A 12 Week Travel Odyssey Comes to a Glorious Conclusion; or, scratch one from “The Bucket List”

Back on September the 12th, I embarked on a tour to the Oregon Coast, highlighting the picturesque lighthouses and the wonderful seaside village of Newport.  I knew at the time, just from looking at the calendar, that the next 12 weeks were going to be busy.  They were.  Now that a pause in traveling has allowed time to reflect on the last three months, all I can say is, “wow.”  Here’s a recap…

From Oregon I made a quick trip to Kansas City to see my father, who is battling cancer.  Then back to Sacramento and off on a scouting trip to make final arrangements for our Paths of the Presidents tour and to explore some possible additions to The Lincoln Highway – Part II, slated for next summer.  Next was another scouting trip, this time for our Route 66 adventure next fall, finishing with a day of business meetings in Chicago.  After a day in the office, it was back on a plane, this time escorting the trip to visit the presidential libraries.  What a wonderful group we had and we learned much about our great country and our past leaders.

Back to KC to watch the first game of the World Series with dad on TV before taking off with our Real Hawaii group the first ten days of November.  It was an incredible trip and I hope you’ll consider joining us on this remarkable adventure when it is offered again in November of 2010 and 2011.  The night after I returned from Hawaii, I was back at the airport, flying to Klamath Falls to join a busload of Oregon tourism folks headed for the annual National Tour Association convention in Reno.  Since we do so much business in Oregon, it was a great chance to get some new ideas for next summer…and I did!  Watch for Organic Oregon, Just Newport and Mark’s Berry Special Weekend to be added to the schedule soon.  We also found the perfect destination for our annual Christmas Lights Mystery Tour in December of next year.  Not in Oregon though…

After six days of appointments and networking with our peers, it was back to Sacramento to pick up 34 travelers for our annual Thanksgiving in New York tour.  Awesome, as always, and the weather was kind to us.  We were even in the “audience” for The Early Show one morning.  (Yes, outside in the cold in the early morning, waving at the camera.)  From Reno, there was a speaking engagement in West Hollywood, then home again for a night in my own bed before more business meetings in Portland, Dec. 1-4.  Back to Sactown and off the next morning on the Mystery Tour, which took us to the Berkshires, the mansions of Newport and finally, to a spectacular Christmas with the Boston Pops concert on Friday night.

So now, high over the Sierra Nevada mountains, as we descend into Sacramento, there is a moment to look back on what might have been the busiest three months I can ever remember.  Two scouting trips, two business conventions, two visits to dad, Tour Director for four trips and a couple of speeches to tourism groups.  Not one cold, no H1N1 flu, no serious airline delays.  (I think I probably washed my hands at least 10 times a day.)  I estimate about 55,000 miles in total.  As Yakov Smirnoff likes to say, “What a country.”  From Honolulu to New York City, it was a grand adventure.

Five days home, then off to scout next year’s Christmas Lights Mystery tour. Christmas with dad and then (don’t tell anyone), a ten day vacation.  Not complaining, just sharing.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  It’s an incredible way to enjoy life’s journey.

So what does a man who takes people on vacation for a living do when he gets some down time?  He’s on the lookout for more great places to take you to, of course.

My special thanks to Ryan Quinn, who created this wonderful new web site, and served as a traveling companion for much of the last 12 weeks, as he learned about what makes this unique company tick, so he can take us gently down the technology road.  Thanks to my staff, who did all the work I wasn’t around to do.  And thanks to you, for reading this missive, for supporting Sports Leisure through the years, and for your friendship.  It’s been a great ride.  But maybe we could spread it out a little next time.  And so it goes…

One thought on “A 12 Week Travel Odyssey Comes to a Glorious Conclusion; or, scratch one from “The Bucket List””

  1. I think I finally found the correct place to write this comment! On the Oregon Coast trip with Mark and our dune buggy ride in Florence, OR–I was born and raised in Oregon but never have I felt more like an Oregon duck!

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