A weekend of fun with Verizon and new Blog friends

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How was your weekend?

I have an in-depth update of my weekend for you, because my weekend was amazing! I don’t know if I mentioned it before but I have been selected as a Verizon Ambassador a while back and we had our blogger kick off event this weekend in Chicago. It was in my own town, but we got to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel so I made it into a little stay-cation. It was nice to get away from my apartment for the weekend and I really enjoyed my stay at the hotel. It was my first time there and it was also my first time having a hotel room under my name… just ME. Not a parent, not a boyfriend, ME ME ME! This is how it feels like to be an adult. I have to admit… it felt great! πŸ™‚ I love being an adult! Yes, it’s the little things that make me happy, haha.

Hard Rock HotelThe last picture above is of a motion-sensitive mini-bar which I found extremely evil. I don’t know if all hotels do this now but it’s totally evil, the food and drinks pretty much STARE at you in the face asking to be eaten/drank. And if you pick it up, you get charged a crazy amount of money. $7 for M&Ms?! Jeez.

After checking in to the hotel, my friendΒ JesscΒ and I ventured off to Navy Pier Β to go to the Health & Fitness Expo that was being held there for the Shamrock Shuffle 8K. Verizon provided us with a free entry to the race but since I am not a runner just yet, I did not run it (although I had to see how I would look like with a number on me… it was pretty great and very motivational to see myself this way). The Expo inspired and motivated me immensely. More on that another day.

Health & Fitness Expo Chicago 2013

Sunday was the day we got to meet the other blogger over dinner. The group of us met in the lobby and headed toward the Park Grill restaurant in Millennium Park. I’ve never been there before and to tell you the truth, I didn’t expect it to be very good – I usually expect touristy spots to be less than great. However…

Park Grill in Chicago for VZW Voices Blog Event

We had a 4 course meal prepared for us with unlimited wine! Put health and foodie bloggers in a room with unlimited wine and delicious healthy food? We were happy campers. It was awesome to see that the restaurant was prepared for us to come and they had a great variety of meals ready, including gluten-free and vegan options.

Park Grill in Chicago for VZW Voices Blog Event

I ordered the pear salad for appetizer, which was amazing! The pears were so delicious. Then came the mushroom flatbread with a delicious sauce, I can’t believe I ever used to dislike mushrooms, this flatbread was so good. For the main course, I chose the salmon without the glaze and OHHH my gosh, I think it was the best salmon I’ve ever had. It was so amazingly moist and juicy, it was unbelievable. Lastly, I ordered the pineapple upside down cake for dessert because I’ve never had one before. Unfortunately it was too sweet for my preference and I was already pretty full so I only had about two bites.

The overall dinner was so great: all of us bloggers got to meet and talk to each other and really get to know one another which was just the icing on the cake of this great weekend!

Blog friends #VZWVoices
Borrowed this pic of us from Katie

The following morning, we ventured off to a Kick-Off Event where we learned more about the #VZWVoices program and we received our devices! I have to admit, I felt pretty spoiled.

VZW Voices devices

I’ve been playing with my new Droid all day, it’s kind of difficult to get used to after using an iPhone for so long. I now have two phones and I’m using the new one as a “personal phone” while my old one is my business phone since the number has to remain constant πŸ™‚

Kammie wants to know:

  • What kind of a phone do you have?

  • If you have an Android, what are some of your favorite apps?

Let me know in the comments below!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

28 Comments

  1. What a great weekend!!! You look great with a number on you! πŸ™‚ That is some great motivation!!

    For phones, I am old school, I have a Blackberry, that sucks! However, this wekend, I am getting the new iPhone. I’m just looking to see hwo has the best plans. I am in NEED of a good phone!

    Have a great rest of the week!

  2. Looks like you had an amazing weekend! Our room had one of those motion activated fridges when my cousin and I went to Washington DC a while back. We had taken all the stuff out to put our own drinks in the fridge and then got a huge bill the next day. Luckily we didn’t have to pay since we only moved the stuff not ate it. I’m curious to hear what you think about the FitBit. I’ve been wanting to get on of those for a while, but I’m not sure if its really worth it. Also, you look great with a number! πŸ™‚

    • Man, those things are evil, huh, but I’m glad they didn’t actually charge you. I hope they won’t charge me either, I moved the wine bottle to read it before I read that it was motion sensitive. I actually have a FitBit Utlra and I reviewed it a while back, you can see it here. This one is pretty much the same thing except upgraded, I haven’t used it yet but I will when I go to NYC, I’m curious how many steps I’ll do while I’m there. Btw I’ll be emailing you πŸ™‚

