THE NATURAL STATE
The Medlocks are heading to our annual trip to Hilton Head next week. It's one of a handful of times each year that I really look forward to mostly doing nothing.
It's special for me when I go there. I can slow down. My natual impatience gets dramatically reduced. And each day is pretty close to my vision of a perfect day.
I like to get up early--usually as the sun is coming up or shortly after daylight. Then I head to the beach for a brisk walk of about an hour. I like only hearing the natural sounds of the ocean waves breaking and the gulls calling. Sometimes there is enough of a morning fog that the sun is filtered leaving the sea and the beach in a monochrome gray. I like that view a lot.
I do a lot of thinking during my walk. It seems to clear my head. When I get back I'll dry off and cool down for a half-hour or so. Then I'll have a light breakfast and a strong coffee. Then Mrs. Medlock and I head to the pool or beach and we'll spend the rest of the morning reading and people watching and even an occasional nap. I like to bring the newest James Lee Burke book to Hilton Head. Often I'll buy it and leave it unread until I get to the island.
After lunch we may go back to the beach or head out shopping or sight-seeing. During that time out we'll plan where we're having our evening meal, maybe going there while we are still out if it is late enough. We like to discover new local restaurants and revisit our favorites. Then back to the condo, more reading and sometimes we will do a late evening stroll on the beach or just sit on the balcony reading or listening.
Some mornings I don't walk. Instead I'll rise early again and just sit on the balcony looking at and listening to the sounds of the sea and thinking.
It's a healing trip, a quiet time and almost reverent. I'm drawn to the peace of nature when I'm there.
It doesn't get much better than that.
By: Lewis Medlock on August 2, 2013 in Travel
| Comments (0)
TRAINS, PLANES AND AUTOMOBILES
I have been out of action for the last week while attending the Mother of All Intercollegiate Sports convention in San Antonio.
As conventions go it was OK. In other words, lots of giveaways (with the ubiquitous blue marble on all of them) and lots of boring panels and speeches. But I was able to catch the Spurs-Mavericks game on Friday night and that alone made the trip worthwhile.
Travel was another story. Due to weather related issues in HotAlanta I got canceled on my first flight. I was able to rebook on another airline and at another airport 100 miles away but got canceled there too and spent about six hours in the airport before getting another flight on a different airline. I finally got into my hotel in SA at 1am local time. A travel note for those in Houston: the Continental commuter wing of the Houston airport has no restaurants of any kind open past 9pm.
The same thing happened on my return. Airplane problems at the gate in San Antonio caused me to spend six hours in the airport there and miss my connections in Atlanta. The planned five hour travel day turned into a twelve hour day as a result. I joked with the guys that I was traveling with that I took off my belt so much that I felt like a stripper. And of course my bags weren't were they were supposed to be. They ended up on my doorstep about noon on Sunday.
For the last few years I have avoided travel by air for reasons like what I experienced on this trip. Deregulation has made air travel affordable but it has also made it miserable. The planes are just too full, the seats are too small, the lines are too long, the schedules are just too tight and I suspect maintenance is not what it should be. Add the normal human condition into the equation such as the guy traveling in the wifebeater shirt and flying just ain't what it used to be.
I'm actually old enough to remember when people wore suits and ties when they flew. I'm also old enough to realize that some things just aren't worth the cost savings. Flying these days is one of those things.
By: Lewis Medlock on January 17, 2011 in Travel
| Comments (1)
The Medlocks spent the weekend in Music City on our annual trip to a Titans game. Trust me--it was not a good weekend for football in Tennessee. Neither the Big Orange nor the Titans won and both lost on last minute scores.
But minus the football it was a GREAT weekend for the Medlocks. We went to dinner at Puckett's Grocery in downtown Franklin. We picked Puckett's (try saying that fast) because we had heard the food was great. What we didn't know about was the music.
We were seated at front and center six feet in front of the stage and after a wonderful meal, we were treated to some of Nashville's best music. Three songwriter/musicians performed. All had written hit songs for a number of artists and they each told stories about the background of the songs.
Sherrie Austin, Will Rambeaux and Steve Dean were simply terrific, each singing and playing their own compositions. Rambeaux's most famous song was Faith Hill's Wild One, Steve Dean wrote Southern Star for Alabama and Austin has written songs for both Faith Hill and George Strait including one on his current album.
Sherrie Austin was the best singer of the three with a powerful voice for such a small person. I don't know why she didn't make it absolutely huge as a singer. A native Australian, she has a soulful voice. You can hear the emotion. Nashville must have let her down in some way. Sad.
Will Rambeaux was the best musician, picking guitar like I haven't heard in a long time. Steve Dean was perhaps the best lyricist. Together they put on one hell of a show.
I bought a couple of their CDs and listened to them on the way home Sunday night. It put me in a mellow mood. It had been a while since I had heard live music. I had forgotten how much I love it. Those three were special. What a great weekend it was.
