Friday 30 December 2011

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End of 2011 - Really? You Guys Are Reading This?

So this is it? The end of our 2011 together. I have to admit that the year hasn't been what I thought it was going to be. Nothing in my goals for 2011 would have led me to believe that this year was going to shake out the way it did. I remember resolving to get a better paying job (Let's see, I worked for two months, spent the next nine months unemployed, then went back to my old job, although at a slightly better pay rate, so check.), spend more time with my kids (35 days in Disneyland x 45 minute average wait time for Space Mountain = plenty of time spent with kids, check), and to win the lottery (Considering the way I'm bending things to count my other goals as achieved, I guess I could count the $20 winning ticket I'm carrying with me right now, so check again!). You'll notice nowhere on that list was "Write a blog".

Yet here we are. My 178th post of the year, which when you consider I didn't start writing until July can either be considered remarkably consistent, or incredibly vain to assume that I have something entertaining enough to write down every day. I'll admit that some of the topics I chose to write about were a little strange, but you should really just consider that a glimpse into my everyday life (You should hear the stuff my wife has to listen to me blather on about. That woman's a saint!). Some of the things I wrote about however, you guys seemed to really like. While I appreciate each and every visit you paid to my little website over the last six months, I want to take a minute to look at what you read the most, although I'm not sure I really want to explore the reasons why. These are the most read posts of 2011:

Tim McGraw/Faith Hill Private Concert in Las Vegas 
Considering both Lori and I are big Tim McGraw and Faith Hill fans, you'd figure I would have known about the fan clubs, but I had no clue. This was the first time that people were beating down the door to my site to get information, a rather rare commodity around here. Truth be told, they were coming to see new pictures of their heroes, leading a post that had nothing to do with me or my family to be one of my most popular ever. There's probably a lesson to be learned there...Something along the lines of "I should have my own fan club" would be my guess.

The Star Mega Do Trilogy
I've noticed that when I do stupid things, my number of readers goes up. In this case, WAY up. Of course, throwing your passport out (or so I thought) in the middle of a trans-border flight does rank pretty high on the list of dumb things to do. I'm grateful that I got to continue the trip, and the small amount of fame I achieved as "That idiot who threw his passport out". I'm grateful to the Canada customs agent who let me back in to Canada with a "Well you sound Canadian". Most of all, I'm grateful for the large number of people who came by to laugh at my misfortune. Schadenfreude is great for readership numbers.

Taylor Swift / Dating Advice for my Son
I really have no idea how this post ended up turning into what it did, other than to say that I've been known to stray away from the subject at hand from time to time. I think it was just that song after song about the unreachable romantic ideals in Taylor's lyrics led me to feel I should warn my son about what he was headed into. I received a ton of feedback from this post, mostly from parents of girls who wanted to know why I didn't write a post for my daughters. Maybe when they're old enough to date I will (I'm thinking when they turn 25), but for now my dating column advice days are over. As for the boy, what did he take out of the post? He learned that he's supposed to look for somebody better than Taylor Swift, then teach her to get to level 65 of Call of Duty: Zombies. Close enough.

The Fairmont / Living Social Mistake
I guess if people like coming by to read about the mistakes that I make, it stands to reason that they'll show up in just as large a numbers to read about somebody else's mistakes. Of course, any mistake that ends up with Lori and I in a penthouse suite (where we obviously belong) in San Francisco had to be a pretty big one, and I still feel a little bit sorry for whoever had the blame for this error laid on them. Apparently you all feel the same, as if I were to follow through with everybody who said "Call me next time there's a deal like this" I'd need several new land lines or one heck of a good conference calling plan.

Five Places We Probably Shouldn't Have Taken Our Kids
While this was a legitimate list of five, all the attention focused around one choice. Yes, we took our kids to the Lady Gaga concert in Anaheim. Was it our best move? Let's just say that Focus on the Family is yet to inquire as to our availability to write parenting books for them. Still, there doesn't seem to have been any permanent damage to our children (although I'm sure we all wish we could un-see the guys in chaps and saran wrap) and they recently voted it their best concert of the year. I see Ozzy Osbourne is hitting the road next year...I'm sensing a new list!

The Plaza Hotel Trilogy
I mentioned before that doing something stupid sends your readership numbers up. Well so does doing something embarrassing. From Check-in, to tipping the bellhop, to getting busted for trying to get our own ice, this was one misstep after another, and an inordinately large number of you decided that you wanted to laugh along with us ( were laughing with us right?). In the interest of keeping our readers entertained, we're now looking for places to go where we'll fit in even less. Of course we've already done the camping thing, so I guess we'll have to go in the other direction. Anybody know how to get on the invitation list for tea at Buckingham Palace?

So that's where you guys have been spending your time on More Kids Than Suitcases. Let me take a minute to thank you for each visit you've made, and particularly those of you who leave comments, either here, or on our Facebook page. I really enjoy getting a chance to talk about travel adventures with people, and if you're writing on the web somewhere and I'm not already commenting on your stuff, let me know so I can check your site out. After all, I like laughing at other people's mistakes and embarrassments too!

Happy New Year,
   From the More Kids Than Suitcases Family.