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Back from Brandcation

By Matthewspuzzle @matthewspuzzle

Back from Brandcation

I finally made it back from Brandcation. I say “finally” because, although Brandcation was wonderful, 3 of my 4 flights this weekend were delayed. I walked in the door at 1:40 AM Monday morning. Needless to say I was a kind of useless yesterday.

But Brandcation on the Pensacola Gulf Coast of Florida was WONDERFUL! From the nice folks at the airport – one actually search out my party to return a lost pair of sunglasses (true story), to the beautiful beaches, the zip lining at Adventures Unlimited, and the Supermoon and stargazing on the beach, I could not have asked for a better inaugural blog conference experience.

Friday we spent some time getting to know each other and building team spirit by playing Blogger Olympics on the Portofino Island Resort beach. We had sandcastle building contests (had to create the White House!), Hula Hoop battles (my teammate won!), a scavenger hunt, water races and carry-a-beachball-between your legs races (yes, I actually won that one). Then we all headed out for a yummy dinner at Surf Burger. The staff was wonderful and friendly. I indulged in their signature Surf Burger and fries, and although I did not try one of their Bushwackers (a creamy concoction made with cream of coconut, Kahlua, black rum, creme de cacao and vanilla ice cream) I heard from other attendees they were scrumptious. We finally made it back to the condo to pour over the wonderful and amazing items donated by Brandcation sponsors. I can’t wait to tell you all about the fantastic items we received. (I just scarfed down my package of Lush Nuts Handcrafted Sweetly Coated Peanuts in Original, while I was writing this.) Then it was off to bed. I couldn’t sleep. It was just too exciting.

Back from Brandcation

Saturday we were up bright and early for possibly the best day ever (Phineas and Ferb, anyone?). We took a short ride to Adventures Unlimited in Milton, Florida, for a full day of zip lining and tubing. I can not even begin to describe this day. The folks at Adventures Unlimited we friendly and helpful (they even patched up one of my fellow tubers who hurt her toe) and just plain fun. We went zip lining first, our guides were Kevin and Jacques – two “Cajun boys” as the lady at the front desk told me. We could not have had better guides. They kept us entertained with knowledge of the area and the different sights on Adventures Unlimited land. There happens to be an historic cemetery and  an old school house turned inn on the property. But truly the best part of the trip was the zip lining. I will go into this great adventure in another post, but know that any sensory seekers out there would love to drop 65 feet over the course of a 900 foot run at 35 miles per hour! I couldn’t get enough. We followed that adventure up with a box lunch (best oranges ever!!) provided by Adventures Unlimited, then a 3 hour tubing ride down the gentle Coldwater Creek. Relaxing and Refreshing. Once we made it back to the condos we had enough time to eat and get ready to go stargazing (and Supermoon gazing) with the local astronomers group. We spent an hour or so with the group checking out the stars, the Supermoon, Jupiter and Saturn. It was a beautiful night on the beach. Our friend Dewey was so full of knowledge (and he was pretty funny too) about the night sky. He taught us a lot and made the experience amazing.

Back from Brandcation

Sunday was our last day there but it was still full of fun. While my fellow Brandcationers went on a fabulous dolphin cruise, I watched several military personal injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other amputees, participate in a swimming race in the water outside my window. These folks were so inspirational, and although I get deathly ill from boat rides and had to miss the dolphin cruise, I feel I had an opportunity to see something incredible.

The Gulf Coast is in full swing and would be a wonderful vacation spot. I was very impressed with the area, the amount of exciting things to do, and the hospitality. Drop everything and make your reservation today. Stay Well.

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