Q&A: What do you do to get away from work stressors and relax, or simply to unwind?
California Lawyer

Q&A: What do you do to get away from work stressors and relax, or simply to unwind?

April 2014

James "Jim" Nuss

One of my favorite weekend getaways is the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor State Park located on the northeastern shore of that beautiful alpine lake. It's a great Sierra location, and then the theater is situated with the lake as the stage backdrop. A curved sand dune facing the lake forms a near perfect seating arrangement, and with your toes in the sand, a picnic dinner, and a bottle of wine from your basket, the night will unfold beautifully.

I attended my first festival in the summer of 1977, newly bruised from my first year at law school. It was a great escape. To make the experience even more unforgettable a rare "alpenglow" arrived at dusk and I climbed to the top of the dune with my friends to bathe in the ethereal orange light show. And the play itself is almost always superb. You will likely leave with a smile on your lips, or a tear in your eye, but that's Shakespeare.

When I am home on the weekends, I enjoy getting outside and gardening. I love my tomatoes, basil, chives, chilies (jalapeno and serrano) and rosemary and or oregano herb plot.

James T. C. Nuss is a principal of the law firm of Neumiller & Beardslee in Stockton. His practice emphasizes lending, real estate, and business transactions.

Tami L. Warren

I drink first and foremost -- I just enjoy having a cocktail, whether it is with friends or coworkers or whomever. I like having a social drink to unwind, but to be very clear -- I never drink and drive.

I also like to sing to myself to relax, and I have the worst singing voice, so I sing to my dogs, or in my car, or in the shower or on the way to the beach. I live in Torrance near the beach and I love to go, but I don't walk along the sand or in the water. I just like to sit in my car, roll down the windows, and look at the ocean. There is something about seeing the ocean that I find very calming.

What I don't like to do is anything that has to do with exercise, and I don't cook very much -- cheese and crackers are a delicious dinner in my opinion -- but when I am at home, away from the office, I talk on the phone and I get on Facebook and Twitter to unwind. That relaxes me.

And I love to laugh and I love life, and that makes me happy and keeps me balanced. And I always try to laugh during the day at something -- anything.

Tami L. Warren is a Deputy Public Defender for the County of Los Angeles and is currently assigned to the Airport Courthouse in Adult Felonies.

Erin L. Walker

A sunny, relaxing day-off for me is often spent hiking with my dog. There are a couple of spots within the East Bay Regional Parks that are dog friendly and hiking is my favorite way to unwind. For a non-dog activity, I am a fan of urban hiking which usually just involves me and a couple of friends trekking the hills of San Francisco in search of cookies and iced tea (or margaritas) to fuel our adventures. For a weekend trip, to really get away and have fun, wine country is definitely the place to go. I have spent many a relaxing weekend in Napa or Sonoma wine tasting or picnicking with friends.

Erin L. Walker is an associate in the Oakland office of Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi practicing Workers' Compensation Defense. She is also a member of the DRI Young Lawyers Subcommittee and formerpresident of the Diablo Valley Industrial Claims Association.

Mary Luros

I live in Napa, which is where 3.5 million people annually go to "get away." And for good reason --Napa is like Disneyland for adults. For an afternoon off, I'll drive "up valley" with my husband and take in the rolling vineyards, currently dotted with the greens and yellows of springtime mustard. We'll have a glass of wine on a patio in the sun and do everything we can to avoid talking about clients. Unfortunately, it's tough to relax at a winery if the winery also happens to be a client. As a result, I've found that sometimes I really need to get out of wine country to truly unwind.

My favorite quick trip is to go camping. Pretty much anywhere will do, but preferably near the ocean with no cell service. There's something refreshing about not being able to look at your laptop or plug in your iPad. It's easy to forget about our giant old-growth redwoods and the sparkling blue ocean when you're stuck in the office all day. After two days of hiking, sunning, and swimming, I'm ready to tackle whatever is in my (now overflowing) inbox.

Mary Luros is a partner at Hudson & Luros and practices primarily business law, estate planning and administration, and intellectual property law. She is a graduate of Leadership Napa Valley and sits on several nonprofit boards.

Andrew Klausner

In order to relax and actually be able to take a break from work, I have to get away. I have to be far away from the pull of the office. For me, the place I go is Vegas. I'll drive with friends. My office is in Long Beach, so it's about a four-hour drive for us. We generally leave after work on Friday or early Saturday morning and return on Sunday -- that's all the time you need in Vegas.

I like to smoke cigars, which I can do there, and it's a great place to golf and relax in the sun. Blackjack and poker are my games of choice, so I unwind playing cards too. Vegas is just a really good way to totally escape for the weekend.

Andrew Klausner, a certified family law specialist with Jarvis Krieger & Sullivan, is licensed in Arizona and California and has handled civil, criminal, dependency and personal injury litigation in several states.

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