Traveling, For the Love of…

I find myself at the airport again. I like the drive in, turning off the highway onto the airport parkways, passing the industrial parks and freight carriers. I know that once I am close to the hotels and car rental places, I am almost there. Today the airport was a ghost town. I arrived two hours and twenty minutes before my flight so that I could beat the crowds and make it through security in a reasonable time. This trip, not only were my belongings scanned and my carry on rummaged through like someone who receives the newspaper only for the coupons, however I had my body scanned. I placed my arms up in the air, elbows bent at 90 degrees, hands facing the machine, and shoulders raised. I suddenly realized I forgot to remove my watch. I take great pride to remove my belt and have it in the gray plastic tub without having to be reminded. Today I forgot to remove the watch. I wondered what the agents could see about me on their scanner. Could they see my bones? My scars? My soul? Just how much did they know about me? How much exposure to radiation was I receiving? The staff was friendly and paid little to no attention to my forgetting the watch. They scanned it and all was well.

I made my way through security and into the halls of fresh brewed coffee wafting through the air, business magazines and newspapers, bookstores and delis with televisions showing the Australia tennis open. I was the first to make it through and felt like they were opening up just for me. I found my gate, checked the time and in my usual fashion, found a row of empty padded chairs away from my gate. I like to observe, know my surroundings. Bagels were being shelved, energy drinks straightened in the display case, smiling people were portering white disposable cups with lids that told me, coffee would soon be theirs. Some strolled along pulling their rolling luggage like when you’re a kid and pulling your wagon. Limited conversations were exchanged along the walkway and in other sitting areas. Light laughter could be heard. Some swiped badges and tapped in numbers on a keypad. It felt that everyone was in a good mood and pleasant.

I was reminded overhead that smoking was not permitted and not to accept baggage from strangers in English and Spanish.

I opened my book and enjoyed the early morning read. After many pages, my eyes grew heavy and I was soon to sleep.

Eastern Afghanistan

Daily Commerce

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Afghanistan.  I met some wonderful people and I saw some of the beautiful country.  Just like any other part of the world, you can find the negatives such as killing, trash, waste, corruption and so on.  I am adding some photos today.  I do not want to say exactly where these were taken as I want to continue to protect the families, children, the locals, the police and the afghan army members who are trying to reclaim their country from their violent neighbors and who are simply trying to survive.



Chicken Dance


Girl's school

Boy's School

Farm Life

Big Door


So, a few weeks ago, I took my family to the airport.  We were looking to randomly take a trip somewhere, anywhere. One of the places we were considering was Greenland.  If there are any viewers, readers, bloggers from Greenland, I would like to hear from you.  What things would you recommend doing in Greenland?

Bristol Is…

Bristol Is…

Now one of my most favorite cities! We landed two nights ago, stayed at Brooks Guesthouse which is an inexpensive, upscale, classy hostel. I highly recommend it. One of the best stays I’ve had anywhere in the world. The service from the night bellman to the chef, breakfast servers, and staff on checkout were absolutely polite, accommodating, friendly and without a doubt, professional.

I wish we could have stayed longer however the Balloonfest was upon us and the place was full-up.

After a full English breakfast with extra breakfast, we stepped out into a welcoming cool breeze that felt like fall time in the Midwest US. We followed the trail to find Gromit. Gromit is a lovable cartoon character from the series Wallace and Gromit by Nick Park. The kids were excited as we dashed from Gromit to Gromit, exploring the town, the cafes, the harbour, the university, the rail lines, business districts and neighborhoods. Many of them were in the city center and I think my wife and I were equally, if not more, excited as the kids.

Down by the harbour are new, trendy apartments and an installment of eateries that double as night clubs and pubs as the sun sets and atmosphere changes.

Older parts of town that survived the shelling and bombing by the Axis during World War II, revealed some of the history. The town was effected by German shelling and bombing due to aircraft and ship manufactoring here so there is a mix of old and new architecture. The old buildings demonstrate intense character, architecture that has eye catching shapes, and the cold gray stone contrasts while complimenting the bright vibrant new structures.

We stopped during lunch right in the heart of the city, plopped down centered before the large screen television in the plaza where episodes of Wallace and Gromit entertained hundreds in the plaza, and enjoyed oversized ice cream cones. The smiles all around the plaza suggested that the crowd enjoyed the innocence and gentle humor that is portrayed in Wallace and Gromit.

We continued on using the Detect-O-Gromit app. Purchasing the app to find Gromit around town goes to a children’s hospital. At the end of the month, they will auction off the 80 different statues to raise money for the hospital. Plus, it is awesome geocashing, a great way to see the city, tremendous exercise and good for business to get publicity. Everyone was super friendly and I even felt safe walking around at night with the kids.

Bristol enjoys a healthy nightlife

Yesterday was also the Balloonfest in which the sky was covered with hot air balloons.

Today, we slept in, had a huge breakfast at Beefeaters and I set out to do laundry. I stumbled upon a cute, quaint, nostalgic cafe/launderette/internet business named @TheWell in the Stokes Croft area. I met one of the owners and read how the three sisters set up the business. It was a great experience. A broad selection of breakfast and lunch as well as coffees and teas bring together those needing or wanting to use laundromats with those who enjoy cafes. One would typically spend time doing something while waiting for the clothes to finish so this brings people together in a social environment and provides internet and an array of foods prepared in house.

One of my kids sat on a couch @TheWell, played Minecraft and with some blocks in the store as the clothes tumbled. Books can be found neatly arranged everywhere. Once used sewing machines and typewriters had me perusing around the shop. The owner mentioned that another American had carefully planned this location as a stop in his journey prior to leaving home earlier this week. I can see why. What a great concept.

Bristol is absolutely a wonderful city. One of my favorites. If ever in UK, you must add it to you list.

Tomorrow is a new day.
Make It Fun!
God Bless.