I returned this week from my first real vacation in forever. Yes, ‘forever’ because I do not recall my last true vacation. My wife, daughter and I traveled to Ireland and the UK for two weeks. My daughter planned the trip of her parents’ lifetime to places we had only dreamed of visiting. The only caveat was that she would come along. Deal.
I never once looked at the itinerary which early on had annoyed my daughter, but for me that made every day a new surprise. I kept my cell phone on airplane mode for the entire trip. I did not check email even once. Everything about the trip was fabulous! All the sites visited and spending quality time with my family. There are stories I can share-but will not-about Irish pubs, Guinness pints, Stonehenge, Jane Austin’s home and Mr. Darcy, Roman baths, Winston Churchill’s War Room, seeing Hamlet performed at London’s Globe Theatre, and more.
Everywhere I went I saw and experienced many things that connected me back to GVR. There is a bartender at a vegetarian restaurant in Edinburg, Scotland who left his station to sit next to an unhappy customer who had a problem with her meal. He made it right. New meal, on the house. Superb customer service! There is an ‘Abuse will not be tolerated’ warning sign that sits behind the front desk manager at Heathrow Airport where you process Value Added Tax refunds. I can only imagine some past exchanges there were not so pleasant. I took a photo of the sign. At Raby Castle in Durham I took a nicely designed flyer used to solicit volunteers there, with the intent that I might borrow some things from it for GVR. At the British Museum, I joined others in fascination about Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker” and the Rosetta stone. Much to contemplate.
Having had the best holiday ever, I am already thinking of the next adventure. But for now, it’s back to work.
Here’s wishing everyone at GVR, a refreshing, enjoyable and mindful summer with friends and family.