Wander project ideas and dogs…

Saturday often starts a little later, and the pressure to get on the road is removed. That gives me time to pause and catch up on comments and thinking. I know as a person that I seek rules and order. It is a part of me because I live in a world of rules. I began my professional career as a school teacher. Rules are very important when you are a school teacher. Rules matter to me. I do, from my days as a teacher, miss my room full of chalkboards. Whiteboards are nice but the same. I still, however, do my best thinking on a whiteboard. There is magic in standing and drawing. I am not, an artist, but I try to create what my mind eye sees. That creation is what I put on the whiteboard. I still miss the feel of chalk.

Although I still have a chalkboard in the kitchen. We use it to write down things we will need when the shopping crew heads out. We also have an electronic whiteboard on the refrigerator, but that is normally reserved for short term notes (don’t forget to call …) I have whiteboards all over the basement as well, one really large one the size of one of those old classroom chalkboards and four others. Two are from my favorite company Rocketbook! Two are painted on the wall using the Ideapaint system.  I love to stand there and visualize what is in my head. It allows me for a moment to separate from what and where to get to what and how and even beyond.

It got me thinking about creativity. How do you move from in your head (idea) to share with others? I posted that question on MyLot today, feel free to hop and comment! I know for me I often create a whiteboard, take a picture and intentionally erase what is on the board. I then go to work, or got on a walk and forgot the whiteboard drawing. Sometimes I come back to the picture and go from there. Sometimes I literally recreate a new  version of the original drawing. It feels like each time I evolve that idea. How do you create the connection? I know growing up around chalkboards (my dad had two we used to use in his office) I think virtually. How do ideas spring to life for you?


Wander project Hawaii

Our second trip to Hawaii was with my mom, sisters, nieces, nephew, brothers-in-law. We spent the first part of the trip on the Norwegian Cruise Line Hawaiian Island too. You stop at 7 of the Hawaiian Island Chain Island. That includes the big island, Maui, Oahu, and others. The trip was in honor of my father who passed away in 2014. The trip began for all of us as a plane flight. My nephew (from Washington State) and us (Maryland) were the only ones lucky enough to get a direct flight. Everyone else had stops along the way. From DC to Hawaii the flight was nearly 9 hours. The good news in that was that we got to watch movies that we didn’t have a chance to see in the theaters.

Link to more pictures: https://virily.com/travel/wander-project-hawaii-3/)

(Chappie, was one of the movies if you are into Science Fiction movies, I highly recommend the movie).

We flew out and back on United. United is the airline I have over 1 million miles flown on, that equates to lifetime status. My wife told me the minute I pointed to my name on the upgrade board that if I got upgraded, she was taking ½ the first class seat. That didn’t feel fair to me. But, oh well what can you do in that type of situation? Knowing my wife, she would have taken that seat. I didn’t get upgraded either way, which worked out well. We left DC early in the morning in Augusts 2014. It was already 80 degrees and oppressively hot when we arrived at the airport. We parked our van in the long term lot and slipped our suitcases to the terminal.

We were already hot when we got on the plane.

It was hot when we got to Honolulu.

Due to the reality of us not having to connect, we arrived in Honolulu about 50 minutes before the rest of the family. The luggage area of the Honolulu airport is not air conditioned, so we were used to the heat by the rest of the folks arrived.  We had a night in Honolulu before we would board the ship so it was off to the hotel for a relaxing dinner and a walk along the famous Waikiki beach!


Wander project Sydney…

I had one day on the second weekend in Sydney where I was on my own for an afternoon, so I took to the water. Yes, given a chance to be on the water, I am on the water! These pictures today are from the harbor tour cruise. I enjoyed being on the boat and taking pictures of the harbor, and the many different places in the harbor including some of the wonderful beaches near Sydney. The tour boat was near Bondi Beach, but I had been previously informed of the nature of the large, nude beach. I didn’t end up heading to the actual Bondi beach itself. But I was near Bondi Beach . Not that there is anything wrong with nude beaches, just that as a beach lover, I don’t do the nude beach thing.

