Tater’s 2019

In which I look to see what I did that was noteworthy in the past year.

Winter:

We went to Orlando in January since both kids were free. We went to Harry Potter World for the first time and also visited Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

I turned 50 in February. We went to DC to have lunch at Old Ebbitt Grill since I have wanted to go there for years and had never gone. It was worth the trip.

Spring

I will call May spring otherwise I won’t have much to say besides celebrating my daughter’s birthday in March,

In May I attended the Maryland/Delaware Library Association Conference where my pub quiz team won first place. I did not really contribute at all.

At the end of May I traveled with my wife to her conference in Baku. I loved the city. More people should visit. It is a nice place and is not overwhelmed with tourists yet.

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We also did a 24 hour layover in Istanbul and toured the city.

Summer

In June I went to the American Library Association conference in DC where I met Henry Winkler.

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I also went to another Bowling for Soup concert

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We went to Kentucky to visit family and went kayaking

Fall

Not much notable for fall. My daughter went back to school so we were empty nesters again. I went to Kentucky over Veteran’s Day weekend to visit my brother and his family. My sister also visited one day and then I had lunch with her in my hometown. I went to multiple middle school basketball games to watch my niece play, went bowling and just had a nice relaxing weekend.

Trudging my way through December now. Only 4 more days of work after today and I head to Kentucky for a nice long break.

Wordless Wednesday: Fun With Arrows

Ok. There will be some words. We leave Friday to visit family in Kentucky. I was looking for pictures from previous trips and these were the only two I had in my “already posted to WordPress photos. Facebook photos aren’t working and I don’t have time to go through my phone.

Photo 1 is when we got an arrow stuck in the tree and we were all trying to figure out how to get it down. My brother apparently planned to throw another arrow at it.

Photo 2 seems self explanatory. Just me about to shoot.

 

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Finally Some Christmas

If you are friends with the real me on Facebook or Instagram you’ve already seen these and you can go about your life.

Until last night I had not done anything even remotely Christmas. I haven’t watched a Christmas movie. I haven’t really gone out shopping. I had only seen Christmas lights if I drove past them on the way home from work. I’ve really gone nowhere but work since thanksgiving.

Finally, last night, we went to Zoo Lights at the National Zoo in DC. Once we finally got there and I got over some issues with parking, I really enjoyed it. I needed a break in the routine and some Christmas spirit. Here are some pictures I took.

In Which Tater Cheats and Posts a Picture

I had a dentist appointment this morning and could not get myself in writing mode before I left. I was thinking I miss the days when there used to be a weekly photo challenge and I could just wait for that for my Wednesday post. I decided I would do one of my own. As I inch closer to an empty nest, I’ve decided to do a post of some of my favorite pictures of my kids. Here we go:

Tater In India

Doing this on my phone from the hotel room. Please excuse typos.

We arrived at our hotel in Hyderabad at 5:30 PM local time yesterday. We didn’t have much time to do anything at all. We walked around the hotel, discovered the pool is closed for renovations and ate at one of the hotel restaurants. We were all boring and got boring American type meals. We all slept pretty good and feel like we have adjusted to the time change somewhat.

Our first full day started with the very nice breakfast buffet at the hotel. American hotels need to adopt this model and offer nice hot breakfasts for guests. We then Ubered(with our Indian government guide) to Golconda Fort.

After the fort we took a break and spent some time reading and watching TV in the hotel. We then called our hosts about going out to the Birla Mandir temple. We again Ubered our with a guide and visited the temple. We were not allowed to take electronics in, so all I have are pictures from the outside after the visit.

We then walked down a the temple to the government offices of our hosts where our guide had someone waiting with a car to drive us around the lake and back to the hotel.

We braved the walk across the street(traffic is crazy here) to the mall for dinner at the food court.

Tomorrow the conference starts so likely no tourism. My daughter and I will probably browse the mall and explore the rest of the hotel neighborhood and then relax. The welcome dinner will follow.

