After my first sabbatical, Vernier changed the benefit so that employees receive a four-week sabbatical after seven years of employment. The timing was advantageous since my second sabbatical came sooner than the first, which came after ten years.
I was eligible for my second sabbatical last year, but since we were navigating a global pandemic, I deferred it for a year. I’m still amazed at how fast time went by from my first sabbatical that I arrived at my second sabbatical; and now, at the end of my second sabbatical.
So, what did I do for six weeks?
Before I get into my sabbatical, it was a packed week before my sabbatical. Violet reached a landmark birthday of thirteen and we had an afternoon party for her. On my first day on sabbatical, we enjoyed Wings and Waves in McMinnville with our neighbors.
Jenni’s Birthday at Leavenworth
And the birthdays continued in July. For Jenni’s birthday, we arranged for a trip up to Leavenworth to see The Sound of Music, live in an outdoor amphitheater. Jenni’s parents joined us for the trip, and we made a stop in Ellensburg on the way home to reminisce about their history.
Mom’s Birthday at Depoe Bay
We had a few days at home before going out to the coast for my mom’s birthday. I had high hopes for astrophotography at the coast, but it was foggy in the entire time we were there.
Still, we had never gone with my parents to one of their timeshare resorts. And it was great to spend extended time with them.
Canada and Olympic National Park
Our major summer road trip took us north into Canada and around the Olympic peninsula. We traveled for six days and came back with memories of visiting family, admiring jellyfish, toying with a sea lion, riding a gondola up a mountain, having butterflies fly around us, and taking in the breathtaking views of Olympic National Park.
Bike Around Beaverton and Beyond
My sabbatical started during Vernier’s annual summer wellness challenge. Without the need to sit eight hours a day, I didn’t have an excuse for not earning more steps this year.
I managed to hit just above 800,000 steps, the highest I’ve ever done.
I went on several bike rides early in the morning and explored new routes. My two highlights were riding the Portland Bridge Pedal with Bruce and the Banks-Vernonia Trail with Jake.
Celebrate Mom and Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary
My parents reached a monumental golden anniversary and was able to invite close friends to a feast in, of course, a Chinese restaurant. We put together impromptu entertainment and speeches to commemorate the day.
Family and Friends
I’m most grateful for the abundance of time to spend with family and friends. I could accept invitations to adventures on a whim or go at less busy hours.
- When my cousin visited from the bay area, I took her crew to OMSI on a Monday and we spent four hours there.
- My friend with a boat invited us to the island where they were camping and they gave us a fresh caught salmon.
- When we were babysitting a nephew for a few days, we traveled down to Salem to see the Gilbert House children museum and made it a cousins party.
- On a particularly hot day in Portland, we played in the Willamette River at Mary S. Young park with our neighbors.
- The girls helped out at Dance with Joy Studios for their children day camp and I shuttled them into Sellwood three days of the week. While they were there, I visited my parents, my cousin, and took a bike ride to the LEGO store.
- I had the luxury of time to create videos for all of our adventures during my sabbatical, which came out to sixteen videos. It was a great way to share memories of various adventures.
I can’t fully express the gratitude for the last forty-two days away from work. I was able to spend a substantial quantity of quality time with my family and my hobbies, to go experience new places, and bless others with my gifts, talents, and time.
I know there were many who had to work extra back at Vernier so that I could have these last six weeks. I won’t know everything they took care of in my absence.
So, while I could be sad that my sabbatical is ending, I actually feel content because it has been a fulfilling vacation. And I should start dreaming about what to look forward to for my next sabbatical. It’s only seven years away.