I did a little party crashing last night! The Fitbloggin attendees were arriving in Portland on Thursday and as I saw more and more tweets and posts about everyone attending, I was wishing I had sucked it up and just paid to attend the conference. I’ve never been to a fitness conference and I’ve always wanted to. It just wasn’t in the cards for me this year. That didn’t mean that I couldn’t go and hang out though!
I already had plans to meet up with some Twitter friends once they checked in at The Nines. The hotel was right by my office so I met Suzanne (my virtual trainer) at Departure for happy hour. I loved the decor at The Nines! What a pretty, classy place. I think Michael and I are gonna have to go there for a date night one of these days.
Deb was supposed to meet up with us but we got our wires crossed and didn’t find each other until later. It was so great to finally meet everyone I’ve talked to online for years. It’s a strange thing to follow someone’s life online and then meet them in person. You already feel like best of friends. I was happy that it was fairly easy to transition into real life. I admit, I was a little nervous as I was walking to the hotel. It was like I was going on a blind date! I’m sure I’m not the only one that was nervous about the conference.
Suzanne was so down to earth and easy to talk to. We went down to Urban Farmer to get a drink, a Pinot Gris from King’s Estate. And then we ended up getting some happy hour munchies because the wine was going straight to our heads. We found a couch in the corner that was quiet and intimate so we could catch up. We talked about fitbloggin, weight training, my training plan with her, blogging, life…everything. It felt like old friends seeing each other.
Sadly, my photos from last night didn’t turn out great. I seriously wasn’t paying attention and just snapped a bunch of pictures here and there. So I apologize some are blurry. Urban Farmer is a VERY cool place. I loved how it was open to the skylight. The hotel rooms all opened up around it and you could see all the way to the top. As a result it was very bright and open.
Suzanne got the pork slider and the glazed beef meatballs off the happy hour menu.
I got the cheese plate (with a smokey Rogue bleu from Oregon) and a few other things I can’t remember now. 🙂 I also got the bangers and mash–a small chicken sausage with mashed potato puree. Everything was delicious. I’m ashamed to say that living in Portland for over a decade and working two blocks from The Nines, I’ve never once been inside or been to their restaurants until last night. What a shame! I cannot wait to go back!
Suzanne and I went up to Departure, the sky bar at The Nines, to see if Deb was up there still. Still didn’t see her! We took in the amazing views and had some water while we chatted some more.
At the mixer I got to meet so many people! I met Jasmine, another Portland blogger, and Kristina from SpaBettie. It’s an absolute shame that there are so many Portland bloggers that I haven’t already met in person.
I also met Erika (another Portlander) and Sarah (from Boston). It was such a treat to finally meet Sarah. She’s had a rough time with many, many knee injuries and surgeries. I kind of feel like we’re kindred spirits in the injury department. It was great seeing her up and moving around after her recent surgery. Sarah is another long time maintainer, 200 pounds! I am really proud of her for maintaining the weight loss through all the crazy knee stuff. That’s really hard.
Sarah and I chatted a little about how it would be nice if there was a panel of weight loss maintainers at Fitbloggin. I would love to participate on something like that and just be able to talk to other people who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off. Since I don’t actually have a ticket to the conference, I don’t know what’s on the agenda this weekend, but Sarah mentioned there was a weight “regain” panel.
Bummed the photo didn’t take! I was super excited to meet so many people. I felt like a fan girl at a Justin Bieber concert or something! So silly.
Anyways, I wasn’t able to participate in Fitbloggin this year but I got to meet a lot of people I wanted to meet. There were others I didn’t get to meet, and some hadn’t arrived in Portland yet. It was time for me to get out of there and let everyone enjoy their conference. I’m glad I stopped by! Maybe next year I will actually go!
I hope everyone here for the conference enjoys Portland. The weather is going to be perfect this weekend! Sunny and in the 90’s! I cannot wait to get out there and enjoy it.
QUESTION: Are you here for Fitbloggin? Tell me what you’ve done in Portland so far!