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 →

The Still Growing 10,000 Step Club

Last year, as I was finishing up my third year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at the top 25 step days I’ve had since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 165 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 52 occurrences, my best year to date, for a total of 218.  With my fourth 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 7 1/2 years, featuring 10 new entries.

1: 4/14/2018 – 27,470 steps

My best single day total is our first new entry, coming this past April during a 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

Another new entry, from July’s trip to Virginia, fell just short of the top spot, thanks to a hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob with Jeff and Val.

3: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

After 5 years as my single day best, 2013’s trip to Disney World falls down two spots.  The day’s excursion to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended up with a total of approximately 12.5 miles.

4: 3/18/2018 – 23,780 steps

The third new entry comes from last spring’s trip to Las Vegas for the 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.

5: 10/24/2018 – 23,362 steps

We round out the top 5 with the fourth new entry, from last fall’s trip to Boston to see Angelina for our birthday.  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.

6: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My former 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.

7: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

My now seventh highest total, and my highest at home in the state of Illinois, came thanks to the BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

8: 12/29/2018 – 20,374 steps

The eighth highest entry, and fifth new entry, took place just over a month ago and the trip to Disneyland to see Danny perform with the Lincoln-Way Marching Band.

9: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The ninth highest 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.

10: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

We wrap up the top 10 with another trip to Disney World, this time a one day journey with Angelina to celebrate her high school graduation. Continue reading →

The Ever Growing 10,000 Step Club

Last year, as I was finishing up my second year with the Fitbit, I took my last look at the top 25 step days I’ve had since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 116 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 49 occurrences, raising the total to 165.  With my third 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 6 1/2 years, featuring 7 new entries.

btn10K-41: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

My best single day total continues to be from my 2013 trip to Disney World.  The day’s excursion to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended up with a total of approximately 12.5 miles.  And yes, it still bothers me that I didn’t get those 12 additional steps to reach 25,000.

2: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My second highest day shares much in common with my #1 day, taking place in Disney World in March of 2016.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

3: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

My third highest total came nearly 2 months after my highest, thanks to the BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.

4: 8/5/2017 – 20,218 steps

The first new entry came last August 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.

5: 7/14/2017 – 20,208 steps

Our second new entry came last July, as Angelina and I took a day trip to Disney World to celebrate her high school graduation.

6: 9/19/2017 – 20,028 steps

The third straight new entry, which helped to double my total of 20,000 step days from the previous 5+ years, had a myriad of activities.  First was the latest edition of the Sprint and Stride, followed by a trip to Best Buy with Val to buy a new TV, then off to her apartment to install the new TV, and, finally, Season Ticker Holder Family Night at Wrigley Field.

7: 11/11/2017 – 19,590 steps

Our fourth straight new entry came thanks to last fall’s trip to California to see Angelina skate.  This day was spent in Anaheim at Disneyland.

8: 6/2/2016 – 18,725 steps

Day #8, which dropped 4 spots, comes from June 2016’s trip to Universal Studios.  Our first full day at the park, we split the day between Universal and Islands of Adventure, taking in all of the different Harry Potter options.

9: 6/4/2016 – 18,617 steps

Our next entry is also from the June 2016 trip to Universal Studios.  The day included another trip to Islands of Adventure, and would have ended up even higher but for an afternoon trip to the hotel pool.

10: 6/21/2017 – 18,290 steps Continue reading →

The Still Growing 10,000 Step Club

Last year, as I was finishing my first year with a Fitbit, I took my last look at the top 20 step days I’ve had since I first started tracking my steps way back in July of 2011.  At the time, I had only surpassed the 10,000 step plateau 81 times.  In the past year, I have managed to add an additional 35 occurrences, raising the total to 116.  With my second year using the Fitbit coming to an end last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a new look at my now top 25 step days over the past 5 1/2 years, featuring 12 new entries.

btn10K-41: 6/6/2013 – 24,988 steps

My best single day total continues to be from my 2013 trip to Disney World.  The day’s excursion to both Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom ended up with a total of approximately 12.5 miles.  And yes, it still bothers me that I didn’t get those 12 additional steps to reach 25,000.

2: 3/22/2016 – 22,493 steps

My first new entry shares much in common with my #1 day, taking place in Disney World last March.  The day’s excursion started at Hollywood Studios before heading over to Epcot Center with Jeff and Val.

3: 7/27/2013 – 20,592 steps

My now third highest total came nearly 2 months after my highest, thanks to the BTN 5K and a, for lack of a better word, misunderstanding about where I should be picked up after the race.  These 3 days are the sum total of my days over 20,000 steps.

4: 6/2/2016 – 18,725 steps

The second new entry comes from last June’s trip to Universal Studios.  Our first full day at the park, we split the day between Universal and Islands of Adventure, taking in all of the different Harry Potter options.

5: 6/4/2016 – 18,617 steps

The third new entry rounds up the top 5 with another entry from last June’s trip to Universal Studios.  The day included another trip to Islands of Adventure, and would have ended up even higher but for an afternoon trip to the hotel pool.

