Spending Time In The Mitten

For March, we turn our gaze to the north and east towards the state of Michigan.  Every picture comes from a skating event of some sort, split between the 2016 US Synchronized Skating Championships in Kalamazoo and the 2019 Porter Classic in Ann Arbor.  The first row has a picture of Angelina skating at each event.  The second row has Danny and Michael, in the stands at the first event and with Angelina following the second.  Finally, the last row shows Angelina getting the results with the rest of her team.

Locked Out Of The 10,000 Step Club

Things were a lot different a year ago, as I was finishing up my fifth year using a Fitbit.  I had just added 45 new 10,000 step days, my 3rd best year to date, and, with upcoming trips to Boston and California already on the docket, things were looking good to add a good number more and add some new tales to this list of my top 25 step days.  Then, the corona virus happened and the world basically shut down.  I worked from home for the remainder of the year, which gave me a lot more free time, but also significantly cut down on my daily step totals.  All told, I managed only 3 10,000 step days for the just completed sixth year of Fitbit usage, which came to an end last week.  Just for giggles, here’s a duplication of last year’s top 25 step days, since nothing has changed over the past year.

1: 4/14/2018 – 27,470 steps

My best single day total is from my April 2017 trip to New York to see Angelina.  The day’s excursions included trips to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.

2: 7/21/2018 – 27,278 steps

My July 2017 trip to Virginia, to hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob with Jeff and Val, fell just short of the top spot.

3: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

2013’s trip to Disney World, which spent 5 years as my single day best, included excursions to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom, and yes, falling 12 steps short of 25,000 still irks me.

4: 6/3/2019 – 24,665 steps

The first full day of 2019’s summer trip to Washington DC spent most of the day at the Smithsonian Zoo.

5: 8/8/2019 – 23,866 steps

Late in the summer of 2019, I spent two weeks in San Francisco for a work trip.   On my last full day, I went out after work, walking to Pier 39 and then back the other direction to Oracle Park to see the Giants take on the Phillies.  My totals would have been even higher, but I was dead tired and took an Uber back to the hotel after the game.

6: 3/18/2018 – 23,780 steps

My first day in Las Vegas for the 2017 IBM Think conference, the day’s totals include gallivanting around town, including a late night trip up to Caesar’s Palace from the MGM Grand to see Absinthe.

7: 10/24/2018 – 23,362 steps

My October 2018 trip to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday gives us our next entry.  While she was in class, I took tours of Fenway Park and Harvard, before meeting up with her for a late lunch and then heading to the airport for the trip home.

8: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My one-time second highest day took place during the ill-fated trip to Disney World in March of 2016.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

9: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

Still my highest total at home in the state of Illinois, the next entry comes thanks to the 2013 BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

10: 12/29/2018 – 20,374 steps

We wrap up the top 10 with 2018’s trip to California and the trip to Disneyland to see Danny perform with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band.

11: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The next entry came in August of 2017 on the first day of my trip to Boston with Danny and Michael.  After landing in town, we traipsed to the Science Museum, a breakfast joint, our hotel, and, finally, Fenway Park.

12: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

Down to #12 is my 2017 trip to Disney World, a one day journey with Angelina to celebrate her high school graduation. Continue reading →

I Heart New York

For February, we turn our gaze to the east and the state of New York.  The majority of the pictures come from the 2018 trip to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, with one photo from my 2003 trip to Shea Stadium for Opening Day.  Starting in the top left and moving clockwise, we have Danny outside of the 9/11 memorial, Michael, Angelina, and Danny at the top of the Empire State Building, the three of them again on Bow Bridge in Central Park, posing outside of the theater on Broadway, the three by the lagoon in Central Park, and, finally, resting at the Museum of the City of New York.

2020: The Year In Travel

In normal times, this is where I would take a look back at all of the different trips I took this past year and look ahead to what, if any. travel plans I already have for 2021.  Unfortunately, 2020 was far from normal times.  So let’s see, in early April, Michael and I went to Boston to see Angelina and the White Sox battle the Red Sox.  Oh wait, that was cancelled due to the corona virus.  Well, in May, I went to California to see the White Sox do battle against the Giants in San Francisco and then the Padres in San Diego.  Oh yeah, that was cancelled too.

As it turned out, I only ended up making one trip during the hell year that was 2020.  Labor Day weekend, I headed up to Holland, Michigan for a week of relaxation.  Other than a couple of trips to the lakes (both Macatawa and Michigan) and a day spent in Saugatuck, I didn’t see much of the sites, as the rona was still very much a concern.

So that was it.  With vaccines starting to become available, there is hope that 2021 will be different, but, at least at the start, we are still pretty much locked down.

And Never Brought To Mind

The hell year that was 2020 has finally come to an end.  While the world looks forward to vaccines and a (hopeful) return to normalcy without the impacts of the corona virus, we turn our gaze back to two trips to California, one in 2017 to see Angelina compete and again in 2018 to see Danny march in the Rose Parade.  Starting in the top left and moving clockwise, we have a picture of Danny in said parade on New Year’s Day 2019, Angelina and Michael posing in front of the Central Perk window at the Warner Bros. studio, Angelina warming up before her performance in Anaheim, Danny performing at the pre-parade Band Fest showcase at Pasadena City College, the entire family (minus Danny) outside Ms. Patty’s dance studio back on the back lot at Warner Bros.  studios, and, finally, Michael, Danny, and mom at Disneyland in 2017.

2021 Calendar

Normally, I put together a calendar every year with pictures I have taken of Angelina, Danny, and Michael throughout the year as a Christmas gift for my mom and sister.  This year, however, the pickings are very slim, due to the corona virus pandemic and not really leaving the house much since March.  Because of that, I had to re-think what this year’s calendar would look like.  What I ended up with was a new photo of each for their birthday month, with the remaining 9 months made up of a collection of photos from year’s past from a particular state.  The states that made the cut are California, DC, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Wisconsin.  As in year’s past. the calendar was produced by the good folks at Shutterfly and we will unveil each month’s photo on the first day of the month throughout 2021.

This year’s cover comes from 2019’s trip to Washington, DC, as the three kids sit on the steps of the Supreme Court Building.

Fitbit 6: Week 29

Week 22 of working from home due to the corona virus saw my streak of days above goal come to an end at 14 and my streak of surpassing my weekly goal stop at 2.  Things got off to a poor start on Sunday, where I managed only 4800 steps.  Monday bounced back above goal, coming in just over 7500 steps as I dealt with the damage caused by the derecho that blew through town.  Tuesday fell back down again, finishing 8 steps shy of 5600.  Wednesday was another disappointment, coming in just 5 steps higher than Sunday’s total.  Thursday had an early morning meeting that I could take on my phone, leading to a walk that staked me out to a 9100 step day.  Friday, I took my first day off of the year and ended up at Brookfield Zoo with Danny, which led to 12,300 steps, my highest total since last October’s trip to Boston to celebrate birthdays with Angelina.  A strong Saturday could have saved the week, but I finished the day with 6200 steps, leaving me about 2000 steps shy of my weekly goal.

Total steps: 50,508

Daily average: 7215.4

The Dog Days Of Summer

As we prepare to enter the dog days of summer, we have 4 shots of Angelina and Michael.  First, they pose in front of the Beverly Hills sign from New Year’s Eve 2018.  Next is a shot of them from the Capitol Building and then outside the White House from last June’s trip to DC.  Finally, from Warner Bros. Studio is a picture of them next to the Privet Drive street sign from Harry Potter.