Category: Travel

6 Months of Silence

One of the largest points of self realization that I have come to accept is that I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. What sometimes seems like a minor side project, or a great idea, turns into a time suck that eventually falls by the wayside to be abandoned when priorities change.

At the end of the day, I am not a full time blogger.  Hell, I am not even a part time blogger.  Yes, I have a blog, but not always the time to update it.  Just look at some of my past blog posts.  I was gangbusters for a good 6 months, maybe even 8 months.  Then I had to find a real job in my career field. Read more “6 Months of Silence”

Photo Tour of Boston’s Fenway Park

Boston is one of our country’s oldest and most storied cities and there is never a shortage of things to do, see or experience while visiting Boston.

One of the things that you MUST do while visiting Boston, (and this goes without saying for pretty much any sports fan) is visit Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox.  For me, it was the opportunity to cross an item off my bucket list. Read more “Photo Tour of Boston’s Fenway Park”

10 Epic Days.

What do you get when you combine the most beautiful beaches in the world with 62 of your best rum-indulging friends?

A 10 day party of epic proportions.

If you haven’t been following along with our Twitter or Facebook feeds, you (somehow) missed that Team Cocktail and JustinHamlin.com teamed up (ok, i paid and went along, just like everyone else) for an amazing 7 day cruise of the south Caribbean, filled with amazing excursions, impromptu parties and some of the best friends you will ever meet. Read more “10 Epic Days.”

How I Saw the Boston Freedom Trail for Free

I wouldn’t normally consider myself a budget traveler as I do enjoy the luxurious side of travel, but when an opportunity comes up for a great deal, far be it for me to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Upon spending time in Boston, MA for work lately, i quickly became familiar with the Boston Freedom Trail.  There are advertisements for walking tours, bus tours and even themed tours.  With this much advertising, I knew this was something I wanted to experience. Read more “How I Saw the Boston Freedom Trail for Free”

Foto Friday – December 2, 2011

Today’s photo comes from central park in New York City.  With family in town for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we took an opportunity to play tour guide and show our family around NYC.  After a wonderful breakfast, we ventured into Central Park to enjoy the overcast and rainy morning.  Taken from over one of the Trump sponsored skating rinks on the south end of Central Park, the low clouds, fog, rain and the last remnants of Fall colors provided a great depth and ambiance to the gorgeous NYC skyline.

This Foto Friday marks a few changes as of late, the primary one being my (attempted) return to my Foto Friday posts, as well as an addition to the camera arsenal. I originally started my Foto Friday posts with only shots from my Canon SLR, however recently with work being as hectic as it has been, my iPhone is the only camera that I have on my 95% of the time anymore, so this is the first iPhoneography shot to be featured on Foto Friday.

The shot was taken with the built in camera on the iPhone, stitched together with AutoStitch and cleaned up with SnapSeed.

Hope you enjoy it.

Camera – iPhone 4 | Software – AutoStitch, SnapSeed

Do you have any photos from some great, non-traditional Thanksgiving events?

 

Life Happened

I started this blog with great intentions. A creative outlet, a showcase for some photography, a window into my world. Everything was going swimmingly for the first 6 months of the blog…

And then life happened.

My last update came in August while we were trying to win a Marriott Beach Blogger dream vacation. Suffice to say, we didn’t win, but two of our Team Cocktail friends did! Bittersweet, yes, but glad to see some friends win.   I guess that is either the next best thing to winning, or the worst thing to happen if you lost.  It is a thin, grey line.

Since then, life has been a little crazy:

  • Spent 7 awesome days lounging on the beach in St. Thomas
  • I accepted a new NYC-based job
  • I have spent 6 of the last 9 weeks in Boston, where my company has its HQ and biggest customers
  • Had to learn NYC and Boston mass transit systems
  • Learning the Amtrak service from NYC to Boston and back
  • Spent a week (sick the entire time) in California for some great birthday parties
  • Showed Juliet around Boston for her first time
I know, I know, it is no excuse.  But alas, I have no better one.  I have been so incredibly busy, I still have not processed the photos from our St. Thomas trip (only a few to go! I will finish them today, promise!!).  But alas, there is a silver lining to all of this.

