Creating Family Traditions


As we watch Kiana grow older, we like to talk about the experiences that we have as a family. Over the Veteran’s Day weekend four years ago, our weekend plans to Texas were rescheduled, but our family had allotted the time away. So I planned a surprise trip to London. I cashed in all my miles & my points for the next great adventure.
Our trip to London was one of the best experiences. Although Scott & I had been to London 13 years before, it was like a first experience to watch my daughter see and learn about London for the first time. In addition, despite the desire to go away to a warm place, London in November was such a fruitful experience. We, as a family, have a new appreciation for Veteran’s Day as it is a BIG deal in the UK. We wear our poppy pins proudly.

Our second year was an even better experience with our trip to Paris. Again, although Scott & I had been there before, we enjoyed watching Kiana excited to see the Eiffel Tower, for her to try a macaron at every store that sold them, and to view how small the Mona Lisa is in real life. Scott & I enjoyed the vacation as well because we were able to reminesce about how we had saved our money for our first trip. Although we had a wonderful first time, our second time had us falling in love with the city again.

Year three was a pivotal since no one had been to Spain before. It was an experience the three of us would be tackling together. We loved eating jamon iberico until we couldn’t anymore (Day 4). We also empowered Kiana to choose and arrange the itinerary. This was the best decision, and stopped the “I am bored” comments. She planned for us to take segways through Barcelona’s Olympic Park, scooters down the boulevard alongside the beach, and electric bikes up and down the narrow streets.

Now we are in year four, and our tradition continues. This year we headed to Italy which included Rome & Florence. This is the second country that no one in our family had visited before. As we continue our adventures, all three of us actively researched what would be fun to do as a family. We were amazed at Rome and Florence’s history, their loyalty to the Catholic heritage, and the preservation of art not only for its beauty, but for the history & pride it brings to the country. This does not even include the amazing food we discovered and devoured.

With all of this being said, my wish is that Kiana has memories of great childhood experiences that teaches her about different cultures that is not so centric on our American life. In times of instant gratification of accessible data from her iPhone, she has learned patience by assisting in planning and executing itineraries, map reading, and hands on minor foreign language dialogue. We hope that our good fortune allows us many more trips abroad as a family to continue the tradition.

Baseball Parks

Baseball listI travel a LOT for my business.  In the beginning, I used to get excited for the trips, and then eventually I got hit with the negatives of traveling which includes airline delays, bad weather, and long hours.  So I created some goals and activities that help ground me and keep the trips exciting.  One of my goals is to visit all of the baseball parks in North America.

People ask me who my favorite team is, and my answer is “I am a fan of baseball.”  I reminisce about my family going to the game, and my father teaching me how to keep score.  I enjoy people watching – especially the kids who are high on cotton candy with the expectation that a fly ball will land in their glove.  Mostly, I enjoy the sounds and sights of the individual parks.
Prior to my trip, I log onto the mlb.com website and check the schedule.  I look at the features of the park including the food venues.  I enjoy taking public transportation to the park.  I typically choose a couple of places ahead of time to hit, but for the most part, I wander within the park.
It’s been interesting to compare the different parks.  I do enjoy the nostalgia of the older parks such as Wrigley, Camden, and Fenway (despite some of the technology and aesthetic changes).  But I am more captivated by the newer parks such as Miller Park and Target Field.
Favorite Foods:
1.  Rangers Ballpark: Coney Island’s Foot Long Chili Dog
2.  Citi Field: El Verano Taqueria’s Elote Corn on the Cob & Chicken Mole Pipian Tacos
3.  Kauffman Stadium: Royals All Star Barbeque’s BBQ pulled pork sandwich
Favorite Park:
Target Field for the Minnesota Twins
I’m looking forward to a great season with my favorite mantra when I am at the game: “It’s a great day/night for baseball!”

Travel

I have the good fortune to travel around the world for my career.  I’ve learned through the years to take the opportunity to enjoy the cities and countries by spending a few extra days absorbing the culture.

There are a few goals that I have when visiting.

  1. Baseball Parks – I want to visit every ballpark in America.  I’m a fan of baseball, no particular team, and I’m fascinated with the spirit of the game. (add check list)
  2. Chinatowns – I was born in Chicago Chinatown, and I find myself comparing it to every Chinatown in the world.
  3. Farmer’s Markets / Food Trucks – I believe that we have a responsibility to support the local communities.  It’s amazing to see the different markets and foods all around the world.

The Aloha Spirit

homepage-1When I was 10, my parents, sister, and I went on our first vacation to the Hawaiian Islands. This trip changed my life, and I return there every year.  One of the biggest reasons we love Hawaii so much is that we acclimated to the lifestyle so easily that the locals believed we were from the island.  No where on the mainland had we received that vibe.