Zack's Website

My Egotistic and Esoteric Website

Travel

I've always enjoyed traveling, but don't get a chance to do it that often. This pages shows some noteable things about some of the plaecs I've been in my life...

On the right are places/territories I've been and actually set foot on the ground and spent some time there - they are listed in blue with a link to the state/territory/etc. and the year I last visited it.

Places in black are part of the country, but haven't been visited by me yet

Note, I'm still working on this page, compiling notes, and images...stay tuned! I don't take a lot of photos, but usually take something, so with iPhoto, I just let it track me and handle it all. I sort out the mess and photos I don't want at some later date.



Mexico Notes:

I was in Cancun, Mexico as a kid. Circa the time period when the most sunscreen protection you could get was an SPF 15! To me, Cancun is basically a tourist trap. The food is barely edible and you almost can't wait to get back home other than the sand and sun. If that's your thing. As an adult, you wouldn't catch me in Mexico if my life depended on it. It's a horrible place!

Canada Notes:

Getting into Canada back in the late 1980's and early 1990's was pretty easy. All you needed was your United States issued ID and you literally could walk/drive over the bridge in New York, or drive over the bridge (or under the tunnel) in Detroit and you were all set - Border Agents would usually just ask your citizenship and it was a done deal. Since 9-1-1 - the last few times at the borders in both New York and in Michigan, the Canadian Customs officials ask a lot more questions regarding guns, reason for visit, even detailed locations you are going to visit. So seems like Canada is a little more strict letting people in. Coming back to the USA however, it's still a "Hello, how are you?" and just go on your way. Don't for once think the US is not checking up on you. Your vehicle has been photographed and scanned and run against the computers in Langley even before you approach the border agent! I've only had the car torn apart once going into Canada, but that was probably because I had a rental car out of Ohio and crossed over at the border in Maine.

If you choose to go to Canada, check out the CN Tower in Toronto, the shops in the French speaking district of Quebec, and no matter the season you must check out Niagra Falls from the Canadian side. It's a lot better. The New York side isn't nearly as fun to hang out/shop/etc.

United States Notes:

I'm a fan of eating and trying new flavors and local customs. When I travel the states I make it a rule to never eat at a chain restaurant. Ever! I hate doing that. I've got to try something new - I'm constantly looking for new flavors, sites, customs, etc. That's the fun of travel. Trying something new, seeing something different.

Since 2019 Forward I'm Listing My Travel History Here

2019 Travel

The year 2019 was a very busy travel year for me. In March, I was invited to the West Palm Beach Florida area to assist in launching a new technology oversight committee by Midas International. The spring and summer months consisted of playing lots of golf at various courses throughout Northwest Ohio. One of my old favorites was purchased by the Toledo Metroparks, so I had to play that one last time. It was a very nice course, but the government threw a lot of money at them to sell it - I guess I can't blame them.

June 8, 2019 was a sad day in the Burns family history. I was informed my Grandma Burns went in for routine surgery, and it took a turn for the worse. I immediately hopped in the truck and got to Missouri in record time to be with her and my Dad while she passed away peacefully.




On the way back, in typical fashion a state trooper stopped me going over 95mph in Indianapolis. Ooops, didn't see that it was a 55mph zone. We talked about our recent family losses and he let me go with a warning.

August 2019 consisted of a trip to Boston, MA for a couple of days, then over to Vermont (yes, I stopped at Ben and Jerry's) and then up to Portland, ME.



Once October and the NFL season was in full swing, that gave an opportunity to travel to Dallas, Texas to see the Dallas Cowboys totally crush the New York Giants. Was a nice trip also - the weather was perfect.


A trip to Las Vegas in November over Thanksgiving was to seal the year off for me. Always wanted to have somebody else cook huge amounts of food and not have to clean up! Plus it was nice watching and betting on some weekend college and NFL games in the various sportsbooks.

But in typical Zack fashion, I squeezed one more trip into Florida over Christmas and New Years. This was the first and last time I will ever drive to Florida from Ohio. It was just too long of a drive. Sure, it was nice to see the country, stop in Georgia for peanuts...talk my way out of a 95+mph ticket in Tennessee... little stuff like that, but the drive is really, really, long!

2020 Travel

In early March, I was again invited to a huge Midas Convention at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (you saw pictures of that in the Superbowl ads in February - it has a huge guitar in the front of it reaching into the sky.) Anyway, that trip started a few days early in a secluded hotel in North Fort Lauderdale right on the beach. Sleeping with the sliding glass door open and the waves coming in off the Atlantic was pretty sweet! Then things started to take an odd twist to this trip. Instead of a huge convention, it literally got canceled that Friday night due to COVID-19 fears. Well...what do you do? We already had some folks down there, so we turned it into an all expenses paid work party weekend. (Oh and Yes, I have views on the whole COVID-19 over-reaction - but I'll save that rant for another day).

This year was to end with a huge trip to Japan to see the country and the 2020 Summer Olympics, but COVID-19 totally wrecked that.

