Posts Tagged: Gaylord Opryland


Saturdays Are Perfect for Photowalks & Sushi

My Bliss: Part IX

We were all very slow to move on Saturday morning.  We were tired, the week had caught up with us, and, personally, the late nights finally took their toll.  Lotus and I got to bed at 4’something, and I didn’t fall asleep until well after 4:30am, due to my poor, achy, throbbing feet.  We did have a nice few moments on the floor in front of our room, though.  Except we were on the wrong floor.  But, I digress… Just looking at Lotus’ boots, on Saturday morning, hurt my feet, as I opted to walk around the Opryland Hotel in my house slippers.

A small group of photogranerds met for the photo-walk.  I was so pleased to see each and every one of them.

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We stopped at the brick steps so that I could take some portraits of all the walkers.  Jennifer even took one of me.

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Shab caught me while working.  I totally love these pictures because I feel like I’m in a zone when I’m photographing someone, and to actually see myself while in that zone is really interesting.

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Then the photo-walk continued…

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As my feet were submerged in the cold-cold water of the man-made brook, two men of God approached me.  Few words were spoken, but there was an understanding as to why I was so keen to dangle my feet, slipped in, the water like liquid socks.  He smiled. I smiled.  I almost asked him if he wanted to join me.

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After the walk was over we went up to where Vdog and Jim were waiting for us.  Before we headed off to lunch, I got to say “hi”—via video-chat—to my old friend (an OG Cre8buzzer) Mr. Lady.  It was so nice to “see” her, too; I only wish she would have been at Blissdom.

We decided to hit the sushi restaurant.  And, we indulged in some of the best sushi that I’ve had in a long time.  After a little while Leslie and Rachel joined up with us.  It was a nice way to spend the final moments of Blissdom together.

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Before we said our goodbyes I asked V, Leslie, Rach, and Jim what their favorite part of Blissdom was.


Join me tomorrow when I give my final thoughts about My Bliss.

Girls Night In & Out {With a Couple of Boys}

My Bliss: Part VIII

The night started off with a bunch of girlfriends enjoying some Mexican food.   Rachel, Casey, Emily, Leslie, Victoria, Maile, Lotus, and I had a wonderful dinner together, full of good conversation and delicious food.  These are those special moments of a conference, stolen away, intimate, and bonding.


Then it was time for us to hit the red carpet at the Girls Night In Party.  Girls Night In at Blissdom is one of my favorite things.  It has to do with Karaoke, which I could have fun doing all night long if you let me.   This year the bonus was performances by Chris Mann and Crystal Bowersox, extra drink tickets, and the ever awesome Freschetta Photo Booth!   Seriously, every party needs a photo booth.  Chris was sweet enough to record a message for Olivia (one of his biggest little fans, but she’s not a bigger fan than her Ma, yo!)

Girls Night In I

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Me in All My Karaoke Glory [Photos Courtesy of Jennifer and Shab]

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After the Girls Night In Party we headed over to Fuse, where we danced our happy asses off.

This part of the night was the most fun.  The music, the dancing, the sweat, the beats, the love—it was utterly amazing!

Everyone danced together while on the periphery there were men from the other conference, that was going on, watching us.  There were only a couple men on the dance floor, Jim being one of them.  We were all having a blast, dancing all Johnny Castle and Baby, together.  All of a sudden I felt someone’s body up against my backside.  Oh!  Dirty Blissdom Fuse Dancing. Fun!  When I look around and spot everyone that would have been ALLOWED to Johnny Castle me.   There’s Loter.  There’s Momo.  There’s Jim. There’s the Love Bomb Crew. There’s Jana.  There’s Heather.  There’s Rach.  There’s EVERY. SINGLE. BLISSFRIEND. So, I turn around and it’s this creepy agriculture guy in a green button down.  Once I see that it’s not one of my people, grabbing my ass, my eyes pop out of my head and I mouth “help me” to Jim.   Just then the guy FULLY gooses me.

“Oh My God, you are SO naughty,”  I yell at him, as I turn to Jim, point, and say, “DUDE, THIS IS MY HUSBAND!”

Jim rescues me with a hug and the green shirted creep buzzes off at the speed of light; I’m sure he thought Jim would go all Kung Fu on him, or something, because Jim could totally eff a dude up. Just sayin’.

At that point, I adopted Jim as my husband for the night.   Then I found out that he was everyone else’s fauxsband.   Whatever.  He likes me best, I’m sure!

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Plopped on the stairs, we were beat.  We were also coming to the realization that Blissdom was soon to end.  This particular night ended with the pouring out of hearts.  And while we were sad that it was soon going to end, and we’d soon be going home, we took comfort in knowing that our friendships were stronger because of these moments.

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A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.

—Douglas Pagels

The Night I Decided I Hate My Black Boots

_I decided I hated my black boots when I was invited to the Housewares Show in Chicago last year, but I just couldn’t let go.  It was the wrong pair of socks I contended, and I continued to wear them.  When I shot The Most Interesting Show In The World I wanted to wear leggins, a black dress and a vest.   And, “the” boots.   At the last minute I remembered the pain from Chicago, and switched to jeans and black flats.   I didn’t think I looked as cute, but I was going there to work; looking cute was just a bonus, anyway.

