National Leave the Office Early Day is TODAY! If you’re not sure about the background of National Leave the Office Early Day, you can read my blog post here.
In honor of this holiday, my husband and I decided to take an entire day off from work. We told a good friend about it, and he decided to combine work with fun (how efficient!). We invited our nephew to join us so he could begin to learn the language of one of my husband’s past times. Our nephew’s father found out about the outing and decided to invite himself, thus also taking a day off.
The planning for this celebration of National Leave the Office Early Day was birthed back in March and solidified in April. Each one of us has some pretty hectic work schedules, so this gave us ample time to plan for being away from email and voicemail for one entire day. You heard right – a true day off from work!
Back in March, we came across a brochure for the Texas Hill Country Beer Trail. It was apparently outdated, but we didn’t care. Our “combine work and play” friend happens to be a reporter for Texas Public Radio and thought a story highlighting homegrown breweries would be of interest to the listeners. He made arrangements for us to visit two different craft breweries, and we’d figure out a third stop along the way.
Instead of focusing on the origin of the trail, which is apparently in New Braunfels, Texas, we decided to laser in on two small towns: Johnson City and Blanco.
Pecan Street Brewing
Our first stop was one we almost didn’t want to leave. Pecan Street Brewing co-owner Jackie Bresie went above and beyond in the hospitality department. Scrumptious appetizers. Introductions to key staff members. History. Tasting notes. We also were given a behind-the-scenes tour by the Brewmaster Taylor Lopour (perfect name!). Each person in our party picked out their favorite brew. I was the designated driver (and – confession – I don’t even like beer!), but I still enjoyed every moment. Small towns have a lot of history, and this establishment didn’t disappoint.
We enjoyed a hearty lunch after grazing the apps, then sat outside for a spell in their beautiful patio area. What perhaps impressed me the most was that Jackie encouraged us to go to a second nearby brewery and even texted that owner to say, “Open up for these people.” Technically, this is her competitor, but she realized that her dream to run a successful brewery can remain an actuality if they all work together; they’ll increase business for the entire area. That’s one smart business approach.
Jackie encouraged us to go to a second nearby brewery and even texted that owner to say, “Open up for these people.” Technically, this is her competitor, but she realized that her dream to run a successful brewery can remain an actuality if they all work together; they’ll increase business for the entire area. That’s one smart business approach.
Reck ‘Em Right Brewing
On the other side of the main highway in Johnson City is Reck ‘Em Right Brewing, so named by the owner Timothy Jung, a Texas Tech alum. Besides having great-tasting brews (ask the owner about the secret Nordic ingredient!), the décor is very much whimsically Texas music-centric. And, of course, there’s a story behind this brew pub. Former chemistry teacher Tim decided to follow his dream and open up this gathering place for those who love suds, barbecue and telling stories. On Wednesday evenings, you can drink for a cause – every week Reck ‘Em Right raises money for a different charity.
Real Ale Brewing
Just south of Johnson City is the small town of Blanco. We did not expect such a large brewing facility. Real Ale has grown exponentially in distribution and size. While it doesn’t have the small town feel or fun stories told by the owner pouring your next libation, they serve up tasty brews and offer a fantastic park and hang out area, adjacent to their outdoor stage.
We lucked out with the weather, making it a glorious day to leave the office early (or entirely, in our case)!
By the way, even though National Leave the Office Early Day is on June 2, you don’t have to celebrate it on this exact day. The whole point is that you make a conscious effort to use your vacation days or PTO to recharge by escaping from work for a bit.
If it’s too late to leave the office early today, then make plans to do so in the near future!
Your mind, body and soul will thank you.
If you need a step-by-step guide to leave the office early (or leave work behind for a couple of hours, a couple of days, or a couple of weeks), take a peek at these Escape from Work options in online or book format.