Thursday, September 01, 2011

Vida Vegan Con: The People!

Even though the food was delicious and Portland was great and the sun was out and the conferences were informative... probably the single most amazing part of Vida Vegan Con was meeting so many incredible people. Really, you should see the non-stop love fest that's happening on Facebook these days. I met people whose blogs I've been reading for years, I met friends I've been talking with on the PPK for years, I met cookbook authors whose recipes I've made and loved, and I met even more folks who I'd never met before and now I love them!

There were college students and grandmothers, all shapes and sizes, shy and extroverted, raw vegans and nacho vegans, Americans, expats and people from overseas... it was really amazing. {We had some vegan fellas and vegans of color, but we need more of you to come next time and add even more diversity to our experience. Come! We know you're out there!!} It was just so inspiring and heartwarming to be able to sit down at a table of strangers and not feel like strangers. Instantly there was a feeling of warmth and connection and camaraderie that was so beautiful. The people I met were smart and kind and compassionate and creative and engaged and interesting and interested. I am still on quite a high from it all! Perhaps there is hope for mankind after all! Well, actually, I'm a pretty positive and optimistic person... but this weekend really helped reinforce that.

Here are some photos that capture just a small handful of the many, many wonderful people I met:
picture from the PPK via Facebook
You may have caught on that I love the PPK. I've made so many most excellent friends from the PPK. In fact, all those great vegan potluck buddies I have here in Santa Cruz... we met online at the PPK! It was super fun to meet many of the familiar names from the forums at the PPK. Naturally everyone was just as fun and sweet (or snarky!) as I knew they would be.

My sweet PPK-care-package-swap-friend-turned-in-real-life-friend Gabrielle, of Vegans on the Move (check it out - she's sporting some of my special Vegan Eats & Treats buttons!)

picture by Erika!
Here I am in my spokesmodel finest with my fellow Vegan Battle Royale Game Show coordinators, Miss Kittee and Miss Mo... two of the funnest, most raddest and awesomest gals a girl could be asked to throw a gameshow with. They are great!

picture from the PPK via facebook
Here's our game show in action! PandaCookie of Team Vegan Destroyer faces off against VeganLisa of Team Vegan with a Shotgun. Meanwhile it looks like Kittee and I are busy bossing someone around. Ha!

picture by Bryanna Clark Grogan
Also, I love this picture of Julie Hasson (of "Vegan Diner" and Native Bowl) and Joanna with me. Plus, I love even more that the picture was taken by the sweet and wonderful Bryanna Clark Grogan. I've been loving Bryanna's recipes for years - I subscribed to her newsletters back in the day, I've got 3-4 of her cookbooks, and I love her blog so much... so it was a real superhero moment to meet her in person. And of course she's just absolutely wonderful: kind, smart, gentle and fun.

I love this picture of Kittee & Joanna hawking their wares. Look at Kittee's cute bags. I have one and they are amazing funs! Plus, everywhere you take it you will get wide-eyed compliments of awe and wonder from everyone and you will feel like a superstar. Get one for yourself. While you are at it, get her awesome new zine of gluten-free Ethiopian recipes. And get Joanna's book if you haven't already. Geez!

I sure loved meeting Mr. O from FatGayVegan. What a super sweet guy!

At the Gala with the smokin' hot Erika of The Cosmpolitan Hour. What? You still haven't listened to the Cosmpolitan Hour wrap up of Vida Vegan Con? Check it out here!

And with Mo and Jordan (the other cool bean behind The Cosmopolitan Hour)! Plus there is a friendly vegan man growing out of our heads.

There were so many more wonderful people I didn't snap pictures of (heck, I didn't even take half of these pictures!)... and I wish I had. Ever since I got home I've been adding friends to my Facebook page and blogs to my blogroll like a maniac - so many great new sites to follow and enjoy! Here are links to a few of the new ones I've added so far... check 'em out:



  2. Great VVC posts so far! I haven't had time to do anything since I got home - haven't put away the swag, haven't checked out any of the new blogs...geez. Love all your pictures!

  3. The people, yes, the people! My heart felt so full when I left PDX. Never have I felt so invited to a community. The experience was life-changing!

  4. Amey - I agree, the people were amazing. But the battle royale was FANTASTIC! My heart was racing the entire hour (I like to pretend it is my inner applause).

    It was a joy to finally meet you in person and hear you gush about India.


  5. how did you not include a video of our flip book? ha! that's gonna be my roundup tomorrow.


  6. LOL - that happens to be my boyfriend Logan growing out of your heads. :)

  7. I was so excited to meet you Amey, and you were exactly as I imagined you from you blog...awesome! What fun we all had.

    Thanks for the blogroll love!


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