Monday, April 15, 2013

Christchurch bloggers conference


After planning this weekend away for months, it finally happened. 
And I was lucky enough to share it with one of my favourite people in the world Kristy! We looked forward to getting away for a giggly girls weekend away. 
After having the worst sleep with all the anticipation, we left Whangarei at 530am to make sure we made our flight from Auckland to Christchurch. We decided to stop off for a coffee and a snack...Dunkin donuts! 
We arrived right on time at the airport and found our other excited traveling companions; Rachel, Simone, Gail and Leonie.

{on the plane}

I was so excited to be flying again as it has been a long 7 years since I have been anywhere! I forgot how much I loved it. When I was a child I wanted to be an air hostess. We managed to pick seats that were all along the same row so we got to know Rachel a lot better as she was new blogger friend for me. 
We arrived to a lovely Christchurch airport and we proceeded through to find our luggage. It was such a cool feeling seeing our friend Widge waiting on the other side of the doors ready to pick us up. 
Unfortunately everyone else found their bags except me *sad face*. We left our details with the very nice baggage claim lady with our delivery address. 
We left the airport and found our accommodation. It was a pretty rugged looking place, get what you pay for...and all nine of us managed to all stay under one roof in our own single bed. So... it was adequate...even if there were a few creepy construction workers next door. We had our own little party venue with 9 of us staying together, with Meghan, Sammy and Widge joining those of us who flew down together. 

After heading out for some supplies at the local mall, we headed out to the Craft Love Festival and then on to the lovely and very hospitable Miriam's house. With the fire cranking and a lovely assortment of supper...the weekend was getting off to a great start. 

We then headed to our home base to start the famous ONESIE Gang party....which ended up being a very small gang... At least I found a P.J twin. Simone and I rocked our purple P.Js.  

{PJ party}

The next morning we headed over to our conference venue. First on the agenda was the "panel", featuring my lovely friends Kristy and Simone...and also Deb and Megan. They did a great job answering all the questions that a lot of us ask.


Later for the electives...I picked the more social type ones...handing out having coffee and the afternoon shopping experience.  Our lovely tour guide Tania took us to a new place called The Columbo where we enjoyed a lovely salad lunch and the best macrons I have ever had. We perused around there and then left for the Re:Start Mall in the CBD. It was really buzzing with people and  looked like a great hang out spot in the center of building projects going on around it. 


We proceeded to walk to the famous cathedral and past the Bridge of Remembrance that can not be crossed at the moment.  

The Avon river where a couple of people enjoy a "Punting" ride

I was keen to see the new card board church which happened to be right next to the white seat Remembrance Space. There are no words for a spot like that. Just sad. 

Later that evening we headed in the "party van" to our dinner venue. A lovely and lively place called Winnie Bagoes  

On our last day we woke early, packed and headed out to breakfast at the best cafe ever! C1 Espresso. I loved this place. Miriam told me that their last place had been destroyed in the Earth quake and they had rebuilt their business in the building opposite.  It has this automatic door out to the kitchen area that was cleverly disguised as a bookshelf! And a water fountain made out of a Singer sewing machine! (I forgot to take a picture of that, darn it. ) 

After breakfast we headed up the the stairs to the roof of the building where you had a great view of the city.

{#1 Me, Miriam, Kristy, #2 Leonie, Simoney, Katie #3 Widge, Kristy #4 Widge and I}

This weekend really was a whirlwind..and was over so soon! Meeting people like Widge who I have had an online relationship with for a couple of years now was so surreal. Its like you already know each other like old friends. Cementing other relationships I had already built with the Auckland crew and Meghan from Wellington by staying together was also a major highlight. Putting  faces to blogs I have been following and also being inspired by the other creative bloggers was great too. I also happened to by chance meet a  blogger (Kelly) that went to school with...such a small world!

{Widge, Kristy, Meghan, Rachel, Me, Gail. and Sammy (Missing Leonie?!)}

Seeing Christchurch city after watching all the earth quake stories on the news for the last couple of years and hearing first hand accounts of peoples experiences during the earthquake was poignant. I am so thankful to the Christchurch blogging team who did such a wonderful job of pulling off such a great event. The goodie bags, making sure delgates had rides from the airport and places to lie their heads and the spot prizes..all done on a shoestring budget and all voluntary time. You guys did an exemplary job. 

{Simone, Cat,Miriam,Kristy,Widge,Leonie and Meghan}


TracyP said...

looks like you guys had such a blast! I so wish I could have come! Next year for sure!

Sophie Slim said...

Fantastic! What a good weekend! It was so lovely to meet you, really!!! xxx

Sammy said...

Loved spending time with you Jacks- you are pure gold my girl. Pure gold xxxx

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

So cool seeing the weekend from your perspective - you did such a great job of keeping us all in line too and making sure we where we should be and when. I had awesome fun hanging out with you again my lovely friend :-)

Neetz said...

Looks like a great weekend! But no mention of Karaoke?? hmmmm I reckon that would have been fun with a bunch of I mean... "fun" chicks!! ;) hehe.. xxxx

Miriam said...

It was such a treat to meet you - sorry I ruined your lovely photos with that rather unclassy shot on the end there!!! Thanks so much for coming xxxx (and for my awesome name badge and!)

Clare Hubbard said...

Wahooo! Looks so fun, Christchurch really is an amazing city and with such amazing bloggers! Stoked you had an awesome time ~ knew you would but can't wait to hopefully join in the future!

Tall Pipi said...

It was great to be part of it all. Thanks for making me feel like part of the 'gang'. Only wish it could have been longer. Looking forward to seeing you again Jackie. xxx

Simoney said...

Great post Jacksta and great pics.
loved hanging out with you this weekend

PaisleyJade said...

Great post - and so awesome to hang with you and such a fab bunch of ladies. p.s. my face is totally freaking me out in that roof top door pic!!

Widge said...

LOVED meeting you!
HATE my hair cut so much!!!

Rachel Osborne said...

Was so cool meeting you Jackie! Man, you CRACK me up! Thanks for the open arms and fun times.

Sophie said...

you guys really packed it in aye! Looks like such a fun time!

Brigitte said...

Looks like you all had a FAB time!!
Hoping that one day I'll be joining you all :) xx

Angela said...

Great sum-up of your weekend! Love the photos!

Deb Robertson Writes said...

Was so lovely to meet you on the weekend Jackie xxx