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41 Sign Pro Days of Summer

Vacations, outdoors, volunteering, hobbies or … nothing but work, say these Brain Squad members.




KIDS RETURN TO school as summer comes to an end and traditionally eagerly question one another, “What did you do for summer vacation?” We thought we’d ask the same of the Signs of the Times Brain Squad.

Despite most members consistently reporting higher sales than a year ago and presumably being as busy as ever, we’re happy to relate that 65% of the Brain Squad respondents said they took a vacation and just under half enjoyed at least one full week away from the shop. Incredibly, 15% luxuriated for two weeks or more — wow, what’s that like?!

However, more than a third stated they did not take a vacation at all this summer, often citing work commitments. We hope they’re able to refresh and recharge with some time away soon.

Following are the details, in their own words, of how 41 members of our Squad spent their summer. Let us know what you did by adding your exploits to the comments.


What kind of vacation did you take this summer?

Traveled to an out-of-town destination
Enjoyed a “staycation” at home
I did not take a vacation this summer


How long was your vacation?

Less than one week
One week
More than a week, less than two
Two weeks or more
I did not take a vacation this summer

Traveled Out of State

  • Took a three-week motorcycle vacation, a total of 5,600 miles. This included seven national parks. Mainly based on a one-week stay in Glacier National Park, we did 40 miles of hiking in the park, visiting friends on our way out and back. — Tim W., Frederick, MD
  • A couple of three-day weekends out of state in New England. We rented a cabin on a secluded lake that was dog friendly for our three pups. — John M., Branford, CT
  • Took a cruise with my brother and his wife. We both celebrated our birthday in June. It was a great experience. — Earl W., Tucker, GA
  • Spent three weeks in Alaska, fishing and went to two glaciers. — Tish S., Los Alamitos, CA
  • Visited Wake Forest, NC and Duke University. Fell in love with the trees. I live on the southern West Coast where chaparral is the native fauna but the beach is close by. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much bright green in my life. — Grace F., San Diego
  • Motorcycle ride to the Ozarks. Spent a few days going through Arkansas enjoying the serenity and beautiful country. — Adam B., Milwaukee
  • Trip to Danville, VA. — Rob S., New Smyrna Beach, FL
  • Did the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Stayed in Louisville and did day trips from there. — Rita S., Annapolis, MD
  • Just returned from a long-overdue vacation on a cruise to Alaska! Great time and much needed. — Carl H., Cincinnati
  • RV trip to a variety of states. Had a great summer! — Sean T., Pitman, NJ
  • Traveled to Maui for a two-week vacation with my whole family. — James N., Charlotte, NC
  • Spent a week in the mountains of Vermont with my 6-month-old grandkids (twins, boy and girl). Didn’t do much except play with babies. One of the best weeks of my life! — Robert B., Oakdale, CT
  • I went to Texas during the heatwave and got to experience 113-degree heat — poor planning on my part! — Nonnie L., Norwood, NC

Visited Another Country

  • We took a family trip to France. The voyage included several days in Paris. For us it lived up to the hype with so many sites to see. Easy to walk or use public transportation. Really cool signs, too! Then we did a day at Euro Disney for my girls and spent the rest of our time renting a car to go north to visit the beautiful landscapes of the Champagne Region (city of Reims); then south to take in the Loire Valley to see the stunning architecture of the fancy chateaus and gardens. The French were very welcoming and most of the business owners can speak English well enough to help you out. So don’t let that stop you from heading there! — Tom D., Tewksbury, MA
  • Visited Egypt. — Mohamed S., Chicago


  • I volunteer with a local nonprofit program that teaches area youth water safety via sailing. We live on a peninsula with Lake Michigan on one side and the bay of Green Bay on the other. This summer we started to take kids to events so they can test their skills against others. I put together that the sailing community is much like the print community. It is small and you always run into someone that already knows a common acquaintance. People in both openly share and help each other. They all like to have a good time. It was great for me to connect my work-life passion with my favorite pastime. — Cain G., Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Fostered and found homes for three dogs through the Hobo Boxer Rescue. — Dawn H., Brighton, CO
  • I raced my Formula Vee race car in the Race Against Kids Cancer July 30-31. It’s held at High Plains Raceway in Deer Trail, CO, and we raised over $200K for cancer research for kids. Out of 30 Formula Vee’s I qualified 16th and finished fourth. I was very pleased and had a wonderful time. — Willis W., Lakewood, CO

Enjoyed Outdoor Activities

  • As many beach days and outdoor activities as possible. Swimming, exploring, kayaking, hiking, driving … Lots and lots of driving. — Jamie P., Tewksbury, MA
  • We went on weekend-long camp trips, took my young daughter to the zoo and pool, and worked on upgrading our backyard. — Mallory L., Brighton, CO
  • Lots of camping at our cabin in Carmel Valley. — Jeremy V., Salinas, CA
  • Lots of camping at the lake. — Geoff O., Campbell River, BC, Canada
  • We spent some time away from the office and made a point to visit wildly varying beaches and islands! — Derek A., Columbus, OH

Celebrated a Big Occasion

  • At work, my main title is purchaser, and this summer I made the biggest purchase of my life when my spouse and I bought our first house together. — Sean H., Clinton Township, MI
  • I turn 40 on Sept. 20. I’ve been training hard and plan to run 40 miles on my 40th birthday. — Stuart S., Watertown, SD
  • My sister from Ireland came for a month-long visit. — Sheila R., Phillipsburg, KS
  • I threw a 10-year anniversary party for [my sign company, and invited] local businesses around me. The process is bringing in new business. — Frank M., Oceanside, CA

Pursued a Hobby

  • Worked on my hot rods! Love working on old cars and trucks, so when I’m not selling signs, I’m getting greasy working on old trucks. — Scott M., San Antonio, TX
  • Golf. — Gary W., Cape Coral, FL
  • Stripped, repainted and replaced carpet in my 1987 Grumman fishing boat. There are very few signs on the river, so no work talk while fishing. — Jasper B., Conway, AR

Did Something a Bit Out of the Ordinary

  • I went to a few public seances and mind-reading events that were a blast, and finished the summer off with HearseCon. — Mieke M., Westminster, CO
  • Ummm, visited the Ark Encounter … That’s it, too much work. — Michele B., Asheboro, NC

Nothing (Much)! Too Busy!

  • The wife and I took our yearly trip to Savannah, GA to celebrate our anniversary but, other than that, it was work, work, taking care of my gardens, and more work. — Michael J., Buford, GA
  • Not much, unfortunately. — Raychel O., Burlington, MA

  • Not a damn thing! We were just way too busy at the shop. — Kevin M., Portland, OR
  • Other than working, all I did was try to recruit and hire people — which is still working. — David K., Marina del Rey, CA
  • Wish I could answer this differently, but all I did was work. — Ben P., Seaford, DE
  • Lived through a terribly hot summer. — Jeffrey C., Seminole, FL
  • Ha! Good one: “outside of work.” One day we will get there. ;} — Gwen S., Vista, CA

And Finally …

  • My vacation is in November. I can’t wait. To me, my head is an eight-track tape player. November is the insertion of the cleaning tape. Click, click, click … Pass me a Genny Cream Ale. — Jerry C., Westline, PA
  • Wait, is summer already over?! — John K., Fort Myers, FL




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