Category: My Thoughts

8 years until I retire and I still have no clue what I want to do

8 years seems like a long time but in the reality of things I know it will be here before I know it.  I am always planning for the future yet there is a burning sensation that I have no clue what I am going to do when I retire from military.  I continue to fill my toolbox with all these things that I can do yet have no clue still.  In two years I hope to have my masters completed in home land security but don’t necessarily want to work in the field.  I love cooking and would love to open something on my own but am scared to death of owning a restaurant.  I want to get a real estate license yet I am afraid that I won’t make any money and that the market could be bad.  I want to travel the world eat, drink, and have fun yet don’t know how to make money doing it.  I would love to be a  sports talk radio show host.   So the real question I guess is how do I figure out what to do, how to be happy, and make some money doing it all.

MILITARY

My military career will come to an end in just eight years.  This will be by choice, I don’t want to stay longer than I need to and I will need to give some time back to my family.  I can’t and won’t ever complain about my career because it has given my so much, my house, my education, friends, respect, and allowed me to learn so much about myself.  So some will ask why leave than, it’s because of the earlier statements plus it will just be time to go.  The last eight I consider the back-end of my career because in just six years I will begin to work on leaving the military and transition to the civilian world again.  This will be an exciting time and I truly can’t wait.

THE MASTERS

The goal for the Master’s Degree was and still is a plan B if I don’t ever find something that I love.  See, I believe that in my second career I should do something that I truly love.  If that is the case then I will be traveling the world and getting paid handsomely for it.  Most likely though this won’t be the case and I will need to make sure that I have a fall back plan, the degree.  I guess folks will question me on why I am  spending all this time getting the Masters and not use it.  Good question, I really don’t have a great answer for you.  I want my daughters to see that it can be done, I want to be the only person in my family to have accomplished it, I really in enjoy the material, and I want the back up plan.   Thats really the jist of it.

COOKING

Cooking is my happy place in life.  When ever I am stressed I enjoy getting into the kitchen and experimenting with a new recipe or just throwing things together.  When I am in the kitchen everything just goes away and I can focus on the food.  I am by no means a master chef, but I do pretty good in the kitchen.  I believe food brings people together and cooking a meal that everyone loves is very gratifying.  I am happy when everyone else is happy and great food has that effect.  I also enjoy when that food comes together with great conversation.  My favorite holiday is thanksgiving because I get to make the majority of the meal, and once everyone is done they sit and talk at the table.  It’s that moment that I enjoy the most.  am I able to turn this into a career, who the hell knows.  I am scared to death of opening a place of my own, plus I enjoy the experience not everything else that goes with owning a place.  I think that having to manage, and schedule, and all those other aspects will take away from the romance of the experience.

REAL ESTATE

Getting my real estate license is the least likely avenue that I will take.  I think that I like the idea of being a real estate agent more than anything.  Being out of the office, helping people find their forever home.  Again I think I like the idea of this,  my fear would be that I would suck at this and make zero money or the market crashes right as I get my license.  I don’t think I could take putting in all that effort and time just to have something fall through at the last minute and lose out on the commission.  The fantasy in my head is that I sell great big houses and make tons of money doing it.  The reality is that I probably wouldn’t make that much money and end up in an office somewhere doing data analysis for the Department of Homeland Security.

SPORTS RADIO

Sports talk radio show.  I would love to sit and talk sports all day everyday.  If I had it my way I would be on the air talking Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and Sixers each day.  Years ago I though about going to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and trying to break in to radio that way.  I got scared off and chose a different path.  Once again unable to pull the trigger.  My show would consist of myself and my BFF talking and going back and forth on various topics.  This may be something that I pursue yet but fear it would be too hard to get exactly what I want.  I fear that I would be sitting and playing the same new dumb ass song over and over again until I am forced to beat the hell  out of myself.

WORLD TRAVELER

My pipe dream, my coup de gras would be traveling the world enjoying various ethnic foods and cultures with great friends.  I would do all the things I love, met great people, and sit in the morning having coffee and talking about my adventures.  This is the one I get lost in, the one I know is the furthest from the truth of my life.  I would have a couple of friends to travel with me, hell we may even have a you tube channel just to document our adventures.  Honestly I just want to travel and share my experiences and yes get paid for doing it.  This would be my true happy place, my true career.  Truth of the matter is that I have no idea how to do this, and it is so different from the structured life I have always lived.  I know where to be and when to be.  I hate being late, I hate not knowing.  I love the idea of not having to watch a clock but after 17 years in the military I don’t know any other way.  When I go on vacation, like the Dublin trip from last year I was more than happy having a loose schedule and not having to follow a clock.  It was nice to just get lost in the day.  My fear is that this is a dream and a dream only and that in 10 years I will be sitting in a cubicle answering to a kid half my age on why the hell I am staring at a photo Australia.  Fuck you Steve it’s my dream, I quit.

Just like that I have already quit a job I don’t have because I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  I look forward to the journey and trying to change my ways so that I can eventually do what I love.  Will I ever get there, who knows.  Will I ever met the right people along the way, again who knows.  My life path is unpredictable I only hope that when I come to the cross-road I will have it in my to make the tough choice not the safe choice.  8 more years until I retire, and I have no clue what I want to do.

 

Coaching Youth Football – When you don’t have a dog in the Fight

Well it looks like I just completed my third season of youth football.  Each season I have been fortunate enough to be the assistant coach helping teach kids the fundamentals of football.  We volunteer our time and comes with a lot of highs and lows.  For myself I don’t have a “Dog in the Fight,” meaning I don’t have a son on the team.  I have two little girls that play soccer.  Why am I not writing about them today you ask, because there isn’t enough internet to talk about my angels. Back to the boys.

Not having a kid that plays allows me to evaluate and yell at each kid with equal passion.  This is makes it fun but even better than that I can take joy in watching each young man progress during the season.  This is the part that makes it worth while.  We invest a lot of time discussing each kid and where their current strengths are on the field.  This does not always mesh well with what the parents believe their talents are but that’s okay.  The key is getting the children to learn as many positions as they can and learn enough not to get hurt on the field of play.  Some kids will only play the line, others will play running back, and some will only play on defense.  The key is for them to learn discipline on the field and understand what it is like to work and move as a team.

The foundation for the  head coaches philosophy is to start with discipline, and playing hard.  If we do the right things and play hard winning will be the by-product of this.  Now I can also say that winning isn’t the first thought in our minds.  Yes we do want to win every game but we also want the kids to learn the fundamentals of the game so that they can play at the next level.  When I say next level I don’t mean the NFL, I mean the next level of youth football.  NO YOUR CHILD PROBABLY isn’t going to make it to the league, but he can have a  long and fun youth, highschool, and collegiate career if they play hard and stay disciplined.

The most satisfying moment of the season came in a game that we didn’t even need to win.  In the current rules there can be a coach on the field to assist the players in getting set.  This is generally necessary because the kids lack focus and tend to either false start IMG_3363 (1) or line up incorrectly or run the wrong play.  We as a team prided ourselves in the focus and discipline of our team.  This all came together in one gamer where for one series we gave the plays to the young QB while his center got the huddle together and let them run the plays on their own.  They did this with zero error and was amazing to watch since it hasn’t been done at our level all season or after.  For the coaching staff this was a major win because it showed that our boys were playing at a much higher level as far as fundamental football goes.

