Where In The World Are We Going?!

Where In The World Are We Going?!

 
This time last year, I walked into the New York Times Travel Show with the intention of building up readership for this blog, and maybe learn a thing or two about places I haven’t been.  I never dreamed I would walk out on the path to being a Cruise Planners franchise owner.  Within six weeks of the show, I completely reinvented myself as a business owner.

I love to travel.  There are a million reasons I could list; the sights, the sounds, the people, new experiences, we know them all.  Perhaps my favorite are the smells.  Every different location has it’s own unique scent.  It comes from the geology, the ecology, the people, the food, the culture –  it hits as soon as you get off the plane, or maybe later while sitting at a street-side restaurant, or strolling through a park.  It becomes ingrained in memory, and you never know when you’ll be reminded again.

I bought the Cruise Planners franchise for my love of travel.  “Great, I own a Travel Agency.  I’ll be able to travel the world now!”  They sold me a dream, but I bought a business.  I’ve been sitting at my desk for the better part of a year planning other’s great adventures.  I’ve hardly stepped outside.

But the year was good.  We’ve sent or booked clients to France and Italy, Iceland, Mexico, Tahiti, Hawaii, and the Caribbean.  We have a couple spending a week at an over-water bungalow in Jamaica, and another spending a night in Bora Bora.  Now it’s time to wipe the dust off the luggage.

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Our travel itinerary for 2017 (and yes, you can expect a blog on each one):

  • January:  The New York Times Travel Show.  SirOzzy, now known as Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire, are returning to where it all began.
  • February:  Las Vegas, Nevada. We’ve cashed in our mileage and exchanged our timeshare.  Looking forward to seeing Terry Fator at the Mirage on our wedding anniversary.  Vegas Baby!
  • April: Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Cruise Planners Training Conference.  Research and Development to help make your travel experience even better (and play some slot machines).
  • May:  Europe.  Two nights in Athens, Greece, followed by a 7 night sailing on the brand new Majestic Princess.  This 7 night sailing departs from Athens and visits Santorini, Montenegro, Sicily, and Naples before disembarking in Barcelona.
  • September:  Alaska.  The Great Alaskan Journey.  Starting in Seattle with an Amtrak Cascades train ride to Vancouver, British Colombia; 2 nights at the Vancouver Four Seasons; 7 nights on the Star Princess to Whittier, Alaska; 4 nights in the Denali region; finishing in Fairbanks before returning home.  This may be what they call a masterpiece vacation.

It looks like the old shoe maker just got a new pair of soles!  Enjoy The Journey…

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TOP 10 TRAVEL LIST FOR 2017

TOP 10 TRAVEL LIST FOR 2017
  1. ALASKA

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Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire are hosting their Great Alaskan Journey in September, 2017.  A 7 night cruise on the Star Princess out of Vancouver follows your first night at the Four Seasons.  The cruise ventures through the Inside Passage, followed by port stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway.  Sightseeing in Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord comes before disembarking in Whittier, Alaska.  Step off the cruise into an awaiting glass domed train for a six hour scenic rail ride to Talkeetna and the Denali National Park region.  The next 4 nights will be spent at various Princess Lodges with tours of Denali and the Chena River.  After salmon fishing, a visit to a sled dog facility, whale watching , and memories to last a lifetime, fly home from Fairbanks.  For more on this trip, visit Great Alaskan Journey.

2. All-Inclusive in the Caribbean

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Breathtakingly beautiful beaches, wonderful year-round weather, the finest service – there are very few places in the world that rival the Caribbean Islands.  Sandals, and it’s sister brand Beaches, are the standard bearer for the All-Inclusive experience.  From the moment you get off the plane to when they bring you back, everything is taken care of.  Sandals is for couples only and has 15 distinct locations throughout the Caribbean.  Beaches is a family friendly experience located on Jamaica as well as Turks and Caicos.  Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire are proud to be Certified Sandals Specialists, and will gladly give a free consultation to anyone considering a Sandals or Beaches vacation.  Don’t book without them!

