About Me

An avid traveler I have had the good fortune to have spent my career in the travel and vacation industry. From Bali to Copenhagen and all points between is where I have been or intend to go. This blog however is specific to the Western half of the United States as I explore this part of the world.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve 2006

I haven't posted for some time because I am a slacker! Well not really, I just have been very busy with work and had a tragedy occur during this time. But I am back and I will attempt as part of my New Year's resolutions to be better about it. We spent our Christmas Eve at our traditional locale... The Eiffel Tower restaurant at the Paris in Vegas baby! When we were in Orlando, FL the tradition was to go to Le Coq Au Vin which was a great experience, set and fantastic menus, very talented quartet that would come to the table and sing Christmas songs requested by guests if they knew them and they knew a lot!

Our experience in Vegas is fantastic in it's own way... more glitz and glamour than Le Coq but not as much of a Holiday Atmosphere... it is Vegas after all... but we always have the same table right infront of the glass looking down over the strip and the Bellagio Fountains... The food is spectacular and the staff is helpful, professional and a real delight.

For the Holiday feel, walk to the Bellagio before or after dinner to walk through their seasonal lobby.

A stroll along the strip among the Christmas lights is always nice... as you can see I am getting a lot more mileage out of my Zuit Suit than most people thought I would... hell I might buy another one! hmmmm... yellow like Jim Carrey in The Mask... Purple... White... so many colors.

The next morning after my grand showing in the red suit everyone was trying to get in the game... our cat Paris and her red Christmas suit, Angela and her red hair and finally....

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tour of Oregon

Spent a week meeting and training clients throughout Oregon.

Lake Creek near Bend, OR

Lake Creek

Dinner with co-workers

Keeping warm at Pronghorn

Climbing Mt. Hood

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Hey went back up to Indianapolis for a quick trip... had dinner at St. Elmos and had some great brews at McNivens.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Where have I been???

I suppose that those people that have been checking back on my blog are wondering... is it dead? Did Ted neglect his entries to the point of never updating again? Well that isn't the case... and I have a lot of material... but if I were to try to do all the material justice, well... I would keep neglecting... so I am going to do a picture bridge to bring the blog to the present so that I can continue with entries as I have a lot in the pipeline over the next months.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, CA

I had a symposium to attend this week and while the weather didn't cooperate it was a delightful hotel. Built in 1888 it has a rich history that you can feel while strolling down the halls or around the grounds.

While much of my time there was spent working I did have some time to relax and enjoy the experience.

When I said that the weather didn't cooperate it is what the locals call "May Grey" where the coastal weather is nearly always grey, overcast with fog... for me, I suppose that isn't so bad as not that I live in Vegas I get blue skies and sunshine nearly every day so a change of weather can be welcoming.

The picture above came as a bit of a surprise when one of my clients at one of the cocktail parties said to me, "hey you want to take off and have cocktails on my 62 foot yacht?" I thought he was kidding but not only did he have the 62 footer moored across the street on the Bay side but I got to skipper it for a time and that was fun!

My last day... the sun came out...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Sonny's wish for Mother's Day dinner was to go out to the Outback Steakhouse where she could enjoy some prime rib. So off we went and she wasn't the only mother with the same idea... according to our waiter, Mother's Day is the busiest day of the season for them... hmm a lot of red meat eating mothers out there I guess!

As usual, Angela and Lisa provided a plethora of goof ball, ham it up photo ops... well maybe more Angela hammy pics...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mom in Town

My Mother came out to Vegas as we were to attend the same business meeting... I was great to have her out to the new House. When we had Thanksgiving after my wedding it was in the townhouse we lived in when we first moved out to Vegas and it was cramped for so many guests... now we have 2500 square feet to spread our wings a little. Angela and Lisa enjoyed seeing Mom to so it was a great time for all... we went out to breakfast with the girls and as usual they were up to their shenanigans in short order.

Sonny and Mom had a good time out shopping at fashion show mall where they found shopping success!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Vic and Jenn in Vegas

Sonny and I had taken a great tour of the Grand Canyon with Maverick Helicopter Tours earlier this year and while heading out of their building our pilot mentioned that the night Vegas tour was "very cool." So we decided we would take that tour when the opportunity presented itself and we did when Vic and Jenn came to town... we had seen some shows, enjoyed some great restaurants and explored some of the fantastic natural areas around Vegas and it was nice to get this evening overhead view of the city and how far it stretches.

I tried to take some good shots in during the ride but I've discovered one of my digital camera's weaknesses... it doesn't take great night shots without sitting on a tripod or other unmoving object... holding the camera still for the exposure time required at it's fastest ISO (400) is impossible. I have better luck with my 35mm film camera and 800 or 1000 speed film. So here is an example or two of my attempt to be steady...

