Ten years ago today, I was sitting at my desk in Conde Nast’s Times Square location, plotting out my life. It involved moving to California six months later, something that had been in the works for a while, and also having more of a public space on which to tell stories. On a whim, I started a Blogspot and called it Camels & Chocolate, with little regard for long-term planning and zero idea what I was doing, but rather combining two things I loved: travel and food.
I had no idea I’d still be blogging on this little corner of the Internet an entire decade later. As someone who frequently adopts hobbies in haste only to discard them months later, this longevity is something that surprises even me.
And yet, here I am. Camels & Chocolate has allowed me an outlet for sharing my travels, new experiences and more, but beyond that, it’s brought so many of my best friends into my life. It’s also become an integral part of my business as a journalist, digital marketer and content creator.
To celebrate, I held a big 10-year blog bash this past weekend with 50 of my closest friends from the Middle Tennessee area, many of whom I met through this space (like Beth and Lindsay, fellow blogging OGs). I never had a housewarming, because truth be told, our house is never going to be “finished,” so this seemed the perfect excuse to have everyone over to our house nearly five years to the date after closing on it.
There was rum punch, there were pineapples, there were the flamingos, there was food galore—it was the most fun I’ve had in ages.
And I picked a luau theme because a) I love color, b) I am obsessed with pineapples and flamingos and c) I’M GIVING AWAY A TRIP TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS. What’s the tie-in, you may ask?
Well, Universal Orlando Resort’s third park to open, Volcano Bay, very much follows a Pacific Islander theme, and I love me a good theme.
I also love giving away stuff to you guys, especially when it involves a free trip.
Contest is now closed. All you have to do to enter is follow me on Instagram and leave a comment below with your favorite post or memory from the past 10 years of Camels & Chocolate. It can be anything! There are no wrong answers. Once you’ve done both, click the appropriate Rafflecopter widget boxes that will officially enter you to win. You can also Tweet once a day through the contest end date for additional entries.
The winner will receive one three-night stay at one of Universal Orlando Resort’s on-site properties plus two park-to-park tickets into Universal’s three parks. Note: This giveaway does not include travel, so you’ll need to be able to get yourself there (by car or by plane) and fulfill the prize within one year.
To get excited, you can read my past recaps of Universal goodness here:
- Universal Studios vs. Islands of Adventure: Orlando’s Theme Parks
- Vacation Like a Rock Star at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
- Loews Portofino Bay: A Taste of Italy in the Heart of Orlando
- Scream Queen: Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights
- Everything You Need to Know About Universal’s Volcano Bay
Ella wishes she were eligible for the giveaway, because this adventure sounds right up her alley, she says.
But, there’s more! Travables sent us a couple of their awesome bags to give away to a winner. We’ve been loving using their backpacks for all our summer festival-going and park-hopping. We each have one and think they’re the perfect day back for summer travel and will ship a pair to the winner.
So, what are you waiting for? Tell me your favorite C&C memory!