Hot Tickets

We’ve got ’em.

Saturday August 12.

And On that same trip there is this: …click on the headline for more info if you are so inclined…

It will be a quick summer trip. It’s gonna be great!

Mom updates

Mom is doing much better. Big relief. Physical therapy has worked well for her. She is much more herself.

Her birthday party was a success and she absolutely loves her new Apple Watch. She is calling everyone from her wrist. Seriously!

Fearsome Mom

Fearsome Mom

Yes, I made the cake. Kentucky Butter Cake! (You can find the recipe HERE)

After a wonderful time with mom, Fearsome and I boarded our flight to start our journey home. Due to the tumultuous weekend of policy changes by decree we figured we may see a bit of discourse along the way. San Diego International did not disappoint.

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Outside baggage claim thousands of peaceful protestors as far as the eye could see, even on the upper level drop off area. We added our cheers of support as we made our way through the crowd having to walk to the smaller domestic flight only terminal for pick up. It was an uplifting walk after a weekend of disconcerting news.

Yesterday we took another step in our support of compassionate human values. If you are so inclined you can add your support as well simply by clicking HERE.

We are glad to be home safely with our family. We pray for everyone that are separated from families/loved ones and for all those that are displaced from their home/homelands that are simply seeking safe refuge in order to live.

 

Fearsome’s travel updates

We arrived safely in Ft Lauderdale only 20 hours later than the originally scheduled arrival time. Thanks to a helpful club concierge we were rescheduled on the easiest most comfortable route to our final destination. Fearsome has taught me that a smile, patience plus a few kind words go a long way with those who work in customer service. His wisdom worked to our favor.

After waiting out our delay in snowy Washington DC due to the line for de icing we were finally airborne. Shortly into the flight or Captian let us know that due to storms aloft we were re-routing but would make it to Ft. Lauderdale. He warned us if a bumpy flight ahead and that services may be delayed as from time to time the flight attendants would have to sit down and strap themselves in. Yeah! A thrill ride!

Actually the experience aloft turned out to be fairly smooth and the re-route took us out to sea. When landing in Ft Lauderdale on most often arrives over the Everglades but due to storms we descended to our destination via a route over the Bahamas. As the Captian put it we were going to just “slip in between storm fronts” so we could land safely.

Our sneaky route between storms allowed some incredible vistas from my window seat the United Club concierge snagged for me:

One of the Bahamas below.

One of the Bahamas below.

Storms in the distance.

Storms in the distance.

Stunning azul of the shallow Bahamas waters.

Stunning azul of the shallow Bahamas waters.

Storms head over Ft Lauderdale Beach during approach.

Storms head over Ft Lauderdale Beach during approach.

What we found when we got off the flight in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International was a freakin’ mess. Due to all flights being cancelled the day before and the one whole terminal being closed as it was a crime scene, left our arrival terminal looking like something out of Night of The Living Dead. As we deplaned we entered a terminal packed to the point there wasn’t even a place for people to sit on the floor and the stranded passengers looked at us almost as if they were hungry enough to eat us. They wanted on to our aircraft and NOW!

The there was baggage claim. Oh shit!

Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood International United Baggage Claim 1/7/2017

Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood International United Baggage Claim 1/7/2017

Apparently in the evacuation of the airport during the previous days shootings everyone was told to leave their bags and run. These were just the yet to be claimed bags from arriving passengers. Departing passenger bags were available for claim and re-checking to destinations on one’s newly scheduled flight upstairs. The nightmare the day after a nightmare.

My bag? After a reschedule and a night left outside on the tarmac at Dulles International it arrived! Still frozen, but here with me! Whew.

I made my way to Dollar Rent A Car and was greeted with no line in which to wait but a friendly face who discounted my rental and upgraded me to a full size car “due to the travel interruptions” I had endured. I was off to my hotel and welcomed not only by a familiar and friendly face at the front desk but also by my comfortable and familiar room.

Room 219, Fearsome's favorite room.

Room 219, Fearsome’s favorite room.

 

Zika Free!

I love where we live.

Now I love it even more. I just saw this picture on Huffington Post. I didn’t even need to read the article. I just need to go for a walk on the beach and imagine I’m on vacation.

The Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island just across San Diego Bay.

The Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island just across the Bay from San Diego’s downtown.

It was a delight to see this beautiful old Hotel featured. It us just a 15 minute drive from my front door to its front door. Currently still a Zika free warm climate destination.

The graceful Hotel Del Coronado was built circa 1888 and is the largest oceanfront fully wooden structure left on the west coast of the U.S. The beautiful old hotel has quite the history. From stars, royalty and presidents to famous ghostly haunts the ocean front resort’s walls contain many memories. My two favorite hotel legends are dear to the heart of many a male of my persuasion. Both Dorothy Gale and Marilyn have history at this Grande Dame.

L. Frank Baum's Oz

L. Frank Baum’s Oz

Much of L. Frank Baum’s Oz was written on the island and at the Hotel Del.

Many of the scenes of Some Like It Hot were filmed at the Hotel Del. There’s a famous Dragon tree out front that had to regrow half of itself over after apparently being almost cut in half so the cameras could get the right shot. The cast stayed in the hotel during the shooting of the film.

Marilyn Monroe & Jack Lemmon during filming.

Marilyn Monroe & Jack Lemmon during filming.

The structure was the first building to ever have electricity in San Diego. Thomas Edison was hired to build a power plant for the hotel. He apparently oversaw and even installed some of the original wiring himself. The power plant produced more electricity than the hotel needed at the time and eventually sold the excess to San Diego as other buildings installed the new luxury of electric lighting.

Hotel Del Coranado from the water.

Hotel Del Coranado from the water.

The resort remains one of San Diego’s finest. The beach The Del sits on is one of San Diego’s largest. It is a wonderful destination for a week, weekend or just a brunch.

Come join us in San Diego. It rarely if ever rains here so mosquitos are almost non-existent and thus we are still Zika free. Our average temperature is about 70 degrees F, our beaches run for miles from soft sand to dramatic seaside bluffs and our elevation ranges from sea level to well over 8000 feet. Take a morning hike in the mountains then head into the surf in the afternoon.

Paradise. I’m grateful I landed in paradise.

A day at the beach

Life, living it gets busy. I like busy. I believe a full dance card is a dersirable dance card. If it’s not full, I say get out there and fill it up.

I had a private comment from a dear friend and reader of Fearsome Beard that they thought maybe I had lost interest in this here blog thingy since I’ve had some breaks in written posts. I must have had a look in my eye because very quickly he said “or maybe you have just been busy?”

I had to laugh and then reassured him busy was the answer. I actually appreciate his enlightenment for it makes me pause and assess.

Being contemplative I thought about it and I definately haven’t lost any interest, in fact I am loving this here blog thingy more and more as time passes. I do have gaps in the written prose, but that’s ok. Life is busy. I have distractions. Sometimes I have something to say and haven’t the time to stop and say it. Other times I have the time to stop, yet nothing to say. The best part of the blog is that when the stars align, I actually do stop and write. I contemplate, laugh, cry, think, read, express, research, communicate, grow, interact, share and learn.

Some days I get busy. Some days I just go to the beach.

Fearsome on Haulover Beach, yes the people behind me are nude but hey so am I.

Fearsome on the Beach

Ahhh….destination

Hungry Beard waiting for his dinner.

Hungry Beard waiting for his dinner.

Today’s gallivant brings us back to our usual haunt of Ft. Lauderdale beach. We is just the two of us…Fearsome and me. The better half has commitments back at home on the west coast and the six pups are happy at least one of us is home. We will miss him but will have him on a future trip in the not too distant future.

This beautiful breezy and balmy Florida evening took us on a stroll to our favorite Casabanca Cafe to kick off our trip. Kick it off to a tasty start at a charming and picturesque location. Afterwards a long stroll on the beach will be grand.

Yep…living the dream…

View from my dinner table.

View from my dinner table on the balcony overlooking the Atlantic. 

Home awaits

At this very moment I sit here:

View from my seat in the United Club at Dulles.

View from my seat in the United Club at Dulles.

