I have almost completely neglected this blog thing as a result of focusing more on blogging for others, which is probably a good thing because those "others" sign my paycheck. A heck of a whole lot has happened in the past couple of weeks and I'm pleased to say that it ended up being a whole lot of good!

The story begins with me sitting at my desk when our CEO comes up to me and says "Drew, would you mind volunteering for something?" I am one that relatively enjoys being busy so obviously I agreed, not having any prior knowledge as to what I was volunteering for. Michael (our CEO) explains to me a situation involving a trade show...details details details...and ends with "...so I need to send you out to California for a few days if that's ok with you."

Turns out active volunteerism has its fringe benefits.

So, six weeks into my career, I'm flying out to Long Beach to represent the company at a trade show. Flying solo. First business trip of my life and I'm the only person representing the company. It was intimidating to think about, especially flying into LAX and having to help my cabby find a hotel in a city I'd never been in and working in an environment I was completely unfamiliar with. Fortunately, I was given some good training and preparation prior to my trip which set my mind at ease going into it. And hey, who am I to complain about a few paid days out of the office to go to the west coast?

The show ended up being a really good experience. I was welcomed in by a group of "veteran" trade show people who invited me out every night to eat and hang out with them. Plus, their booths were relatively close to mine, so they were there to offer advice and answer any rookie questions I had regarding working a show. Having them there felt like a huge safety net for me that week and I feel like I made some good contacts and friends to look for at future shows that I may be a part of.

Although I was at Long Beach, it took a 6am run to actually see any beach. I spent the whole time in a convention center or restaurant so I didn't exactly "soak up rays" while I was there. The early morning run did have its blessings. Not only did I get a few minutes of beach time and excersise, I was up early enough to watch the sun finish rising over the Pacific Ocean. Pretty sweet huh?

Overall the week went without a hitch. I only had a tiny problem getting my cab to find the hotel I was at (thank you iPhone Google maps) and as a result of some transit complications in Chicago, I didn't arrive to my apartment from the trip until 3:30am. Working the next day was a blast...luckily I have a really nice boss that ended up sending me home early since she knew I was jet lagged.

Life continued to keep getting better because the following weekend I got to fly into Cincinnati...