Now that I'm back to my normal routine, I'm trying to review the great experiences from this summer.
Great times included four conferences in California, Washington State and Texas; visiting dear friends and family members; and meeting several relatives for the first time as we shared family history.
At all the conferences, I helped explain what we do at MyHeritage.com and how our tools and features make it easy for families to connect and communicate no matter where they live.
My suitcase now includes several new T-shirts from this year's events and some for 2011 events.
Here are some highlights:
Some 50 geneabloggers attended the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree this year.
Some spoke on various topics, some participated in blogging panels, others just enjoyed the conference and meeting their readers.
All of us enjoyed seeing each other again at this excellent annual event. Last year, we numbered about 35 bloggers.
Ribbons and buttons were the hot-ticket items for this year, and we bloggers were collecting them from Geneabloggers.com, from exhibitors and even from other bloggers.
Here's what my badge looked like (see left above)! I believe it set some sort of record. I keep adding new ribbons to it at each event. Next year I may need to attach it to a hat, as it is getting much too long.
We are all wondering how many bloggers will be at the 2011 event!
My trips to Seattle usually include visiting my cousins Larry and Janet, and Larry's father Charlie, whose own father was the brother of my great-grandmother. This year was wonderful as I was able to attend Charlie's birthday and see many cousins, as well as Larry's sister from Atlanta. These few hours are very precious when one lives so far away.
Always try to connect with your cousins on your travels!
My badge - with all its ribbons (and some new ones) - seemed to win the longest-badge award here as well. The conference program was excellent and we even had several major bloggers in attendance - a first. Thomas MacEntee and Lisa Louise Cooke had a great time meeting readers and blogging about the event, of course.
This international Jewish genealogy conference is important as this genealogical community is mainly online and we rarely meet except for this annual event. Some attendees have gone to 20 or more of the 30 annual conferences. People we met in the early days are now among our best friends and research colleagues.
El Paso, Texas
This was my first trip to El Paso and I was happy to have had the opportunity. I met with many people during my all-too-short visit. Some had lived in the area for centuries, others for a few decades. Everyone was warm and welcoming. I'm looking forward to another visit to the southwest corner of this large state.
During my visit, my friend Sonya and I drove to Ruidoso, New Mexico to visit her parents and her little granddaughter. I've been to northern New Mexico several times - to Santa Fe and Taos - and we've always enjoyed our time there. Southern New Mexico's landscapes were beautiful on our drive past the white sands. On our return, we stopped at a small ranch owned by one of Sonya's friends. Tony, the rancher, is a DNA "genetic cousin" of a friend in New York. Their connections cover the centuries from Spain to Latvia and the US.
I enjoyed the warm hospitality of dear friends Bennett and Robin, along with some amazing food that only Texas can offer. I really needed to kick back after so many conferences with barely a day or two between them. While there, I presented MyHeritage.com software to several educators and explained how easy it is to connect with family.
New York, NY
It was good to see our daughter, my sister and her family and to reconnect with friends from long ago in Los Angeles. I also met for the first time my cousin Kathy who shared many stories - new to me - of her father and his brothers.
All too soon, I was back at the airport again, and I'm already preparing for next year's conferences.