Taking Advantage of BlogHer Conference '06 and San Jose

BlogHer Original Post

Contributing editor Suzanne also blogs at Campaign for Unshaved Snatch (CUSS) & Other Rants

Of course you’ll be at BlogHer Conference ’06! And of course, you’ll be busy every second of your waking time on Friday and Saturday. (Man, they have us at breakfast before 8:30 on a Saturday – the day is seriously packed!) However, if you are like me, you’ll be traveling a ways to get to BlogHer. As long as you are schlepping to San Jose, why not take advantage of the $75 room rate, and come out a day or two early and/or stay a day or two later?

There is plenty to do in see in the San Jose area. For starters, I have noticed that a good number of BlogHers live out that way (ah, the land of technology and those who understand it), and I bet they have some great ideas concerning what to do, see, and eat while in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. (You know who you are, so please give your 2 cents in the comments or put them on your blogs and link us to them!)

One place that I absolutely intend to visit is right in San Jose – the Winchester Mystery House. Mere days ago, Redneck Wyoming Woman saw an episode of Ghost Hunters featuring the House. She learned that:

The Winchester Mansion located in San Jose, California is a 160-room mansion built by Winchester Rifle heiress, Sara L. Winchester [sic]. The Victorian mansion was built with many unexplained oddities and has come to be known as the Winchester Mystery House. Mrs. Winchester believed the house was haunted. A psychic, told her there was a curse over the Winchester family and in order to continue living, construction on the house could never end. So, for 38 years it stayed in constant construction activity, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. It has been estimated the bill cost her $5.5 million until her death in 1922. I actually found a blog (I shouldn’t have been so surprised) on the mansion.

Beckie Tran at Movies of Myself went to the house with her family in January. She notes:

It did not disappoint; it was pretty damn weird. While I was walking sadly throughout the house pondering the quirks and cruelties of the human mental state I took a few pictures of things which struck me as particular dispiriting... The house just so very distinctly reflects what it's like to be stark raving mad. I know that's the whole point and the reason why people go there at all. But it's just absurd to be able to have the actual physcial experience of walking around in a very disturbed person's brain. Doors to nowhere, staircases winding in bizarre circles and the placement of most everything being absolutely arcane--isn't that how a lot of people's minds work, actually?

While I admit that my initial interest in going to the house was absolutely to see the weird stuff, Beckie’s observations regarding the situation got me thinking about it in a very different light. I am still planning on going (and anyone is welcome to join me!), but I know that I will experience it in a different way as a result of her blog. Kind of the whole point of BlogHer, too - how does blogging change your worldview?

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