When was the last time I took a vacation that wasn’t tied to visiting family or working?
But you know what? I don’t mind the so-called ‘working vacation.’ I mean, I’m not really one that seeks out a tropical beach with an umbrella over my head and one tucked into my drink. I’m more of a road trip sort of gal. I like to seek out cool hikes, scenic mountains, waterfalls, kayaking waters, or funky little museums in out-of-the-way towns in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma, for example. So if I can tie a little work into a road trip, work that may take me off the beaten path to explore new towns/wildlife refuges/waterfalls/boating waters–why would I pass that up?
In short, the answer is I WON’T!
Earlier this month I had a meeting halfway across the country–Hubby and I presented a training course on a project we worked on years ago. And since we don’t board MaeBelle (she would die of a broken heart, being ‘abandoned’ and all) we drove the 1,800 miles to the meeting. The trip served multiple purposes: we attended the meeting, we got to visit family and friends, and I got to do some field work in Colorado on the drive back. Hubby couldn’t stay for the entire two week trip, so it was just us girls on the drive home.
My field work was in NW Colorado–from Meeker to Craig to Maybell (And YES! MaeBelle got to go to Maybell, Colorado!!) and points beyond. It was a pretty sweet gig–drive around looking for wet spots, take photos & GPS points, make notes, move on to another wet spot. I’m involved with a project at work where I’ll be mapping wetlands in Colorado, and it’s always helpful to have a little on-the-ground reconnaissance before you begin work, you know? Lucky for me, Colorado is between Montana and Arkansas, so things worked out pretty well. I went just a little bit out of my way to visit NW Colorado, but I got to visit a friend in Avon and I got to spend the night with my in-laws (free room & board PLUS dinner and breakfast (I mean, I guess could have had gas station hot chocolate and Cracker Jacks for breakfast instead of the homemade huckleberry pancakes. Confession: a few days earlier I did have that exact gas station breakfast, so I guess I CAN have it all. Life is good. 2nd Confession: I much prefer Crunch ‘n Munch to Cracker Jacks. That is all.). Total damage to my odometer? Well, it was about 250 miles longer to take the scenic tour, which, in my opinion, was totally worth it. My fuel was paid for, my rooms were paid for, my meals were covered, I earned a few bucks…and I got to hang out with my favorite doggie (who is an AWESOME travel partner still at 13 1/2 years) and see some cool places. What is not to like about this set up?
I need a bumper sticker that reads: WILL WORK. WILL TRAVEL. WILL PLAY.
Have I mentioned how much I love my job(s)?