The ladies of the VVC, in planning the next conference, have been looking back at our first event, mainly to remind ourselves of what worked and didn’t work, what AV cords would have been handy—you know, the practical stuff. But this warm and fuzzy feeling keeps rising up, reminding us of why we do this. Why we suppress basic human survival stuff like food and sleep. Why you all fly and drive from all corners of the earth for our vegan summer camp.
So here I am, the camera-shy Michele, to share with you two of my favorite memories of August 2011. Janessa will be up next, and if you missed the post from Jess, check it out.
Technically, this is pre-conference, but tip-toeing through Janessa’s rather congested living room to fill SWAG bags. Following the unofficial meet & greet, while folks were out at the Vegucated screening then funning it up at Bye & Bye, we were playing elf, putting together these goodie bags of wonder (even bigger this year!), and sharing last-minute fears and hopes. Our sherpa/caretaker Tom stamped the last of the name badges, and we debated juuust how early we’d need to wake up in the morning to load in at the conference center. It sounds like work, but the excitement and anticipation far outweighed the anxiety. Something special was about to happen.
And the opening talk. Laura Beck nailed it. (Surprise.) We’d not previewed her speech and were blown away by how she set the tone for the conference—and the future of the Vida Vegan family. That we are a community of bloggers, and that is something so dear. Sometimes you need to turn to your community when you’re feeling alone, tired, or particularly beat down by the comments. You can listen to Laura’s talk here, and even if you weren’t there to hear it in person I’m willing to bet you’ll get a little weepy.
Of course, the two and a half days that followed were also filled with so many amazing memories, and even more blurry ones I’m pretty sure were equally fantastic. And I can’t wait to make new memories this year!