Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere..But Where is the Fun?

So here I sit in beautiful Fort Lauderdale. I love it here. The minute I got here yesterday a lot of great memories came flooding back. Bob and I have been here many times and we always have so much fun. Of course we are typically getting on or off of a cruise ship.

Today I'm here to work. I spent all day yesterday flying and got here around midnight. I am staying at a nice Marriott resort on the beach but I have barely had a chance to walk out to the beach. I did get up around 6:00 am this morning and took a little walk. I picked up a couple of nice shells and ended up in a hammock watching the sun come up.

Then it was back to my room, where I have been working.

I was going to go to one of my favorite restaurants, Smokey Bones for lunch but it's on the other side of town. I decided to walk out to the beach again to see if I could find a place to have lunch on the beach.
It turns out the hotel serves burgers and drinks there.
I love Fort Lauderdale.

Tomorrow I will visit a customer but I hope to have the evening to myself so I can goof off. Is it worth the 8+ hours of travel each way? Yeah, probably.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Busy Summer!

I know I have not posted a blog in a while. Ok, a long while. It was Brian's birthday and it was 1/4 of a year ago. It's been a very busy summer with a lot of travel. Here are some of the places I have been since my last blog post.

First there was San Francisco. I got to see a view that looked a lot like this but for the most part, all I got to see was the inside of a taxi, a hotel and a conference room.

One of my favorite trips of the summer was Adrian's wedding in the Twin Falls Temple. I almost didn't get on a flight but I was glad I did. We drove from Boise to Twin Falls and had a really good time. I suppose it had something to do with the company since a lot of the family was on that trip. We had a great time taking over the Wingate Hotel and we swam until late into the night.

Then there was Chicago. I can't remember if that was before or after the trip to Idaho, but it was somewhere around then. Chicago was fun because I got to visit Bob's brother Chuck and his wife Judy. Their son Jeffrey was a teen ager last time I saw him and now he is a grown man with a beautiful wife and daughter. It was nice to see them.

Sometime in early August there was Washington DC trip #1.

I thought I could fly across the country, meet with a customer and fly home in 24 hours. Washington DC is pretty hot in August and it was miserable. The highlight of that trip was the first class seat I happened to get on United Airlines.

I have never been on a 5 hour flight when I was disappointed to arrive, but this seat was amazing. 6 hours in coach on the return was not nearly as fun.

After I got back from Washington DC it was time to take Heather and Brooks and little Brooks to Pullman. That was fun too. We drove our pickup truck to Pullman, spent the afternoon helping unpack and then we spent the night in Spokane. We miss having them at our house but they have a great townhouse in Pullman and we know Brooks will do well in school. I think they are going to miss BYU football but I'm sure they will make a lot of new friends.

Then it was back to Washington DC, but this time I wanted to see some of the sites. I scheduled 2 nights and after visiting the customer, I took a tour bus around town. It was fun because you could jump off or get on at about 30 different stops in town. I got to see areas of DC that I had never been before.

I love the Smithsonian Museums so I took advantage of being there. At the American History Museum I was able to see the fully restored Star Spangled Banner.

It was awesome. It was behind glass in a darkened room with only the slightest light on it. I also got to see things like Lincoln's top hat and jacket, Archie Bunker's chair, the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz and a lot of other random historical stuff. Pretty cool.

Next there was the Natural History Museum. I have always wanted to see the dinosaur fossils and it is amazing to see how big they really are. Apparently the Hope Diamond was also on display but I missed that.

Then this past week was the longest trip of the summer and I was away for 5 nights. I started out with a trip to Rochester, NY. I was excited about that one because I knew I could go to Palmyra and see church history sites.

It was only about 20 miles from my hotel to the Hill Cumorah and the Smith Cabin and Farm House as well as the Sacred Grove.

It was different than ever before because this trip I had the entire Hill Cumorah to myself and there were very few tourists at the other sites.

After New York, I went right to Los Angeles to a town called San Gabriel not far from Pasadena. You would never know by the name or even the location but it was in the heart of the largest Chinese community outside of China. All of the signs on buildings were in Chinese as well as in English. It was a nicely maintained and prosperous community.

What would you do if you were in a huge Chinese neighborhood with a couple of hours to kill? Of course my colleague (Jolin) and I had our toenails done.

We would have had a foot massage if we had more time.

Finally, when we were done with our customer meetings, 3 of us got into the rental car and drove around Hollywood. Jolin had never been there and she had high expectations of seeing high end shops, movie stars and movie studios. Instead we saw lots of porn shops, homeless people and pawn shops.

I got back home on Thursday night and Bob wanted to get away from home for a day. On Saturday we drove over 400 miles around the state of Washington. We took the North Cascades Highway and were amazed at how beautiful it was in the mountains. There were unexpected lakes and rivers all around.
Next stop, Toronto later this week??