Saturday, August 20, 2011

HLS highlights

the tough thing about conferences like this [for me, anyway] is that it can get SO overwhelming. many new names to learn, details to keep straight, and faces to recognize -- something i'm unfortunately really bad at! in some ways, it gets a little easier each year [yes, it's #3 for me -- here's a taste of 2009 and 2010], but since the conference seems to grow each year, i never feel like i know most of the people who are there!

the good news is -- it's pretty much the same for everyone else. and once you strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to you, you find that most of us have more than just blogging in common.

pre-conference warm-up
before we headed downtown, though, allie and i went for a run around my old neighborhood [havertown shout-out!]. i haven't been measuring my pace for quite some time now, but i told her to wear her garmin so that i could find out the unvarnished [slow] truth.

the verdict?

3.64 miles in 38:51. i'll let you do the math!!

luckily, i don't really care anymore :)

it was super-fun running with allie and i appreciated her slowing down for me. some day i'll be fast again!

lunch at pumpkin market
soon after our run, we headed downtown [via commuter rail -- so convenient] for the summit -- and lunch! somehow, upwards of 50 people ended up congregating in the lobby at the same time. it became clear that there was no establishment grand enough to accommodate a group of that caliber, so eventually a few smaller groups broke off from the fray. about 15 of us ended up at pumpkin market when we stumbled upon it on south street. personally, i think we lucked out -- it was great!

i almost went with my new random obsession [bagel + cream cheese] but opted for something with slightly more nutrition

we were at the HLS, after all . . .

tomato, mozz, and pesto panini on wheat with a house-made pickle + pasta salad

as clichéed as it is, i am LOVING pickles lately. heh.

the whole group, photo courtesy of kath's camera:

hotel downtime
perhaps my favorite part of the day: decompressing in the room with allie and heather, who is 16 weeks pregnant and had a lot of advice for me.

soaking it all in . . . captured surreptitiously by allie

we also did our traditional swag-bag dumping ceremony:

i might be the only one who is stressed out by swag. i usually end up not taking most of it, because i don't want to check a bag just to transport some random granola. HLS blasphemy? maybe. but i'm okay with that and SO picky right now, anyway . . .

to be continued!
so then there was the cocktail party, which wasn't quite as fun without cocktails, but what can you do? back with more updates later . . .