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Adventures in Business Travel

21 Sep

I’ve been in Portland, Oregon since Saturday night to “man” a trade show booth on behalf of the client I work on at my agency. There have been some challenges — one of my product banner stands didn’t get shipped, and 80 percent of the product literature for the booth wasn’t shipped, either. The show started on Sunday and there really wasn’t much that could be done, so I didn’t worry myself too much about it.

What a beautiful city! The view as we landed was breathtaking, and I can see Mount St. Helens from my hotel room. Last night I had dinner at a little Italian restaurant in the Pearl District with a college friend who just so happens to live in Portland. We figured out that we hadn’t seen each other since 1994, so it was great to catch up.

Today I’m sitting at a trade show  booth from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. After I’m finished I’m going to explore a little Asian grocery store I discovered across the street from the convention center (a headache is coming on and I needed aspirin). They have some interesting collectibles, so maybe I’ll come home with a few souvenirs.

My body still thinks it’s on Central time, unfortunately, so I’m yawning by 8 p.m. I’m sure I’ll be acclimated by the time I get ready to go home on Wednesday.

Since I won’t get many daylight hours to sightsee, I also want to try and get a few pictures, even if they are only in the vicinity of the convention center. It’s just so beautiful here!


New York Trip Recap — Day One

22 Jun

Over Memorial Day weekend, I made my first visit to New York City with my best friend Roy. I thought I would do some blog posts recapping the trip, with one post covering each day I was there.

I’m sure many of you have been to New York at least once, so I doubt any of this will be new. But isn’t it sometimes fun to see something familiar through another person’s eyes?

I thought so too.

So here we go!

Thursday, May 21

After going to sleep at about 2 a.m., we got up very early (5 a.m.) and took a cab to the airport. The upside is we flew Midwest Airlines, which has a direct flight from Milwaukee to Newark. Can I just say how nice it is to get on a plane and stay there until you reach your final destination???

This is what three hours of sleep looks like.

This is what three hours of sleep looks like.

It pays to travel with a tall person, because I got the window seat, along with the chance to enjoy the beautiful view (when I wasn’t trying to sleep).

The first of many photos that had me wishing for a better camera.

The first of many photos that had me wishing for a better camera.

Finally we reached Newark. I have my first B/C-list celebrity sighting — Seth Meyers from “Saturday Night Live” — while Roy was in the bathroom. I had to do a triple take for it to even register that it was him. Not only is he shorter than I imagined him to be, he looks a lot different without stage makeup on.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture. Like I said, it took me awhile to recognize him.

Did I mention the Newark airport is small? I think it’s smaller than Milwaukee’s (but I could be wrong).

After we saw Seth Meyers and got our luggage, we waited outside for our car that was taking us to Hoboken. It was a beautiful day!


The ride to Hoboken was about half an hour. Roy’s friend Jason — one half of the duo that was kind enough to let us stay with them — was at the apartment to greet us. They live in this adorable neighborhood full of row houses, with iron railings and narrow staircases, just like you’d imagine a New York-type neighborhood to look in the movies.

Cute Hoboken neighborhood.

Cute Hoboken neighborhood.

As cute as Chad and Jason’s neighborhood was, it still wasn’t immune to vandalism. Though you have to admit the graffiti is a little more cerebral than what you would normally see.

Don't I know it!

Don't I know it!

We spent the afternoon freshening up, getting supplies so we didn’t eat Chad and Jason out of house and home, and prepared to go into city for my first Broadway Show: Avenue Q.

When Roy’s other friend (and Jason’s roommate) Chad got home from work, we took a bus through the Lincoln Tunnel into the city. Every morning when we drove in I got to see this awesome view from the window.

Riding into the city.

Riding into the city.

We made a stop at Times Square before going to the theater.

Of course we took some pictures.

The first thing that struck me — as I know it does everyone who visits the city for the first time — is the number of people. It’s impossible to not be in someone’s way, or be bumped into dozens of times walking the length of a city block.

Times Square

Times Square

Fortunately we got there around dusk — any darker and the pictures probably wouldn’t have turned out.

Me and Roy

Me and Roy

Broadway show billboards

Broadway show billboards

So many people!

So many people!

After taking in Times Square, we made our way to Broadway. Roy and I went to see “Avenue Q,” and Jason and Chad went to see something called “Next to Normal” (which I think won a Tony award).

I loved, loved, LOVED Avenue Q!

Our show let out five minutes before Chad and Jason’s did, so Roy and I took goofy self-portraits and other snapshots.

Broadway self-portrait

Broadway self-portrait

The Jacobs Theater, home of Avenue Q

The Jacobs Theater, home of Avenue Q

This street is where I had my second (and final) celebrity sighting. When Chad and Jason got out of the show, they said that Neil Patrick Harris, Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel were in the theater with them.

Taye Diggs.


Just as I was wondering aloud whether, as celebrities, they were able to sneak out a side door after a show to avoid us little people, Neil Patrick Harris and his male companion came walking right out the front of the theater, the entrance to which was probably less than 100 feet away from us across the street.


