Thursday, May 27, 2010
When I was a little girl, someone told me something that changed my life. I wish I had a story for you about who said it, when, and where, but the truth is, I don’t remember. The important thing to know is that I never forgot the message and this is what it is:
Life is about the experiences.
This has become one of my guiding principles, and is deeply embedded in my decision making process. So when the opportunity comes along to, say, go camping with 60 other food bloggers, ride in a Porsche 911 with the top down through the San Bernardino mountains, or go to an Aerial Tissu class with an old (young) friend, I say YES.
I did all 3 of those things, in one fabulous LAX weekend. And it. Was. AWESOME! I got picked up at the airport by Pamela from My Man’s Belly—a delicious, smart, funny, and sassy blog that chronicles her kitchen adventures and relationship advice. Pamela knows what's up when it comes to the web, and she's just as funny in person as she is on her blog. Together we zipped through the mountains to Camp Blogaway--a food bloggers bootcamp. We were greeted by our hostess and fearless leader, Patti Londre, of Worth the Whisk.
Patti is one of those amazing multi-talented people-- you know, the super capable, accomplished, organized, interesting, AND hilarious type. Wow. With all her connections and know-how she brought together a great group of food bloggers, teachers, and sponsors, the latter of which kept our bellies full with their generous donations of food (thank you Lindsey Olives, National Onion Association, Zespri Kiwifruit, and Mad Housewife Wines, among others). One of the most valuable parts of camp was the sponsors' generous insight into how bloggers and advertisers can navigate this brave new world, ethically and harmoniously. If that's not a can of worms, I don't know what is.
Wilton--the mecca of cake decorating supplies--brought their queen bee, Nancy Siler, to lead us in a cake decorating workshop. It was arts n' crafts Camp Blogaway-style. Oh what fun! There were frosting and pastry bags galore, complete with brownies, cupcakes, and cookies on which to practice our new tricks. I dove straight for the baby blue buttercream and stuck with it. My theme: Senior Prom circa 1978.
I was inspired by memories of my older brother in a powder blue tuxedo and ruffled shirt (sorry Mike). The creations were pure eye candy, like this cupcake by Greg of Sippity Sup:
We spent the whole, glorious weekend up there in Big Bear, with dazzling sunshine dappling the forested hiking trails. In addition to all the fun activities, great food, and laughter, we spent a lot of serious time with our thinking caps on. Art Ramirez spent the whole of Saturday helping to make us better photographers. The first thing he told us was to take our cameras off "Auto" mode--eeeek!
"Auto mode," he explained, "Is for babies, birthdays, and Bigfoot."