What a Week! Part 1

I have been looking forward to June 10, 2011 since July 5, 2010. No, it's not because it is my 26th birthday (more like in spite of it), but because it is the day I venture to Vancouver, British Columbia! That's right, I am currently en route to visit my neighbors to the north for the first time and during one of the most exciting weekends I can possibly imagine... TBEX! For those of you who don't know, TBEX is the annual Travel Blog Exchange conference where travel bloggers and PR professionals gather for a weekend in an exciting destination to learn about successful blogging strategies, exchange travel tips and stories, and... well, party. (These are "professional" travelers after all.) I didn't get into the travel blogosphere until after my travels ironically enough, but it is here where I discovered a community of creative, fun, and impassioned people - people who have continued to help me travel every day. So when TBEX'11 was announced quickly after TBEX'10 on July 5th, there wasn't a moment's hesitation when buying my ticket. Happy birthday to me! In other exciting and related news, Tripping threw its second west coast happy hour event in conjunction with pals SF Travel Massive this past Tuesday. Like April's event, it was a huge hit! The sun came out and we were able to enjoy our $2 tacos and Tecates on the lively back patio of Mars Bar. The turnout was both massive and diverse. We had Tripping members - locals, visitors, and brand new residents to San Francisco - as well as industry professionals, and a number of TBEX attendees kicking off the "prebex" celebrations. [caption id="attachment_2951" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Good times and travel talk at Tripping + Travel Massive's "Travel Mashup!""][/caption] I'm ecstatic to report that the celebrating hasn't stopped. As we ride the Amtrak up the coast and across Canadian borders, we are bonding with old and new travel buddies - mimosas in hand - all a chatter about what's in store for us over the next few days. If you are in Vancouver today, be on the lookout for Anis and me rocking our Tripping tees this afternoon! Follow our tweets so you know where we'll be watching the Stanley Cup - fully immersing ourselves in Canadian culture! Be sure to check in on facebook throughout the weekend as we post photos and videos from TBEX and stay tuned for "Part 2" when I recap this jam-packed travel weekend! -Lauren Photo of Vancouver skyline by www.amtrakcascade.com.