Posts Tagged With: year of rahul

The bucket list revisited

So after publishing my original bucket list about seven months ago I thought it would be a good time to add, subtract and modify the list. Why, because I want to, that’s why. Hey it’s my blog, I can do whatever I want to. Also with a new year comes new aspirations, new goals and maybe new ideas. So without further adieu here’s the “old” list with a few new modifications.

    • The Great Wall of China
    • See Terra Cotta warriors
    • Visit all 7 continents (Antarctica and Africa) are all that’s left
    • See the DMZ in Korea
    • Visit Vietnam
    • Visit Thailand
    • See the Oscars live
    • Hold an Oscar
    • Go to the Super Bowl
    • Go to a Rose Bowl game
    • Go on safari in Africa
    • Go whale watching in Alaska
    • Play an event at the World Series of Poker
    • Transit the Panama Canal
    • Fly around the world in one trip
    • Go to The Vatican
    • Visit St. Petersburg
    • Ride a gondola in Venice
    • Visit the Sistine Chapel
    • Go to the Sundance Film Festival
    • Go to the Cannes Film Festival
    • Drive a Ferrari
    • See the Amalfi coast
    • See the Pyramids and Giza
    • Visit the Forbidden City
    • Watch a taping of a TV show live
    • Go to the Opening or closing Olympics ceremony
    • Go to a World Series game
    • Go to the Baseball all-star game
    • Visit Fenway Park and Wrigley Field
    • Go to Cowboys stadium as a bonus see the Niners trounce them
    • Go to Mardi Gras
    • See a no hitter live  accomplished July 2, 2013 SF vs. Cincinnati
    • See Mount Rushmore
    • Meet a former or current President of the United States – any will do
    • Be at Times Square for New Year’s
    • Go to Patagonia
    • The Galapagos
    • Go to Oktoberfest in Munich– completed 2013
    • See Tibet
    • See the Berlin Wall
    • Visit Dubai this is happening in February, I’m very excited
    • Visit all 50 states (four to go)
    • Cruise around the world
    • Visit the Guggenheim Museum(s) in LA and Spain
    • Visit la Sagrada Familia, Spain
    • Eat at the French Laundry
    • Eat at La Bernadin
    • Eat a Philly Cheesesteak at Genos
    • Go to Unos in Chicago– still not accomplished but I think I did ok I had Lou Malnatis this week and it was outstanding
    • Take my family to India
    • Visit Quebec City
    • Visit Pisa
    • Go to Disney China (opens 2015), we’ve been lucky to have visited all five other parks
    •  Take the family to Yellowstone
    • Visit Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont
    • Visit every MLB ballpark at last count 15 but this includes three parks that are now closed
    • Cruise Alaska
    • Visit Ankor Wat
    • See wild penguins
    • Go to Alice Rock
    • See wild kangaroos
    • Go to a movie premiere in LA
Categories: Life, Ordinary Life, Random, Travel, Travel Blog | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Turning 40 is not so bad

1461144_10201003364914844_583129665_n

1479298_10201003364154825_179301043_n
Sadly all good things must come to an end and for me the Year of Rahul is about over. Wow what a year my 39th was. Without trying to brag, I’m going to take a moment and relive an incredibly fun and amazing year I had. But before I do that I must thank my beautiful and AMAZING wife, which if it wasn’t for her none of this would have been possible. Granted no matter how enthusiastic she was about the YOR, she probably regrets, even suggesting it. Needless to say w/out her encouragement and blessing I never would have had the opportunity to as many really cool things as I did.

So I’m going to start with something that falls just out of the range of my 39th year, but by only three small days. The family went to the Maldives for the second time, and we had an amazing time. It was as magical as the first and exceeded any and all previous expectations. We again got to fly Singapore Airlines First Class, and it too was even better than the last time. Wow, I just can’t get enough of that carrier and relish another opportunity to try them again. I’ll have to wait till they release a massive lot of award tickets by mistake like they did this time. I also got to swim with Whale Sharks, and got probably within 20 feet of one. They are incredibly majestic and to this day I think about the good fortune I had in seeing two of them.

