This past weekend, I had the pleasure to attend Food Blog Forum in Orlando, Florida. It was the first time that I’d been to Disney without my husband and kids in 6 years.. I felt like I should of popped a bottle of Champagne and danced naked with Mickey but I wasn’t there for that so perhaps another time. But what I was there for was awesome. A chance to get together with liked minded individuals and talk about what we do best. Without getting strange looks of confusion or asked to explain what it is you do over and over again. Do you ever experience that?
When you say.. yea.. I’m a food blogger.. A What.??.
There was none of that here. What was there, were sessions about defining success by Jaden of Steamy Kitchen. A inspiring one by the White On Rice Couple about storytelling, photography, videos and finding what inspires you. This ended with a video they put together that was creative, soulful, and heartfelt. Truly all that is Diane Cu and Todd Porter. It also had me on the verge of tears and I had to remind myself there is no crying at Disney, just like I do my kids at the checkout line in the gift shops with $20 lollipops. That didn’t help but a tissue from the person seated next to me did..
She was crying too.
One of the best highlights was meeting some of those who you stalk or chat with via this great thing we call the Internet. Mainly, my new soul sistas for reals.. Cindy and Megan. I love them and have totally adopted them into the sista hood of the travelling Fried Chicken and Waffles.
We met up at the cocktail reception on the first day. There was an interesting (is the word that I’ll use) array of tiny food and an open bar of Beer, Wine and a fancy Mojito. After which we headed out to Epcot and saw the world via Disney.. Learned that Disney has kiosk in different countries (atleast that is my interpretation) where they recruit people to come and work in the US..All of which have to wear ridiculous outfits which may include but not be limited to flannel shirts and polyester coolots.
After the session the next day there was a dessert bar and gathering at a showing of Fantasmic that was just that.. Fantasmic. A few of us stayed behind and hung out at the Haunted House (that Cindy laughed the whole way through), and A Small World at the insistence of Vijay which is a super creepy ride. Then went on a search for the infamous Dole Whip that everyone was raving about.
Which can be found in Tinkerbell’s Nook. Take that exactly how your thinkin…
We hung out until 2 in the morning with some really cool folks..
The last day, there was a brunch at Whole Foods. With a table of little plates that had this stacked Pulled Pork on top of Jalapeno Cornbread action that seriously had it going on. Everyone had a chance to do a little more mingling. It was then I finally met Jessica who was one of the first followers of my blog and always comments. She is a super sweetheart and I’m so glad that I got to meet her in person and give her a hug. There is so much power in small acts of kindness, like commenting on a little blog post of a person who thinks no one will ever read it. This conference was awesome and can’t imagine what it took to get that show running.. Mad love to Julie and Lindsey for all their hard work. Wish there had been more time to talk with them.
Mad love also to Shari and Paula who I love.. they both greeted me with a hug every time I saw them.. I think that’s dope on so many levels.. Carolina Representin
I completely have a girl crush on Megan and also got to meet her too.. Although I didn’t get a chance to tell her how the fact that she was a Lumberjack is all kinds of greatness. Maybe next year.
My hope is that I can attend next year (and take more pictures) along with my soul sistas Megan and Cindy and totally totally Billy (my brutha from another mutha) can be right there with us in Asheville.. Fo Reals…Also to starting making videos of southern soul food cooking… all to the music of Jay-Z in the background..