This year flew by just as the others had and we had a great time doing it.  The parents were the best group we have had so far in the three years that we have been coaching.  The boys grew as young football players tremendously and it showed.  Some of the kids were very raw that we got this year.  By the end of the season they were all playing at an amazing level.  Our starting backfield developed into to amazing runners, which was great because the season before they barely got to touch the ball.  The defense got more and more intense and as the season went on and they developed into a group that could keep us in any game.  The maturity level that this team displayed was second to none.  this group didn’t talk trash, they always played with extreme sportsmanship, and they worked together as a team.  We never told anyone child that they were better then the other boys, never eluded to a favorite, never let anyone think that they were any less important then the next kids.  All of the kids played a huge part in the success of the season.

The biggest props needs to go to the most thankless job in football and that is the offensive and defensive lines.  The lines are the most important job in the game and with out sound play at those positions the defense can’t stop anyone and the offense will never move forward.  This group worked hard together all season and to watch them move as one unit on both sides of the ball was amazing to watch.  My hat goes off to them because we would have never gotten as far as we did if it wasn’t for the selfless play of those kids, who by the way never complained.  These boys just put their heads down and grinded it out.

Many will determine that our season was not a success because we didn’t win the championship.  I will argue the opposite.  The season was a monumental success do to the growth of the boys this year.  Hopefully we get to move up to the next level next season becuase I believe we have an amazing foundation and footprint to help develop great football players.  Although we want to win, we want to develope first.  Winning will come when these boys go to highschool and college.  Yes I agree that winning is also an amazing tool and teaches great lessons, but more important is that losing teaches even more and always re-enforces that lessons that were put forth.

Congrats to the parents and players from this years Little Pro Eagles of the MOT youth football program.  These boys had an amazing season and have come a long way and will be great next season when the return to the little pros or move up to freshman football.  The MOT Youth football program is in a great place and has some great coaches coming up in its ranks.  I am happy to be a part of it and always thankful that I get to play a part in teaching and developing young men into not just great football players but great people.

I want to personally thank the league and more importantly all the parents that stuck with us even when it didn’t look like things were working, I can tell you that once the boys excepted the lessons they began to win.  This was all set forth by the head coach Donnie.  He will never accept credit for doing great things but he puts in an amazing IMG_3364.JPGamount of time and energy each week to get these kids prepared to play football.  I know this because I am not just his assistant coach but his boss, so I see it everyday, literally every day.

Lastly I want to thank my wife for allowing me to assist in coaching these kids, it takes up some of my time from the family but she knows I truly enjoy it even thought I don’t have a dog in the fight.

 

Roy ” DOC” Halladay

Today 7 Nov 17 the world of baseball lost a great ambassador in Roy Halladay.  For me he was a representation of a great era of baseball in Philadelphia.  He was the guy you truly felt bad for when we didn’t get that World Series victory 2011.  He was a true professional and one of the most dominate pitchers I had the fortune of watching.  He is the type of player that you can’t replace, a truly great person.   He was a blue-collar pitcher that end his career in a blue collar town.

Doc you will be missed.

Leadership – It’s Different for Everyone

Leadership as a word has a definition, but the reality is that we all know that leadership is almost undefinable.  Everyone has their own take of what leadership looks like or what a leader is.  Some thrive in leading while others are just comfortable following.  Both are just fine and doesn’t mean your weak or arrogant if you choose to be one or the other.  I will attempt to tell you my thoughts on leadership in the following writing.   Again this is my defenition of what I look for in a leader and how I attempt to lead.  It doesn’t make it right or wrong just makes it my style.  Hopefully it sparks a conversation about your style and what works for others.  Trust me I want to hear about it.

I’ll start with my foundation of how I lead people.  My main focus and goal is to find out what motivates them or what makes the individual succesful in completing tasks.  I have watched over the years too many leaders attempt to make their subordinates act just like them and in the end it rarely worked out, unless that person has a similar personality.  Rather I find what makes them tick and conform to the varying styles of those I supervise.  This is a lot harder and can take a manager or leader out of their comfort zone.  I have always felt though that it is important for the leader to carry this burden rather than those who they supervise.  Although difficult it can produce amazing results.

My initial conversation with a new employee generally begins the same way,  I inform that we can all work as equals until your actions dictate other wise.  This just means that I won’t take the “I am your boss or superior” method until I truly need to.  I have found that this can help spark more conversation and allow those that you may supervise to have a little more ease when speaking.  They may have ideas and contributions to add that may be of help, but being scared to speak may shut them down.

I have a belief in professional arguments.  This happens a lot in today’s world but the biggest problem is that they can get personal.  Having a professional argument is healthy in many ways as long is it doesn’t get combative.  The main focus is that you can argue over one topic but be able to start all over again on a new one.  The world moves to fast to waste time holding on to long.  This again will be on the shoulders of the manager or leader.  It will be his or her responsibility to keep it civil, yet make the room calm after a passionate discussion.  You want to be able to have lunch with these people later on.

Loyalty and Respect are major factors and many times confusing.  Leaders tend to get caught up in that their subordinates must show them loyalty and respect because they allow them to work for them and they get a pay check each week.  Monetary compensation doesn’t create loyalty or respect.  These people work for you so you OWE them a pay check.  Loyalty is a two-way street just as much as respect is a two way street.  You can’t demand these without starting off with them.  Employees want to know that you are going to be there for them during tough times just as much as you would expect them to be there for you during tough times.  This takes many leaders out of their comfort zones.  You have to view these qualities as fluid items constantly moving.  Just becuase you showed respect or loyalty once doesn’t garner you the return for a life time.  The best part is that if you show loyalty or respect in small doses employees will return it in a large quantities.  It means a lot to them so hand it out.

Get past judging someone based off of their personality.  This is difficult, very difficult.  We have all had that guy or gal that we have worked with that everyone believes is weird, creepy, or just off a little bit.  This may be a opportunity to take on a surprising challenge.  We tend to shoot ourselves in the foot by turning people away because we can’t get past our first impression.  Yes people can be awkward, quirky, and just strange sometimes.  With that being said though we may be missing out on someone who is truly talented and just need to be mentored our guided into the right direction.  Remember at some point someone took a chance on you.

Stop trying to fix the weaknesses of grown adults.  We waste way to much time trying to fix individuals weaknesses and avoid improving their strengths.  It is much easier to improve something that is already working rather than slowly trying to fix something that doesn’t work.  If someone is a terrible public speaker they can slowly get better over time, yet if they are amazing at communicating on social media then allow them to be great there, and have some one else talk to the public.  Exposing weakness is counter productive and harping on them will not build up that personal equity that is so valuable.

You as a leader must constantly build personal equity in your subordinates and employee.  Small acts of kindness can build equity within an employee like you wouldn’t believe.  Don’t kill an employee over being late because their kid got sick and they had to drop them off at school one morning.  Relate to it and let them know it is okay.  This doesn’t mean you should allow someone to walk all over you or take advantage of your kindness but one incident shouldn’t be a determining factor of whether someone is going to be a good employee or not.  Things like letting people head home earlier becuase the snow is piling up builds equity.  Bringin in coffee and doughnuts builds equity.  Actually asking and truly caring about someones family helps build equity.  Personal equity is an amazingly strong trait to build in an company, and is irreplacable but quckly lost if taken advantage off.

As I stated in the beginning this isn’t a fail safe way to lead people or supervise.  It is just tools to add to a toolbox of managing styles and methods.   The best thing you can do is find what your great qualities are and work on making them better.  Continue to build personal equity with those that you work with, make them feel apart of something.  People want to be emotionally invested into what they are doing.  If they can’t do that eventually they will leave.  Remeber these are people, members of your community and in a lot of cases friends.  As a leader you should be constantly refining your craft and learning new and improved methods, also don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes.  Create employess who are happy and invested, if you lose this side, or miss a chance to get them invested and you may miss out on something special.

Just my thoughts.