There was no official kick off per se, but March was really when the festivities really got going. That month I had a trip to Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand for work that would span an open weekend. Besides getting an opportunity to visit to really amazing cities again, I had the opportunity to visit Fiji on the free weekend. Yet another place on my lifelong bucket list. As usual for me, part of the fun is the journey there and in this case there was no exception. I had an incredibly circuitous journey to the Southern Hemisphere and back. I flew to Auckland via Narita Japan, then direct to Fiji and on the return I flew via Bangkok,, Beijing and Japan. Nothing like a diversion right. On the return I used my miles to get a pretty comfortable ride on Thai Airways first class, and that was truly a treat.

026

What other water should they serve

What other water should they serve

The Pool

The Pool

1.1 1
That month I also had the luck of going to Spring Training in Scottsdale Arizona, with my buddies to root on the San Francisco Giants 2010 and 2012 World Series Champions. This was our fourth trip down here and boy was it fun. Sadly for us the team was not as good as either year’s winners, but hey there’s always next year, and if they keep this new string up it’s their year again.

Later this year I took advantage of a screaming Business Class deal on American Airlines and flew to Santiago Chile via New York and Miami, and had a great time. All be it, only 12 hours, but for me although a very cool city and one that I must take the family back too and spend more time in, was about going to South America. I’ve always wanted to go to all seven continents and know some day I will, but with all the travel I had booked this year thought I might be able to visit all of them except Antarctica on 2013. Alas, I didn’t make it to Africa, although I tired, but ran out of time, I did make it to five this year and even visited a new one, South America. Santiago was beautiful and had that old world charm of Europe, but with a Spanish feel. It was really really great. If you’re looking for someplace to go, this is somewhere everyone must visit.

The Plaza

The Plaza

037

Additionally I was able to “travel” with the team to Colorado and Cincinnati to root on the Giants. My buddy “T” and I have done this three years in a row and although we have a great time, the team sucks when were on the road with them. After this year’s 0-4 stretch we’re now 2-10. Yes that’s right two wins in three years of road trips!!! And the kicker, this year we saw the Giants get no hit (my first time at one of these), and the one game we missed on this road trip, cause we had to travel to Cincinnati, they won. How is that for irony.

href=”https://whereisrahul.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/untitled1.png”>untitled1 012 072 113 130

There were three other great trips I had this year, one to Oktoberfest in Munich Germany, Thanksgiving in New York so my wife could march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the other was a real family trip across the Atlantic on a cruise. All of these have been written about here, here and here. So I won’t drivel on and on about them, but I just must say that I am blessed. I have an incredible wife that lets me travel a lot. Not only for my work obligations, but in this year and many past ones the ability to experience some pretty cool things along the way.

DSC_0275 DSC_0242 DSC_0328 DSC_0510 DSC_0893 DSCF1758

My 39th year on this planet was pretty spectacular and I had many many gifts along the way. If you’re going to crass that magical threshold into the 40’s you might as give the 30’s a pretty good send off and that what I think I did.

One final note, I wrote this whole post a week ago, and the weekend before my 40th birthday, my wife surprised me with the MOST AMAZING surprise party, she’s been planning since March. She gathered up my closest friends and surprised me with a really great dinner. Not only did I get to see all of my friends, but she celebrated my year by making the most amazing world map display of all the places I went to this year. Besides that the place cards were airline tickets. For the airline junkie like me, this was a super cool treat, and I just needed to make sure I took this opportunity to thank her for all that she does for me and our little family.

Categories: Cruising, Family, Oktoberfest, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

My goodness my Guinness, visiting Dublin

Well the final leg of our journey was Dublin, Ireland. I thought since we were ruining our livers anyhow, we might as well do properly and visit the home of Guinness, Jamison’s Irish whiskey and many other fine spirits.

We only had three days in this fine city, and basically our plan was to see the aforementioned breweries and distilleries and then spend the balance of the time find which pub served the best Guinness and offered the most potato side dishes on one plate. I think this was our winner. It was our first meal at a pub called O’Neil’s close to Grafton Street and Temple Bar. This awesome beef stew came with potatoes, carrots, onions and beef plus sides which consisted of roasted, mashed, sweet mashed, and French fried potatoes. I guess these guys really like their potatoes.

344

350

354

In any event we visited Jamison’s first, the tour was not that bad. Unfortunately unlike the States where most beer and wine tours are mostly free or offered at a very minimal charge, this one was 15 euros per person. The distillery has actually been closed for many years, and they now manufacture in County Cork, in Southern Ireland, but hey this is where it all started. The 30-45 minute visit, consulted of walk through the entire process, as well as a guided tour. My favorite part besides seen “G” get to do a taste test sample between Jamison’s, JAW black and Jack Daniels, was seeing actual barrels that were aged to various years. I believe 1, 3,5, 15 the color difference was truly amazing. Sadly we only got to sample the three year standard variety.

