EVO Conference 2012

Oh boy, do I have a crazy story for you – one that involves Police, a city-wide black-out, and an iPhone.

Yup, you’re gonna want to hear this one.

My long vacation last week also included a trip to Park City, Utah where I attended EVO (Evolution of Women in Social Media), a conference for all sorts of Women Bloggers.

It was a fun filled weekend with lots of CRAZY happenings.

I arrived in Park City early Thursday, and quickly hopped on the Orange Bubble Express which carried me up the mountain to a cabin for a food workshop hosted by the lovely folks at Truvia.

They served us an incredibly tasty lunch featuring their sweet Truvia sugar.

After lunch we where treated to a Food Styling and Photography session by Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple.

That was a true pleasure to watch them at work. Diane would style the food, and Todd would shoot it.

As a foodie, there is nothing more exciting than taking pictures of food.

I know…pretty lame right?

Well we even got to practice some of their techniques out on some sweet dessert made with Truvia’s baking blend. Here’s a few of my favorite photos…

These were some sweet Raspberry Crumble bars. The idea is that the picture of the crumble bars is lighter, and the cookies below are a darker mood type picture. But I think I ended up making the cookies light too.

What can I say? That’s just more of my style…

After the session we all made our way back down the ski lift and to the introductory meeting. It was filled with inspirational speakers from all walks of life. My favorite was the end when Jenny of Formerly Phread got up and poured her heart out in a flash mod dance.

Ok, I still haven’t gotten to the CRAZY part, but I am getting there, I promise!

Are you still with me?


Friday evening the skies started darkening and a storm was rolling in. It didn’t seem too bad of a storm in my eyes, but apparently it was bad enough to knock the power out in all of Park City and parts of Salt Lake City.

We still had a little bit of generator power to keep the ski lift working and some hall lights in the hotel. There was another food session up the mountain hosted by California Avocados that I went to and let me tell you, that was so fun!

We had a quick-fire challenge to create a unique guacamole. Our team came up with the Cobb-ocado Guacamole. Which happened to win us “best name” and a bag of avocados! Sweeeet!

By the time the food session was over it was late. It was dark. And I was TIRED!

I snuck out of the session a few minutes early to get back to my room and charge my phone off my laptop since there was no power anywhere else. I rode down the mountain by myself in complete darkness. Just a tad scary.

As I reached the entrance to the hotel I saw a man standing at the entrance {who I assumed worked for the hotel}, who greeted me with a friendly ‘hello, how was your evening.’ I walked in to the building and was surrounded by glow sticks and darkness. I saw a few ladies sitting at a couch and asked them how we are getting to our rooms. They said the elevators are still working, but wouldn’t recommend taking them since the power was still out. They helped flag down another employee who was taking a flashlight to the man who greeted me coming inside. He was also carrying a glowstick and told me to come with him, he would take me to the stairs.

I followed him, by myself, in the dark.

We made it to the stair well {which was lit by generator power}, and started ascending the stairs. Half way up the stairs he stopped on a landing and turned to look at me and said, “Let me carry your bag. I feel bad, I insist.”

Not wanting to be rude, I reluctantly agreed and then he held out his hand for me to pass. Now I was in front of him, and feeling not so comfortable and I hustled up the stairs quickening my pace. We got to the 5th floor and made it to my room. I fumbled trying to pull my room key out of the little paper container the hotel places it in. Again the man says to me, “Let me open your door, I insist.” He takes my card from me, opens to the door to pitch black and holds his glow stick out in front of him and into the room. He walks in, and I follow. We get to the center of the room where he hands me my bag and tells me he is placing my key on the desk.

“Are you going to be ok?” He asked.

“Yup, I’ll be good. I have my cell phone which has a flashlight on it.” I said clutching my phone, and silently praying that the remaining 2% battery holds on long enough for this man to leave my room.

As I shew him towards the door he asks, “Are you going to be going back downstairs? If you are, I can come back and take you down. You’ll need someone from the hotel to take you back down the stairs.”

“No, I’m good. I’ll probably just hang out here for the night. Thanks though.” I tell him in a very convincing tone. The last thing I want is for him to come take me back down. I already felt creep-ed out by the dude.

I close the door and sit on my bed {fyi- I am sharing a room with another blogger (Kristen from Dine and Dish) who was at a different workshop that night}. I power up my laptop and quickly plug in my phone. I notice that Kristen’s phone is sitting on her bed, plugged into her laptop as well.

iPhone + Power Outage = A lot of un-happy bloggers!

Two minutes go by when the hotel room phone rings. It takes me by surprise since the power is still out. I answer the phone reluctantly. It’s Kristen and she’s downstairs in Todd and Diane’s room having a cheese and dessert party. “Be right down!” I say and I grab my purse, and leave the iPhone to charge.

I took the elevator this time.

After about an hour and a half Kristen and I make our way back up to our room. The lights are still out and now we only have one glow stick between the two of us. We peek our head into the room and yup, still pitch black. We decide to head back down stairs to the lobby to get a few more glow sticks. As we are making our way across the lobby, the lights turn back on! We turn around and pass by a water cooler where we both stop to get a glass of water.

Upon arriving to our door I am searching my purse for my key. Then it hit me, the creepy man left it on the desk and I forgot to pick it up! Kristen opens the door and we walk in. She says to me, “Did you bring water bottles to the room?”

“No, that’s weird. I didn’t notice those before I left either.” I told her.

I go to the desk to pick up my key and only the paper card holder is there.

No key.

I am digging through my purse now, surely I must have grabbed it and threw it in a different pocket.


I look at my laptop, then follow the little white cord coming out of the laptop toward my iPhone.

No iPhone.

