Dinners Resume (Life before and after VVC2013)

This must be ‘life after Vida Vegan Con‘, because I have a sweet new coffee mug and some time on my hands, once more. It’s just….surreal, to be looking back, one week later. Did we really host a three-day party (er, educational and vegan food-packed extravaganza) for 300? A benefit soirée with Chimp Sanctuary NW for 400? Did I really reconnect with old friends and meet new ones from around the world? Are people seriously still in line to make giant tofu & seitan bacon club sandwiches? Really, is the internet a better place to be this week? What’s the daily special at White Owl?  A girl can dream. And contemplate. Collaborate. And start obsessing over a whole new round of Google docs.

After VVC2013: A return to Kruger’s on Hawthorne

After the first Con in 2011, I returned to my delusional day job and vowed that if I could help put together something so seemingly epic, I wouldn’t be in the same place next time around, grumbling and devoting so much time to things that didn’t matter to me. I’m definitely not, (of course, with more bills to pay than I’d ever say out loud), but gosh, is it swell to see VVC II complete and find myself considerably more on top of my own time, even if my long-running former gig was next door to the new Veggie Grill, but I digress. And focus.

Before VVC2013: Almost done with the jam-packed SWAG bags

Like I said, the weekend (and two weeks leading into) VVC II were surreal. With twice the happenings, Janessa, Michele and myself (and our amazing friends and special helpers!!) found ourselves running and learning, with rarely a moment to witness what was actually happening. It was unfolding and becoming its own place in time. I can only look back now and try to enjoy the madness. I (selfishly) wish I could rewind and watch it all in slow motion, sip my Prosecco, toast with friends I hadn’t seen in forever, and watch it all unfold.

Before VVC2013: Chipotle sausages and getting to know Tandem Treats

I can’t quite comment on the actual event or anything practical any more that that just yet, but here are some photos and quick thoughts from life immediately before and afterwards.

Before VVC2013: J. Legume made fabulous breakfast sandwiches happen, thanks to Jojo and the gift of Cheezly
Before VVC2013: Thursday morning AV checks and projector madness
The night before VVC2013: Thursday night Meet & Greet from White Owl Social Club’ corner booth
The morning of VVC2013: Realizing you need to rent a Zipvan for the aforementioned SWAG bags
After VVC2013: J. Legume takes a nap on the bus en route to an afterparty
After VVC2013: Breaking down the Galarama space (and vowing to hold it on a non-conference day)
After VVC2013: Stretching out the week afterwards
After VVC2013: One week later, we made dinner again
After VVC2013: A return to projects with the Oregon Kombucha kit (thanks to the VVC SWAG bag) with darjeeling-rooibus ambitions
After VVC 2013: Lupini beans prepped for marinade, over a month later

Inspiration remains the motivation.


  1. You did it! You all should be so proud of yourselves and what you have accomplished. Know that all of us drank in each delicious sip of what you’ve created and felt in awe of what you’ve done!

  2. I still cannot believe the Jess that got me started blogging years ago (did I ever tell you that? yep, you and Vegan Lunchbox were my motivation) is the Jess that — along with the amazing Janessa and Michelle — made all of our vegan blogger dreams come true with these two conferences that have left us with unforgettable memories. My VVC memories are some of the most cherished I have. Thanks soooooo much for making this happen TWICE (and thanks for the future VVCs that I’m sure will be equally as awesome).

    1. Bianca, you really made my day. That is so freaking nice and I am glad we are still connected in this crazy fun vegan blogworld! Thank you for being a part of VVC!!

  3. I totally regret shying away from this year, next event I’ll put on my courage coat! My spirits are lifted reading over recaps and seeing the love and community building this event generates, inspiring vegans to be healthy, inclusive and positive. It’s just the best thing going. You all rock!

  4. Oh my gosh! It’s such a spectacular accomplishment – just think how many lives you’ve enriched through all your hard work!!! I wish for you that you could also just attend the VVC and see how fun it is (when you’re not one of the organizers). I hope you managed to have some peeks of fun in the midst of the storm. That sweet picture of Julia Legume napping on the train says it all.

    Glad to hear that your energy level is balancing out and you’re back in the kitchen again! <3!!

  5. I think that even I am in awe of all that you spectacular three ladies + awesome helpers accomplished that weekend. To say that you affected everyone’s lives who attended would be an understatement. You’ve done an incredible job of it all!

    Also, Hey look! It’s me, Jeff and Erin’s butt! 😉

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