I told you that I was at the Blissdom blogging and social media conference last week. I’m still try to wrap my head around everything I learned/saw/did while in Nashville, and getting back in gear here at home.

But, I wanted to share some of my favorite things about the conference, so I’m making a List(icle).

1. The people. It is a totally surreal experience to see/meet people you’ve only talked to online, to get a hug from a blogger you’ve been reading for months/years, to hear someone talk after you’ve only read their words for so long.

It’s also amazing to connect with people that you’ve never heard of, and connect with them so well that you actually miss them when you go home. Like Aimee. We met on the Facebook Blissdom Newbie page when we found out that we were going to be on the same flight from Memphis to Nashville. And now, I feel like we’ll be friends for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, we somehow managed to NOT get a picture of just the two of us, so my dear hubs whipped this one up.
I also got to meet Fadra, Angela, Natalie, Gigi, Megan, Laurie, Jessica, Jen, Kim, Aimee, Ashley, Shell, Denise, and many, many more lovely ladies.

2. The speakers. I had never heard of Jon Acuff before Blissdom, but his opening keynote was incredible.

I can not express how inspired and touched I was by Me Ra Koh’s two photography sessions. During the second one, she literally had me in tears every time she put a new photo up. I’m sure it had nothing to do with missing my babies…

And there were so many others that inspired me to think, to prioritize, to learn to use my camera.

3. The food. From the Got Milk? breakfast, to the Famous Footwear coffee bar, to the meals at the hotel restaurants, oh my goodness. Thankfully the hotel was miles long and miles wide, otherwise I would be too.
4. The sponsors. The amount of pampering that we had to endure was just too much. It was unreal. I know that I was completely spoiled by the time I got on that plane to come home. We got awesome products to try (because they’re smart brands, catering to a bunch of chatty bloggers) and out of this world experiences to, well, experience.
5. The celebrities. I met The Lorax, y’all. And could’ve been spit on by Joe Jonas and Rascal Flatts. Oh, and I tickled Harrison Ford’s ear. Sort of.


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6. The hotel. Dude, there was a gondola INSIDE the hotel. And the hotel? It’s described as a city inside a biodome. Incredible. The following pictures were all taken inside the hotel. Not even kidding.

Speaking of chatty, I think I’ll wrap it up. I definitely hope to experience the Bliss next year, and if I do, I’ll be smuggling Ali in my suitcase (full of tricks).

UPDATE: I knew I couldn’t put into words what Blissdom was for me without forgetting some stuff. There were a lot of favorite moments for me, and one of them involved Sherry…I had also met her on the Newbie page, and we realized that we were both young widows that had remarried (that doesn’t happen often). After seeing her the very first day at lunch, we didn’t actually get a chance to talk until the very LAST night. And when we did…well, we cried during some awesome karaoke (like @Frelle’s, who I did not introduce myself to and I’m still kicking myself for that). It’s hard to express how nice it is to meet someone that you absolutely relate to, especially when it’s for something that is so rare.

Also, I’ve never laughed so hard as I did when I took a bite of the GoGoSqueez cocktail apple at the bottom of the glass and realized it was almost pure alcohol. Aimee, I’ll remember that forever.

Here’s a picture from the very first day, at the very overwhelming Newbie Meetup (from the Blissdom Flickr stream by Janalynn1).

Angela Amman, me, and Aimee Jones

Linking up with Northwest Mommy for Monday Listicles.