Blogging, Chicago, Humor

My Excellent Adventure- Chicago Blogging Event


I got to be a part of something pretty amazing last week.
They chose me to go to a blogging workshop sponsored by Coca-Cola in which I and 20 -25 other Chicago area bloggers would get to learn how to create a healthy balance in our lives.
And it was so exciting.
I will fill you in on the info I learned in a post I will publish Friday, but I wanted to share with you some highlights that didn’t make it in that post.
Because I ran out of the room.
Because I run on a little.
Don’t act surprised.
You and I both know how chatty I am.


We got to create “vision boards”.
Which meant we got to play with stickers, glue, scissors, and magazines!
It was so much fun.
And really therapeutic.
Who knew cutting a Real Simple magazine could relieve so much stress??


My vision board.
It impresses you, I can tell.


My amazing new friend Jeanette.
Holding the amazing new glue stick we fell in love with.
It’s like gorilla glue.
In stick form.
Too bad I can’t take a good enough picture to see what brand it was.
Because that was why I took the picture to begin with.
And I don’t even remember the name.


We ate lots of healthy food.
But secretly wanted a double cheeseburger.

We got to work out with a celebrity trainer.
Who kicked our butt.
And we didn’t even do cardio.
But I wasn’t the only one moaning in the room, so I feel comforted.

When I got into my room for the first time, it looked like this:


With Christmas music playing softly in the background.
I had tears in my eyes.
My room.
MY room.
This was the first time I have ever spent the night in a hotel alone.
And I am in my forties.
I bet you didn’t know people like me even existed, did you?
I was actually a little scared about it.
I mean, how would I fall asleep in a hotel without my husband snoring like a buzz saw, or the kids waking up ten times to pee?
It turns out I enjoy staying alone in a hotel room!
I should try that again sometime.

My new friend Beth’s view from her room:


Versus the view from my room:


I laughed.
Because I was so excited to be in the city, I could have looked at a brick wall and still been so happy.

Oh by the way, when I got in the room, I did a happy dance:


I had to share this.
And it’s not at all a flattering picture.
Because I totally look like a goof in it.
And I totally need to whiten my teeth.
But if you have ever seen Love Actually where Laura Linney’s character does this little happy dance after her date with this guy she is obsessed about?
That is exactly what I did.


Even the garbage can was upscale.


Dinner out at Boka in Lincoln Park.
I cannot talk about this enough.
I even said to my husband four days later, “did I tell you about the bathroom at this restaurant??”



My dinner, beef tenderloin.
Do you see the flowers made of food?
Here is the menu.
Did you ever see such a thing of beauty?

And when I got back to my room, this was waiting courtesy of Coca-Cola:


I felt like a celebrity, a celebrity, I tell you!
I was looking under the bed for Angelina Jolie to pop out.
Or Reese Witherspoon.
Yes, more her than Angelina.


Okay, here it is, folks.
What you have all been waiting for.


Tofurky DOES exist.

The aisles at this city Jewel have aisle names after actual street names in Chicago.

What do you get when you have a room full of bloggers??


Tops of heads.
Lots of them.
I have an admission to make:
I don’t have a smartphone.
I have a dumb phone actually.
Sweet Tony Danza is it ever dumb.
So I brought my iPod touch.
And couldn’t get wireless anywhere but the hotel.
I am so behind.

Holy Cheese Aisle.
The folks in this part of Chicago sure do like their cheese.


The Chopping Block was amazeballs.

I could have spent hours in this store.
But we were on a tight schedule.
We had 15 minutes to shop.
I don’t like that kind of pressure.


No Guy Fieri wasn’t our chef but isn’t this kitchen cool?
I want a kitchen like this.
Except for no mirrors on the ceiling.
That freaked me out.
A lot.

Random thought of the day: I had no idea Coca-Cola made Smartwater or Vitaminwater.
Who’da thunk it.
So that was my little excursion!
I wish you all could have been there in person.
But you were there, in my heart.
And you loved it.
Except for the pillows.
But you are very picky about pillows.


5 thoughts on “My Excellent Adventure- Chicago Blogging Event”

  1. Hi, Kari! I'm sort of a new follower. Like you, I cried this weekend. Still get choked up when the news comes on. But, I love your picture. Thank you for sharing. Life-time Chicagoan – was so cool to see your excursions. Wanted to tell you, I've done vision boards too and they're amazing. Much has manifested in my life, hope it does for you too. Sorry for the long comment! 🙂


  2. I'm going to have to make one of these posts myself. I have far too many photos not to share. :)You look adorable and…truth… I have a Master's degree in Ed. Tech (as in TECHNOLOGY) and I had the slowest, oldest laptop around. Then I upgraded after the program was over. And, I've only had an iPhone for just over a year. Before that, I didn't even have a camera on my phone! I'm not kidding. So feel better. 😉 I have the cheapest data plan on my phone possible and refuse to go over my data because I'm cheap like that.That hotel was lovely and so are you.


  3. I love your pics of the event. You got one of me in Jewel…LOL…always on the phone. I had the same thing at Boka…delish!!


  4. Can I just cut and paste and copy this post onto my blog? Though, I had no view because I chose to drive home. Next time, though, I'm staying downtown …So fun to meet you in person my fun and crazy and fun friend!:) Linda


  5. Sweet Tony Danza, have I been missing out! And thank you for this post because I have no memory and I also didn't realize they made flowers out of vegetables. P.S. My view sucked, too.


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