Just last week, 40 or so of us food bloggers headed over to Grand Velas Riviera Maya for our 3rd annual Food Blog Camp that Elise, David, Matt, Adam, Todd, Diane, Kate and I coordinate. I guess the name is a little misleading, as “camp” is really a beautiful beach side resort in some tropical location. The only roughing it we have is choosing which of the four 5-star fine restaurants to eat in each night.

photo by Acorns & Apples

If there was any place to fall and sprain your ankle, it would be at this resort, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya….I think from the photo there’s just no explanation needed.

It was entirely my fault, not seeing the two little itsy bitsy step by the pool. Easily distracted me was too busy greedily taking in all the sights, from the curvaceous, endless pool, swim-up bar, sandy beach as fine as powdered sugar and ahem, the human eye candy….that I just missed the steps and found myself so ungracefully splat on the ground.

Our little group of bloggers all crowded around me, three others who saw me tumble from the other side of the pool ran over to see if I was okay.

“Ice! Ice! Need Ice!”

“Ooooh that looks bad”

“Does that hurt?”

“What happened!?”

then the crowd parted….

and entered Roman, pronounced “rrrrro-MAAAAHHN” (you need to roll your “r” and drag out the “aaaahhh”), the lifeguard with a first aid kit and a wheelchair.

I quickly patted down my dress, crossed my good leg as lady like as I could and readjusted my hat.

All smiles. No pain.

photo by Diana Johnson (plus of the 3 photos below)

Someone handed me a margarita. And that’s David taking a photo of me. Oh and that’s Stephanie who took this photo of David taking a photo of me.

Pain? What pain? I’m getting a free foot massage!

I honestly don’t remember anything he said, in fact, I don’t think he even spoke to me other than “does this hurt?” and “let me massage it for you.”

For real!??? Oh yeah baby, for R.E.A.L.

Thumbs up Grand Velas! Now that’s what I call great hospitality!

Oh but WAIT! There’s More!

It took 5 handsome, strong men to lift me up the stairs!

I spent the rest of the stay at the resort in a wheelchair, and as Diana, Todd and Diane can testify (they were my gracious caretakers, pushing me around), it didn’t at all affect my level of happiness, fulfillment and well being.

Especially since Grand Velas’ all-inclusive fine dining and top-shelf bar at my disposal.

Except in my wheelchair I was too short to see above the bar.

HOLA!!??? ¡Pardón Señor!

Drats! Too short! He didn’t see me. Boo. No drinky for me.

Thankfully, we had a tequila tasting…..

Lots of tequila.

I even snagged a bottle tried to put it in my dress with a long straw.

And pretty soon, this was how I felt.

After that, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. If I didn’t see these photos — and if a certain someone has a VIDEO of me — I wouldn’t have ever believed that I grabbed Todd and Diane’s video camera monopod and did a wheelchair pole dance.

YES. A monopod. Like a tripod with one leg to steady a video camera.

I guess after that much tequila (and great pain meds!) I though I was pretty hot.

I scare myself sometimes.


Despite the mishap, we had a lovely time, meeting new friends, teaching as much as we could fit about photography, writing, styling, business and best practices of food blogging in 5 days.

Miss Diana, one of my favorite people on earth, always has a smile, a flower and can dance like crazy.

Diane, Todd and Matt led the photography section with hands-on instruction.

Adam was the master of food styling — funky knuckles and all.

these two beautiful shots are from Renee and Ari of Kitchen Conumdrum

gorgeous shot from Foodie Bride – cutest couple ever.

May I intro you to Procopio. Michael Procopio. We call him by his Hobbit name, Berilac Sackville-Bracegirdle….and soon one day I’ll be able to share with you why.

photo by Food Woolf

Me with Diana, Lucy Lean (Ladles & Jellyspoons) Carrie (Deliciously Organic Cookbook just launched last week!) and Marla (Family Fresh Cooking who has more energy than a jackrabbit on sugar and can make you laugh like crazy)

photo by Family Fresh Cooking and Food Woolf

You just have to take a look at the video that Todd and Diane put together – they just happened to whip this up quickly – it’s fun!!!

So happy happy!

And if you want another laugh, check out Matt’s video (but you must see his post and beautiful shots too!)

Explore more Food Blog Camp 2011

Big thanks to our sponsor Grand Velas Riviera Maya (lovely lovely hosts) and Kerrygold Butter (who provided scholarships for participants!)

Food Blogger Camp (Website)

Food Blogger Camp Photos (Flickr)