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#ZINCON – The Final, Final Installment

Posted on August 31, 2018 by under Food and Drink, Travel, Zumba.    

I thought I was done posting about #ZINCON but I keep finding more pictures. LOL. I’m going to try to wrap things up in this post. After all, it’s almost September and it’s time to move on.

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Brian and I tried to get some pool time in on Sunday but it was sweltering. The resort pool would have been better because it offers more shade but it was packed so Brian and I went to the terrace pool. There is no shade and it was hot and it was also packed. The look on my face pretty much says it all. We were miserable.

I think we only stayed for an hour (at most) before calling it quits. Back to the room we went to cool off. Speaking of our room, this is pretty much what my side of the bed looked like the entire time.

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After showering and cleaning up, we decided to walk over to the Pub (located at Pointe Orlando). There are lots of places to eat but this is Brian’s absolute favorite.

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He actually didn’t walk over there while I was in my sessions this year. I’m glad he decided to share his annual Pub experience with me.

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Here’s what the interior looks like. Not sure if I have posted pics of the inside before or just food. Okay, I guess there are interior pics from back in 2013 when Brian discovered the place the first time. Follow the link to see Brian’s old blog post.

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In the meantime, here are some circa 2018 pics…

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We ran into Jane and her friend from Michigan, Lisa. I found it amusing that we started the trip with Jane (when we met her in line at the Kansas City airport) and ended the trip with her also. I think we were on the same flight home.

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Here’s Brian posing with his favorite beer at the Pub.

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Yes, we are that nerdy couple that likes to wear matching shirts. We specially love our Wichita Wicked Brew Tour shirts.

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I took a picture of this page because I thought it was helpful.

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I’d eaten at the Pub a few times but this was the first time I’d tried the fish and chips. Clearly, I’d been missing out. This was the best fish and chips I’d ever eaten. Although, I couldn’t decide if I was just hungry for real food and that’s why this tasted so delicious. I think it was really good, though. I may have to pop in to the Pub when we first arrive next time so that I can make a real, untainted assessment.

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As per usual, Brian got the ham and cheese on a pretzel roll. It is his absolute favorite thing to get there.

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Pointe Orlando is not that far from our hotel. We usually just walk over and walk back. You can see our hotel in this picture.

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Once at the hotel, we decided to stop at B-Line for dessert. Brian had a chocolate milkshake. I had the most delicious chocolate cake and cheesecake combo.

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Then we walked off the calories from dinner and dessert by doing some exploring.

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We’d been here several times since 2013 (I even came for a work conference one year) but I’d never been this way before.

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This was my first time seeing this part of the convention center.

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There are a few more pics on Flickr. Just click on one of the photos above to check them all out. We had a very nice walk. Then it was time to go back to the hotel.

We skipped the after party at Cuba Libre this time because it was rough coming home last year. This year we were flying into Kansas City and still had a three-hour drive back. We chose to go to bed at a decent time instead of staying out late partying on our final night.

Although last year, we were also responsible. We went to the after party but didn’t stay out too late in anticipation of our early flight home.

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Here’s Brian completing the hotel checkout on the TV as we were leaving the next day. And that’s it. This pretty much wraps up our #ZINCON 2018 adventure. I hope you enjoyed reading the trip recap as much as I did recalling it.

Until next year!

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#ZINCON Recap – Final Installment

Posted on August 26, 2018 by under Travel, Zumba.    

August is almost over and I’m still recapping #ZINCON. It’s sad how hectic and busy the last few weeks have been. I’ve hardly had any time to catch y’all up. Anyway, we are finishing the #ZINCON recap today. No matter what.

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We are starting the final installment with this photo because this man Jose was a true enforcer. This man made sure people did not cut any lines. Brian observed him in action several times. No one was getting away with anything. Not on his watch.

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Next is a photo of Joel on stage with Lindsey Taylor during Latin Pop.

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I got a video too, which I posted on Facebook. I’ve since deleted it from my phone and now can’t find it on Facebook. I might have posted it on Joel’s wall, in which case, I can’t share it here anyway because of his privacy settings. I’ll have to remember to post my videos to YouTube or my Zumba with Ching page before deleting them so I can always find and share them.

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Lindsey’s Latin Pop master class was the best way to start the day. I felt so energized after. And then, as I was leaving, I ran into my favorite Fly Girl. Crystal was part of the Fly Girl team this year! That’s so awesome!

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My next session was Colombian Roots with Water Diaz. I love me some Wally! He is the nicest guy ever. Although, I must say, he taught us so many things in the two hours that he almost made my head explode. Thank heavens for the notes because I can barely remember anything.

