Posts from 2023

My Madrid Haircut

Barber was friendly and from Marrakech so we chatted a bit about our upcoming trip there.

Dining in Madrid

The summary so far: pretty meh. Julie and I don’t think this is a great place for non meat-eaters.

The Madrid Santa Run

Known here as La carrera solidaria de Papá Noel (and hosted by mega department store El Corte Ingles), once Julie and I heard about this event we had to ente...

Advanced Squad Leader in Madrid

Strange words to see together in a title, huh? I sent out a few emails to Madrid folks I found on the ASL players map, and got some nice hits!

Padel in Madrid

Julie and I took a pádel lesson last week in a neighborhood about 2 miles south of us.

Christmas in Madrid

While Julie and I were excited to spend the holiday season in Madrid, we didn’t truly comprehend how much this city embraces the Christmas spirit.

Europe Trip Summary Spring 2023

In the spring of 2023 we spent about seven weeks in Europe. The first two weeks were with family, then just Julie and I for the final five weeks. Spain ...

Rucking Madrid

I do about 140-150 push-ups six days a week, but knew coming into our extended Spain stay that I would need a better routine for full body workouts. My solut...

Golf at Sheep Ranch

Our final round at Bandon was at a new-to-all-of-us course: Sheep Ranch.

Golf at Old Macdonald

Our Thanksgiving day golfing adventure took us to Old Macdonald, probably my favorite course anywhere.

Golf at Bandon Trails

Before we traveled to Bandon Dunes I did a series of emails to my three golfing companions sharing details on the overall experience as well as each course. ...

Golf at Bandon Preserve

I eased the foursome into Bandon Dunes golf by booking the amazing Bandon Preserve par 3 course as our first go.

Golf at Pacific Dunes

Jacob and I kicked off a family Thanksgiving week at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort with a “pre round” of 18 at Pacific Dunes.

Oregon Coast Adventure Begins

Our two weeks in the Portland area is over and we now start our Thanksgiving week on the southern Oregon coast.

Holland 44 with the BIG Map

I’m spending the day in Albany playing Holland ‘44 - Operation Market Garden with my wargaming buddies, 2v2. Surveying the battle

Final Drive to Oregon

It was a pleasant change of pace for our final drive from western Oregon to Portland, limiting our drives to under four hours each on Saturday and Sunday.

Van Trek West

We are wrapping up our first big test of our new-ish camper van, overnighting at the deserted Castle Rocks State Park in remote southeastern Idaho as we make...

Golf at Oak Hill Country Club

Last week I had a chance to play another Donald Ross bucket list course for me: the Oak Hill Country Club (east course) near Rochester, New York. I have a ne...

Golf at Essex County Club

I played a bucket list course last week as part of an event hosted by The Golfer’s Journal, Broken Tee Society (TGJ). The course was the Essex County Club, n...

Fun with Friends

We are wrapping up two weeks of hosting and wandering with friends.

Golfing Adventures in Central NY

I coordinated a golf meetup with some new friends from The Sand Trap (aka TST), my favorite online forum for all things golf. My golf coach Erik runs the sit...

Cloud Amputation

Back in May I started a project to reduce my dependence on 3rd party cloud services, especially those that I think have degraded in quality or are likely to ...

Diving Deep into Undaunted Normandy

I’ve owned Undaunted: Normandy for over a year but had a groundhog day experience with it: playing and teaching the first scenario, over and over, to new rec...

Sailing Season

Our sailing season officially kicked off yesterday, with our first-ever participation in a race with our Melges 15.

My Fear of Trying Hard

Over the winter I heard a couple of podcast episodes that resonated with my own mental approach to self-improvement. I have this ongoing desire to get better...

Soak Hill

I didn’t come up with that euphemism, but it is certainly apropos for Saturday’s conditions at the PGA Championship.

Our Bike Tour Equipment

This is as much for my own memory and research purposes. What kind of bikes did we have? How much do they cost?

Brussels, aka The End

Our last stop before flying home to the states was Brussels, chosen primarily because that’s where I could get a good point redemption on a nonstop flight to...

In Bruges

That had to be the title, right? We watched the movie twice: once before arriving, then again as we were leaving.

Bike Trip Day 7 - Middelburg to Bruges

Not a lot to say about this day as it was a bit of a race to arrive in Bruges before thunderstorms arrived. Not much time to stop and smell the tulips.

Dutch Ponies

Julie commented over dinner last night that I don’t post enough photos showing me. I think I post exactly the right amount (rounding to zero) but these cute ...

Bike Tour Day 2 - Leiden to Gouda

The theme for day 2 was polder as we spent most of the day meandering along dykes surrounded by canals, beautiful homes with nurseries, polder fields with li...

Bike Tour Day 1 - Haarlem to Leiden

We built our Europe adventure partly around our epic bike tour from Haarlem to Bruges via Holland Bike Tours. Our originally scheduled tour was supposed to s...

Three Days in Amsterdam

I allocated four nights and three full days for Amsterdam, which turned out to be plenty.

Berlin Remembers

In my last post I spoke of my memories of Berlin history museums and installments: that, at least in 1990, perhaps they had still not fully come to grips wit...

Berlin After Nearly 33 Years

Every city we’ve visited on this trip except for Verona is one that I’ve visited before. Berlin felt like a new city to me, for reasons that should have been...

