Last week I was out in Southern Cal and then San Fran and I remembered a little travel lesson that took me a while to learn: have some fun on the road. There’s very little that’s glamorous about traveling for work these days – and lots of things that are decidedly unglamorous – so it’s important, when possible, to mix in some good times with the responsibilities.
I’ve traveled for work for the better part of 20 years and up until recently found this lesson hard to do. First, I just didn’t know exactly how to do it. How do you pack for fun? And second, I was always feeling that Mommy Guilt – the one that drew me back home to do laundry or make dinner. The one that once got me to fly to LA in the morning, have a meeting, and catch the 1:30 p.m. flight home – the same day.
I’m over that now.
So, this week I met up with my former relationship manager, Donnie, for some fun in Laguna Beach. You may remember Donnie from a blog last summer. He was a little annoyed about that blog because I depicted him in a somewhat-less-than virile light. (I think we may have been handbag shopping on Rodeo Drive.) Well, Donnie is a California born and bred type and he knows all the good places to go. So we strolled around this old, hip, hot spot, dipped toes in the Pacific (I did – he didn’t) and then went looking for some wine.
My favorite wine is Cakebread and since it’s somewhat pricey I usually save it for when someone else is paying. Donnie was leaning towards a Sauvignon Blanc but I saw another white that I kinda wanted to try and convinced him to get it so I could taste it. It was called Bridesmaid. (Oh, dear, I’m thinking this doesn’t sound virile either.)
Point is – my 24 hours in Southern California included four prospective meetings and a visit with a good friend. We mixed some wine with the water.
When I got up to San Fran I also ventured outside of the 100% work zone and saw my old teammate up in Oakland. I’d never been to Oakland before and after he convinced me that he didn’t live anywhere near Fruitvale Station and no, I wouldn’t get beat up by a cop, I met Ronnie for what might best be described as “afternoon tea.”
Now that I’ve extoled the importance of having some fun while on a business trip, I lament that this week I will be in Boston on the very week that my (ridiculously smart) nephew will be graduating from Harvard Law School. And I’m not staying. Not for any of it. I have a lot of nice memories of seeing Nephie over the last 7 years when I’d have to go to Boston (he doesn’t venture out much….he did his BA at the same institution). But this week, I’m behind already and I can’t wiggle an overnight.
That’s a shame because I would love to see him as he dons his cap and gown and take his oath to “first, do no harm.” Oh, wait, that’s a medical degree. His probably goes the other way.
In any event, he’s going to be a fine lawyer – or pundit – or policy wonk or whatever he wants to be. And I’m sure I’ll see him on another trip. And, if you think I’m just trying to avoid a long graduation ceremony, let me assure you I will be front and center next weekend when my own little star graduates from college. I’ll save those feelings for another blog.