Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spring Getaway

When I started working for the Missouri Division of Family Services in the spring of 1994 my first duty day was at training in Jefferson City, where I knew absolutely no one. It was a very intimidating experience. Fortunately, the trainer for our group was an agency veteran named Andy (Andrea) Cleeton who had a quick wit and profound knowledge of agency procedures and practices. As I was somewhat older than most of my group, Andy and I became good friends. A few years later I was one of seven workers from across the state chosen to go to the University of Missouri, free gratis, for two years to obtain my Masters in Social Work Degree. Andy was also in that group.

It was while we were at MU that Andy and I made our first trips together. During the spring of our second year, she and I rode Amtrak from Jefferson City to Flagstaff in order to visit my daughter in Phoenix. The month was March, and I did not know much about Arizona. Driving our rental car back from Phoenix to Flagstaff, Andy decided that we needed to see the Grand Canyon. While we were at the Grand Canyon a few snowflakes began to fall. Before we got halfway back to Flagstaff we were in the middle of an Arizona blizzard. It was an experience that neither one of us will ever forget, creeping down the interstate trying to figure out where the road was!

A few months later three students in our MU group, including me and Andy, went on a social work tour of Russia and Sweden. It was quite a learning experience. We were able to see the human tragedies that littered the sidewalks of Russia in the wake of the fall of communism, as well as the successes that a largely socialist system was having on Swedish society.

Several years later Andy and her mother and I went to England and Scotland. We headquartered in London at the apartment of my neice and her husband, and branched out to places like Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Edinburgh.

Now we are planning a spring trip to San Diego. We will be staying at the beautiful Del Coronado Hotel (where Some Like It Hot was filmed), and then doing the famous San Diego Zoo, the beach, and the other tourists attractions.

I am looking forward to a spring break. It's always fun to see new places with old friends!

1 comment:

Andy said...

I'm flattered to be included in your blogs. Reading about the trip to Flagstaff on the train reminded me of Althea - "We gotta get off this train!"