I thought it would be fun to do a retrospective of the past 1000 posts.
I got the photo bug from my mother. Growing up, she was always taking pictures of everything, and I'm so very thankful that she did. And this was in the days when film had to be sent away to get developed. Any major memory I have as a child I can pretty much count on there being a photo of it.
I started getting into photography myself when I got my first digital camera (a very early Kodak digital camera) in college. The photos weren't great, but it did let me take photos whenever I liked with no thought to wasting film.
See. Normally I would have gotten in trouble for making a face like that in a photo and wasting a picture. With digital you can make all the faces you want...
I continued with the point and shoot cameras, upgrading every few years and taking better and better photos, but it was finally in 2007, right before Theresa and I took a long trip to Europe that she suggested I get a DSLR.
That all changed in 2011 when Theresa, Ruston, Jacob, and I took a 2 week trip to Japan. It was then that I decided that along with all the photos, I was going to keep a journal of our trip. Each night before bed, I wrote up as much as I could remember of the day and after the trip was over I put the pictures to the words and had my first real trip report.
I started flowerstales.blogspot.com as soon as I got back from that Japan trip as a way to share my experiences with others. I'm a big fan of Ducktales and all their adventures and I figured I'd write up the Tales of the Flowers, or rather Flowerstales.
I also started posting anything Disney related on Micechat.com to involve more of the Disney community. And back at that time, Micechat has weekly emails to its members and it would highlight some of the top forum posts. It was always a treat to see one of my reports singled out and shared with everyone.
Then in July of 2012 something big happened. Ruston won an amazing prize from Disney and invited Jacob, Theresa, and I along to join him. What was it? An overnight stay inside Disneyland at the one and only Disneyland Dream Suite. This exclusive prize couldn't be bought, only won, during the year of a Million Dreams at Disneyland from 2006 to 2008. During that time, guests had super strict requirements about photos and videos from inside the suite, so a full in-depth report about an overnight stay hadn't been done. For us though, there were no such restrictions.
It was an incredible night and I ended up taking over 2800 photos, filling up 65GB of memory cards with photos and video. And when I was finally through sorting it all out, I put together an epic 14 page post about our time there.
Since then we've been fortunate enough to do lots of amazing things, and I've been writing up just about everything. Looking back at many of my past posts, I'm so happy I decided to put words to it. The pictures are great and they jog your memory. The words are what solidify it and take you back there, reading details you would never have remembered.
After 2012, I have created between 90-140 posts every year, meaning something new on the blog on average every 3-4 days. And I'm always behind on trip reports. It's a daunting task to know that you have 14 days worth of pictures to sort, tweak in Lightroom, and then re-write all the words from my detailed journals into some cohesive story. An involved trip like that takes 2-3 days of effort per 1 day of the trip, so it's a lot to jump into. But it'll get done eventually. Just as soon as things slow down... Knowing us and how busy we like to keep, maybe when I retire...
I keep an eye on some of the stats of my blog to see what's been popular.
My most read post is a little surprising. It's about a trip to Vegas to the World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop where they film the show Pawn Stars. I took a photo of a Salvador Dali egg that Chumlee bought and for some reason it ranks high on a google image search. Whenever that episodes airs, inevitably people will google that egg and it takes them to my site.
The next most popular page is my write-up of the Disneyland Dream Suite. That one isn't surprising.
There's other things that seem to drive traffic to my site too. Because of my detailed write-ups for Minnie's Moonlit Madness, I'm #2 and #3 for that term on a google search, and in the weeks leading up to the event I'll get a few people looking for tips and tricks on how it all works. I know I read over my previous year's reports before we play. It helped us take First Place back in 2018!
Generally anything with Disney's Club 33 or 1901 gets attention too.
I've started mixing things up on the blog now too. Not just posting about trips, but also trying out all sorts of interesting snack foods. The kids are great at helping me out with that.
I couldn't have imagined we'd do all those things we've done in the last 7 years. Who knows where this will go in the next 7 years? I certainly don't, but I do know it's going to be an interested journey and hopefully a fun tale to tell.