Last month I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a road trip with some fellow bloggity-social-media-lovin’ girls to Chicago to attend the highly coveted BlogHer ’13 Conference.
BlogHer is a media platform that was created in 2005 to connect and showcase the talents of female bloggers of all backgrounds. The conference attracts women from across North America and brings the best of bloggers, speakers, brands and influencers under one roof for two days of networking, learning and more.
In for the ride were bloggers Marissa of Chic Darling, Nicole of Dainty Girl, Melissa of The Domestic Peach, and Marie of NatandMarie – all women who I feel lucky to have met and shared the trip with!
After picking up our two cars, which were kindly sponsored by Ford Canada, we were off on a 9-hour drive. As soon as I heard that new F150 pick up truck was up for grabs, I was on it. I love driving and I had never driven a vehicle of that size, so I was super excited.
I have to say, for three women to sit in the cab with purses, electronics and the need for leg room, it was quite a comfortable nine-hour drive. The vehicle was smooth, easy to handle, and not overbearing in any way… minus the 30minutes it took us to park this thing once we arrived at the hotel (that was the inexperience of the driver, not the fault of the truck! The built-in satellite radio kept our minds off of the long ride and more focused on the 90’s tunes we were singing to the entire way to Chicago.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day – I love long drives with a blue sky and great company. Upon arriving at the Hyatt McCormick in Chicago, we checked into our upgraded suite, which was refreshing after a long drive. The Hyatt chain of hotels is one of my favourites – luxury living that’s consistent across the locations (I’ve stayed in Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary).
While in Chicago we did a mix of conferencing and exploring. After hearing all the buzz about the conference expo, of course I had to check it out. So on the first night Marissa and I made our rounds. As soon as we registered we receive huge swag bags full of goodies to try out. As we walked through the expo we met brand reps and PR professionals from across North America who were excited to talk about their latest and greatest releases.
I was happy to see my friends at Broadway Nails there and made a stop to get an imPRESS manicure done. These press-on nails have saved me so many times over the past few weeks, I’ll be writing a post about the new Fall collection soon!
The rest of the conference was done quite well. There was a full two-day agenda with high profile keynote speakers, various workshops and writing labs and cocktails and parties all organized by BlogHer. Breakfast, lunch and coffee were all included and we decided to venture out.
Highlights of the trip included:
– Beating Taxi lines at the hotels by using the Hailo app
– Checking out a wonderful gifting suit by Vionic Shoes
– Learning that Nicole and Marie can sing – who knew?– Checking out the Bean and figuring out how to get good shots
– A delicious dinner at Smith & Wollensky
– Indulging in Garrett’s popcorn
– …and of course, hanging with these babes:
At the end of the weekend we had eaten all we could see and networked all we could network. I think we all walked away with more knowledge, motivation as bloggers, new friendships, and the memories of an awesome road trip!
At the end of it, we finished our trip with a breakfast in the hotel and a truck full of swag – that was just a bonus.
It was a wonderful time and I am looking forward to doing it again next year!
Special thanks go to some of our trip sponsors for helping us make this happen!
Hopefully I’ll see YOU at the next one.