Life Gets in the Way Travel 2016

In the first few weeks of the life of the podcast, I was able to crank out an episode a week.  Then came work travel and personal travel and a home building project, and more difficult subject matter, and things slowed to a crawl.

Life has been very good, though.  And these are all wonderful “problems” to have, and I truly feel blessed to have had an incredible 2016 thus far.  I thought I would share a little bit about the travel thus far, and some pictures of where I have been.

January meant travel to several cities in Texas, finishing in San Antonio, the home of the Alamo.  While I had been to San Antonio several times, each time I was thwarted in attempts to visit the symbol of the tenacious Texas spirit, a symbol of American stubborn defiance.  Finally, on this trip, I made sure I stayed at the hotel right across the street from the Texas Shrine.  After dinner, I walked by the iconoclastic edifice at night, formulating my plan for the morning.  Like a child the night before Christmas, I couldn’t sleep.  Early the next day, I was in line, and have to admit that I may actually have been the first in line when it opened.





Next was the trip to Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia.  I found myself on the road on Ash Wednesday, so although not at my home church, I found a beautiful church in downtown Savannah which made me feel welcomed.  You might recall from one of the episodes, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension is celebrating their 275th anniversary this year.  Amazing to me; they started closer in time to Luther, than 2016 is to 1741.


Next came Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.  On that trip, taking the backroads from Tucson to Phoenix, I happened upon Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.  Built by desert inhabitants, this site likely dates to approximately 1350 A.D.

IMG_5134 IMG_5108 IMG_5127 IMG_5123


There were many other trips, including a purely personal trip golfing with friends in North Carolina.  On one day, at Oyster Bay G.C., we had gallery of sorts.  We lost count at 12, but we were greeted by several alligators of varying sizes.  The largest was estimated at about 12 feet.  Although, I must admit, we really didn’t try to measure specifically!  I did get about 20 yards from this whopping specimen.  My ball had gotten close, and I went to hit the ball.  Somehow, I couldn’t get the idea of the proximity out of my head, and hit the ball into the water.  (I didn’t take a penalty on that hole!)


There was travel to Connecticut and Philly.  New York City and Washington D.C.  Montgomery AL and Nashville.


The the Las Vegas & Idaho trip was next; a mixture business and fun.   My wife had a business trip to Las Vegas, and for once, I was the spouse.  Initially a very cool idea.  Since Vegas is three hours behind my home office, I could get up at 3:30 or 4:00 every day, and get a lot of work done by noon Pacific Time.  I was going to work early every morning, which with the era of the internet and laptops made that a very doable idea.


Then came detour one.  As we were leaving I placed our luggage in the trunk of my trusty Ford.  It was just starting to rain, but got everything in.  Whew.  Then I backed, and suddenly an odd and unusual scratching sound.  MMmmmm…. What could that…Oh, no…  I leaped out, and realized that my briefcase hadn’t made it into the trunk.  My once used but good looking bag, was scratched and a bit mauled.  Suddenly the thought: my laptop…  And the inspection proved what I feared; the once shinny HP work laptop was in pieces.  Luckily my iPad was undamaged, so at the very least, I could do my work from Vegas.


Then detour two, this one I knew about going in.  Colleagues had seminars in Idaho and Montana planned for the same time I was to be in Vegas.  At one point, it became apparent that one more was needed for the Idaho portion of the trip.  No problem, I could get there; I’d drive the eight hours from Vegas to Twin Falls Idaho.  I’d see some really cool landscape; I had never driven that way before.  My plan was simple.  Pick up a rental car at the Las Vegas Airport, drop Ellen off in our hotel room at Caesars Palace, and head part of the way to Idaho.


My initial plan was to drive four or five hours, stop midway, and get a few hours of shut-eye.   Get up early, and make it the rest of the way.  At one point I realized, though, that there were not a lot of stops between Las Vegas and Twin Falls Idaho.  About half way, I decided there wasn’t a lot in Ely NV, filled up the gas tank, and continued.  A good thing I did.  A few miles outside Ely is the sign “Next Gas 124 Miles.”  I realized I was in for the long haul.  Eventually, I pulled into Twin Falls at 4:30 a.m.  There were no rooms at the hotel we were having the seminar, but a kind Tiffany at the Holiday Inn Express was kind enough to sell a room, and I got a couple of hours of sleep.


Later that evening, I was back to Las Vegas, this time flying from Twin Falls instead of the long drive.  No missteps there, just a much longer and darker trip than I had originally planned.


On the trip I was able to make my way on my own to Zion National Park.  A beautiful testament to the wild and rocky west.  The week in the west really all turned out well.  Good work.  Good food.  Good times visiting some friends from home who have a condominium in Las Vegas.  Jeff and Susanne were especially gracious.  We went home, tired in a good way.  A wonderful trip really.


Overall, this trip kind of proves the point though that it has been an unusually busy spring.  The week before Vegas I had been in Alabama and Tennessee.  As such, in two weeks I had lived in all four U.S. time zones.    I don’t know how our American presidential candidates do it, going from venue to venue in different states, and several time zones in one day, for months on end.  Proves they must be a little insane.


Whew, I am glad just to be home, and to get a chance to settle in and do my research and writing for the Life and Times.


Now back to the next episode!

Happy Listening!