Upcoming Updates

Due to the fact of not blogging for the past 3 months, I have a TON of adventures to update everyone on, complete with photos, recommendations, first time newbie guides and more!  Here is a quick rundown of some upcoming post ideas:

  • How We Escaped Hurricane Irene (and ended up in the islands) – Also known as our St. Thomas getaway
  • The Boston Freedom Trail (and how to experience it for free)
  • Fenway Park
  • My foray into iPhoneography
  • A Boston Must: Samuel Adams Boston Brewery
  • Our First Cruise: The Buildup (and why we are excited)
  • Boston: My new favorite big city
And much more to come, with plenty of photos, so stay tuned!
I will leave you today with a few photos from recent adventures
Hope to see more of you back over here in the coming months for some great updates!

Sand Between Our Toes

As I sit here and finally put together one more dedication (read: plea) with regards to our entry into the Marriott Resorts Beach Blogger contest, I really am excited at the possibility of being selected for this wonderful vacation, but also very much reminded of how much we really need a belated honeymoon.

I have been positioning this as a belated honeymoon for Juliet and I, however, without completely realizing the timing of it all, if we are selected, it will fall right around our 1 year wedding anniversary.  September 24th, 2011 will mark 1 year since we were married on Huntington Beach in California.

To think we were married right around 1 year ago is almost mind boggling, until we consider what has happened in the past 12 months:

  • August 2010, Justin took a new job after 8+ years with old company
  • September 2010, Married in HB, CA
  • January 2011, quick flight to Rochester NY for Juliet’s interview
  • January 2011, 3 days later, Juliet accepted a job offer in NY
  • January 2011, Justin quit his (new) job
  • February 2011, moved into corporate housing in NY for 6 months
  • February 2011, Juliet experiences her first time living where it snows
  • March 2011, Justin flew back to CA and drove from CA to NY
  • April 2011, Our good friend Sean came to visit
  • May 2011, Justin starts his job hunt
  • June 2011, Justin is still job hunting
  • July 2011, Juliet heads back to CA to coordinate packing of CA house
  • July 2011/August 2011, move into our new apartment in NY
  • August 2011, spent unpacking
  • Oh yeah, Justin still job hunting
All of that in the past 12 months.  Nowhere in there was a honeymoon for us at all.  Unfortunately, was just not something we were able to work into our wedding budget and our work timelines. It has been quite the past year.
So by the time this is posted and the time you read this, we will be on the last day of voting for the Marriott Resorts Beach Blogger Resort 2 Romance contest, and we could really use (and would really appreciate) your support.
August 17th is the last day to vote, so hop on over to Facebook, Like the Marriott Resorts page, click on Resort 2 Romance and then scroll to the bottom, find JUSTIN H and click VOTE! (then go ahead and share this with all of your friends)

 

Thank you for all of your support, and if we win, we guarantee we will be doing something cool as a ‘thank you’ to all of our supporters.

 

Cheers!

 

A Belated Honeymoon Wish

As anyone who frequents the blog (both of you!) might know, Juliet and I were married in September, 2010 in Huntington Beach, California.  Since then, life has been a roller coaster, complete with a move to New York, an Epic Road Trip, quitting my job and loads of other adventures.

When we look back on our wedding, we have nothing but fond memories.  The only thing we would do differently (if given the chance to do it all over again) is to embark on a honeymoon after the wedding.

But good news, you can help us go on one!

(and I don’t mean by paying for it!)

Recently, our friend Ryan of Rum Shop Ryan fame won a Marriott Resorts Beach Blogger contest and spent 5 days on St. Kitts, exploring, drinking and occasionally, blogging.  It was from Ryan’s blog that I found out about a great contest that is a follow up to the wildly successful Beach Blogger contest, this one dubbed “Resort to Romance”.  A contest to sponsor a few bloggers/Marriott fans/travel lovers for a romantic getaway in the Caribbean.

