Soulful Hospitality in Austin at BlogHer Food Conference 2013
This past weekend I was in Austin, Texas for the 5th annual BlogHer Food 2013 conference, where I met up with the fabulous foodie friends that I’ve met over the years. This was my first trip to Austin, so I was happy to check it out myself (thank you Harry & David, for sponsoring me!), and to enjoy the food that I’ve always heard about. Texas sure lives up to their reputation of being one of the greatest food states in the country, with their culture and hospitality! Loved all the food trucks, too.
Oh, I wanted to say what I feel makes a really good trip recap is lots of pictures and links to the people in the pictures! So you can follow along and find other fantastic blogs to read and follow. So in the above photo you’ll find Tidy Mom, Dine and Dish, A Spicy Perspective, me, A Farmgirl’s Dabbles, Farmgirl Gourmet, and Recipe Girl.
Also, if you don’t know about Harry & David and their “pears” and gift baskets (who doesn’t know about H&D?), the orchards and the corporation is located in my hometown in Oregon, so I’m a lucky girl. Check out this post and this post, to read about their relationship with other bloggers, and what a generous, loyal company they are!
I didn’t bring my big-girl camera on the trip, but used my iPhone, which worked just fine! So much easier for a busy trip like this one!
BlogHer Food is a conference where you learn more about blogging, brands, social media, and you get to meet people you’ve followed online, which is the cool part. Some of my friends were speakers, hosted booths (Heather, Farmgirl Gourmet at the Pompeian booth) with brands they are working with, or just attended.
The sessions are always informative and help taking your blogging up a notch. The people are inspiring and so helpful. (Amy, Rachel, who spoke at a Storytelling session, and me.)
One thing I love about bloggers is that they build each other up. Most share their knowledge with one another and are a great resource to the “newbie” bloggers. Bloggers are some of the most loving people I’ve met! Amen!
Both Ree and I have both been blogging since 2006. That’s a crazy lot of blog posts for both of us!
After meeting up with friends when I got to the hotel, we went to the first party, hosted by Tasty Kitchen, Ree Drummond and her adorable sister Betsy, at Malverde, upstairs at the La Condesa. (The Pioneer Woman with Julie, me, Lori, Amanda, Maria, Sommer, and Jenny.)
We were greeted by this cute door boy …
And then ushered up to a beautiful space where we enjoyed happy little Mexican bites, good drinks, and catching up with friends! (Maria with her Mini Tostado Bite.)
You’d think we were advertising cute shoes here, but we’re not. (Maria, me, Betsy, Amanda, Lisa, and Jenny.)
Later that night we went to a small dinner at Uchiko, hosted by KitchenAid in their private dining room. The meal had a Japanese farmhouse aesthetic of sushi and other amazing dishes. It seems we ate for hours … it was one of the best sushi restaurants I’ve eaten at.
It’s not officially a conference without an elevator shot. (Foodie Crush, me, Dine and Dish, Mountain Mama Cooks.)
On Friday we attended more great sessions, and then a lunch in the park! Across the street we enjoyed the The Peach Tortilla food truck’s amazing tacos, sponsored by Iowa Corn. The brisket tacos were out of this world!
And the iced tea, on a very hot day! (Brenda, Cassie, me, Sheila, and Ali)
I have a feeling I’ll be learning more about Iowa Corn in the months ahead, so stay tuned.
Later that night, Land O’ Lakes brought us to dinner at Moonshine, another fabulous Austin restaurant, hosted by Ree, Maria, Sommer, Brenda, and Julie.
A very special gift featured all of the attendees’ favorite family recipes. My Raspberry Butter Cake recipe is in the box! A favorite, for sure.
Oh, and the photo booth … (me and Brenda).
And Sommer and Rebecca. Lots of silliness, as you can see, but really fun! Thank you Land O’ Lakes for a great night!
On Saturday, Brenda, Sommer and I strolled down South Congress Way (the locals call it SoCo) where all the food trucks are located and tucked away. The first one we came to was playing a song perfect for the day–my husband and my favorite “Van Morrison” song, on our 22nd Anniversary! That was really cool. I quickly sent a text to him in Oregon. :)
It seemed we walked for miles, but ended up at the South Congress Cafe for lunch.
The best tuna tacos. Spicy, indeed, but WOW!
Lunchin’ it with Ree and Amy.
The closing party is always a blast. This year the venue was outside with an awesome band, hosted by Ree, Elise, and Jaden at Stubb’s BBQ.
People were dancing to a great band!
Rebecca’s enjoying her Ruby Redbird. :)
Here’s 6 of the Harry & David bloggers who were at BHF – Heather, me, Lori, Heidi, Sommer, and Brenda – still missing 6 (Amy, Gaby, Rebecca, Rachel, Kristen, and Maria) in the picture. That’s pretty cool that there were 12 of us together in Austin!
Back at the hotel that night, we gathered in the lobby for one last photo. It’s always sad to say goodbye. (Thanks for the photo, Amanda.)
To friends, and to a great city, Austin, and the state of Texas! (Rachel, Lori, me.)
I loved every minute with the people, the food, and the soulful hospitality!
Have you been to Austin? What did you love about the hospitality?
A portion of my trip was paid for by Harry & David; as always, all opinions are my own.
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I am smiling from ear to ear. So fun to relive those days with you. What a great conference and trip. Love you!!
Soooo missed you this year!
It looked like so much fun! There were some of my favorite people in those pictures!! I was sad to stay home and work- maybe you will get to come to work with me this fall in the fields! :)
As always, it’ was fantastic to see you and spend some time catching up. Hope you’re having a great week and happy belated birthday!
oh my goodness! Look at all of those food photos! brisket tacos, iced tea, texas, food bloggers, what more could you ask for!
Love this recap and all of the photos, especially the silly ones. Makes me happy to see friends getting loose and having fun. Miss you already! XO
Those photo booth pictures are the BEST!
I have never been to Austin but really want to go. I hear nothing but great things about the city!
I absolutely love reading everyone’s re-caps of the conference! What a pleasure seeing you Sandy, love your cute photo booth pictures!! Until next time :) xoxo
Loved getting to see you! I had so much fun!! I’m with Amy, getting sad…hopefully I will get to see you in the next couple of months!
Missing you bunches, sweet friend! And not knowing when I’ll see you again makes me sad. :(