Adventures from BlogHer; Chapter 3

2 08 2013

BlogHer, the world’s largest blogging conference for women was a remarkable event to be a part of. 5000 bloggers there equaled 93 million followers and Midlife Bloggers was among the most mentioned topics.  I kept trying to be profound while attempting to write this and then I’d just start laughing thinking about all the adventures I had. I started writing and then kept writing. This post got real long, it’s turned into a novella, so I’ve decided to break it down into three chapters. I learned blogs shouldn’t be as long as a novella.

This is Chapter 3 of 3, click here to read Chapter 1 or here to read Chapter 2.

Saturday Adventures

Saturday’s keynote of Facebook COO and author of “Lean In”, Sheryl Sandberg was the talk I was most looking forward to. She asked for a show of hands of how many women were called bossy when they were little girls. A majority of hands went up. She then said instead of telling our daughters’ they’re bossy, take a breath and tell them that she has executive leadership skills. She has a created a group called leanin.org,  which is a live real time way to experience the power of a small group. Like every blogger in attendance, she wants women to be heard.  Powerful stuff.

I was at BlogHer because of these fabulous women, Chloe Jeffries, Sharon Greenthal and Anne Parris.

I was at BlogHer because of these fabulous women, Chloe Jeffries, Sharon Greenthal and Anne Parris.

Saturday was a day of many powerful voices. Midlife women had a strong presence this year. I’ve been told that made this year different. I had been eagerly awaiting the three founders of GenFab‘s session on midlife blogging. Sharon,  Chloe  and Anne   (now friends in real life) knocked it out of the ballpark and next year they are going to have to put us midlife women in a bigger room. We are indeed changing how the world views midlife.

Veteran Hollywood producer (and another midlife woman), Gale Anne Hurd was the closing keynote. She’s known for portraying powerful women in The Walking Dead, the Terminator and Alien. I must confess to not being a zombie fan as were the rest of the audience in the vast ballroom, but after hearing her talk, I may have to start watching. We got a heads up that this season is going to be about parenting.

Great Swag

I learned all about swag.

Virginia and I learned all about swag.

Time for one quick visit to the exhibit hall. The vendors were tired and trying to get rid of all their swag so they didn’t have to haul it back home. My roomie, Virginia and I saw an especially long line and got in it, thinking it must be something good.  It WAS a good line! We realized they were giving away really great swag. Trojan gave us all the swag we could carry. And to the young woman who looked at this midlifer in disbelief and asked if I was going to use it, I wish I would have responded in my deepest southern drawl, “Bless your heart.” Congrats to my friend who won a chain saw from another vendor, but I could fit my swag in my luggage.

•napkinVirginia and I hit one last party; the wonderful BOOMbox B(L)oomers shindig in a very cool, colorful, arty and refurbished space. We visited our online friends that we now know in real life and hugged and said our goodbyes. So ended the BlogHer experience.

Time for one last adventure.

We got a great recommendation for a real deal little Italian restaurant, La Scarola in the heart of the city. You know the kind of Italian place that looked like it could have been a set for the Godfather movie. Pictures of famous people on the wall. All the staff were Italian men, many with heavy Italian accents. It was packed with locals. There was a bit of a wait, we were told we could go to the bar next door. So off we headed to Richard’s Bar. 

The bartenders at Richard's Bar thought we sweet (and smart) young things!

The bartenders at Richard’s Bar thought we were sweet young things (and smart too)!

There were two empty bar stools left as we bellied up to this smoke-filled crowded and kinda dingy bar. Virginia said this is what is called a dive bar in San Francisco; I said this is what we call a real bar back home. The bartenders were friendly and…how to put this…to the friendly bartenders; Virginia and I were sweet young things. When we showed one bartender how to attach a photo to a message on his iphone, our drinks stayed full till our table was ready. They insisted we take our drinks with us. Virginia was new to the concept of go cups, a common practice where I live.

