That said, working in a little solo bubble can sometimes get frustrating. I find myself craving colleagues to bounce ideas off of, learn from, or even just to vent with on the days when things don't go quite right. We have Facebook groups and often chat via social media, but nothing beats in-person interaction.
Fortunately last month, I had a chance to get away and experience a few exhilarating days surrounded by some of the most talented and inspiring bloggers, photographers, and entrepreneurs I ever met.
And I'd love to share a bit about it with you! Scroll down to see and learn more about my experience:
TheLemonBowl.com. Liz handpicked a group of bloggers--both big and small--to spend a long weekend together at her family's beach house on Lake Michigan.
The weekend started off with a mini one-day tour of the city of Grand Rapids (graciously sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids).
It was the first time meeting the majority of bloggers in the group, and I loved how so many of us instantly clicked, sparking animated conversations and laughter that probably annoyed everyone else dining in the restaurant that day (sorry, other people!).
We then piled into a van for a trip to the Downtown Market--a very cool food hall with a number of local artisan food vendors.
It was seriously straight out of a dream. Or a movie. Or a magazine.
(And it's available for rent or additional stalking here, in case you're interested!)
And did I mention the food?
We enjoyed everything from Gina's grilled rosemary lamb chops to Liz's incredible Syrian salad to my Ginger Peach Moscow Mules.
From left to right (in the picture above):
- Gina from Skinnytaste
- Heidi from Foodie Crush
- Trevor and Jennifer from Show Me the Yummy
- Liz from The Lemon Bowl (our gracious hostess!)
- Lee from Fit Foodie Finds
- Me (don't know why I'm the only one wearing sunglasses. Weirdo.)
- Lynn from Order in the Kitchen
- Amy from Amy's Healthy Baking
- Phi from Sweet Phi
- Alexis from Hummusapien
- Andie from Andie Mitchell
- Dara from Cookin' Canuck
- Denise & Lenny from Chez Us
Our travel to the Fresh Coast Retreat and all related expenses (meals, transportation, lodging, etc.) were covered by the main weekend sponsors Sabra, Stonyfield, Bob’s Red Mill and Experience Grand Rapids. Food items were donated by the brands mentioned above and in the post including DeLallo, Lindt, The Little Potato Company, and Stonefire. The Muskegon CVB provided us with a cute old timey trolley to get around in (so awesome). I did not receive additional compensation to attend or write this post. All the opinions expressed within this post are my own. I'm so thankful to the bloggers and brands who made this weekend possible, and look forward to putting the tips and lessons that I learned into action to create more great content and recipes for you in the future. Thank you, as always, for your continued support!
And thank you to Grand Rapids photographer Raúl Alejandro Velasco from Alejandro Photography for all the gorgeous images you see in this post! If you're looking for a family or wedding photographer in the area, definitely look him up!