the food blog forum orlando, disney edition

If you told me that one day I would be pushing a candy-apple red KitchenAid Stand Mixer in a stroller around Epcot on St. Patrick’s Day, I would probably think you’ve had one too many green beers. And, if you told me that I would be pushing that mixer-filled baby stroller alongside a French-speaking, macaron-baking, Australian-born Canadian carrying a basket of chocolates, I would immediately know that you’ve not only been drinking but that you’ve also forgotten to take your antipsychotic medications.

But, it happened. It really did.

why, yes, i did win that mixer. yay, me!

I spent the weekend in Orlando for the second annual Food Blog Forum held in that city, but the very first one held at Walt Disney World. Disney was one of the sponsors and the host of the conference, and the hospitality shown to our group was really incredible. From the hotel rooms at the Polynesian (my son’s favorite Disney hotel), to the food served over the course of the two day conference, to the the complimentary park passes for the attendees and our family members, Disney did everything right.

Disney always does everything right. It’s their way.

While winning the mixer was a nice bonus of the trip, I was there to soak up knowledge and to have fun in the process.

Lessons abound at food blogging conferences, both inside the session rooms and outside them. Though I was doubtful whether I would walk away with any earth-shattering wisdom, I had a wonderful time and managed to gain tidbits of information along the way.

From Diane and Todd, the White on Rice Couple, we were taught that photography should be about storytelling. That is such a simple, common sense idea, but it’s one that gets lost amidst the props and pretty plates. I am quite grateful to Todd for teaching me so much about Lightroom, organizing my digital photos, and shooting in Raw versus JPEG. That brief round table session was very high yield. And aside from the photography genius, I discovered that Diane and Todd are a beautiful couple, on the inside and out – inspirational and passionate about life.

I learned from Dawn Viola’s session that she’s even more amazing than I first thought. She has such a passion and energy for life that I wish I could bottle it and add a few drops to my coffee each morning. I absorbed every tidbit of writing advice that David Leite offered to us. When his two sessions were over, I was left wishing I could pack him up, take him home with me, and force him to sit by my side while I write. Jennie’s and Kelly’s round table session on food writing was simply too short. I could talk to them for hours, especially since it’s the writing that has me so jazzed lately.

The highlight of Food Blog Forum Orlando wasn’t the swag bag of goodies or the page of notes that I took from the sessions. It wasn’t even the green beer that Mardi and I sneaked out to get after lunch, though that was pretty darn great at the moment. The best part of the conference was the coming together of friends and strangers to partake in a two-day event to celebrate food, to celebrate feeding others – whether with a fork, through the written word, or through the beauty of a photograph.

We honored the act of nourishing others, and I can’t think of anything better than that.


 * The top photo was taken by Aggie. Thanks for capturing the hilarity of the moment for me, Aggie.


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9 Responses to “louisville, kentucky: lynn’s paradise cafe”

  1. 1
    Macaroni Mama — September 10, 2010 @ 11:24 am

    You hit it on the nail . . .the biscuit, the decor, the photo of Truett and Maddie. I loved that trip!

  2. 2
    Susi — September 10, 2010 @ 11:52 am

    Looks like a wonderful trip with great memories! The cafe looks like a fun place to stop and eat for sure :o)

  3. 3
    Leigh — September 10, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

    I am in love with that sign. It’s the sequins. When they’re NOT on a hideous dress of some sort, they’re so so pretty. I’m glad you had fun! (And I like my grits plain, too. Cheese is overkill.)

  4. 4
    Jason Phelps — September 10, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    That is definitely one crazy restaurant. But at least you wouldn’t be bored while sitting there!


  5. 5
    Gail — September 11, 2010 @ 11:14 am

    I love your posts. I do. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when Madeline bit into the bath salt. You two must have been convulsing with giggles!

  6. 6
    CBR — September 11, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    I SO love cheese grits! Now you have me craving them… Lovely photo of your dad and your daughter. That’s what family travel trips are all about. 🙂

  7. 7
    Lisa McB. — September 12, 2010 @ 8:00 am

    Tea bags? A lamp? How cool is that!?
    P.S. I want grits now as well…

  8. 8
    Chris — September 12, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    I had heard mixed reviews about Lynn’s so we decided to skip the crowd when we went to Louisville last year. The tea bag lamp shade is a hoot. Great shot of your dad and daughter, memories for a lifetime there.

  9. 9
    ellie — October 8, 2010 @ 11:36 am

    i actually am from louisville and i have to say i love lynns! my highschool used to be right down the street so i drove by there everyday on the way to school. that area of town (the highlands) is my favorite. every time im in town i make a point of driving through there at least once. the amazing restaurants, the fun shops, the eclectic people, the laid back vibe, the gorgeous houses… there is just no place quite like it in the city.

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