Mimi Avocado Goes to Camp Blogaway!


Mimi Avocado Goes to Camp Blogaway

Mimi Avocado is ready for Camp Blogaway!

If you missed my last post,  Camp Blogaway or Bust! go back and catch up on the story.   Did I make it to Camp Blogaway?  YES!  Did I make it back to church to direct the choir on Saturday? YES!  Was it as great as I thought it would be?  EVEN GREATER!

CampBlogaway entrance

I made it! Camp Blogway!

After a beautiful drive up into the San Bernardino National Forest,  I finally arrived at Camp Blogaway!   I didn’t want to miss a minute of the fun, so I left early Friday morning to arrive in time to help with the set-up.   We filled 110 giant swag bags, set up tables,  put on table cloths and did whatever needed doing…all the while introducing ourselves and chatting. By the time the rest of the campers began to arrive, the party was in full swing!  Nobody was left out … everyone was eager to meet and greet!  Old friends as well as newbies!

Camp Blogaway '12 begins

Tables full of Goodie Bags! Notebooks full of information!

The setting was magnificent…the beautiful Camp de Bennevile Pines in the Barton Flats area of the San Bernadino National Forest.   Meetings were held in the lodge and everyone slept in cabins with multiple bedrooms and baths.  At first it was a challenge walk up the hills to the cabins due to the altitude, but we all drank plenty of water and soon forgot we were more than 6,000 ft. above sea level!

Camp de Bennevile Pines

Camp Blogaway is held at Camp de Benneville Pines in the San Bernardino National Forest

The speakers and presentations were top-notch.   On-site sponsors provided food and wine, gifts to use in our kitchens, informative speakers and opportunities to learn about products, knives, fresh fruits and vegetables,  herbs from Australia,  as well as butter and cheeses from Ireland!  I won’t list them all here, but be prepared to hear  about many of the products in future posts!

breakfast fruit

Wish someone would fix this for me every day!



healthy meals at Camp Blogaway

Healthy and delicious meals to enjoy!



Roland Peppers

Roland Foods presented a wonderful array of products to try!

Kerrygold Cheese

Kerrygold led us in a cheese-tasting!


Wente Wineparty

Wente Vineyards hosted a wine party!

Wente Vineyards

One of the more popular sponsors: Wente Vineyards!


Idaho potatoes

We each received a Cutco knife and cutting board to slice Idaho potatoes for dinner!

Speakers presented valuable information and guidance on blogging issues and offered thought-provoking insights that  will influence many of us for months to come.  In this relatively intimate setting,  campers had plenty of opportunity to interact with the speakers, the sponsors and with each other.   Everyone was open and friendly…no cliques at this blogging conference!

Kalyn  Denny  and Benjamin Rhau

Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen and Benjamin Rhau of You Fed a Baby Chili? talked about how blogging changed their lives


Rachael Hutchings and Dara Michalski

Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck and Rachael Hutchings of La Fuji Mama spoke about revamping a blog

I left camp at noon on Saturday and drove back to Escondido to direct my church choir for an important church event that evening. Even though  I missed some wonderful sessions,  fellow campers  were tweeting photos from those sessions, so I was able to follow along on my IPhone.   I decided to sleep at home that night and get up at 4:15 am to drive back to camp.   Watching the sun rise and the Super Moon set as  Debussy’s  “Claire de Lune” played on the radio was a highlight of my drive!  I never would have seen the early morning light on the drive back up the mountain if I hadn’t needed to leave camp.   What I thought would be a severe inconvenience became a precious gift.   The choir’s singing was over-the-top,  and the drive on deserted roads in the wee hours of the morning allowed me to glimpse  scenes of the beautiful California countryside not seen at other times of the day.

One of the highlights of camp was the Networking Table, where bloggers could display products and samples from sponsors,  business cards, recipes,  promotions…a creative mix of information, contests,  give-aways as diverse as the bloggers who brought them!  Here are a few photos of the table, which stretched across the front of the room between the speakers’ platforms.  I brought avocados from our family farm,  and  avocado cutters from the California Avocado Commission.  If you come to Camp Blogaway next year, you’ll want to bring something for this table!  There’s a prize for the display voted most effective.  This year’s prize was won by Miso Hungry Podcast!

Miso Hungry display Camp Blogaway

Miso Hungry display by Allison Day and Rachael Hutchings

networking table at Camp Blogaway

Just a few examples of the Networking Table displays

Our Fearless Leader and camp founder, Patti Londre is well experienced in organizing wonderful events, having been a PR professional for years.  She had thought of EVERYTHING and offered nuggets of advice throughout the weekend. Her inclusive hospitality and fun-loving spirit was   seasoned with her eagle-eyed attention to detail and  sprinkled with a delightful wit.

Patti even painted this terrific photo board so that every camper could be the Best Blogger in the World!

Patti Londre

Patti Londre, Camp Blogaway Fearless Leader


By the end of the weekend,  I was even more certain that coming to Camp Blogaway was exactly the right thing for me to do!  When we all walked down to the flagpole to have our group photo taken, I felt so grateful to be part of the weekend.   I completely understand now why my friend Rachael (La Fuji Mama) encouraged me to do whatever it took to make it happen…as she put it,  “There are so many wonderful people who you need to meet and who need to meet you!”   I didn’t understand when she said it, but I do now.

Camp Blogaway Attendees

A Happy Group of Campers! Yay Camp Blogaway!

During the entire weekend, Patti reminded us about “The Golden Pine Cone Award”,  which she bestows on a blogger who, in her observation, best exemplifies the spirit of Camp Blogaway.  Imagine my utter surprise when I realized that she was talking about ME!   Honestly, I can’t remember feeling more honored and less deserving!  In a room full of amazing creative bloggers with enormous talent and savvy,  I accepted this unique and priceless trophy.