DSC_0475

DSC_0481

DSC_0482

DSC_0493

DSC_0488

DSC_0491

Eventually we stumbled over to Guinness, and ended up signing up for two different tours. The first was the standard self-guided. They’ve done an amazing job to create a tour you can do at your own pace and see how the product started back in 1779 right at St. James Gate, and how they get to producing in for today’s market. Sadly back in 1981 this facility was closed to brewing, but besides tens of thousands of tourists that descend upon this place to drink, I think they use for distribution.

The seven story tour facility, had several bars serving what else but the lovely black elixir, we are all familiar with but also a few other versions, I had no idea existed. Of course there is Guinness original, Stout, Draught and Foreign Extra Stout. And for all of you that are curious as to whether the draft tastes different in Ireland or is served at room temperature, both of these are myths. Now frankly I don’t have the best palate, but I think the beer tasted exactly the same as it would at my local bar except for two huge exceptions, the first of which is I was drinking it in Ireland and second, it was poured correctly here. Which by the way is exactly 119.5 seconds, sans cloverleaf too.

Our second visit was for the connoisseurs tour, which has to be booked in advance and is a with no more than 25 guest at a time, ours only had six. Plus it’s with a Guinness beer connoisseur, of which they have only six of. Needless to say this is really where I learned about the four main versions of Guinness, some really great history, and of course got to taste them all. Since it was such a private tour, it really helped me understand how important the Guinness family was and is to the city of Dublin let alone Ireland. The family still donates money and land to help better the community, and they really helped shape the city. To top off the visit was a final drink at the Gravity Bar high atop this building, with 360 degree views of the entire city very fitting end to a very very iconic place.

The factory has several restaurants and bars so you won’t go hungry or thirsty, although you need a ticket to get in and they are 15 euros and come with one beer. Oh yeah they have the biggest souvenir store devoted to Guinness I’ve ever seen. If you wanted something emblazoned with the logo, the toucan, or any other iconic figure you’ll find it here. Check out these crazy underwear, and no I didn’t buy them.

DSC_0510

DSC_0514

DSC_0516

DSC_0520

DSC_0532

DSC_0589

397

396

395

393

385

383

361

DSC_0471

DSC_0469

Categories: Beer, Europe, Food, Life, Photography, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oktoberfest: Day 2 and 3

Man cannot live on beer alone, although we really really tired, we also took the opportunity to visit a few sites in central Munich. We visited my favorite beer garden at Viktualien Markt and also Ratzkeller (Der Glockenspiel). Marienplatz is always fun, there’s always something going on whether it be tourists hanging out, people shopping or just enjoying a beer at 10 AM in the beer garden. I still can’t get over that aspect of German life, beer before water and at such an early hour. Viktualien Markt is a really great open air market with tons of food stands (think farmers market) and lots of handy crafts, it’s just a fun place to visit.

DSC_0316

DSC_0299
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

After that we went back to Wiessen, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, “G” and I went back for seconds and even thirds on our quest to drink our way through Oktoberfest. With 34 tents after day two we realized there was no way we would get to see them all so we just focused on the ones we wanted to see and enjoyed the most. That meant we kept ending up at ***it was the best combination of music and revelry that we found. The crown was a mix of young and old, but it was the band that just kept the place rocking and by about 3 PM you found yourself standing on the table with the rest of your new friends singing and drinking along with the other locals and tourists. What a blast.

169

191

218

232

268

275

304

DSC_0320

DSC_0322

DSC_0326

DSC_0328

DSC_0333

DSC_0334

DSC_0335

DSC_0343

DSC_0344

DSC_0355

DSC_0357

DSC_0359

DSC_0360

DSC_0363

167

169

171

176

177

187

195

220

242

285

286

304

DSC_0450

DSC_0451

DSC_0460

DSC_0461

Categories: Beer, Europe, Food, Life, Oktoberfest, Photography, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report, Wandering the city | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finally here Oktoberfest day 1

DSC_0275

I finally made it to Mecca. Oktoberfest , Munich Germany. We arrived in Germany on the second weekend of this amazing festival of beer. I really really didn’t know what to expect except that I knew there would be a lot of people and a lot of beer. This was the 173 annual festival of Princess Therese’s marriage to King Ludwig.

