Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Business Trip

Business trips are not something I do often. I have probably taken about four in the past two years. So, now I'm on another one. I suppose it is time.

I have been planning my research trip to Iowa and Illinois, just not getting it together, for several months now. I really wanted to go in the spring when the weather would be mild, but, just didn't make it happen. Part of the reason is that I have been attempting to make contact with family in Illinois, hoping for contacts before hitting the road. Establishing these contacts, oddly enough, hasn't been happening "overnight".

I have now been uncovering living members of Red's family, slowly, but by the time I had, the weather began to change. Summer arrived and so did heat and humidity in the Mid-West. Being a California girl, I decided I should push the trip out to the Fall when the weather will once again be mild.

Once I made that decision, I was asked to take this trip. So now, here I am in Mobile, AL and Pensacola, FL. It has been hot, warm and humid, and has been raining off and on since I arrived. Luckily cars and buildings have really good air conditioning, so the warm, humid, balmy weather is only felt when leaving a building for the car and visa verse.

I arrived in Mobile, AL on a Sunday night. When I walked out of the airport, I gasped. It was hot and humid and after 8 PM. That is NOT normal where I come from. The following day, I went to lunch with some of the people from the office and on our way back to work we saw two guys throwing blows on the divider between the highway and the service road! I couldn't believe what I was seeing!

I stayed at the Quality Inn in Mobile. There is one elevator in the place and someone dropped a piece of birthday cake in the elevator, picked it up but left tons of icing on the elevator floor. This was my first night there. The icing was still there Monday morning, but was finally cleaned up by the time I got back Monday night. Monday night was a late work night, so one of the managers decided to order pizza. I asked for a veggie pizza with no cheese. The pizza arrived and I got a pizza crust with sauce and no veggies. OK.

Wednesday night I needed to head down to Pensacola for a few days. Had to tough it out staying at the Hilton on the gulf. I had the most amazing view.

I ended up spending a week there and returned to Mobile this past Wednesday, back to the Quality Inn where my view isn't so grand; it's the Econo Lodge and the newly paved parking lot. Since being back in Mobile, I had lunch at LuLu's in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Jimmy Buffett's sister, Lucy, owns it. It was a busy place. Had a yummy salad and unsweetened iced tea.

Today, I went to a pretty cool store with a fun co-worker for a quick shopping trip. I saw the coolest T-shirts that I have never seen before. Fun designs screened on nice cotton. The line is called "Life is Good". I loved the whimsical designs and how these guys that started it are making a living doing something they love.

After hosting a short training course for a few new employees, I ran to Target to pick up the Netbook I've been eyeing since June when I attended a Genealogy convention. I couldn't believe it was on sale and selling for a reduction of $50! So, I got to Target and they were sold out and wouldn't give me a rain check. I just hope the sale will still be on tomorrow when I get home so I can pick it up and the sale price.

I ended my day and my trip with a fun dinner with some of the ladies from the office. We went to a fun place in the old downtown part of Mobile. It was quite pretty there. A nice mix of old and new, without the new being overpowering.

My time here has pretty much been non-stop work, but I did get to oh so briefly play tourist. I do like going to places where the lifestyle is so opposite of what I'm used to and I did have fun with my co-workers. I have missed sleeping in my own bed and I have really missed my cats! I can't wait to see them. With the majority of the past two weeks being pretty much consumed by work, my sketchbooks that came here with me were pretty much ignored. The other thing pretty much ignored, was my search for my grandmother, Lola. I did spend a little time working on my family tree last night. A "little time" turned into a good hour and a half. As tired as I was, I couldn't pull myself away from it. I look forward to getting home and getting back on that search.

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