 

 

 

The Italian Job

Years ago I had the fortune of spending three weeks in Vicenza Italy.  The living conditions were ok, well actually kinda of shitty but that just made it that much more memorable.  The people weren’t to bad either, only a few times did we get hissed at.  Yeah hissed, you read that right.  They would hiss like fucking cats, weird but only a couple of people did it.  This trip changed my mind about wine also.  I thought that it only came in a box.  The food, the drinks, and the experience was amazing.  I’ll try to keep the story limited to the adventures of the 4 horseman.  This is a group of characters who have been friends for long time and all have contrasting personalities.  The group consisted of the following people:  DP KILLA, TAL, CHIZ, and Myself.  I have had many nicknames along the way and depending on who I was with it could change daily.  Some include MAC, Rizza, RIZ, and later down the road Thee Time Traveler.

TAL spent most of his days laying half-naked in his bed trying to get people to look at his newly formed hemorrhoid.  It looked like a tongue sticking out of his ass.  Nasty bastard.  When you got near his sleeping area he would be lying there in his red shorts rubbing his belly and would eventually ask if you were going to finish your food.  We had to continuously give the bear food and alcohol or he would get board and start to fuck with people.

DP Killa was our designated bus driver and would spend the day driving the bus all over Italy.  He didn’t know where he was going but didn’t care.  This man is the king of spontaneous and when he gets locked onto something he just goes with it.  Normally it involves convincing me that it is a good idea and it will totally work out.  I hesitate most times but eventually give in.  If I don’t give in then he just does it anyway.

Chiz is a different animal all together.  This oversized Grasian (Greek Asian) is normally good after a work out.  Not as spontaneous but once it gets alcohol in it, it becomes an uncontrollable machine.  He has a certain smile that will indicate he is juiced up and probably going to take his shirt off.  BIG Fucker.  TAL and Chiz are notorious for there fights.  At some point TAL will either ask or let Chiz punch or slap him in the face.  The Grasian never hits him as hard as he can out of fear that he would kill him.

Then there is me, the guy that gets pulled in all different directions usually ending in doing something with DP Killa.  TAL falls asleep early, Chiz gets nuts, and DP wonders off. I usually will wonder off with DP because our personalities are so close to one another.

It didn’t take us but a couple of days to get adjusted and start venturing out finding things to get into.  The area we were staying at was very rural and there wasn’t much around us.  The building that we stayed in was about two bricks away from being condemned and had no air conditioning.  Fuck it got hot in there.  The only good part about this was that it made us go find shit to do.

The first place we checked out was a small restaurant down the street that had awesome pizza and cheap wine.  Cheap in that it didn’t cost that much.  So like the heathens that we are we all got our own pies and wine and continued to get fat and drunk.  We basically acted like typical Americans or Vikings.  I assume to most other countries there isn’t much difference between the two.  The one lesson we learned at this small establishment was that tipping was almost offensive.  So we tipped anyway.  We would spend a lot of time at this place and enjoy every night that we got to sit outside and share stories and good times.

Most days also consisted of us traveling to a local winery and filling bottle after bottle of wine up.  Again there is an incredible amount of wine there and the locals treated it like we treat soft drinks.  I thought I was doing some real work when I got a couple of 750ml Bottles filled up when a local came in with a ten gallon bottle on a push cart.  Holy Shit this dude became my idol.

We did find another restaurant along the mountain side that served some pretty awesome food.  We weren’t to sure at what we were ordering because the Chef didn’t speak English.  So we just kept agreeing with him and he just kept bringing food.  Eventually the anti-pasta, pasta, seafood, and meat would run through me.  After the third course it was time for me to shit.  So i went in side and to my amazement the toilet was a squatty potty.  I eyed this thing up for a few minutes and then decided I would take this thing on.  Basically it is a porcelain plate on the floor with grippers on each side and a whole you have to aim down.  So I got totally naked except for my sneakers and aimed as best I could.  On the positive side I didn’t shit in my sneakers.

By far our favorite place to go was called the Blue Club.  This was, how do I put it, the greatest strip club I have ever been to.  Yes I go to gentleman’s clubs.  I am a grown ass man and enjoy a good time.  Judge me I don’t care.  I will not go into all of the details of what this place has to offer but what I can tell you is that TAL had a Romanian women he told he was going to marry, Chiz owed 300 bucks at one point, DP Killa was like a 12 year old, and I may or may not have fallen in love with an Italian Girl named, oh who cares what the hell her name was she was hot.  Sorry honey but I was young and impressionable.  Tal also managed to tickle the gigantic black stripper.  Yeah he was tickling a bouncer, all these women and here this asshole is having a goddamn tickle fight.

When we weren’t causing havoc at the gentleman’s clubs we would head over to Venice.  Traveling with TAL to any historical site is a huge ass mistake.  The king of being impatient he likes to travel as quickly as possible so he can get some where to lay down and nap again.  We got of a water taxi at San Marco square and TAL’s travel guide instincts kicked in.  Now, I had never been here before so I wanted to suck in a little.  TAL had seen it already so it was off to the races for him.  The other thing was that it was pretty touristy there and the goddamn birds were flying all over you.  So we quickly started hitting the ally ways and working our way back to where we had come from.  Along the way we saw some pretty neat stuff and finally stopped an ate along our journey.  More pizza and wine for the group.  Once done it was off again.  The walk was long and it was nice just to take in all the sites and history.

Another great place to go to was Verona where there is a smaller coliseum and Juliet’s balcony.  Yup that’s right Romeo and Juliet.  This place is littered with people trying to sell you junk and gypsies trying to steal shit from you.  Once past them though this is a very pretty town and has loads of history.  I didn’t take TAL to this one so it was cool Me and DP walked all over the place and DP took pictures like an Asian Tourist.

After three weeks of eating, drinking, and traveling we found ourselves broke, tired, and loaded with awesome memories.  I saw some amazing history, a great strip club, TAL Fish hooked Chiz in his mouth, Chiz slap TAL in his face, I used a squatty potty, and watched days and days of shenanigans.  There are far more stories I could tell but can’t because I have to protect the innocent and the guilty.  Plus I think this one is long enough for now.

 

She Quit!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a Tuesday afternoon like every other Tuesday.  I called to my wife since it was the end of the work day to find out what we were going to do for dinner that night.  I did not anticipate what she would say when she answered the phone, “I quit, I am so sorry but I quit.”  This cam with of course a lot of crying and that was pretty much the only tangible thing that I could make out.  I told her it was “Ok” and “No Worries.”   How could I be so relaxed, so nonchalant about this, my wife just quit a job she had been at for 8 years and cut our income in half in the blink of an eye.  How did we get here, how did she get so unhappy that the only thing she could think of was to quit.

Lets go back 8 years to figure out how we got to where we are now.  My wife was in between jobs looking for something new and fresh.  She wanted to find something that she could be excited about, something that she could be emotionally invested in.  For my wife it has never really been about money but more about the emotional investment from the company and something that she could be emotional about.  For her, when she goes all in she goes all in.  Her opportunity came to work for a company that had been around for a few years but was recently purchased by a young man who had talent and great vision.  He was a forward thinker and energetic but more than anything he was emotionally invested in the success of the company.  He was the son of the former owner when he purchased the company.  His vision was going to take the company to new heights.  My wife’s aunt worked for the company and was able to get her in working at an entry-level position.  She was excited and liked the idea of a smaller company and was happy to get back to work.  Once she got the job she knew that something was different about this place something refreshing something new.

