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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Ok, so this is a slightly delayed list of stuff I did last weekend.  I spent more of the time on Monday finalizing my trainer app post, hence this got slid a little bit.  Don’t worry though, it’s still all good!

1) Flew to America!

Painfully Friday morning we packed up enough stuff to severely test the space capabilities of our Uber car to the airport.  Baby, dog, me, The Girl, an oversized box of products heading back to companies in the US, drones, stroller, carseat, plus regular luggage for all humans and dogs for a trip with multiple stops. Still, even with an impressive packing job by The Girl to keep suitcase sizes minimal, our Uber looked like a clown car pulling up to the airport!

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We had another great flight with our babe. This would be The Peanut’s 5th transatlantic flight, and 11th flight overall.  She (and Lucy) take it all in stride.

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Upon landing in Newark, we made the roughly 2-ish hour drive up to Connecticut.  While The Peanut was fine and dandy with the 8 hour flight, by the time we got through customs and rental car shenanigans, she became rather displeased about New Jersey.  It took about three states of driving before she stopped screaming.

2) Visited with my 99 year old Grandpa

The main reason for this leg of the trip was to visit with my 99 year old Papa.  Well, actually, Papa’s turning 99 this week.  Our little one will be one of 6 great-grandchildren he now has (plus 11 grandchildren and 4 children).

He loved getting the chance to hold her, and the little one loved holding onto his finger.  She’s got a remarkably strong grip.

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And on top of that, she’d get to see my parents who timed their visit as well (the baby’s grandparents).  It was the perfect twofer!

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Not to mention virtually all of my relatives are in this part of the country, so we got to see many of them during our stay, including the little one’s extended cousins.

3) A Trail Run In the Leaves

Sunday morning my wee family got up early.  Because that’s what happens when everyone is on the wrong time zone by six hours, especially the little one.  We drove just a couple miles to a really nice regional park (Giuffrida Park) for a short wander.  The Girl would take The Peanut and Lucy (the dog) and go for a stroll, while I would head out for a trail run.

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Early in the morning the place was desolate, and with that came awesome beauty with the leaves still turning.

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I followed some trails, but I wasn’t really sure where I was per se.  The trails were very well marked on the trees, which was good – since the actual paths were covered in leaves – making it pretty close to impossible to discern trail from non-trail.

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The park housed some pretty impressive elevation gain along a ridgeline, giving nice views back across the countryside.

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And while parts of the trail were ideal for quick movement, other pieces were filled with wobbly rocks that definitely slowed down the paces.  Still, an awesome way to start the day.

4) A brief stop in NYC

After our short trip to Connecticut, we drove the roughly 2 hours down to New York City.  Our flight early the next morning was out of LaGuardia airport, so rather than try and make a (painful) early morning trek from Connecticut, we just decided to spend the night in New York City.  Plus, I had a quick stop to pick up some gear in the city.

By the time we did that and got checked in and got everyone settled, there wasn’t really much time for wandering.  So we played rock, paper, scissors for which of our favorite NYC quick bites would fill our bellies. The girl won choosing The Halal Guys, which I was still happy with; our other nearby favorite is Carnegie Deli.

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Being that the street vendor was only about 1.5 blocks from the hotel it wasn’t much of a trek, but still nice to have a little walk post drive.

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Had it been a bit nicer out (vs pouring), we might have swung back through Times Square.  But given the weather wasn’t exactly awesome, we’ll have to save the peanut’s first Times Square trip for another time.

5) Off to Colorado

From NYC we caught an early morning flight on Monday and it was off to Colorado we go!  Lots of stuff on this leg of the trip, with the first few days up in the mountains.  You’ll see some of that here in this tweet and that tweet.  Or just the pics below.

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As an aside, while working our way to the mountains we stopped briefly at a mall along the way.  I was waiting in the car while The Girl quickly ran inside for a couple of things.  While awaiting her return, a man simply walked out the front door and across the vast parking lot with a pony.

Yes, for real.

And with that, this post is now complete.

Thanks for reading!

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33 Comments

  1. Swim n Bike Ken

    Hi Ray,
    I agree with other folks that besides the tech side, your personal ventures in your blog is just as entertaining. Perhaps even more entertaining!
    Since you quit as a blue badge, your life seems like an episode of the “R*ch and Fabulous” Jetting around the world, with your family in tow, and visiting your family and alike. The shot with your 99 yr old grandpapa and Ellie is adorable.