Golden PIne Cone Award Camp Blogaway

The coveted Golden Pine Cone Award! (Photo by Dosa Salvatori)

If you are a food blogger,  or want to be a food blogger,  consider coming to Camp Blogaway next year!  Add your name to the e-mail list to get updates on camp news and advance notice of the opening of registration.   Be ready to sign up on the date in January when registration opens, because this incredible weekend sells out quickly!  Mark your calendar now…you’ll meet some fabulous people,  learn lots of exciting information,  try some amazing products, eat delicious food, breathe sweet mountain air,  …  and go home full of inspiration for creating more recipes,  forging new relationships,  taking terrific photos and writing lots of new posts!  Just one word of warning:  clean out a room before you go…you’ll need space for all the swag  you’ll be bringing home !


Save 2013 date for Camp Blogaway

Mark your calendar now! Be ready to register in January!


Other Posts about Camp Blogaway:

Camp Blogaway…the Extended Version by BetsyLife

Created By Diane: Potato Chip Cookies (and Camp Blogaway)

Camp Blogaway 2012 by I Wash You Dry

Camp Blogaway and Chicken Inspiration by She’s Cookin

Camp Blogaway Inspires by Fresh Food In a Flash

Creamy Asparagus Soup Recipe with Lemon & Thyme (Dairy-Free) and Camp Blogaway by Cookin Canuck

Foodness Gracious: Mango Cumin Macarons and Camp Blogaway…

Greek Girl Survives Camp Blogaway!

Honey Ginger Lemon Tea and Camp Blogaway 2012 by La Fuji Mama

I Have Arrived and Camp Blogaway by Joy’s Misadventures

Israeli Couscous Tabbouleh and a Trip to Camp Blogaway by The Devil Wears Parsley

Mango Avocado Salad by Worth the Whisk  (Camp Blogaway’s Fearless Leader)

Mango Chipotle Margaritas and Camp Blogaway by All Day I Dream About Food

My Weekend at Camp Blogaway by Budget Gourmet Mom

Off To Camp I Went…And Came Back Inspired  by Barbara Cooks

Top Five Things A Food Blogger Can Learn at Camp Blogaway by The Glutster



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  1. It was awesome getting to know you this weekend Mimi! You’re so sweet and personable! Thanks for linking back to my post! You rock!
    Shawn @ I Wash…You Dry recently posted..Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese SlidersMy Profile

  2. So happy that you did make it to camp. Who knew such an amazing person lived so close to me! I’ll email you about getting together. Trying to nail down my schedule, which keeps changing by the hour! Great wrap up.
    Laura @ Family Spice recently posted..Green Almond Stew (Khorest-eh Chagaleh Badam)My Profile

  3. Dear Mimi,
    Congratulations on receiving “The Golden Cone Award”. Now I understand the picture you sent the Choir. Enjoyed reading about your camp adventure. See you tonight @ Choir Practice.

  4. Great recap, Mimi – you seem to find the positive in everything and are totally deserving of the Golden Pinecone award! Hope to see you again soon.
    Priscilla @ShesCookin recently posted..Camp Blogaway and Chicken InspirationMy Profile

  5. What a delightful post of your experiences at the camp! Congrats on winning the Golden Cone award, you loveable, enthusiastic person! Enjoyed the recent avocados we ordered from your farm- mmmm… so many ways to serve an avocado but they are so good that my favorite way to eat them is sliced with salt and maybe a little blue cheese dressing. Guacamole is my 2nd favorite. So many ways to make it! Keep up the good work with your blogging! I love your beautiful pictures of your farm! Much love- Laurie

    • Laurie! Thank you so much for visiting my site and keeping up with the stories! Glad you’re enjoying the avocados from California Avocados Direct! Take photos of your avocado creations and I’ll share them! We had some amazing Kerrygold cheeses…look for their Blue Cheese…it’s so creamy! Love, Mimi

      • Kerrygold is my favorite butter. I have some of their cheese in my refrigerator right now waiting to be sampled for the first time!

        • We eat mostly Cabot cheddar cheese from Vermont, but after tasting those Kerrygold cheeses, we’ll be adding to our repertoire!

  6. Oh it sounds fabulous. Now I want to go even more next year!
    Colette recently posted..Allergies and Awesome You – A Book ReviewMy Profile

    • I hope you do! Fly into San Diego and we can go together! Stay a few extra days so we can have some fun!

  7. What a nice recap Mimi. It was an amazing weekend!

    • It was so nice meeting you, Kathleen! Just came home from Pilates lesson…and what was the conversation with my trainer this morning? CUTCO! Family was delighted to have a new knife and cutting board…everyone seems to want to pitch in! Really enjoyed the chef’s presentation too. Thank you!

  8. Great recap Mimi! Rachael was right, there were people who needed to meet you. Me being one. You are so wonderful!
    Krista recently posted..My Weekend at Camp BlogawayMy Profile

  9. Mimi, what a lovely post this is! I had the most delicious avocado as part of my breakfast today — thanks to YOU! xo
    Valentina recently posted..Friday Flowers: Yucca Flowers and Chocolate Biscoff Truffles + a Biscoff Giveaway!My Profile

  10. I am SOOOOOO glad that you were able to come!! And I’m so relieved that it was as wonderful as I had told you it would be!! You deserved every bit of that Golden Pinecone Award! XOXO
    Fuji Mama recently posted..Honey Ginger Lemon Tea & Camp Blogaway 2012My Profile

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