Japan Notes:

My planning for a visit to Japan ended abruptly due to the 2019-2020 Covid-19 Corona Virus Outbreak. The trip was to include the 2020 Olympic Games, but rumor has it those will be rescheduled for a later year. I just feel bad for all the people that trained for the games. Hopefully, they get their chance to participate.

Update: July, 2021 - well the rumors were correct, they did reschedule the Olympics....but they aren't allowing anybody to attend the games! I swear, the entire world is up in arms over this outbreak and we are not learning any lessons from it what-so-ever! The virus wont be the downfall of the country/world...the politics of an overbearing and control hungry government will be the death of modern day society! Get ready to bend over and take it people!

2022 Travel

Well the 2022 Travel season started just like everything else now-a-days...as a cluster f**k!

Normally, I don't fly the discount airlines (AirTran, Spirit, Frontier, etc) because they literally nickle an dime you to death and by the time it's all said and done, you ended up paying more than you would have if you just bought a business class ticket on Delta or United.

Well, this year I didn't listen to myself. I had another week of vacation to burn and headed down to Cape Coral. I always try to take the first flight to my destination if I can. Normally weather is better, crew and equipment (plane) delays are non-existent....so it's a win. Long story short, this wasn't the case this year.

I've been on flights in the past where we've been intercepted by Cuban Mig Fighter jets (Miami to Jamaica), and planes that have had to do a quick filter change on the ground before we left (Kansas City), but other than that....no mechanical in-flight issues or diversions. So this flight was a little different for me.

This year I left on a Spirit flight from Detroit (DTW) to Fort Myers (RSW) on time at 6:20am and it was due to arrive around 9:00am. Well, I could tell something was wrong during the last leg of the trip when we went into a holding pattern and it was the 3rd time around in a hold. The captain said nothing, the crew said nothing, but as a former pilot, ATC doesn't like to have a plane circling for long, so I knew something was up. They usually slot you into the arrival pattern unless the crew is working some kind of mechanical issue. We were too high for gear, and nothing else seemed wrong with the plane. Then after the 7th holding pattern the captain came on the PA system and said "I'm sorry folks, but another sister aircraft tried to land at Fort Myers, but couldn't due to the fog and since we are low on fuel, we are going to land and refuel in Miami."

The captain didn't even try to shoot the approach, so the fog must have been pretty bad for the sister craft to execute a missed approach. It's pretty rare in the commercial space.

But anyway, I guess I'm glad he didn't try to land in hindsight, it just turned a 9:00am landing into a 1:15pm landing in Fort Myers due to the diversion, refueling, and massive backup in departing aircraft out of Miami. Let's just say I wasn't happy! I've captured a FlightAware snapshot of our flight so you can see the "fun". (I just had to zoom in to see how many hold we actually did - I was losing count in the air!)

Returning was also fun as there was no crew to receive our flight in Detroit, so I sat on the tarmack for gate personnel for about 30 minutes. Hopefully, the rest of this years travel goes better.

 

 

 

My buddy, Kevin and I are planning a trip out west to Montana for some relaxation at his sister's "cabin". So let's cross our fingers there's no issues with that!
Update 9/19/2022: Montana was a blast! The cabin was no cabin at all - we were all suprised (as it really wasn't explained to be a full blown house in the mountains.) We saw the ranch where the TV Series Yellowstone is filmed. We rafted down the Bitterroot River. We hit some nice little bars and eateries also. Some photos below show the cabin and also some of the smoke from the Idaho fires that caused the sky to be a little smoke filled. That cleared up by Thursday, but overall didn't affect the trip whatsoever. Unfortunately, liberal policies prevent cutting down trees, so these lightning caused fires spread and destroy thousands of acres of wilderness each and every year. It takes more than 20+ years for that to grow back. Stupid policies destroying everything for future generations!







 

 

 

This year will also end with a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I'm looking forward to that too.
Update 12/12/2022: Puerto Rico trip is complete. I'm still frustrated with the airlines, as the number of direct flights to destinations seems to be declining. It's all about traveling through a hub, which is such a pain in the ass! The flights were uneventful, but I hate traveling with the general public. It's becoming a cesspool of society. I miss our corporate jet (we sold it - it was pretty expensive). That was flying in style. Show up 10 minutes before the pilot takes off, no bullshit and you're off.

Anyway, here's some photos. The trip was fun. The food...I expected a little more spice, but it was good. Waking up and getting my salmon, fruit and capers was a daily treat. Albeit a $77.00 breakfast!
Oh, and I played the most expensive round of golf too at almost $500.00, and I really wasn't impressed with the course. I've been to the Bowling Green, Ohio Country Club and that seemed to have better fairways and greens! But to approach the green with the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop, or tee-off with the El Yunque National Rainforest Mountains in the background....you just can't pass up that experience. I had to rent clubs because I didn't really want to hassle with shipping a set down there, but it all worked out.
My drink of choice was the Mojito - the lime and fresh mint was a treat. I was told Kevin and I had 10 Mojito's one night, but I think the count was off. We're not alcoholics! I also din't mind the Medalia Light beer as well...refreshing.
I wanted to scuba dive (haven't done that since Jamaica) but the seas were pretty rough (so a lot of the excursions were canceled due to the rip-tides), so did a lot of shopping in Old San Juan. The architecture reminds me of a European city, and with most people speaking Spanish, you really kind of feel like it. Having it decorated for Christmas was cool too. Unfortunately, my Spanish is very rusty! Sorry Uber drivers! :-) Anyway, here's some pics....













