The Benefits of Traveling with a Hobby

My sister once told me all she wanted to do in hotel rooms was watch TV.  Of course, at the time she had a million little kids and no time to herself, so I get it.  It’s good when you’re traveling for work to have something you want to do when you get there—besides work—or you’re going to stay in your hotel room and work or watch TV or do something else unremarkable.  Or you will do things that you have to try to cover up on your expense reports.  You know who you are—I have a friend whose job it is to review expense reports, so I’ve heard all the stories.

For a while I tried to plan my business trips so that they would somehow help me accomplish my goal of getting to all 50 states—check—or all 30 MLB ballparks—also check.  I swear I was getting work done, and I also swear I was being good about only reimbursing the parts that had to do with work—and yes I invited plenty of clients and prospective clients to ballgames…that’s legit.

But lately the hobby that gets me out of the hotel room is scouting for good local tequila bars in search of a tequila I haven’t tried yet.  Every once in a while I end up at one that for some unknown reason has fairly good reviews on Yelp and yet only features three tequilas, none of which I would normally choose to drink.  But usually there’s a pleasant experience at the end of the Uber ride, and sometimes there’s a fun conversation, especially if I ask for the bottle so I can take a photo for my tequila blog.  Everybody seems interested in the fact that I have a tequila blog.  That’s more interesting than a lot of other hobbies, I guess.

In Minnesota for a Vikings game recently—yes my other hobby, for the past 49 years, has been season after season of disappointment and yes tequila IS a more interesting hobby, gracias a dios—I went bar-hopping to several tequila joints and met some very nice people.  I even got a temporary neck tattoo, and tried El Luchador Blanco 110 NOM 1480 – my rating 82—I am very partial to high-proof blancos.

In Santa Rosa, California for a Cannabis festival lately—hey guys, that’s actually WORK, and yes my work is even more interesting than my hobbies, gracias a dios—I found a couple of excellent tequila bars and tried some great tequilas, including Terralta Tequila Blanco 110 NOM 1579 – my rating 90.

In Austin recently for a university technology convention I hopped around quite a bit and tried a simply stunning pechuga mezcal that I didn’t rate, but also finally tried Avion Reserva 44 NOM 1416 – my rating 82, about which I will be posting a separate blog.

Then the next night I was in Houston and it all came crashing down:  I followed a good Yelp review to a bar that only had three tequilas so I requested the best they had—not one of my favorites—neat, and it came out in a tiny plastic shot glass with a salted lime sitting on top.  I tried to explain to the bartender than neat means it comes in a rocks glass with no rocks.  I saw him getting ice and said “no ice” so he brought it back this time in a little shot glass made of glass, again with the salted lime on top.  So I gave up, ordered an Uber, and moved on to the next bar.

More adventures in business travel.  At least I was not back at the hotel watching TV or doing things I’d have to lie about on my expense report.  The next bar had some decent tequila, a good IPA, some nice people, a bartender who knew the meaning of “neat,” and no salted limes.

I love my hobby, gracias a dios!

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