There is no place like home. I was gone for eight days on a business trip with a weekend of fun included. The trip started off great when I was bumped to first class and a studio room at the hotel, Avia. I cannot rave enough about this place and look, they have a location in The Woodlands. Its modern (which isn't me) and fabulous - free computers with TV monitors. Interesting design details. The room is very well planned and elegant. I found myself comparing the subsequent hotels to it. The business worked out very well also. I did a presentation on Worker's Compensation (oh, fuN!) and we took a tour of the Port of Los Angeles and cleaned up Cabrillo beach as a community service project. Let me tell you - that is tough duty picking up cigarette butts (I was imagining large handfuls of trash) and traipsing through the sand in jeans (work-appropriate) gear. I mean, let's face it, are you going to get in a swimsuit around co-workers? No, think not. It was still a fun afternoon (we got to tour the aquarium and touch sea life - see photo) and a fabulous dinner at Trump National golf course. Our host asked an interesting question - what was your favorite concert? So fun to hear the answers and reminisce also. I asked the same question at a dinner the following week and talked to a guy who saw the Beatles in Toronto in 1964.
On Friday I headed over to Vancouver for the weekend and was blessed again with pristine weather. If you've never been to VC, you really should go in this lifetime. It is so clean, weather is fabulous, the people are nice all the time and there is so much to see and do. Okay, let me qualify that - the homeless people cuss you out when you don't give them money, serious.ly We went to Granville Island, Gastown and Stanley Park, shopped on Robson, saw the library (an architectural gem). On Sunday we headed up to Whistler for 3 days of meetings. Yeah, I know. On Monday we toured the area and saw the Olympic venues, which made me wish I had watched the Olympics. We saw the bobsled/luge track, the ski jump and the biathlon track. We took a gondola up to Blackcomb and peak to peak gondola across to Whistler mountain and then down on a chair lift. Yes, I was pushed through my fear of heights. It is so quiet you can hear the wind and we saw a bear on the way down. Payday. After the meetings on Tuesday we enjoyed an adult beverage and watched this entertainment. What a different world. We met a 35 year old French guy from Japan who was spending 5 days riding the mountain. I loved seeing the passion in these guys, doing what they love. You could feel it when they rode through an S curve - how natural it felt to them and how much they loved it. The meetings in Whistler were also great and we (meaning the operators who do all the work) won a safety award with our group. I was proud. With all that being said, I can tell you it felt so good to get back home, yes, to the Houston heat and cuddle with my pups and be at home. I finished 3 different projects last night and went to bed at 3 am! Yikers. Still feel good today and hope to finish a couple of large projects - a blackboard tray, another printer block mirror and a vintage page wreath. Here's hoping!