DSC_0215

DSC_0217

I was just amazed at the nationalism that the German locals showed. It seemed most were in lederhosen and dirndls. It was just really really cool to see the pride of a nation at a festival. I really just can’t think of anything here that comes even close. Sure there’s fourth of July and yes fireworks, but people don’t get dressed up in a national outfit let alone just a sense of pride. Even though is great emphasis to beer drinking here, there’s also a huge fair, festival and lots and lots of food too. Think of the state fair times 10.

DSC_0219

DSC_0222

DSC_0223

DSC_0227

DSC_0228

Inside the tents was still a pretty crazy site. Most tents hold over 4000 people, although I think there are a few that hold well over 10,000 and many tables are reserved one year in advance for a meal. So when we tried to rent a table for any time during the Wiessen, we were shut out. Which meant we had to find a table that was not reserved and either empty (never such luck), or ask people if we could sit with them. Thankfully we were always able to find someplace to sit, we may have had to ask 3-4 times at different places, but every time we went into a tent we were eventually successful.

DSC_0232

DSC_0235

DSC_0237

Every tent had an oompah band, and they play classic German songs and even in some cases 80’s one hit wonders too. It was funny though the band really set the mood for the tent. Of the 8-10 tents we checked out, there were 34, the more festive tents were the ones that played a great mix of oompah and songs from Neil Diamond, Gloria Gainer and Credence Clear Water. It was really funny to hear some of these songs in English and then sung in German, I don’t speak a lick of it, but could sing along in English it was just great.

DSC_0242

DSC_0243

There was also the occasional person that would stand up and shotgun a Mas of beer (1 liter), in this case the crazy guy finished his first then put the Mas down and grabbed number two, and downed that one with authority. All I can say is wow.

DSC_0246

DSC_0257

DSC_0258

Paulaner seating chart

DSC_0265

DSC_0271

DSC_0282

DSC_0285

DSC_0290

Categories: Beer, Europe, Food, Life, Oktoberfest, Ordinary Life, Photography, Review, The wish list, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report, Wandering the city | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oktoberfest or Bust

Oktoberfest it’s finally here!!! I’ve been anticipating this trip for almost 10 months, although I’ve had a visit there on my bucket list forever. I mean something about the celebration of beer, that brings a whole country together is just cool. I know that Oktoberfest is not only about the celebration of beer but also a celebration of a marriage King Ludwig and Princess Therese, but man when 7 million people come together to have a 16 day party they don’t mess around.

We’ll there was a little business about actually getting to Munich to celebrate, and travelling from the West Coast to Munich offers a lot of options, but on my carrier of choice United Airlines, there aren’t any non-stops to Munich. Although their partner Lufthansa has one daily flight direct, but since I was hoping to use my upgrades coupons to fly in business instead of coach who doesn’t like that. In my case I needed two tickets so that “G” and I could both travel in style, I could not let him sit back in steerage while I live it up with Kanye and Kim up in business (yes they were on our flight sans baby). Anyhow the only option that allowed immediate confirmation to business was San Francisco to Charles De Gaulle (Paris, France) and then onto Munich on Lufthansa. The configuration of this plane was a 767-400 two class with lie flat seats and a large individual personal TV, with a pretty decent selection of entertainment. I believe that this configuration was a holdover from the Continental days. Needless to say I was looking forward to the flight almost as much as the beerfest that was about to happen.

115

116

Upon arriving at SFO we quickly checked our bags at the counter and went off to security which at noon on a Friday was a zoo. There’s a large bank of international flights between 12-4 so lines were the pits, even the premium line was out the door. Thankfully we had time and by some miracle a TSA agent walked up to us and a few people in from of ours and ushered us to the other side of the security section. Not really sure why but it easily saved us about 30 minutes in line, yes that’s really how bad the premium security line was. I’m not exactly sure how we got where we were but out wait was no more than 10 minutes, it was great.

117

118

119

120

121

Now we had a dilemma get food or get a drink in the lounge. Well cooler heads prevailed and we chose the latter, and quickly headed to the Untied Club, we quickly made our way to the bar and started our journey off proper with cocktails. I was on vacation!!! We had about one hour in the lounge to imbibe in many adult beverages, and snack on “lunch”, and enjoy the cool tarmac views of a very busy International Terminal. Finally it was time to head off to the gate and ensconce myself in my chair for the next 10 hours.

