I am not a huge fan of crowded places, strict agendas, and impersonal interactions. When I see the words “Blogger Convention” in an email or advertisment, I almost always hit delete. So I surprised myself when I signed up for the Blend Retreat Park City a few months ago. Let me back up, over a year ago, I remember seeing all of the blog posts about this new retreat that was in Boulder CO. It did not look like your typical conference. There was hiking, good food, friends and most important it looked intimate and personal. When I saw that many of my close blogging friends were going to attend this year’s at Park City, that the price was reasonable, and the timing worked with my schedule, I made the commitment to go.
A few weeks ago, I boarded a plane bound for Salt Lake City, Utah and two and a half days of fitness, food, free stuff, and friends. I really did not know what to expect, but I went in with an open heart & mind and let things unfold, and boy did they ever unfold! I arrived in the airport and rented a car with Lindsay and Amanda, we made the 35 minute drive up to Park City just in time to have a nice lunch at Whole Foods and walk around a bit.
We checked into our suite at the beautiful Hyatt Escala, introduced ourselves to our roommates (my roommates were Lindsay and Annette), checked out our swag bags, freshened up, and headed down for a Cocktail party hosted by Silk.
We walked down into the restaurant/bar and were greeted by our hosts and a the opportunity to have our pictures taken in a photo booth! SO fun!
The cocktail party was beautiful with delicious appetizers and three different Almond Milk cocktails. I tried the Silk Pajamas and the Ginger Refresher, they were both amazing and came with recipe cards (so classy and clever). After drinks, we went on to dinner in the Ballroom, by this time I was fighting a migraine, but then again when am I not fighting one? I ate dinner, took some of my medication, and went to bed.
The next morning, there was a group bootcamp sponsored by GPP Fitness, but I needed to get 10 miles in before my marathon next weekend so Laura, Debra, and I headed out in the rain and altitude to get some miles in. Thankfully, it was the only time during the weekend that I was free of migraine pain. We returned tired and wet, but happy and proud of our super tough 9.5 miler.
Debra, Christine, Laura and I opted out of the group hike for the hotel sauna and steam room. This is what I love about the retreat, you can do what you want and are not bonded by a strict schedule, but if that’s what you want they have that too. It really is the perfect weekend for bloggers. After the sauna, I gave a few hair cuts ( I bet you didn’t know that I was a hairdresser in my previous life!), something I still love to do! By this time my migraine was back, not a good sign because when they come back it means it’s a cluster migraine — in others words, I was in a tremendous amount of pain and the medication stoped working. Annette and Lindsay took care of me and put essential oils on my temples and were so kind and understanding. The oils really soothed the pain and, I feel, helped reduce the severity — read more about how Annette uses essential oils to improve her life (and mine!) right HERE.
By this time my migraine was so severe that I needed to try and sleep it off a bit, so I took a short nap. When I woke up, dinner was at a small mexican restaurant with a group of 25 people. It was great to talk to a few bloggers that I had never met before. I enjoyed the conversation, but to be perfectly honest, it was difficult to be myself because of my head pain. I hate even writing about it, I get so sick of hearing myself say I have migraines, I can’t imagine how sick of it you guys must be. I am so frustrated and hate being afflicted by CMD. The next morning I woke up with pain so severe, I had to crawl to my suitcase to get my medication (it took all of courage and strength to fight the pain and get to my medicine). You may think, “how bad can a headache be?” but migraines are not headaches, they are an extremely debilitating collection of neurological symptoms and I was right in the middle of having an attack that would last for the next 12 days ( I am still recovering, although the severe pain has past). I have not said this out loud, but it really diminished my joy in the weekend… I just wasn’t myself and was unable to really have meaningful conversations with people outside of my close friends. Part of the reason this recap has taken me so long to write is that when I returned home my attack continued. Many people fail to realize that migraine disease is a neurological disease, like epilepsy. So for obvious reasons, I missed the scheduled bootcamp work out on Sunday morning.
Shortly thereafter my medication kicked in, and I was able to pack and head down to breakfast, which was hosted by Chobani. The food was outstanding and I was able to enjoy the flavors despite being in a haze from my pain and medication. After breakfast, we gathered together for a giveaway and goodbyes. This is Tess from CrossCountryCajun.com a fellow Oiselle team member and the biggest sweetheart you’ll ever meet!
I was so excited to win a pair of Oakley Sunglasses from The Sunglasses Hut and very sad to say goodbye to so many wonderful women. We headed to the airport and before I knew it the weekend was coming to an end. Despite my fucking migraine (did I just cuss on my blog?) it was the perfect weekend. It was everything I thought it would be and so much more. I look forward to attending next year!