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Notes From The Edge 1

This month is our inaugural newsletter and a good one, don’t you think?

Congratulations to the staffers that got it going and rolled it out. I think it is going to be a great communication tool to support the Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau prime mission of influencing travelers to choose Laredo as their destination. And part of what we do to positively influence those travel decisions to come to Laredo, is travel our selves. We have a variety of staff that goes to different parts of Texas, the U.S. and Mexico to stay connected to outside audiences, and to talk it up. We sell the destination to different people in various ways. Well in late February and early March we had deployed a couple of teams to two different places.

One team, A, went to the Dallas Home and Garden Show and the other team, B, was headed east to Washington, D.C. On Sunday March 2, both teams were en route. Team A was supposed to be headed out of Dallas, driving home to Laredo, with a mid-way stop in central Texas to rest up and take the trip in two phases; Team B was supposed to fly through Dallas to Washington, D.C. Both teams were impacted by a quickly descending ice storm that was headed into the Dallas-area. To say the least, getting out of Dallas on a plane and in a mini-van were the most challenging tasks of the day! Flights were getting cancelled left and right in DFW and road travel warnings were getting issued by the minute.


Team A got packed up and on the road by about 4:00 p.m. and it took 11 hours to drive 200 miles south to Austin, yes eleven hours, because road conditions merited going at a snail’s pace. After braving these trying circumstances they made it home to Laredo Monday afternoon as planned, but with a new tale to share around the water cooler.

Now, after catching a 7 a.m. departure out of Laredo to Dallas, Team B spent several hours trying to figure out the way to the east coast on standby a few times and trying to find a helpful ticketing agent at several counters inside the airport. Finally a most astute ticketing agent found them 3 seats on a flight to New York and without boarding passes, much to the chagrin of some grumpy airline employees, they made it onto the flight. The plane had to be de-iced and then anti-freeze-coated before taking off from Dallas (a new experience for some of these travelers.) Team B touched down at La Guardia at around 3:00 p.m.(with no luggage) and by about 4:30 was in a car headed south. After 240 miles of snow, snow mixed with rain and finally just rain, they made it to their hotel in Washington, D.C. at about 9:20 p.m. that night.
In the end both teams made it safely and securely to their respective destinations with a long story to tell in between. Both had to make judgment calls along the way and deal with each of the respective set of circumstances that presented themselves in their traveling scenarios. And while some people might qualify that as a disastrous day, I think as travel professionals we qualify it as memorable. Traveling can be stressful and present challenges, but at the end of it all we are proud of ourselves for making the right decisions and ultimately getting through it. And I would say to any traveler that despite the circumstances of your trip, having those little challenges makes it all the more worth it in your slate of memories and experiences that you will take with you for the rest of your life. So, travel and take the risk of things not going as planned, and then tell me that there wasn’t something worth remembering from your experience. Life is better in a state of travel!
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