This past weekend, I attended the 4th annual Healthy Living Summit here in Boston.
Instead of giving a detailed recap over 3 different posts, I’ll give you the highlights as well as my final thoughts on the summit.
The event this year was back in Boston…ahem, Cambridge…at the Hyatt on the river.
I went through the check in and Elizabeth was manning the part of the alphabet that I fall in. She was rifling through the names, so I thought she was helping someone else. She looks up and says “Alaina right? I hope that’s not weird.” I was oddly flattered that she recognized me. And throughout the time I was there, she was such a nice person to talk to.
I picked up my shoes, t-shirt and swag bag and headed up to the hotel room.
Shoes: awesome! T-Shirt: Can’t go wrong with Five Bamboo. Swag Bag items: Not bad. I think I’m more excited for the coupons. Roommate: Love! Amy was such a great roommate and overall wonderful person to get to know.
Mini-Mingle at Flour Bakery
Flour Bakery in Cambridge, an amazing coconut macaroon, and my hummus sandwich with spinach, carrots and sprouts.
Unfortunately I can’t remember who I sat with and talked to during lunch! I was pretty bad at catching some names. But we had a nice conversation. I also had the ultimate pleasure of meeting Holly and getting to chat with her for a bit. I always enjoy reading her posts and love her blog “voice.” She reminded me a lot of my cousin Aimee.
Dinner at Zephyr on the Charles
For dinner on Friday night, I decided to stay at the hotel. I wasn’t up for exploring Boston or Cambridge, and I was also eager to meet my roommate Amy. Katie was our other dining companion. I had a limeade seltzer drink which was fizzy and refreshing. For my dinner I had the chicken quesadilla appetizer.
More taco-like but still very delicious.
A little pre-gaming was done beforehand.
We had a delicious white zinfandel from Whole Foods.
The cocktail party was held in the tent just outside the hotel. There was a small table with cheeses, crackers and other small bites (nuts, dried fruit, etc.). My favorite table was the popcorn and chocolate table.
Oh yes. And there were whoopie pies. The lemon poppy seed caught my eye.
I would have to say that the cocktail party was not what I was expecting. It almost seemed like a middle school dance. Granted I certainly wasn’t mingling and eager to meet a lot of the bloggers in attendance, but I think I did my fair share of meeting new people. The only one that I was eager to meet was Anne. We had a very nice conversation, mainly talking about weddings (she’s getting married in October and I was married 4 years ago, in October).
After the cocktail party, Michelle and I were walking to the bar to see if we could find a place to get a drink. On the last step of the short stair case, the heel of my foot fell out of my shoe and it made me stumble. To keep from rolling my ankle (or falling on my face), I caught myself which I could immediately feel on the outside of my foot.
When we found the bar to be too full, we ended up sitting down and chatting for a bit. When it was time to go to the room, I could barely walk on my left foot. During the night, I wrapped it in ice and tried to elevate it. But the pain alone only allowed me about 1 to 2 hours of solid sleep. The next morning, I couldn’t put any weight on it. It was excruciating. I ended up calling the front desk who called a cab for me to take me to the Cambridge Health Alliance. David was there when he had strep and I was amazed at how quick and efficient they were with their patients.
I was in there by 8AM, they took x-ray’s, gave me some Motrin, informed me that it was just a sprain (thank goodness), gave me some crutches and I was out by 9AM. Not exactly how I wanted to spend Saturday morning, but I’m glad it didn’t take up the whole morning.
I got back to the hotel, just in time to grab some of the breakfast that they still had laid out. I had a parfait and a banana nut muffin.
This was the only session I sat on, led by Gretchen. Around 11:30, I decided to head home and rest my foot. I ended up calling out that night from work as well.
My Thoughts on the Summit
-This kind of crowd just isn’t for me. I found it difficult to make conversations with some of the people in attendance. Those that I did meet were very nice, don’t get me wrong, but conversations seemed forced.
-I am not that type of blogger. It seems that a lot of the “popular” bloggers that were there were the 3 times a day, let’s-talk-about-everything-going-on-in-our-life type of writer. I would be bored out of my mind if I wrote like that. It works for them, which is great! But it’s just not something that I can do. My full time job is too busy for that. I am all about quality over quantity, a la: How Sweet It Is or Confessions of a Chocoholic to name a couple.
-The name is misleading. It should be called “How to be a Better Blogger Summit.” All of the sessions were geared towards blogging; even the vendors were eager to get their product out there by partnering with those in attendance. This type of conference is not wrong, but just poorly labeled, I feel.
-It felt cliquey. This was my first summit and while I was able to meet some amazing people (Chase, Michelle, Sarah, Holly to name a few) there were a lot of little groups that seemed to have an air about them. Again, going back to point number 1, not my type of crowd.
The reason I attended the conference was out of curiosity, and I love to meet new people. If it hadn’t been in Boston, though, I may not have. Will I go next year? Probably not. I would love to go to the Festival that my sponsor puts on in San Francisco. That seems more like my crowd.
I am in no way trying to put down this summit. I’m sure a lot of hard work and months of planning went in to making this event. For me, personally, it’s just not something that worked.
Were you at the summit this year? Summit’s in the past?