Where do I begin? I think I also left my MIND in San Francisco as well. How much do I hate PTD (post – travel – depression) sigh. This weekend was one of those trips when everything just seems to work for the better. First of all I brought a conference virgin along in my carry on you may have met her this weekend, @ksugarandspice. Kathleen was promised a weekend of networking, vlogging how to’s, SEO tips along with the usual San Francisco fare (food,wine, shopping, photograph opps… I could go on!) and ohhhhh let me tell you it did not disappoint. Are you ready for this monster post because I am seriously in love with not only this city but the people I was surrounded by.
image courtesy of SITSGirl
My experience this time was different knowing that I wasn’t walking into a room full of strangers like Bloggy Boot Camp Scottsdale. Four months seemed like four minutes as soon as I embraced @SITSGirl (Tiffany). Dang, I missed that girl. You know what Tiffany is like?… she is your Best Friend, favorite Camp Counselor, Sorority Sister and Uber Organized Room Mom all rolled up into one! In other words she is very talented, highly skilled and it behooves you to have her on your team. Plus she give great hugs!
If there was one thing I learned at BBC Scottsdale it’s take the last flight home, better yet stay the extra night you’ll need it. No problem for us Orange County girls we have our choice of hourly flights to SFO, thanks Southwest Airlines.
First off the venue was outstanding! When I saw where this conference was at the Westin St. Francis I didn’t even bother to look at the speakers (forgive me ladies) I just wanted to stay at such an iconic hotel. I have a soft spot for history and good architecture. I bet you didn’t know (but knew I would tell you) that the hotel was built in 1903? It was modeled after all the grand hotels on Europe including the Ritz in Paris and withstood the great earthquake of 1906. The hotel holds the first Western Master Clock, the burgundy Grandfather clock that greets you in the lobby entrance. For a century it has been known to thousands of people as the place to meet (at the clock).
The first thing you have to do is EAT in San Francisco I don’t care if you are hungry or not, or in my case chewing my arm off. We walked no more than ten paces and came across Scala’s Bistro. I was craving up a thin crusted margherita pizza and this place seemed perfect. Good call on the bruschetta Kathleen and I’m still impressed you ate that in one bite.
The shopping in and around Union Square is in a word……. dangerous. My wallet was even weeping. All the cards wanted to come out to play but I refrained…sorta. I looked at some gorgeous shoes, I fell in love with a purple suitcase case that cost double my car payment, tried on the Free People sweater coat @bernthis was wearing (it looked 10x better on her small frame but man I still wanted to take it home as a souvenir) and smelled the “Scent of Peace” <–literally (giveaway is here!).
We headed to the Slanted Door at the Ferry Building, yet another good call by @Ksugarandspice. I never knew Vietnamese food could be so modern and so tasty! I had the best gingery Singapore sling with my crispy Imperial Rolls and don’t even get me started about the chocolate ice milk, a perfect ending. The only bad call that night was by your truly when I approached an unmarked black town car because my feet hurt so badly. Another save by yep, you guessed it.
It’s an early call time for Bloggy Boot Camp, we have enough time to take the high speed elevator (if your stomach is a little queasy be prepared we likened it to Disney’s Tower of Terror) lobby for a latte and a croissant. Back into the elevator (gulp…) Floor 32 please.
The conference rooms are located on the top floor of the hotel. The rooms are so opulent with their ceiling to floor drapes and gold gilded chairs it felt more like a private party with 125 of your closest friends. I immediately recognized a few of my favorite “SITSTAHS” from Scottsdale’ BBC @SITSGirl, @SugarJones, @AngryJulieMonday, @childhood and @PicklePlumSugar. These are women you meet that just seem to stay with you no matter how many miles away. Women that lift you up just by being in the same room together, these are my kind of peeps.
Super excited to hear Jessica you know here as @Bernthis talk about vlogging, I swear if I closed my eyes I thought that was comedian Richard Lewis up there, effing hysterical. (c’mon tell me I didn’t NAIL that one)… I also couldn’t stop thinking about that sweater coat and the fact that I just may have met my f-bomb soul mate.
There were so many great speakers, I was looking forward to the infamous Angry Julie looking not so angry here and her talk on privacy… she has so much blogging experience to share. PS don’t be afraid to approach her, she doesn’t bite… unless you paparazzi stalk her like me and even then she’ll still smile for ya!