Prague Jewish Quarter

Julie and I spent our first Prague morning touring the museum and memorial complex of the Jewish quarter.

Prague Arrivals

The train from Salzburg to Prague (change in Linz) was longish for us, so I upgraded to first class. Our seats in the first segment (Austrian intercity train...

The Sound of Salzburg

Julie and I made a brief stop in Salzburg (two nights) as a transition from Vienna to Prague. Long ago we’d booked The Sound of Music tour with Fräulein Mari...

Vienna Food and Drink

Eating looks to be easier for us as we work our way north! Easier in that we are finding more variety, and more vegetarian and vegan options.

Vienna - Art and Music

Sadly Vienna greeted us with cold, wind, and driving rain. We revised our schedule a bit and ducked indoors for most of the first 36 hours.

Venice Endings

We finished our Venice time on the main island, hitting some art museums and churches while enjoying our final Italian meals (and drinks) of the trip.

Venice - City of Nations

Julie and I spent our first full day in Venice with Michael Broderick, proprietor of Venicescapes, learning about Venice as a City of Nations.

Fair Verona

Julie and I spent three nights in Verona as an interim stop between Florence and Venice. So glad we did - romantic in ways that might surprise you.

Florence - Walking around and FOOD

We are closing out our final full day here in Florence, having hit most of the major sites and continuing to enjoy Italian food.


I’ll post more soon, but we are in Firenze and enjoying our last three days with the group-of-six.

Cinque Terre - Monterosso to Corniglia

Julie and I intend to hike all the inter-town segments of the Cinque Terre trail system, and day one was the Monterosso to Vernazza to Corniglia portions.

Vans, Planes, and Trains

Yesterday was a crazy travel day, starting with a 7:35 flight Barcelona to Milan, a train from Milan to Monterosso, and some bookend van rides.

La Sagrada Rainbow and Night

I mentioned in my last post that the opposing stained glass sides (nativity and passion) can be viewed as a rainbow.

Barcelona - A day of Gaudí

This was our day to explore the works of Antoni Gaudí, the modernista architecture master of Barcelona.

Toledo Spain

We hopped on a train to take a brief day trip from Madrid to visit the medieval walled city of Toledo.

Madrid - Palacio Real and the Gran Via

Another glorious day with spectacular weather in Madrid. Mostly everyone (sadly not Julie) appear to be sleep and time adjusted. Sticking to one big tourism ...

Madrid - walking around, Reina Sofia

We are settled in our AirBnB in Madrid, joined by Julie’s two brothers and their spouses. The train and metro from the airport was easy and we were able to d...


Made it to Lisbon, our layover stop on our journey to Madrid.

The Bitter End

Julie and I went to a concert last night at The Bitter End (Wikipedia) to see “Songwriters In The Round”.

Virginia to New Jersey

We wrapped up our slow journey north yesterday as we arrived in Jersey City to park the van for almost two months. Thursday we head to Europe.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Julie and I spent three cold and windy days at the Oregon Inlet campground, part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Goose Creek State Park

We are continuing our journey north, with parks getting emptier and weather getting colder. A few days ago we stopped by Goose Creek State Park in NC for a t...

Huntington Beach State Park

We are completing our second stay at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina. The park is just down the Atlantic coast from Myrtle Beach.

Paddling Manatee Springs

We camped for two nights at Manatee Springs State Park, our final nights in Florida on this adventure.

Fishing Sebastian Inlet

Julie and I joined sister Jennifer and niece Grace for a morning of snook fishing in Sebastian Inlet with East Coast Fishing Charters.

Galapagos Trip Summary

Back in 2011 we took a family trip to the Galapagos. It was so amazing that we vowed to return some day. I think that will happen in the next five years. I n...

Beach Driving Near Daytona

We took the van out on the beach yesterday afternoon between Daytona and Ormond Beach. We could almost see the ghost of Glenn Curtiss racing by on the tide l...

Jekyll Island GA

Julie and I spent a night in transition on Jekyll Island as we worked our way back from the Carolinas to Florida.

Golf at Pine Needles NC

I’m back in the golf swing of things and we are working in some stops while up in NC for some off-road driving training. Today was Pine Needles.

My Five Favorite State Parks

Julie and I were recently camping at Sebastian Inlet State Park in Florida, our second time in less than a month, when I remarked that this might be one of m...

My 2023 Theme – The Year of Mornings

It is time for a new yearly theme! What is a yearly theme? Here’s a summary: Instead of setting resolutions at the start of the year, you set an overall...

Camping Florida Style

We stayed in a classic, giant RV park to be with friends last weekend. Results were mixed.

Our Broadway Shows

Julie and I spent a magical weekend in NYC last weekend with my sister. We saw three shows in three nights; here are my mini reviews.

Crystal River

We are hanging out near Crystal River FL at Crystal Isles RV park, joining some old friends for fun and adventure.

Greetings from NYC

Spending a long birthday weekend in NYC celebrating a big milestone for my sister.

Golf Goals for 2023

I’m going to share a few posts on goal and theme setting for the year. I play and practice a lot of golf, and I have some specific goals for the coming year.

About the New Van

I was finally introduced to our new van when we arrived in Florida in early December.