MeetUp

Crashin’ Fitbloggin’

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Suzanne got the pork slider and the glazed beef meatballs off the happy hour menu.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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(I snagged this from Kristina!)

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.

I got to meet Martinus from 300 Pounds and Running (and he looks fantastic!!!), Carla from Mizfit Online (we’ve tried a few times to meet the last time I was in Austin) and Emmie from Skinny Emmie.

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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!

Girl’s Pint Out

…And ironically, none of us girls actually ordered beer!

Saturday evening I headed out for the evening for my first official “Blogger Meetup”! I organized it awhile ago because I’ve been wanting to meet some of the Portland bloggers that I read every day and follow on Twitter.

The meetup was at one of my favorite Portland restaurants: The Sapphire Lounge. It’s in the trendy SE Hawthorne area and they have an excellent drink menu and really, really good food. The service has always been stellar at The Sapphire. All around it’s always been a fun experience going there.


It was a really nice Fall day in Portland. It sprinkled a little bit during the day but it wasn’t raining much, so that was good. I was glad I got to the Sapphire a little early because it got really crowded really fast!

The other Portland bloggers that joined me were Kalin from I’m an Eating Machine! and my friend Ember from Tigress Fitness. I’ve been wanting to meet Kalin in person for ages. She cracks me up. If you haven’t read her blog, I suggest you do. I suggest this post–it had my rolling on the floor. Kalin is Klassy.


The Sapphire is such a cool place with a retro vibe. It’s the perfect place for intimate conversations.

Ember is the friend that I helped with swimming earlier this year in preparation for her first sprint triathlon. I’m really glad that Ember and I are becoming friends. We ran in the same circles for years but never really “met” until recently.

I love meeting new people–especially when we have tons in common. I’ve successfully met and became friends with another blogger and had a great time! I’m glad this second attempt was also a success.

Did I mention that the drink menu at The Sapphire is extensive? It’s an impressive book of all sorts of drinks to appease anyone’s craving. Their specialties are in the whiskey or martini department but don’t let that deter you if that’s not your thing. They have excellent wine too.

This time I ended up ordering the Nina Simone: Pomegranate & Grand Marnier with something sparkly in it. Mmmm. I loved this drink! It has become my new favorite drink at the Sapphire.


We’d made it there for the happy hour menu but my favorite dish isn’t on the happy hour menu. I decided to go for it and just order it: the butternut squash enchilada.


I love this dish and someday I’d love to try and recreate it at home. I’ve ordered something similar at other restaurants but they were never as good as this one. Ember and Kalin both ordered the Meze plate from the happy hour menu: hummus, tzatziki and tapenade with warm pita and cucumber. It looked really tasty.

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We all got to know each other better and talked about running and triathlons, food and other things. Before we knew it, two and a half hours had passed. I’m so glad we all met!

QUESTION: Have you met any online people in real life?