Poconos, PA

Easter egg hunting might have sounded good for someone's holiday celebration. Not for those of us at Patagonia Upper West Side. Five eager anglers from the uptown New York brood packed up some Patagonia Provisions salmon, a couple Tenkara rods-cum-accoutrements, and some overnight gear for Easter Sunday in the Poconos.

Looking at the holiday as an opportunity to make a Pennsylvania retreat into a learning opportunity and team bonding weekend, we embark to the home of our New York Regional Merchandising Director.

Moroccan chicken kebabs, Cadbury Easter eggs, Patagonia Provisions salmon: the gastronomical ingredients to our retreat's success.

Patagonia's company-wide focus for May is Explore your options. This call to action refers specifically to our swimwear line for women. Myriad options in the way of bikini tops and bottoms, tankinis, boardies, and baggies afford women the opportunity to mix and match their favorite reversible surf top and board shorts.

So we are back in the Poconos, mixing and matching our smoked salmon pouches with fresh-caught pickerel, and holiday confections, with the culture-soaked kebabs. The eclectic nature of our trip reflect the ethos abundant at our Upper West Side shop. We have a great family of folks who descend upon the Upper West Side every day, imparting the the company story, as well as their own. Everyone brings something unique to the table.

And although the retail life begrudges 9-5 working folks of their weekends and higher education students of their actually thoughtful and scintillating days learning new, interesting things, there is something worth taking away from the retail floor: downtime.

It's moments of downtime, lack of business, and daily closeness to the same handful of folks that allow the mind to wander. To explore yourself. To explore meandering thoughts. To explore the future. Without the daydreaming that goes along with moments of physical and cognitive inactivity, our lives might be more mundane than they should be.

Below is a small collection of the best photos from the overnight getaway. Waterfalls, hiking trails, lush green forestry, and beautiful lakeside fishing - exploration gone well, and with a fake ad campaign to boot:

If nothing else, I enjoy the days at the shop that I can really explore my options by productively zoning out. Fortunately, I am happy exploring the women's swimwear options at a pleasant distance: Spring / Summer 2014 Swim Look Book.