First, I'll do the travel news, since part of it is happy and part of it is sad. Due to work and money-related issues, I will not be going to Paris in December. It makes me sad, but I know I will keep trying until I can go.
But here's the bright side. I've been looking for something really special to do for my parents next June. They will be celebrating their 40th anniversary. I know that's not a traditionally big anniversary, but they're both pushing 60, so at their 50th, they may not be physically able to have big adventures. I hope they are, but you never know. So we talked about it, and they want me to take them on a road trip. They've never been further North than South Carolina, so we're going up to Niagara Falls, then to New York, then to Philadelphia, then to Washington, DC. (my boss has already said they would count it as a work day if I pop in and see a couple of our representatives about the 2007 farm bill while I'm up there!) After all that, we're going to drive along the East Coast all the way home. My mom wants to see some lighthouses and my dad wants to take pictures of boats. Now, I've already been to all these places, but it will be so great to show them to my parents, who are terrified to travel by themselves, and will only do something like this if I go with them. So if anyone has any ideas about some neat things we can do in any of these areas (besides the touristy stuff, which we will be doing already, let me know!)
We had thought about going West, but by the time we actually made it to something interesting out there, we would have to turn around and go back! (they are also terrified of flying, so we will be doing all this by car)
So anyway, I'm having fun planning this crazy trip. We're probably taking Noah, who will be 11 by then and who loves taking pictures and seeing new places. So it should be a lot of fun, and a chance to really put some miles on Gonzo (who saw quite a few miles last weekend, actually!) So anyway, I think it will be fun.
And then, of course, in 2008 we will be taking all the kids and my sister and her husband to Disney World for our traditional trip. We always go when one of the kids graduates from Kindergarten, and Hannah will be graduating in 2008, so the plan is to go then. I'm so looking forward to dressing her up in a Cinderella costume for that first day at the Magic Kingdom! I will, of course, have a change of clothes in my backpack, but she has to meet Cinderella dressed like her. Think of how cute the pictures will be! :)
So there's a lot to look forward to in the next couple of years...
Now on to the NaNoWriMo stuff. I only have a few days before I have to decide which story to write this year. There is a self-imposed deadline of October 1. If I haven't decided by then, I will force myself to decide!
Another new development is that I bought a GPS unit online today so that I can start geocaching. I'm going to take Noah with me on caching trips, and my mom wants to do some too. It'll be a great way to enjoy the fall weather that we are having right now. I also have a few friends who want to cache with me, so I should never have to do it alone. But even if I have to do it alone, I think it'll be fun. I'm looking forward to discovering new places in my own region, and even when I travel I can find caches in different places. Perhaps I can hunt a few on our road trip, and when I go to Chicago and Pasadena for conferences next year. Wow, talking about all these trips makes me sound like quite the traveler. I love to travel and only wish I could do it more often! But back to what I hope will become my new hobby, I'm looking forward to getting my GPS in and testing it out on my first cache! Maybe I can do it on Saturday morning. That afternoon/evening, I'm taking the kids to a county fair (complete with the cheesy carnival rides, candy apples, and rodeo) Noah loves the rides and likes to try winning stuffed animals for his younger brother and sister at the various games. He's pretty good at ring tosses and throwing darts at balloons. It's fun to watch him play the games. So I guess what I'm saying is, it'll be another busy, but fun-filled weekend. I'm looking forward to it.