    Safe travels in the states!

    Ken

  2. Andrew

    Great article, love reading the random weekends…..do you always fly with the dog? Must be super expensive?

    • Most times, as it’s cheaper than leaving her at home. The price depends on the flight, carrier, and quite frankly whether or not they even notice her (she’s so small in the backpack). Kinda like flying with a bike bag.

    • Gabe

      We fly often with our dog. Ray i would suggest looking into an emotional support animal certification.

      No need to use a dog carrier.

  3. The picture of Peanut and you Granddad is gold! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Ben

    Love your write ups Ray! Here’s to more travel and adventures!! (but uh maybe have a rest now and then haha)

  5. John Doucette

    Ray that is not a pony. It is a miniture horse

  6. Elliot

    Was it a service pony? I can’t believe you didn’t ask why he had it!

  7. Dave

    20 mins from me in CT! Thats a great spot, if you make it back again check out Castle Craig

  8. Ben

    I think maybe you should have picked Carnegie Deli for dinner, they are closing at the end of the year!

    link to carnegiedeli.com

  9. Mark

    Your grandpa is looking really spry for 99! He handed down some good genes :D

  10. Jackson Cheng

    Hi Ray!

    Does Lucy get to sit with you on flights (in a carrier), or does she fly with the luggage?

  11. Nemo

    The pics with Great Grandpa are adorable! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Richard Kaufmann

    You should note that Carnegie Deli is shutting down… so instead of “practice, practice, practice” as the way to get there, you’ll have to go to an airport: the few outlets will stay in operation, while the flagship goes bye-bye.

  13. Ken

    “she became rather displeased about New Jersey” – You have a very intelligent little girl there! ;-)

    Looking forward to the drone review.

  14. okrunner

    I’m thinking they had a petting zoo or something in the mall that the horse was in. On the other hand, marijuana is legal in CO and some craziness has began.

  15. Gabe

    Welcome back to the states.

    Looking forward to your thoughts on the Karma drone as one review stated “the WORST drone he’s every flown” lol

    link to youtube.com

    • I would agree, specifically that it’s the worst mass market drone (i.e non Kickstarter). It’s pretty bad.

    • Mike Richie

      That’s kind of a bummer. It is certainly a compelling package with the gimbal, backpack, controller and camera. Is it the hardware, or could it be fixable with new firmware updates?

    • I see two major issue areas:

      A) Lack of features

      This being stuff like follow-me modes, more cinematic modes, obstacle avoidance, etc… There’s also a boatload of smaller stuff like no flight log. Some of these can be added in software, whereas others require more hardware (optical sensors).

      B) Things that just doesn’t work well due to whatever reasons

      This includes aspect like incredibly poor GPS and altimeter capabilties, which means the unit often doesn’t go where it’s supposed to, or randomly drop or changes course/direction because it thinks it’s somewhere else. This isn’t evident at 100ft above the ground, but becomes overwhelmingly apparent when flying close to the ground or in tight quarters (near trees, etc…). This is the area that separates boring drone videos from memorable ones – the ability to transition from what you might have thought was a handheld camera to something up in the sky in one swift shot.

      C) Oh, and crap battery.

      I get 12-16 minutes on average, half of what DJI gets in P4 & Mavic batteries. Of course, I could almost swallow that if I could purchase more batteries, but of course you can’t right now.

      I flew three more flight chunks today, and I’ve got numerous on-camera examples of the unit just drifting into harms way where I had to take over because it simply couldn’t keep still. Really basic stuff.

  16. Lutfi Zakhour

    Another good post Ray – the pic w Great Granddad is golden. Funny why I read your personal posts w as much gusto as your tech ones!

  17. John

    Ray, great pictures of the park. You were about 4 miles from my office and I ride after work all around that area. Next time you visit, I suggest you try one of the various runs up to Castle Craig. That view will blow you away.

  18. andrew

    How do you normally book your travel? All one way tickets linking together your trip? It would be cool to see a blog post someday about some of the travel logistics you do since you’re vastly more experienced than most of us!

    • This was booked as an open-jaw. So we did CDG-EWR & DEN-CDG on one ticket (just standard United fare), and then a separate LGA-DEN ticket.

      I generally book United, since we get economy plus due to frequent flyer status. The downside though to travelling with the dog is that you can’t use any of the bulkhead rows (which is where the baby bassinets are on international aircraft).