“What the heck! My iPhone is gone!” I tell Kristen. She is calm and suggests to look around for it.

Still no iPhone.

We call it from Kristen’s phone, and no answer, not a sound anywhere. Then I remember that I have a tracking app on my phone and quickly log into that through my lap top. We ended up pulling up the iCloud feature and the ‘Find My Phone’ app. Sure enough, there it is.

My phone. Traveling down highway 189.

We call the front desk, and frantically tell them that my iPhone has been stolen! The lady at the front desk didn’t seem to feel the same urgency about the lost phone as I did. But she still sent up security to check it out. Even the head of security seemed a little at bay about the situation. Thinking I probably misplaced it somewhere. I showed Buzz {the head of security} the laptop and we watched with slack jaw as it turned into a neighborhood.

“Call the Police.” He said.

So we quickly got the police department on the phone and I explained the situation to them. They sent out a very nice police officer who {in my opinion} was quick to arrive and had an excellent sense of humor. We will call him Officer M. He really lightened up the mood, and made us all laugh a few times. He too looked at the laptop where the iPhone was currently not moving anymore, and had been stationary for about 30 minutes. He instantly knew the neighborhood and sent a patrolman out there, we’ll call him Officer B.

We waited while the other policeman searched the neighborhood for any cars with the hotel’s employee sticker in the front window. Officer M received a call from Officer B. He had found a matching car, and based on my description of the man who walked me into my room, they had found a suspect at the residence where the vehicle was parked in front of. Officer B sent Officer M a picture of the suspects driver’s license to his phone. I took a look at it.

“Yup! That is him, I am pretty sure that is the guy.” I said.

The hotel management was in our room by this point and they looked at the name and picture and did not recognize the man. According to Officer B the man said he did not work at the hotel we are staying at. But pointed Officer B to his neighbors house and said that his neighbor worked there and he just got home 45 minutes ago.

Officer B sent Officer M another picture.

This time it was of the neighbor. When I saw his picture, chills ran down my spine.

“Yes, that is definitely the man.” I said this time with a surety.

Management took a look, they recognized him as an employee that had worked with the hotel for more than 6 years.

As Officer B was questioning this creeper, he admitted to finding my phone in a hallway and swore he was going to turn it in tomorrow with housekeeping. Officer B quickly replied that they had the water bottles he left in our room.

He then admitted to breaking into our room and stealing my iPhone. He was arrested and taken to jail. My iPhone was safely returned back to me, and we finally got to sleep at 4:30am.

It was a crazy ordeal and I have learned a few lessons from this experience. I am just glad that I had left the room when I did to meet Kristen because I don’t know what would have happened had creeper guy returned in the dark with me still there.

On the last day of the conference there was a big ending party at The Park City Lodge which has a few fun rides, and loads of entertainment.

On another ski lift to the top of another mountain. This time it was for a fun Alpine Slide.

A big shout out to Gourmet Gardens who sponsored me to go to EVO this year. They are a great company, and I truly love their products.

Have you signed up for the GIVEAWAY yet? It’s ending soon, so if you want to win ALL of their fresh herbs and spices head over HERE and enter!

A few of the fun ladies I met. {Unfortunately I did not get pictures with everyone.} Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom}, Maria {Two Peas and Their Pod}, Sandy {Reluctant Entertainer}, Kristen {Dine and Dish}, and Heidi {Foodie Crush}.

It was a fun filled weekend, and even though there was craziness, it was an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Oh and I met Bill Engvall – awesome!!

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
18 Responses
  1. Ilan (IronWhisk Blog)

    That was an exciting read! If the guy was smarter he would have claimed that he never went into your room anyway. I doubt they would’ve dusted the bottles for fingerprints or anything.. too expensive. Glad you got your phone back though!

  2. Kristen

    I will have that night cemented in my head forever… our fun bonding experience!
    Love you and am so glad you are ok…

  3. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    Wow! Let me just say a big yay for glow sticks, You should have took that dude’s stick and shoved it…well you know what I mean 🙂 2 reasons I could never have went to EVO, I’m a guy and I hate ski lifts 🙁

  4. Mimi Avocado

    Congrats on your Cobb-acado win! Brilliant! I will tell your story about the creepy man and the stolen IPhone to my family…one wouldn’t expect that to happen…cool that the tracking service really works!

  5. Michelle {Fun On a Dime}

    Oh, that is creepy! So glad it turned out good and thank goodness for those iphone apps, right?

    EVO is on my want to go list to list…someday. That is awesome that you were able to go!

  6. Mariel

    Ew, oh my heck! What a creepy story! I’m actually wondering if it’s the same guy that walked Paula and I up to our room. We went over to the elevator and this employee dude said he didn’t recommend us taking it and that he would take us up the stairwell. He insisted on walking behind us the whole 5 floors up, but then left when we got to our room. It felt a little creepy with him, but I wasn’t too worried because I had Paula with me. Now, I’m wondering though… I can’t believe that happened! That’s awesome that they caught him. Anyway, I was just stopping by to say ‘nice to have met you’!

  7. Deborah

    It was so great to meet you, and I’m so happy that all turned out well. I look forward to following you, and hope to meet up irl again soon!!

  8. Kelda Toliver

    I am shocked to read this. Glad it all turned out. Glad you remembered the find my phone. Lol. Love you so much.

  9. Rachel - A Southern Fairytale

    Hey darlin’!

    I loved meeting you at EVO. You’re an absolute treasure 😉 You definitely had a crazy one. 🙂

    So glad all worked out and BILL ENGVALL!!!!! squeee!

  10. Mel

    That is a crazy story, Shawn! I’m so glad you are ok and that you got your phone back! (And that the conference was good overall…)

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Shawn Syphus

Hi, I’m Shawn and I’m a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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