Vida Vegan Con 2013, Part II (Warning, This One’s A Bit Of A Love Fest)

June 3rd, 2013 - filed under: Furthermore » Inspiration


The VVC founders welcome us at breakfast, day 2.

The second day of VVC began with a delicious bang, in the form of a “Portland Restaurant Sampler” breakfast, with 15 local food spots all serving up some of their finest dishes. It was awesome and delectable and I’ll write more about it in my “WIAW – VVC Food” post next week. For now, a quick pic:

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Breakfast was great but I was nervous again. I skipped the first round of sessions that day, so that I could focus and prep for my panel at 11 am. I was moderating this time, which is something that I’ve never done or even dreamed of doing before, and I couldn’t tell if moderating was more scary or less scary than sitting on a panel. Luckily, I was still high from my successful session the day before, and even though I was truly nervous, I was also just super excited to do it again.


It went so well! The topic was Privacy Lines & Oversharing, and the panelists were all so dynamic, engaged, and different from one another (and from me). There was Susan, who keeps her blog very recipe-centric and reveals very little about herself, and Dreena, who also keeps things mainly food-focused, while sharing a few photos and anecdotes from her daily life (as an at-home mom of three growing girls), and Joanna, who’s been blogging her guts out and letting it fly [mostly] unfiltered since 1995. And then there’s me, somewhere in the middle I guess? I feel like I used to be a lot more guarded, but have recently moved into the realm of a more uncensored blogging style. I’ve had mixed feelings about this transition, which is probably why I proposed this very topic way back when VVC put out the call for speakers.

Anyway, it was a fantastic discussion. We covered everything from blogging about children while trying to respect their own autonomy and future-privacy, decorum around blogging about and posting photos of other individuals (adults), social media stuff (options like private vs public accounts, control over your own image/”brand”, etc), whether to use “checking in” apps like Foursquare (and Facebook and Yelp and many others offer this function now too), and other safety/security issues. The audience really seemed to enjoy it and the questions we got were so great, I just didn’t want it to end!


Dreena and me after the talk. She’s tall too, woo-hoo! (photo by Dreena).

As I was finishing up at the podium, Melisser Elliot sauntered over for a chat. She’s had lots of experience with all the things we’d been talking about, so we commiserated and swapped stories and pretty much immediately began completely over-sharing with each other. Ha!

Melisser is so rad and we have a TON in common, and it’s weird to me that we’ve never really run into each other out there on the internets. Of course I knew of her and she knew of me, but aside from that we just never crossed paths in cyberspace. Seems strange, but I was glad to finally connect at VVC, because we had a great time hanging out and girl-talking all through lunch.

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What a babe!

After lunch, I sat in on a session called Finding Balance: Blogging and Personal Life. It was a great discussion, and always such an interesting topic. Balance??! Who has that?

After that I cut out early, to regroup and rest before the Galarama and Silent Auction that would be taking place later in the evening. I rode the bus back to the house where I was staying, and spent the afternoon relaxing and getting ready for the big event.

I was sharing a house with Christy Morgan, Heather Nauta, Allison Rivers Samson, and Miyoko Schinner, but we’d barely had any time to see each other all weekend. Allison and Miyoko were there that evening though, because Miyoko was putting together some artisan vegan cheese plates to serve at the Galarama. Um, yeah. [!!!!!!!]


Before the Galarama, I had plans to meet up with Gena for a little dinner date. It’s weird, this blogging thing. Gena and I have met only a handful of times in real life, but we’ve known each other through our blogs for years. And we knew, the first time we hung out, that we had a lot in common (veganism, a love of science and nutrition, a similar perspective towards food/health/body image, etc). Which is why we made plans to hang out at all, back then.

What we didn’t know was that we would connect in all these other different, and rather unexpected ways. Which is awesome, especially for someone like me who is, well, a pretty complicated person. It’s sort of rare and definitely wonderful to find someone who understands me on multiple levels. And I’m so glad that she’s my friend!


From dinner we cabbed it over to the Galarama. What a party! Hosted by The Sexy Vegan, with Melisser spinning funk records and a whole array of awesome items up for Silent Auction, all mixed up with hundreds of giddy vegan bloggers . . . yes, it was a very good time!

Pretty much as soon as I walked in, the kitchen door swung open and I got a peek of Allison and Miyoko working furiously. On the next swing, Allison reached out, pulled me inside, and showed me this:



Artisan vegan cheese heaven. There was brie you guys. Brie!

Wine, an ice cream sundae bar, vegan liquor tasting, gluten-free cupcakes and artisan cheeses, the auction, a taco truck, great music, lots of dancing. That pretty much captures the essence of the Galarama!


Solo in a red dress. // With the beautiful Ami, who is literally over a foot shorter than me.

