The Decade In Travel

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are continuing with travel, specifically the 53 out of state trips that I took between 2010 and 2019.  The first trip of the decade came in September of 2010, as I traveled north to Detroit and Windsor, staying in Canada when I wasn’t watching the White Sox battle the Tigers.  The final trip of the decade, and a fitting bookend to the decade, came in December, when the family traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to see Angelina skate in a competition.  2018 was my best year, with 13 different trips/destinations, while 2012 was my worst year, with only a single trip.

My most popular place to travel was, unsurprisingly, West Lafayette, with 7 different trips.  Next came a 3-way tie, with Milwaukee, Boston, and Los Angeles each finding themselves under my feet 4 times.  The only other place I went to more than twice was Disney World, with 3 trips.

If we break down those 53 trips, we get the following:

  • 32 locations
  • 6 countries
    • United States
    • Canada
    • Italy
    • Ireland
    • Scotland
    • Northern Ireland
  • 19 states
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Michigan
    • Wisconsin
    • Minnesota
    • Iowa
    • Massachusetts
    • New York
    • California
    • Nevada
    • Arizona
    • Mississippi
    • Tennessee
    • Arkansas
    • Ohio
    • Maryland
    • Virginia
    • South Carolina
    • Hawaii

 

 

 

The 10,000 Step Club – 2020 Edition

Last year, as I was finishing up my fourth year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at my 25 best step days since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 217 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 45 occurrences, my 3rd best year to date, for a total of 262.  With my fifth year using the Fitbit coming to an end last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a new look at my top 25 step days over the past 8 1/2 years, featuring only 3 new entries.

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 new entry comes thanks to last summer’s trip to Washington DC, and the day spent at the Smithsonian Zoo.

5: 8/8/2019 – 23,866 steps

The second new entry is from last summer’s work trip out to San Francisco and the day I walked to Pier 39 and then back to Oracle Park to see the Giants take on the Phillies.  It 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

Dropping out of the top 5 after only 1 year is my first day in Las Vegas for the 2017 IBM Think conference.  The day’s totals include gallivanting around town, including a 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 →

2019: The Year In Travel

Once again, I thought it would be nice to look back at the many trips I took this year.  As you may recall from last year‘s wrap-up, the year began in California.

New Year’s Day was spent in Pasadena for the Rose Parade, where Danny and the Lincoln-Way Marching Band were performing.  Lucky for them, they were slotted right after the float that caught on fire and eventually mucked up the entire end of the parade.  However, they were able to march around the disabled float and keep things moving for the time being.  The next day we went to the California ScienCenter, where we were able to see artifacts from King Tut’s tomb and the space shuttle Endeavor, and the beach before heading home.

And home is where I stayed for a whole month before heading out to Hawaii in February.  I arrived that first Saturday in February, checking out my surroundings around the resort and down Waikiki Beach after the long flight.  Monday, I took a tour of the island of Oahu, with stops at Hanauma Bay, Nu’uanu Pali lookout, Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, Sunset Beach, Waimea Falls, and the Dole Plantation.  Tuesday, I took in a whale watching cruise, where we were able to see multiple whales surfacing during the excursion.  Thursday, I traveled over to Pearl Harbor and all of the associated attractions and museums.  Come the following Saturday, it was time to head home on an overnight flight that got me in town very early Sunday morning.

Come June, the whole family headed east to celebrate Michael’s graduation.  We flew into Baltimore, where Dennis, the boys, and I went to breakfast before heading to Camden Yards to see the Orioles take on the Giants.  On the way to the stadium, we stopped at the grave site of Edgar Allen Poe and the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum.  After the game, we walked to the local bus depot, where we caught a bus to Washington DC for the remainder of the trip.

Continue reading →

And Never Brought To Mind

A new year is upon us, and, with it, a new decade!  We kick off 2020 with the first group of photos from this year’s calendar, featuring Danny, Angelina, and Michael from last year’s trip to California.  Appropriate for New Year’s Day, Danny is shown from last year’s Rose Parade and at the marching band festival 2 days prior.  Angelina and Michael are posing in front of a Happy New Year sign we came across in Beverly Hills on New Year’s Eve.

2020 Calendar

Now that Christmas has come and gone, we can unveil the cover to this year’s calendar gift, given annually to my mom and sister, made up of pictures I have taken throughout the year, with entries from 5 different states.  Once again. this year’s calendar was produced by the good folks at Shutterfly. As in year’s past, we will unveil each month’s photo on the first day of the month throughout 2020.