3. Cuba

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FINALLY!  Since the embargo in 1960, travel to Cuba has been restricted for all Americans.  With the restrictions easing, there are now a number of ways to legally travel to this Caribbean Island.  While regulations are still tricky, Cruise Planners- Ken & Gail McGuire are well versed in the legalities and tour operators that handle the logistics.  Make this a top a destination for yourself.

     4. U.S. National Parks

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“Oh Beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountains majesty, Above the fruited plains.”  Too many people never get to see how magnificent this country we live in truly is.  Take a guided tour through the U.S. National Parks.  From the Grand Canyon to Bryce Canyon, YellowStone and the Black Hills, there is much to see and do.  Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire have outstanding business relationships with all the key Tour Operators, and will handle all the logistics for you.  All you have to do is Enjoy The Journey…

5. European River Cruise

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The 1960’s are over and the time of backpacking through Europe is long past. With itineraries ranging from Tulips in Holland, Wine tasting in Burgundy and Provence, and Castles in Germany, a river cruise is a top option for sightseeing.  Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire are Avalon Waterways Specialists and will handle your booking from start to finish.  Call today to find out how to get free airfare.

6. Hawaii

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A perennial favorite on everyone’s bucketlist, Hawaii is a must do.  From historic Pearl Harbor to the lushness of Maui, there is much to see and do in America’s 50th state.  Let Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire put your dream itinerary together for you

7. Iceland

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Ironically, the coolest place on this list is also the hottest.  Iceland steps up in popularity every year.  See the Northern Lights, the Blue Lagoon, and Mt. Eyjafjallajökull.  With names like that, don’t take this booking into your own hands, let Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire handle the hard part for you.

8. Bermuda 

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With all the major cruise lines making regular trips to this English island off the East Coast, it’s easy enough to get to.  Immersed in old culture, great restaurants, hotels, and beaches, what’s not to love?  Call Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire to plan the perfect 5-7 night getaway.

9. A Cruise Anywhere

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My favorite part of a cruise is that every morning you wake up in a different place – and you’ve done absolutely nothing to get there!  Cruise Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire have tremendous buying power with all the cruise lines, and because of that, are able to provide you with more than you’ll ever get on you own.  Our priority is to provide you the best value for your trip along with the best service.  Think of us as your own personal Travel Concierge, for FREE!

10. Anywhere Else In The World You Want To Go

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Travel.  It’s the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer.  From Rio de Janeiro to Machu Pichu, Disney World to Tokyo, a South African safari to the Fairmont in Lake Louise… Cruise – Planners – Ken & Gail McGuire, we’re making your travel dreams come true.

Call us today to book your next vacation.  631-509-0502. And LIKE us on Facebook.

 

How To Prepare For A Caribbean Cruise

How To Prepare For A Caribbean Cruise

Check The Batteries.  Make sure the security and smoke alarms are operating properly in the house.  My trigger-happy, shotgun-wielding, vodka-swilling brother-in-law will be house watching while we’re away.  I do not want him to put a hole through the front door when he hears a low battery chirp coming from the system.

Bring Sunscreen.  I’ve been told the Caribbean Sun is different than regular sun.

Bring Booze.  Think you can’t bring alcohol on a ship?  Try 20 or so shot size bottles mixed in with your cosmetics in each suitcase.  It works every time.

Bring Sunglasses.  Your eyes will be bloodshot.

Bring Chargers.  Don’t forget cellphone, laptop, kindle, ipad, ipod, and game system.  A Caribbean cruise is certainly no time to disconnect from the World Wide Web.

Print Documents.  Make sure you print everything, especially the ones that are already downloaded on your cellphone, you never know when the battery will die.

For The Ladies.  Make sure you have an extra suitcase for your shoes.  You will need 7 pairs of flip-flops, because God forbid anyone sees you wearing the same pair twice at the pool.  Bring your favorite walking shoes for land excursions, and your second favorite, and your old favorite in case they don’t work out.  And bring the new ones you want break in too.  You should bring a different pair of heels for dinner every night, and that really nice pair for the night you just might have dinner near the captain.  And don’t forget your slippers for your stateroom.  All told that’s 19 pairs of shoes, plus the ones you are wearing, 20.  That should do.