….and I am on my way here:

Patsy, Virgil &  Mitzi waiting for me on the couch. (Photo just taken and text to me by The Better Half)

Patsy, Virgil & Mitzi waiting for me on the couch. (Photo just taken and text to me by The Better Half)

I love the journey that is life!

 

Motivational seminar and a walk down by the river

A couple days ago I blogged about the hard part of travel. The hard part is leaving behind the six dogs and The Better Half. It’s good to leave home though as it makes me appreciate what I have.

Where on earth did I take Fearsome this time you ask? Richmond Virginia for one of my Real Estate motivational seminars. A Brian Buffini Success tour to be more specific.

The Success Tour is two full days of great information, motivation, laughter and love. Yes love, lots of it. We Buffini agents are quite a supportive lot. There were about 2000 of us at this event. Brian brings along other speakers as well.

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Both were great additions to Brian’s message. I am full and have much to contemplate. After two days of sitting and absorbing I walked out to a beautiful late afternoon springtime here in Richmond. I felt a good long walk was in order. So I took one winding through the historical streets of downtown Richmond and along the James River.

Fearsome Beard by the mighty James River

Fearsome Beard by the mighty James River

Fearsome Beard in cherry blossoms

Fearsome Beard in cherry blossoms

Fearsome Beard with tulips and the Capitol Building of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Fearsome Beard with tulips and the Capitol Building of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Fearsome Beard proudly stands in from of the Governor's Masion of Virginia. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have legalized LGBT discrimination just yesterday 3/30/16.

Fearsome Beard proudly stands in from of the Governor’s Masion of Virginia. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have legalized LGBT discrimination just yesterday 3/30/16.

Fearsome Beard at the entrance to a beautiful court building.

Fearsome Beard at the entrance to a beautiful court building.

Fearsome Beard with a statue of the most Fearsome Edgar Allen Poe.

Fearsome Beard with a statue of the most Fearsome Edgar Allen Poe.

Fearsome Beard on yet another quaint street of historic Richmond VA

Fearsome Beard on yet another quaint street of historic Richmond VA

We wish to send our wishes to a fellow blogger here in Richmond. We are sorry that our schedule did not match up with yours and hope that one day our paths may cross in the future. Tomorrow it is off to Roanoke to visit Mom for a few days. Wish us well on our drive down interstate 81. Until then….tooodleoo.

 

The hardest part

I love travel. I do it often.

The hardest part? Leaving the pups behind.

Nina

Nina

Just after boarding the plane headed back east this morning the better half sent me this photo. Isn’t she beautiful? I think so.

With anticipation I will see what adventures I find in this weeks east coast travel. I’ll make a few notes along the way. I hope you enjoy the ride along with me.

Travelin’ Beard

Destination… a place in the sand!

Yes I live a stones throw from the beach. I also work in the city where I live that happens to have miles of beaches. Key word, work. Being guilty of what so many people do who live in wonderful places, actually take time off to enjoy what I have, I go other places to enjoy what they have.

The other side of that coin is California waters are cold, even in the summer and even as far south as San Diego. South Florida waters are warm. I like warm water, so once again a short cross country jaunt to Ft. Lauderdale for a little winter getaway.

I will be keeping you posted on Fearsome and his adventures.

It’s been 25 years

Yes 25.

I moved out west 25 years ago. I moved for love. The better half and I are still together. I remember sharing the news with my Mom that we had decided that we would always spend our Christmases at our home, not traveling one year to one family and the next year at the other. It was time we started our own traditions. Mom understood as she had left her family to move away with her love. I know she didn’t like it, but she did understand.

When I got the call back in September that Dad’s cancer had returned and there was nothing that could be done, I knew I had to break tradition this year. He had about six months. It would be his last Christmas. He would most likely be very ill. In fact I knew that a trip at this time would probably be the last time I would see him. The better half and I agreed. Mom had never asked, I hadn’t mentioned what I was planning, I quietly booked the trip.

The next morning I texted my mother a link. A link to a video to break the news to her. Almost immediately my phone rang. She was in tears of joy. I would be home for probably the hardest Christmas of her life. Little did we know during that conversation of joy that a few days later he would be gone.