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Here’s a video clip from Colombian Roots.

Next, I had the Best of ABBA with Kass Martin and Steve Boedt. These two are amazing by themselves but they are ridiculous together. It’s magical. I had Motown with them last year. If you ever have an opportunity to take one of their sessions at #ZINCON (it doesn’t matter what it is), do it! I guarantee you will have a great time. Plus, they’re so inspirational.

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Here’s a clip from the end of the session.

The are so exuberant and overflowing with positivity. They always fill me positive vibes. (Thanks to Kass’ sister Emily for taking this next pic.)

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Then it was time for the theme party.

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I didn’t want to pack a big costume in my suitcase so I just packed a butterfly mask and some wings and figured I would wear it with an all black outfit (tank and leggings). I knew I wanted to be more causal because I didn’t want to pack an extra pair of shoes and I had already planned to wear sneakers. Having been to these before, I wanted to be comfortable because I knew I would be on my feet for several hours. #NotMyFirstRodeo

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My outfit actually got an upgrade when we got to #ZINCON because I picked up some Swarovski bedazzled gear (tank and leggings) at the Zumba Wear Store. So, instead of wearing the basic black tank and leggings I brought, I ended up wearing my new Swarovski gear. They were kind of expensive so I haven’t really been wearing them to workout. I’ve only worn the outfit once since I’ve been back. I was very careful when I washed them and that’s the main reason they haven’t gotten a lot of wear. I’m kind of afraid to ruin them. I don’t want to lose any crystals!

Here’s a video of Joel getting his face painted at the theme party.

These next set of videos are from the concert at the theme party. I got a really great spot. I was super close and could see everything and I could hear the music, which sometimes doesn’t sound the best, but was fantastic that night.

This group is called Locos Por Juana and they are amazing.

We met their bass player David (topless guy on the right) on the Zumba cruise earlier this year. He seemed really nice but probably doesn’t remember us.

BIP (another Zumba favorite) also performed that night.

Then it was back to Locos Por Juana again with Yo Te Quiero Ver.

Beto not just danced but also sang the song with them!

That was the first time ever that I actually stayed for the entire theme party. I normally get bored and head back to the room well before the end. It was different this time. I felt so enthralled and energized by the performances. It may be partly because they played all my favorites and I was familiar with the songs. No matter the reason, this was the best theme party concert I’d ever experienced. I thought it was even better than the concert during the #ZINCON 2013 theme party and that was my favorite theme party of all time.

The only disappointing thing for me was that my phone ran out of battery well before the theme party concert ended. So when I ran into Derek Hamilton (BIP) on my way back to the room, I couldn’t get a selfie with him. I did get a hug and kiss on the cheek, though.

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Also, Joel wasn’t the only one who got his makeup done. I did, too. You can’t see it very well in this photo but they gave me fake eyelashes and glitter all over.

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The next morning I was up bright and early for my Latin Urban session with Jhon Gonzalez. I saved it for last because I wanted to remember everything.

That pretty much wraps up #ZINCON 2018. I think I have one more post about Orlando but that’s pretty much it. Sorry it took forever to get caught up. We are almost there. Check back soon for the next update. GNG.

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More #ZINCON

Posted on August 16, 2018 by under Travel, Zumba.    

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On Friday morning we ran into DJ Gringo (above) on the way to get coffee.

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I started the day off with Beauty of Dance presented by probably my favorite ZES in the whole wide world, Loretta Bates, and Dr. B.

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It was a massive room and it was full of Zumba instructors who were eager to learn from these two amazing women.

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It was such an uplifting experience.

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Went back to the room for lunch and a quick break. I’m glad I checked my email because I got invited to a special Zumba Wear 3-Star Insider photo shoot.

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I would have completely missed it, had I not checked my email.

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I only brought a couple of shirts, since I had already worn some of my stuff, so I only got a couple of outfit changes. Had I known, I would have saved all of my new Zumba wear outfits for the photo shoot. I’ll know this for next year!

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It was such a blast! I ended up staying longer than I should have and, by the time I got to House Experience, there was a line already.

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Here’s a picture of me with Rodrigo and Benjamin at the end of the session.

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Here’s a picture of me with Pascal and Michael, two-thirds of the Marmitte Crew.

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Pascal is the youngest brother, Michael is the oldest brother, and their more well-known brother Ricardo is actually the middle brother.

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This is me at the insanely long line for the fitness-concert.

