As I look back, I guess I got the travel bug early in my life and have not stopped traveling since! I have met many great people and seen many beautiful places. There is so much to see and so little time…
The Early Years: (1969 – Spring 1981)
Growing up in the late sixties and early seventies in Colorado and having relatives still living in Texas, my parents and my two siblings spent many an hour traveling between these two states in a 1969 Oldsmobile VistaCruiser station wagon. A lot of it spent at night! Not sure if that was due to my dad not wanting to use the air conditioner or whether it was to not have to listen to us ask “Are we there yet? or “Are we still in Texas?”. We camped all over the mountains of Colorado and learned to snow ski in Vail and Aspen, CO. I have hiked to Hanging Lake and “Maroon Bells” near Aspen. Knew I would be an Aggie after that! Well, that and the fact my dad is an Aggie (Class of ’60) and his statement at a young age of: “You can go to college anywhere you want, but I am paying for Texas A&M!”
The College/Early Employment Years: (Summer 1981 – Summer 1990)
Not too much travel to speak of due to my lack of funds as a poor college student and job “newbie.” I did, however, manage to pull off a couple of more ski trips, a post-college graduation family trip to Honolulu and Maui and a cruise to the Bahamas, St. Thomas & Puerto Rico. I caught a Jimmy Buffet concert in San Jose, CA, tasted a lot of wine and saw the Gatlin Bro’s in Napa Valley and enjoyed the beautiful Northwestern regions of Portland and Seattle. I’ve heard REO Speedwagon in Phoenix. Took a solo trip to Washington, D.C., (details of how I pulled that off, and an additional trip to the Bahamas, can be discussed at a later date!) and several trips to Las Vegas, as well. I also managed to see a lot of country music legends right here in good ol’ Texas: George Strait in Kingsville, Garth Brooks and Jerry Jeff in Gruene, Steve Wariner in Uvalde. Now that I think about it, I did manage to travel quite a bit during those lean income years!
The “Amante” Years: (Fall 1990 – Spring 1995)
After a brief employment sabbatical and a move to Houston,I was fortunate enough to run back into my old Puryear roommate and fellow board member Pat Amante and his mom Peggy (the benefactor). He said he needed some mortgage income supplementation, and I reluctantly agreed to move in with him and another friend (NOTE from Patrick: This is Bryan’s version of the story… The truth is completely different, yet the end result was the same!!). This is when my travel itinerary really kicked into high gear! From trips to: Pat O’s in New Orleans, Rush Street in Chicago, “saber rattling” in the New England states, Thanksgiving cruising to Nassau Bahamas, riding the trains throughout Europe listening to Jerry Jeff and David Allan Coe, ski-trips to Park City, Lake Tahoe, Breckenridge and Vail (that’s another story as well!), white-water rafting through the Grand Canyon (“let’s go diving, Vito!”), boating in Cleveland. WOW!
The “Post Amante” Years: (Fall 1995 – present)
I thought Pat’s eventual move to Australia would put a kink in my travel wander lust. My wife thinks it did, however, allow me to get married! I have been fortunate to take several additional trips, some in the USA and some outside its borders. Some were for work others just for pleasure: Maui, Mexico (Cancun, Puerto Villarta, Cozumel), Amelia Island, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Nevis/St. Kitts, New York City, The Hamptons, Disney World, Key West and Destin, FL, San Diego.