As some of you already know, I went to the BlogHer conference with my friend and fellow blogger Lisa of Grandma’s Briefs a couple of weeks ago.
I first heard of BlogHer a few years ago, shortly after I started following Dooce, Fussy and Finslippy, plus a bunch of other blogs that I’ve lost track of since then. One August, this weird thing happened where they all got together and had fun and drank and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company at BlogHer, and I was all “What the fuck, y’all? Why didn’t you invite me?” This was, of course, a stupid thought. I don’t personally know any of those women, even though I feel like I do because I read their blogs.
I’ve wanted to go ever since, so I could be part of the club.
I’ve been blogging with limited success – for I am lazy and unwilling to seek out creative revenue streams – since 2003. Lisa has been blogging, with much more success because she is awesome, for two years. She wanted to go to BlogHer to find ways to expand her online presence. I wanted to go to BlogHer to see if I could meet The Bloggess. Thus, a plan was born.
(I also wanted to meet this awesome lady but she couldn’t make it.)
So Lisa and I packed our bags and went to San Diego for a few days.
Can I just tell you guys something? I’d never been to San Diego before. I’ve been to Los Angeles and been stuck in traffic there for hours just because I wanted to see the damn Hollywood sign, but I’d never been to San Diego. After four days there, I want to pack up my whole family and move to California. I don’t care if San Diego is going to be the first place to fall into the ocean next year while John Cusack’s charging across the world to rescue his kids from certain demise, I still want to live there. I have never, never in my life felt such a strong pull toward a place. People, yes. Place, no.
Fortunately, my dad has a friend who’s selling a beautiful house in San Diego. So we’ll be moving there as soon as I come up with $700,000 and also, like, a job or something.
Anyway, this was the view from our hotel window:
The conference was … big. There were 3,600 people there, and there’s pretty much no way I would have enjoyed any of it if I hadn’t had a friend there with me. Most of the time it was fine, but occasionally I felt overwhelmed and wanted to go back to the hotel room and crawl under the covers. (I did that once.)
We went to a couple of parties, and I achieved my goal of meeting Jenny, of The Bloggess, and she gave me a sticker. At the notorious Sparklecorn party, I met Amy of Amalah and I’m pretty sure I made a total ass of myself, as I had consumed six free drink tickets’ worth of chardonnay by then. Then I had some of this cake:
I know, right? That is actually a cake.
I went to three informational sessions while at BlogHer, one of which was particularly pertinent to my blog, and I spent a bunch of time wandering around the Expo Hall collecting free samples of random stuff. Fortunately, Lisa told me to bring an extra bag for all the swag, and most of the samples made it home unharmed. (Except the cotton candy. That shit doesn’t travel well.)
We made a point to leave the hotel a couple of times and explore a little bit of San Diego, because what’s the point of going to California if you don’t take a minute to stick your feet in the ocean?
We ate fresh seafood at a restaurant on the water:
We rode a ferry:
We saw some fireworks:
We stuck our feet in the ocean:
Throughout the touristy stuff, I texted Rob pictures like this one:
And this one:
And he would occasionally respond with, “You ARE going to come home from there, right?”
I did come home, of course. I am not dangling my feet off the end of a pier while typing this post. But maybe, just maybe, I’m plotting my return to San Diego.
So, now that I’ve been to BlogHer, do I feel like I’m part of the club?
Yes and no.
I didn’t make a bunch of meaningful new friendships. I did learn a couple of things. I did collect a crapload of business cards that I still haven’t sorted through. I didn’t always feel comfortable. I did give my hastily designed business card to two of my favorite bloggers. I did not hope they would visit my site and tell all their readers how wonderful my blog is. (That one’s a lie.) I did not shed my shyness and dance with abandon at Sparklecorn. I did feel incredibly stupid more than once. I did see my first flashmob. I did decide I would like to attend BlogHer again someday.
I did love San Diego.
I do want to go back.
I want to show my family this:
And maybe this:
I want to convince my husband that San Diego is the place to be. (And then convince the rest of our family, too, because babysitters ain’t cheap.) And maybe once he’s on board, we can find, like, jobs and stuff.