Wake Me Up When September Ends

School is back in session and, as we head into fall, we visit our neighbors to the east in Indiana, with photos from three different trips, two Purdue football games and Danny’s marching band performance in Indianapolis in 2019.  Clockwise from the top left corner, we have Danny and Michael posing with the Neil Armstrong statue outside the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, Danny kneeling in costume of the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, an Indiana state sign to indicate location, Danny and Michael in the stands at Ross-Ade Stadium, a younger Danny posing solo with the Neil Armstrong statue, Michael cheering Danny on, and, finally, me with Angelina, Danny, and Michael at the Engineering Fountain.

The DC Days Of Summer

We head into August with a plethora of photos from our family trip to Washington DC back in June of 2019.  Clockwise from the top left, we have Michael and our tour guide from our tour of the Capitol Building, Angelina resting by a reflecting pool, Danny and Michael at a fountain at the World War II memorial, Danny photobombing by the Capitol Building, Angelina resting (again) in Michael’s lap, the kids with the Abraham Lincoln racer at National’s Park, the three of them posing at the Smithsonian Zoo and resting on a curb, Angelina and Michael at the Capitol, and, finally, Danny, Angelina, and a photobombing squirrel resting by a tree.

Show Me Some Good Times

We start the second half of 2020 by looking west to the state of Missouri.  These pictures come from a single trip, for Danny’s band competition in 2018, starting with Angelina posing in front of a statue, the Gateway Arch to indicate where the pictures are from, Danny performing on the field, Angelina and Michael cheering in the stands, Danny and Michael standing in front of a giant chess piece at the World Chess Hall of Fame, and, finally, another shot of Danny during the performance.

Mass Appeal

We wrap up the first half of 2020 by turning our gaze to the east and the state of Massachusetts.  These pictures come from two different trips our east, the first with Danny and Michael in 2017 to see the White Sox battle the Red Sox at Fenway Park and the second in 2018 to see Angelina skate with Boston University.  The first row has Angelina performing at the BU Skating Show followed by Danny in a small chair at the Boston Science Museum.  The middle row sets the scene with a cool looking Boston Red Sox sign, followed by Angelina with her friends at the free skate after the show and, finally, Danny with his now famous Lendall Pitts card from the Boston Tea Party Museum.  The bottom row has Angelina and her teammates competing in the Cape Cod Synchronized Skating Classic, Michael measuring himself at the Science Museum, and Danny and Michael in the stands at Fenway.

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.