Eat.  While most people prepare by going to the gym so they can look great in that new swimsuit, I have reached that age where I really don’t give a shit what I look like.  I practice eating for a couple weeks because I don’t want to look like a lightweight at the buffet.

Make Reservations.  The breakfast, lunch, midday snack, and dinner buffet may not be enough.  Reservations are required early for specialty restaurants.

Clean House.  Make sure your own house is thoroughly cleaned before you leave.  Especially the doghouse, you just might find yourself in it.

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Enjoy The Journey…

Car Rental Tips

We love points!  We use miles received from airlines, reward systems from hotels, even the free turkey during the holidays from our local grocery store.  It seems these days everyone has a Members Benefit Program to earn bonuses and savings. We at SirOzzy base many decisions on how many points we receive.  Our loyalty is to companies and credit cards with the best rewards programs.

Rental car companies are the exception.  Yes, some companies have points systems.  More often than not, however, their programs are either impossible to use or simply not worth it.  Hertz, for example, will give a free day after 14.  When paying 50% or more as a base rate, that is certainly not a bargain.

SAY NO TO LOYALTY.  We recommend you take your loyalty to Avis, Budget, National, or whoever it may be, and toss it out the window at 60 mph of the best deal you can get.  Shop around.  Often you will find the lowest price is “pay now”.  If it is an outstanding deal and you are willing to take the risk, then certainly pay now.  Or book the second best deal, watch the price over time, and re-book when you see it lower.

LEAVE THE AIRPORT.  We have found the best deals are typically at agencies located away from the airports.  Companies like Payless and Fox are always substantially less money.  When booking through offsite locations, call in advance and ask where their shuttle will pick you up.

SAY NO TO INSURANCE.  Most likely, either your personal car insurance policy or credit card will have rentals covered.  If you are unsure, call first.  You do not have to purchase additional insurance.

SAY NO TO ADD-ONS.  The state of Florida has tolls where cash is not accepted.  If you do not have a Florida Sunpass transponder, they take a photo of your license plate and mail you a bill with a small additional surcharge.  Unless you have a rental car.  With a rental car, the bill goes to the rental agency where they add the toll to your credit card along with a surcharge that could be upwards of $45.  In some cases they will rent you a Sunpass in advance for anywhere from $5-15 per day.  No matter how you slice it, they are raking you over the coals.

The SirOzzy solution: Prior to our upcoming trip we contacted Florida Sunpass directly and had them mail us a transponder.  Problem solved at a reasonable cost.

In sum, be proactive and start your research early.  Say no to high prices and additional costs.  And most importantly…Enjoy The Journey.

Best Meal Ever

Best Meal Ever

If you have ever been surfing on a longboard, you will know they are not particularly light.  I had just spent hours riding waves with Pilot Don, while Mrs. SirOzzy and Flight Attendant Louise, the Pilot’s wife, soaked up rays.  We were in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, and ready for lunch.

We carried our boards back to the rental shop, down a ways from where we set up for the morning, and across the street, trying not to breathe too heavy from the weight of the boards and sand under our feet.  It was our first day in Tamarindo,  we didn’t have much of a plan.

“Oye, chou people need some help?”

“No. We’re good.”  It’s the universal saying for get the %&$# away from us.  It’s most commonly used when some street urchin is trying to hawk his stolen wares or the ex-pat at the hotel invites you to a timeshare presentation.  This time it was a tall and skinny local surfer.  He was dark skinned and his hair reminded me of seaweed.  His English was good.

“Yeah man, I’m good too.  I Just wanna know if you need some help.   You look like you’re visiting, and my friends have a restaurant down the street.  It’s a real nice place right on the beach.  I’m not looking for anything from you.  I just want to hook my friends up.  And if I bring them guests maybe they will give me a drink.  My name is Chavo, I’m going that way.  Let me show you around.”

