Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
After an exhausting 5-week hiatus away from Oklahoma City (aren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing?) I am back here where I belong. I love it here.
With two more states (Utah and Hawaii) left to visit to cross all 50 off my list and also having traveled to 16 countries outside of the United States, I can safely say that Oklahoma City is where I should be. This place is great. I love it when people ask where I’m from and the door is open for me to spill all the positive superlatives of Oklahoma City leaving them penciling in OKC on their next road trip. Currently, I have a few friends that I met in Spain that are now in Oklahoma City visiting…on their first trip to the United States.
I know, I know…I hear adults (adults to me is anyone that can recall living in the 80’s) say all the time that I don’t know exactly how special OKC is because I wasn’t aware of OKC’s downtown before the 1st MAPS. True, I was only nine years old as the first MAPS vote passed but now I stand at 26 years old hoping to be “that” adult 17 years from now telling people how lucky they are because I remember OKC before Core to Shore took place. Before the Thunder rode into town carrying the young Kevin Durant. I was here for that. I was also here for the ribbon cutting of the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and I attended the first baseball game at the Bricktown Ballpark. I was at the opening game for the Blazers and remember the shock upon hearing their departure. I remember like it was yesterday the shaking of my middle school and being told an explosion happened downtown and not quite grasping the weight of situation.
I remember seeing the theatre play, “Will Rogers” in the civic center before the renovations. I remember the downtown canal’s opening night and not being able to ride on the ferry because I didn’t want to wait in the line that would inevitably take two or more hours (secretly I still have not taken a ride). I remember “the hill” at the old 89ers stadium and how sad I was when I had to park my car (a couple years ago) on what was home plate while at the State Fair.
But, living in the past is a terrible waste of time. I am here and witnessing (right now) the reconstruction of I-44. The reemergence of Deep Deuce and Midtown. The additions to the Ford Center and I’m glad I have photos of myself outside the current facade to show my kids someday. I walked around, recently, the site of the proposed core-to-shore and looked at everything that will be gone and replaced with a beautiful 20-acre (roughly) park to shape this city for the next generation.
Oh, what a joy to be in this city.
I walked in the parking lot soon to be covered by Devon’s new 54-story corporate headquarters. I have photos of that area of me while visiting the Arts Festival.
You don’t have to have witnessed Oklahoma City pre-MAPS to appreciate it.
Yes, I may not remember the collapse of the Penn Square Bank (I wasn’t born yet), but I have witnessed some pretty monumental historical events in OKC leaving me very proud to say that OKC is my heritage, my home and where my heart will always be.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I am a giant Beatles fan. My iPod plays all their albums all the time and I had it scheduled to go to the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool for about 35 hours (2 nights) only to see sights like "Strawberry Field" and "Penny Lane" and love every minute of it...my only downfall was that I took a bus that was 25 feet in front of the bus I needed. Ohhh the glory of hindsight. (Go to the next bus!! Not that one, the one behind it!!!) Why didn't someone scream that to me?
Ok, well if you read yesterday's blog you will find all the details but basically today has become a wash and I no longer got to see Liverpool (on this trip) and will trek ahead to Dublin as originally planned tomorrow at 11 a.m. Because I never successfully met up with my previous Milan couchsurfer I will not suffer the delerium of finding another hostel or hotel and will instead head to the airport on the latest bus tonight, 11:15 p.m. (15 min from now) to make sure I don't mess THIS flight up. I had a great dinner (the absolute highlight of today) eating and drinking with some locals while watching a futbol game.
I got to watch Spain vs. South Africa and I was the only one rooting for Spain to beat South Africa. I didn't care. Spain was winning and some little pathetic part of me felt like that was important at the time being. I rooted them on to victory at a 2-0 win.
Well, short blog because I don't want to be late for the hour long bus awaiting me. I am still in high spirits regardless of the downpoor of bad luck in the past 24 hours and press on towards Dublin and trying my best Irish accent.
Here's to 12 hours at the airport...cheers!
Today was definitely an adventure unexplored by me.
Waking up and lounging around in Lugano for a few hours, saying goodbye to that beautiful place was rough but it had to be done in order to catch my 2:37 p.m. train back to Milan so that I could fly to Liverpool later on at 10:10 p.m. So, ciao and a very big thank you to Margaret, Allie, Lizzie, Jesse and Kevin for such a perfect two days in my upside-down atypical journey across and back again through Europe. Hugs and photos...check. Catch the train...check.
