Oh nelly! For those who do not know, (which is many of you) I have a condition I like to call “whimsical lactose intolerance.” I call it whimsical because my stomach will act up when it feels like it.

For those who are following me on twitter (@tofurious) or subscribed to my mailing list, you would know that I am doing a nationwide Coffee Tour where I buy local photographers coffee and answer questions about my SEO workshop.

SEO Workshops – Orange County DONE

First Stop – Chicago

Having drunk so much coffee in the past weeks, I decided to pull back for a while. I enjoy my deep sleeps and caffeine does not help. Rather than ordering decaffeinated coffee on my very first Coffee Tour stop in Chicago, I decided to drink hot chocolate. Boy, was it good! Boy, did I PAY FOR IT!

Dollop Coffee Co.

chicago coffee meet

After my coffee meet with local phenomenal photographers, Bob Davis invited me to his house to chitchat. Dawn and Bob are such sweet people. Hearing that I had little to eat because of my hectic flight schedule, Dawn immediately warmed up some chicken noodle soup, which was delightfully seasoned – YUM!

Midway while talking with Bob and Dawn about blogging practices (2nd part of my SEO Workshop), my stomach started to growl. O-M-G. I was like nooo…please nooo…not now! First impressions are very important. And this was a terrible first impression. I was a time bomb on the brink of explosion. I tried to coax it with stomach pills and tiny prayers, but my stomach was in no mood. I’m just happy that Dawn and Bob were super understanding.

“We’re human, so it’s natural,” Dawn said soothingly. “Just in case, the restroom is around the corner.”

You can imagine my face lighting up red while beads of sweat forced themselves through my pores. I won’t continue on how the evening ended, but let’s just say that Dawn and Bob are the bestest…

New York

Ah the Big Apple! New York City is like no other, seriously. I have trekked through NYC many times and it is always an amazing experience. Once I landed to JFK, I hopped on the tube which took me right into Manhattan. Upon stepping out of the subway and onto the street, I had a flood of memories surface.

As Julie (@bullysaurus) and I ran to our next coffee meet location, I saw many fashion boutiques still open for business. What was really awesome was that there were loads of models inside the stores and photographers were everywhere snapping away. I was one minute away from whipping out my camera to start shooting too!

I later learned that Anna Wintour was hosting “Fashion Night” or something to that effect. Fun times!

Housing Works Bookstore Café

nyc coffee meet

After the coffee meet, Jason Groupp, Rob Ninja Nicholson (coordinator of PhotogShootOut), Julie and I went out for dinner at a nearby burger bar. I never have to Yelp anything while in New York because every corner has a gazillion award winning restaurants.

Burger + fries + beer + friends = good times.

Houston

My first time in Texas was greeted with Texan hospitality! Christine Tremoulet picked Julie and me up from the airport and took us straight to our next coffee meet.

The Coffee Groundz

Coffee Groundz is a wicked location! They have free wireless, beer and sandwiches! What was most amazing was the fact that Coffee Groundz is on twitter! That’s so gnarly!

houston coffee meet

As much as I wanted to stay longer to explore Texas, another city was calling – Dallas!

Dallas

Before I even left for Dallas, Catie Ronquillo offered to pick us up from the airport! How sweet of you! When we landed, it was just beginning to rain. I later learned that there was a storm. Good thing I was gone by then lest delays in flight.

Starbucks

dallas coffee meet

I try to support local coffee houses, but Yelp said that this Starbucks was huge. Sure enough, it was HUGE! While talking about blogging practices and marketing strategies, the local photographers suggested I host a workshop in Dallas. At first, I was hoping everyone would go to Houston, but that might change in the near near future.

Additionally, I might host the workshop at Hotel Zaza which is supposedly a super swanky place. Offer still stands for local Dallas photographers / attendees – If I book the place, you can use it to do a bridal / boudoir photo shoot!

Washington DC

Good ol’ Capital Hill. I have never been to DC before and I was like WOAH! I have only seen that spike in textbooks – Washington Monument. As much as I wanted to venture off and visit all of the tourist spots, people were waiting for me at my next coffee meet.

Ebeneezers Coffeehouse

dc coffee meet

Julie picked Ebeneezers Coffeehouse because it is a church owned facility that raises money for activities and charities. Overall it was a pretty neat place! The date for Washington DC is going to change, so those interested should hold off. Tentatively, it is going to be switched to October 16th.

After the coffee meet, Jan Michelle took Julie and me to her favorite Thai restaurant – simply divine! For starters, we had crunchy edamame and fried tofu (both served with a sweet and sour sauce). For dinner, I had Pad See Yew. Once I plowed through it, I started nibbling on Julie’s chicken curry. I normally don’t eat this much, but please understand that it’s so much better than airport food.

Next Locations

Tonight I am going to be visiting Seattle! Find me there!

SEATTLE
8:30PM – Monday, September 14, 2009

Espresso Vivace Roasteria
532 Broadway E
(between Mercer St & Republican St)
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 860-2722
www.espressovivace.com/intro.html

FORT LAUDERDALE
9AM – Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brew Urban Café
209 SW 2nd Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33310
(954) 522-6156
www.brewurbancafe.com

DENVER
9AM – Thursday, September 17, 2009

Common Grounds
1550 Wazee St (on Wazee in between 16th and 17th in the Millennium Bldg.)
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 296-9248
Thanks Autumn Burke for the update!

BOSTON
8PM – Thursday, September 17, 2009 (Yes, that’s Denver & Boston in the same day!)

Boston Common Coffee Co.
97 Salem St
(between Bartlett Pl & Hull St)
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 725-0040
www.bostoncommoncoffee.com

SAN FRANCISCO
7PM – Friday, September 18, 2009

Starbucks Coffee
442 Geary St
(at Mason St)
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 922-9086
www.starbucks.com

SALT LAKE CITY
12PM – Sunday, September 20, 2009

Salt Lake Roasting Company
320 E 400 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 363-7572
www.roasting.com

Hope to see you at a local coffee house,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. Milk is evil.