It didn’t take long for her to begin to spread her infectious attitude throughout the company.  She finds the best in everyone and rarely sees their faults.  That job is left for me.  She would come home at night tell me how great here day was and was generally excited all the time.  She loved going to work and couldn’t wait to see what would come next.  Slowly she began to want more, she could see the company was growing and she wanted to provide more, she wanted to be a bigger piece.  For here she couldn’t figure out what she was going to do, what was she good at.  We talked and talked and she began to ask if I thought she was going to be good at sales.  To me it seemed like a no brainer.  Everything that I had ever saw was that the only natural talent you need to be a sales person was to personable and have the ability to network.  The light didn’t go off in my head it exploded.  I remember having conversations with her about how she was a natural at networking.  She didn’t know what I meant or how it translated.  Simply enough anywhere my wife goes she meets ten new friends, she as a way of making everyone feel important in the room and genuinely thinks everyone is awesome.  I explained to her that if she did the same thing over the phone then customers will come, the only she would need to do is learn the paperwork part, but gaining customers will be almost to easy.  Her boss was the one who originally saw some this and brought it to her attention.  It wasn’t much longer before they began grooming her to become a key player in the sales portion of the company.

Over the years she would come home either sad, frustrated, or excited about new opportunities.  We would sit and talk and figure out of to tackle her new objective.  If it was something she was struggling with we would game plan different approaches on how to over come it.  If she was struggling with being a women in a male dominated world, I would give her perspective on how man react and pursue things.  If she was excited we would toast and enjoy a great night-cap.

The times that she was frustrated was due to various factors, interpretations, or interactions.  One of her biggest gripes with he new-found job was that she felt like she always had to prove herself.  She felt like because she was a women that she always had to do more, always had to sell bigger, always had to be louder, always had to ensure that when something was done people knew she did it.  I didn’t really understand this too much, well because I am a man.  I didn’t have the advantage to see it from her angle so it was hard for me in the beginning to help her.  I would give her advice that I would give another man.  I started to realize that I am showing her how to do things as a man, this is counter productive because she isn’t a man.  You see if we both picked up the phone today and tried to sell the same thing to the same customer the interaction would be incredibly different.  Say the customer was a 45 plus year old man, instinctively in many cases the man will immediately reject the female voice for being unintelligent and weak.  He may try to outsmart her right out of the gate or in some cases be little her.  Same phone call and he hears a mans voice, he most likely will listen for some time and be more passive.  This is society, this is something that isn’t going change anytime soon.  So how do we work around that, she had to become smarter, quicker, and better on the phone.  She began making people feel important, got to know them personally, she began reading and learning new techniques.  She was in love, in love with the company and the vision, and the growth.

As time went on she began traveling more, becoming bigger part of the company, yet a hole began to grow.  She still felt like she had to prove herself, felt like no matter what she was always going to be a step behind, yet the path was invisible.  She couldn’t see where it was going, who was in the lead or how to catch up.  This invisible path was distracting, it made her unhappy, and she didn’t know how to put into context what this path was doing to her.  As the company began to grow to new heights, more employees, and more money, she began to felt the path getting longer, steeper, and more difficult to climb.  The personal conversations with her boss began to diminish, tempers from both sides began to increase, and the excitement dwindled.  The women who was excited to go to work everyday found that she didn’t want to go anymore.  Found that the invisible path was getting to steep, to hard to climb.  Her greatest champion now her hardest competitor.  She was constantly under the strain of ” Getting the Whale” but was not getting the guidance of how, but more the question of when.  She has customers lined up with major projects going forward yet it was time-consuming and never in her full control.  This makes it hard to succeed but the future was bright.  She was coming to a conclusion though that it didn’t matter now, the excitement was gone, the emotional investment was becoming to painful, she was unhappy.  This was never about the money for her, it was always about the emotional investment.

Just days before she quit her job the company had celebrated 25 years of being in business.  This was a major milestone for the company, it had survived some terrible economic times and was at its height, and on that night everyone smiled.  Even she smiled.  The smile seemed weak, and forced though.  Something was gone from inside, the spark had vanished, her time was coming to an end.  Just days later her and her boss would have an argument, not uncommon in the business world, but it was at that passionate moment she said those words, ” I QUIT.”  She cleaned out her office packed up her car and began to drive home.   The pain that she felt was almost the same pain you would feel if you had just split up with a long-term boyfriend or girlfriend, you knew it was going to hurt but it was the right thing to do.

The next day she would attempt to go back to the company, but it was over.  Things changed on both ends and the split would become mutual.  The pain on both sides will be there for a bit but both will overcome and move on.  She felt the initial pains, asking questions like what are we going to do, where am I going to go, what will I do next.  So now we plan, we take our time.  I consider her time at the previous company he education, she learned what it takes to succeed and fail.  Failure is a critical part of becoming succesful and now she has seen it.  Her next job has to be something that excites her, makes her passionate, and provides her emotional value.  Her biggest hurdle going forward will always be chasing the Invisible Path, chasing the challenges that she can’t see.  I know she will be great again, I know she will find her way, I also know that her infectious love for people is what will continue to make her amazing.  Her education at the former company didn’t just make her great, but taught me a lot as well.  It’s what drove me to write this, that I can see past the physical and gender differences that exist and try to find what is in the whole package not just how it’s wrapped.

Keep Challenging the Invisible Path, Keep Challengin Your Self, Always try to Fail, In the end you will Succeed.

Relax It’s Sunday

Yeah being off the grid doesn’t help me with getting my posts out in time.  So we are a day late but not a dollar short.  I wanted to get this one out because I really liked this week especially one main event.  There are moments when you do things and instantly you know that it is one of those moments that you will never forget.  You know that one day a familiar smell, sound, or event will transport you through time right back to that moment.  For my wife I believe she had one of those moments.  

My wife recently scored 4 tickets to a Phillies game, yeah those Phillies.  It was a game against the San Fransico Giants on 2 June 2017.  She decided she wanted to take her 88 Year old Grandfather.  Great idea I thought, even better I told her she should take her father and brother as well.  The 4 of them could all head up and enjoy a night game.  She agreed and off she went to make some phone calls to make sure it was a go for all of them.  Without hesitation they were all in.  This was going to be a good night.

FullSizeRender (8)My father in law and brother in-law aren’t the biggest of baseball fans, but they are always down for a good time.  Plus neither one could probably recall the last time they went to a baseball game with POPS.  Pops on the other hand I am sure was very excited and rightfully so.  This was a man of many talents and one of the most interesting people I have ever met.

Pops once played ball for the Giants back in the 40’s.  He was in the minor league system and has the fondest of memories of those days.  He has a life long passion for the game and played softball until his early 80’s.  Hell I just hope I make it to 80 this man was still hitting softballs and enjoying the game as if he were still a kid.  

The greatest quality of the man is his child like laughter.  Pops always has a joke, normally dirty.  He lights up any room he is in and has more stories than Hemingway.  He has passion for life and it shows when ever he is around.  Many years ago he even got the chance to be an extra in a movie  “The Big Leaguer,” He still talks about it to this day.  

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Bubba, Pops’s nickname, tells stories with such excitement and detail even to this day that when he begins to talk the room slows down.  When he gets going you can look around the room and all eyes are on him.  The best is when he chuckles, head back, hands on his belly just laughing away.  

He was this excitement that my wife so enjoyed at the ball game.  That moment that now is forever trapped in time.  There is no way any of them forget about 2 June sitting in the Hall of Fame club talking about great times and enjoying a ball game.  The weather was in the mid 70’s with little to no wind perfect for a baseball game in early June.  The best IMG_3488part she said was when her father and brother got up to check out things and her and Pops just sat there and talked.  She sat and hung onto every word just amazed that this man had so much to talk about.  The man could fill a book with his stories.  

