Thursday, September 24, 2015

West Coast Vacation - The Big Build Up

Vacations are to working adults as Christmas is to small kids.  Sometimes it’s more about the anticipation than the event.  And the realization can be a letdown after the visualization.  Let’s hope not in this case.  We’ve certainly loaded this vacation with significance….

I haven’t taken a vacation all year.  I need to get away and unplug.
Mary has been stuck on the farm for three years without a lengthy trip away.  She really needs to get away and see something different.
We’ve started calling this vacation the “trip of a lifetime”.  Sounds like a setup for disappointment, doesn't it?
But we have as much fun, or more, planning trips as we do planning what we’d do with our lottery winnings.  This one got some extra attention.  The conversation went something like this: 
      “Let’s plan a driving trip up the west coast.” 
      "OK.  I think we can make it from LA to Vancouver in two weeks, don't you?" 
      “And let’s plan to stay in AirBnB’s all the way.  The quirkier the better!”
So that's what we're doing.  We started in Los Angeles and in two weeks will end in Vancouver.  We're going to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway in California and enjoy the scenery.  We're going to tour some wineries in Napa on bicycles.  We're going to visit Crater Lake in Oregon.  We're going to explore a bit of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.  We’re going to stay in some city apartments (probably not that quirky), but also in some places with intriguing names, like “The Secret Garden” and “The Writer’s Retreat”.  Also in a BlueBird bus that’s been converted to overnight lodging in, where else, Portland. 
And of course we're going to eat some great food and drink some great wine.
We busted our asses getting ready to leave.  I've said before that I wish I could maintain the level of activity I achieve in the week before a vacation.  I'm like a mad man, crossing stuff off my “to-do” list every day.  I surprisingly become a much better delegator.  (My staff may wish I'd just stay home!) 
Mary had a poster-sized calendar with a list of 20 things that needed done every day of the two weeks before we left.  Most of it got done.  (The other dynamic of getting ready for vacations is that you become crystal clear about your priorities.  Some stuff on the to-do list get reprioritized to be done after the vacation, meaning it may never get done at all if you shred the list before you leave.)
I talked to my staff, peers, and boss:  “I’m going away for two weeks.  I’m not going to read email.  I’m not going to call you.  I trust that you will make good decisions while I’m gone, and I won’t second-guess you when I return.”  Everyone said some variation of “Wow, I wish I could do that!”
Let’s see how it goes. 

1 comment: said...

This is awesome, Mike! Love seeing all the photos on facebook too. Can't wait to hear about your Air B-n-B experience - I've never done it.

David and Bonnie