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My Blissdom Canada recap.

“What is the purpose of your visit to Canada?” the border guard looked at me nonchalantly.

“I’m going to a conference.”

“What kind of conference?”

“A blogging one.”



“What is blogging?”

“Have you heard of Twitter and Facebook?”


“Kind of like that.”

“What is your destination?”

“The Delta Chelsea hotel in Toronto. That is, if the strike doesn’t shut it down completely.” I smiled and chuckled a little. He did not.

“What’s the name of the conference?”




“And what do you do? Listen to people talk about this blogging stuff?”

“Well, yes, plus it’s a good time to meet up with friends and there are parties.”

“Where are you coming from?”

“Orlando, Florida. I flew into Buffalo.”

“So you flew all the way from Orlando to drive to Toronto and listen to people talk about blogging?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Are you bringing anything into Canada that you’ll be leaving behind?”

“Well, I have some silly bands that I’m leaving behind. That’s about it. Oh, and probably a shitload of money.”

“Silly bands?”


“What are silly bands?”

“Well, they are these . . . silly . . .umm . . . bands. Kids love them – they are in the shapes of animals and objects and people, and kids put them on their wrists and trade them.”

“Why are you bringing them into Canada and why are you leaving them here?”

“I may be having dinner with a friend in Toronto on Saturday night and I thought her kids would like them. Don’t ask me – I think they’re ridiculous!”

At this point, he hadn’t really made eye contact with me. The entire conversation took place while slowly eyed my passport, thumbing through every page, turning it sideways, upside down, as if waiting for it to turn into some type of reason for him to turn me away.

“Do you have some type of proof that you drove all the way up here to go to a blogging conference?”

“I have my ticket for it – would that help?” I reached into my bag and pulled out the printed ticket.

He examined it thoroughly. “Sir, this is an invitation for some type of Mabel’s Labels 5-minute Makeover party. Are you having a 5-minute makeover?”

“Ummm, probably not, no. I gave you the wrong invitation – that’s just one of the parties that I’ll be attending.” I handed him the correct invitation, which he treated like it was radioactive.

“Okay, thank you. You can proceed.”

And that was my introduction to Canada. Β What did I do in Canada?

I drove to Toronto.

I ate some poutine with Casey and Loukia.


Came up with an ad hoc Halloween costume of Lance Draper, Don Draper’s uglier, fatter, more sexually ambiguous brother.

Lance Draper

I watched karaoke stars Tanis, Casey, Alli, Barbara, and Dee sing and dance.

Casey and Allison sing “Single Ladies” from Adam Avitable on Vimeo.

Casey and Tanis sing “Redneck Woman” from Adam Avitable on Vimeo.

Barbara and Dee sing “Imma Be” from Adam Avitable on Vimeo.

I met up with old friends and made new ones.


(In order: AngellaD, MapsGirl, Alli, Kate, Karen, Zchamu, Loukia, Janice)

I had one or two drinks.

Tweets from a Drunk Idiot
Tweets from a Drunk Idiot

And I floated above Toronto at the highest man-made observation point in the world.

CN Tower Sky Pod

I also:

  • Watched a lot of Canadian bloggers have a blast learning and talking about blogging.
  • Sang really embarrassingly bad versions of “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Tik Tok”. I haven’t seen any video pop up of those atrocities, so that’s good.
  • Met a lot of amazing Canadian women who were new to me (and I to them).
  • Went to a speakeasy and had to say a secret password and everything!
  • Got guyliner professionally applied and then had professional photos taken.
  • Learned that shorts and sandals don’t really do it in 40 degree weather.
  • Experienced how Canadians strike – it’s so much more polite than Americans!
  • Rode on a subway for my very first time (and hopefully, last) ever.
  • Made my own bed in a hotel for the first time (and hopefully, last) ever.
  • Had a blast at one of the best-organized blogging conferences I’ve been to yet.
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87 Replies to “My Blissdom Canada recap.”

  1. Nadia

    Hilarious! How is it we never met? I saw you on the dance floor at Blogher, and now I see you were here in Canada. Next time!

