The Swan Life: August 2017

Swan Life

Happy end of summer! No, that sounds depressing… happy beginning of fall! Ok not officially, but I’m ready to welcome some cooler temps and football season. This month’s Swan Life post really crept up on me. Just goes to show that we had one busy month! If you haven’t guessed already, this is Lucy reporting and filling in for JW. Or should I say, kicking him aside so I can run the blog. Not permanently… just for one day!

Plane to Plane

August brought lots of travel for us (go figure, huh?) Not only for my work, but for JW’s too. You probably saw that he accepted a new job and started with a trip out west for orientation. Let me walk through our August travel and you’ll see why we needed to create a family calendar to know who is taking care of the kids when.

August started with my trip to DC. Although a quick flight, I always like to pop open my iPad and check out the free in flight movies. Ever heard of this or seen the feature on an American Airline flight? You don’t have to pay for wi-fi, you simply download the Gogo Entertainment app ahead of time, open up a web browser and search through the list of movies. This trip I was able to watch a portion of Beauty and the Beast (something I know JW wouldn’t care to watch at home… and even though this flight wasn’t long enough to watch the whole movie, I finished it 3 weeks lately on my next trip). This trip wasn’t a full week, just Wednesday-Friday, but weather delays on the way back home meant I didn’t land until 11:30pm. That meant home by 12:30am and in bed by 1:00am. I would normally say this would be doable and I could recover easily… however when you have a 4 month old at home that likes to get up at 4:30am for a feeding, recovery does not come easily.

Swan Life

Next was back to back trips for me starting with New Orleans and ending with Atlanta. It was a whole week with some late night client events and early morning flights. Again, recovery from lack of sleep was not ideal. Good news is I got to have dinner with a very good friend so somehow that made it all worthwhile. Funny note about this trip was that exactly at the time my plane took off from Charlotte was the exact optimal time to see the solar eclipse. Charlotte was in pretty good position to witness at 98% coverage. Unfortunately I didn’t get a view of it, but JW and his officemates walked outside to get a glimpse. It seemed like the media made it sound like a much bigger event than was actually witnessed.

The following week was JW’s trip out west to San Francisco. His trip was also a whole week long (we spent the weekend in between together unpacking and repacking). He had a lot of fun returning to our old stomping grounds and sent me and our boys some great pictures. Our 3 year old was obsessed with the video of the sea lions. They were loud and our son loved to imitate them. JW also won me over by bringing some Ghirardelli chocolate home. He knows the way to my heart. The day JW returned from this trip we jumped in the car and made a trip to visit my brother. But that technically fell into September so I’ll tell you more about it next month.

Swan Life

New Family Laptop

Our big purchase for the household this month was a new laptop. This was something we thought about for quite some time before pulling the trigger (imagine that). We have an old laptop that we knew we’d have to replace eventually, but we also didn’t want to move forward with the purchase if the old one was still functioning. Well, said laptop has seen better days now. You have to position the screen just right in order for the picture to pop up. And don’t even think about unplugging it to use freely throughout the house, the battery has zero life. Anyways, we decided to start looking and the first place JW thought of was his corporate discount center. You can find some really great deals on computers, movie tickets, restaurant gift cards in many company discount stores.

Our main priorities in selecting a new computer was it’s size and weight. With traveling now on the horizon for JW he wanted to be able to blog while on the road and carrying not only this computer, but also his work laptop. You get a brick and that can do some serious damage to your shoulders carrying around the airport! The rest of the features just needed to be basic, no need for good speakers or huge processor. The computer we decided to go with was a Lenovo that retailed for $900, but thanks for the company discount, we only paid $650. Yes I say “only paid”, but come on, that’s a great discount! JW also got the full Microsoft Office Suite for $10. I honestly don’t know how much that costs nowadays, we’ve always gotten such a great discount either through the university we were attending or through work. So far so good with the new laptop, we’re happy with this month’s big purchase!

PGA Championship

Charlotte hosted the PGA Championship this year and let me tell you, it was a big event. Being in the hospitality industry we’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time. We’ve been watching the hotel demand, layering some group business and predicting some compression to the market. Sorry, that’s some hotel lingo for ya… basically we knew August would be a good month because of the event.

JW was lucky enough to be invited as a client to attend the championship round on Sunday. Let me just say I was totally jealous at first, but was happy for him and knew he’d have a good time. Then last minute the story shifted and he was offered a second ticket for me. Score! This happened on Thursday prior to the weekend so we started to scramble and figure out what to do with the boys. We don’t have a regular babysitter that we use so there was no time to figure one out so late in the game. We happened to notice on the PGA website that kids under 17 can get in for free. Double score! We decided to bring both boys along and let them enjoy the hype and excitement. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of work, but well worth it. We ended up staying out for about 6 hours, they were both troopers.

All in all we ended up spending zero dollars to attend. Our tickets were both given to us ($90 face value because it was the championship round), our sandwiches for lunch were paid for and expensed by JW’s client (probably $20 total), because we’re both cardholders we got into the Chase Sapphire club tent (with A/C!!!) and grabbed free bottles of water each time (ended up drinking maybe 5 total, it was a hot day!) and we parked for free at a friend’s house (cost of this varies, but the options could have been taking a shuttle for $20 or calling an Uber for maybe $30). It was a fun day all-in-all!

Swan Life

Lunch on the Cheap

This might seem like a small detail, but I had to share how great my option to purchase lunch at work has been. As you can imagine, ordering a vegan meal is usually difficult in a restaurant setting. At work we have the opportunity to order off a limited menu that includes many items from our restaurant. I found one item that when I request it without cheese it’s a great vegan option. It’s the veggie wrap that I can pair with fruit or fries (I indulge on the fries every once in a while, but try to stay with the healthy side option). But the best part of this story is that this meal literally costs me $1.63. I kid you not, $1.50 plus tax. Now I don’t order this every day of the week (I usually have some client lunches or bring some leftovers), but what a great option to have! Even if I did order everyday it would only cost me a whopping $8.13. I couldn’t make my own lunch that cheaply. Somehow knowing how cheap this meal is makes it taste even better… must mean I’m on FIRE.

Swan Life

That’s a Wrap!

That’s how our August flew by. Did the start of school creep up on you too? Anyone get a really good view at the eclipse? Did it meet your expectations? Did anyone watch the PGA Championship on TV? Gorgeous course, huh? Now on to September, cooler temps and football season. Anyone planning on doing some apple picking? I thinking that could be a fun day trip this month.

– Lucy




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