Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of black forest cake or tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm Not Supposed To Be Here

 Good Monday morning! The truth is I wasn’t planning on posting a blog today. The plan was that my computer would be in Toledo and I’d be in Pennsylvania. David and I left before sunrise Saturday intending to chase some of those beautiful Norfolk Southern Heritage Units that were going to be in Pennsylvania this weekend. He had an extra weekend day off and we planned to get home late tonight. Daylight time is still early and late enough in the day that I’m too tired to even check email at the end of the day, so there was no sense in adding the laptop bad to the luggage.

So why am I home and blogging? Let’s talk about the weather! When we left the forecast said one thing, but it changed somewhere between sunrise and Lake Erie! It seemed like puffy clouds from the lake were going to obstruct the sun, then the sky was cloudy on the horizon as we faced east and Pennsylvania. Keeping n contact with railfans on our route and in our destination, we weren’t imagining those PA clouds. “The liar’s club strikes again” David growled referring to his usual dissatisfaction with the accuracy of weather forecasts. Depending on the 72-hour forecast is a major part of our weekend travel planning. But being able to adapt plans is essential to having a successful trip; something planner-Nani is learning. I’ve learned to enjoy “seat of your pants” travel as long as it’s the seat of David’s pants. If I’m the one orchestrating the trip I still have to have my rough plan and notes.

The biggest difference in the way we do things is that when I plan a trip, I have a rough itinerary of where I’ll be and a dozen things I might be doing there. David has a dozen places he might be. I always have “plan B” in my notes, David makes up plan B on the spot. We’ve learned to travel together. For our longer summer trips, he gives me the dozen places we might be and I assemble the schedules of all the baseball games we might be able to see and any attraction we might see at the afternoon high light or in case of cloudy skies. We started doing that with our honeymoon and it turned out to be a great way to “plan” a trip.

Lake County Captains game Sunday

For weekenders since we’re going a smaller area away from home, we don’t necessarily have a full plan, but this weekend turned out great, weather notwithstanding. We stayed in Ashtabula on Saturday wert we got some great shots and spent the night in Mentor, OH. Waking up to clouds and a cloud-filled forecast for PA we went out for a sit-down breakfast before we went home. After breakfast a ray of light was shining and we staked out a few trains. A couple hours later it was nearing game time for the Lake County Captains. We knew they were home but didn’t plan to find “something” to do in the clouds before game time and had planned to just head back west. The ray of light gave us a couple of trains after all and the opportunity to go to the game! With lots of clouds in the forecast there for today, we still came home after the game, a few more trains and dinner at Eat N Park; we still really need and Eat N Park in Toledo!

1. If you found a $100 bill on the floor at the mall, what would you do?

When I was about 6 or 7 I found a $5-bll on the ground in the parking lot at church. I didn’t see who dropped it and I put it in the collection plate. That was not a suggestion from my parents or anybody. Mt parents said if I didn’t see who dropped it and there was no one I saw looking for it, I could keep it but it would be stealing if I knew who dropped it. I stayed where I found it for a few minutes with Mom and she told me that I could keep it. I told her that since it was in the church parking lot, it belonged to the church and I put it in the collection plate.

40 years later and in a mall, I don’t think I’d donate it to the place I found the $100 bill (which at a 46-year old today has pretty much the same monetary value as a $5 bill to a 7-year old in the early 70s) I’d initially do the same thing I did then; If I saw who dropped it, I’d make sure they got it back. I’d stick around to see if anyone was looking for something on the ground. I’d ask if they lost something and could I help. If they said they dropped a hundred dollar bill, I’d give it to them. If they said they lost money, I’d ask how much. Again, if they said a hundred dollar boll, I’d give it to them. If there was no way of identifying who dropped it, I’d keep it.

2. What is one thing a friend could do that you would considering ending your friendship upon finding out?

Sadly, this one has happened to me before.

A friend could end a friendship with me if she new I was planning a huge party for her and had already spent a lot of money on that party and she packed up and moved to another state for a man without telling even her own mother she was leaving. Just poof – gone. She can solidify ending that relationship if when she does finally answer desperate emails because her cell phone is disconnected too and I'm worried sick about her, she replies with a casual apology that she won’t make it to “your party.”

(It did turn out that she was in no distress, just deserted all of us to follow a guy. She wasn’t a silly 20-something at the time, the party was for her 40th birthday.)

3. When was the last time you had to say your 'sorry?'

Yesterday! One of the similarities David and I share is how we react when we do something that makes us mad with ourselves. I misplaced something and I’d been looking for it a while. I had a temper-tantrum, emptying my tote bag on the car floor. He made a suggestion. I snapped at him.

