Hobbies and Things I do for fun.

Some of this may not sound like fun to you but I find enjoyment in many different things. Some simple, some not so simple. Flying is such a kick that it rates its own subpage seperate from here. Horses and equestrian activities are such a part of my life because of my family that this topic is seperate also. I guess what's here is the left-overs.

Biking is something I enjoy but not as an organized activity. Might like it but haven't tried it. I enjoy the solitude and the feeling of freedom. I used to bike to work when it was only about 10 miles but now just go out for a ride in the neighborhood. I'm lucky to live near Oakbrook and Fullersburg Woods. These are some of the better places to bike that are close to home. In 2005 a pedestrian overpass was erected over Route 83 at 31st. That and a new path along 31st make for a much nicer (and safer) ride. Danada and Herrick Lake Forest Preserves are also nice and the Waterfall Glenn circle makes for a nice Sunday afternoon.

Gardening for me is limited to mowing the lawn, growing vegetables and tending the compost heap. I really enjoy turning over the earth in the spring and being part of the cycle of things. Planting, growing, tending, harvesting and enjoying. Even as depressing as it can be, the act of putting the bed down in the fall is still part of the cycle. So, too, is the winter of planning and the anticipation of the blooms from blulbs planted in the fall.

Working compost is a very satisfying chore. The smell is real, part of God's creation. I'm a city boy, born and raised but working the compost and helping make new soil fills a part of me that concrete and asphalt cannot.

Our house was built in 1943. By 4-Fs, I imagine, so that's who I blame when things fall apart. Home improvement and repairs isn't as much of a hobby as it is a chore but I enjoy working with my hands and knowing that the end result is my own labour, something I can be proud of. It's also something very real that you can see unlike working with computers. Our kitchen remodelling in 2004 was particular sastifying because all three girls pitched in and worked so hard to make it happen.

Vacations - Ahhhh, now there's something I enjoy a great deal.

  • Top of the World Ranch - Sadly the ranch seems to have become a treatment center instead of a guest ranch. That's a shame. As a guest ranch it was fantastic. We liked that it wasn't so fancy or resort-like that you felt isolated from the staff or the workings of the ranch or that the people there felt they needed to pamper you in that phony way that sometimes happens. You felt like you were family coming to visit. Top of the World Ranch will be missed.
  • New York, New York - Wow! What a place. A bit dirty by some people's standards but the people truly are friendly and it is the center of so much. Theater, Arts, Design, Learning. "The Bronx is up and the Battery's down"
  • Disney World - A visit here has become almost a pilgramage for families. Since we were there in '91 it's grown even bigger. I hope it hasn't lost some of it's friendliness.
  • Boston - Another great city. So much history and what an attitude. While New York seems to be bragging about its eminence, Boston seems very comfortable in its sophisticated maturity with no need to boast.
  • The Skyline Trail - I've only experience pieces of the trail and always yearn for more. Someday, the Columbia to Crater Lake.
  • Key West - As comfortable with its quirkiness as Boston is with its sophistication. A great place to relax.
  • Charleston, SC - What a delightful place to spend a long week-end.
  • London - The grand dame of cities. It's all we Yanks think it might be and then even more.
  • Washington, DC - Frankly, it's not a great city. But the combination of the Smithsonian Museums; the Viet Nam, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials; and so much of our history makes this a must-see destination for every American.
  • Yellowstone N.P. - It I had to pick only one vacation destination for the rest of my life, this would be it. I've been there six or seven times and never tire of it. The wildlife, the thermal features, the unspoiled wilderness all add up to a very special corner of planet earth.
  • Cancun - It's warm when we're not and the beach is fantastic but I felt very apart from Mexico. At Disney World you know everything is 'make believe' but here the artificial world of the resorts seems odd when just down the road the real Mexico is so much different. That's not say it isn't great to lay on the beach with a good book or to body surf in the waves.
  • Maine - A summer trek to Maine probably seems normal for those from Boston or NY. For us it was quite a long drive but certainly worth it. We found Acadia different from the large expanses of national parks out west but very nice even though we were there at the busiest time of the year. ( I didn't have the heart to tell them that what they called 'mountains' really weren't.)