Promega Travel Award Blog: An Excursion to Croatia

Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic

Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic

We invite you to travel with Bettina Bazzini-Lapin, Scientific Client Specialist, who was awarded a Promega Travel Award for sales performance and used her award to travel to Croatia and Italy. In this blog, she describes her travels.

Croatia is an Eastern European country that sits on the Adriatic Sea directly across from Italy. It has more than one thousand islands, and a third of the country is covered by forest. It is known for its beautiful Dalmatian coast line. One of the main sites for travelers to visit is the coastal city of Dubrovnik, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. This is where my adventure began. Continue reading

Exploring the Land of the Silver Fern: South Island of New Zealand—Part I

In 2014, Promega created a special incentive to reward field science consultants who help the scientific community take advantage of our on-site stocking program. The winners had to meet ambitious criteria to receive 2 round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world, a week of paid vacation and spending money. Our four winners from 2014 will share photos and stories about their journeys in a semi-regular Friday feature on the Promega Connections Blog.

Today’s travelogue is Part I of the adventures of Sarah Theos, a client support consultant, who used her award to travel to New Zealand.

Introduction

We went to New Zealand the first two weeks in December and were surprised that there was hardly anyone there. We had long stretches of the road entirely to ourselves and felt like we were the only ones around on many of the hikes. It was a magical feeling to take in the gorgeous scenery without another soul for miles. We, of course, purchased a book that told us about all of the “off the beaten path” hikes and sights that we must do and tried to check them all off the list! The locals were also extremely friendly and eager to chat. If we did come across any locals on the trails, they always stopped to talk and were eager to hear about where we were from and how we like the island so far. It was the beginning of summer so the days were long with the sun rising before 6am and setting around 10pm. We had plenty of daylight hours to explore.

Day 1: Christchurch

Starting in Washington, DC, we traveled over 29 hours door to door to get to Christchurch, NZ. Since we arrived around 7am, we decided to fight off the jetlag and go out to explore the city. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in Christchurch, knowing that it suffered two devastating back to back earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. My first impression was that there were a lot of gravel parking lots everywhere and boarded up high rises. It looked like a ghost town. We checked into our hotel (built after the earthquakes) and took a walk down to the City Centre. The once beautiful cathedral sat in ruins, surrounded by large buildings in various states of decay. It was a sad sight to see. We then walked further down the street to the botanical gardens. The gardens are beautiful and we spent quite a while admiring the stunning Rose Garden. After exploring the gardens, we decided to drive up to the gondola to explore the city from a different angle.

The gondola takes you up to the top of Port Hills, about 500 meters above sea level. At the top you can see a 360 degree view from the Pacific Ocean and Christchurch to the Southern Alps and the surrounding Canterbury plains. We hiked to the top of Cavendish Bluff to take in the beauty. After the gondola ride, we decided to drive a little ways up the Banks Peninsula to Governor’s Bay where we found a cute little pub. Exhaustion set in around 5pm so we decided to head to a grocery store to stock up on snacks and water in preparation for our drive to the wild, west coast the next day. We passed out around 8pm. Continue reading

There and Back Again, Part 1

In 2014, Promega created a special incentive to reward field science consultants who help the scientific community take advantage of the our on-site stocking program. The winners had to meet ambitious criteria to receive 2 round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world, a week of paid vacation and spending money. Our four winners from 2014 will share photos and stories about their journeys in a semi-regular Friday feature on the Promega Connections Blog.

Today’s travelogue comes to us from Mica Zaragoza, a senior client rep, who used his award to travel to Australia and New Zealand.

When initially introduced to the ambitious Helix award, I was amazed at the prospect of selecting anywhere in the world to travel, while blogging about my the adventures. Both humbled and amazed to receive this opportunity, my wife and I embarked on a journey across the Pacific.

Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia.

Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia.

Sydney, Australia

Departing our home in Chicago, my wife Crystal and I started our journey with a 5-hour trip to San Francisco for a layover before the 14 hour journey to Sydney. After jumping into the future (Thurs became Saturday), our first visit was to Central Sydney’s Hyde Park.

Taking jet lag into consideration, we decided to double-down by freshening up and dropping luggage to kick off our day at 7:30am. My first Australian purchase? Coffee! Continue reading