Well, Juliet and I have entered in hopes of winning a great getaway as a belated honeymoon for us to one of the Marriott Resorts amazing Mexican and Caribbean Resorts!  One of the main criteria for judging is the amount of votes received, and currently we are up against 72 other couples.

If you could spare a few moments to “Like” the Marriott Resorts Caribbean and Mexico Facebook Page, and then click on our link to vote for us in their Resort to Romance contest section, we would greatly appreciate it, as the voting for this first round goes through July 31st!

You can vote once per day, so if possible, please send out a vote each day from here through the 31st!

Thanks again for all of your support and hopefully Juliet and I will be the next Marriott Resorts Beach Bloggers!

Cheers!

 

July 1: The Necessity of Pushing Yourself Outside Your…

And here we have it.  The last and final installment of the series.  The last wise and sage bit of motivation and inspirational knowledge I get to impart for this series.

Some have asked me why I went with 31 days when June clearly only has 30 days.  While a completely legitimate question, my intent with this was not to match the number of blog posts with the number of days in the month, it was more closely tied to the fact that on June 4th, I turned 31 years young.  Also, when tackling the initial rush of ingenuity with this series, the piece that solidified my decision was the fact that the 31st entry would fall on July 1st, effectively giving me a final blog to help propel my readers into July and beyond, while offering a solidifying finale to the series.

If you have followed along with the series, I really have 3 running themes to all of these posts, 3 main areas where I believe that you cannot help but feel better about yourself and more alive, just by participating:

Finding Adventure

June 4: Hit the Road, Jack.

June 5: Embrace Spontaneity

June 6: Get Lost

June 7: Spin the Globe

June 9: The Long Road Home

June 10: First Flight

June 11: Blow Off Work

June 20: Get Lost (Again)

June 24: Take a Flying Leap

June 25: Map Your Escape Route

June 28: Choose Your Own Adventure

Embracing Action

June 1: Stop Reading My Blog

June 2: Take a Photo

June 8: Relax!

June 12: Take a Hike

June 14: Make Something New

June 15: Sell Your Crap

June 16: Stop Making Excuses and Achieve Greatness

June 17: Set a Deadline

June 18: Create a Bucket List

June 19: Throw Caution to the Wind

June 21: Dedicate Yourself to Yourself

June 23: Disconnect Yourself

June 30: Draw A Blank

Giving Charity

June 3: Say Hello to a Stranger

June 13: Be Kind, Rewind

June 22: Be Charitable with Your Feet

June 26: Selflessness and You

June 27: Find a New Best Friend

June 29: Go Out of Your Way

 

The underlying theme that I have been trying to convey is a pretty simple one.

It is absolutely necessary to push yourself outside of the confines of your comfort zone on a daily basis.

Far too often, as I have touched on before, Americans, hell, people, strive for COMFORTABLE. We strive to hit that point in our lives when we don’t have to work too hard, yet pull in a decent salary. Where we don’t have to try and constantly impress our wife/husband, but they love us anyways.

We strive to be AVERAGE.  Not for excellence, not to be a superstar. We strive to meet the status quo.  Not to beat it and call it our bitch.

Why is that?  Why don’t you strive to be perpetually amazing?

Each and every day we need to push ourselves to be better, to achieve greater things. We need to push ourselves to achieve what we never thought was possible.  No matter how big, no matter how small, we need to make forward progress each and every day.

Our limits are only defined by our previous shortcomings. We must constantly explore the boundary of what we have previously identified as our “limit” and then push those boundaries further.

Ordinary people don’t make history.

Ordinary people don’t even make the news.

Don’t be ordinary. Be extraordinary.

Day 31. Way 31. Be Extraordinary. Every. Single. Day.

What limits are you going to push today?

Fireworks Photo Credit / Desert Photo Credit