Our new friend Chavo walked us through the streets of Tamarindo, waving and saying hola to nearly every person we saw.  He told us the story of Costa Rica, with it’s revolution and new constitution.  He told us Costa Ricans are educated and have dental insurance, that is why they have such great smiles.  And he brought us to his friend’s restaurant, right on the beach, just like he said he would.  We offered him some cash.  He said, “I don’t take money from mi amigos, get the fish.”

The four of us sat at a round table outside, the shade and cold drinks were refreshing. Not far from where we sat was an enormous tree which hosted a family of Howler Monkees.  Someone played guitar.

“Mi amigos from Chavo, welcome to Panga’s.  What can I get for you?”  The waitress was middle aged, barefoot, shorts and a tanktop, weathered from the salt and sun and years of waiting on tables.  But she had a million dollar smile.

“I hear the fish is good.  What’s the catch of the day.”

“Senor, you see that man?  Down there, on the beach.  Walking this way.  He has the catch of the day.  I will not know what it is until he arrives.”

An hour later, a grilled, whole, Red Snapper, was presented to me.  Pilot Don had one too.  Garnished with fresh vegetables and lime, it was, quite simply, heaven on a plate.  We spent the better part of the afternoon at Panga’s, eating and drinking and laughing the time away.  It was a good day.

It is not just the food that makes a great meal, it is the company which you keep.  I’ve not spoken much to Pilot Don and Flight Attendant Louise since then.  And I’ve never seen Chavo again.  But when you share a good meal with good people, you have friends for life.

 

This post was created as part of WordPress’ Daily Prompt.  Seconds!

 

The New York Times Travel Show, Stay Tuned Folks…

The New York Times Travel Show, Stay Tuned Folks…

The illustrious New York Times Travel Show was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City this past rainy weekend.  Vendors representing every region of the world lined row after row of the enormous convention space.   I attacked the floor much the same way I go after food in a Chinese Buffet, hungry for more. I always go for the ribs first, yesterday it was the Caribbean.

As much as I enjoy tasting new things, I go to the familiar first.  We visited and chatted with people from places we’ve been like they were old friends.  I heard interesting first hand news on happenings in Jamaica, Mexico, Costa Rica, St. Thomas, and even Canada.  We’ve been there, done that, and can’t wait to go again.

For the second course, I needed information on places we are visiting in the near future.  Jackie, from St. Croix Department of Tourism, loved my question.  “I am going to St. Croix for one day next month.  I do not want to spend it with 1,000 other cruise passengers, and I also want to keep my money local.  What can I do?” It was a $64,000 question, and I got a million dollar answer from Jackie.  We’ll have a private island tour ready for us.

We had the familiar and tasted some new offerings, but what is life without trying something new?   Meetings with representatives of Africa and Asia got our adventurous juices flowing.  In the not so distant future you may be reading a post about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

For dessert we went to the seminars.  A presentation on how to easily score first class airfare was held by Nomadic Matt.  (Thank you Matt for the secret code to score free tickets to the show.)  Mrs. SirOzzy sat in on a lecture regarding family travel locations and secrets.  I went to the writing seminar.    Mr. Max Hartshorne, editor of GoNomad.com, and Mr. Paul Shoul, staff photographer, were speaking.

The two gentlemen presented an introduction to travel writing and photography.  Prior to Mr. Hartshorne taking the podium, my balls grew to the size of grapefruits and I presented him my business card.  I explained I was the pest who had been hounding him with emails and I would like to join his writing staff.  He looked at me like I had 4 heads and abruptly cast my card aside.

Shockingly, I heard from GoNomad this morning.  They are looking forward to my upcoming travels to Key West and Puerto Rico.  They like my stuff.  Stay tuned folks, good things are happening…..

 

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions, And The Evolution Of An Itinerary.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions, And The Evolution Of An Itinerary.

I find wherever I go people are generally supportive of my endeavours and some even a bit envious.  But,  “I can’t (or wish I could) travel like you,” is what I hear over and over again.

I don’t believe that.  I believe if you want to travel, you can.  But it helps if you follow our formula.  SirOzzy’s aim is to help guide you on your perfect vacation.  We want to help you decide where to stay and eat, and where to relax and play.  We want SirOzzy to become a verb.  “Wow, where did you get all that great information for your trip?”  “I SirOzzy’d it!”