6: 9/6/2015 – 18,259 steps

Down three slots from last year, my now-sixth highest total comes courtesy of my trip to Toronto in September 2015.  This Sunday consisted of traversing around Toronto, with trips to Royal Ontario Museum and, at night, the Molson Canadian Ampitheatre for the Oddball Comedy Fest.

7: 9/11/2015 – 17,889 steps

My seventh best total also occurred during my trip to Toronto.  My last day in the city was spent at the Eaton Centre mall, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and a few other stops.

8: 6/8/2013 – 17,852 steps

My now-eighth highest output brings us back to Disney World in 2013, this time for a day split between Animal Kingdom in the morning and Hollywood Studios in the afternoon.

9: 6/1/2016 – 17,243 steps

My fourth new entry again comes courtesy of last summer’s trip to Universal.  This first day of the trip started in Chicago at O’Hare and took us to the Hard Rock Hotel for check-in and a round of mini-golf at City Walk before taking a quick trip in the afternoon to Islands of Adventure to reacquaint ourselves with the original Harry Potter attractions.

10: 6/5/2016 – 16,317 steps

We round out the top 10 with my fifth new entry, which again took place last summer at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, where we tried to take in all of the non-Harry Potter attractions.

11: 9/5/2015 – 16,083 steps

We head back to Toronto for my eleventh highest day, my first full day in the city.  There was exploring along the riverfront and, of course, a trip to Rogers Centre for a Blue Jays game.

12: 9/23/2014 – 15,728 steps

This total was accomplished thanks to the 2014 Sprint & Stride 5K race that was held at work.

13: 4/11/2016 – 15,597 steps

My sixth new entry took place last April, where an exciting day of work was followed by a trip to Wrigley Field for Opening Day festivities.

14: 9/9/2012 – 14,957 steps

My now-fourteenth highest total comes thanks to a Sunday in Belfast spent walking from our hotel, down to the Titanic museum, and then back again.

15: 6/7/2013 – 14,940 steps

Another day of 2013’s vacation to Disney World, this day started with a morning trip to the hotel pool, followed by an abbreviated day at the Magic Kingdom.

Continue reading →

2017 Calendar

2017coverNow 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. 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 2017.

This year’s cover features the entire family and the Scooby gang (the actual Scooby gang, not the Buffy Scooby gang) from our trip to Universal Studios last June to celebrate Danny’s graduation.

Vacation Recap – Universal Studios

UniversalAfter a whole 9 weeks since my last trip to Florida, I woke up early on the morning of June 1 for a 6 AM flight to Orlando with the family.  After landing, we caught the shuttle to the Hard Rock Hotel, where we had a long wait for the rooms to be ready.  After a quick lunch and a round of mini golf at the Citiwalk, Dennis, Angelina, Danny, and I went to Islands of Adventure for a quick re-introduction to Harry Potter land and the Jurassic Park ride.  We then headed back to the hotel, finally got in to our rooms, had dinner with appearances from a minion and Scooby Doo, and then called it an early night due to the early flight.

Thursday morning we got an early start and started at Universal, where we had a breakfast date at the Leaky Cauldron in the new Harry Potter area.  After breakfast, we headed to Olivanders to pick up wands for the boys, then went through the line for the Gringotts ride, before my mom and I begged off before the ride began.  It was at this point I got a text message from Jeff asking me to get him a wand.  As you may recall, I was at this very spot with Jeff less than 2 months ago and he could have purchased his own wand, but he was being a bit of a baby.  So, I went and bought him a wand, putting more thought in to it than I probably should have.  Once everyone was done at Gringotts, we hopped on the Hogwarts Express for the ride to Islands of Adventure.  Later, we wound up back at Universal, where Danny had an encounter with the shrunken head on the Knight Bus.

Friday was back to Universal for a character breakfast at Cafe LaBamba, followed by a return trip to Harry Potter land. After a quick trip back over to Islands of Adventure, we headed back to the hotel for some fun in the pool.

Continue reading →

FB2: Week 19

FB2_Week19Another great week thanks to the end of the trip to Universal.  Things got off to a great start on Sunday, which was split between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  Monday was an early day due to the effects of Tropical Storm Colin, which blew in around the middle of the day.  Tuesday featured one last trip to the park, where we ended the trip with one last go on the Simpson’s ride before checking out and heading to the airport.  Wednesday was back to normal, as I returned to work, though without the afternoon coffee run.  Thursday didn’t even break 5000 steps, as I was stuck at work until nearly 6:00.  Friday was back up above 6000 steps, if just barely.  Saturday also managed to break the 6000 step mark, thanks to a trip down to US Cellular Field with Michael.

Total steps: 66,521

Daily average: 9503

Book 14 (of 52) – Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire – J.K. Rowling

The fourth installment of the Harry Potter series sees our heroes return to Hogwarts for their fourth year of schooling, with the wizarding world aflutter with the return of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, held for the first time in hundreds of years.  When Harry finds himself chosen as school champion, despite not having entered, he must figure out who is trying to kill him, while surviving the three challenges of the tournament.

The stakes kick up a bit in this entry, as the villain of the series, Lord Voldemort, makes his first real appearance.  I did manage to read most of this book either on the way to or at Universal Studios, home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.  That certainly boosted my enjoyment somewhat.  Now that I’m more than half way through this reading experiment, I’m glad the end is in sight.