Arriving in Milan at 4:00 p.m. I realized my flight didn't leave for Liverpool for another six hours and decide to go back to the Duomo (Cathedral) and take the stairs to the very top (I would include photos and video but I'm at an internet cafe and not on my laptop so I can't upload anything). The view from the 108 meters (roughly 30 stories) rooftop of the Duomo was breathtaking. From the view across all of Milan to the plaza below, the white marble cathedral had me take in an even higher appreciation for the city.
5:15 p.m. Head back to Milan Centrale (where my bag is resting in a locker and also the location for the shuttle buses that head to the Milan airport(s). I've still got some time to spare so I walk around the plaza and find a pizzeria and grab a smoked ham- gouda cheese sandwich. mmmmmm good. I standup to walk out and realize that it's now only 6:00 p.m. I told my self that I needed to be at the shuttle in time to make the 7:50 leg to the airport. The bus takes 50 min to get to the airport...I know this because I've already taken it 3 times in my life. :)
Ok, so I still have some time to spare so I walk past a chinese restaurant and noticed nobody (not one single person) was eating there and the entire family of owners sat inside and I could tell the kids (teenagers) wished they could be doing ANYTHING else on a Friday night. I decided to eat, again.
After a great chinese meal it is now close to 7:00 p.m. and I decide to just go ahead and be there early to be safe. I grab my bag out of the locker and hop on the 7:30 p.m. bus to Milan-Malpensa (main airport in Milan). Upon arrival, I exit the bus and ask the bus driver if he knows what terminal the RyanAir company flies out of (I was really just trying to speak some more Italian before heading to the UK). He looked at me like he didn't understand...understandable because I really don't speak Italian and my words were probably just not said right...I start to repeat my pathetic Italian phrase again. He stops me mid sentence, "Yes, yes, yes I understand you, but, (I didn't like the "but") RyanAir is at Orie." My brain immediately started searching my abridged Italian vocabulary section trying to recall this word, "Orie."
Now that it's obvious I don't exactly know what he is saying. He tells me, "This is Milan-Malpensa (I nod with a very enthusiastic understanding of such a simple phrase) but RyanAir is at Orie...a different airport."
Many words now were going through my brain but I'm told they are "French" so I figured he wouldn't understand them.
"How far away is that? (I have about an hour to get to the ticket counter)?"
He just shakes his head...we have about a 2-sec staring contest and then he takes me to a taxi driver that speaks even less English than the bus driver but explains to the taxi driver my situation. The taxi driver looks at me and pulls out his calculator and types "180" and says to me as he holds up this pre T-1 calculator, "1-8-0 euros." Now is my cue to start the silly smiling facial expression that implies "I'm stuck in Milan at 8:30 p.m. at least an hour until I can even get back to the city to even start my flight search as well as a bed for the night" The bus driver recognizes that look, "Back to Milan (with a finger gesture to some unknown spot off in the distance)?" I give the most pathetic nod out of reaction of my pathetic situation.
He takes me to another bus driver on his way back to Milan Centrale. He explains my situation and the new bus driver tells me, "No charge, on the bus." It was an order I took immediately. After a "Grazie milo" to the previous bus driver I hop on to the new bus back to Milan...again.
Immediately (10:05 p.m.) after arriving into Milan I head to an internet cafe I saw earlier in the day...get on couchsurfing and tell my host in Liverpool not to pick me up at the airport. Then I messaged my couchsurfing host here in Milan (Claudio) to see if I could stay with him again (I eventually got a response back from him at midnight telling me to come on over...but I didn't receive that til the next morning).
Off to a couple of hostels I saw online. Arrive at the first one, 10:50 p.m.,...no rooms. Second one, 11:10 p.m.,...no rooms. I ask if he can call any in the area and find an open room. He told me he already did that about 20 min previous and there are no more rooms...hooray.
I just start lugging my already heavy bag down some random street, 11:30 p.m., and walk into a hotel...open room!!! Only €50 ($75)!! For summer rates on a Friday night this late in Milan...this was very pleasant news. So, I walked into my "Planes, Trains and Automobile-like hotel" and shoot some video...watch some TV (Jackass was on in Italian...trust me, at this point I needed a chuckle and you don't need to speak Italian to think that show is funny).