Friday, July 5, 2013

Fitbloggin in Portland - My Weekend Recap

It was a busy weekend. I can't even begin to do it all justice in a blog post. Thursday morning I left for Portland to attend Fitbloggin. My old friend Kris from college picked me up at PDX Portland International Airport. Kris and I served on our college student government together. I was Student Body President, he was my Comptroller. My first laugh of many this weekend came when Kris greeted me wearing the "Vote for Michelle for President" pin I gave out to my friends when I ran for office almost 20 years ago. Talk about blast from the past.


We picked up my pal and fellow blogger Beth and head up to Multnomah Falls. Oh my gosh. This was one of the best parts of the weekend for several reasons. First, it was a true Oregon experience. I go to a few of these weight loss, fitness, blog related conferences a year and I really only end up seeing a few blocks of the city surrounding the hotel. This was fresh air, nature, woods, green, my first real waterfall (actually saw several on the drive up), everything you think of when you think of the Pacific Northwest.




The other reason and the most meaningful to me was getting to hike up to the bridge with Kris. Kris and I were friends during a time I was my unhealthiest. Back then I would have sat at the base of the waterfall and watched (and cried a little) as my friends all ascended the hill. I would have talked my way out of climbing up by saying "my foot hurt," "I had a headache," or "I just didn't want to." Truth is just walking from the parking area to the falls base would have taken its toll on me and climbing the hill well that wouldn't have been an option. Thursday, I smiled and talked and laughed as I climbed up to get a closer view and feel the mist of the waterfall on my face. It was a Non-Scale Victory for sure!



 
We came down the hill and had lunch at the Lodge. I ate a delicious smoked salmon salad in the tree tops where I discovered at some point I was pooped on by a berry eating bird. They say being pooped on by a bird is lucky (almost the same as odds as winning the lottery.) Hmm next time I'll take the lottery win. I sponged the good luck off my thigh and we drove back into town to check out the International Rose Test Garden. I guess we were in luck because June is apparently the best month to view it. Gorgeous. So many varieties and colors, the scent of roses in the air. We picked out our favorites. Took lots of pictures.





After much stopping to smell the roses we drove over to check in the hotel. The Fitbloggin host hotel this year was The Nines. A great hotel, I loved the Tiffany box blue room accents, wonderful and helpful staff, I highly recommend if you are in Portland.


We said goodbye to Kris for the day and started to get ready for the Evening Welcome Mixer, Badge Decorating Party, Ice Breaker Extravaganza. We went down to registration and picked up our loaded swag bags including my new Reebok Crossfit Nano 2.0 groovy purple sneakers I am loving.



We decorated our name badges and did this fun riff on speed dating to meet some of the fellow bloggers. Where you sit across from another blogger for 3 minutes or so and answer a question and then move on to the next blogger. Fun stuff.

Photo courtesy of Carrie D Photography

Friday was my birthday though I must admit it didn't feel like my birthday without my Mum, a birthday candle wish or the oh so lovely tradition my sister has of calling me at the butt crack of dawn and singing "Happy Birthday."

Beth and I explored downtown Portland a bit, got some coffee and returned to the hotel to start our day of Fitbloggin' sessions and visit the exhibitors. Said hello to friends at Jumpsport Trampolines. This bad boy is on my wish list. I love forms of exercise that are fun. I am more apt to stick with it if I truly enjoy it.


I taste tested some of the fun new flavors of Blue Diamond Almonds. It was good to see so many California companies, nice to see my state representing. I got fitted for an Enell Sports Bra. I will be purchasing one of those. The girls weren't going anywhere. I might even start running. I loved these Hot Cereal Cups Kellogg's Special K Nourish just came out with. We got samples of Lenny & Larry's Fit Protein Brownies (my blogger pal Alyssa also hooked me up with one of their Protein Cookies) and I sampled the latest White Chocolate Raspberry Quest Protein Bar flavor. Nom. I love to try new stuff.

My favorite sessions of the day...


Motivating Your Community To Choose Healthy Lifestyles, Tackling the Taboo of Therapy – The importance of mental and emotional health and my blogger pal Nicole's session: Get Down to Business: Building your blog through organic SEO and image optimization. Lots of great info - you can read all about the sessions here. Remember last year when I liveblogged a session for a free ticket in. They did that again. So even if you didn't make it to Portland or couldn't decide between two sessions there are some nice summaries.

We made plans to have dinner at Habibi, a local Lebanese joint. Mmmm meat on a stick. We had a nice size group... thanks Nikki, Pepper, Megan, Beth and Kris for making my day special. We chit chatted till the restaurant closed, walked back to the hotel and called it a night.


It wouldn't be a Saturday in my world without a visit to my Farmer's Market. So we took off in the AM to head over to check out the Portland Farmer's Market on the Portland State University grounds. This Farmer's Market in Portland could swallow mine 8 times. Totally awesome! If I lived in Portland I would be there every weekend no fail.

 

We had "lunch" from all the samples we tried... meats, cheeses, nuts, veggies. I ate way too many cherries. Best I have ever eaten. I'm spoiled now... look at the size of these beauties. I wanted to fill my suitcase with artichokes but I could picture the TSA tearing apart my luggage thinking they were grenades knowing my luck.



See more pics at the Market's Flickr Page

Afternoon was back to the hotel for more Fitbloggin' sessions (blog business stuff mostly, an SEO session by Brandi Koskie of DietsInReview.com) and a Laughing Cow Cheese break where we got to try the newest flavor: Light White Cheddar. Yum! Have you tried the Cinnamon Cream Cheese yet? Sooo good with apple slices.



The evening activity was more yummy tidbits (they feed you at Fitbloggin'), a little dancing and then it was off to check out the famous Powell Books.We stayed till they closed and walked back to the hotel.

Sunday morning came too quickly. Kris picked me up at 7 AM and we head to his neighborhood for a lovely leisurely breakfast goodbye and I was homeward bound with some great memories made with old and new pals.

post signature

5 comments:

Patty said...

Looks like a beautiful place. I will have to add to my vacation places list. I have read a lot of posts from other bloggers about fitblogin as well. Sounds like a great time :)

Melting Mama said...

Yes. Ditto. All. Agreed. More?

Beeb Ashcroft said...

Great recap - love your photos!

Elaine M said...

Glad you enjoyed my city :). I have lived here in Portland for around 10 years and been up to Multnomah Falls many times but never even up to the bridge.

A couple of weekends ago, my partner, kids, dogs, and I made it to the top! 1.25 miles with 640' of elevation gain. And, then back down :).

A true NSV. I'm almost 2 months post-op from a vertical sleeve surgery and have been enjoying your blog since prior to my surgery.

Jessica Festa said...

I'm adding this place to my bucket list. Sounds like you had quite a tasty and scenic adventure!