Last week I spent the entire week with my lover....or at least one of the many cities with whom I am in love. I headed back to Marquette, Michigan for the third time this year for my work's annual convention. I love Marquette so much I can barely stand it. Being there feels like an alternate reality. I feel more relaxed. I love everything about the city - the downtown, nature, the way the rolling hills kiss Lake Superior. I arrive in Marquette and forget that it took a nearly six hour drive through the middle of nowhere to get there. All I think about when I'm there is how much I love it, and how much I'd live there in a minute. I even thought this when I was there in the dead of winter, so my Marquette love affair is obviously very real.
The week was busy as a week-long work event tends to be. A lot of it is just being on for days on end. My face hurts from smiling, but I love every minute of it. I love our members. I love and believe in the mission of this organization to create great places. I hear about great projects happening all over the state, and it feeds my soul.
|With a friend/colleague during our convention. The fall colors were brilliant.|
|An early morning 5-miler in Marquette|
We all know how much I love Morgantown, but I found myself wondering why on earth we were going there at the end of convention week. I slept in the car most of the trip, and we arrived early Saturday morning. My brother and sister-in-law were also in town to celebrate my nephew's second birthday. I hadn't seen any of them since Thanksgiving last year, so I was excited to see family despite my exhaustion.
Saturday morning we headed out in the rain to my happy place - Mountaineer Field. The Mountaineers were taking on 4th ranked Baylor. We tailgated with one of my oldest friends and his awesome wife, and headed into the game. It was a cold and dreary day, but my team was amazing. Our defense rocked it out, and despite the cold I couldn't make myself leave. We ended up winning the game, and I had tears in my eyes as the stadium sang Country Roads after the victory. The extra 400 miles was worth it.
|Tailgating with one of my oldest friends|
We arrived in Lansing on Monday evening, and the madness began again. This week I have three presentations - in Livonia, Sterling Heights and Holland, Michigan (all at least an hour from Lansing). My head is spinning with busy, and I find myself looking into next week wondering if it will get less crazy. Spoiler alert: it will not. But my heart is happy and full with family, placemaking and the happiness hangover from having spent a week in two of my favorite places. When the busy is over, the happy is all that is left.