Intro: Since anyone and everyone is on the Internet these days, you’d have to either be a fool or have more faith in your fellow man than I do to post vacation plans online. With enough motivation, anyone can find anyone online these days, and it’s not too much trouble beyond that to turn their name into a physical address most of the time. Thus, posting a blog entry with the subject “Day 1 of our big driving trip to Tennessee!” may as well be titled “Hey! Come steal our plasma TV and frozen meats!”. Therefore, each vacation entry is appearing a month or so after it happened.
You’ll notice in the following trip diaries that I ran out of steam. This is actually a good thing, as it means that I was relaxing and spending time with my family instead of poking an iPad screen for hours.
September 3, 2011
I had a pretty shitty week at work. I don’t really care to be the LAN administrator at work, but somebody has to do it, and I’m pretty good at it (subjectively, I guess), so here we are. Anyway, last week the T1 lines into our office went down — for a few days. This is generally bad. Our customer support system relies on those lines. People in the office need them to be able to get beyond our office to fetch mail, access the wireless network, exchange cat photos, and browse Reddit and Facebook.
Basically, I woke up at 7am on Monday morning and then didn’t sleep again until late Tuesday night sometime. During this time I was working feverishly to set up duplicate functionality in another data center so our customers’ needs could be met. It was very much a two-steps-forward, one-step-back process… when it wasn’t one-step-forward, two-steps-back.
After all this stress, I felt that I needed some time off. I’d neglected helping my wife with our 2 year old and 2 month old during the outage; that made me feel like crap. I had nearly a month of vacation time banked, and I didn’t have any time-critical work obligations due in the next few weeks, so we felt it was as opportune time as any to hit the road.
Tomorrow, hopefully by late-morning, the car will be packed and cruising up I-4 towards I-95 and points north. We’ll hit I-26, swing to the west(ish), and find ourselves in Johnson City, TN, either late tomorrow night or on Monday if we have to stop. Again, we’re doing this 11 hour drive with a 2 year old and a 2 month old. Don’t know what to expect. We may make it to Jacksonville before it’s unbearable.
In the time since we (somewhat spontaneously) scheduled the vacation time, I’ve been thinking about what I hope to accomplish. I don’t take extended vacations from work, mainly because of guilt. This time I’m determined to try to truly escape being on an iPhone leash 24×7. I’ve attempted to set appropriate expectations with people at work. My phone won’t be set to automatically pull work emails. My out-of-office says that I’m trying not to be disturbed but if it’s an emergency then I can be reached at my personal account.
For two weeks, I’m going to make an honest effort to try to find some perspective. As clichéd as this may sound, I feel I may have lost sight of the big picture, and perhaps escaping the normal and routine will help reset my point of view.
Does it seem like a lot of pressure to put on a family road trip to eastern Tennessee? Probably. But I didn’t know what else to do. I hope you’ll follow along for the next few weeks. It’s my intention to post a little something every day, even if it’s to say “Nope, too rainy, didn’t do anything!”. There should also be a photo or two.