By: Lewis Medlock on October 5, 2010 in Travel
| Comments (0)
NOI KA OI
There's a Hawaiian saying about Maui. Noi Ka Oi. Maui is the best. After spending a week there it's hard to argue against that.
Of course, everything on Maui starts and ends with the ocean. The blue, green and turquoise waters are so pristine that they look like a painting. The experience of snorkeling in those waters cannot be adequately described. I'll just say that it is an experience I'll remember.
But Maui is not just about the ocean. It's a very diverse island. One can literally go from sea level to 10,000 feet altitude in about two hours. That would be to the summit of Haleakala (Hawaiian for house of the sun) and the volcanic crater just below it. I think that the best word to describe the crater would be moonscape. The crater looks a great deal like those pictures the astronauts took while on the moon, just more colorful. In fact those same astronauts practiced for the moon landing in this crater. I found it a little bit strange to go from pristine beaches to a moonscape in such a short time.
Then if you take the drive to Hana, Maui also has what amounts to a rain forest, complete with waterfalls and a wide variety of fauna. Everything is lush and green and mostly wet. But the volcano origin of the island is still present from the black sand beaches to the rugged formations of lava on the beach.
Maui has developed a lot since I was there twenty-five years ago. In many ways I find that unfortunate but I'm also a realist and know that's what we do. But it's still the most beautiful place I've ever been. I took a lot of pictures while there. I'll be putting the best of them up on my Flickr account later this week. Take a look. It's not the same as being there but it's the next best thing.
By: Lewis Medlock on June 14, 2010 in Travel
| Comments (0)
The Medlocks are headed out Saturday morning for the magic island of Maui.
It's a return trip for us. We were there 25 years ago on a delayed honeymoon five months after we married. But we were only there three nights having spent three days on Oahu and the Big Island each.
So we decided to go back to Maui for an anniversary of sorts and spend more time. We will be there Saturday through Thursday leaving next Friday noon and spending the night in L.A. Friday night. Then it's back to Tennessee a week from tomorrow.
Of course Maui is a beautiful place, certainly the most beautiful place I've ever been. This time we're planning on partaking more of its beauty than the last time. We're making the drive to Hana and to Haleakala and a possible boat ride to a neighboring island.
This vacation is coming at a great time. I needed the break.
I'm not sure about posting. If I can get the time I will. In the meantime here are some snapshots of the condo we are renting. Nice.
By: Lewis Medlock on June 5, 2010 in Travel
| Comments (1)
INDY BOUND AND DOWN
As you read this I am Indianapolis bound.
No, Peyton didn't call and ask for some quarterback tips. I'm just going to get educated yet again. You would think I would have learned something by now. Truthfully I have but the grand poobah of collegiate athletics likes for administrative types like me to maintain continuing education. And so I will.
So I'm out of the office through Friday. A good break from the office but it cramps my work needing to be done at home. The good news is that I'll be with four others, all of whom enjoy a good meal. So the education during the day will be compensated by a feast at night. Works for me.
I'm hoping to post while I'm out but I'm not going to do it for a fee of $15 a day that the hotel charges. That's ridiculous and probably says more about the state of the hotel industry than any SEC stock filing ever will. And it gets worse. Try $28 per day for self-parking. In Indianapolis. What's up with that? Did New York City prices move to the heartland and nobody told me? It's not my money that I'll be spending but it's the principle of the thing. I'll be looking for some free internet and cheaper parking tomorrow. Hoosiers style. If I find it, I'll post.
By: Lewis Medlock on May 18, 2010 in Travel
| Comments (0)
ICELAND, THE UK, AND NEW ZEALAND
My big sister and little brother were heading to UK today for a long-planned trip but decided to cancel due to the volcano in Iceland.
A note of interest: the Professor was in Iceland a couple of months ago. Probably a coincidence. I'm not saying he had anything to do with the volcano and what happened. I'm just saying he was there. But he's an academic and you know those types are always curious. It's like when he was a kid and decided to see if he could climb down our chimney. He couldn't but it turned into quite an interesting situation. Draw your own conclusions.
So what do you do when your long planned trip to the UK has to be scrubbed? Simple. You reschedule and go to New Zealand instead. On the same day. So maybe you have 24 hours to plan it. New Zealand is roughly 12,000 miles from the UK. Makes perfect sense to me.
That's my big sister and brother for you. Not a bit like me. A trip to New Zealand is at least 3 months planning for me. That's what happens when you're the middle child.
I just hope there aren't any volcanoes there.
By: Lewis Medlock on April 21, 2010 in Travel
| Comments (0)
OUI, PASSEZ UNE BONNE JOURNEE
While most of us have to work for a living a few can live the high life. I say that because my siblings, The Professor and Big Sister, are living it up abroad as I write this.