One person whom I have known virtually but had never met face to face is Ciaran Blumenfeld of the huge popular community Momfluential Media she lead an interesting talk about marketing strategies in social media. Ciaran (pronounced Sharon) has so many irons in the fire, take a look at her landing page and you’ll find everything from her consulting business to her cute line Francie Pants! She is what I call a cape wearer, one of those super women that rises above the rest and CREATES her own success instead of waiting for it to happen.
In my notebook I highlighted something she said that has become a new goal for me and I imagine many other bloggers who attended that day:
10,000 unique visitors in one month is the threshold you need to reach in order to successfully shop your blog for potential sponsors.
I distinctly remember meeting Kristy albeit briefly in Scottsdale but it was her blog post Bloggers and Writers Unite she wrote while flying home from that trip that really made me a fan of hers. Please do yourself a favor and read her latest Bye Bye Birdie (and don’t forget to bring Kleenex). She talked about my favorite subject – CONTENT and the importance of GOOD WRITING. I heard over on twitter that this Kristy is the brain child behind a new SF group that involves writers as a result of last weekend’s Bloggy Boot Camp.
There was also the serendipitous meeting of another Linsey. I wouldn’t know until hours later at the cocktail party that there was another Linz living an almost parallel life in the same state different region. Linsey K is a media and business lawyer , writer, mom of multiples and cancer survivor whom I had the most pleasure talking her ear off later that night. She spoke at BBC about Taking Your Blog To The Next Level, a hot topic that had most of the room sitting at the edge of their seats. She was a treasure trove of information that day.
The sit down lunch of cold Asian chicken and noodles was served in yet another grandiose room complete with floor to ceiling windows with 180 degree view of San Francisco including the Golden Gate Bridge. Assigned tables make it easy for you to find your way meeting and networking with more new faces.
As always when you attend these SITS Boot Camps there is swag for you to take home. This time there was a little something for everyone, Mastermind Game and energy drink I call B vitamin shot in a can from FRS.
and like everyone says make sure you STAY for the PAR-TAY – this one was the old “speak-easy” called Slide and yes if you wanted to you could have entered via the SLIDE! Cocktails and hourderves are not just another opportunity to meet more bloggers you may just find yourself chatting with the notorious @motherbumper and @herbadmother! My little surprise was running into one of my favorite tweeps @mommyisdating – we solidified our friendship over a bottle of red and a heated discussion about Dr. Laura at Phoenix BBC! It was so great to clink our glasses together once again. I missed you.
Of course my favorite part is when I have my one on one time with “pretty girl” Tiffany.
I call her my sister from another mother.
Tiffany (get that girl a Siberian Slip) and modchik
A night of hugging and gushing over one another is just what your ego needs. Follow that with a nice New York strip and a glass of Piper and put me to be I’m done 🙂 Some of us (ahem… not mentioning names) were not so lucky and I think they spent their Sunday clutching their pillow in the fetal position, it happens. I knew I had about 3 hours of shooting time Sunday and I wanted to make it over to the bridge and marina for chowder and if you know me, you know I have the liver of 65 year old meaning a 19 year old can drink me under the table (NOT that I advocate underage drinking) I’m just illustrating the point I have a zero tolerance for booze. Yep I am your designated driver.
Golden Gate Bridge – fog almost gone.
I shot a ton of pictures which I will save for another post, really this is going on 6hrs now, scratch that make it 7.. (not counting photo edits). Since I ran out of time to get chowder in SF I was happy to discover they sell Boudin Sourdough French Bread at SFO airport in the gift shops and canned chowder if you are really in need. Ok, I am craving toast now. I really must wrap this up.
I can’t wait to continue the story with my Bloggy Boot Camp Girls. It will be a long stretch before I see them again. Next stop… San Diego! <— I can’t wait to see my fav SD bloggers again! Want more stories about what went down at BBC? here a few I found, I will add more as soon as I catch up on my blog hopping:
SITS and Mr. Linky
Kathleen’s How To Enjoy San Francisco
Mad Women How to Prepare for Bloggy BootCamp
Angry Julie Monday -Privacy and your Blog 10 things to think about
Papoe – Did Someone Say Bacon?
Pictures from the event on Flickr. Angry Julie thanks for erasing all my lines I LOVE YOU!
For more information on attending a future camp click here.
Upcoming dates Bloggy Camp Austin (Nov. 23rd).
disclaimer: I was not paid to endorse Bloggy Boot Camp or SITS this is a recount of my personal experience.