Most scientists would agree with Brad and Chris – that the hands on activities is the favourite part of science. Some people prefer to be doing modeling so they do their research on the computer – although I probably would consider it hands-on as well. Writing reports/papers is part of the work though as it captures what you have discovered. It may take time to do, but in the end when it is published, you have something to show for your research.
I love doing the work. I love being able to discover something new and that has never been seen before. Its a great feeling when you know that you are the only one in human history to see or understand something. No other job can do that!
I agree with you, I love the hands-on activities! When you get to be more more of of a senior scientist, you have to do more paperwork (grant writing, paper writing, applications for approval for all sorts of things) and you get less time to sit at the lab bench and do experiments, and I miss being able to spend all of my time there. So I enjoy it when I do it. 🙂