Summer Travels, part 1

0604 (2)
The car is loaded. The excitement is rising. Let’s go!

It’s nice to have the summer to travel. For the past few years, I’ve spent most of the summer break driving around the US, visiting family, friends, and points of interest. I can be a workaholic during the school year, so it’s good to get away and clear my mind for awhile. Recharging the gray matter for the new school year is invaluable.

I’ll load up the car in mid-May and head out for a few months. The first major destination is, of course, the annual HAPS conference. I get to spend a week with about 500 friends and colleagues, sharing ideas and stories. These can really get the creative juices flowing during the coming travels. From there, my travels aim towards family, friends, and some specific destinations. I’ll take my bicycle and golf clubs along, as well as my pub-hunting journal. Searching for brewpubs is a great way to find hidden gems in communities, such as bicycle and hiking trails, golf courses, local museums, and so forth.

HAPS 2013 Annual Conference in Las Vegas!
HAPS 2013 Annual Conference in Las Vegas!

I also try to find HAPSters along the way. It’s neat to spend times with HAPS colleagues away from the conference. Seeing them in their native environment is eye-opening into the minds of my colleagues and friends.

As an example, this summer’s conference was in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I attended a number of interesting seminars and workshops, had innumerable discussions with attendees about so many different topics, and networked with people in order to continue many of these discussions after the conference ended (see what you miss by not attending?). Serving as chief bartender in the President’s Suite for a week allowed me to converse with colleagues about a number of topics, both related to our work and not.  And as the current President-Elect, I am going to need that experience in the President’s Suite!

Chester (3)
Chester with casts just before the Achilles separation.

After the conference, I headed west to California, Oregon, and Washington. I drove through national parks, visited colleges, found a few brewpubs, and got in some good exercise. HAPS members Mark Bolke and John Martin – in Vancouver, Washington – say hi to everyone. In Seattle, I visited family, including Chester who just entered this world in March! Like me and his mother, Chester was born with club feet. It was fascinating to learn how treatment plans have progressed from when I was a little one. Surgeon Vincent Mosca is doing amazing work, including an Achilles’ tendon separation when Chester was only 12 weeks old! I was awe-struck to hear about the procedures and how well Chester is responding. Go, little guy!

At that point, I was only 2 weeks into the summer’s 10-week journey. In my next blog, I’ll share with you my adventures in Montana, Minnesota, and points beyond. May this summer allow your mind to wander.

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