After months of planning, I can still remember what it felt like to actually get in the car and drive the 123 miles to the agreed upon destination point. My hands were a sopping mess. My hair was set in two thick braids and my stomach was in knots. I was a ball of nerves as I loaded my vintage suitcases into the car and hit the road bound for the bloggers conference, Haven.
When I finally made it to Starbucks to meet the other girls from Florida, Lauren of the blog Thinking Closet and Keri of the blog Shaken Together my nerves started to ease off a bit. They were both so kind and generous. If I had to get my feet wet with new blogger experiences, I’m glad it was with the two of them.
The rest of the drive to Atlanta was relatively uneventful save for the tire incident when an 18-wheeler’s tire exploded sending shards and bits of rubber flying my way. My bumper still hasn’t recovered.
Once we got to the hotel the butterflies in my stomach were HUGE. There were bloggers everywhere. Girls were hugging, waving, jumping up and down. Think sorority girls coming together after a long summer break. It felt like everyone knew each other already and there I was with my deer in the headlights newbie look. When Cassie of the blog Primitive and Proper said she liked my suitcases I wanted to crawl in a hole. My arms were aching, honestly almost numb. There was sweat running down my back from carrying them up multiple flights of stairs and here is a big blogger talking to ME. No playing, I had subscribed to her blog for almost a year and could barely get the words “thank you” out. It was so embarrassing.
By the time I got upstairs to change for the newbie mixer I was gobsmacked. Then I heard the ring from my text message notification. I pulled out my blackberry and read the words “come to our room for drinks and snacks.” Say what? Snacks? I’m there.
Moments later I was standing outside a brightly decorated hotel room door. Think tissue paper pom poms, stickers, and lemon colored bees. I took a deep breath. Although I felt like I could really be friends with these girls, I had actually never met them in person. They must have been waiting on me because my knuckles barely touched the door when it opened. “Coco, you’re here!” It’s funny to look back on it now but that encounter with Vicki and Jenn of 2 Bees in a Pod changed my entire Haven experience.
Over the next few days we met other bloggers,
attended informative sessions,
tried our hand at new projects,
unpacked SWAG (stuff we all get),
and went to parties.
It was so much fun and totally exhausting all at the same time. There were a few nights – I was so tired – I couldn’t hang – I just had to catch some sleep while everyone else was still hanging out. A year later, I still haven’t lived it down.
I learned quite a bit about blogging during my time at the conference but my favorite part was the lasting friendships that I continue to enjoy all these months later. Hey hey hey sweet ladies!
As you read this I’ll be in sessions soaking up all sorts of blog knowledge. I’m super excited to be attending once again. Be sure to follow along on Instagram for a behind the scenes look at the fun things that happen at the conference.
See you guys back here on Monday for the Something to Talk About Link Party and on Tuesday for a full recap of all the blogging conference excitement.