Archive for the 'travel' Category

menko

Holland here we come!

Holland by bike..the best way to go Its been some time since I’ve had the desire to share anything exciting in life, as it has been inward-focused for the last several months. But a much deserved vacation is upon us, as Cami, Matty and I head “home” to Holland for 10 days where we plan to visit with family and spend some time far away from California, technology and work. Cami is making two presentations, one in Holland and one in England, which was the impetus for our trip, but those luckily occur at the very beginning and conclusion of the trip, so we have some time in between to visit the family farm, take some bicycle rides, and visit some sites.

One site I very much hope to take Matty to is Madurodam a model dutch city located in Scheveningen, picture of Den Haag, a town I only know because it was the Dutch code word during World War II used because Germas simply could not pronounce it with the proper accent. Thankfully I am writing this with the assistance of the web, for I can neither pronounce it or spell it. I remember being entranced as a kid spending hours there, so I hope Matty will also enjoy it. Of course we’re going into uncharted territory with a 9 hour time difference, but Matty has done well before and he’ll be so excited I’m sure we can get him to solider through. The first day will be the hardest as we leave in the afternoon in California and arrive at 10:30am in Amsterdam, essentially missing our first night of rest. Fingers are crossed!

While no other real plans have been made, I’ve realized it has been far too long since we took a real vacation away from home that wasn’t to visit family in Kentucky or California, making it long overdue. Realistically with our jobs and educations getting in the way, its been about 5 years! We are also armed with various digital image devices and hope to catalog this trip like never before, so expect a few pictures on our return. Yes I know, I’ve promised them before and our gallery is devoid of recent shots, but really, I’m finding some more free time to devote to this soon.

Life otherwise is pretty good despite the recent speed bumps. Work is going well and I have been getting around to different places to talk about Learning Spaces and have 3 more talks booked for the summer. So much for slowing down in the summer! But hey, atleast we’re getting a real family vacation in.

menko

A Night with Bono

BonoI had the rare opportunity to actually attend a lecture given by Bono entitled “A Lesson in Giving Back” at Claremont McKenna College. Cami happened upon the advertisement on CMC’s webpage, and the wheels began to turn and before I knew it, a late night plane ticket was booked and pass to the lecture procured! This was clearly one of those :”once in a lifetime” opportunities, so I took full advantage of it.

I fully expected a very wordy presentation based upon “speeches” he has given during concerts, and upon glancing the sizeable number of folded sheets he brought to the podium, it seemed justified. However, Bono was uncharacteristically short, switching between well-prepared written statements interspersed with ad-hoc storytelling that seemed more like the Bono I was accustomed to hearing in live recordings. Either way, I found myself barely warmed up as he started to rev up the crowd with true preacher-like glory, only to conclude his speech in a mere 25 minutes. I felt cheated! However, he did an excellent job of doing question-and-answer with CMC President Pam Gann in which he debunked much of the criticism of the conservative press. He also explained how entrepreneurship led by himself and others was impacting Africa, and why he personally is committed to trying to expel “extreme poverty” in Africa. I have to admit I felt 18 again, swept away by the positive idealism of someone who is several years older and many lifetimes more experienced with the political system saying ‘these are difficult problems, but we can solve them.’ One person at a time. In all honesty, it made me feel connected to the world again, and ready to give something of myself to work on a cause bigger than myself.

Yes, we should also work on regular poverty in the US and elsewhere, but the ridiculousness of the death and illness caused by easily curable or treatable conditions is truly appalling. So please, send my Christmas gifts to the One Foundation, thanks!

menko

Pumpkin Patch

PumpkinPatch6

PumpkinPatch6,

Matty’s class went to a pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay today where they were treated to hay rides, pony rides, and inflatable slides. He of course wanted to dress up in his favorite color, so we put his Halloween sweatshirt on, but didn’t want to give him the pants for fear that he would be mistaken as an over-sized pumpkin and left behind at the pumpkin patch. The boy loves his orange! As a bonus, it was going to rain, so he dressed up with his boots and rain jacket on top of the orange? Does life get any better?

menko

Columbus Weekend Reunion

For pictures of our trip, please visit our photo gallery

Ohio State’s Social Psychology Ph.D. Program had its 100th anniversary celebration over the weekend and Cami, Mattheus and Menko all had the opportunity to visit. Flying in late Thursday night, Matty and Menko went to the Columbus Zoo with Sean and his daughter Maeli for most of the day on Friday while Cami attended celebrations at OSU. Among the most popular stops of the day were the petting zoo, Fluffy, the world’s longest snake (in captivity), and various sharks, manatees and the occasional bear. Did I mention the penguins? We were lucky enough to arrive at their late afternoon snack time, so we had a nice lesson on the different species and their dietary preferences. Sean and Menko had a chance to catch up and marvel at how quickly the other’s child has grown up in the time since we moved from Columbus.

After that, Matty finally crashed out and took a long-deserved nap, and we headed over to Dave’s house for guy’s night and some time with his furry friend Zoe, who took quite a liking to Mattheus. Dave was looking fit and trim and even persuaded me to drink his new light beer, which in all fairness was quite enjoyable after a long day at the zoo.The night had all the essentials of any guy’s night at the pad: beer, dog fur, beer, pizza, dog slobber, child slobber, some excellent TV (something about a big red dog) and of course gambling. Well, the gambling was over at Kris and Andrea’s house, but we did pay them a visit just in time to catch the poker action going down. The whole crew from Dave’s neighborhood was there and Matty partied up until about midnight when we finally retired back to Dave’s. Continue Reading »