Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

I Need Vegas Advice

Posted: November 14, 2012 in eating out, nightclub, travel, vegas

Should I try The Palms?

I’ve been contemplating a trip.  I thought about visiting one of my homies in Pensacola to catch a football game with him at his favorite sports bar.  I considered visiting my brother in Dallas and maybe catching a game out there.  But, maybe I should get away to a place where no one knows me.  Maybe I should finally give Vegas a shot.

I’ve always thought about going there due to the many entertainment options.  The biggest dilemma for me is what should I do while I’m there?  There are tons of hotels, bars, nightspots and shows.  So, how am I going to know which spots are worth my time?
The first thing that I’m going to do is contact my Twitter friend, Cherie.  I know that Ms. @Redhead_702 will do what she can to recommend all of the premier entertainment options for Vegas.  I follow her Twitter timeline like a hawk and she always seem to find the best eating spots and parties in the Vegas area.  I also think that @Ida_homie has been there a few times as well, so I’d love to hear his input.
Now, I’m not really the partying type (any more), but I would be open to going some where and watching people enjoy themselves on the dance floor.  I’m just not going to get out there myself and pull a hamstring.  There’s no fun flying home from a vacation with an injury, you know?  LOL!

I just want to get away for a while and add another city to my “Been There, Done That” list.  I got a taste of western living while in San Diego last month and I think I want to experience more of it.  Portland, Seattle, L.A. and San Francisco will be other places that I’ll consider going forward, but now, Vegas is on my radar.  Since it is so far away, I really want to make sure that I maximize my time while there.  I definitely don’t want to go that far and not have a comfortable stay as well as some stories to share.  And when I say “stories to share,” I don’t mean talking about a trip to the Bunny Ranch.  LOL!  I’m not a pay-to-play type of guy.

“So, for $5,000, I can have both of you and a monkey?”

I’m hoping for an opportunity to go there this time next year. I usually take two trips a year and although I’m traveling alone now, I hope to continue that tradition. I came across a site that lists a few reasonable and inexpensive lodging options in Vegas, so I guess that’s a start towards that dream. I’ll do my research and await advice from some of my readers on the “where and what.”

 Do you have Vegas recommendations for things to do/places to stay?

Going Back to Cali

Posted: October 23, 2012 in immigration, jobs, media, storytelling, travel, work

(written on 10/10)

I’m in pain as I type this. My upper shoulder area was sore prior to going to bed last night and now it feels as if Jason Statham just kicked me in the neck. I guess I need a firmer pillow and not one you can fold and put in your pocket. Anyhoo, I’ll get over it.

Last week, The Mrs. and I spent Sunday-to-Sunday in Carlsbad (San Diego), CA for her birthday. Not only did we have a great and relaxing time, I also slept much better than I did last night (the pillows were firm at the SeaPointe Resort)!

The one thing that I did gain even more perspective on, while vacationing there, was the value of hard work. I met and unofficially interviewed almost every housekeeping and maintenance employee at our resort. To hear them talk about the jobs situation in America was fascinating to me.

One person in particular that I met was a housekeeper named Caridad was from Mexico. She has been in the states for most of her adult life (I’m guessing she was mid-20’s). I asked her, “if I were to move to Carlsbad, would I have a problem finding a job?”

She replied, “office job?”

“No, just a good job.” 

“There are plenty of good jobs here, but a lot of people only want desk jobs.”

Intrigued, I followed, “why is that?”

“I don’t know. Americans don’t like to sweat.”

Of course, she followed that statement with a nervous laugh to try not to offend me. I wasn’t offended at all. I knew exactly what she meant. American-born people tend to want things easy when it comes to the job. I remembered my days of working in a cell phone company’s call center and seeing people complain about being “tied to the phones.”

But, every other day at the resort, I watched a 50-something Hispanic woman rake even rows in the sand of a beach volleyball area. It took her 20-30 minutes to erase all of the footprints, but she did it and made sure that the rows were even.

I recall wanting some more towels for our bedroom and watching Caridad run to retrieve them. When she returned, I asked her why did she run and she simply replied, “to get them to you faster.”

Really? Who does that?  Was it because I was nice to her and I spoke to her daily or just because she understands the real meaning of customer service?

Don’t get me wrong. We all complain about our jobs at some point. Mainly over the people we deal with more so than the job, but we complain nonetheless.  I’m sure that even LeBron James wishes he could stay in bed late some days instead of going to the gym. Even a male photographer for Playboy Magazine probably gets tired of packing luggage to go all over the world for nude photo shoots.  Well, maybe I’m reaching there.

From the Filipino woman at the airport named Tess, who was very helpful, to the Pacific Islander Seapointe Resort front desk attendant named Olga, who had the most pleasant of attitudes, I learned something: I learned that we have people, born and raised, in this country capable of being hard workers. The difference between the U.S. and the places where these particular employees originated is the culture.

