A Writer's Journey

February 28, 2018

Paris, Here I Come!

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I’m sure you remember a couple months ago, I mentioned that I had bought tickets to The Happy Ending Convention, a Once Upon a Time convention in Paris. Even though I bought the tickets, it didn’t really feel real.

Now, though, it does.


Because I’ve booked everything!

The company behind the con finally announced the hotel where it would take place as well as where we would get a discount on the rooms. Last year it was in Disneyland Paris. This year, though, it’s in the Hilton by the Charles de Gaulle airport. So I booked my room for that weekend and then decided to see how much a room would be for the rest of my time in Paris. It wasn’t too much more so I booked it until I leave on Thursday. I’m probably just going to be a problem child when I check in since I’ll have to check out and then check back in on Sunday.

Hopefully there will be somebody who can make that easy when I’m there.

I’ve also booked my flight—we got a discount on AirFrance that lasted throughout the time I wanted, so score! I am a bit nervous because I do have a redeye to Paris. While I handled my redeye to London pretty well, I still have concerns after my very first redeye (Hawaii to New York) ended with me sick as dog. I hope this is more like London and not Hawaii.

I’ve also booked the days off from work. So I’m all good on that front.

What are my next steps then?



June 5, 2017

Go West

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And then run back East, if you’re me.

We have established I’m a diehard East Coast girl, right?

But, yes, I made a trip to the West Coast at the end of April. I mentioned it in an earlier post—I went to Anaheim for a work conference. It was a great conference and I learned a lot.


February 20, 2017

Traveling, Traveling, Traveling…

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It’s February and I already have a lot of trips planned for 2017, it seems.

In fact, it started this past weekend with a trip up to Corning, NY to visit my cousin and her kids. Corning is a quaint little city best known for glass and other kitchenware, but it’s pretty picturesque. It’s also wine country and I’ve been meaning to go on a wine tour up there.

Maybe this summer?


August 22, 2016

Kansas City—Days 3 and 4

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Friday dawned and I got ready for another day at the General Assembly.

Our day started early with another General Session. Like the night before, pictures were shown on the screen and the roving reporter continued to interview people.

The program started with a heart-wrenching video about homelessness and in particular the crisis that gripped Cleveland. It then led to how the Y in Cleveland responded and all the good they are doing, making us feel proud of them and realize how profound our work can be.

Our keynote speaker Friday morning was Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and founder of her own media empire. She spoke about how technology can improve our lives and be detrimental to it and how we can all be our own brands.


I’ll admit that got me thinking about my writing (I know, after two entries about this, I’ve finally managed to make it about my writing). If you follow me on Twitter or just check out this blog since I have my tweets fed here, you might have noticed something about a Big Project. (And I promise there will be more on that when I’m done with these recaps. So…next week? Next week). What you need to know about it now is that I’ve decided to self-publish a book next year (maybe sooner if I’m lucky). So I was thinking about how I was going to start branding myself. But more on that later.

(Next week? Maybe next week).


August 15, 2016

Kansas City—Day 2

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So, time to continue my Kansas City story!

The next morning, we all met in the hotel lobby to head over to the exhibit hall. It was only a couple blocks’ walk and there were Y workers all over pointing the way to registration.

Y-USA really decorated the hall well. Our core values and other words were wrapped around columns, looking almost painted on. Other signs and pictures hung around the venue, creating a very official mood. It felt like a convention, only we were all in Y polos instead of costumes.


Registration was quick and painless. We were given lanyards with our names and a beach bag. The exhibit hall was upstairs, so we took the elevator to the next floor and pulled out the raffle ticket we had been given at registration. We needed to visit a certain amount of booths and get stamps from them to be entered for several prizes. So we raced around, trying to get all our stamps before lunch. My coworkers were successful but I needed to return after lunch to get a few more.



August 8, 2016

Kansas City—Day 1 (July 13th)

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I’m back from my convention! And it was great. Really inspiring and spirit bolstering. Sometimes it’s easy to get tunnel vision, so it’s nice to see the big picture of what we do at the YMCA.

Wednesday morning was an early one for me. I was out of my house by 5:30 AM in order to get the airport a couple hours ahead of my 8 AM flight to Kansas City. Which was a good thing because everything you hear about Newark-Liberty International Airport and waiting times at security is true. I got there about ten to six and had to wait a half hour on line just to get to security. Then there was another ten minutes or so to go through security. However, I did not have to take off my shoes or take out my laptop—even though I wasn’t on the precheck line.

Once I was through there, I went and grabbed breakfast. I got a toasted bagel with cream cheese, chocolate milk and picked up some gum for the plane. After eating and checking my Twitter feed, I then went to find my gate. It was a bit weird as I pretty much went to the very end of Terminal C and then had to go down stairs to get to it. I knew I was in the right place because there was a whole bunch of Y people there.


July 11, 2016

Traveling, Traveling

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm

And hopefully, it’ll go better than last time.

I’m off on another work conference! This time, I’m going to Kansas City, Missouri. I’ve never been to Missouri and look forward to crossing it off my list.

I leave Wednesday morning but the conference doesn’t start until Thursday. So I’ll have to find a few things to do in Kansas City to pass the time. It should be fun—right?

There aren’t many events planned once the conference starts the next day. But there are exhibitions. So I imagine we’ll look at them and mingle with the other Y people that first afternoon before the opening ceremony. My coworkers and I will have dinner before turning in for the night.

Friday will be filled with speakers and lectures, so I hope it’ll go fast. We’ll have another dinner together as well.

I really am not counting Saturday because I’ll most likely have to leave for the hotel by 10/10:30 AM. So I’ll probably sleep a little later, finish packing and go to the airport. And then I’ll be back in New York.

Hopefully I won’t have the same troubles I did the last time I traveled.

Wish me luck!

Summer Writing Challenge (Week 6)

Words: 7,921

Under/over: 14,079

April 14, 2014


Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Two weeks ago, I spent a weekend in this great city. (Though not as great as New York. Winking smile) It wasn’t my first trip there. My family and I went back in 2008 for our summer vacation. I was the driving force, though my dad always insists my sister wanted to go there when he tells the story. (Though she corrects him as well—reminding him I wanted to go to Boston, she wanted to go to Salem. We did both). I enjoyed having the chance to go back.

Why did I go? Because my friends and I went to Anime Boston. Yes, we love to go to conventions. And for a few years, we’ve gone to AnimeNext in New Jersey. But last year, it wasn’t so great and we had heard Boston’s was better. So we planned our trip!


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