Coming in 2014: New Zealand, Australia, South Korea

I am planning a trip to New Zealand and Australia by way of South Korea. I like to preplan my activities so that I can pack in as many activities as possible within my time constraints, particularly when I hear that the dates I have chosen coincide with local holidays and vacation schedules, something I don’t usually do.

I started by booking a seven day tour of New Zealand through Active New Zealand. It will incorporate hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming and camping. This part of my trip I turned over to them. I just pay and show up. That is about as easy as you can get for planning. Then I determined the other weeks I would be in the area and booked my flight using frequent flyer points.

With my flight schedule intact and my week planned for New Zealand, my attention turned to Australia. Trying to see Australia in ten days is like trying to see the U. S. in ten days. You get the picture. After searching the internet, talking with people, and doing some reading, I set my sites on Cairns for my “base camp.” From here I plan to take day trips to see as much as I can of Australia, recognizing it is like going to Orlando, Florida to see the United States. I have booked a few days there and now looking for other unique adventures in the area. I will have some brief time in Sydney, but it is during a holiday weekend so I am deciding where to best schedule some fun. I am thinking about hiking the top of the bay bridge by the Opera House.

On my way back I have an overnight stay in Incheon, South Korea. I would like to extend that in order to explore some of the area before coming back to the states. I heard that they have tours of the demilitarized zone which I haven’t checked out yet.

I have explored some phone apps that are new to me. They include: Anchornote, My Wonderful Days, Passbook, Tip Calculator and Voice Memos. I haven’t used any of them yet, but will experiment with them before I go. I understand that they could help me journal my trip.

If you have information that you would like to share about these Apps, other ones, or the destinations I am preparing to visit, please respond to the blog or email me.


An Hour in Chicago

What do you do in Chicago when the weather is great and you only have an hour? Take a walk. Chicago has many parks throughout the city of various sizes and uses. There is usually someone using basket ball courts, playground equipment, listening to concerts, skate boarding, or walking among the flowers and trees. My wife and I had some time to kill while waiting to meet some friends so we drove to Grant Park from our hotel, found reasonable parking and hoofed it for an hour.  Our first sight was Buckingham Fountain.

Buckingham Fountain

It was in full operation and beautiful. From this vantage point, we could see various views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. Everything looked fresh and clean. The sky was blue, temperature in the 70’s with the sun peering out among a few clouds.

Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline

At about 10:00 am we decided to walk along the lake so we crossed Lake Shore Drive to the sidewalk surrounding the lake by the Chicago Yacht Club  basin.  A few sailboats large motor boats were heading out to the lake.  Pedestrian traffic at this hour on Sunday morning was light.  We passed a tour group on cycles and a few bicyclists. We didn’t have time to make it to the beech, but the day before we drove along Lake Shore and saw hundreds of people enjoying the beautiful weather at the beach near North Avenue.


We enjoyed our brief walk in Chicago on a beautiful Sunday morning. Next time we will plan to take more time to enjoy Chicago’s beautiful park system.