It was a Sunday night around 9:45pm. I was so sleepy from hauling the kids around town, visiting family, and those dreaded weekend chores. Suddenly, I heard that familiar guitar music coming from my cell phone. Who in the world was calling me so late? “Hello?” I answered cautiously, sure that it was a wrong number or a prank call. ”Kim? This is Julie. I’m calling to see if you still wanted to go to the Food Blog Forum in Orlando this weekend.”
Was she kidding? Of course I wanted to go! I was sure that this little blog wasn’t ready for blog community socializing and here she was asking me to spend a weekend with bloggers I admired, to learn more about elusive talents like writing and photography, and to do it all at Walt Disney World, one of my favorite places to visit. I gave my husband one of those “Please say ‘yes’ and don’t mind the sudden change of plans” looks.
You see, when you have two small children, a little weekend to Walt Disney World is complicated. It starts with all the laundry. Then there is the packing. You can’t just pack clothes. No, you have to pack snacks for each day, sippy cups, diapers for the baby, books, toys, loveys, movies for the car ride, plus all the clothes. Don’t forget to pack for yourself. Since I was going to a conference, I had to think about notepads, my netbook, pens, business cards, and chargers. I didn’t even have business cards yet! I had 3 days to get them created, printed and shipped to me. My very good friends at work helped me get that done and I owe them big time.
By Friday morning, we loaded the car and took off. When we arrived, my little boy, Zack, was so excited to see the monorail parked at our hotel. When we entered the Polynesian Resort Hotel, we were greeted with leis for each member of the family. We checked in and proceeded to the room which was fabulous. It was spacious for all 4 adults and both kids. Zack had his own daybed in addition to the two queens that the adults shared. We still had room for the pack ‘n play for my baby girl, Sara. I took off for my welcome reception while my babies napped. Don’t worry, the other three adults napped right along with them.
Here is where excitement turns to shock and awe. Along the patio of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Summer House Patio and Sand Beach, there was a display of food to impress even the most distinguished food connoisseur. There were tables filled with immaculate concoctions and a proud chef ready to serve each one.
Shrimp shooters, with the biggest shrimp I have ever seen, beckoned from atop the first table. Below the shooters perched tiny savory cones stuffed with various meats, cheeses, and herbs. Gourmet spoons glinted in the sunlight with gouda, a fruity compote, and a minuscule mint leaf. A trellis chandelier with martini glasses filled with fresh salads sparkled and danced in the wind. Later on, I discovered a white truffle macaroni and cheese bar where you could choose lobster, panko crusted shallots, and pancetta, among other toppings.
The dessert bar boasted cake pops dipped and rolled before our eyes. There was a macaroon tree, chocolate and vanilla creme brulee, and so much more I lost count. Let’s just say I started with a bear claw martini and ate enough to keep me full until our Irish inspired breakfast the next morning.
Possibly the best part of the night occurred about 15 minutes after I arrived. I didn’t know anyone there. I felt older than most, but so much more inexperienced and unsure that those memories of not knowing where to sit on the first day of school in the cafeteria came flooding back. So, I stood at a table by myself when a wonderful girl named Sam came up and said “Hi! You look lonely, can I join you?” Of course I was thrilled to have her join me and soon we had a little table of more lost little bloggers. We kept track of each other all weekend and I’m happy to call them my friends now. Please visit their blogs below!
Sam @Sweet_Remedy - sweet-remedy.com
Jessa @heedthefeed - heedthefeed.com
Jacqueline - beyondnfinity.com
With the weekend off to a good start, I had no idea it was going to get better. But it did. Oh, yes, it did! More to come tomorrow!