Overall, another successful road trip, despite the slight twist in plans. Even with all the late night scrambling, my buyer was able to make it home the following morning to be with her daughter and new granddaughter. The daughter was born last Tuesday night around 2300 (5 lbs, 12 oz). Being a bit early, she is still in the hospital getting some extra care, but they are hoping to take her home later this week.
The trip went very well. Met with both suppliers, conducted my audits, reviewed business. All-in-all, a very productive road trip, despite the temps. It was not necessarily the optimal time of year to tour Minnesota, but we are behind in some of our audits and needed to get these trips done before things start to pile up. Besides, I've spent a good part of my youth in northern climes so a little snow/ice doesn't necessarily phase me. However, a lot would probably give me some cause for concern. We really lucked out on this road trip. I've been watching the weather to keep an eye out for the temps/conditions prior to the trip and figure out how much gear to pack. Down here, we don't drag out the arctic survival gear very often, so I was trying to figure out how much to take (or not take). The prior week, several co-workers had a short trip to Minneapolis for a meeting and they ran into those sub zero, double digit temps (-20, I believe). I met with one Engineer on Friday after he got back and he was still shivering. We hit the road expecting the worse but it turned out fairly mild for the week. Was -11 on Monday morning when we left Houston, but it had warmed up to a balmy 12 degrees by the time we landed. Drove over to Wisconsin for our first audit without any issues (except for the unexpected arrival). With the sudden departure of my buyer, I wound up running both audits solo. Not exactly how I planned it but not something I hadn't done before. Nice little drive out into the country. Small town about an hour east of the Twin Cities. I even managed to stumble across a small quilt shop in the local town - not something I would have expected to find in a rural community. I mention this because Mrs Agg is a ardent quilter. We have a running agreement that, whenever I spot one of these, I am supposed to go in and pick up some fat quarters or something similar (wound up visiting two quilt shops when in London last year). I always manage to take a picture just to tease her. I did manage to find something "unique" for Valentine's day.
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Temperatures were brisk, but nothing to create any problems. They were actually having a slight warming trend while I was there and I believe that they were due for snow this week. Everywhere I went, the Atlanta ice storm was on the news and winter preparedness was the topic of conversation.
I got to break bread with Terri and Mark once again. It was great to be able to spend a few hours with them over lunch. Family, religion, weather, hunting, sports, football stadiums, the Winter Olympics, travel, work, and dogs. I think we covered pretty much all of the topics. I am shamelessly stealing Terri's picture since it came out better than mine.
The flight back home was delayed over an hour due to the plethora of cancellations around the nation. I got to the airport early so wound up spending a few hours at teh gate waiting for my plane. I have finally figured out how to stream Netflix on my iPad and got hooked on the Netflix series House of Cards. The delay in my flight allowed me to plow through half of the first season before we had to board the plane. Looks like a new addiction for me.
Was a good trip but I am, once again, way behind at the office. Will have to play catch up for the next week just to stay even. The weather down here is trying to decide if it wants to be winter or spring. One day freezing, one day sunshine. So much so, even the local trees are starting to show a sign of things to come.