After my day of John Cougar Mellencamp moments in Virginia, I kissed my family goodbye, left them with my in-laws and boarded an Amtrak train headed for New York City. After the five hour, sublime ride in the “quiet car” where no cell phones or loud talking were permitted, I emerged from Penn Station amidst the humid hustle & bustle of one of the most eclectic, electric cities in the world, sweaty and filled with nervous butterflies.
I then hauled my 65 lb suitcase to the taxi stand and made my way via cab to the Hilton New York, site of the biggest estrogen-inspired popularity contest on earth, aka BlogHer ’10. (I hope that doesn’t come across negatively–nothing wrong with popularity contests in my book).
Feeling confidant and ready to rock the networking thing, I handed out my brand spanking new business card to the first woman I met in the hotel check-in line. Inner Monolgue: I got this! Bring it on, BlogHer. Though I’m sure my glossy biz card was left on the armoire of her hotel, along with the 30lbs of pointless swag she decided to leave for housekeeping, I had my A game and was ready for the weekend.
My swagger received a slight blow a few minutes later when I stood at my hotel room door, frustrated that it wouldn’t open, only to realize that I had been trying to open it with the mini-bar key rather than the standard issue card key nestled tightly in my left hand. Be-rilliant start to the weekend!
I could bore you with deets of the conference sessions and my meanderings of the Expo floor, but I won’t. Instead I’ll highlight my top 5 favorite moments of the trip:
1) Ringing in my girl Melanie’s birthday with the rest of the San Diego Momfia (Rock On Mommies, Ooph, San Diego Momma, La Jolla Mom, Everyday Mama). Her big day was Friday the 6th, but at midnight on Thursday, after several hours of drinking, a slice of cake and a round of cosmos a la Sex In the City appeared on the table and took the level of inebriation to an entirely new high. Detailed accounts & specific conversation topics are a little blurry but I do know that a late night pizza run was involved which is always a sign of good times.
2) Being hijacked by my BFF Mern on the second night of the conference.
Our first stop was Casellula, a wine and cheese bar owned by my junior high crush Brian Keyser (the one who didn’t accept my friend request on Facebook but who I’ve found in my heart to forgive)
Sidebar: This place is a definite must on your next trip to New York. It’s charming and DE-Lish, and I’m not just talking about Brian. The wines and cheeses are good too).
After making a pit stop at a swanky NYC bar playing all 80’s music that made me feel old, we settled into a Korean karaoke bar where we sang everything from Sweet Child O’Mine to Dress You Up and I ended up bruised and hoarse for the rest of the weekend.
It was the last session of the conference, and they certainly saved the best for last. The three panelists literally had me slapping my knee and holding in my pee with one quick-witted crack after another.
My favorite quote of the day was by Lizz…”Yeah, I’m writing a self-help book. It’s called Fuck You!” Thank you ladies, for ending the conference on such a high note!
4) The Sparklecorn Party.
As you may be able to deduce from the title of the party, there were two key ingredients to this party: #1 Sparkle and #2 Unicorns. Argh! If you’ve been a fan of The Mama Mary Show for a while you may recall that I HATE Unicorns. Not only do I hate them, but they make me want to curl up in a little bawl and suck my thumb from sheer terror. It’s a condition I call Unicorniphobia and it is real. So needless to say, when the invite for Sparklecorn came through my computer screen I nearly stabbed my eyeballs out with Lil’s colored pencils. But when I learned of the prestige associated with this party I decided to look my fear in the horned face and rsvp YES. And I’m so glad I did. Despite the fact that my “friends” spend the entire night throwing unicorn confetti all over me, the party was a blast! The DJ got the party started right and I even made the Mama Pop video recap (I’m shaking it like a Polaroid Picture).
5) Meeting some of my fave bloggy people, face to face, (like Rachael, Mary Mac, Ilina, Melissa and Alexis), having quiet time away from whining, diapers and sippy cups and just enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and yes, even smells of New York City with old friends and new. Oh, and spilling wine all over my girl Theresa. That was fun too!
Overall, my first experience with BlogHer was a success. Though I didn’t find the sessions very informative, I did take away a few nuggets of good information about writing, blogging and publishing. Mostly I gained some fan-fricking-tastic memories with kick-ass ladies and am REALLY looking forward to BlogHer ’11 which will be held right here in sunny San Diego. Let the party planning begin!
PS Totally inadvertently left out Natalie, her friend Katie and Monica as more rock-star women I had the pleasure of getting to know on this trip. I’m sure there are others, I’m just still a little brain dead.