    Agree with you on the conference. Best one I’ve attended so far!

  2. sabina edwards

    seriously, poutines supposed to have tons of gravy and tons of cheese on it…did you eat the gravy and cheese off ? LOL cus who ever sold you that, ripped you off….next time come to SK for poutine!!

  3. Lisa

    Loved this way too funny post. Wish I had a chance to meet u at the conference. I was too busy busting out my best dance moves…and falling down, apparently. Next time though. πŸ™‚ ~Lisa aka @partymummy aka one of the “other” Catherine Connors…

  4. Redneck Mommy

    Dude. I could KILL you for putting video up of me bellowing.

    *dies of shame*

    You look better in guyliner than I do in a mullet. Chalk it up to just another of life’s injustices. Then again, you do make a better woman than I ever could.


  5. mapsgirl

    After listening to your border crossing story, I should tell you about the time when we tried to cross in to the US when “Canada had mad cow” and we had a can of stew.

    I’m very glad the border guy let you in and that we had chance to meet and hang out a bit. Blissdom was a tonne of fun!

  6. Julia

    pooooo-teeeen. Ah now you are speaking my language. As the better half of a Quebecquois (I’m Albertan) I know poutine in all it’s many forms. Great post and hopefully next go round with Blissdom I can meet you! Love the videos.

  7. Grant

    Your blog template is getting creepy. There is an icon with associated text that says “Be the first of your friends to like this.” So, not only does it know who my friends are, it knows how they feel about it before I’ve had a chance to share. Any day now your sidebar will be filled with pictures of me masturbating.

  8. Finn

    Tell me again why you didn’t just fly into Toronto? There is no reason you needed to rent a car, darlin’. You were in a city for goodness sake.

    Did you have trouble stepping on the see-through floor at the CN Tower? It took me a couple of tries before I didn’t get vertigo when I looked down.

    • Avitable

      @Finn, I wanted to drive across the border – figured it would be more fun. It’s only an hour away.

      I’m terrified of heights, but for some reason, it didn’t bother me at all when I stepped on that floor.

  9. Robin

    And nary a mention of our not-date… *sigh*
    Again, it was great meeting you…hopefully, next time you’re in town and we get together, we can BOTH consume a meal! ;o)

  10. Nolie

    Great recap. Love the story of crossing the border. One of the many reasons I have yet to get a passport and love the comfort of Canada. Though I dream of going back to the warmth of Florida one day for another visit. I don’t think I drank and tweeted. Not sure. But I do know my roommate and I phoned my fiance at 2 am and left him crazy messages. I miss Blissdom Canada already.

  11. Elizabeth Kaylene

    Canada must be awesome, if they question you like that! They just don’t want any pterodactyls getting in and ruining things.

    I am so jealous that you and Casey were in the same place and I was not. Someday, SOMEDAY, I will make it to one of these conferences — hopefully BlogHer. Someday!

  12. Robin

    What about Mounties? Did you see any Mounties?

    But seriously, I want to go on a grand tour of Canada someday.

    Also, silly bandz are banned in some schools here b/c the kids fight over them so much. My kids think they’re neat but aren’t obsessed, fortunately.

  13. Caitlin Madden

    It was so great to finally meet you at The Mabel Bliss Party. Your guyliner was fab! I often fly out of Buffalo for events and deal with the “What’s blogging? What’s Social Media?” Q’s every time. Trying to explain what “Mabel’s Labels” is can also be hard. I once replied “Labels for the stuff kids lose.” The boarder guard looked at me like I was a nut ; )

  14. Issa

    I love that you had to explain Silly Bandz and Blogging. Snort.

    I remember two years ago, I thought it was odd that they didn’t want to let Mr. Lady into the country for BlogHer. But now, I’ve seen way too many people have issues.

  15. rebecca

    THIS made me chuckle. Firstly because that is a similar conversation I had with a border guard to go to the Buffalo Airport a couple of weeks ago… Second, YAY Toronto! I’m so glad you saw it… My favourite place, though I actually enjoy riding the subway, but we all know better than to wear shorts and sandals in October! πŸ™‚

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