I honestly didn’t do much travel in my first marriage, except business trips to Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Boston until Marcia’s company arranged award travel to London, Hong Kong/China, Greenbriar, and The Breakers. As we were trying to raise a family, it was too expensive to see the world. However, as we settled into our careers, we were soon anxiously hooked on adventure, and prior to these international excursions, her friend Karen coaxed us for the first time abroad to experience regions like Tuscany and Burgandy. With Oregon friends we tackled Rome and the Amalfi Coast.

Being in the media business and doing promotional work took me to some out-of-the-way places. For example, we organized some day trips for listeners out of Indy to the Bahamas (hot) and Stowe (cold) on ATA.  Viewer ski trips took me to Breckenridge two years straight. In addition, our friends Tim & Irene suggested Isla Mujeres for a taste of rural Mexico, and we ventured to Las Vegas many times through the years, especially after our son left home. We did take him there for his birthday one year. I remember visiting some of her distant family in Arkansas and a night at Hot Springs, numerous ski junkets including Big Sky in Montana, touring Washington DC, and staying closer to home with weekends in Ann Arbor, Louisville, Cedar Point, Brown County, and Chicago. We fell in love at Mardi Gras and out of it in Honolulu during our 25th wedding anniversary.  As a side note, we did take the sheets and blankets from our hotel room, trying to keep warm while waiting for the sun to rise on Oahu’s Haleakala. I wanted to bike down – she didn’t.  

In the second marriage, we were constantly on the fly and dined at many famous chef restaurants.  Conventions and business meetings in NYC were common along with frequent dealings in Chicago, Detroit, Cape Cod, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Providence, Buffalo, Boston, Orlando, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Atlanta, the Big Island, and even Dayton. Vacations included Saint Lucia, Napa, San Francisco, Barbados/Jamaica, Dominican Republic, a Carnival cruise to Cozumel, and career moves to TV stations in Austin and Portland, following stints in Lafayette and Central Illinois. European stops were Paris, Rome, Positano, Cannes, Montpelier (where a daughter studied), Sorento, and Capri. 

Retirement meant the means of traveling more luxuriously and for longer periods of time. Viking Ocean and River Cruises became the staple with voyages to Normandy, Venice, Croatia, Santorini, Athens, Amsterdam, Vancouver, Alaska, Hawaii, and soon to come, a cross-Atlantic tour of South America, Africa (Casablanca), Gibraltar, and Spain/Mallorca. Marriott Vacation Clubs and Hotels took us to Wailea, Kauai, NYC, Washington D.C., Phoenix, Palm Springs, Tucson, Napa Valley, Las Vegas, Alabama, Orlando, Hilton Head, Cleveland, Nashville, Indianapolis, Austin, Miami Beach, Marco Island, Amelia Island, St. Augustine, Atlanta, The Keys, and many “points” in between. Long drives to Florida, Glacier National Park, Marfa, Walla Walla, and Mackinaw Island’s Grand Hotel, along with Hall of Fame Tours filled in the gaps. 

Movies keep us entertained when we’re hungry to get away from it all but don’t have the means or time. I don’t typically like to watch movies for the second time even though I never remember what happened the first time. Of late, travel documentaries have become more important in determining where to go next, plus the thrill of seeing the places on the big screen we’ve been to through the years. It always brings back great memories. 

With the world at our fingertips, I think back to childhood when all I knew was the neighborhood around me. We did some family trips to Florida, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, and Upper Michigan, but I had no idea how vast the world was or how much I needed to learn. As I learned to speak, there were odd phrases that I picked up from my parents that were mostly adaptions of “dirty,” profane, or cuss words. My Presbyterian Church upbringing made these words unmentionable, even in private conversation. I’ve since learned to cuss like a champion. They were often words you could switch to after the first syllable came tumbling out of your mouth or silly terms used instead of swearing:

“Go…sh da…rn, Holy Cow, Da…rn it, Pee-pee, Da…ng it, Jee…z, Sh…oot, Cr…ud, Tinkle Dance, Hamburger, He…ck, Fu…dge, Bottom, Cr…ap.

Writing stories like this gives me peace of mind. It’s a reminder of how far I’ve come in life. Like everyone else, my life is unique. It’s rewarding to recap all the places I’ve been and the related experiences. It feels good to get this all on paper before I’m gone someday. Hopefully, the grandkids and their children, if they read this, will see the world through my eyes as I try to recap my childhood, career, marriages, and adventures through these spontaneous trivial tidbits.