Mr. Matt Crawley, looking fly.

The party was open to non-VVC attendants, so my Portland pal Jacqueline came along. When she saw that Isa Chandra-Moskowitz was there, she was like “OH MY GOD! My husband is in love with her, he told me to kiss her for Vegan Brunch!” So of course, we had to make the introduction.

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Soooo adorable!

There was also a photo booth:

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Getting sassy with Jacqueline and Ami (photo embellished by Ami)

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With Joanna. I really got to spend some quality time with her at VVC, and gosh I heart her!

Vegan ice cream + cherry whiskey. Because Jacqueline is a damn genius.


I think it’s pretty obvious that it was a great party. And when it was all over, I caught a ride home with my housemates. And when we all got home, Miyoko pulled out a bottle of champagne, and Allison was like, “Hey you know there’s a hot tub here?”, and I was like “WORD”.

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Miyoko, Christy, Allison, Heather, and moi.

And that, my friends, is a great freakin’ day.


catch Day 1 here

and Day 3 here

  • Carrie @ Carrieonvegan

    Love the recap! I think it’s so interesting how everyone had such varied experiences at VVC, with the shared theme of having so. much. fun. :)

  • Bianca-Vegan Crunk

    Wow! Hot tub party with awesome vegan bloggers! Jealous! We ended up at the vegan strip club….so we saw some skin too. ;-) I’m loving seeing VVC through your eyes, and I wish I’d been in the audience for your panels! I’m sure, despite your nervousness, that you did GREAT!

  • Bianca-Vegan Crunk

    P.S. Did Miyoko mention anything about me spilling my beer on her? I was so embarassed! I dropped my beer on the floor at the gala after we’d posed for a picture together. I’m such a clutz.

  • Vegan Yack Attack

    I love this! You look absolutely stunning in your Galarama dress. I wish that we would have met! But, clearly there was a million (300) bloggers and I can’t shut up ever so I talked to maybe 50. ha ha I can’t wait for the 3rd installment. :)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I can’t believe we didn’t meet! You live in LA right? I’m down there all the time, maybe we’ll cross paths soon?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I wanted to go tot he vegan strip club so bad! Lived there for 5 years, never made it. Next time for sure!

    And haha, no Miyoko didn’t mention the beer spill. I’m a total klutz too!

  • Vegan Yack Attack

    Yes! I live near Long Beach, but am always down for food field trips. I’ll find you on FB for contact. :)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Totally! Everybody saw the exact same things and did the same things, but each with their own unique perspective. I’m loving reading all the different recaps for that reason.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Awesome! I’m going to the vegan drinks meetup on Saturday night, at Sprouted Garden Cafe – are you part of that group? And there, I just broke one of my Privacy Lines rules and posted about where I’ll be in advance. Whoops!

  • Christy Morgan

    I hope we get to chat more in the future. <3 you!!

  • Rachel from The Vegan Mishmash

    Ahh, what an amazing trip. I definitely hope to see you speak/moderate some day.

    And that cheese plate is gorgeous.

  • Vegan Yack Attack

    Yes! My old email address was clogged up, so I just saw the alert. :)

  • skeptk_vegan

    So great! That looks like so much fun!! I’m so glad you share these experiences! Because of your inspirational posts, just today I sent in my application for the Main Street Vegan Academy. You’ve expanded my horizons enough to open up the drive and passion that I never knew I had!

  • Pingback: Vida Vegan Con 2013, Part I | Bonzai Aphrodite

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yes Christy! I’m sure we’ll cross paths at another Veg event. I hope so! <3

  • Sayward Rebhal

    That would be so awesome Rachel, and maybe it’ll happen! I’m really going to work to do more public speaking in the next year . . . =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, that is so awesome. So you decided to do it! That’s great, and I promise you that you’ll love it. Of course! Ooooh that’s so exciting, I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • Chef Amber Shea

    Ahaha, what a great picture of Matt! Didn’t expect to see my fuzzy-boaed husband in this post. :)
    So glad we had time to sit and chat on…Friday? Whatever day that was. Till next time <3

  • skeptk_vegan

    Thanks! I got accepted today!! I can not even begin to articulate my excitement… let’s just say I definitely have a love list building for Friday! :) :) :)

  • Richa @VeganRicha

    Looks like a fantastic trip. i;ve been reading so many vvc recaps and noting some of the things i should definitely do if i make it to the next one:)

  • Sayward Rebhal


  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’m so glad we got to chat too! I just wish we’d gotten a pic together. I think you took one at the Galarama? I didn’t get any!

  • Chef Amber Shea

    Oh! I forgot you didn’t take any. Yes, I got one! I’m forwarding it to you now. :)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yay thank you!

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