We arrived in Nashville on Wednesday evening after a 13 hour drive. Traveling with a puppy and my own small bladder necessitated more stops than I would have preferred, but we did need to get out of the van and stretch our legs. When we arrived at the hotel, we recognized some fellow bloggers walking their dogs. There were also quite a few personalized vehicles (which was really cool) and various license plates from around the country. We were recognized by several people (which was nice) and got a wonderful welcome in the form of a friendly shout and wave from an above balcony from our friends at Life With Beagle! Christie is such a nice person and it was good to see her again. We’d seen her when she’d approached us at the Eukanuba National Championship a few years ago. We were thrilled to be able to meet her lovely Beagle Miss Lulu. Miss Lulu is super soft, I have to say. Just adorable!
It was our hope to hit the ice cream social that was that evening, but after trying in vain to get a rolling cart to unload all of our things, unloading the van took much longer than I’d anticipated. Carrying large crates, ex pens, suitcases and everything else, as well as making sure the dogs weren’t alone in either the van or the room as I moved things, was frankly a pain in the ass and quite the feat. Even though we were on the ground level, there was still a small flight of stairs. I don’t think I’ve sweated that much in a long time, so I guess on the upside I got my workout that day. Still, we’d left when we did in order to make sure we could attend this event. I hate that we missed it. I’m sure we weren’t the only ones. There were several arriving conference attendees that were waiting for carts and/or help unloading their vehicles/getting things to their rooms when I realized it would be impossible for us to make the social. Oh well, c’est la vie. We would have to enjoy it through the photos of others.
After settling everyone, feeding, pottying dogs and organizing everything, it was all I could do to try and get some sleep. Rama was pretty tired, too.
The first day of the conference was completely overwhelming, but in the best way possible. I was pleasantly surprised and so humbled by the number of people that approached Rama and myself, saying how much they enjoyed the blog. I was so touched by the outpouring of love people gave to Rama, who at first was a bit nervous (I retired her from showing because she didn’t enjoy it and to her, hotels equal shows) but then settled in and realized, “Hey, these people want to pet me!”
We met so many folks we recognized from reading their blogs, and everyone was so gracious and pleasant. The hotel staff was so dog-friendly. They posed for pictures with Rama and ate up little Chewy’s cuteness. We registered and received the biggest and most impressive bag of swag I think I have ever seen.
I still haven’t had a chance to take everything out and look at each individual item. Between taking the dogs outside, attending the event and making sure I hit the seminars for which I’ve registered, it’s been pretty busy. But from just glancing in there, there’s some pretty cool goodies! In a later post we’ll pull everything out and show you just what we got! After registering and meeting still more blogging friends, we went back to the room to drop off our swag bag and then head to the Exhibit Hall. If you’ve been following our social media, you’ll see just how awesome that was! As it takes time to get back to the room and get everyone settled enough that I can sit down and write a blog post, definitely follow our social media accounts as we are posting photos as well as video from the conference as it happens.
We also have a few comical stories about the joy (this is most definitely sarcasm) of traveling with pups. Never a dull moment!
Check in with us later for Part 2 of our Blogpaws Conference experience on Day One. There’s Yappy Hour, the kickoff events and opening reception as well as all the wonderful companies and organizations and not least of all the fabulous array of pets!