Yes, we have an amazing trip coming soon, but it wasn’t planned overnight.  As with most trips the SirOzzy clan takes, this one took two years in the making.  There is an infinitesimal amount of planning and organization that goes into a successful trip.  The details can be overwhelming.  Here we will begin to spell out and simplify the decision making process that goes into a vacation like this.

There are three key elements to the art of travel.  Each piece has it’s own importance in the puzzle and will affect the outcome of another piece and thus, the trip itself.  These pieces are Time, Location, and Money.

Let’s start first with the time frame.  The busy time at Mrs. SirOzzy’s job ends every year in early February.  The busy time in my career starts in March.  Now we know February is a good time to travel.  Lesson number one is plan ahead, there are way too many decisions to make in a short period of time.

Now begins the process of where do we go?  This is the fun part.  We could go virtually anywhere in the world, so before we decide where we’re going, let’s decide where we are not going.  Europe is out, it’s too cold in February for us.  Australia is out, we went just two years ago.  Hawaii?  No, too long a flight for what we want.  Africa? No.  Asia? Nope. The Caribbean?  The weather is perfect in February and it’s fairly easy to get to from New York. Yes, the Caribbean it is.

The Caribbean.  That’s kind of a big place, a little too big to conquer all at once.  Let’s narrow it down.  There are some amazing all-inclusive resorts and beautiful hotels in the islands.   But for this trip I don’t think I really want to fend for myself too much and I don’t want to sit in one place for too long either.  A cruise?  I love to cruise.  My favorite thing about cruising is that everyday you wake up you’re in an entirely new place, and you’ve done absolutely nothing to get there.  Yes, a cruise it will be.

Our favorite cruise line is Royal Caribbean, for reasons we’ll leave to another post.  Looking through the cruise book can be a bit overwhelming.  The first thing we decide is where do we leave from.  Bayonne, NJ and Baltimore, MD are both within driving distance and have cruises departing from there, but sailing the Atlantic during February can be unpleasant.  We looked to leave from further south and found The Jewel Of The Seas is in Puerto Rico.

The Jewel is the first ship Mrs. SirOzzy and I went on together and has been our favorite ever since.  On that ship was the first of many times I would ask her to marry me.  Yes, The Jewel Of The Seas.  Next, the itinerary.  The Jewel has two different sailings in the month of February, both are 7 nights and both go to the southern Caribbean.  One itinerary happened to also fall on our anniversary.

Simple, right?  No way.  Sure, you can just fly straight to Puerto Rico and jump on a ship, but why do that when you can go a few days in advance and acclimate and enjoy your trip even more?  Besides, we have 2 weeks of vacation time, let’s use it.

We began to look at different hotels and realized, shit, we’re already down there, do we necessarily have to stay in Puerto Rico?  No, we started looking at the surrounding US Virgin Islands.  St. Thomas is not part of the cruise itinerary, and since it is part of the US there is no international flight required.  Sounds good, but, hmmmm, there is one other option.

Key West is only a short flight to San Juan.  One item that has been on my bucket list for a very long time is driving a convertible to Key West.  We can get a direct flight from our local airport to Fort Lauderdale, we’ll rent a car from there.  We’ll use our top secret code to get a deal on a room at the Hyatt next to Mallory Square.

Now we have a cruise and Key West.  Coming off a cruise and going straight home is always a bit of a drag, so let’s stay one more night and take advantage of San Juan before leaving.

This didn’t happen over night.  We began our planning two years ago and solidified the itinerary about 6 months ago.  Here’s what it looks like now:

  • Day 1  Fly to Fort Lauderdale. Drive to Key West.
  • Day 2 Key West
  • Day 3 Key West
  • Day 4 Drive back to Fort Lauderdale
  • Day 5 Fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Cruise
  • Day 6 Sailing on The Jewel Of The Seas
  • Day 7 Bridgetown, Barbados
  • Day 8 Castries, St Lucia
  • Day 9 St. John’s, Antigua
  • Day 10 Philipsburg, St. Maarten
  • Day 11 St Croix, US Virgin Islands
  • Day 12 San Juan, Puerto Rico. Intercontinental Hotel, Isla Verde
  • Day 13 San Juan. Fly home.

