trip recap: big traveling potluck 2014

big traveling potluck 2014 cali

A couple weeks ago, I ventured to Temecula, California to attend a food blog conference called The Big Traveling Potluck. I’d never been to Temecula, which is located about an hour north of San Diego in rolling wine country. Needless to say, a weekend full of giggles and giggle juice was just what I needed.

The Big Traveling Potluck was put on by Maggy and Pam of Three Many Cooks and Erika of The Ivory Hut. These women have a vision of how to bring food bloggers together and truly connect. And that’s exactly what we did.

Meagan, Megan (or better known as M2), and I arrived in San Diego on Friday afternoon. We rented a Steve McQueen-approved Nissan Sentra (#saidnooneever) and hit the road for a weekend full of shenanigans.

Now, you can’t visit Cali without a making a pit stop at the mothership: In-N-Out Burger. Note to self: next time order animal style! doh!

big traveling potluck 2014

We arrived at the hotel just in time to pick up our bag o’swag before heading to dinner. A big thanks to our sponsors for making this weekend possible!

big traveling potluck

Off to dinner! But first, a school-bus selfie. Love these ladies – Megan, Meagan, & Ashley.

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Dinner was held at Callaway Vineyard and Winery nestled at the top of a hill with stunning views. Cocktail hour snacks were provided by Kerrygold. Cheese and wine? Yes, please! I had a blast catching up with old peeps and meeting new peeps I’ve admired for a long time, like Shana from Pineapple and Coconut, Dara from Cooking Canuck, and Gerry from Foodness Gracious.

big traveling potluck 2014 friday night

Fork in the Road provided dinner – organic wieners along with an assortment of toppings and a to-die-for potato salad. I couldn’t think of a better way to start the weekend than with wieners and wine!

big traveling potluck 2014

Saturday morning we rose with the roosters. The day was packed full of eating, chatting, more eating, learning, and engaging. What better way to start the day than a green smoothie bar – brought to us by Earthbound Farm and KitchenAid.

big traveling potluck 2014

To the busmobile! We loaded up and headed north to a beautiful farm on the Santa Rose Plateau, where the conference would take place. Nothing like breakfast with a view!

big traveling potluck 2014 saturday morning

After breakfast we dove right into speakers – Aran from Cannelle et Vanille talked about being vulnerable and embracing imperfection.  Ashley from Not Without Salt told us to “date our blog.” Not only did they provide great wisdom, they also shared a thing or two about food styling!

big traveling potluck 2014 photo session

Lunch was provided by Earthbound Farm. Can you say “salad smorgasbord” three times fast? If I had a salad like this ready to go in my fridge every day, I’d eat more rabbit food.

big traveling potluck 2014 lunch

And…..back to more sessions. Cheryl from Five Second Rule had us thinking deeply as she encouraged us to be proud of everything we’ve done, and reminded us that we can change the course of our blog at any time…which got me thinking that I really want to write more lifestyle pieces. I want CGM to be about more than just recipes.

big traveling potluck 2014

Break-time was provided by KitchenAid. Who wants a pistachio-avocado-coconut-chocolate-raspberry suicide? Buehler? Pretty clever of KitchenAid to have a color coordinated ice cream bar!

big traveling potluck 2014

With five o’clock approaching, it was time for a lesson in whiskey from This Girl Walks Into a Bar! Loved, loved, loved this session. Jocelyn and her sister Jordan showed us how to make a whisky sour from scratch and then bottle it for a gift. Need to get my mitts on their book.

big traveling potluck 2014

Once the sessions ended, it was time to draw for a chance to win great prizes provided by the sponsors. And low and behold, the #condocurse strikes again. Megan and I won a year’s supply of butter and cheese from Kerrygold!! Booyah.

big traveling potluck 2014

And just like that, it was time to eat again! Dinner was held at a beautiful estate with more jaw-dropping views.

big traveling potluck 2014 dinner

One of the fun things about this trip was meeting Ashley of Edible Perspective. She lives in Denver! It took going to Cali for two Colorado girls to meet!

big traveling potluck 2014

Gourmet Garden provided this huge feast of curry cauliflower, olives, homemade Naan, and lamb. I relished sitting at a table where the topic of conversation was 99% food-centered, with no one giving a second thought to pictures being snapped mid-bite. I felt blessed to be surrounded by such a great group of gals, and it was the perfect way to end the day.

big traveling potluck 2014

Sunday we had flights to catch so we didn’t get to take part in the video sessions. #majorbummer. But we did get to pick up an organic breakfast before we hit the road. Only in Cali.

big traveling potluck 2014

The Big Traveling Potluck was a unique experience, and one that I was thankful to be a part of. Good friends, good food, and inspiration to help me expand my foodie universe. But if I had to choose one thing to take from The Big Traveling Potluck it would be……

you can always change your course