After a night of fun, Russ and I would be the first to admit it was a bit difficult to get up and get over to breakfast at National Geographic. But – neither of us would have missed this opportunity, so a few cups of coffee later, we were headed back up the street to the National Geographic Society building.
Breakfast was nice and simple – fresh fruit, bagels and coffee. We enjoyed the company of Maroy Correa Estenos & Sam Stime. The two had spent approximately 86 days rowing a boat up the Amazon River to the Atlantic Ocean, conducting the world’s longest water survey. Maroy is from Peru, and it was fun to attempt a bit of Spanish, with a lot of translation help from Sam. The breakfast room featured many framed photographs of past events, notable explorers and founders of the Society. If we had more time, I would have enjoyed looking at them in greater detail.
After breakfast, a tour had been arranged for us. Our guide was knowledgeable, informative and knew some very odd tidbits of history that happened within the rooms of the building. There is more history than one can digest in relation to National Geographic – (read historical highlights here) – the list is beyond what anyone could imagine.
As I stood in the Board Room of the Society Headquarters… I couldn’t help but to think of all the conversations and important world events that had begun from this very location. Founded in 1888, by Gardiner Green Hubbard and Alexander Graham Bell – very important people sat in those chairs over the past 120 years. They went on to changed the very course of of exploration and science history.
The tour continued on to the National Geographic Museum, which currently had an extensive exhibit about whales. The last stop was the production area of the magazine itself where we had a brief summary of how the stories, photos and magazine are arranged. From the perspective of someone like myself (having worked in the graphic design field for 23 years), it was truly an amazing setup. There are some articles that take two years from the time it is a concept – to being published.
After a few rounds of handshakes and goodbyes, we did a little shopping at the National Geographic Store. We then had a quick lunch and headed for the airport. Our flight home was less than a stellar experience (due to poor weather conditions in Cleveland, we were stranded there overnight… prompting me to miss one of my biggest art sale shows of the season).
Getting stuck at the airport obviously was no picnic, but we wouldn’t have changed a thing. We walked away with an experience of a lifetime. Over breakfast, one of the Adventurers commented, “It is great someone who can really appreciate National Geographic was randomly chosen to come here…”
And yes, it certainly was.