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abbieI just got back from a 10-day summer vacation-what I have been affectionately referring to as my "Midwest swing." Minneapolis, Chicago and Indianapolis to visit family and friends.

The primary reason for the trip was my mom was celebrating her 50th high school reunion in Minneapolis. But when my grandma passed away in March, it was decided then that the final burial rituals would happen when we were back for the reunion. As it turned out, the rest of the family needed to be in Minneapolis that weekend, as well, for a wedding.

So plans were made and my thought was if I get to Minneapolis I might as well figure out how to visit friends in Chicago and Indy.

A lot can happen when you're on vacation, so here are just a few of things that I learned on my summer vacation:

That when you are traveling with more than one person, the first person's luggage will be out right away and the other's will inevitably be among the last.

No matter how good your directions are, you should plan for at least two u-turns per outing.

You will likely forget to pack something - but there is always a Walgreens or Target near your hotel.

I love my family and I am so glad I saw them.Midwest Swing 1

It is nice to visit the old neighborhoods.

My mom and I are pretty good traveling companions.

Text messages on vacation mean that fun plans are being confirmed.

Take a lot of pictures.

I have amazing friends who generously allowed me to crash in the guest rooms and on their couches.

Midwest Swing 2That I still need to check email and voice mail at the office, but have a great team that handles it all when I'm gone.

I will still update my Facebook and Twitter accounts on a regular basis.

It isn't about what you do on your vacation but about who you are spending time with.

And finally, as much as I love vacations, it is nice to be home.

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