After a long day of travel, I arrived at the Marriott’s – Burbank Hotel at about 11:30am (pacific time), with Joan and Mr. Miller. Waiting to greet everyone that walked in the hotel was Elyse Doerflinger of Elyse’s Genealogy Blog. She about flew out of her chair with each person that showed up. It was great to meet Elyse right away because we were rooming together for the weekend.
As soon as the Millers went to check in, Amy Coffin of We Tree arrived and we all decided to go across the street and have lunch at the Greek restaurant. It proved to be very yummy!
After lunch, Elyse was off to volunteer with kids camp and the rest of us got a chance to sit down and talk. Little by little more people began to arrive and Amy played the role of hostess for me. She introduced me to everyone that came through the doors. I have to tell you that this is a hugging group, even if they do not know you. They make you feel welcome and like family! Amy got a kick out of me trying to shake her hand when we were introduced!
While we hung out and waited for others, we watched the twitter feed because the storms in the midwest created havoc on many flights. Almost everyone seemed to be delayed.
I also got to meet Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist, Cheryl Palmer of Heritage Happens, Gini (her husband and granddaughter) of Ginisology, Tonia of Tonia’s Roots, Caroline Pointer of Family Stories and last, Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers.
Most of us got together for some adult beverages then went out to dinner at PF Changs and had a good time. It was nice to sit down and get to know one another. Thomas is the host with the most, he really has a knack for making everyone comfortable and making sure you are included in everything that’s going on. But, I bet you could have guessed that already!
After dinner, it was off to get comfy for the night, Friday was to start early for us. 8:15am for any tour that was scheduled. My few hours in CA had been great already and I could not wait to get this weekend started.
Met so many more people, Sheri Fenley of The Educated Genealogist (she is a hoot), The FootnoteMaven, Denise Levinick of The Family Curator, Susan Kitchens of Family Oral History Using Digital Tools, Kim von Aspern of LeMaisonDuchamp, Donna Pointkouski of What’s Past is Prologue, Elizabeth O’Neill of Little Bytes of Life. As you can see, there were many Genea Bloggers in attendance this year. About 70, I believe. What a group of people to hang out with! I had the absolute best time this weekend. Going into this, I never imagined I would have so much fun hanging out. My thought’s were of what I would learn while there, which I will write about soon.
I left Chicago to early in the morning for decent people to be up. Once I got through security and settled down with my bags, the wait went very quickly. With my eagerness to get to CA and be done with flying, I could not wait to board the plane.
Chicago was having it’s share of bad weather, since about 12am that day. Lightening and thunder. It actually kept me awake most of the night. So, I here I sit at the airport with about 2 hours of sleep.
Once everyone boarded the plane and it seemed we were about to take off, we got the lovely news that the airport had been shut down. Of course they waited until the plane was boarded, why let us wait where we have room to move around.
I seemed to be the lucky one, our delay at O’Hare was only 10 minutes and I was extremely grateful for that. The unfortunate part is that because of the storm our plane had to fly further north than was intended and we were about 45 minutes late getting into the Phoenix airport.
While departing the plane, we were told that all connecting flights were close by and they were hopeful that we would all make our flights. Let me start by saying, yeah right! I had to run (and I never run) to my gate and through that run, I went over at least six of the flat escalator movers. Six! I flew out of O’Hare which is a LARGE airport and I have never walked this much in O’Hare!
By the time I got close to my gate, I saw that the plane had already departed through one of the monitors. I was so not happy (I think it even left early)! I went to the nearest gate and asked the lady if she could please rebook my ticket so I would not have to walk the rest of the way (I still had 8 gates to go).
Rebooked and ready to go, I looked at the ticket and was so not happy! I had to go back to the area that we disembarked the first plane. All the way back, and then some. I was beyond angry. I had another 2.5 hour lay over and was just pissy because of it.
I went and had a quick breakfast at Burger King, and I had a good laugh. This is the first time I saw a self-serve BK. How do you “have it your way,” when everything is already made? I should have taken a picture to share, but I had way to much crap with me.
Sitting and waiting for my plan proved to be a bit fun. I got to people watch, and that is always fun. I will never understand the parents that walk away from their young children and then yell at them because they are not standing right next to them.
I also watched facebook and the #scgs11 stream on twitter to see how things were going for other Jamboree attendees. I was thrilled when I saw that Joan Miller of Luxegen Genealogy was waiting for the same plane as I. Airport internet connect was crappy so it took about 15-20 minutes for me to figure this out. But, I was happy to meet Joan and her husband before even getting to Burbank. We had seats that were close together, so once we landed in Burbank, the three of us walked to the hotel together.
Last night, I started writing my list for what I am bringing to Jamboree. Of course, the list started with my electronics and from there went to clothes and necessities.
Here is my list so far:
- Camera (should I bring the point and click or the digital SLR) and charger
- Iphone and charger
- Computer and charger (need to keep this blog updated)
- Genealogy business cards
- Notebooks (one for blog ideas and one for any notes, just in case)
- Pens (need to be able to write in notebook)
- Sunglasses (for the cemetery tour)
- Listing of classes offered (I’ve marked the ones I am interested in)
- clothes and personal necessities
The question then comes to, should I bring my video camera? Both of my regular camera’s will take small amounts of video, but will I want to take more? I have no clue since I have never attended before. My goal is to pack into a small carry-on suitcase, please help me decide what I do not need to bring!
At the end of last year when I put together my 2011 Resolutions, one of them was to attend a conference. In the beginning of the year, I posted a question to all of my genealogy friends on facebook. Which genealogy conference would you go to, if you had the chance? The overall answer was Jamboree. Which, I already knew would be the answer (just from reading everyone’s facebook, twitter and blog posts from last year).
I am excited to write that I will be meeting this goal within the next week. For awhile, it seemed to be touch and go as if I would really be able to make it to California. Now, everything is set. I am sharing a room with Elyse (of Elyse’s Genealogy Blog), the air fare is booked and registration has been taken care of. I am so excited.
I am not one of the official bloggers for the event. But, I will be reporting back with the learning’s and thoughts of a first time attendee. You can follow me on twitter here, use the hashtag #scgs11 to follow all tweets about Jamboree!
I look forward to meeting any and all of you that will be there. Please, leave a comment and let me know if you will be there too.