This past week we attended the Natural Products Expo West and while it was absolutely amazing/surpassed all of our expectations, it absolutely wiped us out! We were beyond excited to meet so many of the companies whose items we use on a daily basis and so eager to find out about new brands- that we COMPLETELY over did it.
We drove to Anaheim from San Diego last Thursday morning to attended the convention which lasted 3 days from 10am to 6pm (though we only attended Thur/Fri). After the first two hours we knew that this undertaking was going to a massive stretch for us with our health limitations. We planned on pacing ourselves and even made a list of a few particular booths that we wanted to check out, but the seemingly never ending rows of vendors were so exciting that we inadvertently failed to stop and kept pushing and pushing through pain and fatigue to make it through the first day.
We filled up tote bags with free samples ranging from charcoal magnesium deodorants, to sprouted nuts, to bone broth powders, and everything in between. By the time the first day was wrapping up, we were literally hobbling to our car, clutching each other, laughing with that kind of delirious laughter that only comes from exhaustion.
Once we got to the hotel, we scavenged our bags for all the CBD balms and bath soaks we could find to help our current and painful situation. Everything hurt and although we had been snacking all day, we were in serious need of a real meal. We ordered Chipotle to be delivered because any more moving was just out of the question, and fell asleep while watching Schitt’s Creek together on our laptop.
Day two at the expo:
On day two we decided there was absolutely no way we could do as much as we managed to do the day before. Naively, we thought we would be out of there by 1pm (hah!). Nope, we ended up doing just as much.
We planned to meet a couple of people/companies we had already connected with through Instagram then hit the road to beat traffic, but in our wandering we found out that there was an upstairs(!) and a downstairs(!) to the convention that seemed to literally go on forever. We never felt more like little kids in a candy store; overwhelmed and going on pure adrenaline to get through it and see it all. It felt like adult trick-or-treating on crack.
Em: I had to borrow a pair of Kate’s shoes on day two because my feet were so blistered from my sneakers the day before. A few hours into day two I had to switch shoes with her again and folded down her Converse to wear as slides. My feet were just not having it, and as we were leaving the Expo, my body starting shaking to the point where my teeth started chatting (just a little fun side effect that happens when my body is overly pushed).
Almost comically, when we finally lugged our tote bags stuffed to the brim of food and drinks to where our car was parked, we saw that it had been towed! Worst. Timing. Ever. We just wanted to be home in bed instead of frantically trying to find our car while every part of our bodies throbbed. We’re very glad we went because we are so excited to share some of our new favorite treats we discovered, but boy oh boy did we overshoot. It’s funny that no matter how much you know you’re overdoing it, sometimes in the moment you just can’t help it.
Kate: My body definitely paid for my trip in the days that followed. Like Em, I was INCREDIBLY achy/sore while we we attended, plus my hip, knee and shoulder kept popping out due to the lovely EDS. It took a couple days of doing absolutely nothing and barely moving from my sofa to recover. When we got back after our second day, I also ended up being sick and throwing up all night long. I knew that I wasn’t pacing myself properly and all of the snacks/samples I was eating threw my body way off. It’s so hard to remember sometimes to pause, stop, and rest when you’re trying to keep up with everyone else.
What we will do differently next year :
Don’t take drinks as samples. Although we loved some of what we brought home, they add way too much weight to carry around. Next year we’ll drink and walk!
Go for fewer hours over all 3 days vs. trying to fit it all in in 2 long days.
Stay at a hotel on site! The walk to our car after killed us.
Don’t try to do/see it all and pay attention to the map, so we’re not accidentally backtracking.
Although we felt like we were eating and drinking all day long, it wasn’t enough to sustain us because we were exerting ourselves so much more than usual. Stop for complete meals and drinks.
Wear (well worn in) work out sneakers! Our blisters made our fashion over function choice seem laughable at best.
Em: This one just goes for me… when registering , it asked for our title, meaning something like CEO, Co-Founder, Blogger, etc. but I mistook it for asking for my prefix as in Miss. Mrs. etc. so I put Ms. (face-palm) Very embarrassing when I realized, but they nicely reprinted a badge for me on site.
We can’t wait to share in more detail some of our favorite things we found (soon to come) and we’re already excited for next year’s event!
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