The Beauty of Travel

One of the best parts of Travel is the joy of experiencing the beauty of art and culture of other countries.  The pictures below were found and posted by https://www.instagram.com/kulikovanastya08, who, please forgive me if I’m wrong, is from Ukraine. She has an excellent “eye” for beautiful paintings.

 

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3 Refresher Tips For the Airport; Play Nice!

Rule #1. When at the Airport, Don’t mess with TSA.  Rarely will a confrontation with TSA staff end well. Don’t try and deceive them or cut corners on the rules. Travel can be challenging enough, so just “play nice”.

 

Going From A to B. The Second Half of 2017; By the Numbers.

 

Our return from St. Louis marked the end of our 2017 Travels.  It’s been an amazing year and I am looking forward to 2018.  Our next trip is to Florida in January. In an article dated July 31st, 2017, I broke the numbers down for the first half of our year.  I’ll list the numbers for the second half of the year and then I’ll do a grand total for 2017. We started the second half with a trip to Santa Fe, NM and ended the year in St. Louis, MO.

  1. 12 trips, ranging from 1-7 days
  2. Stayed in 12 different hotel Brands
  3. Stayed in 1 VRBO
  4. Stayed in 1 AirBnB
  5. Flew ~11,000 Air Miles
  6. Drove ~8,740 Miles
  7. Rented 6 Vehicles
  8. Used 3 Ubers
  9. Endured 9 different Airports
  10. Held Lilly’s hand for 24 airplane take-offs and landings
  11. Visited 12 US States

Clearly the second half of the year was a bit more sedate than the first half.

Here are the combined numbers for Travelinggump.com’s 2017 Travels:

  1. 28 Trips, ranging from 1-17 days.
  2. Stayed a total of 119 nights in various Hotels
  3. Stayed in 2 VRBO’s
  4. Stayed in 1 AirBnB
  5. Flew ~60,000 Air Miles
  6. Drove ~15,440 Miles
  7. Rented 13 vehicles
  8. Endured 31 Airports ( A few more than once).
  9. Held Lilly’s hand for 86 take-offs and landings
  10. Visited 19 US States
  11. Visited 5 different Countries
  12. Took 7 buses
  13. Took 4 Taxi’s
  14. Used Uber 9 times
  15. Used Lyft once
  16. Used one Roller Coaster to get to and from the Great Wall of China
  17. Used 3 Tuk-Tuks
  18. Added well over 1.5 Million Points/Miles to my travel portfolio
  19. Reached Diamond status with Hilton, Platinum with Marriott/Ritz and Starwood, Spire Elite with IHG (Intercontinental and Holiday Inn) and Discoverist with Hyatt (Ho-Hum).
  20. Loved Every Single Minute Of It All! (except maybe the tummy bug I caught in Vietnam, not so much).

Wishing you Happy Travels and a Wonderful 2018!

Michael

The Last Trip of 2017; St Louis, Mo

As the year draws to a close, I realized we had no travel plans for New Years. The year can’t end this way! 2017 has been an amazing travel year that came in like a lion.  A quick check of Hotels and a trip to St Louis was added for the 30th-31st.  I’m doing the Marriott Platinum Challenge and St. Louis will make #8 of the needed 9 stays.  The St. Louis Marriott Grand and a nice dinner at Mizu Sushi Bar made for a great end to a wonderful year. It’s hard to believe that this time last year, we were in New York on Times Square.  I wish everyone the best and blessed 2018 possible and as always, Happy Travels!

Pull Back The Curtain; New Orleans, Louisiana

If New Orleans were a vegetable, it would be a sweet onion.  It’s all about the layers. This amazing city offers to you what you seek. Want a light historical stroll? Fine, no problem. Want to experience more, keep digging and this City will open it’s Soul. But beware, the more layers you peel back, the “deeper” you go and it can be overwhelming.  I’m good for about 5 layers of 10. The voodoo and spirits freak me out, yet I just can’t stay away. (Maybe it’s the food). This is definitely a bucket list City!

I Just Can’t Resist; I Think Arizona May Be For Sale.

While driving through Kingman, Arizona we are stopped on a side street by a traffic jam.  It seems this house is having a “State Sale” and it’s causing quite the fuss.  I’m considering putting an offer in for Hawaii or maybe Oregon, if the price is right.

Btw, to the rest of the world, this is called an “Estate Sale”.

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What I Originally Wanted and What I Ended With…

3ABE0DC6-B3BC-407E-B017-0D02D93822A3This is how I work, it starts with a simple idea.  I was idle and wanted to write about how I’m bored and I need to travel… So I write:

It’s the time in between, the weary traveler did groan

Of past journeys and the fear that another shan’t come

That heralds the end, beneath his name carved in stone

Three sentences, basically I’m bored, where will I go next and if I don’t, I’m going to die.

