Travelling

2014: See You Later, Alligator; 2015: Please Don’t Be a Reptile

The end of the year. How did this happen? One minute, I’m drinking champagne, the next, I’m drinking champagne again. One whole year, gone. Whoosh. Bam.

Throughout the year, it is important to take personal inventories. Did you grow? Did you fail? Will you do better? Writers like Peter Bregman suggest you should do this every day, for 18 minutes. For every other person on the planet, we do this once a year during New Years Eve.

It’s human tradition to procrastinate.

For me, 2014 was an incredible year. It was a hard year, of course. The most challenging year of my life, but worth it.

Here’s what I’ll remember

Growing

Literally. I gained 15 pounds. This is a HUGE deal for me. Up until recently, I’ve been the same weight since high school. I thought my wife was shrinking all my clothes in the laundry. Nope.

I don’t want to be huge or anything, but geez. I just want to be comfortable sitting in a chair.

Travelling

My time in the east coast may be coming to a close, so it made sense to make the most of my location. In 2014, I (i.e., my wife and I) embarked on as many road trips as possible. We also traveled a bit by air, seeing both familiar and new states.

On the road we hit Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Ohio, Toronto, and almost every inch of New York State. Through the air we hit Texas, Washington, Idaho, and California. (more…)

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Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors: Austin, TX

All of our previous trips have been via car, but Austin, TX is way too far to drive from Rochester, NY. This one deserved a couple plane tickets. We hopped on a plane Friday afternoon and arrived in Austin by midnight. It was still 100 degrees at night, by the way.

Austin, TX

Why go to Austin? A very special family reunion, that’s why. My family! I don’t usually go to these things. I’ve never been very close to my family. And honestly, being caged up with a bunch of them in a foreign area sounds less like a vacation and more like a nightmare, or at least a plot proposal for a new sequel in the Saw movie franchise.

But as it turns out, not all of my family is as crazy as the ones who raised me. More on that later.

Oh my god, the food. When I returned from Austin, all I wanted to talk about was the food. Still, all I want to talk about is the food. That Tex Mex is something else. Ughhh, I can’t find the words. Instead, I’ll just make stomach noises: euuuuuoooooo ggaaaraaahhhh vrrrruuuuuuuu euuhhooahhh.

Got it? Yeah, that’s how great it was. Here’s a place (Joe’s Mexican Bakery) we randomly found, right off the highway. The parking lot was bustling which we felt was as good a sign as any. (more…)

Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors: Cleveland, OH

You know Cleveland. Don’t you? The setting for The Drew Carey Show, a rival city for Liz Lemon in 30 Rock, Ted’s hometown from How I Met Your Mother? Yeah, that one. Don’t be fooled, Cleveland is more than a plot device and setting for network TV sitcoms; it is a real town, albeit slightly magical, tucked away in the Midwest (Midwest? Is that what you call it?) on a Great Lake.

Fantastic food, clean city, friendly people, three sports stadiums (in town) and blocks away from each other. Cleveland is wonderful. In fact, it may be one of my favorite cities in America. There, I said it.

Last weekend, my wife, my visiting brother in law, and I traveled to Cleveland for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I was initially scheduled to run the half marathon with my wife, but my knee decided to be a bastard on me. Since, I have played the role of supporting spouse for my wife who thrashed the Hell out of that half-marathon. Boom! I couldn’t be prouder of her. She was great. Running a half-marathon is hard enough, but doing it by yourself is something I’m not sure I would have the wherewithal to do. Three cheers for my wife!

Among my favorite highlights:

  • The sketchy and delicious Greek food place in the Arcade.
  • Seeing Johnny Cash’s tour bus (see pictures)
  • Losing $5 playing an Airplane (the movie) themed slot machine
  • Morning coffee at Erie Island Coffee Co., a small cafe near the Corner Alley
  • Room service dessert
  • The marathon starting with the theme song from The Drew Carey Show.

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