I'm not a packrat - I usually throw everything away - but for some reason, I've hung on to these old bottles. Photographed with Nikon D300, 60mm macro lens.

So, day after tomorrow, I leave for Chicago, to attend a huge conference called BlogHer '09.  It's quite possibly the largest conference in the world designed to support, encourage and create community among women bloggers of all genres (although a few stalwart men attend as well).  It started back in 2005, with only a few hundred people.  The first time I went was in 2006, and this will be the third time I've attended.  It's grown since then:  this year, they are expecting over 1,400 attendees.

As you can imagine, being a part of a conference this huge can be stunningly overwhelming -- so many people to meet, sessions to attend, places to show your face.  I'm participating in a couple of panels this year, and have a few meetings scheduled over the days, which I suspect will be both exhilarating and exhausting. 

I've learned, however, over the years, to pace myself -- and I make sure to schedule lots of downtime back in my hotel room.  This year, however, I'm going to try to take my R&R to the next level:  for my last few days here in Houston, I'm going to polish off my packing with some things that help me relax.  A candle, perhaps.  Some good relaxing music on the iPod, for sure.  A book or two, I think.

What else?  What do you like to take with you on a trip to relax?


SongRemember me, by Blue Boy