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Brian helped me get a good spot by telling me about the shorter line up front. I managed to sneak in and then got Joel in with me. There is no zoom in the above photo. This is seriously how close I got. I think this is the closest, best spot I’ve ever gotten at all the #ZINCON fitness-concerts I’ve ever attended.

Joel and I got separated in the mayhem. I should have stayed with him because he got an even better spot than I did!

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Beto and #TeamFresco posted for group pics before the concert began. After this I pretty much put my phone away and danced the entire night. Amazingly enough, I lasted all night. I think that’s the first time ever since my very first fitness-concert in 2013 that I’ve stayed for the whole thing.

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I’m glad I stayed though, because I had the opportunity to catch Gina Grant and selfie with her at the end.

Here are some videos of what happens after the fitness-concert.

It’s pretty insane! Anyway, that’s all for now. GNG!

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#ZINCON Kickoff Day

Posted on August 14, 2018 by under Travel, Zumba.    

Thursday morning is convention kickoff day. I usually try to get in line early but by the time Brian and I walk over from our hotel room to the ballroom the line is almost always already long. It wasn’t too bad this year. As an added bonus, I ran into Patty Leddy (one of the ZCOM Reps for our region, District 43 — Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma).

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I knew immediately it would be a great day!

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Brian, the caped Wichita flag man, waited in line with me until they let us in. Met some people while in line. There’s quite a few pics so I’ll spare you those. They only make sense to me anyhow. It didn’t take long for the doors to open and then we were finally inside. Here’s a selfie of me waiting for the kickoff session to begin.

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Los Jefes (Rob and Rose) won Inspiration of the Year.

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And Diosiris Visbal, who I met in 2013 at my very first #ZINCON, won the Angel Diversity Scholarship award. It’s very rare that I actually know the people receiving awards, which made this year’s kickoff quite special.

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BIP performed. I didn’t get the best pics at kickoff but I made up for it during the theme party. You’ll see when I post those photos and videos.

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We got to see the actors who are playing Beto in the Colombian TV series about his life. The two younger actors are actually dancers in real life. The older one is a famous Colombian actor.

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Here’s a better picture of the four of them.

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After kickoff I had Reggaeton Rebellion with Loretta and Marcie. I think I had Reggaeton Rebellion in 2013 or 2014. I’ll have to look back at old blogs and pics. Anyway, I met these Filipino ZINs while waiting in line for our session.

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I took a selfie during one of the breaks.

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I didn’t stay for photos with Loretta and Marcie after the session because I have a few with them already. I pretty much stalk them every chance I get when we’re on the cruise. I did take a selfie on my way to Afrobeat – Makossa.

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Here’s a post Afrobeat – Makossa group photo.

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Ended the night with my five-for-one master class featuring Mauricio Camargo, Ecem Kuntay, Benjamin Richard, Rodrigo Angelo, and William Villasenor. It was amazing! The five of them worked so well together.

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I’m not sure what happened to Mauricio that he’s not in this photo. I’m really sad about this. LOL. He must have had somewhere to be.

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Speaking of, the presenters also provide demos and mini sessions at the We Move the World stage in addition to their regular workshops, sessions, and trainings they have to lead. Here’s the schedule of the different demos and mini-sessions that happened at the We Move the World stage. There’s so much going on that you really could just come and hang out, even if you’re not registered for convention.

Granted you don’t get to go to the sessions, fitness-concert, or theme party but you could learn a lot just by hanging out around the stage. This is a great option for spouses (like Brian), non-ZIN friends who are traveling with with their ZIN friends, or for ZINs who didn’t have money for registration but still want to be part of the action. I’ve actually heard of people doing the latter and having a great time. Not sure if it compares to the real experience but it’s certainly an option.

Anyway, that is it for Thursday. More #ZINCON recap next time. GNG!

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First Night in Orlando

Posted on August 12, 2018 by under Travel, Zumba.    

Just a few pictures from Wednesday, the day before ZINCON kickoff.

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I had a different outfit planned for Wednesday night but I loved the ZINCON exclusive tank that I decided to wear it instead.

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We walked around and took photos.

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I’m always so excited for all of it.

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I turned this photo black and white so I would look like I was part of the picture.

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Did it work? Here’s the original photo before it was cropped and converted to black and white. What do you think?

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Here’s another fun one with the posters/signage.

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Caught the Latin Urban team minus Jhon Gonzalez.

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Just me trying to win something at the WorkoutTemps booth.

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Walking by the We Move the World Stage before the ZIN Flavors Master Class.

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That’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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