Category Archives: travel

Tuesday’s Tune – O Canada

O my, I am dropping the ‘h’! and it is Tuesday and time for a Tuesday’s Tune, Canada style. I am in Toronto for my 29th baseball stadium. It’s been an adventure.

Yesterday morning, I woke up early and drove from northern Michigan to Toronto, Ontario. It was a six-and-a-half-hour drive, and it was smooth driving, even when I got close to Toronto.

When Major League baseball released the 2024 schedule way back in July of ’23, I began looking ahead. At that time, I had my ’23 trips planned – Colorado, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Miami, and Arizona, which left two teams: the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox. When I planned my baseball trips for this season, I was looking for games when the Houston Astros played the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox to complete my bucket list of all 30 teams. For the Blue Jays, the schedule read four games: Monday July 1 to Thursday July 4. I didn’t realize the significance of the date of the July 1st game, I knew the significance of Thursday’s game – July 4th, but not Monday’s game.

July First in Canada is Canada Day and it’s a BIG DEAL.

It is the day Canada celebrates as it’s ‘birthday.’ But that is an oversimplification. It’s the day when Canada (Quebec and Ontario), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia became a country under the Dominion of Canada within the United Kingdom. It happened in 1867, two years after the ending of the American Civil War and two years before the founding of the first professional baseball league. Canada would add the remaining provinces to become the nation I know as Canada. But they are still part of the Commonwealth of Nations under the British crown. Continue reading Tuesday’s Tune – O Canada

that California trip …

It’s Thursday and I am sitting at the gate waiting for push back. After five baseball games and two days driving along the coast, I am headed home.

I am trying something new with this post. I am going to write directly into WordPress using my iPad and the plane’s WiFi as I fly home to Chicago. I have never posted from my iPad or typed directly into WordPress, so I’ll see how this goes.

the view from my seat over Colorado….

I was able to piece together the video below from Monday’s drive north along the Pacific Coast Highway. I uploaded the video to YouTube this morning and added the pictures at the airport before boarding.


It is Day Ten of summer break. This summer’s break is 76 days and like every summer before, I am going to Make the Days Count.

Yesterday, was a day game and a chance to spend an afternoon with my friend, Tonette. She and I worked together in the late 80’s until early 1990 when I lived in the Bay Area working in the restaurant business for Vie de France. All these years, we’ve kept in touch via cards, birthday wishes, Christmas cards, and Facebook ever since. The last time we saw one another was in 1995 when I was in Southern California opening a restaurant for Vie de France.

Won’t you get hip to this timely tip:
When you make that California trip
Get your kicks on Route sixty-six

Three baseball games in San Francisco, the first two were night games before yesterday’s day game.

San Francisco is not a new ‘baseball city for me, it was the third baseball city for me back in 1987. I moved to the Bay Area in June of 1987 when I worked for Vie de France. Monday’s baseball game was my first game in San Francisco since the World Series earthquake game was played on October 27, 1989; ten days after the devastating earthquake. Continue reading that California trip …

Monday, Monday

I am in California, along the Pacific coast in Aptos. I’ve been dreaming about this trip for over a month; now, I am here. It’s Day 7 of summer break and I am busy Making the Days Count.

I arrived Friday morning and have been to two baseball games, hiked in the coastal hills in Orange County, driven along the Pacific Coast highway, through a mountain pass, and up the Central Coast Valley before watching the sunset at Seacliff State Beach last night.

Both baseball games were fun to watch, and I even ran into a couple of Astros fans I met last summer in Denver. It is a small world. Continue reading Monday, Monday

MtDC…

It’s April and we are at the lake for a short weekend getaway. My wife picked me up Friday after school and we drove up as day turned to night arriving before midnight. We will leave later this afternoon. Instead of chores I am writing a post, which was supposed to be a quick post.

yesterday evening’s sunset… they are never the same… created with Adobe Express

It all started in 2010 and it is difficult to believe I am still writing (and posting) at MtDC after all these years, but I am.

Last year, before school let out for the summer, I signed up for a professional development class hosted by Adobe for their new dynamic content creation software, Adobe Express. I’ve been using it to edit and create since; almost entirely on my phone where I take all my photos. There are desktop and mobile versions of the software, but they weren’t the same and frankly I preferred the mobile app for its convenience, but that changed Friday morning.

Sometimes, learning is difficult.

It’s been a couple of days of figuring things out. I’ve tinkered a little and used it to create a couple of images learning as I go.