I believe they are currently ensconced in the City of Light where they are no doubt being treated rudely by snooty French waiters, cab drivers, etc. Unless of course the Fiji Islands or the like has threatened to invade France and they've already surrendered and begged my relatives to save them from the Fiji's. In which case my kinfolk are probably eating truffles and drinking bordeaux on the Left Bank while assuring the French they will kick Fiji ass should the need arise.
Big Sister is accompanied by her daughter and granddaughter--both from Arizona. I'd like to be present when the Arizona natives find out that grass can grow besides on a golf course. Among other things the trip is a graduation present for the granddaughter. The Professor has been across the pond many times so he's the de facto guide for this trip. Clearly his companions don't remember what I do--that as a kid his being on the base paths in a baseball pickup game and upon being told to "run home" did so quite literally. He denies that story to this day but I was there. But I digress.
The kinfolk departed from Ohio, California, and Arizona on differing days last week and met up in London--their home base. I think they return from France later this week and then head to the highlands of Scotland for awhile before they return to London. Big Sister and her family then head back to the States while The Professor heads to Istanbul. I can't think of Istanbul without thinking of the burly guard in Midnight Express. That movie still gives me chills to this day and it's at least thirty years old.
Frankly I don't know why anyone would be interested in visiting Istanbul but that's the The Professor's style. I suppose I should be glad it's not Afghanistan. He's the world traveler in the family. But when I think about it it's somewhat odd how in the last two years my siblings and I have been (combined) to China, Russia, England, Scotland, Guatemala and now Turkey. Not bad for East Tennessee natives.
So while the sibs and their kids gallivant around Europe I'll take care of things here in the States. After all the U.S. economy is not doing well. Somebody has to add to the GNP. It might as well be me. To my sibs and family: passez une bonne journée.
By: Lewis Medlock on June 30, 2008 in Travel
| Comments (0)
The Medlocks are heading out tomorrow morning for the low country of South Carolina, specifically Hilton Head. It's not a bad drive, maybe six to six and half hours at the speed limit. Of course I've taken out a bank loan to pay for the gas.
Unlike previous visits in which we rented a motel room this time we rented a condo since Mrs. Medlock's mother as well as her sister and her sister's son are going. The condo is sight unseen. It's listed as an oceanfront but my experience tells me that's a very loose term that could include a condo several hundred yards from the ocean. We shall see.
My plans are for this vacation to be one of total relaxation. The idea is to get up early, have my coffee and then hit the lounge chair at the pool or at the ocean. I'll read for awhile and doze for
awhile. When I get hot I'll take a dip in the pool or ocean and then
back to the cycle of reading and dozing. I'm taking the current David Baldacci book I'm reading plus two Michael Connelly books and I might take a non-fiction. I'll probably just have a sandwich at lunch but dinner will be special. I've already printed out a number of menus from local restaurants plus we have some we know we want to eat at again.
We're planning on a day visit to Savannah which is always fun and I would like to go to Beaufort one day as well. That city has been the site of several movies including The Big Chill, one of my favorites. I may have to do that one by myself since I'm not sure the others will be interested. I'm not planning on golfing because it's usually too hot. If the opportunity presents itself I might but I don't think that's likely.
If I have access to the Internet I will do some posting but I'm not sure at this time if that's going to happen. In the meantime just call me Francis Marion.
By: Lewis Medlock on June 6, 2008 in Travel
| Comments (0)
WEST BOUND AND DOWN
It's travel time in Tennessee. For the Medlocks anyway. We're heading out this Saturday for a long-planned trip to the Music City. There will be dinner together Saturday night and then we'll head over the pedestrian bridge to LP Field to see the Titans
get slaughtered play the Texans.
We've done this several years now and every year the Titans find a way to lose. Once they fumbled the quarterback snap into the end zone and lost in overtime. I can't even remember all the other ways they've lost but it's not been pretty. I had my hopes up when they were 6-2 to start this season but they have now lost three straight games. They must have known I bought the tickets for the Texans and decided to get ready early for the game.
Mrs. Medlock doesn't care much whether they win or lose but I do. It tends to ruin the weekend. At least she won't have to listen to me bitching on the way home this time. She's taking a rental car because she has business there next week. Good move on her part but that means I'll be be alone next week. That's not a problem except I hate to eat alone. Fortunately my father snaps up dinner invitations like white on rice. We'll do dinner out at least twice. That's tough on the diet though.
I got good news today. The total cholesterol level is down to 175. I resumed my statin medication but only 1/4 of a pill daily. Apparently it did the trick as my last level was 228 just six weeks ago when I had stopped the medication. I get a lot of muscle aches as a side effect from the statin so I was hoping reducing the dosage would get me where I needed to be while avoiding the side effects. So far it appears to be working. I love statins. Better living through chemistry.
By: Lewis Medlock on November 26, 2007 in Travel
| Comments (0)