Yes, after just three weeks of recovery I am back on the road again. No, not on my bike (I wish). Just back on the business travel road. It has been an eventful return to life on the road featuring prime beef, tornadoes and charbroiled oysters!
After a three-day trip to Columbia, Missouri, I am now in New Orleans for the 2008 National Beef Ambassador competition. But first stop was cousin Wiley's new bachelor pad in Clayton, MO. Determined to experience the semi-urban lifestyle, Wig and I walked to the local Straub's market to pick up some USDA prime beef ribeye steaks. Back at VC's flat we met up with KL and enjoyed a glass or two of fine California wine while grilling the ribeyes to a perfect medium rare and watching the Colorado Rockies sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The next morning I drove to Columbia, MO, for a series of trainings at the Missouri Beef Industry Council -- and a series of severe storms that brought tornadoes across Missouri. Fortunately the tornadoes bypassed Columbia, but I woke up the next morning with an ear ache that led to a trip to an urgent care facility today in Kenner, LA. Yes, Louisiana.
After leaving Columbia yesterday afternoon I caught a flight from St. Louis to New Orleans. Somewhere in route, my ear ache turned into an ear infection. So I had to go to an urgent care facility today -- my second trip to an "emergency room" in the past four weeks. But this time it wasn't in an ambulance!
I can't remember the last time I had an ear infection. I actually wonder if it is related to my bicycle accident. Seriously. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I have only been able to sleep on my left side. The infection is in my left ear, which has spent the past three -- almost four -- weeks pressed against my pillow for 6-8 hours every night!
Whatever the cause, it's not fun to be sick in a strange town. It took three hours to find a doctor to look in my ear, tell me it looked "nasty," give me a shot of steroids and prescribe antibiotics. But with the help of the Louisana Cattlewomen I made it to the urgent care factility, saw the doctor, and got my prescriptions in time to enjoy a dinner of charbroiled oysters at Drago's in Metarie.
So here I am tonight. Sitting in my hotel room, drugged up, stuffed full of oysters and ready to get home to my family, unpack the suitcase and enjoy the rest of the weekend sitting on the couch watching football with a broken collarbone, infected ear and grateful heart. Hey, at least I'm here, experiencing the ups and downs, joys and sorrows and aches and pains of life!