Friday, January 27, 2012
My 2012 Kenmore Blogger Summit Adventure! @KenmoreConnect #kbs2012
I know you all have been waiting in great anticipation to hear the story of how the 2012 Kenmore Blogger Summit in Chicago went. Those of you following me on facebook have some idea of the drama I went through this past weekend, but those of you not on facebook......you're in for a real treat. Sit back. Relax. And enjoy the read! I'm here to tell you a story you wouldn't believe unless you actually went through it.......or read about from your favorite blogger! ;) Hee hee!
First of all, let me tell you how EXCITED I was to even be invited by Kenmore to attend the Kenmore Blogger Summit! I was really looking forward to meeting the other 43 bloggers, vlogging, taking pictures, networking, etc. I had GRAND plans!
Friday morning, I left my house right on time and headed to my sister's (she only lives 20 minutes from the airport) house so she could drop me off at the airport. I've never traveled by myself before, mind you. I was so nervous. I somehow managed to check my baggage and find my gate. Phew! I was sitting at my terminal across from a very friendly group of ladies who were heading out for a girls' weekend in a Brownstone somewhere in Chicago and then I happened to sit next to another local Blogger, Michele from Mommies Playground, who was also headed to the Kenmore Blogger Summit. I was feeling much more at ease knowing I'd have someone to travel with!
We boarded our plane right on time! Yay! Michele was sitting across the aisle, just 2 seats away from me. We were all giddy! We were ready for our short hour long flight to Chicago. As the plane pushed off toward the runway, I felt so giddy! I couldn't believe I was actually, really and truly, heading to Chicago....to stay in a VERY nice hotel and to rub elbows with Kenmore and some pretty famous bloggers! Me! Little ole' me. Wow! I took out my book (It was Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work....which is really good btw) and sat back.
I was only a few pages in, when an announcement came over the PA.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain.We've been watching the weather patterns in Chicago...........blahidy blah blah........We're going to sit on the runway for about 45 minutes and see if the weather clears up a bit for take off." (For those living in warm climates, the "weather" they were referring to was snow. I envy those of you who don't have to deal with it! LOL)
Bummer. Oh well, I was going to be there super early anyway, so no worries on the delay. I wasn't in a hurry. Then, the second announcement came....
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain again. We've been in communication with Chicago and the weather pattern is going to delay us at least another hour."
My thoughts? I leaned across to Michele and asked, "I don't suppose you think they'll serve us snacks while we wait?!!!!"
About 20 minutes later, it was the captain again, "..............It doesn't look like the weather is going to be letting up and I don't see any point in us sitting on the runway, so we're going to de-plane and we'll keep you updated inside."
Oh my goodness. At this point, I was bummed. But, I thought, surely the weather is going to clear up and I'll be there in time to wear my new outfit for the fancy reception at The Solfitel in Chicago!
Long story short, my flight was cancelled. In fact, all flights leaving from Detroit to Chicago were cancelled Friday night. My ticket was automatically re-booked for a flight leaving from Detroit to Cincinnati at 8:45 and then I would arrive in Chicago from Cincinnati at 11:24 a.m.
Reality set in. I was so sad. I was going to miss the big reception. I was going to miss spending the night in a big fancy bed all by myself. I was going to miss breakfast with all the bloggers. I was going to miss the first 3 hours of the Summit.
I called my husband. With his encouragement, I decided to go for it! Being at the summit for 5 hours was better than no hours. So, I got my luggage, my brother-in-law picked me up from the airport and I spent the night on the bottom bunk of my nephew's bed. (Yes, it was extremely comfortable and I got to hear stories about my nephew's first grade adventures. It was totally worth it. I'll be his roommate any time!)
My sister drove me to the airport Saturday morning. I had no need to check any luggage because I was no longer spending the night anywhere. With my breast pump on one shoulder and my purse with my Tim Gunn book on the other, I easily passed through security. I was one of the first at the desk at my gate to get my seat assignment. I was all set. We boarded at the last minute (due to the VERY frazzled woman working that gate), but we ended up pushing off toward the runway on time. I was feeling very hopeful.......UNTIL.....
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain. We're going to de-ice the craft before we leave. As soon as we're de-iced we'll be ready for take off. Sorry for the delay."
