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Posted May 12, 2014 by Tim Wells in Travel

The Wells Go To SoFabCon ’14

SoFabConDawn and I decided to attend SoFabCon ’14 at the last minute. Because of our awesomely late planning, airfare was out of the question. You know what that means: road trip! Specifically, a road trip from Wisconsin to Arkansas. We decided to turn the trip into a mini vacation and bring along three of our four children. The oldest stayed home with grandma and the pets.

The Story Of My Life… Something… Something…

You learn things about your family when you travel. Things that can’t be unlearned. Like the fact that somewhere along the way, when you weren’t paying close enough attention, your daughters became One Direction fans. Even as I type this sentence, the lyrics to Story Of My Life are burrowing through my brain. Except that despite hearing the song numerous times during the trip, I still only know five words. So, instead of hearing the entire song in my head, all I hear is the Rain Man version, repeating the same line over and over again. It’s like a British boy band is whispering in my ear, “I’m an excellent driver. I get my underwear at Kmart.”

You also learn when to just shut up and drive – regardless of direction. Our trip began with Dawn engaging in a battle of wills with our traitorous GPS, Lola. Lola wanted to take us through Minneapolis, but Dawn wanted to go through Rochester to avoid rush hour traffic. I felt like a child being given conflicting instructions from his parents. Lola would tell me to do one thing, Dawn would tell me to do another, then Lola would tell me to make a u-turn, and Dawn would tell me to ignore her. In the end, I obeyed the one without an off switch.

While I was contemplating the complexities of my relationship between Dawn and Lola, I noticed that I had forgotten to wear my wedding ring. Knowing that SoFabCon attendees would be predominately women, I voiced my concern to Dawn.

“I don’t want to get any cougars’ hopes up.”

With just a hint of an eye roll, Dawn assured me there was nothing to worry about. Lola, giving us the silent treatment, had nothing to say on the subject.

The 200-Mile-Wide Hot Cow Pie

Before leaving Wisconsin, we got an oil change and had our faltering water pump replaced. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until we reached Iowa that we learned our air conditioning wasn’t working. That meant traveling with the windows down.

Look, Iowa, I appreciate your contribution to our nation’s agriculture. I really do. But you stink. Like a 200-mile-wide cow pie. I’m sorry, but somebody needed to tell you.

Day one of our trip to SoFabCon finished with a stay in a motel in Iowa. The motel clerk got a kick out of the fact that we were paying with a World of Warcraft Visa card, and gave us a discount. Nerd cred for realz, yo.

World of Warcraft Visa card

The MVP of Day 1.

Sock Melodrama

Getting ready for day two of our trip, I noticed that one of my socks from the day before had a hole in it. As I threw it away, I offhandedly said, “Time for a sock funeral.” Caleb (9) lamented, “It was so young!” And Abbie (12) replied with, “It should have been me!” The exaggerated anguish in their voices was Oscar-worthy.

After the appropriate mourning period, we pushed on into Missouri. I became so frustrated with my fellow drivers’ constant, needless speed fluctuation, that I wrote – and sang – a song about it. It’s called Would You Pick An Effing Speed Please? and it is sung to the tune of Do You Want To Build A Snowman? I really can’t repeat the lyrics here because a) this is a family blog and b) the world isn’t ready for that much awesome.

While Missouri apparently does not have vehicles with cruise control, it does have Chick-fil-A. We jumped at the opportunity to enjoy a rare treat. Please, please come to central Wisconsin, Chick-fil-A. Please?

The rest of the day’s travel was blessedly uneventful and we made it to the gorgeous Embassy Suites, in Rogers, Arkansas, by mid-afternoon.

Happy to be out of the van, the kids immediately hit the pool.

We made it to #sofabcon14! First order of business: not being in the car.

It’s SpaghettiOs Girl!

That evening, Dawn and I attended the SoFabCon ’14 kickoff event at Crystal Bridges. While we were there, we finally got to meet several of our blogger and Social Fabric friends, including Brandi, Mary Jo, Rose, Donna, Mary, Summer (who is the rock star who rightfully convinced me I needed to attend SoFabCon), and Alicia.

The funniest moment of the evening, for me, was when Alicia recognized Dawn from this picture, which I took for a SoFab campaign, earlier this year: Not Romantic #KYdatenight #ad #cbias

Counting Down to SoFabCon ’15

The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of networking, learning, partying, laughing, swimming, tweeting, tagging, dancing, and geeking out. There was so much going on that Dawn and I sometimes needed to divide and conquer. She handled the dancing while I stuck to my strengths.

Bronies ain't got nothing on the #Whittlecorn. #SoFabCon14

You can find the rest of our SoFabCon ’14 pictures, tweets, and observations on our Instagram and Twitter accounts:

Thank you to the Collective Bias and Social Fabric team members and community for a great weekend! We can’t wait to see you all next year!

Tim Wells

Dad, husband, gamer, blogger, geek. Not necessarily in that order.