Wordless Wednesday – The Best Scenery Picture I’ve Taken

I still think this is the best picture I’ve ever taken and it was with my iPhone in Norway.

Norway Village

I Miss Travel

One year ago today we arrived in Baku.

Two years ago today I was looking for someone to take us to the airport for our upcoming trip to London and Paris.

There was a possibility of a trip to Bhutan this summer.

This year we don’t know what a possible trip to Kentucky to see family will look like.

Will we be able to spend time with my mother-in-law who is in her 70’s and has health issues? Will it instead be a visit from the end of her driveway before we go to my brother’s house?

What will be open and closed on the road from here to there?

Will it even be smart to drive there or will there be new outbreaks that makes it likely we won’t go?

At this point instead of being excited about a big trip I am looking forward to driving to my workplace tomorrow. Our big outing will be to campus Sunday to get the rest of my daughter’s stuff from her dorm room.

I look forward to the day when I can be excited about heading overseas again.

Travel Virtually With Me

It looks like it will be a while before I get to travel anywhere besides, hopefully, a drive to Kentucky this summer to see family. I’ve decided to compile some of my travel posts here so you can go on some virtual trips via my posts. Here we go:

Last year we went to Baku, Azerbaijan. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was a bit nervous, but it turned out to be one of my favorite cities.

I was excited about our trip to India, but then India tried to kill me.

Manila was very hot and a little boring.

We took our daughter to London and Paris for graduation in 2014. I love London and liked Paris a lot more this time.

Our son’s graduation trip was to Norway. I thought it was an odd choice, but it was a fun trip.

I have also had the chance to travel in the states: Orlando, New York, and Philadelphia were my latest trips in the US.

I love to travel. I hope to be able to do so again soon.

I Miss Open Spaces

Today’s daily prompt word was open. I thought about writing about everything being closed. I considered other ways to interpret the word. In the end I decided to share a photo from a family vacation to Lake Tahoe. It is one of the better photos I have that I think conveys the feeling of open spaces. I miss traveling and wide open spaces. Isolation sucks in the suburbs. I wish I was in the country where I had more open spaces to visit alone. Someday I will get to travel with my family again. It might just be a drive to Kentucky, but it will be enough. Enough words. Now for the photo.

My Christmas Vacation

Today was my first day back at work since December 20. Rather than dwell on that bad news, I thought I would subject everyone to a boring post about what I did on vacation.

We headed out of town on Saturday the 21st. It’s an 8 hour drive, so travel day is pretty much only a travel day. We did drive into some winter on the way.

img_2036 We usually drive in on the 23rd so we had two extra days before we had official Christmas plans. I read a lot. We went to see the new Star War movie(I enjoyed it). We went out to eat at Red State BBQ where I have my favorite non-alcoholic Kentucky drink(pictured below) It was nice to be in town with some days to relax before the family obligations. We also went to see the Christmas lights at Kentucky Horse Park. The lights were nice, but the park police were terrible at directing traffic and caused us to wait an hour to get in. I might have left the car at one point to go yell at them for holding our lane too much. I returned to cheers from other cars.

We then moved on to family obligations. Christmas Eve was an hour’s drive to one part of my wife’s family for lunch and then the drive back for dinner with the other side of her family.  The good thing about both on the same day is that Christmas day is more relaxing. We can open gifts without rushing and just relax. The big surprise for me was a new iPad. Now I just need to learn how to type on it so I can use it for more than reading the newspaper in the morning.

The next day we headed west for Christmas with my siblings and a few days just hanging out at my brother’s house. This means basketball, frisbee, escape rooms, and Mexican food.

We also watched UK beat Louisville in basketball. L’s down!

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and saw moe Christmas lights.

It was a good time with family that unfortunately had to end. Now we are back home. My son is back at his house. I’m back at work. My daughter will go back to school soon. There are no fun plans on the horizon. At least the days are getting longer.

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.

Is This Thing Still On?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I struggled for a bit with being in the right frame of mind to write anything. I struggled with thinking there was no point in posting anything because no one cared anyway. My days were(are) sometimes stressful and demoralizing. I needed a break.

Fortunately, I decided a couple of months ago to take the day after Veteran’s Day off and take a short trip to visit family in Kentucky. I found a very cheap flight($90 round trip) on Spirit Airlines. I was able to pack all of my stuff in a backpack that counts as a personal item and I let them pick my seat so I had no other charges. Both flights were on time or early, the crew was friendly and the seats were comfortable. I would recommend them for anyone who is fine with no frills, no snack flying.

I got there early Saturday morning and spent the day at a school watching my niece’s 8th-grade basketball team play.  Doesn’t everyone fly hundreds of miles to watch middle school basketball? I did go out to lunch between games, so I had that going for me.

Sunday my sister came over to my brother’s house, we grilled out, hung out and played Scatergories. This gave us the funniest part of the trip. One of the categories was states. My niece rolled a K and wanted to roll again saying “There aren’t even any states that start with K!” Remember, we were in Kentucky…

My brother took Monday off. We went out for breakfast. We went bowling. I won. We stopped for coffee. We played Madden on his old Play Station. I lost. We went out to dinner with a friend from high school. We went to another middle school basketball game and then drove home in the snow. It was a good day and really made me want to retire. It was much better than going to work.

On Tuesday I drove to my hometown. It had been a while since I’ve been to my hometown. I walked around downtown a little, had lunch with my sister, and got a doughnut at the new doughnut place in town.  I went to the public library to see how much it has changed since I was a kid. I stopped for coffee at a new coffee place in town and then headed back to my brother’s to get ready to go to the airport. Since my niece’s game was canceled that night we had time to meet my other niece for dinner before my flight.

As you can see from my very boring synopsis, it was a nice, stress-free four day weekend. I really needed it. I really need to retire so my life is more like that on a daily basis.

We will see if it has revived me enough to feel like writing more. The stress came back strong.

Past Me Did A Lot on this Date

8 years ago me threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game. I have no picture because my family wasn’t there and none of my friends got to the game early enough to see it.

7 years ago me was on vacation in Arizona. We stayed in Sedona and traveled out places from there. It was a great trip.

4 years ago me was in Livingstone, Zambia. Our social program that year was an animal encounter with lions, elephants and cheetahs. On that day I walked a cheetah.

Today me is sitting on the couch watching the Muleller testimony while doing laundry and then going to work.