122.1

122

123.1

123

124

125.1

125.2

125.3

125.4

125.5

125.6

125.7

125.8

125.9

127

The flight itself was just great, I know I was on a euphoric high, but the crew was just top notch, and really did a great job. We were really well taken care of from the moment we took off to the moment we landed in Paris, sure the crew was all over the celebrities, but really they made everyone feel special. Besides that though the food was outstanding, I know I only took pictures of the Sunday and the entrée, but overall it was an amazing meal. All totaled it was a five course meal, and by the time it was over I was stuffed to the gills, even passed on breakfast because of it. I know the horror of it all.

Just as quickly as we boarded our flight was over. I was able to catch up on almost all of the summer blockbusters, that I had missed such as Superman, Star Trek, GI Joe, and Iron Man three. Sadly they all sucked except Star Trek which kicked ass. Not sure what made me watch GI Joe, but I just had too, I must have had one too many gin and tonics.

128

129

130

131

132

133

134

135

136

137

138

139

140

141

144

145

146

147

Once in CDG, we had a quick layover and onto a quick 1 hour flight on Lufthansa to Munich. Although a very very tight squeeze it was a quick and enjoyable flight, with a meal and a beer. Yes they serve glass bottles, in coach. US based airlines, take note. Here’s a few picks from the flight, and stay tuned for a few postings on Oktoberfest.

149

150

151

152

153

Categories: Airlines, Airport, Europe, Lounges, Lufthansa, Oktoberfest, Photography, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report, United Airlines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A lot of red tape for a small stamp

My coveted visa

My coveted visa

photo

Red tape can be such a wonderful thing, no I don’t think so. The hoops you have to go through to get a visa for China are a bit over the top. Let me start off by saying I’ve been to over 40 countries and I can count maybe two other countries that I’ve been to with so many hoops to acquire that greatly desired visa. The process to enter China is rather complicated for a US citizen, first off you must fill out a four page form available at the consulate or online, with questions like where will you be staying how many days and exact address. As well the names ages and addresses of your family regardless of whether they are travelling with you or not. Additionally they want copies of your hotel and plane tickets, a passport size photo and about the answer to about 40 other questions. Although I only needed a single entry visa the cost of a multi entry one year visa was the same price so I had requested one of these instead. I’ve been through China two other times on transit to other countries and if you don’t have a visa you can get a transit visa, but there are complications here too, so I figured getting an actual visa was worth the effort. For those interested the travel without visa waiver to china works if you’re travelling to a third country before or after arriving in Chia and prior to coming back to the US. It also allows you 72 hours in China as well, as long as you arrive in Beijing, Shanghai or now Chengdu. Since my trip was all of about 3 hours, the TWOV was not an option for me. Yes I know I’m crazy but at least I know that. Finally I finished my paperwork, and by the time I was done filling it out, and compelling all the other hoops I was exhausted, and I haven’t even travelled to the consulate yet.

Once I got my act together and found an opening in my schedule I took BART (the local train system) to San Francisco, then I walked the mile from the Civic Center station to the embassy. It’s open Monday to Friday from 9-2:30 and I just knew lines would be long long long, so I endeavored to be there at 9 am. I was able to make it there at about 9:15, walked in the door and saw a sea of people, I took a number and sat down. I was number 58, and they were only on 10, but apparently had three windows open for visa applications, so there was hope this would be fast. I can’t believe that being there 15 minutes late and I was 58, holly crap. During my wait I was able to people watch, this was not the DMV but it sure was a close second or third in the interesting people department. Thankfully I ended up sitting next to a really nice guy who was a United Airlines pilot and was here to get his Visa too, shocker. He was a super nice guy and it was fun to talk about the airline industry, UA and all the fun since the merger. I love talking shop. He was in a bigger pickle than I was, in that he needed to get his passport returned ASAP, because he was working that week and could not be without his passport. Apparently the consulate will do same day visa’s but they are rare and the normal turnaround time is four days. You have to get approval from some nebulous consulate official to get the same day approval, and sadly I was not successful in that regard.

Finally I hit the lotto, and my number was finally called I was nervous of the process. I mean with so many items to check off the list just to get one, I was afraid I may have missed something, let alone, the potential for some mysterious criteria that I had not included in my packet. So I walked up to the window, hand the lady all of my information my forms, my photo, my plane ticket and she quickly scanned through the docs gave me a receipt and said come back in four days. This part of the transaction took all of about 30 seconds, man all this effort and about 45 minutes of waiting and they summarily took my paperwork and sent me off in 30 seconds. Wow how crazy now I just had to wait the four days come back and hope all was well and I was visa approved.

