Saturday, February 8, 2020

Mickey's Search Party

Disney on Ice

Stockton Arena
Stockton, CA

February 8, 2020

We didn't have "COMP" tickets. We purchased regular seats online and traded them for accessible once we arrived at the arena.

Egypt anxiously awaiting the start of the program. Egypt heard a commercial on her bedroom radio and emerged from her room with an idea to purchase her ticket with saved "Tooth Fairy" money.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Rugged Access for All - Book Cover

I turned on my computer with the intention of sharing the cover of Rugged Access for All for the first time, but my homepage stole all my excitement. Right in the middle was the headline, "Rush drummer Neil Peart dies at 67".

Most people know Neil as possibly the greatest rock drummer of all time...definitely the most technical. What some don't know is Neil lost his only daughter (at the time) a couple of years before we lost Kirsten. He also lost his wife less than a year later and wrote a book about how he healed through traveling. He wrote several other books about touring and traveling. 

I found his books around the same time Kellisa and I really started traveling for adventures. At some point, a light bulb went off in my head and I decided I wanted to write a book about our travels and model them after Neil's books. That was the start of what grew to be a full on obsession.

I spent thousands of hours over 10 years working on getting a book deal and writing the book. I'm not sure I'd be so close to releasing my debut book if it wasn't for Neil's travel books.

I went through thousands of pictures and selected the top 54 for the publisher. We then narrowed the list down to only 6 pictures. My publisher created 6 different covers with the pictures and different graphics. Everyone involved listed the 6 in order of preference. The final version was actually my 3rd pick, but it was Lisa's 1st choice. I can't even win with picking my own cover! Actually, I loved all 6 and it was incredibly difficult to rank them. I loved them all. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Airports Visited - 2019 Update

All-time list of airports visited:

Chris- 121
Kellisa- 60
Lisa- 45
Laurel- 41
Evie- 5

2019 was another year where all of our family trips were to Chicago to visit family. Lisa and Evie didn't visit any new airports. Laurel had one father/daughter trip where she added Hollywood/Burbank and Salt Lake City airports to her list. 

Kellisa and Chris added Billings and Kahului while working on their book. Kellisa also added Boise, Oklahoma City, and Salt Lake City while Chris added Redmond/Bend, San Francisco, Vancouver, Victoria, and Saskatoon while working his regular job.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

All 50 States Photo Wall: Exhibit E

   Florida           Arkansas         Georgia
Oklahoma   New Hampshire   Nevada
                            Maine          Kentucky
Arizona            New Jersey

Sunday, December 29, 2019

All 50 States Photo Wall: Exhibit D

 Vermont      North Carolina       Maryland
   Illinois              Idaho              Wyoming
                    New Hampshire      Michigan
Texas                   Hawaii

Thursday, December 26, 2019

All 50 States Photo Wall: Exhibit C

  West Virginia      North Dakota      Alaska
      Tennessee          New York         Oregon
                               South Carolina  Connecticut
           Colorado                               New Mexico

Friday, September 6, 2019

Hollywood Hills

Laurel's Summer Vacation

When I asked Laurel what she wanted to do on her summer break, she answered, "See celebrities". At 10-years-old and part of a you tubers generation, she is very fascinated by celebrities and over the top lifestyles. I wasn't sure how to help her see celebrities and then Lisa had the idea to take Laurel on one of those tours of Beverly Hills. I made the plans and right before her first day of 5th grade, we took a father-daughter trip through Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

It was actually a little more fun than I would have thought on the 2-hour tour in an open van. The hills and windy roads were more adventure in themselves. We stopped at a park to climb to an overlook to see the Hollywood Sign and Los Angeles spread out far below. While we didn't see any celebrities, we saw a lot of their homes and hangouts. Some of the highlights for Laurel would include the homes or former homes of: Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Jake Paul (you tube house owned by Ashton Kutcher), the Gingerbread House, the house where Michael Jackson passed away, Judy Garland's home with sculptures, and the Dr. Seuss home. A few homes that didn't mean much to Laurel would include: Elvis, Drew Carey, Mick Jaggar, Rod Stewart, and the house on stilts from Lethal Weapon 2. The tour ended with a drive down Rodeo Drive before finishing down the Hollywood Strip.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Love for Delta Airlines

It's no secret to those who know us that we love Southwest Airlines and they love us back pretty good. We started flying Southwest years ago because of their outstanding service towards Kellisa and really the whole family. I lost track of how many segments Kellisa has flown long ago, but it's safe to say she's flown Southwest at least 400 if not 500 times and they've never let us down. Not even once in all those years and flights. If anything, they've gone beyond too many times to count.

But, this post is really about Delta Airlines. I fly Delta a decent amount for work, enough to where I get seat upgrades on probably 50% of my flights, but far from their top frequent flyer status. The most I've ever flown Delta in one year is 80 something segments. Kellisa flew Delta a few times when she was little without incident, but until recently, there was a gap of probably close to 15 years between flights. 

Flash forward to June 2019, we are working on our book and had a need to fly Delta. I booked two seats together in Economy Class as close to the front of the plane as possible, row 11. Delta allowed us to board early which is always appreciated and I requested a transfer to an aisle chair because it's too hard to carry Kellisa back to the 11th row. 

As I handed the gate agent my ticket, I heard the familiar sound of being upgraded with the printing of a new ticket. I need to sit next to Kellisa and was just about to start explaining our situation when Kellisa's ticket was scanned and she also received an upgrade. Just like that, we were both upgraded. We don't need first-class, but it sure was nice and easier than row 11. On our second flight, we were upgraded again, this time from row 22. 

Besides upgrading our seats, the gate agent also gave us a really cool tag (picture below) for Kellisa's wheelchair.

In the end, we can't speak highly enough about Delta and look forward to flying them again in the future. In fact, shortly after returning from this trip, we booked another trip on Delta!