•foodWe ordered the appetizer that bartender Anthony (he looked like a slightly older Anthony Bourdaine) recommended and took our cute waiter’s suggestion for a pasta dish. It was Delizioso! A real deal Italian meal, even the bread was good. Before we caught a cab back we returned to Richard’s Bar and gave the bartenders a hug goodbye.

It was a perfect end to an extraordinary few days. Perfetto, Hugs and Kisses, and Bless our Hearts to all my new BFFs IRL. I’ll see you online.

And Virginia, you are indeed a first class woman. I know we’ll see each other again. And ‘till then, this is for you.

Blogher b cardHi, I’m Connie McLeod of My Creative Journey, I write about my creative life.  If you like my adventures I’d love for you to follow me. I promise no spam. Here’s my card (imagine I’m shaking your hand). 

I’m proud to be a GenFab blogger!

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22 responses

2 08 2013
Sharon Greenthal

Thanks for the love, Connie! It was so great to see you.

2 08 2013
conniemcleod

Hugs back at cha!

2 08 2013
Helene Bludman

We went to that restaurant Wednesday evening! You described it to a T. PK had been there several times and highly recommended it. Loved the food and the atmosphere.

2 08 2013
conniemcleod

It was the perfect place to end the trip!

2 08 2013
loisaltermark

Love you and Virginia, and will try not to bother either one of you for a while because I’m sure you will be very busy testing out your, uh, swag. ❤

2 08 2013
conniemcleod

HAHAHAHA!!! I’ll always have time for you Lois!

2 08 2013
Lisa Garon Froman

Once again, you are making me jealous I didn’t go! I love the stories and the swag and your description of a “real bar.” Okay, next year!

2 08 2013
conniemcleod

Next year it is!!

2 08 2013
Chris

I think I’ve been to that restaurant WITH PK! Fabulous place and the perfect follow on to the #bloomersparty! Thanks so much for coming.

2 08 2013
conniemcleod

PK is who recommended it!!!The Bloomers party was the only party I was interested in attending. It was terrific! Thanks for inviting me.

2 08 2013
Laurel (Dawn Storey)

Fabulous recap. Makes me wish I was back there again!

2 08 2013
conniemcleod

I know, me too!

3 08 2013
Lisa_GrandmasBriefs

Such a perfect ending to the adventure. Love the final swag grab! Enjoy! I just realized I’m smiling as I write this, remembering the fun. I so very much enjoyed my time with you, and I simply cannot wait to get the gang back together again, somewhere, somehow. xoxo

3 08 2013
conniemcleod

Lisa, it was so great to get to know you! I have been in withdrawal all week. Hugs to you!

3 08 2013
Sandra Sallin

The perfect ending to some fabulous days. Next year?

3 08 2013
conniemcleod

Sandra, I certainly hope to be there next year! I still need to go party with you!

3 08 2013
Cathy Chester

Yummy, Connie. I only wish I would have gone to Chicago earlier so I could have explored the city and restaurants more. Next time! I loved reading this post – made me smile all over again.

Can’t wait to see you and the rest of the GF gang soon (I hope!)s

3 08 2013
conniemcleod

Cathy I agree, I have to go back to Chicago to really experience the city.

3 08 2013
Linda Wolff (@CarpoolGoddess)

I would have loved to explore Chicago more. So glad you ladies had a chance to experience it. Lovely chatting with you and Virginia at the Bloomers 🙂

3 08 2013
conniemcleod

Linda, it was great visiting with you too! This trip just made me want to go back to Chicago, I didn’t get to really experience the city other than just a tiny taste.

4 08 2013
Phoebe

Both, you and Virginia are First Class Women! You were both so welcoming to me Thursday evening & I’m glad you found your glasses!

4 08 2013
conniemcleod

Phoebe, you will always be a part of my first adventure at my first BlogHer. I’m so glad we now know each other IRL.

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