  3. Wow, what a cool opportunity! I’ve eaten at the Park Grill a couple of times and have always been pretty impressed with their food and atmosphere. And seriously, there’s nothing like an expo or an actual race to inspire you to get running yourself! Hopefully sometime soon you can wear a number AND be in a place where you can run the race as well! πŸ™‚

    • Yessss that’s the goal! I did the first day of c25k program yesterday outside and it was great! I’m determined to get to run 5k without stopping this summer! Btw, where do you live? I’m moving to Lakeview on May 1st, we should get together once I do πŸ™‚

      • I’m in that general area, and I’d love to hang out! That sounds great! And CONGRATS on starting Couch to 5K! That’s how I got to (and successfully through!) my first 5K in August 2011, and now I’m planning to run the Chicago Marathon this October…crazy how things can progress, that’s for sure haha. There are SO many 5K options in the city, too, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find one that’s great for you.

        • Awesome! And yes, I’m excited – I am determined! Good luck on training for the marathon!!! I’lll email you once I move and we’ll figure out a time to hang πŸ™‚ yay!

  4. Ah yes you’ve never had a droid before. Well I’ve owned a Droid for awhile now. Personally I love it. Pretty much any app you’ve had on your other phone you could probably get in the Droid. The only feature that we have that you probably other phones don’t is the little green man -___-

    I’m really proud of you Kam. With all the success coming your way how could I not be πŸ™‚

    (on a side note) being a runner is an amazing feeling. You don’t have to run a 10k, nor do you have to run everyday to be one. To be a runner you just have to get up, put on your sneakers and go. Doesn’t matter how many time you stop as long as you keep going.

    – J

    • That’s great inspiration, Jess! πŸ™‚ Thank you! and I’m actually really liking the DROID so far! Thank God all the apps I used on iPhone are the same here. I’m diggin the bigger screen too. Yelp. 5K later this year, it’s happening!!! πŸ™‚

  5. What an awesome weekend! I’ve never been to Chicago, but I definitely want to go sometime!

  6. looks like a great weekend!!! and that you got some good stuff πŸ™‚ love it

  7. What an awesome weekend! I too used to hate mushrooms and now I love them!

  8. What a fun weekend! I hate those sensors too because a lot of hotels put them in locations where kids can get them (ridiculous) although it is easy to fight the charges haha.

    I have an iphone πŸ™‚

    • Whew, well I’m glad to hear at least they aren’t hard to fight off. That would be so ridiculous. I was thinking the same thing, about kids touching the motion sensitive things. Sigh. Evil hotels. Whatever happened to comped perks?

  9. SO glad we got to meet and it was a fab weekend for sure! The dinner was awesome but damn I missed out on the wine, haha! Happy Tuesday!

  10. WHEN did your blog design change??? it looks stunning, amazing, gorgeous and PERFECTLY suits your blog!
    Your verizon event looks like so much fun πŸ™‚

    • Thank you dear!! It happened last week, I know I didn’t really announce it but I totally appreciate your feedback πŸ™‚ The lovely Natasha from My Cute Lobster Designs did it and I am so happy with her. Had to promote πŸ˜› thanks for stopping by, love!

  11. It was so great meeting you last weekend! Love your amazing pics. I had no idea the snacks were motion activated–luckily I did not touch! haha!

  12. You have some great pics of the weekend! I actually linked back to you because I didn’t get the pics. So they’ll all have to come over to you to see what I ate. πŸ™‚

    I was a droid user before so I’m really loving the phone. I put some of the apps suggested by the group and I’m getting to learn some of them. I do use a lot of blogging type apps and things like Question of the Day. That way if I can’t think of a question, I can get some help.

    • Question of the day? Can you tell me more about that? And thank you for the link back! Much appreciated. Oh, by the way did you receive an email about group login for the campaign yet? Cause I haven’t.

  13. Wow- what a great opportunity for you! I love, love, love Chicago. Sounds like a really fun blog networking weekend.

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  15. Oh wow!! I know you said you had a great time over this weekend, but now that I can actually SEE it, there’s no wonder!! That meal sounds absolutely fantastic! I would have picked the same selections as you…well, maybe not the salmon (for some reason, I haven’t really been feeling fish lately). Pear salads with blue cheese are like my new favorite thing since the salad I had at the wedding I went to weekend before last…I even picked up some Gorgonzola the other day at Trader Joe’s just so I could try recreating it!

    Oh, and I’m sorry, but I just have to say this…SEVEN DOLLARS FOR M&M?!?! What the hell?!

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