As this post hits the blog, I will be on my way. A long journey from west to east. I’ll be there for her, and her for me.

Travel day

I had a good time here in Ft. Lauderdale. Busy with a lot of work. Relaxed with some time off from West Coast work. Fearsome wasn’t happy about the rain as it makes him curly.

I’ll be back in San Diego tonight. Life will return to normal for a while. More blogging ahead. I’ve been challenged to sign up for a Facebook page to maintain a presence just for my work. I guess I’ll make the sacrifice and get that done in the next week or two. I’ve resisted for years. The necessity has been pointed out that clients like to check out their agent. It does create another way to connect.

About that empty seat beside me

I wrote the last (written) post observing those boarding the plane. I noted the seat beside me was still empty. Just as I was proof reading my observations had stopped and my focus had turned to posting before the boarding door closed. My seat mate arrived and I didn’t pay him much attention. I got up, let him into his seat and settled back into mine as I hit the post button. We acknowledged each other briefly and the flight got under way.

He got into his MacBook and I into the movie on my iPad. Bad movie, I don’t know why I continued to watch it. I guess I hoped some message was going to come through to save it. I had the red pepper quiche breakfast entree, my seat mate turned down the breakfast offering.

After getting back into the bad movie I changed my position for comfort of viewing. I was angled just so I could see his MacBook. This wasn’t on purpose, but for comfort. Bad movies make for easy distraction I guess because I started to get distracted by how fast he was going from homepage to article to home page to picture, you get the idea. It was like this guy had ADHD. Then I noticed he had up a page with Joe Niego on it. Odd, I go to real estate conferences where Joe speaks. Back to my movie.

Nature calls and the restroom was open. While washing the hands, and the mind wandering, I realized Joe Niego lives in Chicago. I was flying to Chi-town. Then the thought that maybe this guy beside me was in real estate as well. Maybe even in the same coaching program as myself. So before I left the tight confines of the lavatory, I decided that maybe I should introduce myself to my seat mate. You know, network for business.

As I take the five steps from the airplane head back to my seat I give Mr. Seatmate a good look in the face. Oh shit! This guy isn’t going to Chicago to see Joe Niego, he is Joe Niego.

I sit down and then think to myself how do I approach this one. As my mind starts to go full speed I’m thinking “here half the flights over, you’ve been seeing this guy at conferences for 10 years, you have to introduce yourself, it’s rude to have ignored him for the last hour and a half, what will he think?” I turned on the bad movie again. You know the kind, a young twenty somethings love drama.

What am I going to say? Do I just wait until we are landing? I don’t want to bother him. Dammit head shut up. Then it happened. Joe stopped his computer work to plug it into the seat power. I lean over and use his own words, the script he has taught me for years, to ask for a referral from him. He looks me in the eye with a big smile and said “I thought you looked familiar. You’re the guy who wears the San Diego baseball jersey to the events.”

We had a great conversation. He asked me questions that may help him to get to know his audience a bit better. He asked me questions that made me think. He inspired me. He even got his wife a leaf blower for her birthday. I complimented him on being a romantic.

Joe Niego and Fearsome Beard

Joe Niego and Fearsome Beard

Where we come from, where we go

I’m seated in 2E on the aisle of United flight 307, San Diego to Chicago. On my way to play landlord in Ft. Lauderdale. I am watching travelers board as I sit. It’s a good vantage point as everyone has to pass me on the way in.

It’s early, 6:25 am. Some are sleepy, others wide eyed. Parents give their young children guidance. Others only stare up at the overhead bins searching for that space. Most are quiet. A few smile.

The seat beside me is still empty. Who will be the one? Will they be quiet or a talker?

Where did all these travelers come from? Where are they going? Were they here on vacation? Business? Are they going on vacation or to see family? Are they off early on a business trip to seal up the biggest deal yet in their career? Or are they going to comfort a sick loved one?

Are they going to New York? Toledo? St. Louis? Richmond? Savanna? London? Rome?

Yesterday many lives were interrupted by an unecessary evil. May a ray of light enter the lives of those were affected. May Paris find peace today.  May everyone on my flight be blessed with safe travels and a smile along the way.