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Have you ever had so much fun that it was hard to sum it all up? I’ve delayed writing about my experience at the Food Blog Forum in Asheville, NC, because really, there were almost too many good things to tell!
But before the great memories fade away, I decided to try to capture a few, in hopes that someone else might enjoy hearing my story.
I had never attended a Food Blog Forum before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I tell you this: Asheville and the Biltmore House set such a high standard of hospitality, that any future venue will be hard pressed to match it. Do you hear me, Mouse? Yeah, I’m talkin’ to YOU, Orlando, in 2015. 🙂
The event was kicked off by a Moonshine Tasting Party in the courtyard of the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore , where the no-longer-illegally-produced beverage flowed freely, to the strains of live bluegrass music, and some tasty hors d’oeuvres. These pictures should give you a hint as to why I had SO much fun. It wasn’t the ‘shine: it was the ‘ship. The FRIENDship. My friend Anne and I met on a homeschool forum online over 10 years ago. We met in real life in 2006. And we’ve been buds ever since, meeting up from coast to coast. And I mean that literally, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and points in between. We have an unspoken tradition – that I just ruined by speaking of it – of posing beside statuary whenever possible, and the campier, the better. So, you’ll be
treated to forced to see a bit of that.
The Food Blog Forum conference was actually held on the 8,000 acres of The Biltmore House, a venue I’ve personally visited 6 or 7 times, through the years, and a place I still JUMP at the opportunity to visit! The builder, George Vanderbilt, was known for his hospitality, and I like to think that he would have been proud to have hosted a group of people who are so deeply appreciative of great food, wine, and hospitality.
Here’s a picture of the gorgeous house that George built – and no, I didn’t take it. No helicopter. But the Biltmore House graciously provided it:
Poor us, right?
Here’s the venue on the Biltmore property where the event was actually held. Lioncrest used to be the barn on the Biltmore property. If this is what a barn looks like, let me have been born HERE.
The sessions were extremely valuable. Really, the conference alone was so worthwhile – but Asheville had planned so much more for us! Plus, what a pleasure to get to hang with people who are both knowlegeable, and friendly!!! In fact, that I hope to attend next year, in Orlando. (Don’t hate me, Asheville! I plan to come back and see you again, as soon as possible!)
One of the best parts was the opportunity to connect with both OXO, and KitchenAid, who gave away marvelous merchandise to some very, very lucky conference attendees. And when I say marvelous merchandise….think dishwasher. Think refrigerator.
I have so much more that I’d love to tell you about this conference, that I can’t seem to keep it all to one post, so I’ve decided to break up what I have to say into a few posts. More pictures to come and a pretty great story or two, as well!