Monday, June 30, 2014

Fitbloggin' Fourteen in photos

This will be my one and only Fitbloggin' recap post, and it will be pretty long.  There will be several other posts that tie into Fitbloggin' but will be more general interest. I hope you enjoy this even if you have no interest in attending Fitbloggin' yourself (in Denver next year). 

Fitbloggin' got off to a rocky start for me. I had a long series of frustrations as a result of trying to save money by taking public transportation instead of a cab from the airport.  I ended up abandoning that plan and taking one of those trolley tours instead. 

I didn't save money, but I did learn a lot about Savannah, which is a beautiful and historic city. The tour was a bit sanitized -- they talked about the importance of the cotton industry but never mentioned slavery, but it was interesting and I found myself repeating facts from it for the rest of the trip.  

I also saw this poster out the window right near my hotel, and it alerted me to the fact that we were only a few blocks from a drag club. Margo Porras, my Fitbloggin' roommate for the conference this year and last (and as long as she wants to room together), was the one who introduced me to Ru Paul's Drag Race, so I knew she would probably be game to see a show.  

Coco Montrese was a contestant on Ru Paul's Drag Race

I filed that information away, checked in, and got the first item on my Fitbloggin' to-do list: A selfie with Alan Ali, the Selfie King.


I spent the whole opening mixer catching up with people that I knew from my first Fitbloggin', like Christine  (DubyaWife), and there were lots of new people to meet, like the world's happiest baby girl.



The baby was a big hit with everyone. Here she is with Martinus, Heather, and her mother Liz (LutherLiz). 

My presentation was on the first day of the conference, and was liveblogged by GingerMantra. I attended a lot of great sessions. You can find all of the liveblogs and session descriptions at the Fitbloggin' website. 

There was a big lunch with RunDisney, but Margo wanted to venture out, and I was happy to join her. The only bad part was that we missed the Fitbloggin' 14 group picture.  

I didn't take a lot of pictures of Savannah, but here is one to give you a sense of the beauty of the city.


Margo and I had lunch at Gryphon and sat outdoors. Our waitress arrived to take our order just as the bells on the nearby church went off for their half-hour-long 1:00 song. Margo decided to capture this on video, and I got this picture that looks nothing like her because she isn't smiling. 


My lunch was beautiful. Because I was keeping my goals in mind, I only ate one of those goat cheese medallions.


Then I went back to catch some of the afternoon sessions. One of the highlights of the weekend was the Ignite keynote, which was a series of short, fun presentations.  They were on everything from "Screw Your Shoes" (about modifying a pair of old running shoes for icy winter running, to a presentation by Roni's mom with pictures of Roni through the years.   I volunteered for a prize competition where I had to recap one of the Ignite sessions from memory. It was Sarah's incomparable "How to Make a Proper Cup of Tea," and I flubbed it in a way that I hoped was funny. I came in third place and won a Soybu yoga wear certificate.

There was lots of time to hang out with friends, including first-place winner Heather.


I was wearing a sequin-front dress by Gwynnie Bee, and it was perfectly appropriate for the group excursion to the Club One Drag Cabaret.  I thought three or four people would go, but we ended up with a group of around twenty. We had read that the early show on Friday was pretty dead, but with us, the room was filled.




I had to go downstairs to get money from the ATM, since it was a cash-only bar, and I got a drink from this bartender. He specialized in drinks with Not Safe For Work names.  The caption on his tip jar is also NSFW.


We Fitbloggers were generous with our tips.  These photos show gorgeous redheaded MC Destiny Myklz getting some blogger love.


The performer below said, "Y'all are bloggers? Be sure to say that you saw Motion, that's M-O-T-I-O-N, and she was A-ma-Zing." 


She was too, but so were the other performers. This plus-sized queen, Nala Couture, leapt into the splits in four-inch heels later in the show.  She was, of course, not wearing this dress.


I saw Motion after the show and she was nice enough to pose for a picture with me. She looked much taller standing next to me.


I could not believe when the alarm went off for 6 a.m. yoga that we actually got up, but it was with Kia, and we knew it would be worth it. It was exactly what I needed to wake up.


Afterward I enjoyed some oatmeal and coffee.


I got this photo with a Ninja Kitchen vendor in the hopes of winning a blender, but no dice.


I went to some more great sessions, including Fitblogger Tough Love, which I'll talk more about later, and then it was time for Zumba with Trio Fitness (and friends).



