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Off the Clock: Unforgettable BSM Staff Summer Vacations

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 9:00 AM

Meet Your Team

Written by: Alex Blevins

The BSM team is well-known for its dedicated, hard-working staff. One of the reasons BSM employees can dedicate themselves to exceeding client expectations and meeting demanding deadlines is because our company culture promotes a healthy work-life balance. To celebrate the arrival of summer, we’re taking time off from business-focused blog posts to shine a light on how our outstanding employees enjoy their free time. We asked 12 team members to reminisce on their favorite summer vacation. Read their answers below.

Falling in love with the U.S. (via RV). My husband and I tend to plan our most adventurous vacations during the holiday season. For that reason, our summer RV trip through Utah’s national parks really stands out to me. As relative newcomers to the U.S. (following our transition from the UK), we were keen to experience the freedom of an RV vacation. We were blown away by the stunning scenery in Arches, Zion, Bryce, and Canyonlands, where we enjoyed wonderful hikes, great food, and developed a real appreciation for the diversity of this amazing country.
Judy Williams, president
Roughing it in the Last Frontier. One of my most memorable summer vacations was wilderness camping in Alaska. We took a bush plane from Anchorage to a remote area on Prince William Sound, where we camped and fished for several days, experiencing beautiful scenery and catching lots of salmon. The highlight of the trip was not getting eaten by a bear … they were all around!
Lisa Harrington, senior consultant
Lasting memories with the kids. My most memorable summer vacations are all with my kids. Memories include multiple broken bones, poison ivy, threats of never taking the kids on another vacation if they don’t straighten up, swimming with dolphins, giggles in the middle of the night, spending more than we budgeted, and renting a house with five bedrooms only to wake up to all four kids having fallen asleep in the living room (then tiptoeing around them to sneak out for coffee). Although we have almost no pictures of these vacations, we do have tons of memories that make wonderful “you can’t make this stuff up” stories.
Elizabeth Cifers, senior consultant
Summers down the shore. Every summer from the time I was a kid until I graduated college I went with my family down the shore (Long Beach Island, better known as LBI) for a week. This annual trip, which my family still goes on, is steeped in tradition us trying to leave for the shore at 6 a.m. (and always failing); getting breakfast once we arrive; toting too many things to the beach (umbrellas, chairs, coolers, towels, boogie boards, etc.); getting sunburned; seeing my aunts, uncles, and cousins; and feeding seagulls leftover bread the morning we’d leave for home. While I have been to more exciting places, LBI holds a special place in my heart, since it’s the place I associate with family, tradition, and of course, summer.
Margaret Moran, senior content specialist
Checking off bucket list items. One of my most memorable summer vacations was spent in France and Spain! Paris, southern France, and Barcelona were all bucket list places that I was able to explore with one of my best friends. Highlights included seeing the Eiffel Tower, saying hi to Mona Lisa, experiencing La Sagrada de la Familia, eating endless chocolate croissants, drinking sangria, and realizing that French people are actually very nice (the negative stereotype is not true). I loved seeing Paris from a dinner cruise at night and exploring the Spanish plazas by day.
Carolyn Hooper, manager of marketing and business development
Hurricane evacuation. My most memorable summer vacation was spent in Avon, North Carolina. It was my first summer in the USA, and it was a great experience. I spent the summer working in a supermarket, and while it was not the greatest job, it was all about the experience and the people I met from all over the world. I even encountered my first hurricane — we had to be evacuated because it was not safe where we were staying. It was a great summer with amazing memories, during which I made lifelong friendships.
Andreea Tamas, corporate services specialist
Keeping it simple, cabin style. My most memorable summer vacation was spent in Minnesota with my family at a lake cabin. We enjoyed swimming, fishing, and sitting by the campfire at night. There is nothing better than waking up early and listening to the loons before starting the day’s activities.
Barb Collier, accounting specialist
European excursion. My most memorable summer vacation was a three-week trip around Europe, with two of my closest friends, as a college graduation present. We visited six countries, saw the incredible European architecture, and tasted each city’s yummy food (and wine!). I even got to meet up with a member of my extended family whom I had met on a previous trip to Europe! It was a trip filled with memories that will always make me smile, and I can’t wait to go back!
Ally Pusich, corporate services specialist
Building memories (and tents) with the kids. My most memorable summer vacation was spent last summer at the base of the Sierras with my kiddos. I hope they remember it for years to come, as I will! I snapped a picture of their tent, which they packed and assembled themselves (and for which I was very proud of them). We had no neighbors, only a river nearby and a very old run-down cabin where my uncle had lived as a young cowboy. From there, we went to stay at two other developed campsites to round out our vacation.
Becky Hanson, APC operations specialist
Summer traditions on the OBX. My favorite vacation spot is on the Outer Banks (OBX) in Corolla, North Carolina. During our 20-plus vacations on the OBX, my entire family has gathered to enjoy the beach, walking/running, fishing, crabbing, shopping, playing games, relaxing in the hot tub, and eating out at local restaurants. Whenever we are on the OBX, it is part of our summer tradition to attend Sunday service at the Corolla Chapel. It’s a relaxing week at the beach, spent with those we love most, often including close friends and Maggi, my parents’ Boston Terrier.
Jolynn Cook, senior consultant
Becoming eclipsed in memories. Last August, I went on a memorable family vacation to St. Louis for the total solar eclipse. It was great to see all our extended family who live there and to experience the eclipse in the path of totality at Kimmswick, Missouri. We were amazed to see the day turn to night before our eyes for 2 and a half minutes — the streetlights came on, the crickets and cicadas started chirping, and flocks of confused birds were looking for places to roost for the night. Other trip highlights included touring the Meramec Caverns, the Gateway Arch, downtown St. Louis, Grant’s Farm, the St. Louis Zoo, World Bird Sanctuary, and Lone Elk Park, where we saw elk and moose right next to our car. However, our favorite part of the trip was staying at my cousin’s farm in Marquand, Missouri, where we fished and kayaked on the Castor River, rode ATV’s, held happy hour in his renovated barn, and enjoyed bonfires while setting off fireworks.
Lyn Crisologo, office specialist for Progressive division
Exploring the Tetons. My most memorable summer vacation was spent in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Highlights included exploring Yellowstone, cliff jumping, swimming in a natural hot spring, rafting the Snake River, and witnessing the most spectacular sunrise I could imagine. I also had the rare opportunity to watch a mother grizzly bear teach her cubs how to hunt (from a safe distance, of course!). There will always be a special place in my heart for the summer I spent living and working under the shadow of the Grand Tetons.
Alex Blevins, content specialist

Whether traveling the world, spending time with loved ones, or soaking in the beauty of nature, it is clear BSM staff takes full advantage of their time off by creating memories that last a lifetime.

YOUR TURN: What was your most memorable summer vacation? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

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