Only one example... could have you suffering through more than that...

Our final day was spent walking around the strip, checking out the Casinos that Vic and Jenn had yet to be exposed too... including Mandalay Bay, Luxor, New York, New York and the MGM. After our walking tour which you don't want to do in July or August I took them to the airport for their trip back to NY... It was a great time and I hope they can come out again soon...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Vic and Jenn in Las Vegas

I have been around, across and over the Hoover Dam on foot, in car and in helicopter and through all of those visits have yet to take the Dam tour... well I must have been secretly saving it up for Vic and Jenn's trip.

It was interesting and gave me an even better understanding of the scale of building involved.

It must have been really hard work... I mean look at this statue in the museum... even he has a scowl on his face.

The Valley of Fire... like Vic I am super busy and overwhelmed by the volume of writing that this entry could entail... Vic finished his... mine will be much shorter... for the full scope turn to Vic's blog (link on the tool bar to the left).

Jenn and Sonny relaxing in the sun in the Valley of Fire... okay no more "in the Valley of Fire" I feel like Chris Farley Jenn and Sonny relaxing "down by the River."

Sonny and I having a laugh in the Valley of Fire,

I like this pic in the Valley of Fire.

Sonny Basking in the Valley of Fire

Ted acting like a mountain lion in the Valley of Fire... grrrrrrrrhhhhoooowwwlll!

Leaving the Valley of Fire... whew...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Vic and Jenn come to Town

Vic and Jenn arrived at the Las Vegas Airport in the evening ready to explore Las Vegas... well not really, it was midnight after all.

It was great having them in town and this was Victor's first visit to Fabulous Las Vegas... of course by writing this entry I am breaking the "What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

It was a short drive back to the house as we got reacquainted after not seeing each other in person for some time and I was glad they arrived in the evening because the mountains around my house would be somewhat hidden by the darkness and the morning rise would offer up a majestic mountain view from our front porch. What better way to really start a vacation than rising to a great view and a fresh cup of Beach House Coffee!

Of course we didn't get up that early because the one nightcap Victor and I decided to have after Jenn went to bed ended up cleaning out the rest of the JW Black and a beer or two and some port... we had some catching up to do... so we saw the sun at 11:00am... it's vacation!

The view and the coffee was great and much needed. Our plan was to go to Red Rock for some hiking and sight seeing. The picture above is one I took after we entered the park and parked near the recently refurbished Visitors Center/Museum. I can't say that I like the new museum "improvements" much over what they originally had to display the history, geology and biology of Red Rock Canyon.

The real improvement was that after two years of visiting Red Rock the Desert Tortoises were finally out and I saw not only one but four!

After a short scenic drive we came to the hiking parking area near the Calico Tank Trail. For those that don't know, a "tank" is an area that traps rain water and snow melt. This particular trail was listed as moderate and starts in a currently dry creek bed...

Climbs to soft sand covered sandstone...

Then to solid sandstone...

Then further on to Calico Tank and finally to...

A fantastic view of the Las Vegas Valley just above the tank.

A great start to vacation!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Lisa's Robotics Competition

My 14 year old has been working overtime to complete the Palo Verde robot for the Aim High 2006 First Robotics Competition Las Vegas Regional. Right after the convention... in fact that Saturday following was the finals. Basically, this year the competition required each highschool to build a robot that could maneuver in all directions and shoot a foam basketball through a hoop. Part of the competition would require the robot to follow preprogrammed instructions to either defend or take shots and the second part would put the robot under the control of a student driver and shooter. Lisa's role, mostly because of her outgoing personality and drive to execute was that of team manager... somewhat like Summer Hathaway in the movie School of Rock.

It was amazing to see the schools from around the country (Clearwater, FL to Waialua, HI) competing with surprisingly large entourages. Not quite the crowd that highschool football games get but not bad.

The competition required three schools to join up as a team opposing another three schools. Each match started with robots following a preprogrammed set of actions followed by a set time of one team on offense and one on defense... then they switch, and then there is a free for all.

There were 3 ways to score points... one was shoot balls through the high goal for 3 points per shot, two was push balls into the low goals for one point each and lastly before the free-for-all ended was to park your robot on your goal ramp for I recall 25 points.

Some of the robots were incredible... talk about going above the call of duty... one had a tracking electric eye that would line up it's shooter, which was very accurate, exactly on target to slaughter other teams shooting better than MJ.

Palo was to discover that while their robot was strong at defense (no robot was going to win a push battle here) it's center of gravity was too high, making it vulnerable to high speed ram defense and its own torque.

Next time they have decided that more test time would be built into the project plan... Gant Charts whoopeeee! In the end I and Sonny were very proud of Lisa and her teams efforts and are cheering them on to make some modifications for the final competition in Atlanta.