45 minutes later........we were de-iced. Yes, I said 45 minutes later. Did I mention I had a connecting flight in Cincinnati I had to get to?????
Once we took off, I seriously prayed. "Please lord, let me just make my connecting flight. I will run through the airport like a crazy person (in my super-cute high-heeled boots) to get to my next gate, but PLEASE, oh PLEASE let me make it!"
When the flight attendant came by, she asked if I had a connecting flight. I told her my situation. To my complete relief, the same plane and crew were taking me to Chicago from Cincinnati, so I didn't have to worry about running through the airport, etc. PHEW!!!! At least something was going right!
When we arrived in Cincinnati, we de-planed. I ran to the restroom and then came back to hear, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we're terribly sorry to have to tell you this, but the captain of this aircraft has come down with a stomach bug. We're looking for a new captain and we'll keep you updated. Again, we apologize for the delay."
At this point, I feel I'm now going to be stuck in Cincinnati. I am feeling sadder and sadder by the minute. I am no longer going to be 45 minutes late, I'm now going to be A LOT later. I mean, at this point, I'm unsure I'll make it for any of the summit.
Again, long story short, they find a new captain who was somewhere in the building. It took her at least an hour to get to our gate. We were back on the plane. Thank goodness. I was at least going to get to Chicago. The captain gets on the PA and introduces herself, apologizes and then before she hangs up quickly adds in,
"And we have to make a quick stop to de-ice the plane, which is fairly common. Thanks." Click.
Oh, dear Lord. We were fifth in line. I kid you not. No, really. I get that this all sounds fake, but trust me, it wasn't! LOL
Thank goodness for the people at Kenmore, because when I landed, I made a very quick phone call to a limo/transportation service and there was a car waiting for me by the time I found the door I was supposed to exit through. I literally hopped into the car and breathed a huge sigh of relief. It was 1:30 p.m. The summit was supposed to end at 5:00 p.m.
I arrived at Kenmore Live Studio just in time to hear our key note speaker, Evan Hanson of wired.com. He spoke about how times are changing and how blogging and technology are changing journalism. Before Saturday, I had never though of myself as a journalist. Thank you, Evan Hanson!
I then watched a woman from the Green Grocer in Chicago make some very healthy shakes in a Kenmore Elite Blender. They blended all the berries, lettuce, powder, etc. very quickly and efficiently! I was amazed!
After that, I watched my fellow bloggers receive prizes for the slow cooker challenge they participated in earlier in the day (which made me even MORE sad that I had missed most of the summit!!!!,) prizes for the video challenges and for various others. It was exciting and depressing all at the same time! I learned that Kenmore has a Kenmore Live Studio LiveStream Channel! You can check out all the events they have going on there online. It's really cool!
I had a very nice drive back to the airport (3 hours after arriving, I know, I know.....) with Jessica of Jessicagottlieb.com, C.C. of DigitalDads.com and Mike of Mikesenese.com. My flight home? Very UNEVENTFUL! Yay! I actually got to take a small nap......after reading more of my Tim Gunn book. I have to say a great big thank you to Mr. Gunn. His book seriously helped me keep things into perspective and to stay calm. It was the PERFECT book to have with my on my journey last weekend!
I'm now a big Twitter fan, thanks to my new Kenmore and blogger peeps! I wasn't before. You can follow Kenmore at @KenmoreConnect with me and keep in touch with all the latest and greatest products coming from Kenmore. I am super excited to work with Kenmore and Sears in the future! I will also be receiving a small Kenmore Appliance for my participation in the Summit! How exciting is that?! When it comes, I'll be sure to let you all know!
So, that was my big adventure! I would like to thank those of you on Facebook following my "drama" and sending me encouraging words! I would also like to thank all the people at Kenmore who were patiently waiting for me and who had a car ready to pick me up from the airport the moment I arrived! They truly know how to treat their guests! I'm hoping to be able to attend the summit again in the future (in its entirety!) if Kenmore is willing to have me again! :)
*Disclosure: All travel and accommodations were provided by Kenmore. I also received a Kenmore small appliance for my participation in the Kenmore Blogger Summit 2012.