Hi friends! I’ve just returned from one of the greatest weekends of my life, and I honestly have no idea where to even begin, or how the heck I’m going to fit this all into one post, but I’m not really a multiple post kind of girl (I get bored, and never finish what I actually wanted to talk about), so here we go…
Nicole and I got into Minneapolis around noon, headed to the hotel to check in, and then grabbed lunch at The Local.
After lunch we met up with Kristi and went to a fro-yo mini mingle, followed by probably my favorite meal of the trip at Chino Latino. All of their food is served family style, so Nicole, Alex, Steph and I ordered a few dishes to share.
After dinner, we headed up to drinks on a rooftop bar. I don’t really remember where, but as we walked back up to our room that night, Nicole and I began our gushing session about how much we already loved the summit, the mini mingles, and basically every single person we had met.
The next morning we started off with a tour with Wild Harvest. The highlights were definitely learning about product sampling (such a big process!) and my favorite (obviously), the recipe development. There was tons of food to taste, and it was all great. The turkey burger sliders were my favorite.
After the tour, we headed back to the hotel and met our 4th roommate. We had found Katie on the HLS facebook page and we literally had no idea how it would go when we met her. Well, after 5 minutes, we were all in friendship love. Seriously, this girl is amazing, and I feel like I am leaving the summit with a new life-long friend.
Most of the breweries around there don’t serve food, but they do have food trucks hanging around! We ordered some nachos to split.
The highlight was definitely the beer + ginger ale combo. I would highly recommend trying it next time you’re at a place that has both!
That evening, I went to a mini mingle at Hell’s Kitchen for dinner. It was kind of love at first site when I checked out the drink menu and saw that they infused their own liquors including a blackberry whiskey and a vanilla-cinnamon whiskey. Talk about the way to my heart. 😉
After dinner, we all headed over to the cocktail party. One of my favorite parts (aside from the photo booth which was obviously my very favorite part) was that when we walked in, we were given a note card with part of a famous duo or trio, and we were supposed to find out counter part and take a picture in the photo booth together. I was really nervous about going up and talking to new people, but this made it so much easier! Not to mention, I got jelly and spent the first few minutes looking for my
peanut almond butter. How perfect for me, right?
photo courtesy of Amanda
Amanda was the AB to my J, and she is awesome!
Once all of my roommates had found their counter part, we spent the rest of the evening taking as many photo booth pictures as possible.
photo courtesy of Katie
The view from The Guthrie was absolutely gorgeous.
On the way back, it was beautiful and foggy–we never see things like this in Arizona!
Saturday was a total blur. I know we woke up, and went to other presentations, and spoke, and then went to more presentations, but I was a bundle of nerves and couldn’t focus on much other than making it through our presentation.
Luckily, I felt like it did go pretty well, and by the time it was over, I actually wanted to do it again! I love working with Nicole because working with a good friend eases the nerves, and helps me to be myself. We balance each other out, and it makes almost everything in life better. PS, if you missed our session, check out Kristin’s live blog recap!
After the sessions, I went out with my roomies and new BFF Kammie to find dinner. We had a hard time deciding, and it was raining, so we ended up going back to The Local because it was so close, and the food was realllly good. Then we went back to Hell’s Kitchen for drinks because I couldn’t live without trying the cinnamon-vanilla whiskey. It.was.awesome.
Nicole, Katie and I got up to meet most of the girls for the 5k fun run. The weather was gorgeous–cloudy, drizzly, crisp and cool. We ran down to a local park and I spent most of the time chatting with Nicole, Katie, Heather and Steph. It was so beautiful out, and I was beyond thrilled to be running with such a great group! We stopped at the park for some pictures.
After we said goodbye to all of our new friends (umm, this was SO SAD!), Nicole and I headed off to find lunch, and then ended the trip on a super high note: the cronut.
Have you heard of these yet?? It’s a croissant donut, and I’ve been wanting to try one for months! I was sure there was no way it could be as good as I imagined, but it was BETTER! Not dry at all like some donuts can be. It really was the best of both worlds.
Honestly, it was absolutely incredibly what Heather, Julie and the rest of the planning committee created. Everything was so well organized, and I was the most impressed with what a comfortable and open environment they created. Meeting new people is scary, but the second I met Heather and Julie, I instantly felt at ease, and like I belonged, and isn’t that why we all go to these things? To feel like we’re a part of something, and feel included? I am beyond grateful to these ladies for all of their hard work, and I can’t wait to be a part of this again next year in Madison!