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I’m not sure how to make sense out of our upcoming schedule so I put up new calendar pages.  Josh and I are going to help out on separate tours until the end of the year.  I will be mostly in Detroit, sometimes joining Josh.  I will probably be in Chicago often too.  Josh will be doing some miles this week he hits Houston and Auburn, AL.  However before we return to work there are some adventures yet to be had.  First of all I am going to Ohio to get some R&R and we are ending the week with a BANG!  We have tickets to the see USA Rugby play the New Zealand All Blacks at Soldier Field in Chicago.  We are also going to be seeing tons of friends from all over the country who are also going.

 

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

 

Week in Review: Last week was wonderful, we spent time off the road relaxing with family.  There was some time to watch a movie and the choice was Gone Girl, we have both read the book (all of Flynn’s actually).  We are in disagreement of this one.  I loved it, he thought it was long.  If you have not read the book you will love it, if you have it’s a tossup.

My mom made meatloaf "cupcakes" for me.  That is mashed potato frosting!!

My mom made meatloaf “cupcakes” for me. That is mashed potato frosting!!

 

Wordless Wednesday

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This week is the last week of event for our tour this year. They are going to take the tour down in probably February of next year. We will be spending this week in Silicon Valley before making our way back to Detroit. We are planning to stop and see family along the way.

 

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

 

Song of the week:

 

Week in Review: What’s not to love about California, the weather is amazing and we know people everywhere.  Not only did we get to watch football last Sunday with family but we also had dinner with an old client later in the week.  I wish I could say we did more but as this tour is closing we are pushing it really hard.  There are a handful of movies we hope to see over the next couple of weeks.

Just To Clarify

Last week I shared a little bit about what the company Josh and I work for does, MRA. This week I thought I might continue this series by dispelling some “rumors” about us.

This is old but I love it, we are still in this same tractor but with a different tour

This is old but I love it, we are still in this same tractor but with a different tour

  • While Josh does drive a truck, we are not Truck Drivers. Trucking a whole different profession from what we do in marketing events. To be part of a team with our firm you one of you must have a Class A CDL, Josh does. He has had once for many years, before college actually.   He worked as a truck driver for a spell and has also been a delivery driver, once again a different job than Over-the-Road trucking. Driving the truck, while important is such a tiny portion of our work responsibilities that we often brush over it. We are marketing people, tasked with making sure an event goes according to plan. That does mean we are responsible to getting the marketing vehicle to the location, parked (WAY different from that what OTR drivers deal with), setting up and the actual show. I don’t like it when someone calls us truck drivers, certainly not because I think that job is not important but it’s not what we do.

 

  • We live out of the truck, not in it. We are on the road about 11 months of the year, so whatever you want to have during that time you need to have with you. Unlike OTR drivers we don’t go home between loads. Our things, what little we have, are in the truck with us. Clothes, toys and the rest go with us. However we don’t sleep in the tractor. I have done that just once and there were extenuating circumstances at that. I hope never to repeat it. I have a friend who drives OTR and I see some of the places he bunkers down for the night at, I don’t know how he gets any rest sometimes. Moving around so much and repacking all the time does get old but having a bathroom is much more important. We have to be show ready, clean and usually is dress clothes for our events. Not gonna get that way at a truck stop.

 

  • We are homeless, by choice. Before taking tis job Josh and I lived in the Twin Cities and had a house. A place to both loved but after the first year on the road it started to be a burden. Not financially but when we had time off we felt obligated to go up to it instead of staying in Illinois with family. It took us a few years to sell it and we said that after it was gone if we felt like we needed a home base we would get something in Illinois. Not a day has gone by that either of us wishes for that. Having the freedom to holiday wherever is amazing. Just another reason why we are in the best place for us.

 

  • We are working not vacationing. I often see comments on the “Coming this week” posts about how we should enjoy our vacation or have a great trip. There are weeks that go by where we are putting in 60+ hours, yes I am in a new city but I often see nothing but what it out the doors of the trailer. We do strive to make the most of the places we go but often when a day off comes I just want to relax and go nowhere.

 

***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***

Welcome to California, this week we are in San Diego and Irving. Going to see a few friends while here as well. Next week we head north for even more sun.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

Song of the week: Footsteps by Pearl Jam, this week’s selection comes via my audiophile friend Guido.

Week in Review: Movie time, we went to see The Drop. It’s a slow moving film but very good and being as a theater with big leather recliners helped. Had we been in less comfortable seats it might be been irritatingly slow.

As predicted we were able to see some friends, a spot in Albuquerque gave us a wonderful couple of meals with our buddy Paige. We have not seen her in nearly 8 years, as travels have taken her all over the world too. Paige and I were both recruiters and models together back in the Twin Cities. Needless to say we have a plethora of interesting stories. We also stopped in Phoenix for dinner with my aunt. She is actually going home this weekend for a visit, I’m more than a little jealous.

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Wordless Wednesday

Kodachrome SP 2014 - ER (1 of 6)

What MRA Does

If you have been following us for a while or have read the About Page you might know that Josh and I work for a firm called MRA. With so many new followers I thought it was a good time to share a bit about the company. What we do for a living is unconventional so I figured it was time to run a few posts about our job. I’ll start with MRA.

We have been working for this Michigan based firm for going on seven years, all of that as field staff. MRA is a premier provider of experiential tour operations and equipment. They give clients with many options for self-contained marketing vehicles. They provide these services for a wide array of industries and uses. We usually work with educational based projects, which include many traveling museum exhibit project but also our current tour, which is a mobile classroom for a German firm. That is just us; the amount of industries MRA touches sometimes amazes me. I’m still not really explaining it.

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There are really two things we provide; help with brand issues and the equipment to get right in front on a consumer. Well what the heck does that mean? First of all we build, design and maintain self-contained marketing vehicles. MRA specializes in a double-expanding trailer with nearly 1000 sq ft of usable space. These are pulled by a custom semi-truck that has its own generator.

R&S TEXAS (2 of 6)

This is what Josh and I are with 99% of the time. This is the bulk of the fleet but my firm is innovative and now has a variety of units that serve the needs of customers that want something smaller but will create an impact.

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MRA provides design, staff, logistics and well all kinds of other untold services to aid their clients in creating an impactful marketing tour.

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That is where the second element comes in, branding help. We are here to help our clients with their brand issue, which means everything for correction to awareness. When we were on Library of Congress our job was to inform people of that massive available resources they had free access to. The LOC struggles with people not realizing how much they can get from the digital archives. Our current project is really fun for two marketing people like us; we get to help create a brand image. Rohde & Schwarz has not reached the point within the US where all of their potential consumers have an understanding of the products and services they provide, we get to help make that initial impact. For us that is exactly what we love doing. Fixing a brand image is what most folks like us do, but creating one is what we thrive on.

There are many firms that provide one or more services in the event marketing field but no one does it all and certainly not as well as MRA.

 

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