Category Archives: Travel

Live This Day

Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ”tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ”If I had my life to live over again. ”Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. – Og Mandino

Wow! This quote blew me away. I don’t see how to add much to it. It’s perfect.

Live this day like Og Mandino suggests. I’m starting now.

Michael

Take a Day

Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you. – Maya Angelo

Lies can be pervasive and subtly undermine your ability to be who you truly are. They come from a variety of places, but most come from our own minds, our own thoughts. Sometimes we may not realize the lies we tell ourselves. It’s a form of habitual thinking that becomes almost unconscious. One way to start making them conscious is to ask yourself some thought-provoking questions. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What guilty feelings do you have for decisions made in the past?
  • What is your overall view of yourself?
  • Do you accept who you are? (that means all parts, positive and negative)
  • What are some of your deepest fears? This is important because most of the time we view ourselves negatively based on our fears.
  • What things haven’t you tried because of lack of belief, ability and etc.?
  • What 3 things seem to affect your self-worth?
  • What are you not doing that you absolutely love to do? What are the beliefs that are stopping you from doing it?

So, take a day. Stop the lies for a few hours. Say what you mean. Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Just for a day. Try it out. See how it feels.

Michael

First Day of Spring

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

The Vernal Equinox occurred at 7:44 a.m. EDT. This heralds the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of fall in the southern. Astronomical note: The equinox is the point at which the center of the sun crosses the equator.

For us in the north, it’s a time to start coming out from weeks and month of being reclusive. Internally, it’s time to turn away from a time of introspection to more outward endeavors. I love this time of year. People start to thaw out. Plants are budding. Flowers begin blooming. The world is waking up (at least in the north).

I’m looking forward to doing more hiking without heavy coats, gloves and hats. I’m ready to feel the warmth of the sun while sitting on my deck. I’m ready for spring bulbs. I’m ready for the Newport Flower Show. I’m ready for my annual trip to Yosemite with my daughter.

I’m just ready for spring.

I’m glad it’s here!

Michael

New Orleans – Bourbon Street

Ahhhh!! I’m in New Orleans for a 3 day photography workshop. My hotel, the Royal Sonesta, is located right on Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter. Let me tell you. This place is crazy. It’s full of people day and night. Everyone is working hard on having a good time; lots of partying going on due to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day.

I really love the French Quarter and New Orleans has a special feel like many European cities. You can easily walk anywhere. No driving required. There is something interesting around every corner. The food is world class. Cajun and Creole styles are supreme. But, every other type of food can easily be found.

You never know what is behind a door or entrance way. The streets are narrow and many times when you walk into someone’s home or a café, it turns into a beautiful courtyard full of plants and flowers. It gives the experience a sense of magic because it feels like you were transported somewhere else.

What adds to this trip is that fact that New Orleans seems to be getting back its vitality. I’ve met some really nice people and everyone seems to be in a good mood. The service at the hotel is spectacular.

The people here have had some tough times but you wouldn’t know it today. It’s good to see.

Have a great day!

Michael

Another Idol Season

Well, another Idol season has officially started with the first live show this evening. 36 hopefuls begin season 8. Twelve sang tonight.

I find this show fascinating for several reasons. I love watching how people view themselves in the face of the judges comments. I really like seeing someone bring out aspects of themselves that they’ve never shown before. Those surprising moments are the best. I like how the contestants can surprise the judges, both positively and negatively, in their song choice.

But, the best part of the show for me is watching people follow and pursue their dreams. That’s the stuff that life is all about. Those are the life changing moments.

I can’t wait to see what people are able to bring to the table this year.

Michael

Dream Job

In January, Australia’s Queensland Bureau of Tourism announced through the web an incredible job opportunity based on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a dream job. Your primary responsibilities include exploring the islands and the reef. You must try all the different activities available and report about them on a weekly basis by blog, photography and video. There will be the occasional interview. Basically, by experiencing all that the reefs have to offer and telling the world, you promote the region for the tourism bureau.

Accommodations are extraordinary; a three bedroom condo in a multi-million dollar resort. The job is for six months from July 1st 2009 to January 1st 2010. The pay is approximately $100,000 U.S. Not bad in relation to the responsibilities.

Thousands upon thousands of people have applied and at one point so many people were hitting their website that it crashed because of the traffic overload. You must fill out a very short application and upload a 60 second video about yourself and why you are best for the job.

50 semi-finalists will be voted on during the the last week of March. 11 short-listed candidates will be announced on April 2nd and will be flown to Australia for the final interview during the first week of May. The winner will be picked on May 6th and needs to start work promptly on July 1st.

I’m applying!

Michael

Tucker's Bistro in Newport

Erica and I went to one of our favorite Newport restaurants last night (early Valentine’s since she will be out of town). Tucker’s Bistro on Broadway is an intimate, classy restaurant where you immediately feel at home.

