Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weekend Warriors, Part Two

Who: VN Associate Editor Abby Young, Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig, and Editorial Assistants Kailey Harless and Charlotte Gordon
What: Animal Rights National Conference, Part II
Where: Los Angeles, Calif.
When: July 16-20, 2009
Why: To represent VegNews at the annual AR conference

The scoop: We all woke up a bit tired from the late celebration night before, but with a nice workout and a cup of caffeine, it wasn't hard to recharge for another Animal Rights 2009 conference day. The crowd was noticeably thinner than other days, as vendors were leaving and attendees were heading home.

As a conference first-timer, I was most amazed by the long-time VegNews readers. We often had people stop by the booth just to say how much they adore each issue, or share how long they've been reading. Seeing their genuine excitement fueled us more than any cup of coffee ever could, and knowing that people thoroughly enjoy what VegNews staffers dedicate their lives to made every moment behind the booth worthwhile.

Over the weekend we met loads of people. We first spied Bryan Pease being interviewed for next to our booth, who stopped by the table to chat after his turn on-camera. Since he's an animal-rights attorney and the activism advisor for VegNews, it was nice to meet one of our very own!

We also chatted and posed with Nathan Runkle, founder of Mercy for Animals and the youngest activist ever to be inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame. Lyndsay, Nathan, me, and Abby

You know what the perfect way to end a long, fun, yet exhausting weekend is? Dining well, of course. Abby and I ventured out into the pavement jungle in search of an affordable, vegan-friendly restaurant. Thankfully, we found the quaint and accommodating Par's Persian Cuisine, which offered both Lebanese and Italian fare.

Within seconds of looking at the menu, I knew what I wanted. Smooth, exquisite, garlicky hummus that I consumed with edible spoons: many, many wedges of warm pita:

Luscious hummus topped with olive oil and paprika

A crisp, fresh, bright tomato-cucumber-mint salad made for a cooling complement:

Diced cucumber and tomato mingle with mint and parsley

With full, happy tummies, Abby and I trekked back to the Westin and fell into a deep slumber. So what if it was only 10 pm? At least we were well rested for the daunting trip back to San Francisco. And by daunting I mean breezy. Virgin America knows how to treat a girl (big cushy seats? Please and thank you!), and San Fran is merely a hop, skip, and jump away from LA.

All in all, the weekend was a success. We learned from the AR lectures, dined well, met incredible people, and laughed constantly. This AR first-timer couldn't ask for more.

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