It’s taken me a full week to recover from my trip to Seattle. I was really shocked at how exhausted I was when I got home. Usually on a trip home from Morocco it takes me 3-4 days to start feeling normal again but I just couldn’t shake the sleepiness. My trip to Seattle was long and involved a stop in Phoenix both ways and silly me decided a red eye was the way to go. I know that many of you were waiting to hear about the conference and while I kept promising myself I would write, I just couldn’t drag myself to my computer. BUT, now it’s time. I didn’t take a lot of pictures with my good camera, instead I relied on my cell phone most of the time. There is a great gallery from Danielle Tsi of the “official” photos that is worth checking out.
The event started early Friday. I was not staying at the Fairmont Olympic as the rooms were all sold out when I was ready to book. I did stay nearby at a smaller hotel. I was happy with the location as it let me be close to the event and save about $100 a night! With only a few hours of sleep (remember that red eye idea), I showed up bright and early. I was immediately impressed by the great breakfast buffet that was spread out. Not only was it beautiful it was delicious. The first session was a presentation by Diane Cu and Todd Porter also known as the White on Rice couple. It was amazing. They are so gifted and have a connection that I rarely see in couples. It was a beautiful, inspiring and motivational presentation. I kept thinking how nice it was to see another bi-cultural couple and to relate to their discussion on how both of their histories are influenced in their cooking.
Lunch on the first day was equally as impressive as breakfast. There were a lot of options that were gorgeous and delicious. I stuffed myself. Then I took a nap. I know, I know I should have been in those sessions but I needed a nap bad, and I know I was much more happy and friendly after recharging. I made it back in time to hear Bryant Terry and Terry Walters talk about Great Food, Good Health, and Social Justice – very powerful and engaging.
Some more food was eaten and I was off to an offsite event for Silk. It was great to attend and try some Silk cocktails (I had the mocktails). The food was also great. I really hope to possibly work with Silk and share some of these great entertaining ideas with my readers. It’s often come up here and on my Facebook page that finding attractive and delicious drinks that are non-alcoholic is problematic. These were both beautiful and delicious.
Day two featured another great breakfast conversation with brands and bloggers. It was great to hear from brands and from two successful bloggers about monetization and ethics. I learned a few new things that I will be using as I go forward. I followed this with a session about storytelling through blogging.
One of my very favorite parts of the weekend was exploring Pike’s Place. I’ve been here once before when my sister lived in the area and as a market junkie it was great to poke around and eat!
Living in the Midwest, I’ve really missed seafood. I made it a point to eat as much as possible while in Seattle. I even thought about buying fish and sending it home. I saw salmon that was $4.99 a pound! The same kind here sells for about $18 a pound.
My favorite find was Pappardelle’s Pasta selling homemade pasta. It wasn’t just any pasta – these were special. I picked up lavender fettucini and Tunisian harissa linguine. I also chose a package of garlic basil gluten free pasta. It wasn’t until after buying these noodles I realized I would have to get them home. With the help of some bubble wrap they did survive in my suitcase.
The final large session was with Kim Sunee author of Trail of Crumbs, a memoir of her life. I enjoyed hearing about the process of writing a memoir and it offered some insight into what to share and what maybe not to share. This is an important issue in blogging.
Finally it was time for the closing party at Sodo Park (that’s not actually a park it’s an indoor venue). Sadly the food here didn’t quite stack up to the rest of the weekend. Overall, I had a good time in Seattle. I do wish the conference would have featured more advanced topics and that there would have been more forced interaction with new people. It often felt that everyone who knew someone wasn’t interested in talking to anyone else. Thankfully I did make a few new friends who were awesome!
I would like to also give a special thank you to Saffron Road Food for sponsoring me to attend this conference. It was great talking to new people and sharing a little about Saffron Road – it also makes for a great conversation starter!