Friday Flashback #085 …

From the National Railway Museum in York. This sprawling warehouse dedicated to all things train and railroad, from actual trains and engines to the most minute bit of train travel items is a must-see day out if you’re in the York area. Beautifully laid-out and curated, this museum appeals to everyone, even if you’ve never even been on a train.

My travel season here! Want to see all my latest photos? Follow me on Instagram @gg92118


Friday Flashback #067 …

I miss Balboa Park. Oh, it didn’t go anywhere … I did. I moved across the bay almost two years ago and stopped walking almost every weekend through my old stomping ground. Yes, I could climb on the horse (ferry) and do it again, but walking over on Coronado is soooo much easier (no hills!). But I’ll make it back someday, up 4th Avenue, across the Quince St. and Spruce St. bridges, wrap around to Upas St. and into Balboa Park and down Park Blvd. to Broadway and the ferry boat home. Sure I will. Someday.

Want to see all my latest photos? Follow me on Instagram @gg92118


Goodbye, 2017 …

(Above: the Royal Market on 1st Avenue in San Diego, near Hillcrest, taken 12/31/17.)

I’ve never really understood the whole celebratory tradition of New Year’s Eve, but I do believe in the introspection the end of each year brings, along with the promise of a fresh, new start in the new year. So, pardon me while I navel-gaze for a few moments.

2017 was a momentous year for me in that I moved. Change is not easy for me, and breaking out of my 18-year cocoon in downtown San Diego was something unusual. I meticulously planned this move, starting more than 6 months in advance and everything I needed to happen fell into place as if by magic: the apartment I got in Coronado, the downsizing I had to experience to make it all happen, the logistics of a major—if short-distanced—move, the adjustment to a new place and a new way to commute (I take a freakin’ boat to and from work each day)! I love Coronado, it’s a totally different way of life for me, and I’m so glad I made this happen.

I walked more in 2017, due to my new move. I ended up walking about 2.5 miles more this year than I did in 2016, due to my daily commute, which gives me close to 10,000 steps per day. My grand total for the year was over 1,289 miles (for the record, I only measure daily walks where I meet my step-goal of 10,000 steps and make a conscious effort to get out and walk, not total steps/mileage per day). According to Fitbit, I walked 3,690,025 steps in 2017, as opposed to 3,612,498 in 2016. YIKES. I didn’t think I’d beat 2016, because I traveled a lot more (including 2 weeks in London and a week in New York City, where I walked EVERYWHERE), but the added second-half boost of the new commute put me (very) slightly over the top. My doctor asked me last week what my walking goal for 2018 was, and I replied simply, “MORE.”

I did travel this year, though. Short trips to San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, plus five days in New York City. I’m contemplating something amazing for the fall of 2018. I hope I can pull it off … I’ll probably skip SF and Seattle, but I’ll go back to Portland in the summer, because Powell’s. (You book people know what I’m talking about.)

The most important thing I did in 2017 though, was to finally become debt-free. Credit card debt is something I’ve struggled with for over 30 years. A little over a decade ago, I entered a debt-consolidation program which solved part of it. Sadly, I got into debt again once I paid it off. Now I’m down to one credit card and one debit card, and my balance on both is a big, fat, glorious ZERO.

So let’s take a long trip in 2018 and run that back up, okay?

One of my goals in 2018 is to be a bit more active on this blog and on Instagram. On here, I’m bringing back “Flashback Friday,” which is a photo a week. Over on Instagram, I’m going to introduce two new book-oriented weekly posts, Gary’s Book of the Week (#garysbookoftheweek) and 52 Weeks of 007 (#52weeksof007). The former is my effort to read one book a week in the coming year and the latter focuses on my ever-growing collection of James Bond books, most (if not all) different versions of the Ian Fleming originals. Gary’s Book of the Week will appear every Monday on Instagram and 52 Weeks of Bond on Wednesdays. Flashback Friday will appear every (get ready for it) Friday on this here blog. Follow me on Instagram @gg92101 to see these new features and my most recent photos.

And finally, thank you for reading this little bit of me. If you’re following me on Word Press or linking to here from my Facebook-promoted posts, I appreciate your attention. Hopefully I’ll be more active in the coming year and make you want to come back for, like I told my doctor about my walks, MORE.

Happy New Year!