Posts in: travel

Wave to the Pelican on the Outer Banks

In 2019, we went to the Outer Banks for Meera’s birthday. We visited from Corolla all the way down to Okracoke, taking in beaches and lighthouses and sand and sun. Meera and I are not good at relaxing vacations. We’re always skiing or hiking or visiting museums or monuments. But on this trip, we spent an entire day at the beach, and I was able to be still long enough to take some great photos, including this one of a pelican above a crashing wave.

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On the way back from visiting Westside Ale Works in South Melbourne today, we saw these three huge cranes on the same apartment complex. Coming from Texas, it’s refreshing to see rapid high-density housing buildup.

Three red and white tower cranes atop apartments buildings being constructed. The cranes read “Creating Possibilitirs. Graystar: the global leader in rental housing.” Dayglo green sedan in the foreground.

Hot Chocolate and Churros at Barcelona’s Granja M. Viader

In September 2021, we spent a couple of days in Barcelona on our way back from Minorca and Mallorca. We had read that a favorite local breakfast spot was Granja M. Viader. Usually, that means there’s a line of tourists out the door, and Meera and I are almost always unwilling to wait in a line like that. However, this day, the line was practically nonexistent (probably because tourists hadn’t yet come back after COVID), and we slipped in for a breakfast of hot chocolate and churros.

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Streaking Across the International Date Line

Flying west across the international date line always screws with my “streaks.” Games, fitness—anything that automatically tracks daily continuity breaks. All of these apps need to build in grace days. Either occasional true penalty-free skip days or, like Knotwords, ways to rebuild the streak. I’m reminded of a conversation in the Apple sphere a few years ago about preserving fitness streaks on rest days or across the Sabbath for observant Jews.

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Thirty-Four Hours to Melbourne

Finally in our hotel in Melbourne. Quick recap: At 2pm Friday everything was fine. At 3pm Friday our Melbourne flight was delayed two hours, but our Dallas flight was delayed four hours, so we would miss our connection, and the next DFW-MEL flight didn’t leave for two more days. American couldn’t rebook us despite my platinum status. Our travel department figured out how to get us there through LAX, but before that a colleague traveling with us with Concierge Key status got us not only rebooked but on standby with a third alternative (which we ended up taking).

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Sailboatlings at Port d’Andratx

In November 2021, Meera and I were itching to get traveling again. We had had our shots, waited past all the international quarantines, and it was time to go again.

We chose to visit Minorca and Mallorca because we had enjoyed Barcelona so much a few years prior, and we wanted to go back but experience something new.

Photo of me and Meera in front of Far de la Mola lighthouse, a thin tower on a cliff with wide horizontal bands of black and white and a bright red top.

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In This Picture, the Hail Hasn’t Started Yet

What if you went to Versailles as part of your honeymoon, but it absolutely poured that day in November 2017, and all of your pictures were of you and your brand new spouse soaking wet? On the plus side, I snuck this jacket into my luggage as a surprise gift for Meera when we got there, so she was both cuter and more comfortable than I was. Note, as usual, the red backpack straps over the sport coat; I am the essence of class.

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Do Not Gather Firewood

In 2017, we camped in Garner State Park with some friends and took a brief hike the next day. You’re not permitted to use local “found” firewood, so one of the people with us brought a truck bed full of huge branches we spent a long time chopping into firewood on which to cook a very nice pot of camp chili. Food you work for is supposed to taste better, but I mostly remember the work and the time, not so much the food.

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Waterfall Gully Features A Waterfall In A Gully

In August 2016, I was in Adelaide for a business trip. Okay, I was in Woomera for a business trip, but I had taken a week of vacation on the end of the trip to explore Adelaide. One day I decided to hike up Mount Lofty. Okay, I decided to walk to Mount Lofty from Adelaide and then climb up it. The trek took me past a place called Waterfall Gully, which is a… gully… with a waterfall.

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Switzerland In A Week (Sort Of)

Back in 2018, I had a business trip to Thun, Switzerland. Meera and I decided to make a vacation of it. Over the course of a week, we visited Thun, Interlaken, Gimmelwald, Zermatt, St. Moritz, and Zurich. In Zurich, we were unwilling to pay for a chocolate tour, so we found a review online that listed the places they went and did the tour on our own. One of the places was of course the Sprüngli shop, where we learned about Luxemburgerli, which are basically colorful mini-macarons.

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The Second-Most-Ridiculous Hike We’ve Ever Taken

In 2019, my wife and I joined another couple for a backpacking trip in the San Juan Mountains of south-central Colorado. On the way back, we stopped for a day at my in-law’s condo in Ruidoso, New Mexico to recover a bit. But instead of resting and recuperating from a challenging hike, we decided to go for another hike in the nearby Lincoln National Forest. Okay, this one is entirely my fault.

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The Picture

Some friends and I were talking about The Picture—the one you’re proudest of, the one you always want to show people, the one that makes you wonder if maybe you’re actually a photographer after all. I’ve taken some pretty pictures, but I think the best one I’ve ever taken is of a couple I don’t know and never met, on the beach of Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand. I hope they don’t mind, and I hope if they ever come across this post, they’ll appreciate how perfect their moment was (and say hi!

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We realized on day 3 of skiing that our skis were conveniently RGB-colored and of graduated lengths, so we posed them for a group shot.

Then I took a candid going up one of the lifts.

And of course we couldn’t let the boots feel left out, even though they’re less colorful. 🎿

Went to bed excited for overnight snowfall to improve skiing conditions. Woke up to exactly half my wish granted: almost 7” of accumulation, but whiteout conditions this morning. ⛷️

Picture of an apartment window looking out onto whiteout conditions due to snow.

Makeshift parfait at the BOS (Logan) Admiral’s Club this morning waiting for our flight back to Austin. 📸

Brunch at In A Pickle in Waltham ahead of a wedding yesterday afternoon. Hot honey chicken and waffles, pumpkin bread French toast, and coffee. Perfect.

Yesterday’s desk post made me think of other interesting writing desks I’ve encountered.

This one is from our house in Sóller, Majorca, Spain, from November 2021.

An iPad instead of a MacBook because this was a vacation, not a business trip.

Black-and-white photo of a wooden writing desk made of an old sewing machine, topped by an iPad, keyboard, water bottle, and wine glass.

My workspace at Hotel Bellevue in Cazaubon, France, a few weeks ago. I love the aesthetic, but it made me feel like I should be writing a novel instead of PowerPoint slides. 📸

Photo of a small wooden writing desk dominated by a MacBook Pro and over-ear headphones.

In Corpus Christi for Rio Texas Annual Conference. Tried out Railroad Brewing Company right by the convention center. 📸