What a Journey!

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

I’ve just returned from a trip that took me to not one, not two, but three big U.S. cities. The trip began in late May and ended half way through June, so just shy of a month. WOW, I saw and learned a lot along the way! I also snapped some picts, so I thought I’d share a few of them here.

My first stop was my home town of Indianapolis, which I tend to call Indy because I grew up within earshot of the Indy 500. Needless to say, if there happens to be a long overdue visit in the cards, then late May is a wonderful time to make the trip :-)

Downtown Indy has changed a lot over the years since I lived there, and I seldom get a chance to walk around and get a sense of all that’s happened. This time was different, though. I took a day to go downtown and see the sights, and I covered much of the territory on this map.

IND aMap1

I’m a city girl at heart, so I began in the heart of downtown at the Circle Centre mall that’s sandwiched between ArtsGarden and the Convention Center .

From there, it was a hop, skip and a jump to the canal that’s been totally redeveloped since I went to high school near there.

Nothing compares to views of the city and White River State Park from the Washington St. bridge. No surprise, the Zoo is still the crown jewel of it all.

Indy has become a different city than the one where I grew up, and I mean that in a very good way. It’s blossomed into a beautiful place. No doubt I’m biased about this, but I don’t think that it’s a bad thing that it’s basically become one huge, Big Ten’ish campus.

Of course, no visit to Indy is complete without a visit to Long’s Bakery. Some things don’t change, thank goodness!

My next stop was Atlanta. The universe has given me a number of opportunities to spend time there over the years, and there were a couple of reasons for a visit.

Again, while I’ve spent a lot of time in Atlanta, I never had a chance to get a good feel for the city. This time I had extra days, so I stayed over in Midtown and walked around to get a sense of it all. Again, as in Indy, I was able to see most of the area on a map that I found.

Something Atlanta has that Indy doesn’t is a underground transit system, so that helped me cover most of the territory on the map in a few days.

ATL Midtown

One highlight of the trip was exploring Georgia Tech. I’ve been there, but it was always with a group or following directions to an event. There was never time to get a good sense of it. Sometimes it struck me as being like my old stomping grounds at Purdue — tons o’ red brick! Other times, it looked more like MIT — cement and glass everywhere! This time I finally got to see the whole campus, and ultimately it seemed like some odd mix of the two, or really, none-of-the-above.

ATL GA-Tech

My time in Atlanta concluded with a commute up to Roswell in the northern suburbs where I got the chance to get an impressive preview of the Computer Museum of America. I’ve written the visit up in a separate blog post for the New Computer Museum.

At last, the final destination of my journey was Miami. Again, I’ve had a variety of reasons to spend time in Florida, but “real” vacations are the best reasons. Happily, this was one of those!

Here’s a view of the entry way to the hotel. Talk about a stairway to paradise!

Right beyond the pool was the awesome boardwalk that runs most of the length of Miami Beach, and it featured cute kitty denizens every block or so.

Then beyond that was that mind-bendingly beautiful beach with colors galore!

It was hard to leave the beach to go on a tour of Miami, but it was worth it. Weather threatened to ruin the tour, but it served up dramatic views instead.

City View 20180610_100727

After the tour, there were some obvious places to go back and explore.

For some reason, the tour didn’t go to the southern most point of Miami Beach, and I was curious about what was there, so one morning I went to check it out.

On the way back, I couldn’t help but get wrapped up in admiring all of the beautiful Art Deco architecture on Ocean Drive across from the beach.

ArtDecoArch

Ooops, make that too wrapped up! I turned around and saw that a fairly intimidating storm had snuck up on me, so lightening and thunder chased me back up the path to the hotel. I made it back right before the storm hit, but not everyone was as concerned about ducking it. Playing volleyball during lightning on a beach — things that make you go hummm.

My trip ended on a high note with a wonderful visit to the first Miami VR Expo, and I’ve written about that in a post for Digital-Den.

BTW Who says unicorn’s are hard to find? Meet Cosma’s new mascot ;)

Fun stuff 20180608_193044

Overall, as the title of this post says, what a journey!

Each stop along the way also helped me to resolve some key questions about next steps for my various ongoing “journeys” from yesterday to tomorrow.

More about that later…

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