So it’s been a week now since Fitbloggin kicked off, actually more than a week if you want to be technical. I attended the name badge mixer Thursday night where I hung out with David from http://keepitupdavid.com and Kenlie of http://alltheweigh.com and was feeling very shy and scared and out of my element! I was awkwardly looking for anyone to talk to when I joined their table. Plenty of people said hi, but due to my own closed offness I had not put myself out there to sit down with anyone up till that point… but I am getting ahead of myself.
Thursday I got into Portland with no real issues, the flight was fairly smooth, and I was super happy that I had not switched to the earlier flight, as my 9am flight arrived into Portland before the 6am flight did. My seat companions were two squirmy kids whose parents were in other rows, in front and to the side, I offered my seat but that would have left their other kids to be alone in the other seats. Anyway, the flight went by quick, I enjoyed Facebook chatting with Mer & Liz who were unfortunately on that delayed early Portland flight. It was kinda funny, I kept feeling like I was being followed… because I was, they landed about 10 minutes or so after I did.
I waited for Liz and Mer at the bag claim in Portland. I was in my Be Amazing shirt, which lists my webaddress on the back of the shirt, I figured perhaps this would make me identifiable to anyone else going to #Fitbloggin and might make someone more comfortable approaching me in the airport and IT WORKED! As I waited for them to arrive Brooke of http://brookenotonadiet.com came over and asked me if I was in Portland for Fitbloggin! How exciting!! My very first FitBloggin Friend!!!! I was stoked to say the least! We chatted and waited for Mer & Liz, turns out Brooke was on my flight, as far as I could tell she was the only fitblogger on my flight.
Mer and Liz were booked on a tour departing the hotel super soon, and they decided they were going to try and make their tour so we split from them and Brooke and I departed in true style on the Max! The Max is Portlands Light Rail line, just like we have here in Minneapolis. I don’t mind taking the train, infact I love taking the train. Yes it is a bit longer of a ride than the taxi, and yes I had luggage but it let me see more of the city than I would in a taxi. Brooke and I chatted a bit, I spotted a Target, as that is the thing to do when you live in TargetLand. I saw about 50 Starbucks locations between the airport and the hotel.
Once I was all checked in at the hotel we headed out in search of lunch. I was surprised to still be upright at this point, the time difference plus my work schedule was going to prove interesting throughout the entire conference. We wandered a few blocks out from the hotel and found The Veggie Grill Let me tell you I wish this place had locations in the midwest, because I would SO be eating there on a regular basis! It was SO GOOD! I got the Thai Chicken Wrap, ate half of it and was stuffed beyond belief! After food it was time to return to the hotel and veg out for a while. Brooke’s roommates arrived a while later and we parted ways… I attempted a nap for about 15 minutes, when that didn’t happen I set out on foot to explore Portland.
I didn’t take the map that I grabbed from the airport, I didn’t tell anyone where I was going I just went. I didn’t have a destination in mind I just wandered around. It was hot… very hot, after probably a mile or so I wished I hadn’t been in my black shirt and dark pants. Sweat was dripping off of me, it was gross. I wasn’t sure where I was in relation to the hotel, and I wasn’t really stressed either. It just was what it was. I knew I would find my way back eventually, and then… there it was… the glowing beacon that I would come to find out it seemed everyone at Fitbloggin would make a pilgrimage to… Voodoo Doughnut Having told my brother I would indulge in a bite of a voodoo doughnut for him for his birthday I joined the VERY long line outside the glistening golden building and waited. The smell waafting out of the building was amazing. I think I love the smell of them more than the taste. I didn’t know what I was going to get… but I wanted something traditional. I saw people with boxes and boxes of doughnuts leaving… and I knew that would spell trouble. Afterall I was here for a fitness/health living conference the last thing I was going to do was buy a box of doughnuts for myself… not to mind the fact that I had no idea where my hotel was from here. So I got my doughnut, the voodoo doll doughnut (Raised yeast doughnut filled with raspberry jelly topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake!) I got it to go, in a little paper bag and started to wander back towards the area I guessed my hotel was in. I was still too full from my lunch at the veggie grill to think about eating the little guy, (who was not little he was bigger than my hand!).
After a shower and putting my voodooman in the fridge I headed to the badge decorating and get to know you event and I had a great time. I enjoyed the speed dating event, where we got to know a little bit about other bloggers at the conference in quick 30 second intervals. We learned that lots of people were feeling scared, just like me, and lots of people were excited just as I was. It was pretty cool!
By about 9pm I was worn out. That is SO past my bedtime, I wanted to stay and dance and have fun making friends but it was time to turn in. My roomies, Liz and Mer had not arrived yet, but that was beyond my control, I let the front desk know when I checked in that they would be requiring keys and to just let them up. The hotel rocked (more on that later as well). Liz and Mer showed up just as my head was hitting the pillow. I chatted with Liz a bit before I went to sleep while Mer chose to go off and do her own things.
Now a few photos completely out of order! (Most are borrowed from people who remembered to take photos… I was a bad blogger)