Road Trip: Day 1

Today, we got a late start. There was so much to do at home (soon to be “not home” I suppose) that it took many hours to both clean out the house and arrange and pack the remaining stuff into the U-Haul trailer. Yes, the company paid for a full “pack and move” package, but there’s always something they won’t do. And I don’t trust them with my computers. And, man, did we stuff that trailer full!

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For the first leg, I chose Cleveland as our overnight stop. It was a good choice, since we left around 5pm or a little after and were able to arrive a little after midnight. I chose a close first stop since I wasn’t sure how towing the trailer would be. Turns out, that’s not too bad. What was bad was how much stuff we had left over of what they wouldn’t take. We were able to cram in all of our stuff in the smallest covered U-Haul trailer, which works very well since it’s just as wide as our car – not wider. I don’t have to worry about the back wheels going over the lane lines before the X3 wheels do. The only difficult part was navigating the Pennsylvania Turnpike – that road just needs to be ripped and replaced with something straighter and wider.

On our way out of the Northern Virginia area, we stopped in a local chain place to eat called Cava Mezze and had some great food. Those of you back in NoVa should try it if you already haven’t – it’s good and also cheap.

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Late at night, we finally arrived in Cleveland – too dark to see anything, but we safely made it to the hotel… only to find it PACKED with people. There were apparently not only Memorial day travelers, but entire youth soccer teams. Parking was simply not available in the lot, so we made our own spot on the end of a row. With a trailer, parking is becoming quite a critical logistics issue, and apparently must be accounted for.

Once in the hotel, we collapsed.

Day 1: done.

A New Airport

… but not a new state.

Today, I’m hanging out in Anchorage, Alaska. I’ve been to Alaska before, but it was many years ago – like almost 3 decades… and we arrived by boat. I was 7 years old and it was summer – the sun almost never set.

Now, though, it’s winter – or pretty close to it, and the sun didn’t show up until almost 10AM. Not that I can actually see it, however – it’s too cloudy outside. I was hoping that I would get to see some Northern Lights, but that was not to be. 😦

Now, I have a new airport to add to my list bringing the total to 93.

A Little Closer To The Goal

I just added more miles to my “lifetime” pool. Now, I’m just under 940,000 – only 60,000 to go. In my old job, that would have been just another year of flying somewhere every week. Not so much now.

In order to speed up the “Million Miles” I talked about earlier, I took a mileage run to Guam and Tokyo – that added almost 19,000 miles in one swoop. So – that added two places to my travel map and two new airports to my list as well: GUM and NRT.

I’ll write more about the trip later.

One Million Miles

Not yet, but that’s what I’m shooting for.

After almost 10 years at my last job, travelling to the work sites every week, and my propensity for travelling any place that I can, I’ve racked up just over 904,000 miles just on United alone. Most of those were on Continental before the merger, but I’ve added a good amount since.

If you want to count ALL my miles, I’ve done well over a million total on various airlines. At one point I had 240,000 on American, but they cancelled my account for lack of use (good riddance, I say).

With my new job, I don’t travel nearly as much. In fact, NOT travelling every week was kind of why I took it. After all – I rather enjoy spending time with the wife. The new job is mostly local, with occasional travel. I travel maybe 4 times per year, usually half of that is vacation.

So, where I used to accrue 75,000 or more miles per year, I now sometimes don’t even reach enough for elite status. Of course, I have a way to maintain the lowest tier if necessary, and I’ve put that to use a few times.

What I need now is a way to cheaply and quickly earn 96,000 miles. Based on miles, I think I can do that with 5 round trips to Bangkok. (Or maybe only 3 with some business trips to Seattle scattered over the next couple of years.)

Hmm… maybe I’ll pop over for a dinner of green curry a couple of times.

Travel Updates

I’ve updated my travel maps to reflect the new countries I’ve visited: Iceland and Norway. I didn’t add any new airports to the ever-growing list this time since we got there by boat, but I have to say that I will definitely want to go back to both places in the future.

We are currently parsing through the thousands of pictures we took and will eventually post them on the gallery.

Surfacing!

You can take that in a couple of ways. First, at least chronologically, we have surfaced from our dives and our vacation in fine diving form. In fact, we both took and passed our Advanced Open Water diving certification!

Yay, us!

It was a very good refresher course for us, so much so that Laura even got so excited about diving that she didn’t want to stop!

We loved it in the Keys – it was very relaxing and laid back. We are definitely going back… just not to Miami. Miami wasn’t so great – way too hectic and crowded for a vacation.

Secondly, and most important, I’m typing this blog entry on my brand new Surface! Full disclosure dictates that I tell you that Microsoft is my employer, but even so – this thing is way cool. I’m going on a couple of hours with hardly a dent in the battery. It’s a little small, but that’s to be expected of a tablet device.

Any way you slice it, It’s a cool machine.

Florida It Is

We’ve now made plans and it looks like it will be the Florida Keys for some diving. Yay!

We’ve got the airfare and rental car, now we just need some place to stay… 🙂

The Florida Keys is the place that started Dive Turkey and I will enjoy going back, this time with a camera. Hopefully, I will get some good pictures of wrecks and reefs and colorful fish.

It will not be the same, though, since I will be the only one there from the original trip. While there, I will remember our one-time dive-buddy Jason.

I will especially miss him on this trip to the first Dive Turkey location.