Friday, October 26, 2012
Dole Banana Summit
If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram… you already know that I was out in California 2 weeks ago for the first annual Dole Banana Summit! I have been so blessed to be able to team up with Dole on multiple events now! They are such a great company to work with and I’ve enjoyed getting to know the awesome heart and passion behind the brand! I first met the wonderful people of Dole at a BlogHer Food event this past June and was honored to be asked to go to Carmel California with them in July for their Lettuce Summit (which was a TOTAL blast)! So when they asked me to join them for their Banana Summit… I was of course THRILLED to say YES!
I decided that this time I’d bring hubs along and we’d stay a few extra days on the west coast (which I’ll tell you all about next week!). Anyhow, we East Coasters have to get up at the wee hours of the morning to catch our flight to the west coast… I was happy to have a travel buddy this time!
We arrived in LAX and had a car waiting to take us over to the Grand Californian (at Disneyland)… we got ourselves all checked in and wandered around the hotel getting our bearings (I always love to do this at new places!).
The first night I joined the ground for the Welcome Reception including some killer savory banana appetizers and Banana Margaritas! Umm ya’ll know how I feel about Margaritas…
Then we walked over to Downtown Disney (conveniently located right by our hotel) and had a lovely dinner at Ralph’s Jazz Kitchen and their famous Bananas Foster for dessert (of course!). Super Yum.
At that point I’d almost been up for 24 hours and decided to call it a night (darn time change)!
Day 2 included Breakfast and Presentation about ALL about Dole Bananas (and a few tidbits about their Pineapples).
You wouldn’t BELIEVE the # of varieties of bananas there are out there! It’s an impressive industry! Check out their Banana Page for some cool facts & Recipes!
We met again with the group for the Recovery Lunch & Banana Jeopardy
We had a little break so Brandi, Hubs, and I took a short cab ride over to try the infamous Umami Burger. Hands down favorite thing I ate in California: Their Truffle Burger! Holy Cow… if you get out to Cali ya’ll HAVE to eat it (hubs also highly recommends the Manly Burger). Amazefest.
We split 3 burgers and drooled at each and every bite…
Clean plate club!
We met up with the group again to walk over to Disneyland and into the Tikki Room which is sponsored by Dole… of course we all had to get a taste of their infamous Dole Whip (Dole Pineapple Ice Cream)! I’m from Florida so we went to Disney World in Orlando a LOT growing up… they too carry the Dole Whip (one of my all time favorite treats!) and I’ve had a love for them since childhood!
So we finished up our treat and then went in to experience the super fun Tikki Room (you HAVE to check it out).
Caleb LOVED it (as did the rest of us):
“In the tikka tikka tikka tikki room…”
It was cold and rainy out so Jenny had to take sweet little Pax back to the hotel, and she was so sweet to offer up her spot to the hubs so he was able to join us for the last part of the evening! Thanks, friend!
We all walked over into California Adventure where we got to tour Cars Land:
and they even let us march up the front of the line (past a giant line of people) and hop right on and ride the Radiator Springs Ride (SUPER FUN!)!
Michael from Dole was in the car we were “racing”! A little blurry… but you get the point!
After our fun ride, we got to enjoy a FABULOUS dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant. It was SO good. The Halibut Ceviche was to. die. for. Thank you Chef Andrew Sutton for a fabulous meal!
Lastly, we said our farewells as many of the group had early flights to catch… What a whirlwind of a trip, but it was SUCH a fun time reconnecting with Dole, old friends, and making new ones!
BIG THANK-YOU TO DOLE FOR BRINGING ME ALONG!