Coming This Week: July 24th – 30th

I actually have no idea where we will be this week.  We are starting the week still at home with my folks and then heading back to Detroit.  I am certain that there will be some travel and adventure to have but I don’t know what that will be.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

Song of the Week: Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men

Week in Review:  Last week I mentioned that we were at a pretty cool festival in Indiana, it was the Three Rivers Festival.  There were a number of unique “happenings”, the actual festival is spread out in different area parks.  Each location has a bit of a focus, we were near the carnival and not far from Junk Food Alley.  There were concerts, car shows, craft shows, and raft races.  Homemade boats sponsored by local businesses raced on one of the rivers, but to add a little fun many had water cannons and balloons.  We stayed and watched the race, witnessing battles between spectators and the teams.  So you can either row to win or swerve close to shore and bombard the crowds.  It was awesome. Every festival should do this.  We spend most of last week with my folks, helping out while my dad is recovering from surgery.

Fun Photo of the Week:

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The Finish Line

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For the last three years I have been taking courses from Southern New Hampshire University in pursuit of a Masters Degree in Marketing. While this probably should have been motivation to blog more, I found that there would be weeks pass by without the desire to share. Now there are certainly people who got through programs like mine with a heavier work and personal load I don’t feel the need to compare myself with others. I didn’t go down this path to find a new job or get a raise, nope I just wanted this. More than 10 years ago I graduates from Western Illinois University with a B.A. in Communications, yup I have a degree in talking. While I love my alma mater by no stretch of the imagination did I put in much effort, C’s get degrees.

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So this time it meant more, I was still paying for my undergrad student loans but I am happy in my career. However there was just something missing, while I am good at my job I knew I could be better. Josh and I had discussed years ago that to be a more dynamic team one of us needed to have an advanced degree, one round of ro-sham-bo later and it was on me. I took some time to find that right program for me. I work full-time and a very unusual job at that, my hours are anything but 9-5. I needed a place that would let me do it at my own pace and possibly take time off, there are times when we launch a new program that there is little time for anything but work and sleep. This is how I found SNHU, I did call after seeing commercials but the conversations with my admissions advisor sealed the deal, they would be my university.

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It’s been three years and MANY late nights cramming, you would think that after all this time I would not put things off. All the work and time did earn me a degree but that’s really what I see as secondary. There are so many projects and papers I worked on that opened my eyes to new avenues and ideas. Josh was a huge part of my progress, discussing ideas and pursuing things with me. We would spend hours talking about brands and different marketing techniques. We will never see peanut butter the same. It inspired in both of us a passion to do more in experiential marketing. Now we have debates about what a program could be doing, how we can make something better, or how we could us an idea in one the existing campaigns (you can bet we are looking at adding a Poke-element to all programs). I know that I look at every aspect of work differently now.

I also could not have done without all the people in my network. I can’t thank my family, friends, and co-workers for fielding all the random calls and emails. More than one time a passing conversation with a someone sparked an idea for a project or got me over a hump. My closest girlfriends were the frequent recipients of these random texts and calls. Oddly enough all of them are currently taking classes, following different paths. I felt so supported and encouraged. And I do miss it a little.

Adult Field Trip – Fredericksburg Texas

Texas is always good to us, allots us opportunity to visit with our family and all our rowdy friends. This past spring we set out to see San Antonio via an Adult Field Trip, while in the area Fredericksburg also made the list. Whereas San Antonio is full of historical sites and notable bars, Fredericksburg is all natural beauty and cultural gems. We once again started this AFT with a stop for lunch.

There is always something that makes a community unique, not all embrace it and create a sort of destination from it. Fredericksburg Texas or Fitzburg to some locals, is a flourishing German community in the heart of cowboy country. We have been lucky enough to spend a good deal of time in Ohio and have an affection for German beer gardens, well in Fredericksburg they are truly Biergartens, so we figured it was appropriate to find a lunch spot serving sausage and liters. Silver Creek fit the bill; a little bit Texas, a whole lotta German, and as I gather a little dash of what is Fredericksburg. They have a really lovely outdoor space where live music can be found most days and nights, a unique bar area, along with an actual restaurant space. The menu had plenty of light snacks and just the perfect listing of german fare. As for the beer menu we were able to choose between German brews, some area micros, and for the less adventurous there were domestics. Honestly this place has something for everyone. We chose very well, enjoying the beer, food, and a little music.

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There are a few choices in this area for your enrichment activity, one could spend a poor weather day indoors taking in the National Museum of the Pacific War. We did consider this but the day was absolutely stunning and a hike at one of the many area state parks won out. It was off to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area for us. We do most of our trail miles on mountain or forest paths, dessert and prairie trekking is always unique but big ol’ rock domes are something to see. What is more fun than scrambling up rocks and climbing around openings to see who will go into the crack and crevice? It was a great way to spend a few hours but alas we became a bit, cough couch, parched.

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The plan had been to take the scenic route back “home” and find a winery to stop at on the way. Honestly this is getting easier to do just about everywhere across the country. While this would technically be called a detour, we actually did find a detour. While in route we figured out that we were in the same place as the cool folks of GoPetFriendly.com. Stopping for a brief visit is just the kind of treat you want on an AFT. It didn’t take long to find a winery and winner included a little lesson on the emerging Texas wine industry. While I wouldn’t say that Kerrville Hills Winery is some hidden gem, it was a lovely place. The wines are still made with mostly imported (outside of Texas) grapes but that is changing. This large facility has been built up in anticipation of some interesting prospective growth. According to the proprietor, the soil in this part of Texas (and others) is quite similar to regions in France, allowing vineyards here to establish new growths of some unique varietals. Will be interesting to see how this industry develops over the next 10 years.

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Like many of our other Texas AFTs we were joined by a good friend, Scott is always up for adventure and his work schedule often allows flexibility to come play with us. This trip is a great example of creating an interning and fun day in any area.

SCOTT!!

SCOTT!!

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

Coming This Week: July 17th – 23rd

This being summer and our full-time tour being on hiatus, we are getting the opportunity to work with a bunch of different programs.  This week we will touch two tours before heading home for a mini-vacation.  I can say that I know where we will be this week but not next.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

Song of the Week: Fire and the Flood – Vance Joy

 

Week in Review: Well we spent the weekend (and part of the week) in Fort Wayne, IN.  This was an opportunity to learn a program our company has for Sprint, a bit related to the one we work most of the year.  I have to admit that we both had some preconceived notions about the area and boy were we wrong.  The downtown area is wonderful, more than a few interesting restaurants.  Two really stuck out and warranted multiple visits.  A little place called Dash-In had an interesting menu with creative items like a pesto grilled cheese and only microbrews from the bar.  The real gem was a nicer place called Club Soda, picking entrees was a challenge due to the entire menu was amazing.  The real feature of this place is that all the steaks were Iowa raised.  When it comes to fine dining we can be a bit picky buy Club Soda passed that test (soft butter and black napkins, both a sign that staff and management are attentive and don’t skip details).  This was certainly nothing like expected and I know that we will both not pass on an opportunity to come back.  The actual festival we were at would rival many State Fairs in the attendance and size.

Fun Photo of the Week:

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