We don’t teach the value of hard work like we once did. So many people have rapped/sang, ran/jumped and sex-taped their way to financial freedom that a lot of us just wait on our “big break” instead of creating it. Do you know how many kids that I know who want to be a singer/rapper, basketball/football player, reality star, etc.? A lot more than when I was in school, that’s for sure.

The point that I’m trying to make is that people aren’t born lazy. We’re turned into lazy bums by enablers. We have companies (insert fast food restaurant here) who hire “warm bodies.” Some companies could care less if you’re nice to the customers.  They just need you to flip the burgers and take the money.

We have parents who do everything for their children. “Helicopter parents” who hover over their child and won’t let him/her do anything on their own.  And then other people have to deal with their children once they become “adults.”

We have the media who portray sluts, slackers and drunks as idols.  No need to have talent!  Just do something really stupid that people will talk about on Twitter.

Where did we go wrong? (Sigh)

I enjoyed our vacation in Carlsbad.  I hope that some day we’ll be going back to Cali for another stay.  I not only enjoyed the weather and sights there, but I also learned that there are people in this country who still take pride in their work.

It’s just that must of them weren’t born here…

Are we too far gone as a culture to restore a hard-working attitude back into the U.S.?

I Love Kids, But I Hate Parents

Posted: October 8, 2012 in kids, parenting, travel


Although I don’t have kids, I do like them.  A lot of people have a misconception and think that The Mrs. and I don’t care for children.  That’s not the case at all.  I love kids, but I hate parents.  My god kids are wonderful kids.  They didn’t do that on their own.  Their parents are the reason that’s the case.

It’s not like that with all children.  You see, when kids (under 10 especially) act up, it’s not completely their fault.  I blame their parents.  Case in point: on my trip to San Diego this week, I sat across from a kid who may have been three years old.  He was very loud and disruptive for the entire flight.  Not once did I get upset with him waking me from my nap at 38,000 feet.  But, I got really pissed at his parents who simply ignored his outbursts.  The kid was wearing headphones and playing with an iPad while using his “playground voice.”  Every blue moon, his mom or dad would “shush” him, but it was rarely with any type of authority.  It almost seemed insincere as they rarely even looked at him when doing so.  This irks me.  
Kids are disruptive away from home because they’re disruptive at home.  I’m a firm believer of that.  This kid is three years old and already has the freedom to do as he pleases.  His parents have basically given him the power to have his way and that will grow over time.
Aside from the noise this kid created, he also held up the line when everyone was trying to exit the plane.  While his parents were begging him to get out of his seat, he chose to play with his toys instead.  Instead of getting out of our way, they simply sat there and negotiated with a three year old.  This upset not just me, but everyone else on the plane since we were on the fourth or fifth row from the front with 100+ people behind us.  Yet, the clueless parents looked at us as if we needed to understand, “he’s just a child.”
Whatever.  My parents would have never had that problem with me or my brother.  Any time we were disruptive, we were scolded sternly.  If we continued to act a donkey, then other measures were taken.  I know that a lot of people frown on spankings these days, but they did the trick for me and my big bro.
Once you start a peek-a-boo game on a plane, you can never stop. (Source)

I think that some parents have it hard. I saw a single mom on the plane with a child that looked less than a year old. Sometimes you just have to take your kid on a flight. Surprisingly enough, her child was a lot more quieter than the three year old. No crying. No fussing. Yet a parenting team could not control a three year old from having an entire section wishing they were sitting on the wing instead of beside them.

I read where some airlines are putting travelers with kids in sections together on the plane in the back.  This has been dubbed as being placed in a “baby ghetto.”  Kind of an extreme name, but the idea is to move all crying babies as far as possible from those without.  I’m not sure if that’s fair or not, but obviously, the airlines are recognizing that there’s a problem.  There have also been talks of charging parents more money for kids of a certain age to fly.  That’s absolutely ridiculous to punish someone for having a child, good or disruptive.

My solution would be to ban the parents who appear to not try.  If people around them are complaining, then prevent them from future flights.  I know that sounds harsh, but if you’re letting your little hellion raise the stress level of people who don’t have the option of walking out, then maybe you should consider the train.

Maybe not to this extreme… (Source)

Have you ever dealt with a disruptive child as a parent or “victim” in public?

Carlsbad, CA

I hope that she likes it! 🙂

350: O_o

Posted: May 30, 2012 in storytelling, travel

From afar, you’d make the same mistake, too right?

This is blog post #350 for me.  I figured that since it’s a milestone blog post, that I should share a story about something that’s pretty memorable for me, but not necessarily in a good way…  (deep breath)

Here goes: 10 years ago, I got married.  The Mrs. and I spent our honeymoon in Panama City Beach, FL and despite the many memories we created, this one in particular came up the other day. Ugh. Some stories you wish would never see the light of day, but this one I guess I don’t mind sharing.

