Last summer, I had to rent a car for the first time. As it happened, my car was rear-ended one week before I went on vacation all the way across the country, so my car rental experiences happened in very quick succession. The first time, I ended up renting with Enterprise since they were recommended by my insurance company. The second time, in California, I used Budget because I had gift certificates I wanted to use up.
I was very pleased with Enterprise, but quite disappointed in Budget. If renting a car results in me standing around an airport car rental agency with two exhausted kids at midnight, screaming at the desk clerk because she's being about as unhelpful as a customer service agent can possibly be, I'm going to have to rate that as a Bad Experience (TM).
Too late, I discovered USA Car Rental, which is a service that allows you to compare and find the best prices on auto rentals in the United States. I bet they could have saved me some money on my trip last year, and I'm certainly going to keep them in mind next year when I travel to the west coast once more.
Last year, my friend's husband hired a stretch limo to take us to Atlantic City to celebrate her birthday. It was such a fun night - we had cake and cocktails on the ride down, spent a few hours playing craps and walking on the boardwalk, and then had a safe ride home in the wee hours of the morning. I think we scared the limo driver with our loud and giddy fun, but it was certainly a memorable night!
That was the first time in a long time that I'd been in a limo. We had one to drive between the funeral home and cemetery when my grandma died, and we had used hired cars to take us to the airport when we traveled a few times before that, but that was all. Perhaps I should say that K's birthday was the first time I really had fun in a limo!
Of course, the reason it was such a fun night was at least in part because we knew we were safe. Fortunately, limousine laws and regulations are fairly strict to make sure that all operators are capable of providing reliable transportation to their clients, and with a professional driver, you know that you can drink a little, act silly, and still make it home in one piece. I highly recommend doing "the limo thing" when you want a night of drunken debauchery!
Now that spring weather is on its way, I'm eager to shop for new clothes and jewelry for summer. Last winter, I was given a beautiful owl pendant that I wear every day, and I have a mother's ring (with my kids' birthstones in it) that I wear on a daily basis. Other than that, I'm really bad at accessorizing!
Sterling silver jewelry is my favorite, and this year, I seem to be most in need of earrings. The page I linked has a pair of hummingbirds that I love. Since I wear my hair up a lot in the spring (to show off the tattoo on my neck), I like being able to wear dangling earrings.
I'm no style maven, but I think I can figure out how to accessorize this summer! Do you all have any tips for me, dear readers?
Though you wouldn't know it from this blog (which I mostly maintain for business purposes), the thing I love most about blogging is connecting with other readers and writers. Twitter and Facebook have their uses, but blogs are so much more personal. I feel like I get to know my fellow bloggers better than I ever get to know friends on Twitter, and even Facebook - there's just too much drive-by posting to feel really caught up.
Of course, if you're just getting started, it can be difficult to know where to go and who to follow - not to mention getting people to follow your blog! The obvious choice is to use Google and search around for blogs you enjoy reading - and then become an active commenter. But if you want to get involved in a deeper way, forming real friendships and learning "the tools of the trade" for newbie bloggers like yourself, attending blogger conferences is a good idea. They take place all over the country, so chances are, you can find one within driving distance.
Most conferences offer workshops and classes, as well as opportunities for networking. This will give you the chance to make friends, exchange links, and connect with experts who can provide you with quality advice as you start maintaining and promoting your own blog. Whether you're blogging about books or politics or parenting or something else entirely, you can get a lot out of attending a conference!
There must be something about this time of year! Fantasizing about leaving town, going somewhere warm, and not working for a week or so just takes over my brain.
Right now, I'm thinking about cruises. We're planning to take (another) one this summer, so I've started thinking about destinations and trying to figure out the best cruise line for our trip. In the past, I've cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Disney. They were all good experiences.
I'd say Norwegian had the best food, IF you were willing to pay to eat in the fancier restaurants (instead of eating in the main dining room). Disney had the best food without charging a premium fee, and Royal Caribbean was good, but not fabulous.
Disney had the best entertainment, including first run movies and really fabulous shows, but the other two lines weren't devoid of fun, either.
We're thinking we might try a Carnival cruise this time just for something different. The ships are supposed to be really fun, and we can leave from a local port so we won't have to worry about airfare (and the hassle that is flying anywhere). I just hope the meals are good - when I travel, I want to eat well!
Have you any experience with Carnival? Am I going to be impressed?
I think I've mentioned here that Political Science was my major in college. It's a long, convoluted (and not unhappy) tale about how I ended up working in the internet marketing industry instead, but that's a story for another day. Today, I'd like to talk about how fun it is when those two worlds intersect.
It doesn't happen often. Politicians don't generally have a lot to worry about when it comes to achieving premium search engine rankings. Their names are all over the news, their sites regularly get linked to by supporters and detractors alike, and if they're running on the ticket of a major party, chances are, they will be easy to find in a quick Google search.
This year, however, as we sift our way through Republican primary after Republican primary, I've had the joy of watching a humorous story unfold, blending politics, activism, and of course, SEO.
Candidate Rick Santorum has a Google problem. This is something that his campaign staffers should have been able to fix with the right internet marketing tools. They should have started early, working to increase the number of links to their own site while hoping that Dan Savage's humorous redefinition site would start to drop off the first page (instead, it's the first result for "Santorum").
However, recent news would indicate that perhaps, Santorum's staffers just don't like him. Maybe they're trolling?
Either way, when SEO & Politics collide, I'm in for a good time!