There is something magical about touring a place by the water. First, because the people you see in a harbor are often relaxing and enjoying, it isn’t like walking through a city during the work day. People in the city are pushing towards their goal. In the harbor, they are relaxing and enjoying the sun. They have time to spend rather than the time that is wasted between meetings. The nature of my traveling experience as a business person was going from big city to big city and going from meeting room to meeting room. I spent a lot of time on planes and a lot of time in hotels. I learned why it is critical to be fair. I stood in long lines and watched people yell at people.

There is no value in only spewing negative information into the world. Sometimes you have to stop, smile and say “you’re having a bad day” to the human working the counter of the hotel or the airline. Just smile and let them know its ok. They didn’t book the convention in town or the 30 people in front of you in the line. They don’t bring snow that delays flights. They just came to work on a Tuesday afternoon. Or a Monday morning, the yelling is part of their job. It isn’t needed, and it does no good. So stop, smile, and remember the human. You see there is more human kindness in simply trying to move forward the best we all can. That is the difference between the workaday world of the city, and wandering that same city from the water side. People stop and smile, instead of grimace and push forward.


Wander project Sydney

One of the best parts of visiting Sydney was the weekend between the meetings. A dear friend was on the team, while the rest of the team took off for Tokyo, he and I had to stay for additional meetings in Canberra and Melbourne. We were leaving for Melbourne Sunday mid-day. That meant we had a chance to wander Sydney on foot Saturday. My friend  is the person that taught me “walk before you eat.” So we walked 10 miles including some of the pictures shared today. We walked from the hotel which was near the Opera house, to the second harbor (Sydney has some harbors). Our goal for the first walk was to get to a “swap meet.”

I wanted to get things for the kids, and my wife and my friend had been to Sydney many times. So we wandered to the market. I love markets in Asia. You can get virtually anything you want,  at a good price. In Thailand my favorite Sunday trip in Bangkok was always, wandering to the Sunday Market. In Singapore, it is the night market (although you do have to be careful with money and wallets at the night market).  I found something for all three kids but nothing for my wife. Then we walked from the Quay; you can see the pictures of boats docked and the water, from there to a sporting goods store. My friend loved the store; although I cannot remember the name now, it has been ten years after all.

From the sporting goods store, we wandered to the botanical gardens that are on the peninsula that the Sydney Opera house is on. The gardens are amazing, and we walked through them for a long time. We ended up having lunch at the restaurants that are just below the opera house. You don’t realize how huge the Opera house is until you sit right under it. It is a massive building. The restaurants were all “fast” food style in Asian places. I was happy; they all served various Lamb dishes. I love lamb, but it is not as available in the US. At least it is very expensive sometimes. It was nice to enjoy the food and sitting outdoors watching the people walk by. Then it was back to hoofing it.

I did find my wife the perfect present in Melbourne, but that conversation is for another day.’


Wander Project Europe…

One of the business trips I took was Paris, Brussels, Prague ending up in Istanbul. I would argue that it was the hardest (nearly three weeks) trip, but also the most different (4 countries in 15 days). The pictures today are of Brussels. You can see that I was not a good photographer. I did learn to take more than one image when I tried to capture something because of shake and other issues. I am not the photographer my father was. Paris was a series of customer meetings. Followed by a long lunch, and then more customer meetings. It was interesting because the French only works 7 hours a day. The US team that I was traveling with did 7 hours with the French team, and then, we worked another 4 hours before going out to dinner.

Brussels was a smaller US team, but we still had some customer visits. I organized the customer meetings, and it was interesting. We did end up arriving in Paris on a Monday, meetings on Tuesday – Thursday traveling to Brussels on Thursday PM. We had customer meetings on Friday, and then the team split up. One of us headed back to the US Saturday mid-day. The rest of us did a site seeing a trip on Saturday and Sunday in Brussels. Then we split up, with only me heading off to Prague. But the pictures today are from that weekend wander in Brussels. The first part of the trip all of us walked around the city, having a chance to see Brussels and some of the older buildings.

