Number one: Don't let me go away for 8 days again. It's a long time. It might as well be three months, which I might enjoy better than 8 days, which just makes no sense as a vacation timeframe. That's just too long to go to a destination that isn't an island and isn't located in an ocean or sea.
To recap the highlights: Jenna and I had a blast in Rochester and Buffalo. Buffalo had its fun moments for the three of us, but the stay at the Buffalo Airport Holiday Inn wasn't one of them. More on that in a future post where I bemoan what customer non-service has come to in Emerica. Remember how the net raised the bar for customer service back in the dot-days? Well, I now realize precisely how far the mighty have fallen. Again. Don't get me started. My blood pressure pills are still packed.
It was great to see friends and family in Rochester--HEY MARGIE!--and Buffalo--HEY JAMES AND ANNIE!--and funny to know that the folks who read my blog have been playing the Sessum Home Game and already knew pretty much everything, so we had fun laughing over the old baby hamster stories and such. Oh these blogs we keep.
Speaking of Hamsters, Coco/Melanie is missing. She must have gotten out four days ago. If you have tips for luring her back, tell me. I've done the bucket/carrot/steps trap. I've put food out. I've started to sniff for foul odors.
Life sure is interesting.
Even bigger than my regret over having stayed at the Buffalo Airport Holiday Inn is the one I expected to have--the sadness over missing blogher (there's a great Blogging 101 PDF available on the site, FYI) and all of the great women who appear to have had a blast and a worthwhile experience coming together to talk (and listen) about what's important, but what often doesn't make the Technorati Ticker Tape Top 100. Lisa and company deserve a whole lotta credit for pulling BlogHer together and making it WORK!
As a proud and mouthy advisor and reluctant-non-attendee, I will tell you that these women worked very hard to coordinate an event that would spark lively conversation that would continue well beyond the conference date and location.
From the pieces and parts I'm finding all around on my first looks since returning (I DID NOT TAKE MY LAPTOP ON PURPOSE), I see some very interesting stuff. Oh my, yes! I do believe some engaging dialog will rage on, and I will do my part to jump in as soon as I'm not so befuddled.
In the mean time, I see that the conference reinforced the trend of bestowing on WWK (women with kids) with the 'mommyblogger' label. In that, I saw some irony--and I always like irony better than ironing, which I don't do--because I missed blogher primarily because I am a mommy, and when it came down to the decision of getting Jenna to a family reunion or to BlogHer on the weekend of the 30th, I opted to treck off to Rochester/Buffalo where she saw a total of six great aunts (across both sides), two great uncles, an uncle and aunt-to-be, DOZENS of cousins, and I think I counted nearly 100 people in all.
It was action packed. It wasn't all a blast. That was part of the lesson. It always is.
As part of our week-long journey through Western NY--the first half of a mother-daughter solo trip--Jenna got to experience the joys and the disappointments of being with family. The closeness and and the familiarity, the strangeness and the gray areas, the hellos and goodbyes, the body-shaking laughter and the full blown sobbing. The sun bracketing white puff clouds that only the Great Lakes can form, the early afternoon with me and her and our closest aunt at the lake, me telling my daughter about Lake Ontario, about swimmig my horse in that lake when I was 13, how the horses pooped in the lake, yes, right in front of everyone, and yes of course it floated for a while at least, and then breaking the rules ourselves as we held hands and ran from the beach police on a no-swim day to put our feet in the water together and then splash out again just before the watchman got within shouting range.
These are the stories I can give her now, her stories to tell later. In her own way. In her own voice.
Her stories of coming and going of laughing and losing.
Her stories of craft stores and snow-globes, of thunderstorms and esclalators, of oddly-shaped rocks and stuffed animal machines.
In the end, she and I did our own BlogHer.
Of new connections, of hyperlinked drama and quiet understanding.
And this is my round-up post.
And it was an overwhelming success.