Now that is what a two week vacation looks like.

As far as the 3rd part to planning a successful trip, Money?  Shit, we’ll have to figure that out too, but we have two years to do it.

Enjoy The Journey.

 

 

Coming Soon…Key West

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The period of time leading to a trip excites me as much as the travel itself.  All the anticipation and planning is a better feeling than looking forward to Christmas Day when I was a kid.  This is my Super Bowl.  I love to travel, I love to write, and you get stuck with my blog.

I get lost in the planning.  What airline will we be taking?  What seats?  Should we upgrade?  Should we use miles?  How do we get to the hotel?  Taxi?  Bus? Shuttle?  Train?  Private transfer?  For any one trip I have a thousand questions that need to be asked.  There was a time when I could just throw a clean pair of underwear in a backpack and go, without a care in the world.  Now that I’ve reached middle age, I need to know EVERYTHING.  I hate surprises.

And guess what?  You get to know everything too.  I’ve begun an online blogging course thru WordPress called Blogging 101.  My aim has multiple fronts.  First, I welcome critique in my writing, my ability to get my voice across.  Secondly, I want to improve the blog site itself so I can gain more readers and followers.  Maybe someday I will have enough followers that a great hotel wouldn’t mind having SirOzzy.com along to write a review.

SirOzzy will be traveling again next month.  We’ll be flying from Long Island to Fort Lauderdale, where we will pick up a car for our drive to Key West.  From there, we head to San Juan for a Caribbean cruise.  For the next month I will publish posts detailing what it takes to plan and organize such an undertaking.

In the meantime, I’m open to all critique and hate-mail.  I’ve always been a tad envious of people that have stalkers. Enjoy The Journey.

The Places We’ve Been – 2015

I have a tendency to go to bed early.  Sometimes very early.  If I had it my way, I’d have dinner in bed.  Often I find myself laying on top of the bed sheets by 7:00.  The lights are just bright enough to read by, the cell phone is within arms reach, and the television is on, with the volume low.   But because I’m in bed doesn’t necessarily mean I’m sleeping.   I just find the bed to be one of the most comfortable places in the house, kind of like a bear in his cave.  Besides, what the hell else am I going to do during a winter on Long Island?  After reading, I’ll most likely be asleep by 9.

But it’s not always that way.  There are those major annual events that may keep me up late. New Year’s Eve last year actually had me awake until nearly 10pm.  I know, I could hardly believe it myself.  I’ve become such a party animal in my old age.   For a couple of years Mrs. SirOzzy and I went to our (my) favorite local restaurant.  But even there we found ourselves crapping out by 10 and struggling to keep our eyes open and head above the table by 11.  The problem with New Year’s is that it just comes too damn late.

Ahhhh, but all this old man-pooped out nonsense is for when I’m home.  When I’m out traveling everything is different.  I sleep just late enough to enjoy the comforts of the strange bed, then I’m up and out.  I try to explore every nook and cranny of wherever it is I am.  I’ll find the local breakfast joint, a tour, museums, hiking paths, people watching, adventure, shows, bars.  And I’ll stay up so late it’s early tomorrow.

My first resolution for 2016 is TRAVEL MORE and stay up later.

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After virtually hibernating for the entire month of January, our first trip of the year was to The Baker House 1650.  We celebrated our first wedding anniversary at this fantastic Bed and Breakfast in East Hampton.  It’s very pricey during the season, but equally reasonable during the off season.  For a little bit extra we had the spa closed off and reserved just for ourselves.

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What a difference a month makes.  We went from the brutal cold and snowy environs of the Northeast to the tropics of Jamaica.  Yeah Mon!    There are not many things in this world more satisfying than catching a big fish, and I caught one.  Since we were staying at a fantastic place that fed us all the freshest seafood we wanted, I had no need to keep my catch.  Not thinking it was too big a deal, I gave the fish to one of the mates on the boat.  He hugged me and told me it would feed his family for weeks.  Giving the fish away was even more satisfying than catching it.