I didn’t have a suitcase full of new duds to take with me to Blissdom like I did for BlogHer.  I had a few key pieces, but shoes were my major problem.  I didn’t want to wear heels as I knew the amount of walking there was in the Gaylord Opryland.  I decided to take “the” black boots, my new red flats (ehem…my new ten dollar red flats), my new cowboy’ish boots (ehem…my new *free cowboy’ish boots), and my new mock-Chucks.  Did I need *the* black boots?  Maybe not, but they sure looked fabulous with the outfit I planned to wear them with.

My friends at Eliza Parker sent me the most beautiful, versatile A-lined skirt and my newest and beloved piece that I wear a few times a week—the Million Ways Long Cardigan in (my favorite color) gray.   I planned on wearing the cardigan wrapped and tied at the back, with the skirt, fishnet (ish) stockings, and my black boots.  The outfit was awesome.  My feet, not so much!  I even put thicker socks on top of my stockings, trying to learn from my mistake in Chicago.  It didn’t matter.  By the end of the night I was carrying my boots around, cursing at them, and vowing to every single person that would listen that I was thoroughly done with these boots.

My next mission in life:  Find some new black boots that don’t kill my feet.
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Me in my Eliza Parker Million Ways Cardigan, surrounded by gorgeous friends!
[Photo Courtesy of Nish, The Outdoor Wife]


My Bliss: Part IV

One of my favorite things about going to a conference is when we all get ready to party.   Imagine three, four, sometimes five girls in a room dressing up in their clothes, fixing their hair, putting on their makeup.  There’s usually laughter or snorting, depending on whose room you are in

Wednesday night’s festivities included an awesome party at Water’s Edge Marketplace, followed by the premiere of CMT’s Working Class with Melissa Peterman and Ed Asner.  The first part of the night was just awesome.  We showed up hungry and, boy, did they feed us well.  The food and drinks were awesome, the setting was memorable, and the company was superb.    It was a wonderful kick off party!

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We mingled, and talked, and caught up with each other.  Lotus and I even got to catch up with our old friends David Griner and Kammie Avant from Luckie.   We met Kammie when David invited us (along with Anissa Mayhew and Lindsey Labresco) to Birmingham for the Marketing to the Modern Mom day event that offered a candid discussion about social media and motherhood.  It was awesome to see them again.  I can honestly say that David is one of my favorite guys in social media.

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So, here’s a question for you….

What happens when someone tells you that there will be FREE wine and cupcakes at a party?

You do cartwheels!!!!!!   (Well, at least, that’s what Lotus and Leslie do!!!!!)

We headed for the premiere of Working Class.   There was wine, and cupcakes, and popcorn and bliss.  The Bringer of Bliss, Alli Worthington guided us in.

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We drank wine, ate cupcakes, watched the show, and then Melissa Peterman entertained us.  She was adorable, funny, and Rachel even got to join her on the stage.



While I was getting some wine Momo caught me and said that Jim was coming in around midnight, and asked if we wanted to welcome him.  I didn’t even ask Lotus, I just said we totally would.  A few minutes after Melissa’s Q&A we headed to the lobby to greet our old friend.

We walked out the front doors, and Lotus said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that was Jim in that truck?”

The truck pulled up to the curb and through the tinted windows we could see Jim enthusiastically waving at us.  It. Was. Him.

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He checked in, took his bags to his room, and then we headed to Fuse, where we **drank and drank, tweeted in a circle, laughed about how we were all in a club with each other tweeting, sent hilarious tweets to each other about how we were all in the club tweeting with each other, and drank some more.  Then we drank some more.

Momo retired for the night (she’s obviously the smart one opting to try to get some sleep) while Jim, Lotus, and I scoured the hotel for a ***cough drop.  We found one and along with finding one we also found some Australian guys.   And, let me just say—for the record— that it was definitely a very strange ending to a jam-packed day!

We finally decided to call it a night at, like, 3:30am, but I still had to go get my pajamas and head to my room (thankfully Stacie offered to let me stay with her which was awesome especially when I discovered that I left my air mattress pump at home!)

Lotus and I stumbled to the room, assembled our plan to get in the room quietly, and then she graciously walked me to my room.   What can I say?  She’s a good date!

When I fell into bed the whole day whirled around in my head.  From waking up late to turning in early to everything in between.   This day definitely set the stage, my bliss was well on it’s way…[To Be Continued…]

*Free Boots: Thanks to the Clever Girls SWAGG campaign that I participated in, I was gifted some SWAGG bucks and I got this great pair of cowboy(ish) boots from Amercian Eagle.  Thanks CGC and SWAGG!

**I had a shot of Jack Daniels and a New Castle.  Both firsts for me.  Thanks Jim, Momo, and Lotus!

***Cough drops are my euphemism for cigarettes.  I know, I know, they’re bad for my health.  But, I’m TOTALLY a social smoker.




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