When I started writing and posting, I wanted a logo that fit what I was doing. I created my first logo in 2010 and it stuck around until 2014. I changed it again in 2016 and it has been the site icon since.

Earlier this month I was tinkering with Adobe Express and created a new logo, the above logo. A couple of weeks ago I added it to WordPress as my site icon and planned to write a post but didn’t. This morning, I changed all my social media to the icon.

created 2024

So, here’s the post, a debut of sorts. Continue reading MtDC…

W^2 – history

WARNING: it’s Wednesday so I titled the post W^2, but it’s hardly wordless.

It’s spring break and we’ve escaped then blustery chill of a midwestern early spring for the Florida Keys and sun, wind, and sand. Mostly sun.

I remember my first visit to the Keys with my in-laws in 2002. Our son had recently turned four and my wife was pregnant with our daughter. We arrived in Miami and were picked up by my in-laws at the airport.

Until then, my only experience with Florida had been passing through the airport on the way to somewhere else: Venezuela or England to spend the summer or Christmas with my dad and stepmother.

With my father-in-law at the wheel we wove our way through Miami traffic to Homestead and US1. US1 is the only road from the Florida mainland at the tip of the Florida peninsula to the Keys where it terminates at Key West.

US1 travels along the path of the defunct Miami to Key West extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. Construction of the railroad began in 1903 and was completed in 1913. The railway operated until 1935 when the Labor Day hurricane washed out the rail bed in Islamorada and the railroad abandoned the railroad. Two years later the Florida Highway Commission purchased the right of way and began construction of a highway to Key West. They used the old railroad bridges constructing roadbeds atop the concrete viaducts and bridges built by the railroad. Over the years, the highway has replaced the original railway bridges with wider end more modern concrete bridges.

The view from the bridge to the Atlantic Ocean

The first several miles of the two lane road travel along the path of the old railway. First through the thick mangrove swamps and across Lake Surprise before reaching Key Largo where the highway opens up to the Atlantic Ocean on the left and Florida Bay to the right.

As the highway bridges were replaced, the original railroad bridges were left in place. Most have been repurposed as fishing platforms or observation decks and others have been left to decay and breakdown in the elements. The Seven Mile Bridge has a two mile extension from Knight’s Key Key to Pigeon Key open to walkers and bicycles with breathtaking sunset views.

Anyway, Tuesday afternoon my buddy and I (we are here with another couple) took off on an adventure stopping at the western approach to the Bahia Honda Bridge.

The original railroad bridge on the left and the new highway bridge on the right. Looking west from Bahia Honda State Park – photo from 3/28/2017

The old bridge has been abandoned since the present bridge was completed in 1977. The original railroad bridge is an iron trestle bridge which was only wide enough for a single railroad track and the passage of a single train. The highway engineers decided to construct a two lane road atop the railroad trestle to connect the two keys, or islands.

Continue reading W^2 – history

W^2 – ducky

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, August 30, 2023

It is Wednesday and I am feeling ducky. I am five days into my twenty-fifth year of teaching and feeling like a duck on dry land, or perhaps skewered on a car antenna.

Rubber duckies on a car antenna, Naperville, IL, August 19, 2023 10:30 AM

I spied these rubber duckies on a car antennae a couple of Saturday’s ago while volunteering at Loaves and Fishes. The car’s owner is a regular and she lifts us up with the joy she shares with the world through her personality and her sticker adorned car.

I noticed the rubber duckies were a new addition and I talked to her on her way out.  She shared her story of how the week before she’d been on a trip with her family and collected more than a dozen rubber duckies playing a game and decided to skewer them on her car’s antenna.

A new school year is full of joy and excitement. It’s also change from the carefree life of summer break and audition for retirement. I inched a little closer this year to retirement this school year as I began my twenty-fifth year of teaching. Interestingly, this year also marks the fiftieth anniversary of my own year as a sixth grader, time marches on.

This morning I am more than just ducky; I am filled with joy and passion and excitement for learning. Today is going to be an amazing day, it just might be a million and six times better than yesterday. I get to teach kids and share my passion and curiosity.  So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, exploring, learning, and being curious.

How is your summer finishing?

me, first day of school. 25th year of teaching and 50 years since I was a 6th grader, Wheaton, IL August 24, 2023 6:40 AM

W^2 – anthem (renamed)

W^2 or W squared for Wordless Wednesday, August 9, 2023

It is Wednesday, and I am in Baltimore for another baseball trip. This city and ballpark make 25 of 30. I have one last trip before school starts in less than two weeks.

