Back in June, we packed the car and drove all the way to Phoenix, Arizona from our home in Northern Virginia. Why did we go? The BlogPaws Conference this year took place at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass right near Phoenix!

Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass was the venue for BlogPaws Conference 2016.

BlogPaws is amazing network of pet bloggers like yours truly and every year they host an amazing conference to focus on learning to be a better blogger and pet parent. I’ve been to every BlogPaws Conference since I started blogging in 2013. I was really lucky that the conference in 2013 was right in my backyard in Tysons, Virginia, but attending the conference has also allowed me to travel. So far it’s taken me to Las Vegas in 2014, Nashville in 2015, and now Phoenix! Next year we’ll be visiting Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for BlogPaws 2017. I’ve already got my beach bag packed!

This year was a little different from the past few years because this year I was a speaker! I recently launched a business to teach bloggers and small business owners about all the web technology we have to deal with on a regular basis and so I jumped at the chance to share some of that knowledge first hand with some fellow BlogPaws attendees.

Proud to be a speaker during BlogPaws Conference 2016!

Being a speaker meant that I didn’t have quite as much time to mingle with fellow bloggers or see as many of the brands that sponsored the conference, but I had a great time with those that I did get to see. We loved seeing our friends at Spot Farms, WellyTails, and Wellness Pet Food and meeting a few new ones! Ralph was super pleased that Wellness seemed to have a never ending supply of tennis balls.

Ralph loves Wellness Pet Food and all their tennis balls during BlogPaws Conference 2016.

Speaking of Ralph… That was another major change! This was my first conference with two dogs. It would have been impossible for me to have both dogs with me at all times and I’m completely amazed at the many fellow bloggers that walked around the conference with multiple pets! Lucky for me, my boyfriend came along so he was able to hang out in the hotel room with whoever wasn’t with me and the pups were able to take turns.

Ralph checks out Addiction, a pet food brand, while at BlogPaws 2016

I actually ended up bringing Ralph out more than I thought I would. I was so surprised and happy at how well he did. He can be a little timid and scared of new people or big commotion, but he really came out of his shell and warmed up to a few special people who may or may not have bribed him with treats. Plus, he didn’t try to eat everything off the buffet tables like Luna did.

Ralph meets his twin, Marsha from S'More Dogs, at BlogPaws 2016

Ralph also met a look-a-like named Marsha from S’More Dogs. We still don’t have any idea what kind of dogs they might be, but I swear these two could be siblings!

Did you miss Part 1 of our road trip journey? Check out Road Trippin’ Beagle Goes West!

Ralph models during our visit to the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass for BlogPaws Conference 2016.

I haven’t practiced Ralph’s model pose (sit/stay) as much as I have with Luna, but he did a pretty good job posing in the beautiful landscaping of the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. Since we don’t have many cacti here in Virginia, you can bet I took quite a few pictures of them. And while I was pretty convinced Luna was going to try to relieve herself on top of one (she has a tendency to do it with shrubs and bushes here), we fortunately left the Phoenix without incident!

A cactus on the grounds of Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass during BlogPaws Conference 2016.

Since this was a special conference for me, I wanted to make sure to bring some awesome SWAG for my fellow bloggers. And so I thought “What’s better than a dog themed charm bracelet?” Cute, right?! I’ve got a few extra of these that I’ll be giving away sometime in the near future!

SWAG from Beagles & Bargains during BlogPaws Conference 2016.

You can’t have a BlogPaws Conference with out a strut down the red carpet for the Nose-to-Nose Awards. Both Ralph and Luna were styling when they made their entrance – Luna in a satin red dress completed with pearls and Ralph in a classy bow-tie and fedora!

Strutting down the red carpet for Nose-to-Nose Awards at BlogPaws 2016

Luna and Ralph get fancy for the Nose-to-Nose Awards at BlogPaws 2016

After the conference ended, we were headed to California! And, we didn’t leave empty handed. You can bet our already full Subaru Crosstrek was stuffed to its limits with all the fantastic samples and SWAG we received!

SWAG from amazing sponsors at BlogPaws Conference 2016.

Don’t forget to check out all our Road Trippin’ Beagle posts!
Road Trippin’ Beagle Goes West
Road Trippin’ Beagle Goes to PetSmart
Road Trippin’ Beagle Does California
Road Trippin’ Beagle Goes Home

Jessica Shipman
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