I came to Milan to work, and today was the day.
I spent most of it in a conference room conducting a training session…and it went very well. But at 4:30pm the work was done, and my official vacation began.
We started by heading to Milan — the city itself, not the outskirts where my hotel is located. Luckily there is a subway stop just down the road, so off we walked, much to the chagrin of the taxi drivers lined up outside the entrance.
Our first stop was the Duomo, which is literally at the top of the station steps. It is even more majestic then it appears in photos, and I joined the groups of people gathered ’round, head tilted way back to soak it all in.
We arrived at the very moment they closed the Duomo to tours each evening, but we still had time to take the elevator ride to the top and walk across the roof.
I don’t know how the two tours compare, but the view from the roof is pretty incredible.
We could see the entire city — the beautiful architecture, the ugly new buildings that mar the landscape, all the people teeming about in the square, and of course, the amazing detail of the Duomo itself — both the existing structure and the extensive amount that is still under renovation.
After our tour, we strolled through the shops in the historic galleria — where children were spinning on a fresco of a bull for luck — and wandered the streets until a sidewalk cafe caught our eye for dinner. Later we had gelato and headed to the subway to make our way back.
It was all and all a lovely evening in Milan.
Tomorrow? We are thinking of making an unplanned day trip. Where could it be??
Posted in Business, Life, Photography, Travel
Tagged architecture, Business, conference room, day trip, Duomo, Galleria, hotel, Italy, life, Milan, Milan bull fresco, outdoor cafe, photography, renovation, subway, taxi driver, the square, tour, Travel, vaation
It’s official –
I’ve lost my country card.
When I saw the rows and rows of corn that line the highway in my hometown in Kentucky — right next to my brother’s driveway, in fact — I thought the golden tassels against the bright blue sky were evidence of a great harvest in the making.
But my brothers quickly corrected me — the heat has ruined the crop. The tassels have appeared too soon on stalks with little or no ears. The farmers will take a loss.
And I couldn’t tell the difference.
Oh well, the locals here would need my help on the subway…so I guess that evens things out.
Posted in Business, Commentary, Family, Food, Home, Life, Travel
Tagged City, corn, country, country card, crops, farmers, heatwave, Kentucky, subway, tassels
People in England speak English. It makes foreign travel a bit easier for we language-challenged Americans.
But they still talk funny.
Not the accent — it’s lovely. The words and phrases they use in street signs, menus, and casual conversation.
This photo reminded me of my favorite ‘Huh?’ moment during my first trip to London.
If you’ve been there, you recognize the instructions at the entrance of the subway trains in the Tube. “Mind the gap” (don’t fall in the crack between the train and the platform) — so wonderfully British in its phrasing. I liked it so much, I bought a postcard.
And now, on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I post this photo. Because I’ve taken a lot of subways during my trips to England…
But I’ve never met the Queen.
Posted in Humor, Life, News, transportation, Travel, Vacation
Tagged Americans, commentary, England, English, fit for a queen, Humor, language, language-challenged, life, London, mind the gap, postcard, Queen's Diamond Jubilee, subway, terminology, Travel, Tube, turn of phrase
Like roller coasters? Hiking, too?
Then you’ll love Duisburg, Germany.
Magic Mountain is an elevated walking path designed by German artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth. Rising up to 147 feet above the ground, this serious climb mimics a roller coaster…and provides some amazing views for hikers.
And walking in a loop-to-loop? Pretty cool.
Leave it to my German cousins to come up with a way to make roller coasters healthy. What’s next? Subways that are powered by footpower? Buses that we pedal?
Posted in Design, Exercise, Games, Humor, Life, transportation, Travel, Walking
Tagged artists, bus, commentary, design, Duisburg Germany, exercise, Germany, Health, Heike Mutter, hiking, Humor, life, loop-to-loop, Magic Mountain, roller coasters, subway, transportation, Travel, Ulrich Genth, walking, walking path
On my way to the subway last night, I overheard a snippet of conversation as two girls walked by:
“…so then I threw it all up, and I have never eaten it again.”
Man. I guess we all have one of those stories. Mine happened when I was 13 years old.
After a morning of shopping, my mom and I got chili dogs at the Midtown Drive-In in Mayfield, Kentucky. They were a favorite.
On the way home, I started feeling not-so-good. Bad, actually. And I told my mom, who was driving the car, that we needed to pull over. NOW. Her response?
“Hold on. We’re almost there.”
How does one “hold on” when you getting ready to throw up? I don’t know now, and I certainly didn’t know then. My clothes and her car upholstery suffered as a result.
And I’ve never eaten a chili dog since.
So…have you sworn off a food that turned on you? Share your story in the comments section.
