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Highlights from St. Maarten

By employment, partying like a rock star, pineapples and palm trees, ruling at life, take me away, travel, tropical islands 11 Comments


Let me preface these photos by saying that it’s pretty amazing to actually work for a company that appreciates and recognizes employees for working hard. Most companies only invite sales reps who’ve met their goals for the year on club trips, but my company goes above and beyond to reward support staff, management and star performers by letting us join them on these trips. (Which is just one of the reasons we’re listed as one of the best companies to work for in Virginia this year).

Last summer, I received the “Big Mike” award for my dedication to a monstrosity of a proposal I managed that we had just submitted, plus my contribution to our becoming ISO 9001:2008 certified in the spring, and my willingness to help anyone with just about anything at work (like streamlining the way our sales reps communicate with our warehouse personnel. As a result, I won this trip for two to St. Maarten — all expenses paid at the beautiful Westin Dawn Beach resort with an amazing group of people.

We’ve come a long way from pointless work days at TranSystems, wasting away the time and waiting for something exciting to happen. But, that’s besides the point. Let’s get to the good stuff. ADS Club Trip 2011. St. Maarten. A hundred of my favorite co-workers and our guests. Go.


















































This crazy trip has got me feelin’: refreshed
And I’m singin’ along to: Mi Se La – Ralph Thamar

In love and afraid of commitment (not what you think)

By california, travel 5 Comments

I’m in love with San Diego. Southern California is absolutely beautiful. It’s perfect here. The weather is gorgeous, palm trees line the streets, the sun sets over the ocean, and the mountains and cliffs just east of the shores are amazing. I wish I were living here.

Has anyone noticed my decision-making dilemma? I can’t make a decision and stick with it for more than a week. Let us review just a few of the decisions I’ve made and failed to follow through with in the past year:

Move to San Diego
Move to Hawaii
Move back to Blacksburg
Stay in school for an extra year
Go to grad school for Communications
Go to grad school for an MBA
Work as a subsitute teacher in Wall for some extra cash
Wait tables in Wall while I search for a job
Pursue a career in the hospitality industry
Pursue a career in public relations
Visit Jamie in Florida
Apply to law school
Move to Richmond
Move back to southwestern Virginia to manage a Beamer’s
Work at Joe McAuliffe Training Systems

The only decisions I have managed to stick with are these:

Move home for the summer
Discontinue dating/escapades with boys
Apply to Navy Officer Candidate School
Visit Joelle in California

Here is the decision I am currently faced with:

Move to San Diego v. Move to Las Vegas

Since I am living on dwindling funds, I have to make a decision soon before I end up stuck in New Jersey working until I have enough saved up again to make the first month’s payment on an apartment somewhere.

Surely my decision-making skills have been daunted by the uncertainty stemming from my Navy application. Of course I am keeping my fingers crossed in the hopes that I get accepted, but the wait is driving me crazy. I know I want to get out of New Jersey, and I know I want to be somewhere warm. However, I have no idea how long I’ll be living wherever I go, how much stuff I should move with me, or what kind of job I should find when I get there.

This all started with my three-mile run at Newport Back Bay the other day, but it was our day-trip to San Diego yesterday that really tampered with my decision to move to Las Vegas. Who would want to go live in the desert when they could reside in a place so beautiful? Driving down the 405, seeing the Pacific Ocean on the right and the Santa Ana Mountains on the left was exhilarating. We spent the morning in Seaport Village walking in and out of quaint little shops along the San Diego Bay. The USS Midway had pulled into its new permanent location earlier yesterday morning (it’s being turned into a museum), and we were able to walk around it and take pictures. We had lunch at Buster’s Beach House, where I ordered the Hawaiian Rice Bowl and ate it with chopsticks.

Later, we crossed the bridge onto Coronado Island and took pictures of the San Diego skyline across the bay. We made our way up the coast to Point Loma to watch the sun set, and then headed up to Mission Beach and Pacific Beach for some shopping and dinner. It was an awesome day.

I spent part of today looking for roommates and jobs in San Diego. I know my flight home is on Tuesday, but I can postpone it for $25. There’s a car-rental place in Newport Beach, and I have enough clothes to get me through a few more days. I know I must sound crazy, but San Diego is a beautiful city – and the aircraft carriers in the bay definitely give it extra points in my book. Joelle and I watched the sun set last night from Point Loma. The vivid colors, the waves, the surfers, and the cliffs – it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Imagine doing that every night…

Leaving On A Jet Plane

By airplanes/airports, travel No Comments

Ok, it’s 4 a.m., I’m up, I’m dressed, I’m ready to go.

I finished up packing last night after watching an episode of “The O.C.” to get me pumped up for my five- to six-hour flight across the country. I caught up with Joelle for a few frantic minutes on the phone to make sure she remembered she’s gotta pick me up at 11:45 at the airport in Long Beach. I even got in a bit of quality time with Rob, who I haven’t seen in weeks, that involved him watching me pack. I think he was shocked by my ability to fit five days worth of clothing and shoes into two small Hawaiian-print Roxy bags – I was, too.

Since the trip up to JFK (the closest airport jetBlue flies out of) is never an easy one, I’ve opted to leave the house at 4:30 to make it in time for my 8:30 flight. Getting 2.5 hours of shuteye last night should make sleeping on the plane easier than usual.

Last, and most importantly, I remembered to bring my “Top Gun” soundtrack CD with me — excellent listening choice for take-off and mid-flight excitement.

Off to Orange County

By airplanes/airports, california, travel 2 Comments

I’m going to California tomorrow!  I’m flying out of JFK and landing in Long Beach at 11:45 am.  My cousin Joelle is picking me up, and I’ll be staying at her place in Santa Ana until Tuesday.  I am SO excited.  We’re going to go shopping in Hollywood (with what’s left of my dwindling savings), and we’re even going to drive down to San Diego this weekend!  SO exciting!

Kristy’s in California right now, too, so I’ll probably meet up with her tomorrow night for dinner while Joelle is at work.  We need to take a picture together so I can put it in my cute “Aloha” picture frame she gave me for Christmas.

I just decided to take this trip two weeks ago on Christmas Eve.  I got my plane tickets from jetBlue for $99 each way.  I’m SO excited.  I’ll even get to check off one of my New Year’s resolutions – put my feet in the Pacific Ocean. This is going to be the best spur-of-the-moment trip EVER!