I have an exciting announcement

From what I can gather, there seem to be a few rules about "exciting announcements" in the blog world. First of all, you must announce your announcement prior to actually announcing whatever it is you're wanting to announce. Follow that?

So on Monday, you say I've got some exciting news to share with you... but I can't reveal the details yet. Stay tuned. Winky face! and then the next, say, Tuesday, you make your big announcement.

The other rule I've noticed is that your announcement must either be that you're having a) a baby or b) a book.

Well I'm going to ignore the first rule and tell you my news after this paragraph. And I'm going to ignore the second rule, because I'm not gestating a baby or a book.

I am, however, planning a top secret trip for my closest friends.

Was that a huge letdown? I thought it might be, so here's a picture of Ike as a puppy to make it up to you.

Carol Convention is a trip my friends and I have been taking for the past four years. One of us plans the whole thing on the sly. The rest of us send her money. In the months leading up to the trip, the planner sends clues, not revealing the location until the week before. So far, we've been sticking to the dirty south, but we have big plans to require passports one of these days.

I thought it might be fun (for me, at least) to share the story of Carol Convention, introduce you to the cast of Carols, share travel guides and tips for friend-trips, and lead up to this year's big announcement via the blog. Who knows -- maybe I'll inspire a wave of Carol Conventions?

For now, I'll leave you with the first clue of this year's trip: