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Summer Vacation Contest Winners

By Leilani Yau

One of the key perks of being a consultant is the flexibility it brings to your work schedule. (We’ve written plenty about another perk, the ability to work from anywhere.) Many EM Marketing consultants take advantage of this benefit by baking in time to travel.

Over the last few months, we asked consultants to post photos of their summer vacations. The EM Marketing Summer Vacation Contest held three categories: Best Overall Vacation, Most Adventurous, and Best Foodie Shot.

These three lucky travelers won in each category and received a Peet’s Coffee gift card (to help them adjust back to our time zone). Each of them described their vacations below. Congratulations to all of you!

Best Overall Vacation

Dan Holmes – The Oregon Coast

I’m a wanderer, always have been. I’m not a person who can be put in a box or restricted by the rules that others follow. I like to roam the beaches, sometimes with my dog, sometimes with an imaginary dog. We like to explore the cool ocean breeze and salty waters. Oregon refreshes my soul and recharges my brain for new adventures like Super Smash Brothers tournaments, pie-making contests, and my first love, the organ. Enjoy my pictures, they are my serenity. Peace, Dan.

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Most Adventurous

Joe Morrow – Ring of Kerry, Ireland

I’m the interim VP Product working with a team at EY in Dublin, Ireland, so I’ve been flying back and forth from San Francisco for meetings every few weeks since January.

As soon as I’d booked the project back in November, my Star Wars crazy brother-in-law mentioned Skellig Michael Island, off the west of Ireland, home to a thousand-year-old monastery, where the recent movies were filmed. Landing tours are limited to about 50 slots a day to manage the crowds. After a few months of clicking refresh on the booking website, I lucked into a tour over a bank holiday weekend in August. I added it to my calendar and forgot all about it.

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I’m so heads-down when I’m onsite that, besides a few legendary Dublin pubs, I haven’t been able to really enjoy Ireland. So I used that tour booking as an excuse to get out of the office, rent a car, and set off into the countryside.

On the way, I visited the Waterford Crystal factory, where they made the Times Square NYE ball (and most of my family’s Christmas presents this year). I stopped at the Barack Obama memorial highway plaza and had a pint at the bar in his ancestral Irish hometown. I crashed an adorable small-town fishing festival, hiked three of Ireland’s tallest peaks up and into the clouds, and drove the Ring of Kerry, a beautiful circuit on Ireland’s craggy southwest coast.

Since then, I’ve again been heads-down and back and forth, but it was nice to finally take advantage of the chance to work in such a beautiful place.

Best Foodie Shot

Justin Liszanckie – Shore Club, Hubbards, Nova Scotia

My wife, Savage, and I decided to take an Atlantic Northeast road trip for our summer vacation, fulfilling her lifelong dream of visiting the birthplace of Anne of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island. The trip also coincided with our fifth wedding anniversary, so of course, we were looking for a unique dining experience.

Knowing we’d be in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she uncovered The Shore Club in nearby Hubbards, which serves a Canadian special: The Lobster Supper. Sit down and decide if you want the .9, 1.25, or 2-pound lobster, and then the game is afoot. The supper includes a very large salad bar (green, pasta, potato), dessert, coffee & tea, and all-you-can-eat mussels that came out of the ocean that morning. All-you-can-eat mussels! I may have had a few. This winning pic is one in a series we have from our travels where Savage flashes her completely over the top excited face; they all involve food or booze.

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The Shore Club is such a venerable institution that it was chosen to host an official state visit of Princess Diana and Prince Charles back in 1983. Rumor has it they cracked open the entirety of Di’s lobster for her, only to delicately piece it all back together before serving so that it had the proper appearance, but allowed her to pull out the meat with zero effort. Savage and I had to work a little harder than she did.

The Shore Club is also known as “Nova Scotia’s Last Great Dance Hall.” Dinner ends, everyone gets kicked out for 45 minutes, and they push all the tables to the side and prepare the space for a concert. It was a breathtaking cross-section of humanity at the Rawlins Cross concert we attended. The band was obviously a local treasure and included one of the most bizarre musical lineups I’ve ever seen: accordion, Chapman Stick, mandolin, and bagpipes. And there were many others, including a tin whistle, banjo, drums, bodhran, jaw harp, keyboard, harmonica, and trumpet.

In short: we can’t recommend The Shore Club highly enough!

Leilani Yau

About Leilani Yau

Leilani Yau is a digital marketing consultant, specializing in content marketing and social media for small businesses and non-profits, and helps clients L.O.V.E. (Listen, Offer, Value, Engage) their target audiences online.

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