Keeping Up With The Coal Crew - July

For some, the word vacation conjures a very specific location. Others view vacation as a chance to explore. Either way, a little time off is good for the soul. 

With summer in full swing, we asked the Coal Crew for their favorite vacation spots. The responses brought us up and down the east coast and spanned from a mission to visit every state in the US to a family trip back to Vietnam. Join us as we bop around with our team members and learn where they like to go to unwind.

We begin in New England. Design Specialist Madison Kaminski likes to vacation way up the east coast.

“While it’s hard to choose just one place, one of my favorite vacation spots is Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine,” Madison said. “What I really enjoyed about visiting here a couple years ago is that there’s a little bit of everything. Not only do you have the great hikes and spectacular views of rocky ocean cliffs in Acadia, but you also have the amenities of good restaurants and shops in the small town of Bar Harbor. I enjoyed being able to go back and forth to both of these.”

Content Manager & Design Specialist Samantha Bucher also enjoys a summer trip to New England.

Vermont is my happy place. Before I was born, my family went there every summer so it became this land of stories. When I was in grade school, I went there for the first time and ever since, it’s been my favorite vacation spot. If I don’t make it up there at least once a year, I feel my soul shrivel up a little,” Samantha said.

Beach trips are pretty popular among the Coal Crew. Content Writer Adam Roberts spends a week every summer with his toes dug into the south Jersey sand.

“When I was in high school my family went to Wildwood, New Jersey in the summer. I’ve since married into a devout Cape May family and I couldn’t be happier. Everything from the beach to the restaurants is spectacular. I look forward to taking the Garden State Parkway to Exit 0 every summer. And if I get nostalgic for the chaotic glory of the boardwalk, Wildwood is just a few miles up the coast,” Adam said.

Just across Delaware Bay, our Business Development Manager Camaryn Lokuta settles in for her summer beach trip. Camaryn is such a fan of Rehoboth Beach that if she strikes it rich we may never see her again.

“My favorite vacation spot is Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. As soon as I become a millionaire I will be buying a beach house there and never leaving,” Camaryn proclaimed.

Matt Simoncavage, Lead Web Developer and Designer, treks a bit further south for his annual beach visit. 

“When I was younger, my family would go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina every summer,” Matt explained. “Nowadays we stay in Garden City / Surfside Beach, where a friend of the family has a house in a cool little gated community located right across from the beach. It’s very close to our old spot, but the area is way more residential and quiet. Plus, we go in early October, so it’s the off-season but the weather is still nice and warm. It’s a week of relaxing, disconnecting and bonding with my parents on an almost empty beach. I look forward to it each year, and I can’t wait to be back in just a couple months.” 

South Carolina really appeals to our web team. Web Specialist John Martin enjoys Myrtle Beach, as much for its golf as for its surf. 

“My favorite vacation spot is probably Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have been there twice with my family. You can either just hangout on the beach all day or go golfing at some great public courses. The best part about planning a trip there is the very short flight time from NEPA. I’m really looking forward to going back some day,” said John.

Production Manager Alex Manganella has a soft spot for the beach — but for him — vacation isn’t solely about a destination.

“When I think of vacation, I imagine hanging with family on Long Beach Island,” Alex explained. “But when it really comes down to it, the location is irrelevant. Beach towns, lakeside cabins, mountains, they’re interchangeable. I might sound like Vin Diesel in the Fast and the Furious franchise here, but it’s truly all about family. And saving the world with our elite driving ability.”

As we move away from beach trips, Project Manager Jeremy Brown brings us to another quintessential summer activity: the amusement park. 

“My favorite vacation spot is Knoebels,” Jeremy said. “My dad loved going there for day trips even well after we grew up, so it’s become synonymous with fun yet laid-back summer days.”

While Jeremy’s selection is a destination with family, our next submission is a trip to family.

“I don’t necessarily have a typical vacation spot, but whenever the hazy summer months hit, I love retreating back to my parents home where I grew up,” said Post Production Manager Will McHale

“It’s nestled in the rural northeast PA countryside and is the perfect place for hiking, swimming, fishing, campfires, and peace and quiet. The perfect getaway ends with a slice of homemade blueberry pie, picked from the bushes on our property.” 

Sam O’Connell, our Creative Director, also craves the great outdoors when it’s time to get out of the office.

“It can sometimes be difficult to turn off work brain, or to sink into a vacation and truly reenergize. I find the fastest way to do this is to pack up the tent and go camping,” Sam shared. “Plus, we’re fortunate to live in one of the most incredible states for camping, hiking and being outdoors! Bonus points if you spot some nature and super points if you can get some early mornin’ kayaking in.”

As we round out the journey through our favorite vacation spots, we’ve come to the adventurers in our midst.

“Out of all the trips I’ve been on, I would have to say my favorite vacation spots would be in Vietnam!” Jay Nguyen, our Video Specialist, said. “My family and I traveled to Saigon and Vũng Tàu a few years ago for a wedding. My Ma and Ba are from Saigon, so it was really nice hearing them share stories of their past while they showed me around! I miss exploring the cities on vespas and eating fresh seafood by the beach. Speaking of food, my life has never been the same once I’ve had vietnamese street food — I would give away my first-born for an opportunity to eat it again.” 

Our final entry comes from CEO Holly K. Pilcavage, who has been to all 48 of the contiguous United States.

“When it comes to vacationing, I don’t necessarily have a favorite or go-to spot because I am a wanderer at heart,” Holly pointed out. “In recent years, I’ve been on a personal journey with the intent to explore all 50 states. When the pandemic hit, I had two states remaining, flights booked and all. I’m excited to potentially finish up that multi-year goal by the end of 2022. 

“I like experiencing new places and intentionally putting myself on journeys where I don’t know 100% what to expect. With that said, I guess you could say my favorite vacation spot is on the open road with a minimal plan behind it.” 

No matter the destination or your travel mates, a vacation should be relaxing. It was an adventure in itself to see how our team members like to relax. Thanks for coming along on this trip. And remember, stay coal!

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