Baseball may be fading as Americas pastime but it lives everyday in Pops.  The game brought him many memories that he now shares with us.  From the time he played in the Giants organization, to the time he played in the Army.  He was offered to try out for the Indians as well.  The only issues is that in those times the game didn’t pay much.  My wife’s family can thank everyday that it didn’t becuase his path may  have been different if it did.  I know for myself I am blessed to have such a great story-teller in my life.  He also reminds me that it doesn’t matter how old you are when a good time presents itself grab onto it.  

Share the stories of your life, share the moments that make you happy.  If I have learned anything over the years is that people love living in the moment of a good story.  Having the ability to make someone smile of the most basic of tales is something special to see.  Pops is a grand master at this.  The years have made one of the great narrator of life.  There are moments when you fell like you are on the field with him, or in the scene of that movie, or playing ball overseas.  The man himself isn’t large in stature but his personality is bigger than life.  This is what my wife will hold onto that moment looking out of the field and just taking in how great things truly can be.  I could almost imagine all four of them sitting there and at the same time in total silence they all smiled knowing that this day will never be forgotten.

Women’s Football Festival

For mothers day this year I decided to think outside the box and bought my wife two tickets to the Philadelphia Eagles 2nd Annual Football Festival for Women on 21 May 2017.  The day would include running drills on the field, meeting the head coach, players, alumni, and many other activities.  When I presented the tickets to her I was hoping for a positive reaction.  The truth is that she was way more excited then I thought she would be.  This made me happy, and of course made her happy as well.

I will tell you trying to find another women as excited by the Eagles as much as she is, is a difficult task.  Lucky enough for her she had a friend that may love the Birds just as much as she does.  So on Sunday 21 May they headed out to experience a day with the Eagles.

When they arrived at the stadium they realized that they missed Coach Pederson’s opening remarks.  I received a sad face emoji but there was more to come.  The girls immediately when down to the field to experience running through some NFL drills.  they did hurdles, moved through tackling dummies and even had a chance to kick a field goal.  Although it wasn’t pretty, Nikki kicked one right through the uprights.

After they were done moving through drills they caught some of the player lip sync battle.  Nikki was also fortunate enough to run into a couple of players, Vinny Curry and Wendell Smallwood.  She was still dying to meet her favorite, Zach Ertz.  All in due time, honey all in due time.

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She walked around a bit a checked out the Eagles locker room, and sat through a defensive meeting.  The assistant coach ran through and broke down defensive concepts with the ladies.  My wife thought that this was a really cool and she learned a lot.  Once they got done there they decided to walk around a bit and just check things out.  They found themselves walking down the tunnel and there was Doug Pederson the head coach taking pics and singing autographs for people.  She began yelling Doug we love you, and was super pumped to meet Coach.  She got up there and faced time me, it was neat talking to the head coach of the Birds.  She got her pick and moved on.  Well she moved on after telling Coach to have a great season and that she loved him.  She loves everyone.

On their way the went, when all of a sudden like a great god floating down from the heavens Zach Ertz appeared.  Ok so he was standing there like a normal man but she gets excited and things take on a life of their own with her.  So this was it, the one she was waiting for she was going to meet her favorite player, unless B-Dawk showed then it would have been see you later Zachy Boy.  Dawkins is the Man.  She probably would have done the Wolverine roll right up to him.  Anyway back to Zach, she got so excited she said “honey I think I proposed to him, but I realized he was married,”  I am totally cool with it but he would have owed me a couple more season tickets.

If you have a wife that is into football I would highly suggest this event.  The cost is low and there are tons of things to do.  Below you will see the schedule they had.  It’s almost to much to do in one day.  This is cool because it spreads out the people and leaves plenty of chances to do what you love.  I can tell you that she said it was one of the coolest events she has ever done.

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West Palm Beach

The wife is lucky enough to travel a bit for work and she usually gets to see some cool places.  This works good for us because she is my drinking partner, best friend, girlfriend, and wife.  We have the best of times when we go out.  We will be sure to add her journeys into the Time Travelers Journals as well.  Her latest trip, although short, still took her to West Palm Beach in Florida.  She had the chance to hit up a couple of joints and give us some good feedback and reviews of the time she had.

The trip she took was short but fruitful.  She is great at making a lot out of a little time.  She managed to hit up a couple of bars and basically said it was like being in an episode of Bloodline.  Her description of the people is classic Florida, relax with a lot of linen.  She started her trip by staying at the Hilton on Singer Island.  Great views seven though it was a bit over cast, don’t worry a cloudy day doesn’t bring this lady down. IMG_2822

The first bar restaurant that she hit was Johnny Long Boats.  This was a very Florida style bar with pirate swag on the walls and even a giant shark over top of the bar.   She didn’t get a chance to enjoy the outdoor seating because of the rain but said it was a great joint with great food.  She of course went with the Alaskan King Crab Legs which by her description were “Unbelievable,” and so “Full of Meat.”  I took that as a sign that she enjoyed them a little too much.

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The second place that she got to hit up was Sail Fish Marina where apparently the season never ends, what ever that means.  Great views at this place and great bar tenders.  It’s located on the water and has some amazing views and creates a great atmosphere for relaxing and enjoying a night of drinks.

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Although this may have been a short trip she came back fully convinced that we will go again, or at least try to buy a place down there.  I love her motivation and free spirit but daddy can barely afford this website.  We will definitely make another trip there and get to experience more of what West Palm Beach and Singer Island has to offer.

See You in the Future – Thee Time Traveler

Ireland “Home of Great Beer and Even Better People”

For my tenth anniversary the wife and I decided to go to Ireland.  This pleased me beyond belief.  I have been to some great places but for what ever reason never thought that I would find myself in Ireland.  Yet here we go.  We got some pretty good deals so far, the flight was booked round trip through Aer Lingus, and we got a small studio apartment using Home Away.  All in all we have only spent 2800 bucks so far and we took care of the two biggest items.  Are expectations are high, but our itinerary is low.  We are going to relax and take it all in.  The main goal is to go and enjoy the people, the pubs, and mainly the scenery.  We are only a few days away from setting off onto our journey, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Day #1 Pre Trip (Friday)

The pre-trip excitement and jitters have begun, more so for the wife then me.  She has made many statements that don’t seem all that logical or maybe I just don’t get it.  All of a sudden there is zero time, even though we leave on Sunday, and everything needs to be cleaned as if the damn Pope is coming over.  The biggest thing is that she wants to clean weird shit all of a sudden like “Do you think we should mop the ceiling”, or “Eww, HONEY WE SHOULD PROBABLY DUST THE INSIDE OF THE FRIDGE BEFORE WE LEAVE”, WTF.  I try to remind her that there will be no one here for a week, and trust me the cat doesn’t give a shit what the house looks like.  The other things that need to be accomplished fall in very different categories such as needing to get haircuts, shaving all of my body hair off, getting her toe nails done, shopping for more clothes, checking the weather in Ireland every 15 minutes, searching our closet for 30-60 minutes as if new clothes will magically appear each time we re-enter this den of outdated cloth.  While I begin to pack I will be reminded over and over again that I shouldn’t take that and pack this, and constantly asked will this fit in your bag.  Oh the joys of travel.

9:00 AM

Showers are complete, the wife and my oldest are headed to the mall soon to purchase a shit ton of items that will only be worn once.  They will eat a crazy good lunch, and I am sure that when she gets home she will only pack half the things she bought.  Me I am off to find barber to cut my hair, not just any barber though it has to be one the can cut my hair so it doesn’t burn my wife’s eyes when she gazes at me.  This has been an ongoing battle.  I usually don’t get to caught up in it, I pick the first place I see and get it cut.  I remind you that I have been overseas a lot and have had some wild people cut my hair.  My favorite was a gay Filipino with long nails that would sing Christina Aguilera’s “DIRTY” while cutting my hair, and this took place in Riyadh Saudi Arabia.  Yes a gay Filipino hair stylist in the middle of Saudi Arabia.  Dude was good though.

