Food Blog Forum 2013 – Day 1 {Orlando, FL}

The meeting started late and ran over, but I still had an important mission ahead: see how close to Orlando, FL we could get after work. Normally, I would see if I could leave early to get a head start on the road trip, but I just started a new project for my consulting company the Monday before, so I decided to just be glad they were okay with my previously scheduled vacation. The meeting was at 4pm, but it didn’t start until closer to 4:30pm. So, that, plus the work I needed to do before leaving the office for over week, plus some last minute double-checking of the packing job from the night before, put us on the road right around 6:45pm. Doh!

We made it to Columbia, SC before needing food. A quick stop at Panera did the trick, and we were on the road again. Hubby got Starbucks before leaving Columbia and was able to make it to almost 1am, which put us in Jacksonville, FL – a bit further than we originally planned.


Luckily, we found a pet-friendly hotel called Hotel Indigo with a very friendly staff. It wasn’t right off the highway, but it wasn’t too far either. Not only was the room nicely decorated and clean, they let us stay until 2pm! This was essential because hubby had important phone conferences he had to take from in front of a computer with wi-fi. We had toyed with the idea of trying to make it to Orlando after breakfast, but based on the meeting schedule, it just wasn’t going to work out. Alas. We took our time with breakfast and walked around the lake behind the hotel. Hubby took his calls. I grabbed a quick lunch. And then, we were off again, Disney-bound so I could attend the 2013 Food Blog Forum conference.


We ran into some traffic on the way, so we got there a little later than I had hoped – 5:15pm. I thought I was going to miss the 5pm conference check-in, but after frantically running over there, I got my packet! The nice girl doing check-ins must have stayed a bit for the late ones, like me. Phew! I felt SO lucky because my Disney park tickets were in my packet, and I needed them for dinner plans later.


We stayed at the Grand Floridian, which was so beautifully manicured, as all Disney parks and hotels seem to be. I wanted to wander around more, but I had to get ready for the welcome party!


{Welcome party outfit – thanks to Annelies for taking my photo!}


Late seemed to be the theme for the beginning of this trip, and I was late for the welcome party, too.





I got a little chatty meeting lots of fabulous, fellow food bloggers, so I only ended up sampling a couple of the dishes.







But, all was well because I had dinner plans for later!


I headed over to MGM (which is really Hollywood Studios, but I can’t help but call it by its former name) for a dinner hosted by Glam.


We hit up The Brown Derby, a replica of the Hollywood original.


A few of us had the special cocktail – coconut rum, cranberry, and (I think) pineapple.


I don’t really remember exactly what was in the drink. I just knew it was fruity and came with a glow-cube! Hello!




We shared some appetizers…


…and I got the filet for my main course. The steak was wonderful! Despite my proclivity to enjoy meat cooked a little too much (medium well), the filet was very tender. Gosh, my mouth is watering just blogging about this again! The dish also came with mashed potatoes, haricot verts, and golden beets. Oh, and a crispy potato chip for garnish, propped up by (what I think was) shallot butter. Hey, baby.


I shared berry cobbler with Kasey’s Kitchen for dessert. We were going to get the champagne cheesecake, too, but they were out! Next time!

The dinner was so fun, and I was glad I was able to meet other bloggers in a smaller group environment so we could really chat. I met so many cool girls! Thank you, Glam, for the wonderful dinner!


After dinner, I met back up with hubby at the hotel. He had spent the evening watching the new Star Trek and wandering around Downtown Disney.


He even brought back the biggest caramel-chocolate-cookie-something-apple I’ve ever seen! Even though I’d already shared one dessert, I couldn’t resist splitting another. The cookies tasted great with the rest of the toppings, though they did make the apple a little harder to eat. Somehow, we managed.


We wandered around the Grand Floridian, enjoying the lights…



…and wild life.

Despite some scheduling challenges, the trip was off to a great start! I was super pumped for the full day of conference ahead, and I was looking forward to seeing my new blog friends and meeting more.

Next time – Food Blog Forum Day 2! Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “Food Blog Forum 2013 – Day 1 {Orlando, FL}”

  1. Everything looks terrific and I had a WONDERFUL time tweeting with you during the conference! (Next time, get the Duck at the Hollywood Brown Derby!). The pictures were terrific….Disney really does it best, don’t they?

    I look forward to Day 2!


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