Breaking Away

(Courtesy Daren Jenkins - Courtesy Daren Jenkins)
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 3, 2007

And so summer ends (yes, we know, not technically, but get real). We've been stargazing,

sun-worshiping, cave-exploring, racetrack-hunting. We've snooped in the back yard and down the beach.

What did you do? This year's Metro summer series packs up.

Ahh, the summer vacation. What is its emblem?

Waves lapping warm sand. Lazy hammock naps. A mitt lying in the grass. Conferences.

Yes, it seems, if you're one of the Washington area's many bigwigs, what you call your summer "vacation" might well have revolved around a conference, a meeting, your office or, at the very least, your BlackBerry. You took it on your trip and checked it every few hours, wonkified workaholic that you are.

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke at five conferences: in Italy, Colorado, Quebec, Sydney and Seattle.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, recently "retired" as Catholic archbishop of Washington, hit meetings in the hot spots of Ukraine, Syria and Kazakhstan.

District club owner and musician Eric Hilton, a guy whose living relies on play, took no time off. He was too busy editing a movie and prepping for a U Street club he's opening. What do you expect from a guy whose band is named Thievery Corporation?

"I kind of tortured myself," said Hilton, who grew up in Rockville and owns 18th Street Lounge in Dupont Circle. "Maybe that's a typical Washingtonian thing -- you just work."

Typical, but not invariable. Some go-getters do squeeze in activities familiar to mere mortals. Robert C. Bobb, president of the D.C. State Board of Education, honed his short (golf) game at the University of Maryland course, practiced yoga and read. Okay, so he read business books, including former General Electric chairman Jack Welch's "Straight From the Gut" and the scarily named "The Art of War Plus the Art of Management." He also went away for four days, visiting his mother in rural southwestern Louisiana, where he grew up.

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