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I know this post is way past due since the retreat was like 2 months ago but writing/typing just wasn't much fun lately and I couldn't make myself do it when I was not enjoying it. So here we are and this is my recap of Reviewer's Retreat now known as iRetreat.
I had attended Reviewer's Retreat last year. I made new friends who I am still close to this day, learned things about blogging that I'm still implementing to the blog this day and had fun. I loved that Reviewer's Retreat was a conference on the smaller side as far as attendance. This year Reviewer's Retreat was at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. I could have flown to the conference but chose to drive. My bees
and I made a mini blogger road trip out of it as I had 2 of my blogger pals (who were also my room mates at revret last year) Lindsay from Laughing Lindsay and April from This Lady Blogs join me on the 7 hour road trip to the Callaway Gardens lodge & spa. Lindsay and April along with Kayla of Kayla Aimee were my roommates this year. I missed Misty, Eleanor and Jerri Ann but still had a great time with my revret13 roomies. We shared stories, offered blog tips to one another and had a lot of laughs as we tried to squeeze in a few hours of sleep each night.
I have to say of the many things we talked and laughed about that this water tower was very interesting. I mean I know they meant well with the peach and all butt...
The Double Duty Divas made sure that the bloggers who attended Reviewer's Retreat had great brands to connect with between the informative sessions with the stellar list of speakers. We were able to sit in on sessions about FTC rules, SEO, pitching brands, photography tutorials and more. As a blogger I hear "what does a blogger do all day?" Or "How do you get all your free stuff by sitting at home doing nothing?" Bloggers spend hours a day working. Just because I am a stay at home mom who blogs doesn't mean I just get free stuff. I spend hours working on my site, writing posts, going through emails to work with brands, share blog posts through the never ending, always changing list of social media sites. I work as a Mom and a blogger and I don't work for free and the speakers and brands at Reviewer's Retreat get that.
Bloggers were welcomed with massages thanks to Pampers and swag bags from the sponsors. Because we drove in we were a little later in the day arriving so I missed out on the massage. When we got a ticket to Reviewer's Retreat we had the option to choose a zipline ride, trapeze course or a hike with Dole. I chose the Dole hike but kind of wish I had went for the trapeze fun instead but because I was wearing a knee brace and was hobbling around I shouldn't have been doing much of anything since I could barely walk. My Dr. had me on crutches once I got home from the retreat.
I had the chance to chat and make connections with the brands that were attending Reviewer's Retreat. I spent time talking with CVS (won a $100 CVS gift card- woo!), Brew Over Ice (thanks for the laughs Kevin), Go RVing, Jabra and So Rave. As you can see the products were laid out and the reps were very friendly and we were allowed to try many of the products first hand and we got to tour 3 gorgeous RV's from go RV'ing. One of the RV's had a washer and dryer inside! That's my kind of camping y'all.
We had dinner at one of the restaurants inside the lodge. I fell in love with the baskets they use to serve the chicken tenders and fries in. How cute right?
I also got to celebrate my 29th birthday a day early with some of my online friends. The red velvet cheesecake was delicious! That and the Tennessee lemonade was just how I wanted to celebrate my birthday with my friends- relaxed, laughing, enjoying good food and being amongst great company.
Throw in the surprise appearance of 'flat' Adam, a cocktail party and my weekend spent at Reviewer's Retreat was a lot of fun and well worth the trip. I look forward to hopefully attending iRetreat 2014 at Hershey Lodge.
I want the ladies of the Double Duty Divas to know how much they are appreciated for all they have done for their fellow divas with the retreat and I'm sure that the re-branding will lead to greater things.