LOVED MY BAG and DID SHE SEE THE PICTURE OF MY BABY IN IT? IT WAS ON TWITTER! I TWEETED IT! DID SHE SEE IT?? DID SHE? REMEMBER????

And then, Sparklecorn.

I don't even LIKE sparkly vampires

That's the CAKE. It was 4 feet tall.

I ran up on stage to show off my skillz.You know the phrase "dance as if no one is watching"? THAT.

Me and my ridiculous eyeshadow when I accosted Amalah, my all time favorite blogger. She had a baby approximately 5 minutes ago and was too gorgeous and gracious for words.

And like Amy (who took all these pictures) said, this one sort of sums up the whole night:

That’s Kim, from Dirty Diaper Laundry. She was really fun. And very tolerant of me.

Despite a very very late night (especially considering the time difference) I made it to my 7 am workout with Bob Harper. My thighs are STILL burning. After his session and the Q&A during breakfast it was easy to see why he was picked as a trainer for the Biggest Loser. “Charming” isn’t nearly strong enough of a word – it was more like he glamored all of us into thinking “Wow, I DO want oatmeal for breakfast! And I want to run a 5k! And make better choices!”

Motivating us. With his HOTNESS.

The rest of Saturday was much more chill than Friday. I got my make-up done in the Daisy Cottage Cheese suite and she covered my dark circles with some sort of MAGIC that made everyone tell me I looked great. Then I got a massage and a coupon for a free automatic toilet bowl cleaner thing, both of which made me feel very relaxed. (Because obviously I spend a lot of time stressed about my dirty bowls)(I’m not even joking). I attended a session on being a professional blogger and pretended I was, indeed, a professional blogger. I don’t think I fooled anyone.

Then I went to the Queen Bee Handmade Market, which gets its own post later.

But the best part was dinner, arranged by Eileen, who planned ahead and made reservations for us at The Marble Room where we all got a chance to SIT DOWN and TALK and just really enjoy getting to know a few new people and finally connect with some long-time virtual friends.

The restaurant used to be a brothel. I heard the bathroom was decorated with naked ladies.

Bottom left: Diana and my lovely roommate Molly

By Saturday night it was all I could do to drag myself back home, put on a clean dress and make an appearance at the parties so I could a) see the people I hadn’t yet run into and b) say goodbye to all the women I’m going to miss the crap out of. Then I stuffed my extra suitcase with swag and collapsed into bed so I could get up for the Longest Travel Day Ever In The World. Stupid flight delays.

I think the biggest thing I learned at BlogHer is that no matter what you expect it to be, you will be wrong. In my high-anxiety moments I pictured myself alone in a corner, being totally snubbed by everyone I like online. In my most optimistic moments, I imagined I would be instantly and completely loved by every single person I saw and I would have sponsors throwing free things at me and my amazing blog. I think in the end I made a good impression on a lot of people, made a fool of myself in front of some people, and annoyed a few people. I met half a dozen Super Internet Famous Big Time Bloggers and they were all extremely nice. I met a few people I am shocked I wasn’t ALREADY internet friends with and a lot more I am hoping to bond with during the next 12 months.

Because I am for sure going back in 2012. Leg hugs for everyone. Even Darth Vader.

Just a TEENY TINY percentage of the women I met and hugged and miss now

Related posts:

Blogging
Second Time's A Charm
Hit Me With Your Best...Parenting Book

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27 Responses to “BlogHer ’11 San Diego: Recap”

  1. Cole says:

    So, SO jealous – you met Elmo and Cookie AND Abby Cadabby?! Mommy is so glad that next year BlogHer is closer to home – she won’t miss it again!

  2. Love you & adored meeting you! Still working through my 483 photos but loved stumbling upon the one of us from Thursday night. So glad we were able to hang out throughout the weekend.

  3. OMG, you are adorable. Your working titles cracked me the hell up. Also? You win at blogging, and being a blogher roomie. And from the way you described it, you win at Blogher, too. Way to work it your first year! I was one small cave away from being a hermit my first time at it. Because of all your awesomeness, I will not hate you too much for winning an iPad while I waited in a 45 minute line to have my missing badge reprinted.