It ended up I left the thing at the hotel. When we went back, housekeeping had turned it in at the front desk. (no it wasn’t a hundred dollar bill) I apologized for snapping at him.

We realized that when either one of us is mad at himself or herself the thing the other one of us should do is just let the other one have their tantrum. Making any suggestion to someone who has become irrationally upset with themselves is essentially saying, “yes, you’re an idiot, I can handle your problems better than you can.” Remember the key word in that state of tantrum is irrational.

4. In your words, define 'perfect.'

Some perfect things are absolute; a 300-game in bowling or a pitcher that faces 27 batters and never has a base runner is in a state of perfection for one game. An all-A report card is perfect. However, in most things, perfection is a matter of opinion.

For me, “perfect” defines a moment; a moment where there is a state of happiness or contentment with no negativity is a perfect moment.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

Everyone travels in a different comfort zone. Some like a strict schedule of how they’ll spend their vacation time to get the most of it, some like a flexible schedule to have an outline of where they’ll be and what there is to do there, others like a rough outline of their destination and make changes along the way and still others like to plan nothing except a destination to stay at and just relax.

What is your preferred style of travel?

Contrary to the belief of relatives who prefer to do nothing but relax when they travel, I am NOT a strict schedule person at all. I like to have reservations made for things that are necessary like hotels and any attractions that are an absolute for the trip like a concert or ballgame that is possible going to sell out. Reservations are important if you’re planning a sightseeing boat cruise or a dinner train. But in general I like to know that I have someplace to sleep and a list of possible things to do so I can plan my travel budget. Then I can do what I’m in the mood for on any given day including discovering things that aren’t in the travel guides.

When I do group trips with family, especially relatives, and not just my husband, the ability to plan a travel budget is important so people don't end up not having enough when they are there or having to cancel at the last minute – last minute cancellations increase the finances for hotel and gas for everyone else. (My experience is that relatives seem to think it’s more okay to leave everyone hanging than friends)


Wayne W Smith said...

I prefer to travel in style. I do not get to do it very often for obvious reasons.

Heather Smith said...

not a strict schedule person - can't be with my kids... I'm a go with the flow kinda girl ;-) Plus I love exploring unknown back roads :-)

jen @ grown in southern ground said...

i have to be a little bit busy when i travel or i get bored. i don't mind staying in cheap accommodations but i like to splurge on other things like dining and tours.

Arlene said...

I'm very big on scheduling. I like to know where I'm going, what time I'm gonna get there, where we're eating, what we'll do each day, etc. I try hard to be flexible but when things don't go according to plan I get anxious and grouchy. Not good, I know. I'm working on it ;).

Vicki said...

I don't make a "do this on this day at this time"schedule, but I do like to make hotel reservations a month or so ahead and Google the area to see where we'd like to go, eat etc. Saves time looking for stuff to do while actually on the vacation.

edshunnybunny said...

I like to have a rough outline of where we'll be going, and what we'll be doing, but I don't mind being flexible.

seamhead gypsy said...

Traveling by the seat of your pants huh? We just got back (Sunday night) from doing exactly that. We left on Saturday the 10th for Akron where I had tickets for the Aeros/Fisher Cats game. Katie wanted to see the Fisher Cats this year so I bought tickets a few weeks ago.
that night we slept in a convert quaker oats silo that was turned into a hotel. As we were packing Saturday morning, I became engaged in a text conversation with my son. One comment lead to another and all four of us met up in Cleveland for the Indains/Red Sox game on Sunday. The Red Sox won 14 - 1! It was Katie's first ever Red Sox game. After the game we headed east. We slept in Buffalo Sunday night and on Monday headed further east. We ended up in Concord New Hampshire. Where we traversed the White Mountains, visited the coast of Maine and on Thursday headed down to Boston for a couple of days.

While we didn't see anymore baseball games we did see a Bear show, Chinese Acrobats show (Clarks Trading Post), drove up to the top of Mount Washington, saw our former town, (Bedford, NH), our former house, visited the Fisher Cats Stadium and team store, walked in the sand and surf along the coast of Maine (though Katie swam out in thr frigid water), walked ALL over the city of Boston, took a Duck Boat tour of the city, saw Fenway Park, the Red Sox team store, and even visited the American Girl store of Boston. And I can't even recall the amount of sea food I consumed.

It stinks to be home today. But tonight was "meet the teacher" night for Katie. School starts Wednesday and last week was our final summer fling.

Honestly I wanted to make plans to fly out to Denver, but that required planning, decision making, & convincing my wife to agree to an agenda a head of time.