This year’s cover features various shots of Angelina, Danny, and Michael in Washington, DC from our trip to celebrate Michael’s graduation in June.  There are photos from the US Capitol Building, the White House, Nationals Park, and the Supreme Court Building, with a special guest appearance from Abraham Lincoln.

Fitbit V: Week 46

My final work week of 2019 ends in disappointment, with only one single day coming in over goal.  The week got off to a slow start on Sunday with just under 3700 steps, thanks in part to the long drive home from Ann Arbor, where we watched Angelina and the BU Synchro team perform.  The easy last week at work did mean no afternoon coffee runs, so Monday and Tuesday both finished between 5700 and 5850 steps.  Wednesday saw an improvement all the way up to 6600 steps.  Thursday was the lone good day of the week, using trips around campus to pass out Christmas cards to nearly get to 7800 steps.  Friday, being a day off with bad weather, put me barely over 2200 steps.  Saturday was more of the same, with a vast 100 step increase.

Total steps: 34,229

Daily average: 4889.9

Fitbit V: Week 45

Yet another disappointing week, as I failed to make my goal for the 15th straight week.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, as I barely surpassed 3000 steps.  I headed back to work on Monday, but only managed to improve up to 6400 steps.  Tuesday finally got over goal, with nearly 8300 steps.  I worked from home on Wednesday, which led to the paltry total of 2800 steps.  Thursday was a nice bounce back day, finishing a whopping 48 steps over my goal.  I was off on Friday, so I ended up just over 2500 steps.  Saturday, we headed up to Ann Arbor to see Angelina and the BU Synchro team skate, so my 3000 steps can be attributed to spending most of the day in the car.

Total steps: 33,720

Daily average: 4817.1

Ballpark Tour: Red Sox

With the offseason underway, we continue our tour of all of the different baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years. This week, we look at the Boston Red Sox, owners of the oldest stadium in MLB. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my one game history with Fenway Park.

Stadium Name: Fenway Park

Years in Service: 1912 – Present

Visits: 1

In 1911, Red Sox owner John I. Taylor purchased the land bordered by Brookline Avenue, Jersey Street, Van Ness Street and Lansdowne Street and developed it into a larger baseball stadium, which he named after the Fenway neighborhood where it was located.  The first game was played April 20, 1912, as the Red Sox defeated the New York Highlanders, who would become the Yankees the following year, 7-6 in 11 innings.

I attended my first (and, so far, only) game at Fenway Park in August of 2017, cashing in my birthday gift from the year before.  The hope was that Angelina would be moving in to Boston University around that time, but her gap year put a kibosh on that.  The ballpark was… a little underwhelming.  From the outside, you could barely tell that it was a stadium.  Michael even asked where it was as we were standing outside it.

The game went about as you would expect.  With James Shields on the mound, the White Sox did not put up much of a fight.  We were sitting down the left field line, with a good view of the Green Monster.  The seats, which may or may not date back to the stadium’s opening in 1912, were not really designed for people well over 6 feet tall, so there was a lot of uncomfortable shifting as Danny and my knees were smooshed in to the seats in front of us.

With Angelina now ensconced at BU, I hope to increase my number of visits in the years to come, especially with the White Sox making an early April appearance next season.

Fitbit V: Week 40

My 10th consecutive week falling below average, despite one great day.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, my birthday, as I came in just over 3700 steps as we drove home from Indianapolis.  Monday I flew to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday, coming in over 14,500 steps.  Tuesday’s trip home left me just under 5000 steps for the day.  I got back in to the normal swing of things on Wednesday, finishing over 5800 steps.  Thursday was more of the same, with a little more than 6100 steps.  Friday was another successful day, as I managed to get a whole 44 steps over my goal.  Saturday ended up just shy of 5600 steps to end the week on a down note.

Total steps: 48,348

Daily average: 6906.9

20 (and 45)


In a surprise development, Angelina and I spent our birthday together last year, spending the day in St. Louis thanks to Danny’s band competition.  This picture of us was taken just minutes before the end of our birthday as the competition wrapped up at he Dome at America’s Center and we were getting ready to go out and “celebrate” with a late night dinner at a dive diner, which went about as well as you can imagine.