  4. I am still in shock that we went to school in the same district and managed to end up sitting at the same table at Newbie Bfast. Then pretty much attending the same sessions and then shopping together at Queen Bee. I mean, small world right? Jealous that you already bought your ticket for next year, but I’m pretty sure I’m going. And pretty sure I’m going to accost you again. Yay!

  5. Oh and I totally accosted Amalah as well. I heart her.

  6. Shari says:

    So … you had a good time? ;)

  7. cakeburnette says:

    YOU MET THE BLOGGESS???? I AM SO JEALOUS. Were there metal chickens at the Queen Bee thing?

    • bebehblog says:

      Haha, no metal chickens but Sunday was my anniversary so I was GOING to ask Jenny to call E and wish him a happy metal chicken day, except I tried to explain The Bloggess to him and he didn’t understand. It was like trying to explain swimming to a cat – just not interested even though he’s totally missing out. Jenny was super nice, even though I fan-girl’d all over her.

      • cakeburnette says:

        Oh.my.word. I am almost hyperventilating over the coolness! And you are right–it would have been the PERFECT anniversary gift for E. If he had paid attention. I made my husband (also a military man) read about the GMC’s. He is horrified and is considering forbidding me from buying one for myself. I think the “pick your battles wisely” advice is the only thing stopping him.

  8. Jen says:

    my feed is filled with blogher recaps. this makes me want to go next year & i believe, i am going to work this into my calendar. there is so much for me to learn & so much to see & do. i need to feel the inspiration!

    so awesome you won an ipad. i will easily take it off your hands. :)

    so happy that your experience was everything you hoped for & more!

  9. Leah says:

    Damn, lady. I am exhausted and hung over just reading this! I am going to be a total philistine and admit I have no idea what this BlogHer and Sparklecorn stuff even is but it sounds like you had a fantastic time. Rock on!

    • E says:

      BlogHer – Spawned by satan to drive your husband and your relationship with him to an early grave. Also see Southwest Airlines Scheduling Department, babies who don’t take bottles, and Tim Gunn.

      Sparklecorn – ???

  10. Katie says:

    Dude. I should have hung out with you the entire time. We look & act the same. lol. I KNOW I made a COMPLETE FOOL out of myself when I saw Kelle Hampton with you in the hallway Friday night… But I had had some wine at Sparklecorn and don’t really remember.

    • bebehblog says:

      True fact: If you hadn’t introduced yourself to Kelle, I wouldn’t have recognized her. So thanks!

      We will definitely spend more quality time together next year. Or maybe sooner, if I ever get to take the Charleston vacation I’m dreaming about.

  11. I think this is my favorite Blogher11 recap, to date. I’m totally jealous.

  12. the grumbles says:

    it was great to meet you and hug your parts. i wish i had seen more of you in the total chaos. maybe that just means i need to go next year?

  13. MomEinstein says:

    I love this recap. You have some awesome pictures & the working titles cracked me up. I think the most impressive part of this is that you woke up and worked out with Bob after the madness that was Sparklecorn. I am sad that we didn’t connect, but there’s always next year!

  14. Wow! Looks awesome! I’m so glad you had such a good time. Can’t wait to hear more details!

  15. TMae says:

    Ah! So much fun! I can’t wait to read about the Queen Bee Market so I can be jealous all over again! (In a good way, not a ragey way, I promise!)

  16. Alena says:

    I love you to pieces. PIE-CES.

  17. Dude! You met the Bloggess AND Darth Vader?

    Jealous.

  18. andrea says:

    This sounds/looks like a riot. Good to see you with so many lovely ladies (:

  19. Veronica says:

    It was so great meeting you. The internet doesnt do that face justice. Next time please to be spending more time with Veronica please : )

  20. Bottled Up says:

    […] bebehblog on August 12, 2011 TweetEven though I had a wonderful time at BlogHer and am so glad I got to attend this year, leaving Caroline was a mistake. I shouldn’t have […]

  21. Julie S. says:

    Looks like a wonderful time! :)

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