Road trip!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles.”

On my own to one destination across the country, I would likely opt for an airplane as I did for my recent NYC weekend trip. It made sense to keep the travel as concise as possible on a relatively short visit with my Brother and his girlfriend, especially with the real possibility of crazy rain or snow between New York and Texas. Also, for this reason, I fly nonstop, as I don’t which to be stranded at an in-between spot due to bad weather somewhere else.

However, I see the value of a road trip, especially with someone you love AND get along with. this very important when you are driving through the middle of nowhere confined to an enclosed space! Boyfriend and I have taken many road trips, some for fun but also for family reasons and moving to Texas.  Also, it is important to like driving because the trip will not enjoyable if driving is a chore. Taking periodic breaks helps.

Two of our road trips lasted about two weeks and involved multiple states. The Southern Road Trip took us to Louisville, KY;  Lynchburg, TN; Atlanta, GA, Hattiesburg, MS; New Orleans, LA; Houston, TX; San Antonio, TX; and Austin, TX before we headed home. That road trip taught me lessons about planning with friends you haven’t seen in years and involving them integral parts of your trips because this trip should have included Columbus, MS and didn’t because we left Hattiesburg unexpectedly and kept going. The details need a post of their own, enough said. The Mountain Time Zone Road Trip took us to Colorado State University/Fort Collins, CO; The Royal Gorge/Canon City, CO; Billy The Kid/Fort Sumner, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Moab, Arches National Park/ Moab, UT; Utah State University/Antelope Island/Salt Lake City/Ogden/Logan, UT; Bear lake and Idaho State University/Pocatello, ID; Grand Tetons National Park/Jackson, WY; and South Dakota State University/Brookings, SD. Whew!

Two months later, we took a short trip around the Midwest to Mankato, Minneapolis, and Duluth, MN and to Winona, WI. The Mountain Time Zone and the Midwest trips were taken to help Boyfriend and I determine to where we wanted to move but we chose the Great State of Texas over the rest for many reasons. If we had not driven to and around some of these destinations, we have missed out on some really cool things and also the things that would help factor into the decisions we made.

I like having a semi-structured plan on our road trips with room to add destinations we hear about or to re-route if needed, which is easier to do driving than it is with coordinating flights to multiple locations. Boyfriend is very good with a map and he has navigated us through a good portion of our American adventures.  In fact, we have only been lost using printed directions from MapQuest and Google. So much for technology!

We technically took a road time this past summer but it was just to the Chicago area and back to Texas due to Boyfriend’s mother’s death and for him to tie us loose ends. I only hope we can plan another fun road trip for summer 2016, but I know we plan to take a few short trips around Texas to state parks or to Fredericksburg.  We have only lived in Texas for a little more than two years and there is much left to explore!

How do you like to travel?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

New adventure started…

Today was the first day of my new job. Most of the day was agency orientation, but I did get to meet with my new boss for an overview of the program, my duties, and a project with which I will likely get to assist. I met several of my new co-workers who were eager to answer questions and give me information. I also enjoyed meeting other new people with the agency in other departments with whom I may cross paths in the future.

So far, I have a good feeling about the job. I just may need a magic carpet to get there in the morning, as a little fog created a delay and I fear for the thunderstorms predicted for the overnight and early morning.

Any ideas for how to make an hour long commute in traffic go by pleasantly, such as specific podcasts or books on cd?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

Downtime and recovery…

I returned from NYC late 11/09/15 from a great trip to see Brother and his girlfriend, which was action-packed. I spent a little time editing pictures but mostly hanging out with Boyfriend before he goes to work and resting. Vacations can be fun but physically demanding.Walking around the sites of New York City was very enjoyable but left me exhausted and sore, though in better shape from all the exercise I got. I saw many places I had not on the previous visits to NYC, and I will soon be posting pictures and more details…

This is my “downtime” week, the week between my last job and my new job. I have tried to utilize the time to do things I wouldn’t be able to do during the day, such as running errands, browsing shops, blogging, and getting a massage. It is already Thursday, and I am asking myself where the time is going, but being at home and recovering from my recent adventure has been good. It’s been nice to just sit in the comfy chair and read or snuggle with the furry child Boo. I am excited about the new job and ready for the challenges ahead but want to make sure that I relax and keep from being too busy so I can start next week feeling prepared and fresh. I launch into my 10 hour days/ 4 day workweek on 11/16, and I will be attending multiple trainings around Texas in the coming months. It will b a great opportunity to learn new things and improve my skills as a case manager.

I started thinking about all the things I could do with this week of free time, and realized that it is not really “downtime” if I don’t actually slow down. I am trying to be mindful while enjoying these few days, and I think I am doing well so far.

What do you do with your “downtime” to rest, recover and prepare for new adventures?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

Time to transition…

Today was my last day at work. I have been preparing for a week now, getting rid of old papers, neatening up my cubicle, and making sure I have all of my uniforms and other bits and pieces to return. It seems like I have been leaving for quite awhile but it’s really just two weeks since I gave my notice.

courtesy of palomaironique/Clip Art
Courtesy of palomaironique/Clip Art

I have been wearing “real” clothes for the past three days and mostly staying in the office to finish documentation and make a few notification phone calls. I was blown away by the kind words from clients, some of whom I have worked with for the better part of a year. One in particular called me today to talk one last time… she was my favorite, though you are never supposed to say that. She is a disabled women in her 60’s with a big smile and a warm spirit. She told me that I was a great worker and that people like me move up on move on within her company or get better positions elsewhere, and that employers expect that. Oddly enough, I was contact about the position I recently accepted with another agency but which I applied and interviewed for a few months ago. While I feel a bit sad that she will no longer be my client, I learned from her never give up attitude and feel better knowing that someone I helped is truly happy for me. We touched each others lives, and I will remember her always.

Courtesy of GDJ/Clip Art
Courtesy of GDJ/Clip Art

I feel like I am going in the right direction and I am happy to have tied up my loose ends in a professional manner. While I feel that my now former agency could do a few things different, I realize that there are things I could have done differently, too. I could have been a bit more willing to see others point of view, and I could have spoken up regarding issues with direct co-workers. I later found out that a specific person who was repeatedly bossy and rude to me was triangulating people in our program and was feeding information to the boss which made her look good and others, including me bad. This person was, ultimately a bully, and I was happy to gently mention the person (without the name but the boss will be able to figure it out) in an employment exit questionnaire. I feel good about how things were left with me, the management and everyone but the nameless person, who is on leave. I will reach out periodically, partially to keep in touch and partially because you never know when you need a contact, or a reference, or what life will throw your way. I am looking forward to my new job, which I start in a week and a half, and to my mini-break. NYC, here I come!