Whew! What a whirlwind of a day and night! I can’t help but thank all the coordinators who put together HLS because I believe it was a success! I had an awesome time listening to all the lectures and finally getting to meet so many bloggers face to face! It’s so strange to know so much about a person and never actually see them, hear their voice or give them a huge hug!
After attending the lecture on Exercising and Refueling Quaker put on a snack event, but I went with my own of a small granny smith apple and an odwalla bar. Like the luna bar from yesterday, this one was just as smashed from sitting in my backpack for so long. Gotta love field work! I also took a cute Polaroid with Jenn by the people at Attune…Seriously, Annelies (LINK!) is one of their greatest employees and I love working with her on the blog! She is so cool!
I spent the rest of the morning listening to a lecture about how to entertain without the stress by Sabrina (LINK!). I thought it was fun how she got people to interact by playing games! It kept the series entertaining!
When that finished I was starving, so thank goodness for lunch! I was provided by Arnold’s/Orowheat and they couldn’t have done a better job! Thank you so much for the delicious spread for lunch! Such a great menu with variety, and healthy!
No one could pass it up of course!
After that 11 miler I was still starving so you know I piled my plate high with foods! I made a small salad with dressing and topped it off with a chickpea salad and quinoa salad, along with a sandwich that included two pieces of tofu and roasted veggies. I was a mess afterwards and demolished that plate! 11 miles will do that to you!
Jenn and I also checked out the dessert table and settled on splitting these two pieces. The chocolate looking one was delicious (I only at the bottom chocolate part because the white a bit too sweet for me) and the apple caramel piece was to die for!
I spent the rest of the afternoon in lectures, one on the Ups and Downs of Blogging which was good, but I secretly had wished would have riled up a few feathers to make things a bit more interesting. I think panels should be pretty vocal and entertaining to boot…we just needed that one rowdy person to get some juices flow’n! It was still fun though and great to hear the different opinions.0
My 5am wakeup and run were finally catching up to me exhaustion wise so I snacked on one of my favorite chocolate bars of all time: Attune (LINK)! How much better can a chocolate bar get, stuffed with probiotics! Great for digestion and tasty to boot! I’ve had this one before (I did a review here) and knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed. Jenn was a big fan too; what more could we have in common eh?!
We finished up the afternoon with a lecture by Gena and Caitlin on blogging and how to stop comparing yourself to others, a subject near and dear to my heart! The lecture also included a guest blog speaker, Tator at Sweet Tator Dot, who’s story about recovering from disordered eating was very interesting!
After it was all over I set off to explore a bit of the city before Mara showed up to go to dinner with a few of us! Of course I couldn’t help but notice the cool owl statues at that top of the Chicago Library! Yay for birds!
We didn’t have much time to walk around but of course headed out to satisfy our rumbling tummies at Yogen Fruz, again! No shame people, how often do I go out and have fro yo (never mind that I have ice cream at my house, whatever)?! I was eyeballing this one on Friday night and knew I had to get it or I would regret it! Both Jenn and I got the Mint Chocolate with Chocolate Curls, and included ground up pieces of chocolate in it to boot! But the best part was they use a natural mint flavoring, which is so different from the minty flavored things I’m used to having! Just tells me how artificial everything else is, and how used to it I’ve gotten!
While heading back to the hotel to meet with Mara we walked along some of the gardens on Michigan Ave…I wish I had more pretty flower parks! Ok, I shouldn’t complain; I love the mountains and pines!
Did I mention that HLS was held at the Congress Hotel? It’s a pretty old hotel in Chicago but very sophisticated on the inside. I never got a chance to go up to any of the rooms but I got wind the hallways were straight out of The Shining and even heard rumors of a ghost on the 12th floor. Now that, would have been awesome to see! I’m such a ghost hunter!
Alas, the best part of returning was finally meeting up with MARA!!! I was so damned excited to meet the woman behind the fancy shmancy cupcakes in the blog world and of course the attitude, pizzaz and beauty behind the blog! So exciting! And of course we ran into a bunch of other people in the lobby! (Yes, I totally stole these pictures from Mara!)
It may have been warm, but we walked the mile and a half to Whole Foods to meet up with Gena and have a small and nice dinner to talk about the conference, blogging and life. I could not have asked for a better group to hang out with. And of course, no city trip is complete without a trip to WHOLE FOODS! Yes, I have to travel almost 5 hrs by plane just to go to WF. I’m dedicated alright?! We hit up the salad bar and I piled my salad with a variety of dishes including some black bean chili/mix, vegetables, tofu, a mixed barley/rice dish and I don’t know what else. It sure was tasty though and I finished off most of it!
No blogger dinner is complete without pictures of us taking pictures, right?
Chicago at night! Ok, not the best picture, but the best I could do in the WF parking lot!
It was so great to hang out with my girls!
We lost track of time a little bit and were late to the gathering Angela had put on at karyn’s on the green just outside the city near the Greek District. Of course we had just eaten dinner so we were stuffed and didn’t order anything, but did settle on getting a drink that looked interesting and tasted awesome! It was called a C…and I have no idea what was in it, but it was lime-y and I suppose kinda like a mojito without the mint. Very tasty!
Of course because I can never milk a drink I guzzled mine down faster than you can ask, “What is that?” and felt it go to my head in an instant! Not to worry though! I may have been on a second story, but I was comfortably seated and not moving any time soon!
After all the entertainment and talking I finally returned back to my friends before totally crashing and calling it a night. But not before planning my last day hanging out with Jenn! I”ll be back with our Chicago walking tour later!