My Camp Blogaway Wrap Up

In my house, I have a magical kitchen sink. Everyone in my family places their dirty dishes, cups and utensils in this magic sink. And, without them ever lifting a finger, the dishes get washed. Of course, we can guess who makes the magic happen. Of course, it’s me. The same seems to go with the clutter around the house. I returned from my amazing weekend with food bloggers at Camp Blogaway on Sunday. My husband had taken the kids off to a cub scout camp with over a dozen other families the same weekend. The house was littered from the front door to the back with their camping paraphernalia. The kitchen sink that was empty when I left, was filled with dirty dishes. Reality hit me hard in the face.

I spent most of yesterday visiting my new blogging friends’ sites, and picking up the house. You know, making the magic happen. Did I mention I have sick boys home, too?

I slowly put things in their place and cleaned the kitchen and the dishes. I would pass my magical sink and found it quickly filled with dishes from breakfast and lunch.

Sigh. Wash, wash, wash.

My husband came home, saw the empty sink and made some more contributions to it: camping items hiding in the garage, waiting to be washed. Magically, they were washed.

Don’t get me wrong. The hubby does wash dishes. Of course it tends to be when my parents are visiting or after a big party. But, every other day, it’s my job.

I suppose I could get bogged down with this reality. But I won’t. I’m still on my camp-high.

For the first time in over ten years I went away for the weekend, without a husband or kids. Big step. I thought I would be a blubbering idiot, moping and missing my kids. Luckily, Patti kept us busy at camp. SUPER busy. Each hour was filled with something to learn. I sat at a different table each time and went out of my comfort zone to introduce myself to strangers.

I drove with my friend, Lori (RecipeGirl) and we talked about family, school, the importance of Twitter and other food blogging tips. I learned even more at camp.

With Joy the Baker and Worth the Whisk, we discussed the importance (or not) of SEO and Google.

I talked techie analytics with Greg at Sippity Sup, Andrew from Eating Rules and Erika from In Erika’s Kitchen.

We learned how our fellow bloggers handle the stress of blogging, even though it’s mostly self-induced. We talked PR, vlogging and your bonafide community.

At Wilton’s Fondant University, I learned how to start with a Hershey kiss and end up with a fondant rose. We stayed hydrated with our Fiji water, but everyone was waiting for 5-o’clock to come so Andrew from Wente Vineyards could start filling up our empty glasses. From a salmonella lesson sponsored by Safest Choice Eggs to winning a giant Spuddy Buddy with my bunk-mate, Roots & Platters, from The Idaho Potato Commission, we found ways to laugh and have a little fun.

I hijacked a Hassleback potato with La Fuji Mama and A Communal Table, and found out I wasn’t the only contortionist food blogger, trying to get the perfect shot.

Thanks to Chef Louise and her Watermelon Limeade. Thanks to the CA Avocado Commission for an avocado lesson that left us in stitches. And most of all, thanks to Sarah from Tastespotting for entering the lion’s den and opening our eyes to how you work.

I showed up at Camp Blogaway wondering if I belonged there. I never attended a blogging convention. I only knew a handful of people, and I’m not one to chat it up with complete strangers. But, by the end of camp, I was hugging my new friends and trying to say good-bye to every single person I met. Lori patiently waited for me to wrap it up, so we could head home.

I had a great time and I will definitely be back next year.

If you were considering attending, but didn’t, I strongly urge you to go next year. You can check out our fun here. This intimate setting was perfect for a shy blogger like me to learn and grow.

13 Responses to My Camp Blogaway Wrap Up

  1. What a fabulous wrap-up, you captured just about every detail (except the fact that some GIRLS raided the BOYS cabin late one night while your Fearless Leader was hot tubbing)! Looking forward to seeing you in the future.

  2. ha! ha! I suppose what happens at Camp Blogaway doesn't stay at Camp Blogaway?!

  3. Emily at #

    Reality hit hard for me as well – I miss my bunk mate! I learned so much from camp and so much from you. Thanks for giving me the inspiration to keep going, to keep writing and to keep loving what I do! Great wrap-up… getting a little teary-eyed!

  4. Great recap! We are all still on the "camp-high" and slowly returning to reality (one dish at a time!).

    Is it really a raid if we were invited? LOL

  5. Cathy @ ShowFoodChef at #

    It was great meeting you and what a great wrap-up. You definitely deserved that time away and ironically, we have the same kind of kitchen sink 😀

  6. Wish I could have been there! (I can't "do" high altitude!) I know I missed a lot. Hope Patti does day camp again this year.

  7. What a great recap, Laura! I loved meeting you, in part because it feels like we have so much in common (from how we both experienced the weekend, all the way down to the part about returning to a sink full of dishes). I look forward to reading more of your blog and hope we can reconnect again soon!

  8. I too am a "mile high" after the camp experience. But you know after all the fun, after all the heartfelt connection we all had at camp. There's something wonderful about returning home. Even to a sink of dirty dishes. Welcome Home. I hope we can continue our conversations soon… GREG

  9. You are ALL awesome! It was wonderful meeting each of you and I hope to return next year. This really was a fabulous camp and a great eye-opener.

  10. RFR at #

    I really like that you gave so many of the well deserved shout outs! Great summary!

  11. Hi!! Great recap – it was so nice to meet you!! Loved that you potato-napped the hasslebeck! Take care!

  12. Hmmm-I thought I had posted a comment, but I guess I didn't! Loved your thorough recap. I linked it in my recent post since I thought it was a great summary with links, pics and everything! THanks for doing that!

  13. Cute story about the sink:)
    It seems that you had wonderful time….so nice….everybody deserves it:)

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