We got back from our trip to BlogHer and our Tour d’East Coast two weeks ago now. It was an exciting adventure and like any fabulous vacation, I am glad to be home, sweet home, savoring the memories. The BlogHer conference was a letdown this year; I am very disappointed to say. It was disorganized. It was chaotic. It was crowded. It was stressful.
1. They had over 5,000 attendees and that was way too many! The New York City Hilton was completely unprepared and unable to accommodate this many people. I was at BlogHer two years ago, with 2,000 less attendees and the cracks were beginning to show back then. Thankfully, we did not stay at the Hilton. I understand there was a 15 minute wait (and more) for the elevators during peak times. Yikes!
2. There was a stampede of pushing and shoving at the Martha Stewart lunch the first day. People were stuck on the escalators and could not get off. There were so many people on the upper level, where the food was served. It did not feel safe at all. I nearly had an anxiety attack and I was not the only one. I did not talk to anyone that had a different experience that day.
Here is the only surviving photo of the Martha Stewart luncheon. Somehow, I managed to delete every single, last photo from my DSLR camera before it backed up to the Cloud or my computer. EVERY ONE!
But, THANKFULLY, my friend Danielle of SimmWorks Family Blog saved the day and sent me some of her. I am totally appreciative! Thank you! Thank you!
Here is Martha tweeting about us. 🙂
3. At the Katie Couric luncheon the following day, I was looking for a place to sit, but every single table I went to sit down at, one person was “reserving” the nine other chairs at the table. I finally sat down and held my ground at an EMPTY chair. I was tired of caring if people had saved seats for people that had not bothered to plan ahead to get a seat before I got there. I think saving a seat for one or two people is fine. More than two people? That really is unfair. This particular person I have been following on Twitter for some time now and she is a lovely, genuine, sweet person. I think the crowds brought out the worst in a lot of people. It was tense. Once her friends arrived, however, I felt like we left on good terms. (By the way, I still think this person is a very lovely person!)
I am maybe ten feet away from Katie Couric. I thought she was great! She has some serious arm muscles too! Man!
4. The expo was so disjointed. Rooms with brands here. Rooms with brands there. It was completely different from last year. It was difficult to locate the brands I wanted to connect with. There was not a flow. Also, from what I understand, there was some bad behavior from other bloggers that completely had some brands totally turned off. I found that some of the brands were a little more willing to give away swag than to discuss relationships. Last year seemed a lot easier to make connections.
1. I got to hang out with some of my very favorite people and meet some new friends along the way! It was wonderful to spend time with some of my friends I had met years ago and we get to see each other once a year at the conference.
2. I went to a lot of really fun parties with a lot of fabulous people. It was so much fun! I have to blog about the Harley Davidson party, the Land’s End party, the California Dreaming party and The Odd Life of Timothy Green premiere that Allie and Mr. Bear went to. There were so many incredible experiences, they all deserve their own post!
3. New York City was fantastic, as always! The city was bustling and full of energy all day and night. It was awesome to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, just the three of us. Mr. Bear and Allie spent the two days I was at the conference roaming around the city. They went to a tour of the NBC studio, to the Empire State Building, to the Natural History Museum and wandered aimlessly through Central Park. Allie had a blast playing on the playground, while Mr. Bear had a leisure chat with the other dads with their kiddos. The last day in New York, we took in a Broadway show together. I have always wanted to do this! Mary Poppins was a great show. I have so many posts to write! We had a blast.
4. This was the first time Allie was in New York City with us, outside the womb. (See my post about this!) It was exciting to be in Times Square with her. She was so in awe of everything going on around her.
Allie and Crystal—This is the bear she convinced Mr. Bear she MUST have because all of her stuffed animals were at home. In her defense, Crystal went everywhere we did.