Travelling The 50 States – Florida

Over my 47 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we start today with the 27th state to be added to the Union: Florida.

State: Florida
Joined the Union: 1845
Visits: 10 (at least)

At some point in the mid-1980s, my grandparents bought a condo in Clearwater, Florida, which has helped make the Sunshine State one of my most visited states.  I’m fairly certain my first trip there would have been in the summer of 1988 and my most recent was last year, with a number of visits in-between.

From what I can recall, my first trip to Florida came the summer of 1988, following my eighth-grade graduation.  I’m pretty sure a collection of seven family members got in the car the day after Mike Tyson’s 91 second knockout of Michael Spinks for the two-day drive to Clearwater.  I’m not clear on exactly how long we were there, but I know there was a one-day excursion to Disney World.  Aside from that, we saw all of the tourist attractions that my grandparents thought were interesting.  Which means nothing that was really all that interesting.

We made another trip two summers later.  I don’t remember much of this trip, aside from the trip home where we came up through southern Illinois and listened to the White Sox somehow beating the Yankees 4-0 despite being no-hit by Andy Hawkins.

My sister and I made a return trip over Christmas break in 1991, our first time on an airplane.  Again, I don’t have many vivid memories of the events of this trip.

My fourth trip to Florida came during March of 1997.  I had an interview with GTE Data Services and turned it into a mini-vacation during spring break, staying with my grandparents.  The highlight of the trip, aside from nailing the interview and getting a solid job offer, was a trip to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota to watch a spring training tilt between the White Sox and the Twins. Continue reading →

FB8 – Week 32

A trip down to some old haunts helped put me will over 30,000 for the week.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, where I finished with 3400 steps.  A slight increase on Monday saw a jump up to 4300 steps.  Tuesday was the low point of the week, falling down to 2900 steps.  Wednesday rebounded a but, rising back up to 3600 steps.  A trip down to West Lafayette for a Thursday night football game helped me surpass my daily goal, finishing with 8600 steps.  Breakfast with Danny combined with a Purdue volleyball game on Friday, not to mention the end of the previous night’s football game, left me with 6600 steps.  A thrilling White Sox game on Saturday left me 24 steps shy of 5700.

Total steps: 35,188

Daily average: 5026.9

2022 College Football Kickoff

My alma mater, the Purdue Boilermakers, kick off their 2022 gridiron campaign tomorrow night, looking to improve upon last year’s first winning season since 2017.  With Danny now entrenched in the marching band, I’m sure to make it back for a few games this year after setting a career high with 3 games last year.  With that, it’s time to take a look at the results of the now 24 college football games I have attended since the 1993 season, covering 5 different stadiums in a whopping 2 states.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Penn State Nittany Lions 1 0 1.000
Ohio State Buckeyes 1 0 1.000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4 1 0.800
Purdue Boilermakers 15 7 0.682
Northern Illinois Huskies 1 1 0.500
Illinois Fighting Illini 2 6 0.250
Western Michigan Broncos 0 1 0.000
Northwestern Wildcats 0 3 0.000
North Carolina State Wolfpack 0 1 0.000
Michigan State Spartans 0 1 0.000
Michigan Wolverines 0 1 0.000
Indiana Hoosiers 0 2 0.000

FB8 – Week 29

A busy weekend helps rescue the week somewhat, pushing me back over 30,000 steps.  Things got off to a bad start on Sunday, as I finished 16 steps away from 2900.  Monday was even worse, dropping down to 2500.  Tuesday started a rising trend, jumping up to 3300.  Wednesday jumped up again, going up to 4200 steps.  A road trip to Indy to see Danny at the DCI Championships on Thursday came 24 steps shy of 5700.  A return to Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday for semis rose again, going up to 6800 steps.  An unexpected appearance in the Finals on Saturday led to another night in Indiana and 7300 steps.

Total steps: 32,835

Daily average: 4690.7

FB8 – Week 13

A pretty bad week, thanks to numerous work “emergencies”, but saved somewhat by another day over goal to end the week.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I managed to score 4600 steps thanks to some mid-inning pacing while watching the White Sox.  Monday saw a slight decline, as I finished 27 steps shy of 4000.  Tuesday was even worse, as I fell down to 3400 steps.  Wednesday saw a slight increase, as I finished with 3500 steps.  Thursday was the low point of the week, ending with a mere 2800 steps.  Friday saw a meager increase, jumping back up to 3600 steps.  A trip down to Purdue to see Danny’s band concert combined with 80-degree weather put me over 8200 steps, the second week in a row I’ve managed to have a single day above goal.

Total steps: 30,331

Daily average: 4333

FB8 – Week 6

Another slightly better week, as I managed my highest non-Hawaii total since September.  The week got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as a trip to Purdue to watch Danny toot his horn for the women’s basketball game led me 4 steps shy of 5100.  On Monday, decent weather helped me get to 5700 steps.  Tuesday saw a slight decline, falling to 4600 steps.  Wednesday fell down again, coming 34 steps short of 4500.  Thursday finished 2 steps ahead of the previous day, coming 32 steps shy of 4500.  Friday saw a nice increase, needing just an additional 3 steps to get to 4800.  Saturday’s total fell once again, down to 4400 thanks to a painful right foot.

Total steps: 33,643

Daily average: 4806.1

Ready For Some Madness

After a year stuck at home thanks to corona virus, my first sporting event of 2021 was a trip to Indianapolis to see Purdue play in the NCAA tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium.  This month’s picture is from that trip, with Danny posing in front of the inflatable March Madness sign, before we were both disappointed by the outcome of that evening’s contest.

Remember When There Was A 10,000 Step Club?

Things were a lot different two years 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 for the next two years.  I’ve worked from home since March of 2020, which gives me a lot more free time, but also significantly cut down on my natural daily step totals.  All told, I managed only 5 10,000 step days for the just completed seventh year of Fitbit usage, which, granted, is better than last year and gives me a total of 270 since I started keeping track back in 2011.  With that in mind, here’s the list of my top 25 step days, which has stayed static for two years now.

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 →