One of the things I really enjoyed about Chicago was how it looked at night. With the river passing through between towering buildings and bridges crossing over it, taking a walk around at night was a very relaxing activity. The reflections from the lights of the buildings on the water is quite fascinating.
Living on the west coast for much of my life, I have taken granted the beautiful views I see each day. The crashing waves into boulders where ocean meets land, the sunset disappearing into the horizon, and all the sand that always manages to get into my shoes and socks. It wasn’t until I visited the northeast that I really appreciated the coast and noticed there are different features among the west and the east coasts.
On the west coast, the waves crash into the boulders that were placed there by humans to break the violent waves that come in the winter, taking the backyards away from homes perched on top of bluffs above the beach. It depends on the day, sometimes you can see a beautiful sunset that reflects off the water until the sun disappears into the ocean. Other days, fog can hide the sunsets and even views from far away.
It’s hard to believe that it was three months ago when I met up with a number of other All Your Can Jet fliers to watch the Price Is Right taping in Los Angeles. Time sure flies by.
I grew up watching Bob Barker hosting the show. Turning on the television in the family room, watching the Plinko chips bounce their way down the board into the slots just off-center, sadly adding zero to the contestant’s winnings.
Watching the show on television is much different than watching it happen live. In the studio, well, you definitely feel the energy of the audience. Everyone is so excited they don’t quiet down for more than a few seconds during the breaks. It’s non-stop yelling and applauding from the start to the end of the show. The audience came to win stuff!
I’ve been to the site of the World Trade Center two times. I visited back in April of 2008 when I went to Washington, D.C., New York, and Niagara Falls, my first trip in over ten years.
I went back during my month long travels in September, on the 11th, to pay tribute to those who lost their lives. As I was flying on many flights, it was something I wanted to honor. Flying is something many (including me) take for granted.
The other day I wrote about attending the Jay Leno show in Burbank, California. This was after flying a redeye flight from Portland, Oregon to New York, just to fly back to the west coast to Burbank the next morning. A simple answer to the question I get asked a lot: because I wanted to find out if redeye flights are really feasible alternates to a hotel. If you’re insane, yes they are.
After an already exhausting overnight, a baby hitting the back on my seat on the morning flight west, and an incredible experience watching the taping of the Jay Leno show, I was ready to head back to the airport and sleep on a redeye back to the east coast.
Living in the Bay Area, I often find myself walking by people rushing to some place or to meet some person. Their only concern is to get past me, and the next person in their way to their destination. Often avoiding eye contact or texting on their phone. We all have things we have to do, many with constraints of time or energy. We often don’t think about what we’re missing in between where we started and where we’re headed.
During the month travelling around the country, this became so apparent as I was out of my element and open to new experiences. In New York, people rushed to taxi cabs, the subway, to the coffee shop. What were their stories? Who are they? Why the car horns?
There are times when you are faced with two options: help someone or watch someone. Someone who is unable to solve a predicament themselves and may or may not look to others for assistance. Bystanders can choose to watch the situation resolve to either a peaceful or negative conclusion. Or bystanders can choose to take action and help.
During my visit to Lockport, New York, I was fascinated watching the boats go through the locks and watching the large amount of water drain from one segment to the next, boats rising and lowering. Watching the litte boats and the big commercial boats tie up with all different kinds of people on board.
Most boats were able to accomplish tying up without a problem. Except for one boat, the Absolutely from Goderich, ON. This boat had an older man and woman. The woman pushed and struggled to keep the boat steady and away from the wall while the man frantically tried to regain control. I still don’t know what happened exactly but the boat ended up perpendicular to the wall, and it would have probably ended up getting worse.
If there was one thing I didn’t expect to learn from traveling around the country for thirty days, it was the fact that things can change quickly and can often cause a domino effect affecting future plans. When this happens, being able to adapt and make the most of it is a interesting process.
After oversleeping and missing my flight to Seattle, I found myself on a plane to Washington D.C. a day early. My plan originally was to fly to Seattle for the day and fly east on a redeye to visit the Maryland and Delaware state capitols the next day. Instead, I spent the afternoon at Washington Dulles International Airport trying to find a hotel that wasn’t expensive.
By the end of the rainy and humid day, and after a couple of false leads to a hotels “near the airport”, I grabbed some dinner and enjoyed the sunset in the parking lot of a convenience store.