The Rayna Review: Influencer Hostings Gone Bad
Hello Friends! Welcome to my September newsletter. Does anyone else feel like they are on the precipice of some big change? I feel as if there is a power that has been slumbering inside me and it's about to awaken (or it’s very possible I could just be reading too much Sarah J. Maas). In this month’s newsletter, we’re taking a deep dive into all of my favorite Colorado Fall activities and some Halloween pop-up bars you should keep an eye out for. Also, you can expect a lil’ August in review, and in the influencer tea section we’re talking about influencer hostings gone bad 😳. Let’s get to it!
August in Review
August started out strong with a bread tasting at Denver’s well-known Rebel Bread. You might be thinking, what does a bread tasting entail? And I’m here to tell you it’s exactly what you think. We sat around while they fed us bread and pastries and introduced us to some of their new flavors- gluttony to the max. Their bread tastings happen monthly, and you can book your tickets here.
As a vegetarian in the food world, I often have to turn down hostings because there is nothing vegetarian on the menu besides salads, and while salads are great, I’d rather have them at home. However, The St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder knew this and invited me to the most amazing Vegan Dinner in the Garden - and as a bonus we were able to stay the night at the hotel. It was the first time I’ve stayed in a 4 star hotel, and the service was exceptional. You can say we were feeling spoiled!
On the opposite end of luxury, but on the side of bad-assery, I had my first blacksmithing class. Blacksmithing is honestly one of the hardest things I’ve done- my forearms were sore for DAYS. That being said, I am so proud of what I made! It took 4 hours, a few burns, and a lot of sweat but I made a snake candle holder that I am so proud of!
We ended August with a lil trip to San Diego. Every year, Tyler and I try to get out there because there’s something about the city that fills our souls. Each trip, we stay in a different part of the city to see if there is a neighborhood that we might want to live in someday. But the real tea is that this is the first time I was actually excited to leave San Diego, I was ready to be back in Denver. Back in this city I love so much 💜.
August in Photos
RayRay’s Fall Recs
As I’m writing this, it’s a brisk 62 degrees, the cloud coverage is heavy and I’m bundled up in a hoodie. Safe to say it's time to start embracing fall. The weather gods are predicting that the peak leaf peeping time in Colorado will be the week of October 16th, so here are my top Colorado Fall recommendations…
Others might tell you to do the Georgetown Loop Train, but I’m here to tell you there's a better option. A little further into the mountains (& honestly a much cuter mountain town) lies Leadville, Colorado. The Leadville Train is perfect for leaf peeping and relishing in all things fall. Take it from a pro- head up early, get a coffee and a pastry from City on a Hill coffee shop, and head over to the train to get in line. Once on, snag a seat on one of the open air carts, it’s going to make the experience extra special.
Pumpkin Patches & Wine Tastings
Salt & Acres has been on my radar for a while now, so follow my lead and book your wine tasting & pumpkin visit now! No need to plan a separate trip to the pumpkin patch when you can do it at the same time as tasting wine and looking at the beautiful fall foliage.
If a traditional pumpkin patch is more your thing and you love a good corn maze and apple cider, see the below list for some more patches to check out:
Anderson Farms: Enjoy pumpkin patches, wagon rides, haunted corn mazes, and farm animals. Open everyday starting September 20th.
Colorado Pumpkin Patch: Go for pumpkins and stay for the tractor hay rides, ponies, and laser tag. Open everyday starting September 17th.
Bennet Farms: Experience fall hayrides, live music, and duck races. Open every Saturday and Sunday in October.
Halloween Pop Up Bars To Keep an Eye On
I don't have much info on Halloween pop ups yet as most spots haven’t released their Halloween plans, but these are the ones to keep an eye out for. I’ll be updating my Instagram with more details on these pop up bars as they come!
The Haunted Barrel Room is returning for another season at Mile High Spirits. Open Thursday through Sunday, the Barrel Room will be serving up spooky drinks in cauldrons, shots in syringes, and even some drinks in blood bags (fake of course). Opens September 22nd at 10:00 pm.
Yacht Club is one of my favorite industry bars and they did a Spooky Lagoon last year which I’m really hoping they do again. The decor was *chef’s kiss* and the drinks were to die for.
Ask any influencer and we have mixed feelings on this Halloween pop up, BUT this year it’s at a new location and I’m a fan of its new home. Located in a large event space on the 16th Street Mall, Beetlejuice Bar has a lot of room to play around and make it an spooktacular experience.
Adrift is one of my favorites all year round, but they know how to do spooky. Last year they did Red Rum Wednesdays where every Wednesday they played horror movies and served up some especially wicked drinks.
🐝The Buzz: What the people are loving 🐝
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Influencer Tea: Influencer Hostings Gone Bad
It’s 6pm on a Thursday, you’ve been looking forward to this hosting all week. You dressed up for it (which is rare) and you get to the restaurant only for the staff to have no idea who you are or why you are there. You frantically open your email to make sure you have the right time and place - yup, you were scheduled to be here. Then begins the very uncomfortable process of explaining that you’re a local influencer and that you were sent here by their PR company to have a hosting and share your experience on social media. It’s about as awkward as it sounds.
I wish I could say this has only happened once, but it happens a good amount. As hard as PR companies work to make sure your hosting is wonderful, sometimes information falls through the cracks, and sometimes the communication in the restaurant is not as fluid as they would like. Usually someone, somewhere in the restaurant knows that you are supposed to be there and it almost always works itself out. Although it does start the hosting off on a rocky start.
Despite how awkward the above situation is, the real kicker is when the bill comes and you have to decide if you are going to explain to them that the meal is comped or if you are going to bite your tongue and pay the tab. As an influencer, there is no small share of awkward interactions and at some point it’s just an occupational hazard that you learn to navigate.
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