26 July 2011

Things That Are Awesome - I'm Going to BlogHer!

Last January, in an impulsive fit of whimsy, I bought myself a ticket to BlogHer '11. I didn't actually think I'd be able to go, but better to have a ticket and have to sell it, I reasoned, than find a way to go, and not be able to lay hands on a pass.

I had no money, no way of getting to San Diego, nowhere to stay. No clue, really. I just bought a ticket. I don't think I actually believed I would be able to go.

For two years, I'd read blog posts about BlogHer, seen my friends attend, and been regaled with tales and photos of legendary parties. I followed the fun in my twitter stream: Chicago in 2009, New York last year. Seething with envy, I added it to the "maybe someday" list.

Three days after I bought the ticket I knew I wouldn't be able to use, my friend Karen asked me if I wanted to do a road trip with her to San Diego for BlogHer '11. Just like that.

Uh, yeah. Yes. YES! Absolutely! Yes, please?

She'd been having conversations with GM Canada about getting a loaner car to do a blogger road trip, and they said, "Yeah, sure!"

Seventeen kinds of awesome right there.

So that made two of us.

Soon after, Nicole climbed aboard the fun machine. Itineraries were vaguely discussed, but it was still so many months away, I don't think I actually believed it was going to happen.

And then Tracey joined our band of merry pranksters, GM told us what kind of car we'd be driving, and Traverse Trip was born.

And now, it's a week away. A week from now we'll be on the road to San Diego. Hotels are booked, forms filled out, passports renewed. We leave next Tuesday!

Four bloggers, a car, a boatload of tech, and 2247 kilometres. Give or take.

To say that I am looking forward to this is to be very restrained in expressing my over the moon giddy happy-dancing excitement.

We checked out a Traverse one sunny day a couple of weeks ago. The verdict: cup holders, check. Power outlets: check. Good times? You know it!

And I could not ask for better traveling companions. In my head, it goes like this:

Karen at Chasing Tomatoes is our Director of Noms. She will save us from the indigestion and hardened arteries of freeway fast food, making delicious cooler-friendly meals to bring along, and she's already scoped out all the Starbucks and Trader Joe's locations between here and our final destination. Also, there are rumours she will be bringing cookies, and people, you have not lived until you've eaten her cookies. I even like the ones she makes with oatmeal, and I hate oatmeal.

Tracey from Fashion Forward 40 and TJR Ramblings is our Mistress of Fabulous Fashion Finds. She's plotted out our stops for outlet malls, vintage shops, and specialty boutiques along the way. I know I can trust her to tell me what looks good and what doesn't and to say, bluntly if necessary, "Honey, no. On you that is not a deal, even if it's discounted 90%." And although we're all working to live greener lives, Tracey's gone and done the math about driving vs flying emissions and how to minimize the garbage we create on our trip.

Nicole is our All Things Tech Goddess, bringing adapters and cables and external hard drives, oh my. Pretty sure if I locked her in a hotel room for a couple of hours, she could show me how to code my own website. And, she's giving away some very cool tech right now over at Resolving Timeline Issues. Go leave a comment by July 31st to enter to win.

And then there's me. I'm, um. I'm bringing the cooler. And, uh, an inflatable mattress. And the motion sickness. No trip is complete until someone's ready to hurl. I've also appointed myself Curator of Musical Experience. I'm putting together playlists and burning a couple of CDs (old school!) in case we're stuck somewhere without satellite access and we're sucked into a vortex of doom where all of our iPods stop working all at once.

There will, friends and neighbours, be seat-dancing. Eighties music for the win!

I also plan on doing a largish chunk of the driving. An old boyfriend of mine used to call me the Road Warrior based on how long I could drive without needing to stop. What he didn't know was that I insisted on keeping my hands on the wheel because I'm a control freak I get carsick as a passenger. So yeah. Road Warrior/Curator of Music. Either of those sound better than Princess Pukes-A-Lot.

I have so much to do before we leave.

Full disclosure: General Motors Canada is providing us with the use of a Chevrolet Traverse, gas, insurance and accommodations for our road trip to BlogHer and back. I've paid for my own ticket to the conference, and will be responsible for my own accommodations while in San Diego.

06 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Grand Day Out

The Imp: How do I get into that space ship, Mommy?

(Print on canvas from Cici Art Factory, who I adore. Full disclosure: paid for the print myself.)