September 2010 Archives

Up to Day one of the WEF's

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Boy oh boy do I make the worst mistakes ever and most of them has to do with memory. Either I forget to bring something or I forget about something that I needed to do. This time, I forgot to put gas in the car after prepaying for it! Even worst, this happened in Starbuck, not even that far into the trip yet.

Ok, lets back it up before I forget that too. So my day down to the cities was a long one in which Johnson High School canceled on me because it was their coronation. The Highland Park visit was really good and productive though. The Powwow was the first ever that I have seen my line of student much longer than the Twin Cities campus's. Not that I'm complaining about it. So I head back to UMM at 8:30 and got to Starbuck around 11ish and my gas is about to run out. I went in, paid, went to use the restroom, bought a pack of cigarette, got out the door and took off. Yep, about 3 blocks into it I was wondering why the car was still beeping for gas. Then it hit me and I had to turn around went into the store, explained the situation and got my gas after enjoying a laugh with the cashier.

I really enjoyed my drive down to Fond Du Lac on Sunday. Problem was, I was super frustrated because the radio decided not to work anymore halfway into it. So I missed Adrian Peterson's 80-yard scamper into the end zone for a viking TOUCHDOWN! It's ok, I had Celine Dion and 2Pac as well as some old school Hmong music that did the trick. Not to mention energy drinks, o'yea lots of them.

My hotel in Fond Du Lac isn't all that impressive but when I came to Sheboygan, I was impressed. Somehow, they upgraded me to a spa suite which is really amazing and I'm looking forward to sitting in there to watch Monday Night Football tonight after the fair. I did get a chance to make my way down to the lake today which was only 5 minutes east of where my Hotel is located, that was sweet. On my way back I drove past a small shopping area and saw this grocery store called the "Piggly Wiggly" fresh market. I was so tempted to go in but I knew that with my impulsive behavior, I'm gonna end up buying random things. So I pulled in, took a picture of the front of the store, and drove off back to the hotel to dress and blog before the fair. Don't worry, I know it starts in half an hour, but it is only like 7 minutes from here. Anyways, until next time.

Pictures of 2009 Travels

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Sorry to disappoint but this is not another crazy Meng adventure. That will come soon enough, you all just wait.

So I'm preparing to get on the road again after a little more than a week's rest. This time I will be heading to the shores of Lake Michigan, land of the lake trouts and salmons. Of course I wish it was a fishing expedition instead, but nonetheless I will at least see the lake. I was clearing out the memory of my phone so that I can take new pictures. My camera got wet over the summer when we hit up on the beach down in Starbuck, so yep I will be taking pictures from my phone again.

It appears that it's going to be too much of a hassle to create an album here; hence I created an account with flickr and uploaded my travels there. I think you have to have an account there to see it, but who doesn't these days (Me, until today). Here is the link to it and I will be sure to include the link in other entries as well. These pix are from last year's travel which includes North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Saint Paul Minnesota. Enjoy!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mengher/

Chicago - First Run

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So finally the travel season came upon me and I have to be out on the road again. For the record, I love to fly but hate everything else that you have to go through before and after i.e. security check point, bags, possibly sending down materials and the such. It is just so much easier to drive and have everything be withing reach. Anyways, my flight to Chicago was scheduled to depart at 9:10 AM on a lovely Sunday Morning, which means that I have to wake up and leave no later than 5:00 AM. I took off from my home in Morris at 4:15 AM made it in time, but had to give up my body spray and shaving cream because it was "too large" to carry onto the plane. O'well, I figure I would just be a little rugged at the fairs. The rest of the Sunday was not all that interesting other than football and soul food in my hotel room.

My fair on Monday was scheduled at noon and I did not realize that Normal, IL was 133 miles away from O'hare where I stayed. So there I was showering at like 9:30 AM thinking, hey, I'm doing really good for time when in fact I was not. I think it was my guardian spirit that made my heart really heavy and I just had to check my GPS, but I then saw that it was freaking 133 miles away. Record time in dressing, tying the tie, and rushing down to the car, I took off at two to ten. Good thing I was in Northern IL and did not have to drive through Chi-Town or it else it would be horrible. That gave me about two hours to drive 133 miles. Luckily, in IL they drive like ten over all the time and the speed limit was 65, hence everyone was going 75. I made it with 5 minutes to spare, whew I thought I would have to give Bryan a call. Anyways, I consider that my one time for the year, knock on wood. At least I did not leave my stuff like last year.

So then on Tuesday I decided to shop for a little snack and went into this really cool place call "The Fresh Market" which is kind of like Byerly's in TC if anyone has ever heard of it. I swear my buddy Brittany would love it here. There was like 5 different types of grapes (Mascodine and Masconong, purple and green respectively and the size of your thumb) , European Sodas, over 10 different types of coffee beans, and such an array of fruits and veggies. I have never seen fresh figs in MN before, but they have it here. Awesome. I also wheeled around this hybrid cart/basket thing that is like two baskets on a cart frame. It was really cool and I got a picture of it, I will upload it once I figure out how to do it here if I can. I settled for a French soda lemon peach flavored.

I only slept in the car twice this time around and that's because I had to wait for the fairs to begin. I thought that I was prepared for Chicago driving now that I've got some experience, but no, I still need work. Everyone else's driving needs work too so I'm not going to feel too bad but soon enough I missed 3 tolls (which I paid online afterward) but still. Got into the airport in Minneapolis at like 11:30 PM and totally forgot where I parked my car. I swear, when I went to Atlanta, I parked in the Green Ramp on the seventh floor. That was where I went. It took me an hour trying to find my car and it wasn't until like 12:30 AM that I found my car in the general area I was looking but 3 floors down. I really though security was going to question me when I was walking around with my hand up in the air squeezing the key control hoping for a beeping noise somewhere. Yea, I didn't get home until 4:00 this morning.

I've told my director this already, but thank goodness mankind invented energy drinks! Cheers!

Travel Planning

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Planning my travels is one of the best but most tedious portion of recruiting. The fun part is picking what hotels to stay in. Last year, I stayed at a number of hotels to get a feel for what each brand offers. I came to a conclusion that if I am going to stay for 3 nights or longer at one particular hotel, I'm going with Country Inn and Suites. They offer a homely experience by giving you a bedroom, living room, kitchen, sink, fridge, microwave and sometimes even a stove. Hence I feel less stress when I'm ready to go to bed and not having to sleep where I worked. If I'm staying less then 3 nights, I highly prefer Holiday Inn. The service is exceptional and very professional making me feel like I'm somebody. This season I have decided to stay at Holiday Inns the whole season if I can help it, for consistency.

The worst and most tedious part of travel planning is confirming appointments with high schools and college fairs. I have taken up signing up myself for a few of the fairs and at this point, not many high school counselors are in yet. I have had to leave messages after messages and hope to hear back soon. I just want to have it all confirmed before I head out because it is not fun to have to try and plan travel for the next two weeks while I'm driving or in a Hotel room.

As of now, I have 75% of my travel planned and booked. Can't wait to head out on the road. I am on a mission to find the most odd, wacky and unique thing this year.

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