Last year was filled with traveling, both in and out of the country – all over Thailand, Chicago, New York, Tampa, Indianapolis, and Washington, DC, not to mention all over California, driving the 5 or the PCH between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Even deciding to stay at home in the Bay Area felt like traveling. Visiting lands near, far and away has always provided me with extreme joy with opportunities to rediscover who I was, understand who I am, and discover who I will be.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” — Ernest Hemingway
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost
“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” — Jack Kerouac
“Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.” — Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife)
I flew to Thailand with my closest friend where we met up with close buddies of ours to spend New Years and the beginning of the year there. It was a magical time where we visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pattaya and Koh Samet. Much like India in 2014, leaving the USA gave us a perspective of how small this world truly is, meeting people that are both so different and so similar to us. Seeing childhood friends as adults in a world so far from where we grew up also gave perspective on life. It was a magical way to start the year.
- Click on this link to view my adventures in Thailand, which is actually a page collecting the forty plus posts of my time there.
While I love where I am and I am where I am supposed to be, Chicago does enter my mind quite often. After all, it was home for twenty years. It still is.
“Place has always been important to me, and one thing today’s Chicago exudes, as it did in 1893, is a sense of place. I fell in love with the city, the people I encountered, and above all the lake and its moods, which shift so readily from season to season, day to day, even hour to hour.” — Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America)
- Pigeons and Jerry Springer
- Marie’s Riptide Lounge
- Goodbye Batcave
- Midwest Is Best
- Looking for Chicago Restaurant Recommendations?
I don’t make into into The Big Apple nearly as much as I used to, when I lived in Chicago, when it seemed like a yearly excursion. Towards the end of last year, I surprise visited one of my best friends in what turned out to be an epic weekend hanging out with him and other friends during the holiday season. I’ve always said, there is no place like New York City during the holidays, and I have yet to be proven wrong.
“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” — Tom Wolfe
Over the years, I’ve only visited Washington, DC a few times, all of which have generated a lifetime of memories. With my sister and her family there, and one of my oldest friends and his family just a few blocks away, this particular time spent was amazing, dominated by kids. One night, I decided to take a stroll thru National Mall from 10 PM to 2 AM by myself.
THE BAY AREA
Even though technically the Bay Area is home, I find myself acting the tourist quite often, doing something here that took me over ten years to start doing in Chicago – explore the city (besides just the bar scene). I’ve always said this about San Francisco – the city itself is magnificent, but the true beauty of the city lies not just what’s inside it, but also what’s outside. With all the outdoor activities in and around the city (i.e. Marin) and wine country not far away, not to mention access to the raging Pacific Ocean, it’s no wonder that people from all over the world come here to vacation. (Many of the posts from last year in the Bay Area specifically about nature, when we were hiking, I am posting in a separate blogpost.)
“It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears
is said to be seen in San Francisco.
It must be a delightful city and possess
all the attractions of the next world” — Oscar Wilde
“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” — Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
- Sunday Funday
- Walking Along the Dock of the Bay
- Dreaming of Artesa
- Strawberry Village
- Just Another Day at the Office
- Mouth of the Sundown Sea
- Pulling a Shawshank. A Prayer on the Pacific.
- Zip Lining in Northern California
- Mission Peak
- An Extraordinarily Foggy Night
- Soul Searching in Yosemite
- Sunrise Over the Golden Gate
- I’ve Fallen in Love with the Bay Area
- 1015 and The End Up
- The Pacific Coast Highway with Taylor and Bruce Springsteen
- The Bay Bridge and the San Francisco Skyline
- Motel G
- I Ferry the Bay. I Walk the City.
- On the Golden Gate Road
- The Many Faces of a Sausalito Balcony – All Pretty
- Life is Good in the Bay Area
- Life is Good in the Bay Area, Part Two
- Life is Good in the Bay Area, Part Three
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part One
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part One (2)
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part Two
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part Three
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part Four
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part Five
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part Six
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part Seven
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part Eight
- Today’s Way I Love the Bay, Part Nine
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ALWAYS BE EPIC.