July 31, 2006

Home

After eight days on the west coast, I am back in my own home, here in Snowstorm region. We had a great week, putting over 1400 miles on the rental car, starting in the northwest and travelling south along the coast. Because I had my kids and husband with me, I didn't plan any blogger meet-ups (we didn’t even bring extras on this vacation because it was supposed to be concentrated family time), but every time I looked at the map, I would say to my kids, "Oh, a cool blogger lives here." It’s funny how many town names would seem familiar to me – and then I’d realize that I’d seen them on my sitemeter. I loved seeing the beautiful part of the country where some of my readers and favorite bloggers live.

At one point, I said to my kids, "You know, I could take a summer sometime and just plan a roadtrip around blogger meet-ups. I’ve got enough blogging friends scattered about to make that a really cool trip."

Boy in Black said, "You’re going to take a trip by yourself and stay with strangers you’ve met on the internet? Aren't you supposed to warn your kids about that kind of a thing?"

Oh, yeah.

But still, it's tempting.

This was a different kind of vacation for my family. We usually drive to someplace and camp for a week, spending all of our time in one place. Last week, we travelled every day, seeing a new landscape every couple of hours. My spouse had six free flights saved up from getting bumped so often, which is what made the trip possible, and it’s the only time the six of us have ever flown anywhere together. The downside was that flying killed a day on either end of the trip, especially since our layover both times was in Southern City that is the Same Age as Scarlett O'Hara, a city that apparently has thunderstorms any time someone from the northeast flies through, which meant that we spend a considerable amount of time sitting around in a not very exciting airport.

I hadn't planned to do any vacation blogging, but since my body stayed on east coast time the whole week, I found myself waking up early, with time to write a blog post before the rest of my family woke up. And it was surprisingly easy to find free wireless. If we wanted to look up directions to a state park on my laptop or someone in the family wanted to check their email, we'd just pull into a parking lot somewhere and I could almost always pick up a signal.

When we got home and I started reading blogs to see what had been going on when I was gone, I realized that I had driven right by the BlogHer conference. It's a good thing I didn't realize this until we were home, because I might have been tempted to desert my family to go meet some really cool bloggers. And that's hardly the right attitude for a family vacation.

31 comments:

JM said...

I'm still very sad that we were HALF A MILE apart and I didn't get to see you and your family. Sigh.

ScienceWoman said...

Free wireless is one thing I love about the west coast. It's always a rude awakening to travel east and suddenly be expected to pay for my addiction.

Lisa V said...

Oh I wish you had come to blogher, amy and I from mamazine were discussing how close you probably were. I am already getting people to promise they are coming next year. You better come.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

I waved when you flew over!

jo(e) said...

LisaV: When I saw the map Julie put on her blog to show the nearest Starbucks, I realized that we had parked in that lot to pick up a free wireless signal .... that is how close I was. But I didn't see Julie's post until after I was home.

I'm still thinking I'll do the roadtrip one of these days. I mean, even if some blogger turns out to be an axe murderer, well, that would make an exciting blog post, wouldn't it?

cut-rate parasite said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip, and congratulations on avoiding temptation. Not that it's the worst temptation out there, but Boy in Black might have a point.

Linda (FM) said...

I'm seriously contemplating a trip to the northeast that will include blogger meet-ups. I love looking at the sitemeter "By Location" report.

jo(e) said...

Linda: Well, you do know the top secret location of Snowstorm City, right? And really, I've got people who can vouch for me that I'm not some kind of crazy person. Well, okay, maybe I'm crazy, but really, I'm harmless....

So definitely include me on your trip to the northeast.

Songbird said...

Hey, I am personally known to at least half-a-dozen bloggers, all happy to vouch for me. Come to my house!

BeachMama said...

Even with the flights, it sounds like the perfect vacation.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Linda, I'm in the northeast (waving wildly from the corner).

jo(e) I know someone who lives in New Zealand who traveled around the world and met someone from an Anglican email list everywhere she went. So a blogger road trip certainly would be possible.

Ianqui said...

I, on the other hand, am a crazy stalker. Meeting me might be very dangerous.

(Don't you have family members who live where I live?)

peripateticpolarbear said...

were you counting me as one of the people that can vouch for your not craziness? just checking

liz said...

Don't forget to come visit my neck of the woods. We can make a trip into town to blow raspberries and the current resident of the White House.

susan said...

