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?
10 thoughts on “This Calls For a Reunion”
Funny you should mention this. It’s not really a D-event but I am planning my 40th birthday in Vegas next year and want to invite pretty much the world to the party.
I missed you guys so much. I wanted to be there but hopefully next year.
Sounds like a plan to me! If I could make it work, I’d definitely try to get there. It still could be a bit expensive, though (do I book flights for the kids? leave them with my parents? kids make things so much more complicated, but they are SO WORTH IT!)
In looking at how FFL began, I’m actually thinking of just putting out word that “I’ll be in NYC on such-and-such a date. Anybody wanna come?”. I know there are others from the NY/NJ/CT area that could easily make the drive or train-ride without having to book flights or hotels far in advance. Not the same, but extending beyond a “my town” kinda thing. It would be kind of a pseudo-local PWD get-together. I just need to find the date.
I would love to have a get together exactly like that! I’m new around here, and I’m pretty sure I’d be a bit “star struck” at first, but would soon feel like family. George, I really like the Vegas thought. I only live 2 hours from there and that is so much easier to arrange travel. Count me in!
YES! That would be awesome! Especially since I might be able to afford something like that just a bit better! Keep me posted. It was great meeting you and Dayle! Y’all are awesome,
You know I am up for something. It’s been too long since I’ve seen (or really even talked) to anyone. I still lurk around though!
YES! I live in Oregon so traveling to Florida is pretty expensive, plus the travel time. I hate using vacation days to sit on plane waiting to get somewhere. Vegas does have cheap flights and hotel rooms. I think they like to get people there so they can spend all their money gambling! I would love to meet some DOC-ers, and like Jennifer would probably be a little star-struck at first. 🙂
as long as i don’t have to organize it, i’ll try to come!
but seriously, that’s how simonpalooza happened. and there were people in KC again in february because a few people said they were coming. and they’ll be a ton of people at TCOYD in Des Moines in september. the more local meetups are easier to organize and get to. a national one would be a lot of work, but would be awesome!
Yeah, like anyone would say no….
As long as it’s workable with my (mostly) flexible schedule, I’m in. We do a big party here at our house in Baltimore on the Sunday before Halloween. You’re all invited! Otherwise, I’m willing to try to go anywhere… including Vegas, baby.
Tentatively in. It’s just that once you look into the details of arranging everything, it is actually more work than it seems. We just need to continue to do a good job of spreading the word when there are meet ups all over the country – whatever the reason – birthdays, TCOYD, -paloozas, etc.