The following week, when I had a free morning, I did the return trip to the consulate. This time I was again not on time, but was hoping the pickup process would be faster and thankfully it was, but not by much. But that didn’t mean that there wasn’t a process to have to go through. The first of which was a line to turn in your ticket to get your visa and passport, this line took about 10 minutes. Once you had turned in your ticket stub you got another ticket, this time laminated and then were sent to yet another line, this time to pay and actually get your passport. This line was crazy, I got in front of a woman who had a rather large transaction it appeared, after waiting and waiting she finally walked away with like 20 plus passports, it seems she was an agent and getting them for a tour or something, but since each one had to be validated, it took a ton of time. Since I was assigned to this line I had to wait, seriously. Finally my turn arrived I gave them my $140 hard earned dollars got my coveted visa and off I went into the night. Ha really I just hoofed it back to BART hoped on the train and made my way home.

What a trip, now I’m all set for my very very quick trip to China, but since I have it I might just have to find other opportunities to use it.

Categories: China, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Travel Tools, Trip Report | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nemo, Dory, Nemo, Dory, Nemo

My kid loves the aquarium, anytime we tell her we’re going it really makes her day and I just love that. “S” loves the ocean, loves looking at fish and just can’t get enough of it, just like I did when I was young. Last weekend we spend a very nice afternoon at the Academy of Sciences and the Steinhardt Aquarium in Golden Gate Park. We have an annual pass and do our best to get there as often as we can, that being said it’s probably been three months since I’ve been there. This place is just amazing, and every visit I marvel at how great a place it is, coupled with the fact that I get to see it with a new set of eyes, just make it that much cooler.

The funny part about coming here or going any place that has an aquarium, is that “S’s” first words are always where’s Nemo and Dory. It’s pretty amazing she’s only two years old and knows who they are and knows what they look like. I guess we’ve trained her well, ha ha. But seriously, that’s the only movie she’s ever seen, granted about five times maybe more, but she’s incredibly observant. Damn smart kids. The funny part is that she saw the movie on our trip to the Maldives last December on the inflight TV, and ever since when she sees a TV on a plane she expects they will play it. Oh how little she knows about air travel.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves about the Academy, but I will say that if you’re ever in the city this is definitely a place to check out for sure.
DSC_0088

DSC_0089

DSC_0090

DSC_0092

DSC_0096

DSC_0101

DSC_0102

DSC_0104

DSC_0112

DSC_0119

DSC_0121

DSC_0126

DSC_0128

DSC_0132

DSC_0133

DSC_0134

DSC_0140

DSC_0141

DSC_0155

DSC_0156

DSC_0158

DSC_0161

Categories: Americana, Family, Ordinary Life, Photography, Random, Review, Travel Blog, Traveling with kids, Uncategorized, Wandering the city | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes it’s OK to be Addicted

My 2 year old daughter is addicted to Disney. Well that’s not really true, Mom and Dad are addicted to Disney, so “S” really has no choice but to be too. In her short time on this planet this is her fourth visit to the Mouse Kingdom in Anaheim, and she has an upcoming visit to Walt Disney World at the end of September too. To think she’s been to the park more times in two years then I had high school is crazy. I guess that’s what happens when your parents are addicts. Now to be fair, I wasn’t addicted till I was in high school. I worked at a movie theatre, like every other teenager in the 90’s we had our fair share of Disney films, and in between shows I was “lucky” enough to clean the theatres. This meant you got to hear and thusly memorize all of the songs, and during your breaks pop in for a quick listen. There was a point in my life where I could probably recite any line or song lyric from The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin. Just writing this post has me thinning of the songs from Aladdin and singing them in my head. Please make it stop! So by the time college rolled around I was really into movies and took a class on The Short Film at DVC, this was circa 1993. We spent a lot of time discussing Pixar and it’s genius, watching all of the Pixar Short Films to date and a bunch of other crazy stuff too. So when Toy Story came out in 95, I was in hook line and sinker.

