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Our second day of Bloghouse Scottsdale started bright and early with an optional selfie class. We learned about color, composition, movement, and Instagram tips. My selfie lens flattens my nose a bit–and my version of a selfie is still using my own arm. I learned after this class (and from my friend Dynasti) that tripods are key.

As part of our class, we participated in “The Gram Walk” with Darnell from Andaz Scottsdale. Darnell showed us all the best locations, angles to shoot from, and took lots of shots of us. I liked this Polaroid of me and Kim from Oh My! Omaha.

We had a learning-packed morning full of SEO and Google Analytics. Afterwards, we hopped into a small fleet of cars and headed to Hula’s Modern Tiki for some lunch.

Inside the vibe was so authentic, it felt like the only thing missing was the ocean.

We shared a bunch of delicious appetizers, which I didn’t quite manage to photograph. If you’ve ever dined with 17 hungry travel bloggers, it might be hard to imagine how many photos and hands are in the mix. I did manage to capture my Vegan Jungle Tofu Bowl with fried plantains, jungle curry sauce, beans, and rice. It was really delicious and coconutty. Hula’s Modern Tiki has a GIANT menu, so browsing the menu before you arrive is a good idea.

After lunch we headed back to the Andaz for sessions on photography, video, working with brands, and more. We got behind the scenes with Jennifer Duffy from Experience Scottsdale. She shared amazing insights on the goals of the city, how people can work with them to promote businesses in Scottsdale, insights about strategy, and more.

We the headed to a reception at Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room & Osteria, which is one of six tasting rooms in Old Town Scottsdale. I had a glass of the Merkin Jane Pink with 100% Monastrell grapes grown in Arizona. (Fun fact, this is also a grape grown in my adopted state of Missouri). The wine was tart and easy to drink.

This is what it’s like taking photos and Boomerangs with a bunch of bloggers. 🙂

The food we had there was excellent. The bread with rosé butter, the spicy cucumber salad, the cheese, and the roasted potatoes were all super fresh and delicious. It was a nice healthy way to end a productive day.

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