Prague was fun for me; I got to visit the Castle. I’ve shared pictures of the hotel I stayed in in the past. One of the coolest things for me about Prague was getting to wander past Kafka’s. The bar where Kafka did a lot of his writing. I had the chance to visit the Pub where James Joyce often stopped (and had a pint or two) when writing two of my all-time favorite books (Dubliners and Ulysses). Kafka and his Metamorphosis was another writer I admired. Seeing the café was fun, and of course, I did have a beer in his honor. Over the years I have been inspired by many writers. James Joyce was the first writer I spent a lot of time studying. I have read everything I have ever found by Joyce.

Back to the wander project, enjoy the pictures of Brussels!


Wander project Hawaii

I am wandering to the Hawaiian Islands of Lanai. Once called Pineapple Island because that was where the predominance of Dole Pineapple Companies Pineapples came from. It is a sparsely populated for the most part privately owned island (the owner is the owner of Oracle Corporation).  My parents took care of the kids (they were in school when we went).  Back in the 2000’s mom and dad watched the kids for us quite a few times. We would drop them off, or mom and dad would come to our house and make sure the kids got to school. We, my wife and I got to take quite a few trips based on the kindness of parents. The pictures today are from our first trip to Hawaii.

We also got to go to Paris and Mexico City, just the two of us. Paris, and Mexico city I had to work during the week,   so during the week my wife got to sightsee. We then spent in all three cases at least one or two weekend days so we could sightsee together.  Hawaii was the second of those trips. The first was Paris, and we had a blast wandering the city of lights. We had dinner one night just a little bit away from the Arc de Triumph. We also got to hang out with one of my co-workers who remains one of the smartest people I have ever had a chance to know! Hawaii was the second of those but the first one that was an award trip. I was allowed to sightsee all day every day.

My wife, at the time of our first Hawaii trip, was actually in graduate school. She had to study in the mornings every day, which gave me time to explore the island of Lanai and take a long walk in the morning. I was in a walking stage at that point. I ran for many years but stopped for a time because my knees bothered me. I started running again when we lived in Indiana but after the Hawaii trip. I stopped for the last time (running) before we left Indiana and instead I walked. Funny, my wife and I, when we go on vacation just the two of us, walk everywhere. We walked all around the island of Lanai, walked down the River Seine and walked around Mexico City. In fairness, our first dates were simply walking!


wander project images of traveling…

I traveled a lot (more than 1.6 million air miles on two airlines) and more than 1400 nights in hotels (over 1000 nights in Marriott hotels). Going to Australia was one of the highlight trips for me of my traveling career. Australia and New Zealand were two places I relay wanted to go to (along with Japan, Korea, and other places).  I had seen pictures of the Sydney Opera from years before when my father had spent a summer in Australia. He was working for McQuarrie university (spelling on the name sorry). He took 100’s of pictures of the opera house for my mother. My mother loves to go to the Opera. My father wasn’t a big fan of Opera, but he was a big fan of my mother.

From, Indianapolis Indiana (we were living just south of the city in Greenwood) to Sydney Australia was a 24-hour flight of real time. Arrive at Indianapolis Weir Cook airport. Fly to Chicago. From Chicago fly to Narita, Tokyo Japan. Both of those stops, Chicago was one I made frequently, and there was a 3-hour delay from landing to boarding the flight. Narita was a 4-hour delay boarding the flight to Sydney.  There was a whole team of us arriving for a series of meetings, at the Marriott Downtown Wharf hotel. We were going to be on the other side of Sydney, crossing the wonderful Sydney bridge. But we stayed on the other side of the city because the folks that had been to the city many times suggested we stay there.

I got there a day before everyone else, and as is my tradition wandered around the city as much as I could. The pictures are of flowers encountered in my wanders. The amazing thing about the flowers was that they were everywhere. On the side of the Quay was the Opera House. I took a few pictures of the opera house to tease my father. I did find out, however, that the Opera has an amazing botanical garden that sits on the peninsula connecting the opera house to Sydney. We, my friend and I, wandered that garden for a couple of hours. The flowers in the pictures today come from the opposite side of the Quay, from the first cou0ple of walks I took in Sydney!