I have roughly 809 things that I went to reflect on some more and share about this past weekend’s Vida Vegan Con. Overall, I’m so, so, so damn proud of the little vegan conference that could. This was a community effort and the internet really did come to life. Every single attendee, speaker, sponsor and assistant made this happen.
It seems like it was only last week, but behind the scenes, Janessa, Michele and myself first decided on the event space alone over a year ago, and holy crap, I love and respect these ladies. To think we almost scheduled the event for 100 bloggers at a boutique hotel! I seriously want to give every single participant a hug that I didn’t yet squeal with (and as many know, I’m not normally a hugger).
I’m still basking in the radiance of meeting hundreds of fellow bloggers, eerily sensing that Portland is now devoid of vegans (which is oddball), and just feeling more confident as a blogger. If you know me, you know that you will rarely even hear that word out of my mouth, let alone about myself. Between us and the internet, I was a little worried that the overly self-promotional bloggers would overwhelm me at Vida, and I’d return hating the internet, and it’s just not true! That didn’t happen!
As for the weekend itself, I’m still reflecting, but okay, we know that despite a grand buffet which resulted in a gigantic single line for food & flipbooks (I personally envisioned walk-up stations, silly me) by The Vegan Caterer, Sizzle Pie and Coconut Bliss, the Galarama had its messes, not enough dancing, awful sound and lack of staff, and we’ll address that all in our wrap up newsletter, including highlights of the weekend, photos and plans for 2013. And more!
I mean, I spent much of this past year supplying Louvella Heartichoke (aka my BFF, Alanna Maeve) with overpriced martinis in order to coerce her to share her vegan-orientated wit with the masses at that evening, and when the sound sucked, my heart broke.
Enough of that for now, because regardless of those specific woes, I adored our hostess, entertainment, room full of well-dressed vegans and the evening’s Silent Auction beneficiary, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. Thanks to Janessa’s inspiration, I learned what a refreshing surprise cucumber Dry soda plus Veev was, that Jessica’s sweet theme song will live in my head and heart forever, that Stephan is the cutest and needs play more Portland shows so I can stalk him and become his friend, and that as many people have pointed out, our DJ, The Jet Boat Adventurer, has the best name and should play all of my parties.
Again, more to come. This 4+ day extravaganza was just that, extravegantastic. I scroll through our Vida Vegan RSS Feed (HI GUYS!), and I’m still amazed.While I’m just beginning to slowly upload my own photos, you can check out the growing public Vida Vegan Flickr Pool here.
For now, it’s back to the “real” world, and time to accept that everyday does not have to include a few spoonfuls of Coconut Bliss. I’m trying to tell myself that White Russians with coconut creamer are not the new slipping pill (I kid, but really, what’s sleep?)
Last night, I was filling in a few close friends who popped in and out and of assistant gigs throughout the weekend about this entire experience. I raved and raved all about my warm and fuzzy, overprotective and proud feelings for every single attendee – from my favorite authors, to the people who started a blog yesterday – and the unbelievable, instant growth of this as a conference and a budding community (hello, awesome facebook group!), over a Lebanese dinner and classy beverages in Montavilla, and well, it’s time for a segway into some photos while I stop hugging the internet…