And enjoy your lunch!
Posted in Commentary, Food, Foods, Humor, Life
Tagged car upholstery, chili dogs, commentary, driving, eavesdropping, family, food, Foods, foods I can't eat anymore, hot dogs, Humor, life, Mayfield Kentucky, Midtown Drive-In, Relationships, shopping, subway, throw up, vomiting, walking
I’m okay not knowing everything.
For instance, I had never heard of the Asian long-horned beetle. Then I saw this poster in the subway.
Now I not only know what the gnarly bugs look like, but that they’re killing our trees. And we need to stop them…and never move firewood.
Never move firewood? Okay.
Hardwood trees in my adopted state of New York have been destroyed; trees in Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey, too. Trees in forests and cities all across America are at risk.
I went into the subway for a ride, not an education on scary bugs. But unfortunately, you can’t erase unwelcome memories Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style in real life.
So, if I have to have this tree killer’s image in my head, so do you.
If you see one, report it to 866-702-9938. Better yet, they recommend you catch a few in a jar and freeze them, or take digital pictures. Both will aide officials in identifying the beetles.
Got it? Good. Now go de-bug your brains. Pet a warm, fuzzy puppy…or read celebrity dish in US Weekly.
That’s my plan.
Posted in Advertising, Animals, Business, Education, Environment, Green, Health, Humor, Life, Travel
Tagged advertising, animals, Asian long-horned beetle, beetlebusters, beetles, bugs, Business, commentary, erase memories, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind movie, family, firewood, Humor, Illinois, life, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, subway, subway advertising, subway poster, Travel, tree killer, trees
Today on Twitter, there’s a trending topic called:
This is a subject near and dear to my heart, because public transportation has been a way of life for me since I moved to Boston way back in 2000.
I took one look at the parking situation, sold my car, and vowed to walk, take the subway or hail a cab for all my transportation needs.
I’m in New York City now and haven’t regretted a day.
That being said, public transportation does put you ‘up close and personal’ with people — some you want to meet, some you don’t. It doesn’t bother me overmuch, but for the people on Twitter today, their comments have some recurring themes:
- Don’t sit next to me. Let’s face it — sometimes you don’t have a choice. But when the bus or subway is empty, and a person sits right next to you? Yeah…that’s creepy.
- Don’t play loud music. I feel this one. And we’re not talking the guy with the big boombox or the singers panhandling for change. We’re talking the folks with their iPods on and earbuds in… and it’s still too loud. Future deaf people.
- Don’t stink up the place. Uh, yeah. Washing before boarding? That would be great.
- Don’t take up two seats. Sometimes that is a simple matter of girth. But when the train is crowded and you’re using seats for your backpack. Rude.
- Don’t make eye contact. Hate to admit it, but I am a serious violator. I like to look around at people. If I catch someone’s eye — and they don’t scare me — I smile.
Perhaps I should start a new trending topic:
Posted in Comedy, Commentary, Green, Humor, Internet, Life, transportation, Travel
Tagged boombox, Boston, comedy, commentary, earbuds, Humor, Internet, iPod, life, Manhattan, New York City, public transportation, Relationships, subway, taxi, ThingsNotToDoOnPublicTransportation, ThingsSouthernersDoOnPublicTransportation, Travel, Twitter, Twitter trending topic, walking
A big shout out to the team behind Halls cough drops on this chilly winter day.
I spied your new ad campaign lining the subway cars here in New York City as I rode back and forth to Penn Station yesterday — inspired!
If you’re in Manhattan, you can’t miss it. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. In fact, you could say they’ve taken a real hard nose approach. Might get a few noses out of joint, too. Hey — no skin off my nose…I’m just saying.
Guessed the focal point of the campaign yet???
(I’m so subtle.)
Halls has taken photos of people whose noses are — shall we say — fairly prominent, and through a combination of clever angles, shading and an entertaining smirk or two from the models, have somehow elevated the red, miserable, snotty nose to a thing of glory!
These photos, which have been colorized to the point of graphic art, treat these sufferers as proud soldiers in the fight against the winter cold. It really is a fun, eye-catching display. And since Hall bought an entire wall of each subway car, you are treated to literally five or six different winter soldiers, male and female, red noses at the ready.
I couldn’t help but be excited…not only by the clever idea behind the campaign, but for the actors in the photos. Up to this point, their bulbous noses must have been a negative in their careers. But this time?
Their big bulbs got them the gig.
Posted in Home, Humor, Travel
Tagged advertising, advertising photography, casting, Halls cough drops, Health, New York City, New York City subway, New York Penn Station, noses, photography, subway, transportation, winter colds