Who said that practicing law isn’t fun? Take this laughable auto-response email that came across my desk recently from opposing counsel in one of my appeals:
“I am assigned to trial Monday, August 10 at 9:00 a.m. As soon as that trial concludes I will be leaving for a long planned two week summer vacation. Upon my return I will delete every email received over the three week period. It is therefore essential that you forward your email to my secretary . . . . If the matter needs any attention before August 31 please call her, or my law partner . . . . Please keep in mind when I am in trial and when I am on vacation I never check email.“
Hilarious, no? I don’t hold it against him for drafting a stupid email — we all make bonehead mistakes once in a while. But the arrogance? Seriously — is he traveling off the grid? What other communications will he destroy upon his return? Tear up all his mail? Erase all his voicemail messages? Throw out any packages that arrived in his absence? I don’t know about you, but in a million years I would not hire this bozo to represent me. Or fix my toilet. I briefly toyed with the idea of starting a Facebook campaign to flood him with 1 million emails (you know, post a picture of one of my kids holding a sign saying that if 1,000,000 emails are sent I’ll buy them a puppy), but thought better of it (partly because I already have 3 dogs).
My family went on vacation this summer, and yes, we checked our emails occasionally. Okay, constantly. Might have even done an hour or two of work while on vacation. It just goes with the territory. We weren’t off the grid, we were in Breckenridge. And I would rather have it that way than what it was like when I first started practicing in New York. During a three-week trip to France (a delayed bar exam trip), I received exactly one message in my absence — it was left by mother, and warned me to watch out for terrorists. Don’t really need to tell you how that job turned out, do I? So yeah, I’d rather hear from my boss with something that needs my attention because I’m important and irreplaceable (girl can dream, right?).
Our first stop in Colorado was the Hertz service center in Denver. What a bizarre scene that was. After waiting in line for 45 minutes or so, you are directed to an area with rows of kiosks, where you then Skype with an agent located anywhere but Denver. I found this all quite amusing.
Patience is a virtue
Kids never run out of ways to entertain themselves
Your kiosk awaits
Say hello to Agent Melva!
There is an inherent tension in our family vacations. This is because my kids’ idea of a great vacation is to sit in a condo with unlimited free wi-fi, whereas my husband’s idea of a great vacation is to spend it doing things that involve at least a slight risk of death. We managed to find a number of activities that struck a compromise, such as hiking. It’s impossible to ignore the beauty of Breckenridge, and the cool weather was a welcome break from the triple-digit weather we left behind in Houston.
I was jealous of the overflowing flower baskets that lined the streets of Breckenridge, as all I can manage to grow this time of year in Houston is dried herbs (one day someone will laugh at this joke — is today the day?).
One of my favorite things was seeing the abundant wildflowers on our hikes:
We had fun geocaching along the trails:
A teeny tiny microcache
The kids were excited to find a patch of snow and throw a few snowballs:
My daughter just had to take the obligatory feet-in-the-landscape photo:
Personally, I hate photos like this. I’m going to buy her a pair of rubber gorilla feet to use for our next vacation — that would at least be good for a laugh, don’t you think?
Another thing we enjoyed was the Vail Farmers’ Market and Art Show, about 40 minutes from Breckenridge. vailfarmersmarket.com
The Vail Farmers’ Market is held on Sundays during the summer months, and has over 135 tents, with food, produce, art, clothing, jewelry, and accessories. I thought the paella-in-a-cup tent was a great idea:
I picked up a colorful woven basket to use at the farmers’ market at home:
All in all, Breckenridge was a nice getaway. I have to admit, though, that by the end of the week we were missing our dogs, the kids were anxious about the start of the school year, and we were ready to come home.