Kerrie does Orlando! America's Cake Fair 2017
Until this past week, I had never been overseas. The longest I had been away from my family until this point was 3 days. So after a total of 42 hours of flying, and 9 days away from home, jet lag slowly wearing off, what was my first overseas experience like?
I've put together a kinda travel diary, complete with badly lit photos taken with my phone, so please enjoy my musings on Florida, Red Lobster, and why I need a Squirrel.
I'm leaving on a Jet Plane
I'm a good flyer. I'm not worried the plane will crash, take off doesn't phase me, and turbulence is no biggy. That being said, have you ever spent the better part of 2 days flying? Its not awesome.
I flew American Airlines, which I have to say in my limited experience, were an absolute pleasure to fly with. Big fan of the movie screen in the head rest. I liked that a LOT.
The only thing, other than jet lag (which hasn't hit me too bad), that made such a long flight a bummer, was the pain in my lower back and hips from sitting for so long. I'm double jointed, which sounds like fun, but it makes sitting down for long periods of time literal torture. Seriously considering coughing up for the sleeper seat next time I go overseas.
Also free Soda's. This made me happy.
An Aussie in the US
I was very scared of TSA. Seriously. I was having nightmares leading up to the trip that I was going to be sent home. I have no logical reason for this fear, I was a legit visitor, not a drug mule, and all my liquids were under 100ml, but the fear remained.
Turns out they were very professional, if not almost completely devoid of a sense of humour (or they didn't find me funny, which I refuse to believe), and I made it through all 7,000 check points unscathed. Pretty much from this point on though, whenever someone spoke to me, I showed them my passport, it just seemed expedient.
Also, in case you are wondering how embarrassing it would be to drop your underwear on the floor of TSA, I can tell you no one looked. Yep, 3 pairs of undies, two bras, and and a novel I had yet to get around to reading. Rockstar.
Having heard warnings about the humidity, I was expecting Purgatory. Turns out Florida is very much like Far North Queensland in climate.
I got to my hotel at 8pm, and walked directly to Red Lobster. I had heard great things. Thus began my addiction.
Jiminy H Cricket those biscuits!! Lets forget for a moment Walt's Favourite Shrimp (which FYI taste just as good cold at 3am because Jet lag), and talk about the Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits.
I have no idea what's in them, and to be honest, its probably a good thing. I am supremely confident that if I knew how to make those, I would eat enough of them to choke a whale. Big, big fan.
Also a big fan of the refilling of soda's. That doesn't happen here. If you finish your tiny $4 soda, you have to buy another one. In the US, like some sort of Mission Impossible style Ninja, your server will refill your glass, again and again, free of charge. God bless America. Did I mention I put on weight while overseas? I'm sure there's no link *whistles*
I want a Squirrel
Weren't you there for cakes Kerrie? Yes, but SQUIRRELS!!!! DUDE!
Of course all the locals are saying "meh, tree rats", well I want me a tree rat, they are so damn cute!
I came across some on my way back from Red Lobster (not for the first time *ahem*), and had some leftover biscuit. I managed to charm a little dude into coming quite close. He was about to eat from my hand when a car honked its horn on the main road. Exit, squirrel stage left.
Disney Princess moment destroyed. In conclusion, I want a Squirrel.
America's Cake Fair
People tend to say things like "biggest show ever" unnecessarily, but I kid you not, the size of this show was gobsmacking. It was easily twice the size of any Australian show I have ever been to.
I got to the US early, because I wasn't sure how bad jet lag would get me, so I had the pleasure of helping out backstage, setting up the American Cake Decorating stand, and just trying to be useful basically. There were something like 150 classes and demos, from 75 instructors. That's just insane.
There was of course some unmissable classes *cough* mine *cough*, and nothing beats the chance to meet a cake idol up close. Which brings my to Selfie Palooza.
If you follow my social media, you'll have seen that I basically crash tackled every awesome cake person I could find. Words fail the surreal experience of meeting so many of your cake heros up close. I tried to be cool. It didn't quite come together.
As most of you will know, I got into cakes by watching YouTube, and in particular Shawna McGreevy. I saw her work, and knew it was what I wanted to be when I grew up (still hasn't happened!).
You can possibly tell from the photo, I'm tryin' real hard, not to freak out. When you meet your hero, not only do you want to sob like a child, there's always the risk that they aren't as awesome in real life as you imagined. If its possible, Shawna is even MORE awesome. She's kind, funny, generous, and I just adore her, so yeah, fan girling hard, but on the inside ;)
Meeting you guys
I am 100% serious, I love meeting our Buttercream Family. I love hearing how much you love watching my tutorials, how much fun you are having, how much you love Buttercream now, all of it. I was blessed to have two awesome demos, and a hands on class, and you were all a joy to be with. Thank you for laughing at my jokes, and understanding that Buttercream without refrigeration is like a cupcake without sprinkles, it will work, but its not as pretty!
My hands on class peeps absolutely nailed it (no pun intended) piping flowers, creating textures, and using Buttercream in a mold. You guys rocked!
I had so much fun on this trip, I cannot put it into words. It also cemented for me that travelling frequently is not my jam (hats off to those of you that can handle it!). My next trip will be to Queensland and Lollipop Cake Supplies in March 2018, and off to Cake International in Birmingham in November 2018. I'll be back in the states in 2019.
In the mean time, I'll be teaching locally at Caker's Warehouse, just south of Sydney, and of course my massively overdue online tutorials are my top priority for the rest of the year! I will be live on Facebook every Monday as usual too, so be sure to say hi!
What I learned:
- Refillable drinks are life
- I want a Squirrel
- Red Lobster Biscuits are made of Unicorns and Crack
- Shawna McGreevy is my Spirit Animal
- 21 hours of flying is crap. Fly lying down if possible
- US dollars are all the same colour and confusing
- No one was naked at Walmart
- I can't wait to go back!
Viva La Buttercream xx