As it’s summer, I thought I’d write about vacation!
As you may or may not know, I grew up working at Kitchen Kettle. I baked pretzels, made change while my friends were at the pool, cut up watermelon rinds with the kitchen girls, and even took a few shifts as Yummie the gingerbread man. I went away to college out west and after some other travels decided to come back to Lancaster. There was about a 10 year gap and upon returning in 2011, I can remember reciting the mantra “You have to step outside to come back in”. My new eyes had energy and perspective and the advantage of having been away for a healthy amount of time.
Well I was walking through the warehouse yesterday and caught up with another longtime employee Ross who had also just had a week away and we both agreed; whether it’s 10 years or 10 days, you always come back with fresh eyes. “Sitting at home last night, I felt like I was going back to school today!” he said. We all need a little break to recharge, regain perspective on why we put in the hours we do and how it fits into who we are as people.
First, I got to visit Pike Place Fish in Seattle where I worked for a couple years. This is hospitality bootcamp if there ever was one. My buddy Justin reminded me of the many hours and many bouts of yelling that can exist while still being friendly to people! If you need a recharge on why you’re in hospitality, go be around them because they love people whether they’re buyin their stuff or not (turns out that can lead to big sales).
While hiking with some strangers, I did some stuff I’ve never done before, saw mountains I’d never seen, and probably had to explain where I was from a couple too many times (you get used to that when you come from the town of Intercourse). I was pretty lucky with the weather, a safe hike and good guidance, but in hindsight I really shook up my Lancaster routine more than I gave it credit for.
Talk about inspiration; I hiked with a returning army vet from Afghanistan and a photographer from Backpacker Magazine as well as world-renowned mountaineers Seth Waterfall, Peter Whittaker, Adam Butterfield, and Steve Gately. Give ’em a quick google and you’ll see what I mean.
But returning here I carried a lot of pride not only for what I’d done out west, but for carrying a bit of Lancaster with me while there.
People wanted to hear more about Kitchen Kettle, more about my family, and more about this village/hotel that I’m a part of with my mom, uncles, cousin and grandma. When you’re here all the time, you sometimes forget how special that is. So today I’ll simply say thank you and be grateful for the freedom to step outside a bit. Now I’ll get back to work!