The author and a couple of furry pals at BlogHer 11.

I clicked “Order Now.” That click was a placeholder only. While I had just purchased a ticket to BlogHer 11, I had no knowledge that I would ever get there. San Diego

was too far away. San Diego hotels were too expensive. How could I travel to southern California without my family? How could I afford to bring my family to San Diego?

My ticket was at the early bird rate, but even so, I knew getting myself to San Diego was not a given. I assured myself that if worst came to worst and I couldn’t go, I could absolutely find a buyer for my discounted ticket. But, the thought of selling my ticket made me very sad-faced indeed.

As winter moved into spring, I became a daytime, nighttime, and any time sleuth of all things BlogHer11. Parties, events, sponsors, sessions, celebrity sightings, and so much more became my life. You see, I am the Community Manager for a Forum with an active BlogHer discussion thread. We have members

who have never attended BlogHer who want to know how to get the most out of their BlogHer experience. We have returning BlogHer attendees

who can’t possibly follow the hashtag 24/7. I was the BlogHer poster with the mostess!

As I posted and posted, I became convinced that I needed to go to BlogHer come what may. How could I post about all these fabulous parties and NOT go??

I finally sat down with my husband to plan the summer. He’s a Montgomery County teacher, which means the summer is free time for him. But, with me as a work-at-home mom he picks up the bulk of the “mom” duties over the summer. We knew that all three kids had swim team 5 mornings a week through the end of July with meets and pep rallies thrown in for good measure. The older two had volleyball camps. The youngest had a couple of afternoon camps. I could hardly find any white space on our family wall calendar for June or July. But what about August?

My husband and I both realized that while the last two weeks of August were taken up by volleyball tryouts for one kid, back-to-school shopping for all three kids, a birthday party for one kid, and a transition to a new job for Dad, the first two weeks of August were open. No camps. No swim team. No playdates. Nothing.

Hmm. The wheels were set in motion for both of us. With my BlogHer ticket in hand, it was easy to peruse the Southwest website for airfares. We were just looking, right? No harm done in looking. We took deep breaths as we clicked on the span of dates for flights from BWI to San Diego for gulp… not one…but five people. Surprisingly, the fares on Southwest were doable, even for 5 of us.

With flights booked, we moved on to the BlogHer hotel. I knew we had missed the BlogHer Conference rate, but the per-night price we got wasn’t bad.

One by one the ducks started to appear in rows. Conference Pass? Check. Flights? Check. Hotel? Check. For not just me, but my whole family.

The kids were thrilled when we told them we were going to southern California. While mom did her thing at BlogHer, the kids and dad played in San Diego at Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the hotel pool, and the beach. I was a tad sad to miss hanging out with my family while BlogHer was in session, but I was thrilled to spend four days touring LegoLand, Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Anaheim with my family.

In the end, the BlogHer ducks lined up not just for me, but for my family.