Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Travel Thoughts

Posted: August 30, 2015 in Travel
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willpower2.1As my monthly travels continue to increase, there are so many things that I need to build upon.  Mostly willpower.  I don’t know about you, but my willpower lately, has sorely been lacking.  When I say “lately”, what I really mean is “the last few years”.  It’s horrible, and bad habits are hard to break.  What are those habits you ask?

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Okay, so I’m in my hotel at the airport, ready to take my early flight out in the morning from Stockholm.  I turn the TV on, and a Danish show just like “America’s got Talent” was on.  Neat! 

One of the acts was a pair of guys, who’s names are Jeppe and Nick.  These guys are so wierd, it’s awesome!  The way they can control and move their bodies, is brilliant.  I never thought electronic breakdancing would make a come back, but these guys do a great job at it.

You really ought to check out their acts on Danish Talent 2008.  You don’t need to understand Danish to watch.  Just wait for them to start.  Again, I wish I could do that.  I love that stuff!

First, I want to point out, that I’m a coffee lover.  I LOVE coffee.  I pride myself on the fact that Swedish/Italian coffee is my favorite, then Starbucks/Seattle’s Best/Caribou Coffee next, finally, Folgers.  I really love coffee.  At Starbucks, I’m normally ordering 3 times the regular shots of espresso (for example, a tall mocha has one shot of expresso, I ask for 3)….(grande-4 shots, venti-5 shots).  The stronger the better… well, sometimes.

Okay, so now that’s out of the way.

I just arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark Airport.  As I waited for my train to come in, I decided to have some coffee at a unique Coffee chain in Denmark called Baresso Coffee.  As I looked on the menu, I really didn’t see my standard mochas that I love so much. 

On the menu, I see two types of “Espresso”.  The top one, just said Espresso.  Pretty obvious, just your standard, round-of-the-mill espresso.  The next one was “Americano”.  Hmmm… I just had to ask.

“So, what’s the Americano espresso like?”.  Well, you can’t get more American than that, can you?  I’m using the English language, with probably a heavy accent.  I was told….”… it’s espresso and hot water…”.

“Umm… so… watered down espresso?  Your ‘Americano Espresso’ is just watered down espresso?”.  She just says that makes most Americans laugh.  Yeahhhhhhhhhh.  Funny.

Is this what the Danish think of us?  Man!  We were the ones who started Starbucks for goodness sakes!  Oh, and the ironic part is… there was a Starbucks just 500 feet away in the same terminal!

Well, I’m booking my travel today for more European flights.  This time, I’ll be going to Milan, Italy for 2 days, then to Stockholm, Sweden for 3 days, before coming home.

I feel really bad that I can’t take Tammy with me, but I just need a few more flights to get more sky miles.  We are definately going to Germany next year, and what I can save in travel costs using my sky miles, we can use for “fun” money.  😉  I’ll mostly be flying Continental, but I have a small SAS flight from Milan to Stockholm.  Can you believe it’s only $104USD to fly from Milan to Stockholm?  Crazy!

Too bad I can’t fly business-class 😦  I really do not mind flying coach so much.  My biggest aggrevation in coach is because everyone is crammed together.  If I really have to go to the bathroom, I just decide to hold it, because I don’t want to wake up/disturb the people beside me, just to get out into the aisle.  But if it’s an emergency, and I have to get them up to leave, then they know they have to stay up until I get back, because they’ll have to do the same thing again.  So, once I’m up, I feel rushed to getting back down.

Ugghhh.

I’m also really nervous about my passport.  It got wet, and then thrown into the dryer. 

Okay…. I tried to be all cool about it and said it “got wet”, since it’s obviously embarrassing to say I washed it in my pants.  But, what’s the point in saying “got wet”, when I followed up with, “…thrown into the dryer…”.   You guys are smart enough to figure it out.  I’m a goober.

Anyway, it was all rolled and wrinkled.  I tried pressing it out as best I could, but I’m still nervous about using it.  For those of you that do NOT have passports, they are pretty indestructable.  The cover is made of some kind of “cloth” and the picture is more plastic than anything.

Still, I’m a little nervous.  I think I’m going to run by the passport office just to get their “take” on it.

Cheers!

Swedish Kaffe rocks!

Posted: May 6, 2008 in Travel
Tags: , , , ,

I totally forgot how much I love Swedish Coffee. Or, rather, Kaffe. I just arrived to Stockholm, and after not getting ANY sleep, I found the closest Kafe I could find, after I left customs.  My eyes are all red and dried out from the flight, and was uncomfortable.

MmmmmmmMmmMmmmm. Good stuff! It’s dark, and flavorful. I needed that! 🙂

I definately rate SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) better than Continental!  Sorry Continental.  You may have my skymiles, but that’s no substitute for good service and updated planes!  🙂

Height: 34993 ft

Speed: 541mph

Outside Temp: -25F

I’ve only been on the flight for approx 1 hour. (( sigh )) 6-1/2 hours more to go. I am starting to wish that I had booked a flight from SAS (Scandinavian Airlines). Their airline was much more “roomier”. Each seat had their own LCD screen (with multiple TV/Music channels to choose from). Continental has those “shared” LCD screens that fold out from above the luggage compartments.

The movies are: PS. I love You, and Mad Money. We’ll see how those go.

Anyway, just thought I would post, since this is my first post from 7 miles high.

Cheers!

Apparently, I’ve started a total transformation over the last 12 months, and I didn’t even know it.  How wierd is that?  I’m eating healthier, gave up my cigarettes, starting a workout program, getting more involved with my family (both immediate and extended), and, for my final transformation, emotional/spiritual.

