When I first started blogging, I had no idea that it would go on to become a source of so many close friendships.
I mean… I expected to make connections with people, but not to the point where I’d have no problem travelling across the country (or to a different country) to see them, or where a day without constantly texting back and forth would leave me feeling like something was missing from my life. Truth be told, I never really expected to physically meet anyone at all — the concept just felt a little strange to me.
But then I took a chance and went to my first blogger conference, and now, at almost 3 years into this whole blogging thing, it’s hard to imagine life any other way. Blends (blogger + friend) simply became friends, and a blogger retreat in Colorado simply felt like a fun weekend with the girls…
Aaaaand that was just a really longwinded and semi-sappy way of saying that today’s post is going to be a Blend recap. I’ll stick to the main events today, and throw in some random tidbits in tomorrow’s Thinking Out Loud…
Like last year, I opted to head out a day early so that things wouldn’t feel so rushed. The day started with an early flight to Calgary, which was quite possibly one of the most uncomfortable flights I’ve ever been on. The flight itself was blissfully short (about 40 minutes), which is actually why it was so uncomfortable… The plane was small, and we spent 20 minutes going up, and then 20 minutes going down. No smooth sailing.
But my layover was nice and short and I even got to know one of the security officers better when I was “randomly” chosen to be frisked. I thought about playing the “at least buy me a drink” card, but I figured they probably get that a lot so I tried to keep my dignity in tact as best as one can while being publicly felt up by a stranger.
Insert one uneventful plane ride to Denver, one squealing airport reunion with Roomie #1 (Meghan) and Roomie #2 (Lucie), one way-too-long shuttle ride to Boulder, and we were finally there! With “there” being Chautauqua Park.
Now… this is where I completely failed at my blogger duties, as I forgot to actually take a picture of aforementioned park. And our cabin. And pretty much everything else. BUT! I did manage to snap a picture of this clever little rock that was hanging out by our cabin steps, so… there’s that.
Other than that, not much else happened on Thursday. Spent some time with the roomies, hit up Whole Foods to stock up on snacks, and mostly just hung out in our cabin until we were ready to pass out. The night ended with Roomie #3 (Carly) arriving at around 11 PM, and everyone passing out shortly after squealing and exchanging hugs.
Friday morning was relatively quiet. We ended up walking around Boulder a bit to kill time before the retreat officially kicked off; and you know what that means — SWAG BAGS!!!
[picture ninja’d from Heather]
I’m pretty sure that this year’s swag outdid even last year’s swag — there was so much of it that I had to leave a lot behind because I was afraid it wouldn’t fit into my suitcase. The sponsors were super generous, and we walked away with tonnes of snacks, clothes, and even a nice yoga mat… which I’m still not quite sure how I managed to squeeze into my smaller suitcase. Either way, the swag was epic, and there was even a good amount of it that I could enjoy despite my peanut allergies.
After registration, I think we mostly just hung around in our cabin and chatted while slowly getting ready for cocktails and dinner. We made a pretty good looking bunch, no?
Once again, it was an awesome evening filled with food, friends, and fun. Even though it was a bit chilly. And slightly harder than it was last year to walk around and socialize since there wasn’t much space to move around.
Saturday started bright and early with a bootcamp sponsored by Gnarly Nutrition. I opted to sit that one out, but word on the street (read: at breakfast) was that it kicked people’s butts. Breakfast was a good one (sponsored by Love Grown, Justin’s [where THE Justin actually made an appearance], and Flapjacked), and then it was time to
scale a mountain go hiking with Detour!
You guys know the mountains are my happy place, so this is one part of the trip that I looked forward to the most and it definitely didn’t disappoint…
After the hike, I enjoyed a little downtime while my roomies hit up the farmers’ market in Boulder. The weather was turning a little janky, so we decided to put together a spread and enjoy a night in while playing Cards Against Humanity.
Sunday was a sad day because it was time to say goodbye, and it was made even sadder by the fact that I had to do it super early. I booked an 11:30 AM flight to avoid having to hang around till 9 PM, so I left Chautauqua at around 8 and missed the yoga session, breakfast, and closing ceremony. Womp, womp. Pair that with a crazy turbulent flight, and all I wanted to do was face plant on my couch by the time I got home. So that’s what I did.
And that pretty much sums it all up! Blend was a tonne of fun this year, and I loved being able to see old friends while meeting some new faces. There definitely wasn’t enough time to see ALL the people, and do ALL the things, but hey… there’s always next year 😉
Have you ever met another blogger in person?
Were you at Blend this past weekend?!? 😀
Are you planning on going to Blend next year?