Now there's some good attitude in all these comments!

jo(e) said...

PPB: Yes! You are one of my main character witnesses!

(I did act pretty normal that day, right?)

Ianqui: Yeah, you live near Urban Sophisticate Sister. And I'll be coming your way in November. I think it would be fun to meet a crazy stalker.

Linda (FM) said...

Yeah, jo(e), I know your top secret location. I'm not worried about you. As long as we don't get in a car together and try to go straight from point A to point B without stopping, I think everything will be just fine.

Waving back at all you other northeast bloggers! PPB's the only one who can vouch for me...I'll understand if you take back your invitation.

jo(e) said...

Well, Linda, you just need to come see me first ...and then I can vouch for you.

Or maybe I'll tell everyone you are crazy so then you will have to spend your whole time in the northeast with me.

It'll be fun, though. I know lots of cool camping spots.

Lilian said...

Oh boy, I can't believe you were so close to BlogHer and didn't even realize it - you should have gone! Well, but then again this vacation was about family and not blogging. It's pretty amazing how obsessive we can get about blogging, right? I had never thought of getting online like that, now I think I'll try it more often, though it sounds like it's better in the West coast...

What a nice conversation everyone's having in these comments...

I'm sorry I don't live "closer" to you (in MA) - cause when we lived there and my brother- and sister-in-law lived in Michigan, we would drive not too far from you both ways. I'm confident I'll manage to meet you one way or the other someday!!!

(oh, and I actually tell my husband all the time about the blogging friends I want to meet all over the world).

jo(e) said...

Lilian: Yeah, my family teased me for taking the time to put up a few blog posts. They would have gone nuts if I wanted to stop at a BlogHer conference.

What's funny is in the San Jose airport, one of my kids teased me for putting up one last blog post about vacation. (I had written it that morning while they were all sleeping.) And I said, "Oh, I bet right now someone in this airport is reading my blog." I was joking, of course. What I didn't realize is that there *were* probably a whole bunch of bloggers in the airport heading home from BlogHer.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

It's time you let Boy in Black know that parental advice is always overly cautious.

The fact is, you can count on most people behaving in a completely conventional fashion in most conventional situations. This means that, nationwide, people are polite and non-threatening to acquaintances who show up at their door. And anyone with a little worldly wisdom will be able to figure out when they need to bail quickly.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I'm not sure which cave you went to, but if it's the one I'm thinking of, my parents were there the day after you! (I was home working.) I'm glad you had such a wonderful time. It's beautiful out here, isn't it?

You will have to send Shaggy Hair Boy -- or is it Boy in Black? -- out here to snowboard : )

jo(e) said...

Jennifer: It was at Oregon Caves National Monument.

All four of my kids and I snowboard. I'd love to try snowboarding out there sometime. What a beautiful part of the country.

Cats & Dogma said...

Having just passed through snowstorm city, I found myself thinking the very same sentiments. Everytime I passed by a sign that advertised another small town name, I wondered, "Is this where Jo(e) lives?"

Thanks for the advice, BTW. We weren't able to use much of it this trip, what with asty rainstorms and all, but we'll file it away for future trips.

Chip said...

Glad your trip went well, welcome home! Though if your weather is anything like what we're getting, you're probably wishing you'd stayed out on the west coast...

jo(e) said...

Chip: Yeah, it's supposed to go up to about 100 degrees today. With like a milllion percent humidity.

I am already missing the thick fogs and breezes of the west coast. I was actually wearing long pants and a fleece most days out there ....

Mona Buonanotte said...

Next time you're near Michigan, stop by and see Sergei and I! We'll fill you up with ice cream and go feed the little animals at the university....

jo(e) said...

Mona: I've got a friend in Detroit who is always asking me to visit. If I ever take her up on her offer, I will definitely come see you and Sergei and the kids.

Of course, you will have to post nude for my blog. You did promise to, didn't you?

Or was that Sergei?

Songbird said...

Can ppb vouch for both you and me?

jo(e) said...

I don't know, Songbird ... PPB seems kind of hesitant to vouch for my not being crazy. Perhaps she would at least be willing to say that I don't look like an axe murderer.

I do have an axe, of course, but I only use it for chopping wood. Honest.

KLee said...

If you do make that trip, and you head down south, you have to let me know! I promise not to murder you with an axe. Or let my husband get to you with Nair.

Those are the only promises I can make for sure. Maybe.