The fantastic news is, I’ve been doing all of this with my wife, making us a team in these life changes of mine.

For my final efforts on having a better life, I’ve been starting yoga for flexibility, strength, and meditation, which should help me in all aspects of my life, except for spiritual.  There, I leave it to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to help me on that path.

Yoga is awesome!  I initially had my first taste of it, when doing Tony Horton’s P90 system, since you have approx 5 mins of “Power Yoga”, where you go into positions of “Downward Facing Dog”, “Plank”, “Crescent”, and “Warrior II”.  Then, we (my wife and I) started watching “Namaste Yoga“, and that opened the entire realm of yoga to me.  Since then, one of my favorite sites has been Yoga Journal, where I can study the positions, learn my breathing, and get expert advice and teachings.

This morning was my final revelation (spiritual).  It hit me, while driving to work.  I have alot of things that I need (and want) to happen in the upcoming months, such as closing on the house, vacations, safety in my travels, a boat, etc.  Well, in order for me to receive, I need to give, and I have NOT been giving.  Not just monetary, but time and attention as well.  I need to devote more time to Jesus and the church.  I need to devote more attention to my wife and kids.  I need to listen, when someone needs an ear…

I pray I can continue with this transformation, and become a better <father,husband,friend,brother,co-worker…>

TravelingI booked my flight to Sweden last week, but finalized everything with my Hotel Bookings.

This trip to Sweden will be different.  Why?  Because my colleague and I are taking a Saturday in downtown Stockholm.  So, hopefully, I’ll have some cool pictures.  Last time I went, I had no spare time, except for an hour at the mall before we left.

I will fly into Newark (2-1/2 hours) then fly directly to Stockholm (8-1/2 hours).  From Stockholm I’ll be taking the train to where I’m going.  Alot of colleagues fly from Stockholm, but after 8-1/2 hours, I actually enjoy the easy-going train ride.

This is the first time I’m going Continental.  Before, I took SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) and absolutely loved it!  I think because the stewardess’ were ALWAYS offering bread and water.  Every 30 mins.  All kinds.. hard bread, rolls, etc.  What carb-lover wouldn’t want it!?!  But, they won’t give me my sky miles, so I’m stuck with Continental.  We’ll see how they are.

I’ll be posting during and after my trip, so stay tuned!

So, I’ve been working quite a bit lately, and even had a 28-hour workday on Friday in Cleveland. Since I was away the entire weekend, I felt like Tammy and I needed a break together.

So, we decided to go into Nashville, and make a full day of it. We had a blast!! It was so worth it, and I can’t wait for us to go back again! I think we’ll be doing it again more sooner than later.

We first visited downtown Nashville. It was amazing. All of the buildings. The City Hall area was beautiful with water fountains and just a beautiful view.

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After City Hall, we started roaming the streets. I got a great picture of the AT&T (a.k.a. – The Batman Building), and our state capitol:

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After that, we decided to go to Music Row. We were kinda disappointed. To be honest, I was expecting to see a “Hollywood” avenue-type environment for musicians. But, alas, all we saw were just a few recording studios and some really expensive cars sitting in front of an Italian Bistro. Of course, we didn’t cruse the whole thing.
Once we got over the Music Row disappointment, we went to Centennial Park, and most importantly, the full-scale replica of the Parthenon. Now, that was an impressive part of our day. The parthenon was full-scale, and had a 42-foot statue of Athena. We loved it. We were a little discerned by the $5 each entry fee, but felt it was well worth it.

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After that, we walked to the botanical gardens. It was really beautiful, and now that spring is just starting, smelled so fresh. Just like a fresh start from a cold wintery season.

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Once we were done with the fresh air, we wanted to waste just a little more time before we ate dinner, so we went to Opry Mills, and chilled around the mall. Most of our time was spent at Bass Pro, wishing we could buy the 24′ Tracker Party Barge, that we were drooling over (we will get it… oh yes… we will get it).
We finished our day with eating a fantastic dinner at Dave and Busters, and left home. But not before playing a few video games together!!

panera-logo.gif So, I’m in Cleveland for a few days, and am chillin at Panera again. I just finished up with Dinner. A cup of New England Clam Chowder and a Bacon Turkey Bravo on Asiago Bread. Mmmmmmmmm.

I have to go back into work tonight. Very late night, so I thought I would enjoy some nice music and a “light” dinner, while browsing the blogs.

When I first got here, I got into my rental (Fastbreak at Budget rocks!!), and started driving. I’ve driven this drive so many times, I know it by heart. I have to pass through two schools, and my regular flights get me into Cleveland at 2:45pm. That’s right. By the time I get my baggage and car, school is out.

So? Well, I’m doing my thing… driving 20mph in front of the schools, when some psychotic driver starts honking his horn and getting mad at me because I’m going to slow. I just wanted to yell, “There are kids around ASS HOLE!!”. Of course I didn’t. I was in too much of a shock on what he was doing, that by the time I realized what to do, he had already passed me. I mean, the speed limit is really 20mph.

Some people just don’t get it. No doubt, by the time he gets to the place is was in such a hurry for, he will be ranting about some slow-ass driver going 20mph down the street.

Sigh… some people will *never* get it.

Anyway, It’s a warm/cold here in Cleveland. Still some patches of snow lingering, from the 10-foot mounds that plows piled from parking lots. Been drizzly, and a little gloomy. But, my spirits are up, and am looking forward to getting home.

Still a few days from that.