Thursday and Friday the cultural programs begin and we will be on a tour bus full of government auditors from other countries.

Farewell Weekly Photo Challenge: All Time Favorites

This is the last week of the weekly photo challenge I have participated in over the past year. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and getting my photos out there for people to see. For the last challenge, the writers shared their all time favorites and invited us to share ours.

I’ve been lucky enough to get to travel to a lot of interesting places over the past few years and have a ton of travel photos. I still think this one from Norway is my favorite.

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via Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites

Photo Challenge Rise/Set

Today’s challenge is perfect for me. I have many sunrise and sunset photos. I chose this one because I loved the falls and because this photo represents the sun setting on our African journey.

I chose a sunset photo, but I’m more of a sunrise person. I love to see the sunrise as I have my coffee in the morning, especially since most of my sunrise photos are from my vacations. The sunrise for has become a symbol of rest and relaxation. I know it rises on my work days as well, but I rarely take the time them to enjoy it.

My Philly Adventure

If you read my last post, you know that I was heading out-of-town last week and was stressed out over the impending snow storm. The day of that post, the snow storm was heading in and Amtrak did indeed cancel some trains. I was originally rebooked on a train for the next morning, but my wife suggested I go ahead and rebook for that night and pay for an extra night in the hotel to beat the storm. I was able to rebook and headed out Tuesday night. My train was an hour late, but I made it to my hotel around midnight. It was good I did that because several people did not make it to town the next day due to more canceled trains.  I was there for the Public Library Association Conference, but I will not go in too much detail on the actual conference because I made the decision years ago that this blog would not be a library blog.

Wednesday morning I woke up early because that’s what I do. My breakfast plans were ruined because Reading Terminal Market was closed for the storm so I headed across the street to the Dunkin Donuts. It was still a mix of precipitation at that point. I waited a little while for it to turn to snow and headed out for a walk. It was cold and snowy, but I enjoyed being out of the room. I walked to Rittenhouse Square and then down to City Hall and back to the hotel.img_0072img_0078

After the walk I met some friends and we walked over to Chinatown for lunch where I had soup dumplings for the first time.

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It was then time to hed to the convention center for the opening speaker, Sally Yates and then the opening of the exhibits where you can pick up a lot of free stuff. In between I was able to get my favorite photo of the trip – the convention center in the snow.

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The next day I had a little bit of time before my first session so I took another walk in the snow to see some of the historical area. I was able to see a little, but most of it was still closed off for snow removal. I was able to get a couple of pictures and then headed back to the conference.

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I made it to Reading Terminal Market for lunch which was a good thing because that was the last time I walked in and felt like the lines were not too long. The place was crazy the rest of the week. That night I had a ticket to a fundraiser called Throw and Axe for the Stacks. It was at a place called Urban Axes and it is all about throwing axes. I was a little nervous about this. Not because of the axes, but because I would know no one at the event and was riding up with people I would meet for the first time on the ride. I turned out to be a fun night and as my daughter said when she saw the video I was weirdly good at throwing axes.

On the way back i got a decent Philly at night photo

img_0114After another day of classes, I went to dinner with an old friend. Well, she’s not old, but makes me feel old. I’ve known her since she was in 6th grade and I was an adult already. She’s now an adult and living in Philadelphia with her husband. I did not get a picture with her. I did take the below picture of a tree from the seed that was taken to the moon that we passed as we walked to the restaurant. The walk was a very nice walk from my hotel through old city. The restaurant was Chloe Byob and was the best food I’ve had out in a long time. The company was also very good. Now the tree

img_0120A few more pictures – An art piece at the convention center, the view from the top floor of the hotel(my room looked out at an office building) and another general city shot:

The next day was the last day. Two classes and then the closing session. The closing session was Hasan Minhaj. A great way to end the week.

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I had a cheesesteak at Steve’s and then headed back to take the train home.

After the stress of getting there it was a good week. I was exhausted from all of the social interaction, but I learned a lot and feel good about stepping out of my comfort zone.