The official Fitbloggin' photographer generously offered to take free head shots of any blogger who needed a new one.  I, of course, jumped in on this opportunity, as did many of the others. 



While I was waiting, I took a selfie to show one of my other Gwynnie Bee dresses. It was so nice to send back those clothes to have room in my suitcase for Fitbloggin' swag. 

At Saturday's reception, there was an effort to set some kind of selfie record by having as many different people as possible take pictures with vegan NFL player Arian Foster




Christine showed off her new DubyaWife tattoo. 

This year's reception was more low-key than last year's, which was nice -- my energy was starting to dip after too much fun and not enough sleep. There was a pro-blogger panel during the reception. I listened for a while but I felt like I had gotten a lot of the information in other sessions. I went out to the lobby for a while to chat with others who felt the same way, then went up to my room to recharge my phone's batteries and my own before heading out to The Olde Pink House for dinner. Everything on the menu looked great, but I didn't want to overload my calorie budget or my financial one, so I ordered a fried green tomatoes appetizer and some cheddar grits. The tomatoes were excellent, but the grits were just okay, so I left a lot of them. The restaurant itself was beautiful, so we toured a little and discovered that it was pouring down rain and we weren't going to be able to walk back to the hotel. We split a cab.


It was another early morning for the Fitbloggin' 5K.  I put on my #wycwyc temporary tattoo: "What you can, when you can." 


Jeff Galloway, who popularized run/walk intervals for marathon training, was on hand for photos with bloggers (mine was taken by his wife Barbara!)  Jeff actually led a run/walk group for the 5K with Alan Ali. I had planned to go with that group, but started with the runners and ended up doing less formal run/walk intervals with Mat


There was a long, sad breakfast where I put off saying goodbye to everyone as late as possible. I had a later flight so after a shower, I went to lunch at Vic's on the River with 5 other women.  I have to say that I think the food was better (and less expensive) than the Pink House's.  I had to try their version of fried green tomatoes, which were heartier and came served over a small drizzle of grits.  I only had two slices -- I gave the other to Erin (Girl Gone Veggie).  I got a grilled vegetable salad to balance out the fried stuff. 

After lunch I still had time to kill before my flight, so I did a little walking and took some more photos of Savannah. 








Then I hung out in the hotel bar with Christine and talked trisuits.  I shared a van to the airport with 5 other bloggers so I saved some money on a cab. There was the cutest Benefit Cosmetics vending machine at the airport. I'm glad I didn't see it on the way in. 


My flight was uneventful, but my husband and I tried two different restaurants on the way home from the airport but found that they were both closing just as we got there.  It was a Sunday night, so we decided to just go to Ann Arbor, where we knew we could find food.  We went to The Jolly Pumpkin, which has a gorgeous rooftop bar. We had a relaxed dinner and then drove home -- it was after 11:00 when I finally got into bed. I'm still not unpacked.


Goodnight, Fitbloggers! See you in Denver! 


11 comments:

  1. Awesome recap! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for reading! We missed you this year.

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  2. What a great recap! Thanks and it was great meeting you at FitBloggin'.
    Lena @Lean Lena

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  3. Loved the photo recap, very fun way to do it.

    Glad you had a good time.

    Yes, cabs are my best friend in many major cities. The only exception is Washington DC we have had very good luck with city buses there, as long as our lodgings are on the route.

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    1. I do well with trains, not so well with buses. I probably would have been okay on the bus, but the driver was surly and I didn't know where I was. I'm glad I took the trolley, though, as it really helped orient me.

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  4. That was just too much fun. It was great getting to experience Fitbloggin with you in Savannah! Is it too early to research ghost tours and drag clubs in Detroit? XOXO

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    1. I don't know if there are any drag clubs in Detroit, but there are plenty of casinos. Ghosts are too afraid to be in Detroit after dark, though.

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    2. Cleveland would be a good option for Fitbloggin, and there are several natives who could help scope out the sights. There are several airports within reasonable driving distance in addition to Cleveland's tiny one.

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  5. Wait? You're in Michigan or Toledo?? I love that you went to Jolly Pumpkin. Great recap and a lot of really fun pictures. Wish I'd made it to the drag show - looked like a blast.

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    1. I'm in Toledo, but the closest major airport is in Detroit. Ann Arbor is really not on our way home, but there was nothing between the airport and Toledo, and we were both getting hangry!

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07