We’re tucked in under a blanket of ice and snow here in the Midwest, which made us grow nostalgic about our recent journey to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Altitude Design Summit blog conference. Here is the long-overdue recap of our favorite moments from the trip out West.
1. Ah, the mountains
As lifelong Florida and Indiana residents, respectfully, Utah’s snow-capped mountains were awe-inspiring. Salt Lake City in particular offers a 360-degree backdrop suitable for any “Wish you were here …” correspondence. It was beautiful.
2. The blogging beauties
Lunch and the trendy Honda and HGTV-sponsored lounge offered ideal environments for mingling and chitchat between sessions. We broke bread with several wonderful ladies, including Kathleen of Twig & Thistle glory, and super-sweet budding entrepreneur Mary Hales from Coco Penny.
3. The lovely lineup of panelists
Each hour-long session was chockfull of career-changing advice and information. Here were some of our favorite panelists: Jenny Komenda, Little Green Notebook; Sarah Bryden-Brown, Babble; Joy Deangdeelert Cho, Oh Joy!; Grace Bonney, Design Sponge; Brenda Dargan, Martha Stewart Living; Molly Peterson, Dwell Studio; Jordan Ferney, Oh Happy Day.
4. Salt Lake’s culinary gems
Our epicurean curiosities got the best of us, so we opted to forgo the scheduled conference food outings and venture out into the city for a few Web- (and cab driver) recommended haunts. The city left a good taste in our mouths, with memorable Mexican at The Red Iguana (be sure to arrive early to avoid lines), succulent sushi at Takashi and – the ultimate culinary experience – Bruges Waffles & Frites. We did it. We went for both a vanilla gaufre (waffle), topped with strawberries, Belgian dark chocolate and homemade whipped cream and a cone of Belgian frites with three dipping sauces, one as amazing as the next. The indulgence of this meal was matched only by the charm of Belgium-born owner Pierre Vandamme and the quaint location, which featured just five indoor seats.
5. A can’t-miss keynote
While all of the keynote speakers were impressive (Paul Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky is one of the most intelligent people we’ve ever heard), the final presenter, Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swiss Miss, was particularly inspiring. The design blogger has turned her passion into a well-serving career, but what truly resonated were her concluding points; a list of things she’s learned:
Nobody can tell you what’s best for you.
Surrounding yourself with smart people is key.
Don’t just talk. Do it. (If it fails, move on.)
Be kind and generous. It comes back to you.
Your enthusiasm and integrity are your biggest assets.
It is possible. Think big. Or bigger.
Everyone needs an inspiring aunt in their life.
We can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2012!