Fast forward several more years my girlfriend (soon to be wife) gets a great job opportunity that ends up including annual season passes to all Disney Parks Worldwide. Jackpot!!! Because of this we’ve taken full advantage and have since been to all five parks around the world. And make a few treks to Southern California to visit when we can. Last year I even had a long layover in Hong Kong, so I went to HKDL for the day. Just Crazy. Also for those of you who have enjoyed the amazing corndog they sell on Main Street an Disneyland, will understand when I say this. On many occasions when I’m in Anaheim for work, I’ll drop in just for a corndog for diner and head back out of the park. I know sounds silly huh. As I said we’re just addicts, and enjoy spending time down here.

So what’s the point of this post? Well manly to say we’re here again for the weekend, but this time it’s for a very very cool reason. My amazing wife has really gotten into running and has dedicated a lot of her early mornings training, with the culmination being her second 10k run this month, and her first Disney run, with many more to come I imagine. I’m lazy I don’t have a bone in me that makes me want to run, whatsoever, but seeing how hard my much better half has worked for this special day is pretty cool. She goes for a run three times most weeks and in the month of August has already run over 40 miles. Who does that. She does that’s who.

Well we’re here in Anaheim and we’re “S” and I are getting up early early early tomorrow to root on mommy. I can’t wait to congratulate her at the finish line, and tell her how proud I am of her, this is a huge accomplishment and deserves some quality time at Disneyland to celebrate.

Stay tuned for lots of pictures of our Disney trip, and tips on how to travel with kids here.

Categories: Americana, Disney, movie, Run Disney, Sports, Travel, Traveling with kids, Trip Report, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

T-Minus Four Weeks

Looking forward to a few of these.

Looking forward to a few of these.

Well drinking season is almost upon us. In T minus 4 weeks I’m heading for Munich and Oktoberfest. As a lifelong lover of hops and barley, going to the ultimate beer celebration has always been high on my list. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Germany many times over the years (thanks to having In-Laws that live there), but have never been in town for Oktoberfest. As I’ve mentioned a few times in my blog, the big four oh is coming up in December, and my wife suggested that I make the pilgrimage. There was no way I was going to turn that offer down.

So once the dates were settled upon I started making plans. You see I’m really good about making travel arrangements, but not so great at deciding what to do while on vacation. I’m the kind of person that spends hours if not days making sure I have the optimal routing, seats and hotel but not the type of person that does tons of in city research. Usually I’ll read Lonely Planet or Fodor’s on the way there, and plan the vacation accordingly. Although in this particular case it’s extremely difficult to get evening tickets to one of the beer tents. You either need to know someone at the brewery or pay through the nose to buy a seat or a table. Even with the local hook up, and planning almost a year in advance, we were not able to get a table, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to get in a tent. It just means possible line standing and going early in the morning and hanging out all day. How bad could that be? Right? I mean it’s only Oktoberfest and all they sell beer all day. So besides spending a couple days at the Munich Oktoberfest Fairgrounds, I know I’ll get to hang with family, but I also wanted to check out Olympic Stadium the home of the ‘72 Summer Games. Although I was not born till December of ’73, I’m sort of an Olympics nut and the events surrounding those games would be interesting to see up close. I’ve seen a ton of documentaries and movies about the events, but I think getting up close will be worth it. I’d also like to visit Dachau. I know not the most uplifting experience, but again, I think it’s important to sometimes take a moment and reflect on what makes our world what it is, and to see another event in our history books up close and personal would be very enriching.

After five days in Munch, my buddy “G” and I will then head over to the Scotch and Whiskey capitol of the world and spend a few nights in Dublin. I’ll do my best to give my liver a rest, but the home of Bushmills and Jameson’s may have other plans. Plus being the home of my favorite beer, do I even need to say it’s name will have to be tested at many pubs too. I’m told that is just tastes better here. I’ll be sure to report my findings. In any event our plan here is to check out many Irish pubs, the Jameson’s and Guinness factories. And to boot “G” has a hook up who works for Jameson’s so we’ll see what that gets us.

So with just a few weeks to go before the big trip, I’m jazzed and ready to go.

Categories: Europe, Food, Oktoberfest, Travel, Trip Report, Wandering the city | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

seagirll

Travel

micahdoes

Living wide and eating well.

theitinerary1.wordpress.com/

Across the Atlas One Blog at a Time

mat(the)writer

Travel...experience the world

The Pixie Dusted Disney Freak

A Disney freak's musings about movies, the Disney Parks, and of course, magic!

Checking In.

Posts from our worldwide adventure!

TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOLO

The ultimate guide for independent travellers seeking inspiration, advice and adventures beyond their wildest dreams

%d bloggers like this: