The past few weeks have been filled with airports, flight delays, unhealthy meals, bus rides, subways, cab drivers and many cities. The past few weeks have also been filled with new sights, tastes, experiences and friends. My favorite part of the past few weeks was meeting tons of new people, my second favorite part was the food, and believe me, it shows.
The travel marathon started in early March with a trip to Chicago, followed by Atlanta, then Bahamas, back to Chicago, Atlanta again, Nashville, Miami for 3 days, then Dallas, next was Toronto, then there was Philly, home for two days, off to New York, finally Virginia Beach and now on my way home. I now have the moral authority to say I don’t want a job that requires 75% travel…it would drive me to insanity.
Asides from accruing miles, travel offers great benefits. Meeting people from different walks of life broadens our perspectives of the world, sparks our curiosity for the unknown and in my case makes for great stories. The following is a brief summary of what I learned/did/ate over the past 7 weeks.
Chicago: always great to visit the windy city. It’s one of my favorite places not only because of its beautiful downtown and skyline but also because one of my best friends lives there…Basia 🙂 During this visit Basia arranged for my beloved Garrett and I to take a private flight to see Chicago’s skyline from 1,000 feet above ground. It was awesome! We met Damian, a super cool, interesting, smart and handsome engineer who enjoys flying as a pastime.
Atlanta: this was my second trip as an event planner and the first time I officially picked menus for a corporate event; sounds silly but it can be quite a feat considering the audience. This was a one day trip and what comes to mind was the staff I met at the Atlanta Marriott Gateway. It’s so nice to find friendly faces willing to share stories. The restaurant host was a very nice guy from Haiti who went to undergrad school with a very well known Colombian soccer player…he wasn’t famous at the time. On a side note, their fettuccini and shrimp dish is delicious.
Freeport, Grand Bahamas: this was by far one of the most eventful of my trips. I went to the wrong airport, cried my little eyes out thinking I would miss my flight. Ran to the right airport to find out my flight had been delayed…so I made it. The highlight of this trip was our shark dive. Garrett and I dove with world renowned Cristina Zenato and witnessed her gift for shark handling in one the most amazing dives I have ever done. I had conch fritter and Bahama mammas on this trip 🙂
Chicago: got to see Basia again, and had a great variety of Southern food at Bub City, tons of ribs. The food was great! I went off to work and Basia went off to Thailand for a much deserved vacation.
Nashville: one of the best trips of the season. Garrett and I strolled through Nashvegas, explored some cities south of Nashville and made one of the most defining decisions we’ve made so far while being there. This decision involves a change in zip codes and I am very excited about it. There is a very fun story about this trip which I intend to share at a later time as it calls for a blog post of its own.
Dallas: I got to see my cousin Ale 🙂 While in Dallas I faced a few first time experiences as an event planner. First time the hotel was not ready and first time one of our attendees got hurt. I still can’t figure out how one of our event participants managed to get a finger badly injured with an automatic paper towel dispenser!
Toronto: one of my favorite cities. Absolutely loved the vibe of the city and its people. I had a delicious Korean sandwich, can’t remember what it was called but the thought of it is making me hungry. The city was clean, green and friendly. Would definitely go back!
Philadelphia: well, in all fairness to Philly, I didn’t get to see anything other than the airport and the hotel. Both were ugly and run down though. On the bright side, I had my first long island ever at the Philly airport and I got to taste a very yummy Philly cheese stake.
New York: My first time in the big apple. Garrett planned this trip as a much needed getaway for both of us. I was at first taken aback by the dryness and sometimes rudeness of some people. I get it, everyone has a place to go and can’t stop to chat and smile at thousands of tourists, however, the unnecessary ‘get the f*** out of my way’ were not welcomed by any of us (speaking on behalf of the tourists). The ease of moving around the city was great; in no time I could tell where I was and actually took on the roll of navigator during our stay. Biggest highlight of the trip would be The Lion King. Wow! What a production! I am so glad we got to see it there. Times Square was fun…a bit overwhelming for the eye but definitely a place you must see during the day and at night, totally different experience. We ate so much in New York but my favorite meals were our Italian dinner and our Greek lunch…both fancy places 🙂 We made sure to visit Central Park and lay down to absorb the sights and sounds of the city. Oh, another big highlight was the Statue of Liberty. While the park is still closed for necessary repairs due to Hurricane Sandy, just seeing it from a distance as we took the ferry around Manhattan was enough to get me teary eyed. We saw Spiderman on Broadway too…nothing to it; too much singing and not enough action. In summary, great city, great food, loved Broadway, could do without rude people.
Virginia Beach: this was the portion of the trip I was really looking forward to. I got to see my little sister walk across the stage and receive her Master Degree at Regent University. We had a great time meeting some of the most interesting people I have met in a while. We visited Williamsburg and enjoyed the colonial streets some of the most important characters in our country’s history walked through. We had delicious Greek food and also got to taste interesting beer at the Birch, my personal favorite was Basil flavored…yum! Spending time with my sister was a real treat. My flight was delayed so many times I got to spend an extra night with her 🙂 I left Virginia with a bittersweet feeling…it’s so nice to see my sister turn into a beautiful professional, on the other hand, the children we once were are becoming tiny figures in a distant time and it makes me melancholic. She has been and will always be, my lifelong friend.
We are almost landing in Miami and I am now thinking about what the future holds…and I am not speaking of a long term future but rather the next few hours and days. My life is about to change and I am excited to the point of tears. My comfort and trust rest in knowing that God my Father, holds me dearly in the palm of his mighty hand. I am sure there will be many other stories to tell, places to see, people to meet and of course, food to eat.