The first thing you notice is the wonderful service. Usually Tucker is there himself ready to wait on you. His goal is to make your dining experience relaxed and immediately enjoyable. The wine selection is excellent though we didn’t partake this time.

I really love the variety of choices for appetizers and entrees at Tucker’s. Each one stands on its own and you will remember the flavors for days after. I tried the Thai Shrimp Nachos which were so rich in spices and other flavors that I finished them way too quickly. My entree was the Shrimp and Pecan Crusted Atlantic Salmon. Wow! It was served exactly to my liking (I don’t like rare fish). The salmon was placed on top of a perfectly cooked sweet potato croquette and some sautéed spaghetti squash.

Erica started with the pear salad. Hey, I just remembered I never got to taste this dish. Hmmmm. Very suspicious. For an entree, Erica devoured (lady like of course) the Braised Pork Shank. I did get to try one bite of it. The meat was so tender it just fell apart. It wasn’t at all dry and had a rich flavor without being overpowering.

Dessert was homemade ginger ice cream with real pieces of ginger. I really liked this dish because it was not too sweet. Creamy, gingery. Just right!

The best part of the night was sharing all this excellent food with someone you are close to.

Michael

Parallel Friends

A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities. – William Arthur Ward

I am so appreciative of my close friends. One of the reasons I feel abundant in my life is because of them. Many times we seem to lead parallel lives. I find this very interesting.

This morning, I was talking with my one of my closest friends who lives in London. We were talking about some experiences that she has been having over the last several weeks which were similar to some I had been having in my own life. Within the one hour conversation, we both seemed to jump past some blocks we had been experiencing and moved past to calmer ground.  It was an exhilarating feeling.

Nat and I seem to constantly have this sharing of life’s lessons. The themes are the same and seem to occur at about the same time. But, the difference is that we are coming from a completely different set of prior life experiences (personal history), very different backgrounds and upbringing, different religious/spiritual practices and we went to vastly different schools.

Because of the similar themes we can support each other during those moments when we need it. Due to the vast differences we are able to help each gain alternate perspectives which allows each of us to grow that much more.

It’s just one of the many gifts my friends bring me. I’m quite fortunate.

Michael

Corner Cafe in Newport

Lately, Saturday mornings are reserved for Nat and I to write on our book. Every other Saturday we meet in Newport, RI and start our writing session off with a hardy breakfast at the Corner Cafe on Broadway St. I love breakfast better than any other meal. I could eat breakfast at dinner which I do many times. The service at the Corner Cafe is great. The food is wonderful. It’s a nice place to get your day off to a great start.

I’m glad we start our big writing sessions here, since I like breakfast so much. It really puts me in a good mood and I’m ready to write, brainstorm or do just about anything else.

For me, it’s also a treat. I think those are important to give yourself on a regular basis. It’s a small way to show appreciation for yourself. We tend to forget about ourselves in this regard. So, pick some things that you can do to give back to yourself. Do this on a regular basis. The short term effects will help you have a happier life. The long term effects will be staggering.

Have a great day!

Michael

A Travel Story and a Day of Rest

I was quite sick last night. It seemed to get worse as the evening progressed, but I worked diligently and packed for my flight home today. This morning while I was driving to the New Orleans airport, I couldn’t remember packing numerous items, so I realized how “out of it” I must have been.

So, I arrive at the airport, drop off my rental car and take the shuttle to the terminal. I walk up to the ticket agent who proceeds to start processing my boarding pass. “Hmmmm, I can’t find your flight” he says. I gave him my itinerary. He looked at it and said, “Your flight is not until tomorrow.”

“Whattttttt!!!!”, I exclaimed.

Sure enough, my flight was for Monday. So, you must be thinking that my head cold is affecting more than my sinuses. But, when I called the airline on Friday to change my ticket, the agent clearly stated to me that there were almost no available flights for Monday, but she could easily get me on a flight for Sunday. I was disappointed and asked her to look again for a Monday departure. She scanned and found only a handful of seats left. They were all over $800. I told her to just book the Sunday flight.

Obviously, I was quite surprised this morning and had to call my parents to come pick me up from the airport so I wouldn’t have to rent a car for another day. I called Erica and she told me that when she was getting her boarding pass yesterday, the exact same scenario I have described here had happened to a gentlemen standing in line. He also had been told he couldn’t get a flight on a certain day and then they booked him on that day anyway but told him it was for the day before. He argued with the ticket agent for 20 minutes about this. So, I felt a little better after hearing that. 🙂

It was clear to me that I needed some more rest before flying. That’s what I did. I read, napped, read, ate, drank liquids and rested in a prone position as much as possible. I’m feeling better tonight and I think I’ll be better able to fly tomorrow.

Michael