2023 Travel

 

 

August 2023: consisted of an Alaskan Cruise. A couple days were spent in Seattle. I hit the Space Needle, Pike Street Market and a couple of other places. The Navy Blue Angels were in town too, so that was an added bonus. I went up to the hotel roof lounge and sat and watched them go by with a coffee. That was neat as I haven't seen them since I was a teenager in the Cleveland area. The ship left Seattle on Saturday and traveled all the way to Skagway, Juneau, Ketchican, Inland Glaciers, and Victoria Canada. The ship only went about 20mph at top speed. So it took a day and a half to get up to the first stop in Alaska.
This was the BEST vacation I've ever had in my life. Everything was taken care of on the ship, the people were fabulous. Anything you could want or ask for was provided, the service was great and the food was excellent. Just don't ask about the Crab/Shrimp/Clam/Oyster Bucket! Wow! It was excellent - but I'm done eating shellfish for a while it was a huge bucket!!
The casino was a fun spot to hang out at when the boat was cruising to the next port. Was kind of weird, playing slots, while looking out the window watching the waves go by with a drink in my hand. Weird...fun, but weird.
The entertainment on the Promenade and Lido Desk was fun too. Never a dull moment. A bar, pizza and burger place with the pools, hot tubs and movies playing. That was fun
A rock slide that took out a dock and previous Princess cruise ship caused anyone who wanted to get off in Skagway to take a tender ship (emergency life boat) to the dock. When I wanted to relax, I just headed back to my aft stateroom and put up my feet and watched the whales or sea lions go by and a drink in my hand. You could even watch old episodes of the Love Boat (remember the Pacific Princess ship)...it is the same cruise line. Anyway, it was a great trip and I recommend it to anyone.
I was able to use the ship's WiFi to track our position too - which was cool - then I could gauge when to see whales and other creatures that are typically in shallower water or in inlets/channels and watch them from my stateroom or the upper decks.
I could probably write an entire page about the trip, but might do that at a later time. All I can tell anybody is book a cruise. You'll have the time of your life! I've already booked a cruise for August 2024 to see the Eastern seaboard of Canada and the New England states again.
Here's a pile of random pictures....enjoy!






































 

September 2023: Flew down to Cape Coral, FL to see Mom and Dad and the new house. Still trying to get Dad to bring the Hot Rods down so he has more toys to play with. The six car garage is a little empty! :-) This starts the Burns Family Florida Connection and it's history to the site. More to come on that as time dictates - it's an entire web page in itself.

 

September 2023: Took a small trip over to the West Coast of Michigan into Grand Rapids at the end of the month with the new car. It was fun and relaxing. Sydney needed a little break from school. Hit an Octoberfest event and some sightseeing. It's a cute little city.

 

 

2024 Travel

March 2024: Nashville, Tennessee - for the Midas connection. It's purely for fun and to see some business collegues. Other than that I plan on getting some BBQ and hitting some of the Country music venues like the Grand Ole Opry, Old Smokey Distillery and of course, Cooter's Garage and the Dukes of Hazard Museum!

 

August 2024: New England States/Northeast Canada Cruise - Sydney's coming with me on her first cruise and she'll be 21 years old... so "watch out!" :-)

 

 

Places I've Been

Canada

Alberta

British Columbia (2023)

Manitoba

New Brunswick CRUISE PLANNED 2024

Newfoundland

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia CRUISE PLANNED 2024

Nunavut

Ontario (2013)

Prince Edward Island

Quebec (1998)

Saskatchewan

Yukon Territory

Mexico

Cancun (1985)

Jamaica

Montego Bay (1987)

Japan

PLANNED 2020 (Due to Covid)

Puerto Rico

San Juan (2022)

United States

Alabama

Alaska/Cruise (2023)

Arizona (1987)

Arkansas

California (1987)

Colorado (1987)

Connecticut (1989)

Delaware

Florida (2022)

Georgia (2020)

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois (2019)

Indiana (2019)

Iowa

Kansas (1986)

Kentucky (2020)

Louisiana

Maine (2019)

Maryland (1988)

Massachusetts (2019)

Michigan (2020)

Minnesota (2006)

Mississippi

Missouri (2019)

Montana (2022)

Nebraska

Nevada (2019)

New Hampshire (2019)

New Jersey (1989)

New Mexico

New York (2018)

North Carolina (1997)

North Dakota

Ohio (2020)

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania (2018)

Rhode Island

South Carolina (1997)

South Dakota

Tennessee (2020)

Texas (2019)

Utah

Vermont (2019)

Virginia (1988)

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin (2006)

Wyoming

West Virginia

Wisconsin (2006)

Wyoming

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