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We decided to switch things up a little and drive to Quebec City.  And man, did we drive hard.  10 hours, only breaking for gas and restrooms.  The drive was worth it however, as we stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Le Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in the world.  A grandiose building that is visible from nearly everywhere in the city.   We drove hard the way home too, staying for a night in Freeport, Maine .  But as beautiful as Quebec was and the memorable drive, the thing I came away with most was the nightmare that followed.  Our Jeep spent the next 3 months in and out of the mechanic’s shop recovering.  More shit in that engine had to be repaired than you could shake a stick at.

A midsummer day-trip brought the SirOzzy family to Montauk for a day.  After a long scenic drive through portions of the Hamptons in our rental car (the Jeep was still in the shop), we found ourselves at an ocean beach.  Teaching an inexperienced 10 year old how to body surf in 4 foot waves has to be one of those things only slightly more satisfying than catching a big fish.  We could have been out there for eternity.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a single picture.

Which brings me to my second resolution.  This year I’m going to take more photos and become a better photographer.  I recently received as a gift a sparkly new Nikon D5500 DSLR camera, which I’m learning more about everyday.  I can’t wait to share my new masterpieces in 2016.

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Shortly after acquiring the new hardware we made our way to one of the more scenic regions of our country.  Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains is as beautiful and grand as anywhere else I’ve been.  One of my favorite things was driving around the lake, occasionally pulling off to the side to capture images.  Mrs. SirOzzy hated it.  She was near paralyzed with fear that we would fall off a cliff or a boulder would come crashing down on us.   One month after we left, this happened.

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We wrapped up the year with a family trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania.   This was our Christmas/Chanukah gift to the kids.  I suppose with all the wonderful trips we take, it’s only right to include them once in a while!

My third and final resolution for 2016 is to write more.  My goal is to post one blog per week for the year.  So please help inspire me by following this site (there’s a link at the bottom of the page), “Like” SirOzzy on Facebook, and follow _sirozzy_ on instagram.  I’m hoping for a ton of new followers by 2017, but in the meantime, lets Enjoy The Journey.

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About Me

About Me

I’d be a stand-up comedian, but I’m not very funny.  I’m an author that’s never written a book.  A chef with no kitchen.  An artist without a brush.  An athlete without a sport.  I’m in a mid-life crisis, but can’t afford a Corvette.  I’ve taken classes in four different colleges, and have no degree hanging on a wall.  What I do have though, is a story to tell.

Most of my bucket list involves travel and danger.  Run with the bulls in Pamplona.  Climb a Mountain.  Surf six continents.  Write a book.  I’ve been fortunate enough the last few years to cross a few things off the list.  I’ve explored the Great Barrier Reef, ran a marathon, and surfed on 3 continents.

The list, as with everything else, has evolved over time.  I no longer desire to bicycle a stage of the Tour De France.  Wrestling a crocodile is also no longer very high on the list.  These things have been replaced with dinner in view of the Eiffel Tower, and a guided Four Seasons Safari in Africa.

The internet is filled with travel blogs from Girls Flying Solo to Dudes With Backpacks.  I’m not either of those.  I’m just a regular guy with a lifetime of bad decisions.  I spent my first 40 years trying to become somebody, and mostly screwed it up.  I plan to spend the next 40 years making good decisions and enjoying the person I’ve become.   I’ve settled down.  I’d rather have a Martini than an Irish Car Bomb.  Though at the end of the day, if my last words are “Hey, watch this!”, I won’t be disappointed.

I love to travel and I love to write.  Before now I’ve not had the discipline, means, nor occasion to write a book.  But, with the advent of the internet, I can now tell about my travels one page at a time.   Occasionally, I’ll go back and relive some stuff from earlier times.  Currently, I travel around 4, 5, or maybe 6 times a year, and it’s those adventures that I’ll publish first.

About SirOzzy:  Sir Ozzy Schnitzel is Bernese Mountain Dog bred in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  He currently resides on Long Island, New York.  He’s a homebody.

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