These baseball trips have been more than baseball. Each stop has been an adventure full of curiosity, history, learning and growth, and excitement. Sometimes it is planned, but most times it simply happens.

the Star-Spangled Banner, Fort McHenry Baltimore, Maryland August 8, 2023 2:14 PM

Yesterday, I arrived my flight from Chicago arrived late morning. I had planned to visit Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine before checking in to my hotel. Fort McHenry guards, or guarded, Baltimore Harbor in 1814 during the War of 1812. The British had planned to invade and take over Baltimore in September 1814. The War of 1812 was started by the fledgling United States who was losing the war to the might British Empire. Only weeks before, in August, the British had routed the Americans in Washington, D. C. and burned the White House.

But the British attack on Baltimore is the unravelling of the British advantage and the strengthening of American resolve. In battle it isn’t always might and strength which decides the outcome of a conflict. Sometimes it’s an idea.

During the British bombardment of Fort McHenry an American, Francis Scott Key, watched the battle from a ship in Baltimore harbor. When morning came, he looked across the harbor to see the fort and he saw the American flag flying through the ‘dawns early light.’ He retreated to his sea cabin and penned a poem which spread like wildfire across the young American nation.

In 1931, the United States adopted this poem as its national anthem. We know the poem as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?

The poem was four stanzas, and we sing only the first. Last night before the baseball game the crowd rose and sang the song proudly.

Today is going to be an amazing day, it just might be a million and six times better than yesterday although Tuesday night’s ballgame was the best baseball game, I’ve seen this season. Who knows? So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, exploring, learning, and being curious.

What adventure are you off to today?

POST PUBLICATION NOTE: I decided to change the post’s name, from O’ say can you see to anthem.

July’s peaches make the summer count

Dutch Farm Market, South Haven Michigan Friday July 28, 2023 11:16 AM

July peaches make the summer count. I stopped at Dutch Farm Market in South Haven on the way north yesterday. I only bought three things: peaches, blueberries, and beets. These three multiply the joy of summer from three words in to six, or more. Six Word Saturday Could’ve been,

  • I stopped at Dutch Farm Market, or
  • Summer’s harvest brings peaches, blueberries, beets, or even
  • Farmer Ed’s market sells Michigan peaches

But I settled on the title above. Today is going to be an amazing day and I am thankful for the blogging world to encourage me to stretch, even a little. Making the days count, one day at a time, six words in a sentence.

What six words describe you today?

A post for Six Word Saturday inspired by Debbie at Travel with Intent and my blogging friend Margaret at From Pyrenees to Pennines.

a foggy Sunday dozen

This morning I awoke to a fog enshrouded lake, yesterday it was rainy.  Later today, it will be sunny. We get it all here.

in homage to the last two blogposts, black and white with a pinch of color…

This morning when I first looked out, I could see as far as the speedboat – about a hundred yards, but a couple of hours later we could make out the opposite shore, barely.

I walked to the end of the dock and captured a few images, a dozen or so, before the fog lifted. I’ll let the images tell the story. Continue reading a foggy Sunday dozen

reprise, black and white

In response to yesterday’s post W^2 – black and white, a reprise of sorts.

In hindsight, yesterday was a million and six times better than the day before.

Our nephew arrived with his wife and young children just as the storms began to roll across the lake. A few minutes later his brother, another nephew arrived. It was wonderful to see them. Since my wife’s parents died, our paths only cross for weddings, funerals, and graduations.

The kids were reluctant to get out of the car, but slowly warmed and by the end of their visit they were playing in the water, exploring the lake, toys, and all that our lake home has to offer.

It was delightful to visit, to catch up, and share our home with them.

Then storms rolled across the lake, one after another, and we stayed off the lake and out of the boats. More than once, we waded out to the boats, turning back when we saw lightning until we decided that we would get wet regardless of whether it was raining or not.

looking west northwest, as rain falls gently

While they boated, Fern and I stayed ashore. I waded into the lake and took the photos for this post. By the end of their visit every single beach towel was soaked, and the kids (and adults) were spent.

clouds over the lake, looking west north west in portrait mode

Yesterday WAS a million and six times better than the day before with family – our nephews and their kids bringing color to the lakeshore on a stormy day.

This morning began with steady rain, but the sun is breaking through and sunshine is on the way. Today is going to be an amazing day, it could be a million and six times better than yesterday. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, black and white or in color.

Is it black, white, or colorful where you are?