There were whispers, at times, that Friends For Life felt like an expensive family reunion. Considering how much of the conference was aimed at children with diabetes, or their parents, it was easy to feel like an outcast at times. As I’ve mentioned, the conference was fantastic but the overall awesomeness of the experience is a direct result of hanging out with all of my friends. I think there should be a middle ground between Friends For Life and “nothing”.
Logistically speaking, Friends For Life is a big freaking deal. I requested the past week of vacation in January after Dayle and I booked our flight/hotel/rental car/Friends For Life registration. While we got a great deal on the travel and lodging, it certainly wasn’t cheap. And because I don’t have a plethora of vacation days available, it’s kind of a big deal to block off 5 days from work.
Sidebar: Yes, the 4th was a holiday. And yes, my office was closed on Monday and Tuesday thanks to an epic storm. So it turns out I only burned two vacation days. Just stay with me on this, okay?
I got to reconnect with (Allison’s) Erik and (Martin’s) Amanda. I finally met (Jess’) Josh, the entire Johnson family, (Kerri’s) Chris, and (Jacquie’s) Bob for the first time but missed out on meeting (Kim’s) Aaron this time around. And we all know the party doesn’t start until Cherise and George arrive. I’m sure there are plenty of other examples like that but you get the idea. Booking a week of vacation in a big-time tourist destination during the 4th of July isn’t exactly a spontaneous event and not everyone can make it. But what if we had a gathering similar to Friends For Life, that more people with diabetes and (just as importantly) their families could attend?
What if we somehow came to a collective decision on a 3-day weekend super far in advance so people could book flights and hotel rooms, but during a time that wouldn’t be a high-stress travel experience? What if we all pick a place to take over for 48-60 hours and drain the city of their Diet Coke (or Diet Pepsi) supply – just for the heck of it?
Could this work? Am I crazy? Would anyone else be up for this?