11:35 AM

Back from my hair cut.  The girls are still shopping.  I take this valuable time to wonder around the house and just think about all the things I should be doing.

12:55 PM

Fuck I got shit to do!

1:00 PM

Cold Beer?

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1:05 PM

Well I guess I better Mop.

8:25 PM

The puppy has gotten a bath at PETCO, more laundry is in, and I believe the wife is a bottle deep on some white wine.  Me, well I have had a couple more summer ales.  Time to relax and enjoy the night.  I think I have been asked to vacuum the lawn tomorrow.

Day #2 Pre-Trip (Saturday)

8:30 AM

The wife is up and ready to leave so that she can get her hair done.  Most mornings it takes what feels like 47 and half hours for her to get ready in the morning.  Since she is trying a new hair dresser it took 20 minutes to get ready.  Where is this motivation every other day.  I have been told that her hair will take up to 3 hours.  Holy shit, 3 hours!  That’s insane.  For what ever reason the woman that is normally  the most impatience person I know, all of a sudden has the patience of  a Buddhist Monk.  Crazy,  is 0930 to early for a drink?

9:33 AM

So I didn’t grab a drink, but I did start the laundry.  I am beginning to feel like she has a master plan where I do all the cleaning while she runs around.

10:38 AM

I cut the grass one last time for this week.  Started some more laundry and now have become anxious about my pancreas.  Three weeks ago I had Pancreatitis which was by far the most painful thing I have ever felt.  It was like a tiny dwarf made of razor blades was doing laps in my stomach and back.  So fast forward I had three beers yesterday and now I think I have awaken the beast again.  Probably all in my head.

1:56 PM

I went and tried to pick up my dry cleaning and it wasn’t ready.  I hate when that happens.  I am going to start prepping a beef brisket for tomorrow, I just want it to marinate over night.  Going to jump up early to cook it.  The family requested it, and I shall deliver.  Although I wont be able to enjoy it to much because of the law fat anti pancreatitis diet I am on.  FUCK YOU PANCREAS.

5:00 PM

Bags are pretty much packed. The wife’s hair looks great, yet she still hasn’t noticed mine at all.  Off to pick up my dry cleaning again, it better be done.

5:15 PM

God dammit the place is closed.

6:00 PM

I am sitting on my couch my stomach continue to act funny, what the hell.

7:18 PM

We have successfully died Easter eggs.  This was the cleanest it has ever been, no dye anywhere.

Day #3 (Sunday Easter and the Day we travel)

3:00 AM

I wake to smoke the brisket, nothing like getting the smoker ready at 3am.  That smell is good at all hours of the day.  The best part was is that it was quiet, almost tranquil and bliss.  This is because everyone else was still asleep.

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7:00 AM

My peace is broken by children searching for the for Easter baskets.  They look like junkies who were just given clues to where drugs may be stored.

8:30 AM

Final touch up cleaning and then it’s off to the outlaws, I mean in-laws. No really they are the greatest people ever.

12:30 PM

Kids are dropped off, we give a quick hello and goodbye all in one breath and it’s off to Ireland.

1:45 PM

We still had to drop the dog off.  At this point I am beginning to fade, 3am was a bit early.  Time to suck it up and head to the airport.

2:50 PM

Chickies and Petes for a beer and some grub, the pre flight meal.  This isn’t the Easter meal I was looking for but who cares I am heading to Ireland.  Side note I haven’t pooped in two days.  I know that this isn’t relevant but it’s frustrating and I had to get it out.

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4:10 PM

Frontier Airlines just held a jelly bean contest, you know the one where you have to guess the amount of Jelly Beans in the jar.  Kinda weird, at least they didn’t beat anyone up, or hold a fight club for seat upgrades.

DUBLIN DAY 1 – Hell yeah.

7:15 AM Dublin is 5 hours ahead Thee Time Traveler is in the FUTURE.

I awake from my slumber, we are landing soon and I am juiced.  The wife not so much, she didn’t sleep well on the plane.

9:30 AM

Gary our driver has picked us at the airport, friendly gentleman and gives us a brief on the way over for some things to do today.  He pulls up in front of a boarded up  IMG_2978.JPGhome and says “alright we are here”, Funny Gary, we    are actually staying a next door.  The place is small but comfy, and has everything we need for the week.  We just can’t seem to figure out the stupid outlet deal, so many prongs.

10:00 AM

We walk down to the grocery store and pick up eggs, tea, Doritos, and water.  You know the basics.

Times will be omitted from this point forward  (They begin to get a bit blurry)

We left the apartment to begin touring Dublin.  The weather was damp, which I am guessing this is what most days are like.  If you could imagine it’s kind of like a damp basement all over the place, a little wet, little cold, and pretty grey.  You wouldn’t be able to tell this from the people though because it’s like the sun is always shinning for them.

Our first stop would be a local pub called Kavanagh’s Pub just down the street from IMG_2981us.  The Bartender was an awesome women named Rose who was well traveled and offered a wealth of information for places for us to go and see.  The rest of the pub was filled with older men wearing scally caps or duckbill, drinking Guinness and reading the paper.  For the first pub to pick it was exactly what we thought it would be like.  Rose knew each person that came through the door.  We sat and chatted for a bit said our goodbyes for the day and off we went to see what Dublin had in store for us.

Dublin was still celebrating Easter and the Easter Rising Rebellion of 1916.  Most shops were closed along the way but there were festivities going on throughout the city.    The first one we went to was a place suggested by Gary the Driver and Rose the barkeep called Smithfield Square.  The square was blocked off for various tents to do things, food trucks abound, and a concert stage on the far end.  We walked around checked out a few things and decided to grab a bite to eat.   Dublin is very westernized so it has a familiar feel when it comes to the eateries, the place we chose was called  Oscars Cafe and Bar. The wife got a veggie burger with chips (French fries), I got a normal burger and chips, both were delicious.  She drank a glass of wine and I drank a Galway Hooker.  This was not a real Hooker it’s the name of the beer, stay with me people.  We finished up and off we went to see more of Dublin.

Ken a local at Kavanagh’s suggested St. Stephens Green, much like Smithfield Square there would be festivities, family oriented activities and a concert.  IMG_2973 The park was amazing and packed full of families enjoying the day.  We walked around the park for a bit until the wife got home sick seeing all of the families with their kids.  I have to admit I felt it a bit as well.   So the only way to solve this problem is to head of to another Pub.

When we were searching for St. Stephens green we passed a few pubs along the way, yet ne stuck out to us and that was Brazen Head Pub.  This is the Oldest Pub in Ireland, opening in 1198.  Unreal I know, it’s almost hard to wrap your head around how old some of the things are here, manly because the U.S only became independent in 1776.  The Pub was hundreds of years older then that.  We found to stools at the bar pulled up and ordered two Jameson and Ginger Ales.  Looking around the history of the bars patrons were all over the walls.  Dollars bills from all over the world were taped and tacked to the walls along with patches from first responders, military, and law enforcement groups from all over the world.  The bartender, whose name was Gary, offered up some great advice on more places to go and see.  He laid out a tour that would show us the history of the 1916 Easter rebellion.

We finished our drinks grab the map provided by Gary and took off towards wear we were staying.  At this point of the day we had walked a few miles already and were beginning to tire out.  We got back to one of the main streets near our studio apartment and stopped in at a pub called L. Mulligans Grocer L. Mulligan Grocer.  This would be the final pub of the night, but maybe one of the best.  We sat at the bar and struck up a  conversation with Harry the English bartender.  Nikki would nickname him Harry the Prince.  It was at this point when we were trying to finish our drinks we realized how tired we were getting, I could harry the phave fallen asleep right at the bar, so we finished up and headed back towards the apartment, not before we stopped and picked up a bottle of Captain Morgan and some diet Cokes.  Gotta have a night cap right.