I tried to snap a photo, but it’s so blurry you can’t tell it was him.

You’ll just have to take my word for it.

After a trip to a bakery for some take-home cheesecake and bus ride home, thus concluded my first day in the vicinity of New York.

Day Two: Statue of Liberty! Broadway! More cheesecake!

I’m Back!

28 May

I’m back after another apparently long hiatus. I’m not a busy person, so why I’ve not found the time to post is beyond me.

Here’s my recent life in a nutshell:

  • Started playing softball with my work team again (took a two-year hiatus). The training must be coming in handy because I’m not as sore the day after as I used to be.
  • Went to Hoboken, New Jersey/New York City over the Memorial Day weekend. Will make a longer post and share pictures about that tonight (I hope).
  • For the first time in my employee’s history, they had to lay off workers. We lost four people while I was on vacation.
  • We were able to re-up for another 15 weeks with Weight Watchers at Work (you need a certain number of people for them even to come out). Weigh-in after the vacation is today. I’m not too concerned. I was down a couple pounds this morning, so I probably will have lost about 1 pound come weigh-in at Noon. (We did a LOT of walking, and sporadic eating, so I think that helped.)

So yeah, that’s me.

T-Minus 45 minutes…

16 Nov

…until I head to the airport for what is my sixth (and final) business trip of the year.

For those new to the blog, I work as a PR account executive for a marketing services agency in Brookfield, Wis. The client I work on manufactures pest management products, among other things, and today I am headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to attend structural fumigation school (yes, you can laugh).


The upside to this, of course, is that today in Milwaukee it is 35 degrees. At this moment in Fort Lauderdale, it’s a magical 69 degrees. I’ll be there until Friday morning, with each day starting at 7:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. my time), so I expect to be nearly comatose by the time I leave on Friday (I don’t sleep well when I’m out of town, especially when I’m in the eastern U.S. time zone). At least I get that hour back when I come home.

I am charged with taking pictures and video, some of which I’ll be sure to post for entertainment and educational purposes. :p

Hope you all have a good week!

Packers @ Bucs, 9/28/08, Here I Come!

14 Jul

I just booked a flight to Tampa to see my friend Marnie; we’re planning to go to the Packer/Buccaneers game and cheer on the new QB for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers (note: buy an A. Rodgers jersey before the game). We’ve wanted to do this ever since she moved to Tampa, and I’m so excited that we’re finally going to do it.

The best part of the trip? My plane ticket cost me $10.

God, I love frequent flyer miles.

Off to watch the Home Run Derby!

Lesson Learned

25 Jun

I had an appointment with my personal trainer last night (the first time I truly worked out in 2 weeks because of traveling for work) and for fun/information I decided to bring my little measurement book with me (I try to have her measure me about once a month).

This is what I gained (or lost, depending on how you look at it) in just two weeks of not working out (in addition to not having as much stamina to complete my workout as I previously did):

Hips: 1 inch
Thigh: 1 inch
Chest: 2.5 inches
Calf: 1/2 inch
Waist: 2 inches


I could even tell the difference when I did my abs and cardio. I think I have a hernia that flares up from time to time, particularly when I am doing ab work. Initially my trainer was “tricking” my abs into working out by doing nontraditional abdominal exercises. In the last several weeks we’ve been able to do actual crunches without any problems.

But not last night.

As we were finishing the last set of crunches, I felt that familiar fist twisting inside my abdomen, and immediately told her we needed to stop (I’d like to deal with this with exercise instead of a doctor and potential surgery). Obviously the regular workouts were helping this condition, so we’ve decided to go back to “fooling” my abs on Thursday and wait until it calms down a bit before we do actual crunches.

So basically, the lesson I’ve learned is: don’t stop working out for two weeks! I’ve done this before, but was never measuring myself, so I was never truly aware of what that amount of time off would do to my body. Now that I know, I’ll never do that again. Even if it’s just the two times a week with my trainer, I was seeing a huge benefit not on the scale, but with the tape measure.

I really do feel that I can use traveling as an excuse for why I haven’t worked out. Each day I was “working” from about 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. or later (I consider dinner with the client — while fun, because she’s really awesome — to be work), and I certainly was not going to work out that late at night and get all keyed up before bed. The only day on my trip when I was able to work out was this past Thursday, because the work portion of the day ended early (about 4 p.m.) and I was (thankfully) on my own the rest of the evening. So I went down to the hotel gym and walked/ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes.

The Final Countdown

19 Jun

The hours are winding down to the final time in June that I get on a plane to come home, and it can’t come too soon. My suitcase is (sloppily) packed,

except for my toiletries, for two reasons: I need them tomorrow, and I hate to disturb the lovely way in which the cleaning staff laid them out for me.

My hair is freshly washed,

and I watched a cross-dresser confess to murder in H-D on “CSI.”

I also took a shot at taking a couple more pictures: one of the funky lamp, and one of the cobalt blue bottle of “Le Bleu Premium Ultra Pure Water.”

I’m now going to comb out my hair and shut this party down. Night night!