Last year I didn't know what to expect with Fitbloggin. This year I knew it was a chance to explore a new city with old friends and I don't know if I could have had a better time in Savannah. It took me almost 7 hours to make the 500 mile trip but it went by pretty quickly with my cooler full of treats next to me! (Not pictures: pretzel M&M's I picked up at the first gas station stop. Road trip essential.)
I checked into the Hyatt and waited for my roommate Shannon (Frugal Beautiful) to land after the day of flight hell thanks to Delta. Throughout the weekend I swung by the expo area quite a few times. Whenever I got the munchies I ran down from my room to grab a smoothie or a bag of DIY trail mix (such a fun idea!)
I went back to the room to freshen up before heading out to walk around downtown Savannah for a bit. I wore my pink Reebok shoes everywhere. I've never received more compliments on a pair of shoes before! They are just so comfortable my old lady feet can't walk around in flip flops anymore.
Saturday afternoon we also spent a few hours exploring the riverfront area by the hotel. Savannah feels like New Orleans to me, minus the drunken tourists and homeless guys everywhere. The architecture is very similar, it has this old South romance to it, and there are no open container laws.
I had my first praline and macaron in Savannah! I wasn't expecting the macaron to be chewy, I always imagined it would be soft like a cupcake. I definitely preferred the pralines. There was a candy shop on the river front that handed out free samples when you walked in that were freshly made. They were warm and literally melted in your mouth. Hint: If you ask them for seconds (or thirds) they'll usually oblige.
I also attended my first ever Piyo/Insanity class. I LOVED it. My heart rate stayed between 160-170 during the Insanity workout. I'm going to look into buying a few of the Insanity and T25 DVD's to start putting into my usual rotation. I suffered through the class with Ruthie, whom I've been friends with online for ages and finally got to meet this weekend. She is a DOLL.
I was thrilled to find Savannah has a lot of healthy vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Ruthie is a local so she recommended a few places that I had actually read about online before the trip and was hoping to try out. Kayak kafe was amazing! We saw a few other Fitbloggers there and everyone raved about the food. Very fresh, healthy meals.
We went to Zunzi's for dinner Friday night and I got their falafel pita. So good! I think everyone loved their meals there as well. Very hipster, fun vibe to the place. For the panel & farewell reception Saturday night there was a 'taste of Savannah dessert' menu. I stopped counting how many pieces of fudge, bearclaws & pralines I had. No one needs to know.
Aside from soaking up some Savannah culture and hanging with my blogging besties the best part of the trip was meeting (or re-meeting from last year) some bloggers I connect with on social media often. I'm glad I was able to get a picture with Martinus from 300 pounds and running and I'm still waiting for Alan Ali to tag me in our pic!
A few other shout-out's. I finally met Erin from Girl Gone Veggie and she was ridiculously nice. Like, the girl that is impossible to hate for anything, by anyone. Her personality actually reminds me a lot of Andrea from A Doctor in the House (who I missed seeing this year!) Two of the prettiest, and fastest, friends of mine on Instagram were there as well; Sarah from Run Far Girl and Jessica from Run Lady Like. Those two are the one's I really regret not spending more time getting to know. Next year! Diana from the Chic Life joined us for dinner Friday night and I'm so glad I was able to spend some time around her. She's wicked smart!
The only time I got 'star struck' was when I met Katy Widrick. I've read her blog since I started mine, and she's the reason I had a media kit made up by month 6 (that subsequently helped me get more business and be taken seriously by brands.) I went to her presentation on media kits Saturday and it was an absolute pleasure having her on the panel I moderated Saturday night. Her energy is INSANE. She's one of those women who are just drop dead gorgeous because their such an amazing person. She was always the first on the dance floor (or busting a move in Insanity) and I saw numerous bloggers come up to her to talk and she was always friendly. Her and Kat are the type of people you would go to if you were having a bad day and know that within a few minutes you'd be laughing your ass off and life would be okay again.
Finally, the moment I realized I had to say goodbye to the 3 other girls I spent most of my time with this weekend I got really sad faced. Shannyn, Kat & Becca, I ain't waiting a year to see you guys again. Let's make this happen.
On the ride home I saw this. 'Merica.
And just in case it wasn't already official; it is now. I have the greatest boyfriend ever. After driving home 7 hours I arrived home to find him waiting on my doorstep (he drove over 2 hours himself and arrived minutes before I did.) He wanted to stop by and bring me food for the week since he knew I didn't have time to food prep this weekend. He pulled a few recipes from my Picnic Post and made Blackberry Lemonade, Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad, and Minted Pineapple Salad. He cooks for himself pretty regularly but sticks to a standard chicken, rice & veggies dish so this was all way outside his comfort zone. He sliced up the almonds himself, bought cabbage and radishes for the first time in his life, and muddled & strained blackberries.
Until next year!