What I Learned at BLEND [Part I]

May 8, 2012 · 58 comments

We’re going to talk about happy things today, okay?

We’re going to overlook the fact that my luggage is gone forever. We’re going to be happy about the fact that a shopping spree is in order, and we’re going to pretend it’s a fun shopping spree instead of a “replace-all-my-jewelry-and-makeup” shopping trip.

And by “we,” I guess I mean “I.” Perhaps it just makes me feel better pretending like everyone’s in this pickle with me.

Unlike many blogger weekend functions, the Blend Retreat wasn’t really an educational, “better your blog” shindig. It was about spending time with girls who come from different places, who are in different points in their lives, who all like the same things: food, fitness, blogging, photography, and friendship.

Jilliaaaan, you’re so pretty.

Our sponsors from the weekend were unreal. They provided us with so much swag (oh, how I miss mine) and some delicious meals.

It was so great to finally meet our awesome Chobani friends!

I sound like a low-budget commercial for some relief fund. But seriously! It was such a heartwarming weekend of support and fellowship. Spending a weekend with girls I’ve been talking to for years, meeting other like-minded girls who just “get it,” and doing all the things we love together in such a beautiful environment was even more incredible than I anticipated it would be.

Thanks for the photo, my dear Janetha  [courtesy of Ashley McLaughlin Photography (she rocks!)]

If you’ve been reading my beautiful roommate‘s blog, you’ve already seen a lot of what I’m about to show you. But she’s weird and slightly crazy. So obviously, you need to see my perspective of the trip.

This coming from the girl who left her bag on the streets of Richmond.

(No she won’t, because then I’ll have to talk about her snoring. That altitude’s a real kicker.)

After waking up at 4:45 to catch my flight to Dallas and then flying to Denver, I was spent.

Blend Lesson #1: On a travel day that starts at 4:45 a.m., there is no such thing as too much coffee.

And for Blend Lesson #2: Starbucks sandwiches are delicious, but will cost you your firstborn child.

Since I arrived in Denver around lunchtime, it was time to eat again. Thankfully, this girl was game for another meal. And a fro yo desert.

Blend Lesson #3: Blogger retreats are so much more amazing when you and your roommate have the 96% of the same personality.

I texted a photo of us with our salads to Jim. His predictable reply was “I see bread.” C’mon, Jim. We’re on vacay. And I didn’t eat the whole thing.

I did not send him photos of the fro yo. …And in our defense, it was TCBY Honey Vanilla greek yogurt fro yo. Which is delicious and completely guilt-free.

Until we added the Oreos and mini M&Ms.

Blend Lesson #4: An airport arrival when you get picked up by the LOVE bus. Dear Maddy and Alex, can I have that kind of service for every airport pickup?

We were ready for ‘em.

I’ll elaborate on our amazing experience with LOVE Grown Foods and Fresca Foods tomorrow. Our tour was incredible, and Maddy and Alex were fantastic hosts.

Also incredible? The views we had all weekend. Those Colorado mountains are a far cry from my flat life over here in Virginia Beach, that’s f’sho. This was my view from the front windows of Elby, the LOVE bus!

Don’t worry. There’s so much more to come.

Lots of love for these two girls.

The Xagave breakfast was unreal.

Blend Lesson #5: When friends spend too much time with you, they start mirroring your habits. Courtney took a spillski on our hike. Thankfully, she’s just got some scrapes and her dSLR is a-okay.

Blend Lesson #6: Fitness classes taught by your friends are so freakin’ fun!

Blend Lesson #7: The creepers will follow you to Colorado.

Geeez. Random creepers in photos once again. They liked Janetha, Lindsay, Court.

And FYI: Lindsay touched my butt.

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