A Visit to Sam’s House

I’ve found myself on the road or in the air a lot lately, hence my absence.

My work brought me to Connecticut recently, to the fascinating city of Hartford. The Glimore Girls fan in me secretly hoped to drive past a place near enough that it could be Richard and Emily’s. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go by Yale.

However, we found ourselves with a couple of hours before we needed to be at the airport to head home. (We being my boss and I.) A sign on the highway answered the question, “How can we spend our extra time in Hartford?”

The Mark Twain House.

The attendant at the desk when we bought tickets for our tour asked how we heard about the house after marveling at Ohio driver’s licenses. When we told him the highway sign, he was silent a moment before nodding and remarking, “Glad to see old school advertising still works.”

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”

Mark Twain’s, rather Samuel Clemens’, house can only be viewed by guided tours. When we gathered with our tour group, the guide started talking and we were alerted that the fire alarm in the house was going off and we had to wait on the fire department.

“Great,” I thought. “We’re visiting on the day that Mark Twain’s house burns down.” Continue reading

A Sneaky Kind of Christmas and Trip to Frankenmuth

Maybe it’s the fact that the last several weeks have been hovering in the 50 degree range, or that we’ve been crazy busy, it just seems that Christmas snuck up on us.

We waited until the last minute to finish getting gifts for people. Last night I finished wrapping them. I guess we’re ready for Christmas though.

We did have the opportunity to get a little more in the Christmas spirit by visiting Frankenmuth, Michigan with my mom and her husband.

Frankenmuth is known for being Christmas Central. We started our visit with a trip to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the store that has everything Christmas. They seriously have ornaments for everything.

The entire town is Bavarian themed. I love the look and feel of the whole town. After Bronner’s we walked up and down the main street. We checked out several different shops featuring fudge, cheese, taffy, quilts, toys and clocks.

Making fudge

Herman the German is a statue who serves fudge in a shop

The clock shop was one of my favorite places to visit. They had intricate Black Forest cuckoo clocks and lovely grandfather clocks.

We wrapped up the day with dinner at the Bavarian Inn. The place was incredibly charming, the service was great and the food was excellent. The Frankenmuth chicken was the highlight and their potato puffs were addictive.

Some of the things we weren’t able to check out on this trip but would like to see in the future were Michigan’s oldest brewery and the Frankenmuth distillery.

Where’s the most Christmasy place you’ve ever been?

(Most of the pictures in the post are Brad’s)

I Went to Vegas and Left My Husband Home

That title sounds scandalous, doesn’t it? Every word is true though.

During the last week of September we moved into the house on Friday and Saturday, tried to unpack as much as possible on Sunday and early Monday morning, I got on a plane to Las Vegas and stayed there for three days.

When I was originally scheduled to fly to Vegas for a trade show, we were expecting our house to be finished in October, so I would have been back in time to move. Instead the move happened directly before my trip. As you may have figured out already, I was in Vegas for work. I think if the timing with our house had worked out differently, Brad may have come out with me. Regardless, it was my first time in Las Vegas and it was interesting.

I go to industrial trade shows for my clients periodically and often travel alone, though I’ve had luck ending up on flights with clients, work partners or the media people the we work with, I don’t normally run into friends or family. When I checked in on Facebook at the airport, showing I was headed to Las Vegas, I said which trade show I’d be attending. When my flight landed, I had a message from Brad’s aunt (in Seattle) that Brad’s uncle was on his way to the same show and had just landed! Small world! Continue reading

Bienvenido a Isla Mujeres

For our fourth anniversary, Brad and I decided to take a trip. Normally we like to cruise, but we wanted to 1.) do something different and 2.) force ourselves to relax.

Brad and a colleague were in New York visiting a client over the winter when it was extremely cold. Somehow that brought up the desire to be somewhere warm… like the Caribbean. His colleague recommended boutique hotel called Hotel Secreto (“secret hotel” if you didn’t figure out the translation) on Isla Mujeres near Cancun in Mexico. Come to find out the hotel came highly recommended by multiple people.

We found great airfare on Southwest right over our anniversary so we booked everything… before deciding to sell our house. The plan was to list our house for sale a week before vacation and then the realtor would be able to show it anytime while we were gone because by then the listing would have picked up interest. Little did we know that it would be sold by the time we left and a clock on us to get out of it. We actually looked into canceling or moving our trip with everything that was going on, but according to the cancellation policy, we would owe for it anyway. So might as well go!

I’m glad we did.

The Hotel Continue reading

Travel Fiasco Aside, Chicago was Great!

My mom commented that yesterday’s blog on my day-long attempt to get from Cleveland to Chicago sounded like “a series of unfortunate events.” Monday during the day was indeed rough, but I wasn’t kidding when I said Chicago didn’t disappoint!

It was a work trip for not one, but two trade shows (and two clients), but definitely incorporated fun as well. Here are some of the highlights:

  • I made it in time for my client’s party on Monday and their event went well!
  • I had a fantastic dinner with client group 1 at the Chicago Chop House.
  • My room at the Hyatt Regency (at McCormick) got upgraded to a king room on a high floor with fantastic views

    Lake Michigan to the right, city everywhere else

  • All of my meetings went well and my boss was able to cover the one that I missed due to travel trouble. Continue reading