We stumbled into the room tired and slightly drunk and tried to map out the next day while having another drink.  Neither one of us at this point could understand the other one so we decided to call it night.  It was only 6pm at this point.  Hey don’t judge us, we were jet lagged and drunk, and tired from walking around the city.  We laid down and fell asleep before our heads hit the pillows.

2 HOURS LATER we sprung from our sleep, I don’t know who woke first but we were up thinking that we had slept through the night.  NOPE, we couldn’t have been more wrong it was only 8pm.  We only discovered this after stumbling around the room in search of our phones to check the date and time.  It looked like the scene from Stepbrothers when they were sleep walking around the house.  Nikki yells to me that it’s still the same day and only 8pm.  I don’t believe her at this point and continue to look at my phone with one eye open and look of WTF on my face.  After checking the time 38 different ways, we went back to bed.  Hopefully tomorrow will be go just as good.

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Day 2 DUBLIN – What did we get ourselves into

We laid in bed until about 9 am.  I decided to get up have some tea, and write down some notes from the previous day.  As I am sitting there smiling and reflecting on the previous day, could smell a slight hint of pee.  Sorry for adding this but I found it funny.  In my drunken state the night before I had attempted to use the bathroom, I guess I didn’t get him all the way out before I started and got a little on the front.  Men you know this has happened at some point in your adult lives, women I don’t know what to say I am disgusting.

After making the wife some eggs and tea we decided to start our day off the same way we did the previous day and that was by going to Kavanagh’s and seeing Rose to have a pint.  The wife has adopted Rose as our Irish mother by this point.  She seemed almost to excited to see us and gave a plate a various chesses and some chutney to spread on them along with some soda bread.  If you don’t know what chutney is look it up, go by some, and enjoy, your welcome.  We finished our drinks, through down some cheese and headed off to the Jameson Tour in Smithfield Square.

I have been to Kentucky and done the bourbon trail tours, which are excellent tours.  Now the Jameson tour isn’t anything like the Makers Mark tour, but more like the Evan Williams tour on bourbon row in downtown Kentucky.  I don’t want to diminish the Jameson tour though, because it was excellent.  Our tour guide for the day was Lawrence a Californian relocated to Dublin. IMG_2996 They give you a wonderful brief on the history of John Jameson, and how much the distiller meant to Dublin.  At the end of the tour you get to conduct a tasting, equally excellent.  The facility is amazing and the tour is just long enough.  Once the tour was complete we sat at their bar and had a couple of drinks.  Jameson is no longer distilled at that location, but you still get a wonderful experience.

We left Jameson and headed towards St. Michans Church where we wanted to go and see the crypts below the church.  The have a short St. Michans tour were they take you below to see ancient bodies that have been amazingly preserved over time.  the crypt’s temperature never changes, and the limestone rocks, and methane coming from the gerund keep the bodies in amazing shape.  The oldest one we saw was nearly 800 years old.  IMG_3039 Crazy right. Pictures couldn’t really be taken down there because it was considered a sacred place, and the tombs that were still technically in use no light could be shown in the room.  This added to the eerie fill that the crypt held.  I did manage to touch and old skull sitting on the floor.  Nikki made me use hand sanitizer almost immediately after I told her.  The history above and below the grounds of Dublin are fascinating.

After we were down playing with the dead we headed off to a pub.  I mean come on guys we are in Dublin, I believe it is illegal if you don’t drink while you are here.  The Pub we went to was called O’Sheas Merchant.  We sat down and talked to a lovely lady named Caroline.   She looked to young to be a grandmother but went on to tell us about her son in Australia, and the 2 year old grandson that she missed dearly.  We talked about this while we had drinks and ordered lunch.  Nikki went with the fish and chips (as a reminder those are French fries), I ordered a sandwhich called the Dubliner, it was a smaller panini with beef, and cheese, also it came with a side salad and chips.  Both meals were delicious, especially the fish, awesome grub and an awesome pub.  We finished up there and decided that we would go see Christ Church Cathedral.

I highly Suggest the tour of Christ Church Cathedral.  When you enter this place you are immediately shot back into time.  IMG_3029 The church was founded in 1030, yeah 1030 not like that morning but the year.  Pay for the tour also, you could conduct a self tour but you won’t be able to go to the bell house and ring the bells.  This place gets older and older.  The tour guide gives you some amazing history, and tour of the church, the bell house, and the crypt.  The crypt isn’t as creepy as the one at St. Michans but has some amazing artifacts.  The weirdest of which was the cat and the rat mummy’s that had gotten stuck in an organ which were found in the 1850’s. You will need to be mindful of the stair case that leads to the bell tower and the doors as well.  The seem to have been built for children, if you are a man of average height it’s going to be a tight fit.  Once the tour ended we were off to go pub hopping.  MMMM Drinky Time.

We decided at this point that it was time to do some pub hopping around Dublin and the first pace we went to was called Peadar Kearneys Pub, named after the man who wrote the national anthem for Ireland, so we were told, I will have to fact check that one.  I googled it, it’s him.  We ordered a coupe drinks and began talking a man we named drunk Sean.  He talked about a couple of other pubs that he knew where we could hear some Diddly Day Music.  We kept talking and when he found out we were from Delaware he screamed the “THE FIRST STATE” and he said to quote him on it, so there Drunk Sean your quoted.  We left Kearney’s and found a bar called The Auld Dubliner, which was a great little bar with a guy playing some music.  Awesome little place, and the beer was flowing.  We had one a piece and left to find anther pub.  The next stop was going to the trendy Temple Bar.  It was packed, a great atmosphere but almost overwhelming with the amount of people in there.  Plus not as sociable as the smaller off street pubs, but we still sat and had some beers, and Nikki was onto Captain and Cokes by this point.  After drinking there we left and found a place that Drunk Sean suggested called The Old Storehouse.  This place was great, and also had live music.  The solo artist was playing some classic irish tunes, and the place was very much alive.  We sat at the bar and almost immediately struck up a conversation with a unique older fella.  I heard him say his name was Tim, Nikki thinks it was Ken, so he is now TIMKEN.  TIMKEN was an older fella with Phil Donahue hair, no top teeth except for the right K9, a sport jacket, and bow tie.  He had a heavy accent, and proclaimed to know Drunk Sean.  This was not a shock.  Nikki kept leaning back more and more as he spoke, I would later find out that his breath had some history also, it was bad.  So after finishing our drinks and ending our conversation with TIMEKEN we headed off again to find another pub.  It really isn’t hard to find them here they are everywhere, you can’t drink at all of them.  NO WAY NOT NEVER.  The next place was called Bad Bobs, which like The Temple Bar was packed full of patrons.  We found a spot in the back of the bar sat down and orderd drinks.  Nikki struck up conversation with Peter, Johnny, and Rob, three bartenders working that night.  What we did find was that the drink prices in this part of town began to get higher as the night went on.  This will be a little confusing, but TEMPLE BAR is an area as well as a bar also.  So in the TEMPLE BAR area the bars attract a lot more tourists and the prices seem to flow as fast as the beer.  We finished our drinks there and headed of to some local pubs near the apartment.

