It’s great having family and friends spread out — you get to see and do lots of interesting things when you go for a visit. This trip we’ve been ice skating outdoors, visited a big coal mine, enjoyed a pantomime show, and seen beautiful Impressionist paintings.
The downside is, when family and friends are all spread out, you don’t get to visit as often. A quick weekend trip just isn’t possible when it takes a day or longer just to get there. You have to find other ways to keep in touch between trips.
My in-laws aren’t online, so years ago, we bought some video phones by 8×8. It was super easy technology with decent quality — just connect it to your TV and your telephone, make the usual phone call, press a few buttons, and you’re on! A weekly call between California and Wales has kept my daughter and her grandparents close, in spite of the distance.
This afternoon, visiting with cousins, we talked of connecting my daughter and her same-age counterpart — don’t ask me to do the cousin math! This should be easy on the Internet, we thought. I’ve got a video camera built-in to my laptop, and my husband on his – we could test it tonight!
Sure enough, back at the house in Llanishen, we made it work. Just as simple as the 8×8 and all for free. I just fired up Skype (thanks, Natalia!), searched for my husband, made the call, turned on the video, and there we were!
So the California cousin and the Welsh cousin will be able to keep in touch, video to video. Which should make ice skating and playing Wii together that much more fun when they’re together, face to face.