In the last thirty days, I've spent about eighteen of them on three trips to both coasts.
First, I went to Orlando, Florida, to work at my employer's convention for its independent distributors. I've been working in this weird nutritional-supplement/multilevel-marketing industry for almost six years now, and this was the most enjoyable convention I've attended yet. It was a smaller group than usual, and it took place at Disney World, with some help from Disney to make it more entertaining. I spent nearly all my time in the convention center, except for one evening at the Epcot Center, where I walked around a little and rode two rides. I had to do a lot of writing and reporting, but I enjoyed myself more than I expected.
Then I flew to Orange County, California, where my family was awaiting me at our timeshare condo in Newport Beach. This Marriott resort was new and very lovely, with a large two-bedroom condo for our use, a beautiful ocean view, and a phenomenal swimming pool area. I made everyone drive with me on a three-hour tour to my childhood homes in Long Beach, Torrance, and Rancho Palos Verdes, and the kids all complained about how boring it was, though my wife Ann was a better sport. We alternated days between visiting theme parks and relaxing at the condo and beach. We hit Disneyland, Sea World, and Legoland, and we played in the sand and surf at Laguna Beach. While kids can be a hassle sometimes, overall it went very well, even though I did have to take my pregnant wife to the emergency room one night for cramps/contractions.
After only a week at home, I took off for a week in New York City, my favorite place to visit. The city just really captures my imagination and fascinates me at every turn. I was attending a magazine conference on my employer's dime, which gave me a few practical ideas but made me realize anew how unfocused and unambitious I am when it comes to my professional career; I've just sort of taken what comes, and I tend to do the minimum to maintain my job, rather than advance up the management ladder. What I really enjoyed was going to museums, restaurants, two Broadway shows ("Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "The Producers"), movies, a Spoon concert, and more. Plus, I just love walking around and looking at the architecture, people, businesses, etc. I wish I had seen a serious drama rather than two fluffy musicals--next time, I resolve to see a play rather than a cheesy musical. This was my ninth time to NYC and by far my longest, most favorite trip, and I enjoyed hanging out with my brother Jeff and cousin Brian, who both live there. Ever since I can remember, I've longed to live in NYC, but I'm finally getting to the point where I can say I'd rather just visit, since I don't have the professional ambition or political skills to flourish at any corporation that could pay me enough to afford to live there reasonably comfortably.
Anyway, that's quite enough travel for me, and I'd be fine not to go on another trip for about a year. My ideal would be to fly out twice a year, and I hope to get back to New York again within another year or two, preferably with my sweetie pie next time. I hope someday to visit Europe for my first time, and I'd love to do some more travel in Asia. During my travels this past month, I switched planes in Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Cincinatti, so I feel like I've really touched down at points all over this nation. Due to delays at La Guardia, I had to spend an extra night in a Holiday Inn near the Cincinnatti airport. It's hard to imagine that some people do this much traveling on a routine, ongoing basis.