Along the way Nikki decided that Facebook live was going to be her new addiction, but she isn’t that great at it.  For anyone that saw it, I am sure it was hilarious, after re watching it I laughed probably as much as you all did.  This continued on even when we reached L. Mullgans, we sat down and talked to Prince Harry, Gary, and Steven.  Yes there are a lot of Gary’s in Dublin, this was the third one we met at this point.  It was getting late and we traveled a ton again today, so if was off to one more pub and then back to the apartment. We hit Tommy O’Gara’s but didn’t stay long.  We knew we were well on our way to time traveling so it was time to roll.

We stopped in at Tesco’s, the local supermarket, grabbed a pizza, Captain Morgan, and some other junk for the room.  When we got back I made drinks and a pizza.  We ate it like caveman and threw Doritos down our necks like someone was trying to steal them.  I then began to Time Travel so telling you anything else would be just made up stuff at this point.  Day 2 in Dublin, awesome.

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DAY 3 in Dubiln – The Chance Meeting

WTF is that noise!!!!! Oh it’s my goddamn alarm on my phone going off like a bomb in my head.  I jump up and turn it off with my eyes closed.  What I would have seen if my eyes were open was the full glass of Captain and Coke that I was about to spill completely into Nikki’s purse.  Yup one swift hand movement and this drunk Ninja just emptied that glass of amazing into her purse.  She jumped out of bed like the damn thing was on fire and emptied the contents in like two movements.  I stood there dumbfounded by my actions.  We cleaned it out, set it out to dry, and back to bed to we went.

We would late wake and begin our day.  We figured out a strategy for the things we wanted to see and off we went.  We stopped at Cowtown Cafe to get a little breakfast to fuel up for the long walk ahead.  We walked for what felt like ever trying to find The Kilmainham Gaol, which is an old prison and suggested by many as one of the best tourist attractions around.  We finally arrived after walking about and hour only to discover that the next tour wasn’t going to be for another five hours.  So we bought tickets for the next day and off we went.

Across the street was the Modern Art Museum that cut through the area we were in and expedited our walk.  The grounds of the Modern Art Museum are an amazing sight to see and offer some tranquility in the city.  This was a nice and peacful walk, the kind you don’t say much and just hold hands and enjoy.  It was nice to share this momentIMG_3062 with the love of my life.  We just walked quietly taking in the sights, and enjoying each others company.  We never made it inside the Museum, only because we aren’t big art fans, but also because we were headed to the Guinness Storehouse.

We arrived at the Guinness Storehouse to take the tour, learn about the history and brewing process for Guinness.  This, much like the tour of Jameson,  was awesome and you get a free pint of Beer.  We decided to get our beers at the Gravity bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse.  One of the best views, if not the best view, in all of Dublin.  The bar offers a 360 Degree view of the city which you can see for miles, and it’s nice to just take it all in.  Plus we were tired as hell from all the walking over the last three days, so it was nice to sit a moment and enjoy the views.

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Once we finished our pints we muscled up and headed to the Dublin Castle.  This is located in the City and is almost hidden, you turn down street just up from Peadar Kearney’s and there it is.  We went in and did the self tour where you get to see the state rooms, maybe next time we will do the full tour, but we were getting tired and hungry so we wanted to start heading back towards the apartment in Stoneybatter.  The full tour would have taken more than and hour and we didn’t want to spend that time, so we started moving again.

We casually moved through the city up and down different streets working our way back to home base.  We had passed through Jameson and into Smithfield Square tired and only thinking of grabbing something to eat and relaxing.  We got almost to the end of the square when a gentleman passed in front of me that looked all to familiar.  I have told my wife many times over that timing is a funny thing, and in this case ten seconds later or earlier and I would have missed this chance meeting.  So this man walks passed me and I don’t see his face at first but the back of his head, and his gate is a bit different.  I knew almost right away what I was looking at, my wife on the other hand had no idea and may have thought that I was having stroke, nope I was looking at the Champ and my chance meeting was about to occur.  I tell the wife “hey thats the champ Conor McGregor“, in her really cute voice she sates ‘who”, I said the champ the biggest fighter in the world right now, at which she says ‘OK”.  So like a hippo chasing a cheetah, I follow after the man and sure enough it’s the man himself.  He looked like he didn’t want to take the photo at first but was gracious enough to do so, and I appreciated that.  He turned smiled and took the photo.  We didn’t think or even count on seeing the man but there he was, and the chance meeting happened.  My wife took the photo blasted it to social media, of course after googling who he was, and I guess that makes if official since it’s now on Facebook. IMG_3046

Well back on the path to food, we landed ourselves at L. Mulligans again to grab a bite to eat and enjoy another drink.  We were almost walking hunched over at this point with our backs, knees, and feet hurting from all the miles we have been logging walking around town.  It was nice to get out of the misty rain that had been falling for most of the day and relax for a few moments.  We order Scotch Eggs, and Bison burgers.  Awesome, and I highly suggest them, not because I have taken a liking to L. Mulligans but because they were really good.  We drank a couple of Jameson and Gingers and headed out, last stop was going to be the grocery store for some more Captain Morgan so we could go to the room relax, and have a nightcap.  I let the wife read this story so far and got the thumbs up for some minor editing but many for her approval, as my chief editor I need to run things past here just to make sure I haven’t said to much or to  little.  Well time to enjoy some alone time.  See you tomorrow.

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Day 4 in Dublin – The Last Dance

Our First stop for the day was to be the Kilmainham Gaol, a hostirical prison that held many of the more famous political prisoners during the Easter Rising Rebellion, The War of Independence, and the Civil war for Ireland.  If you want a get a quick lesson in Irish history this is the tour to take.  Plus the jail has a few creepy aspects to it.  We walked back through the Modern Art Museum one more time, there is an amazing Garden on the grounds that is absolutely elegant to walk through.  If you have the chance I highly recommend seeing the parks and gardens throughout the city.  IMG_3098Phoenix Park is massive but beautiful, St. Stephens Green as well, and the gardens at the Art Museum are all well worth the time.  Your eyes will thank you.

The rest of the day was filled with walking around Dublin doing a little shopping and just taking in the sights one last time.  Along our way back we stopped at Jameson for one last Jameson and Ginger, and a little shopping.  We continued to walk back until we hit L. Mulligans to fill up another glass or two.  We left Mulligans headed to the grocer and grabbed some wine and pizza so that we could head back to the apartment and start packing.  So there we were eating Tangy Cheese Doritios, waiting on a shitty 4 cheese pizza, and drinking some wine.  It was a great moment though we got to sit, drink, and reminisce about the week we just had.  There is nothing better than reflecting on the time you just had and knowing that you had it with not just your wife but your best friend.  We had a blast and will truley miss Ireland.  It will surely always bring a smile to our faces.

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Day 5 Dublin – Departure day

Up bright an early so that we could clean all twenty square feet of the apartment we were in.  We also had to pack, which took all of ten minutes.  It is amazing how slow time seems to move when it’s finally time to go home.  Gary the driver was waiting out front patiently for us.  The drive was quick yet quiet as passed through the streets of Dublin.   I won’t bore you with us sitting at the airport playing on our phones waiting for our flight.  Just know that if you ever want to take a vacation over the pound I would suggest starting with Ireland.  No shit right, but honestly the beer is great and the people are even better.

See you in the Future – Thee Time Traveler

Links below are some of the services that we used and recommend.

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus Airline – The plane was excellent and the service on the plane was great.  Prices were very competitive, and best of all it was a comfortable flight.

Home Away – Greats vacations Places

We found our place on Home Away, we love this site.

Glencourt Apartments

The apartment that we stayed in was great.  If you are looking for a similar experience talk to Liam Travers.  dublinvacations@gmail.com

I can’t say enough about Liam and the resources that he provided.  The room had everything we needed, and the suggestions he left us were spot on.

For a list of the bars that we went to check out my story on DOW ( The Ireland Edition) coming this week on Hisvault.com