We go to a restaurant for dinner and for some reason, I cannot remember the name. I want to say Pineapple Willy’s, but it may have been Harpoon Harry’s.  Whatever.  I’m not much of a drinker, but since it’s my honeymoon, I’m looking for something to alcoholic to drink. As I peruse the menu, I look around and soak in the environment of the restaurant. “Seems like a nice place,” I thought. “Right on the beach where you can see the ocean.”

The server interrupts my thoughts and with a smile asks The Mrs. what she would like to drink. “Diet Coke,” she replies. 

The server, writing everything down, repeats under his breath, “Diet Coke… And you sir?”

I tell him that I want to try their signature drink. As he’s writing down my request, I look over his shoulder and notice what I think is a souvenir cup. “Hey,” I started, “I want to get my drink in that souvenir cup on the wall over there!”

I point across the room towards the item of my choice. If I’m going out of town and enjoying myself, then I want souvenirs galore to document my memories! The server makes a weird look on his face and then walks off towards the bar.  I pay it no mind as The Mrs. and I start talking about our vacation.  It was my first real vacation.  Despite taking numerous trips out of town, it always involved family, school function or some social event.

You can’t relax when you take a trip with your parents and stay in some other relative’s home.  You definitely can’t relax on a school trip because every waking moment of your day is scheduled.  And you can’t relax on a social event (sporting, music, Mardi Gras, etc.) because you’re only focused on fun and sleep is a last resort.  This was my first trip with absolutely nothing planned!  We were on the beach for eight days by ourselves and getting out of bed before noon was optional.

All of this is floating through my mind when the server returns with The Mrs.’ Diet Coke, but not my alcoholic beverage of choice.  “Uh, sir,” he started, “I spoke with the manager and we’re not allowed to serve alcohol in a ‘sippy cup’ here.”


I gave the cup on the wall a closer look and realized that it was indeed a kid’s cup.  I guess I’d been mesmerized by the bright colors and didn’t pay attention to the youthful designs on the cup.  The Mrs. almost spit out her first sip of Diet Coke as she erupted in laughter.  The server leaned over with both of his hands on his knees, as if he were speaking to a child, and said with a grin, “Sir, I can put your alcohol in a big boy cup if you want.”

How did I feel after all of this was said and done? Play the video below and hear how I felt…


What’s an embarrassing moment that you don’t mind sharing?


Posted: April 13, 2012 in The Mrs., travel

No, the “X” doesn’t represent the letter, a Family Feud strike or anything like that. It’s the Roman numeral letter for “10.” 10 years ago, I married The Mrs. and I just wanted to take a moment to share with my followers our milestone of double digits!

To celebrate, we decided to roll back down to our honeymoon spot in Panama City Beach, Florida. What was so cool about the 6.5 hour drive was that we did it without even turning on the radio. We still have conversation for one another after all of this time.

It’s been a great 10 years and I look forward to 10 more. Thanks for allowing me to be me!

Honeymoon: Panama City Beach, FL – View from our resort room

Anniversary #5: San Antonio, TX – The Alamo

X: Back where it all started in Panama City Beach.  View from the Origin @ Seahaven hotel.

Careless Drivers

Posted: February 24, 2012 in road rage, travel

“Ba-ba-ba-ba-baby! Don’t forget my number!”

I wonder if I could contact George Michael and have him put the band back together again. Instead of “Careless Whispers,” they could do “Careless Drivers.”

I hate bad drivers. You’ve seen previous posts I’ve done like “Car Wars” or “Why Isn’t This Lady Allowing Me to Merge?” If I could rewrite laws, I’d have bad drivers doing jail time. The latest trend that bugs me when I’m on the road are people who drive with earphones in their ears.

I asked some of my Twitter followers about why so many people are driving with earphones in their ears. Only one of them said for hands-free calling. Just one! Everyone else said they do so to listen to Pandora and iHeartRadio. So, I figured that it’s up to me to make a QSA (Q Service Announcement) to explain to everyone why that could be a bad idea:

The reason it’s illegal in most (if not all) states to drive with earbuds plugged into your dome is because it’s a safety hazard. You can ask the lady who almost ran me over because she couldn’t hear me blow my horn when she pulled into my lane. Or you can even ask this guy “doing the dougie” at the stop light and not realizing until the very last second that a fire truck was trying to get by him. If you can’t hear, then it makes it that much more difficult to drive. A lot of people can’t drive when they can hear, so they definitely don’t need anything else negating their abilities.

There are so many ways to hook up a cell phone or MP3 player to your car stereo, so there’s no excuse for earbuds in both ears. If you only use one, then that’s cool, but to have both ears plugged is just unsafe.

And how people jog or ride bikes on busy streets with both earbuds in amazes me. The level of trust that they have is unbelievable! There’s no way I’m going to have both earbuds in and allow some teen who’s texting to run me down like a victim in “Christine.” I don’t trust my general public that much. I need to be able to hear brakes screeching so I’ll at least have a chance to jump into a ditch.

Do you think driving with earbuds in both ears is a smart move?