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WordCamp US 2023, Another Fantastic WP Memory

Well, it was inevitable that I should post a recap of WordPress US. I am writing this after returning to my home and office in Porto on Monday morning, this being Thursday of the same week. And I’ll tell you, I am just starting to get over my exhaustion.

The Trip to WCUS

Flying back to the states, I loved the way over. No overnight experiences for me, and leaving at 7:30 am Porto time, arriving in National Harbor 7:30 pm EDT. Of course, during the flight I started with breakfast, then a drink and lunch and segued into dinner at some point which ended with a snack. Lot’s of food and can’t honestly remember when I ate what.

I did meet a few friends when I landed, but by then I was pretty much half asleep. It was nice seeing my good friend Mark Westguard right off the bat.

The first day in National Harbor

Unlike my other WordPressers who were already there, the next day I was not part of the Community Summit nor did I have the desire to be a tourist in Washington DC. The latter did not tempt me with the heat or the sights.

So I spent the day hanging around the hotel/convention center to make life easy. Now the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is enormous. And I mean freakin’ huge. It kind of reminded me of those large cruise ships, although I have never been on one. It’s set up quite well. You never really need to leave and everything is overpriced. But hey, that’s America, right?

The morning I spent wandering around the grounds, inside and out.

The other part of the day Mark and myself just did this and that. Lunchtime we went and had some drinks and nachos. After that we just roamed around the hotel and Mark was obviously delighted to find his logo with all the sponsors on the entryway to the conference center.

Then we had Casey join us, Mark’s better half, and dinner time where at even more food.

So after a day of local exploring, drinks and food, we did what any normal WordCamper would do. We went to a party, WP-Includes Summer Fest.

Contributor Day

The next day was Contributor Day. And guess what? It was amazing. So much so that I didn’t take one photo as I was busy listening and interjecting every once in awhile. But I did snag the group photo from that day just to share the all the groovy WordPressers who were part of that day. By the way, photo credit goes to Shusei Toda.

WordCamp US, the Event

As with most WordCamps, I find myself so busy connecting with old and new friends, and just being a happy WordCamper that I never take as many photos as planned. But, I do the best I can do.

Of course, I cannot go without thanking my sponsors, A2 Hosting, Avalara, Hostinger, GoDaddy, Jetpack and Weglot. Oh, and yes, WooCommerce!

Do the Woo, a Pseudo Sponsor

And then this happened. My friends over at Multicolab were not able to use their sponsor booth. Anil Gupta was able to attend, but he had problems with getting his team over to the US. So his table sat unattended and barren.

I had a chat with Anil as he is a good friend of mine, and also a past sponsor of Do the Woo. Long story short, I took over the booth and used it for the DTW hq at WordCamp US. So I had the opportunity to be able to do some podcasting as well as meet many of our listeners.

Here is Anil sharing some thoughts on WordCamp.

Here is my makeshift booth.

And some of our podcast guests.

And a very special podcast. Three WordPressers from the Spain WordPress community did a show, and they did it all in Spanish. What fun!

As it so happened during contributor day, also at the event I didn’t get as many photos as I would have wanted. Was just too busy enjoying IRL conversations. But here are just a few more friends that I caught.

What’s a Flagship WordCamp without Nathan’s head

Now for those of you who know Nathan, you get it. For those that don’t, well I will add a mysterious moment to your life. A good friend and fellow podcaster of mine, Nathan’s head often shows up in the weirdest spots, or simply frightening people here and there. And the second day started out with just that.

The After Social

As with tradition of WordCamp US, the social at the end of the second day was at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Quite the impressive museum. Now I am not a huge fan of museums. I could also say that it was mostly bones, stuffed or recreated animals, rocks and overpriced jewelry, but nonetheless it was quite breathtaking.

A lot of people had a great time and it was also filled with conversation, laughter and yummy desserts with old and new friends.

And what is a museum visit without posing as a museum exhibit.

Of course my friend Miriam had to catch as I ventured into the fossil display where I discovered an old acquaintance, Joe the Tyrannosaurus. As I gently touch the bones of his neck on display, I pondered our prehistoric life together.

It’s Why I Do What I Do

In a nutshell, I do WordPress because of the community. And events like WordCampUS is like a moment of pure oxygen. So much laughter, conversation, hugs, food and drinks with old and new friends. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And I leave you with one last photo. As I was flying home, something outside my window reminded me of that museum. Can you guess what that is?

Hope to see you at WordCamp Asia in 2024.

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