Then I added and added and… until this, now its a poetic story.  I envisioned a tire swing and ended up with … well you decide.

The Traveler’s End
O’ weary traveler, aged and too weak, lies resting in the grass and soon falls asleep. He dreams of past travels, his path lies ahead, but is blocked by an Angel, who’s voice speaks of dread. He opens his eyes, his journey complete, for he has seen his fate and soon starts to weep.

Resting nearby, She’s saddened to see, that the traveler has learned, what is now to be. His adventures have ended and time will not wait, for St. Peter is standing, holding open the gate.

Heaven hath decreed and called out his name, She learns that Death’s been sent, to take him away.

Though the hourglass has spoken as no sand remains, the soul of the traveler, owns her heart just the same. She cries out to heaven, for here he must stay, but the Angels refused, crossed their arms and looked away.

As Death drew near, aware of her plight, he cautions her gently, not to resist Heavens might. Softly she spoke, as that is her way and begged Death to leave, without much delay.

Death paused for moment, unsure what to say, then bows to her warmly and leaves, on his way. But Heaven was watching and reminded him his task and also that pleasing Mother Nature, is not what was asked.

Now the traveler was at peace and all that remained, was for Death to guide him back, to that Heavenly domain. Impatience was growing, within the Celestial reign and Death was reminded, to look once again.

Death peered into the darkness, but no traveler was seen, as She had blinded his eyes, by a deft use of rain. He had others to tend and soon he was gone, as many souls still need passage, to the land lying beyond.

She went to the traveler and protected him from sight, as the angels were curious where he had gone to that night. Mother nature is strong and incredibly wise, She keeps what she wants, from all prying eyes.

Though never thought fickle or a thief in the night, Mother Nature surprised Heaven, by cunning and might. The Angels then wisely, after searching all night, chose to not turn this folly, into a Celestial fight.

What virtue has he, to earn such a right, to be hidden from Heaven at this very time?

He was gentle to her, our Mother you see, kind with her home, as true traveler’s should be. He basked in her beauty and never once did stray, always “smelling the roses” as he traveled each day.

In sunlight they wander, though the Angels do stare, Mother Nature and the traveler, walk the earth, hand in hand.

As twilight comes and the sun yields to night, their two souls join as one, turning darkness to light.

He now sleeps within her bosom, eternally at home, resting ‘neath his name, carved in white marbled stone.

 

The Diwali Festival at Springfield Missouri’s Gem of India

Gem of India celebrated the Diwali Festival of Lights at their restaurant in Springfield on November 11, 2017.  One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, it spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. (Wikipedia).  It was quite an event with great food, dress and dancing.

The Traveler’s End

O’ weary traveler, aged and too weak, lies resting in the grass and soon falls asleep. He dreams of past travels, his path lies ahead, but is blocked by an Angel, who’s voice speaks of dread.  He opens his eyes, his journey complete, for he has seen his fate and soon starts to weep.

Resting nearby, She’s saddened to see, that the traveler has learned, what is now to be. His adventures have ended and time will not wait, for St. Peter is standing, holding open the gate.

Heaven hath decreed and called out his name, She learns that Death’s been sent, to take him away.

Though the hourglass has spoken as no sand remains, the soul of the traveler, owns her heart just the same. She cries out to heaven, for here he must stay, but the Angels refused, crossed their arms and looked away.

As Death drew near, aware of her plight, he cautions her gently, not to resist Heavens might. Softly she spoke, as that is her way and begged Death to leave, without much delay.

Death paused for moment, unsure what to say, then bows to her warmly and leaves, on his way. But Heaven was watching and reminded him his task and also that pleasing Mother Nature, is not what was asked.

Now the traveler was at peace and all that remained, was for Death to guide him back, to that Heavenly domain. Impatience was growing, within the Celestial reign and Death was reminded, to look once again.

Death peered into the darkness, but no traveler was seen, as She had blinded his eyes, by a deft use of rain. He had others to tend and soon he was gone, as many souls still need passage, to the land lying beyond.

She went to the traveler and protected him from sight, as the angels were curious where he had gone to that night. Mother nature is strong and incredibly wise, She keeps what she wants, from all prying eyes.

Though never thought fickle or a thief in the night, Mother Nature surprised Heaven, by cunning and might. The Angels then wisely, after searching all night, chose to not turn this folly, into a Celestial fight.

What virtue has he, to earn such a right, to be hidden from Heaven at this very time?

He was gentle to her, our Mother you see, kind with her home, as true traveler’s should be. He basked in her beauty and never once did stray, always “smelling the roses” as he traveled each day.

In sunlight they wander, though the Angels do stare, Mother Nature and the traveler, walk the earth, hand in hand.

As twilight comes and the sun yields to night, their two souls join as one, turning darkness to light.

He now sleeps within her bosom, eternally at home, resting ‘neath his name, carved in white marbled stone.