If you subscribe to my newsletter, listen to The Paleo View podcast, or follow me on Instagram, you already know that over the long weekend, I flew to Virginia to attend the Beyond Bacon Release Party. This was a whole lot of firsts for me. It was my first time leaving my kids (they stayed home with my husband). It was my first time meeting Matt and Stacy of PaleoParents.com (despite almost a year of podcasting together). It was my first time at a book release party. It was my first time traveling to someone else’s home while on the autoimmune protocol. And it was my first time eating lamb belly. Yum!
First and foremost, Matt and Stacy were amazing hosts (even with all of the Beyond Bacon craziness) and their kids really are as adorable as they appear on their blog. I have really bonded with Matt and Stacy over our almost year of podcasting, so I wouldn’t have thought it possible; but, I ended my stay with them loving them even more. It’s interesting to meet someone that you have grown to know and like so well via internet and phone. I know it’s more and more common to meet people online now and certainly, I’ve met people online and then in person before too. But, this is the first time I’ve developed a close relationship via technology and then met them in person. It was fun and a little surreal and also really familiar and comfortable–all at once.
I also got to hang out with some major paleo rock stars (in addition to Matt and Stacy who are definitely paleo rock stars too). George of Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations accompanied Stacy to pick me up at the airport. Russ of The Domestic Man also arrived the same day I did and stayed at Matt and Stacy’s too. Bill and Hayley of Food Lovers’ Primal Palate came for the day of the Release Party. Heather and Brent of Virginia is for Hunter Gatherers and Aimee of all the photography for Beyond Bacon also hung out at Matt and Stacy’s for much of the time I was there. And Lea of Paleo Spirit who came to the Release Party and after party too. In two days, I went from having met almost none of the other paleo bloggers in person, to feeling part of the gang. What’s amazing to me is that these people are every bit as cool and awesome in person as you would think they are based on their blogs, books and other ventures. It felt like I had to keep pinching myself to remind myself it was real.
I also got to meet many non-bloggers too. Matt and Stacy have some darned awesome friends. They also have some darned awesome fans, who I had the pleasure to meet at the Release Party. That’s where I got to feel like a rock star too. So many people recognized me and wanted to talk to me. I’ve never had an experience like that before and I have to admit that I had a lot of fun meeting people and talking with them.
One of my favorite parts of the visit was cooking and just hanging out in the kitchen with all of these paleo rock stars. It was so much fun to watch them at work, lend a helping hand. I felt like I was taking mental notes the whole time. George was even nice enough to give me a photography lesson (well, more that he answered my super detailed questions while he was snapping pics! lol!). And, because I had space in my suitcase, I brought 30-Day Guide to Paleo Cooking, Gather and Make It Paleo and Bill and Hayley were nice enough to sign them (and not make me feel like a dork for bringing them!). George joked that he would sign my iPad since Caveman Feast is an e-book.
This was also my first time flying since committing to the autoimmune protocol. It was a fairly short flight, but I packed some jerky from US Wellness Meats (the one that is made with just grass-fed beef and salt), some carrots and an apple. I brought my own travel mug and some tea bags and was able to get hot water after passing through security so I could enjoy some good tea. All I ate on the flight home was an apple, but that worked since Matt had made such an amazing breakfast. I will be packing much more food than that for my upcoming trip to the West Coast of Canada with my girls, but it was a nice dry run. Matt and Stacy were very accommodating of my dietary restrictions (not that I expected anything else), so that made the whole trip really easy in terms of food.
So, how was the Beyond Bacon Release Party? The turnout was absolutely astounding, the food was fantastic, and everyone seemed happy and was having fun (I know I was!). I know that Matt and Stacy were absolutely blown away by this show of support for their book (even though we’ve all been telling them how awesome it is for a month!). I also want to thank those of you who came to see me. I feel really honored and loved meeting you all!
The experience was just wonderful. My kids did fine without me (although there was definitely a need for extra cuddles and attention when I got home), I met some of the most amazing people on the planet, I totally didn’t get enough sleep (but that’s okay, I’m catching up now), and I ate crazy good food. And, I finally got to meet Matt and Stacy. And, be a rock star with them. Awesome.