Social Media Dragons

Lately I have been questioning whether Social Media platforms really desire being used by the little guy or is it just an avenue of PR for the wealthy and famous to play around with? I have had serious issues with three systems in the last week and touched on a fourth issue with another platform.

Twitter drives me completely insane with its plateau of 2,000 followers. Every time you hit the number you are locked out of “Following” any more Twitter accounts, that might be relevant to your traffic. The process, as far as …

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Are You Buying or Selling?

Growing up in Texas the way a man wears his pants inside of his boots, that is which leg is tucked in, defines if he is selling or buying cattle the story goes. If the pants were tucked in their left boot it meant they were selling cattle. If their pants were tucked in their right boot it meant they were buying cattle.

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Old and Not So Stupid Anymore

Once upon a time, I was young and stupid. I thought you went along to get along. I worked over forty years (yes I am old!), in the retail industry and it was a dog eat dog, aggressive business with only one factor in mind. Make more money for the company. There wasn’t any compassion, or understanding that Sometimes Life Throws You Curveballs. Life in reality, is a fantastic roller coaster, and it has a magnificent way of balancing order. In the end it corrects most …

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The 5 Things I learned from Lunch with Stephen Oddo

I was almost hesitant to agree to lunch with Stephen Oddo, as he is actually a few months younger than my oldest son. I received very impressive recommendations though from both my mentors Where in the World is Lola and Leah Travels and decided what the heck? Stephen is the co-founder of Walks of Italy and its CTO and Marketing Director currently.

What could I lose, except a lack of …

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Get Out of Your Cocoon

Hey you! Yes you! The one sitting in front of your TV or behind your desk in your 9-5 job, that is driving you completely insane. The one that is just waiting for retirement so you can do more of the same and sit in front of your TV all day long! Can’t you realize that there is more to this great planet than the 10 block radius between your house, your job and the grocery store?

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Sorry We Missed You This Time

Before we arrived in Ecuador, Omar had made contact with an individual (Monica Mac Naughton) who turned out to be a legitimate and gracious host in so many various ways. I cannot truly describe what an asset she was to us. Her other half (Tom Mac Naughton) …

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SPF 30 and I Should Have Worn My Hat

I am not inclined to take tours and adamantly decline offers often. Many fellow visitors and Ex-Pats residing in Cuenca voiced their favorable opinions of the Double Decker bus tour. Kim wanted to go and I finally acquiesced about three days before we left. The tour departs from the entry of the Old Cathedral and takes roughly about an hour for $5.00 US. The guide delivers the spiel in Spanish and English both, in case you are bi-lingual challenged!

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Lifted by the Light

Kim and I took the Cuenca bus tour and were very glad we did. I suffered a major sunburn and looked like a tomato. Afterwards we decided to visit the Old Cathedral

The Cathedral is located on the Parque Calderon square directly across from the Nueva Cathedral in Cuenca. Construction began in 1567 and in 1999 the Cathedral was renovated. It serves as a museum today. Photos are okay, but no flash! We walked through the magnificent doors….

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Daibutsu

A year ago I was sitting in my son’s house in Zushi Japan, wishing I didn’t have to go home so soon. He relocated to Japan almost two years ago and I miss being able to see him on a regular basis, like I can our other two sons. Google+ is great, but it is not the same as hugging him in person.

On my trip I was fortunate enough to accompany him and a guide to the Big Buddha in Kamakura Japan. We made the decision to take the …

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California Here I Come

Surprise! I’m not referring to the Golden State in the US. I am doing a story on California Kitchen in Cuenca Ecuador. Kim and I stumbled upon this restaurant, on Luis Cordero one Sunday after walking around Calle Larga and other streets in El Centro. The restaurant has moved location recently. It is now on a second floor …

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My oh My-Mio Tours Makes Your Day

Surprise! I’m not referring to the Golden State in the US. I am doing a story on California Kitchen in Cuenca Ecuador. Kim and I stumbled upon this restaurant, on Luis Cordero one Sunday after walking around Calle Larga and other streets in El Centro. The restaurant has moved location recently. It is now on a second floor …

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Casa Ordonez-Just Like the Good Ole Days

I often receive social media posts in regard to how it used to be, when I was a child and growing up. Most of us yearn for a different time when things in the world were more stable and interaction with others brought smiles rather than grimaces. Kim and I were fortunate recently, to “go back in time” and experience a boutique hotel in Cuenca Ecuador named Casa Ordonez. The building that houses the …

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Graffiti in Cuenca is Art

I have had this discussion with many individuals and the line is usually drawn between age groups. I personally think that some of the graffiti in the world is magnificent art and have always felt this way. I promised a blog on Cuenca graffiti and here goes!

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Living La Vina

I know. I know. Its not “Living La Vina”, but “Living La Vida”. I felt compelled to use the wordplay. My apologies to Ricky Martin. In a way when you visit La Vina in Cuenca you are living the life!

The first thing that happened on our initial visit was Monica, one of the wonderful owners approached me, gave me a hug after I mentioned I had been there before and talked with Eugenio, her husband. She stated Mi Casa es Su Casa and I know she really meant it!

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A Taste of Luxury

Upon our return trip from Cuenca to Austin, Kim and I stayed at the Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil again. Upon check-in, we were given warm, mint scented towels and fresh juice to take away the humidity and heat of the city. This time we stayed in the Oro Verde Suite and were delightfully surprised at the glamorous and stately attributes of the suite.

We met and talked with Mr Xavier Polastri, the “Gerente de Recepcion” or the Front Desk Manager. Not only was …

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El Chorro de Giron Waterfall

Earl and Max decided to tour this waterfall and three towns surrounding Cuenca. The towns specialize in certain crafts. It is more economical if you can share these tours and we discussed tagging along. They agreed to let us accommodate them. We were not sorry we went along. Its about a hour ride from Cuenca and you stop at the Battle of Tarqui National Monument, dedicated to the brave 4,000 men, who defeated the 8,000 Peruvian soldiers, to liberate Ecuador.

The battle was February 27, 1829. It is located near the town of Tarqui. There are 73 steps leading to the top. An interesting tidbit. …

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Tiesto’s is Still Magnifico!!!

We walked into this great restaurant and proceeded to locate the host. He was in the back and asked if we had a reservation. I communicated the time and confirmed our reservation. A young lady server sat us in an area populated by Ex-Pats. I originally wanted Langostinos, which is my favorite dish in Cuenca. Kim did not cherish the thought of eating prawns, so I deviated and chose beef instead. Kim desired fish.

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Our Lady of the Mist Cathedral

This Iglesia is actually built into the side of a mountain and is over 100 years old. It is very striking as you drive up the mountain and imposing in its own way. It must have been difficult to carry the materials needed to this cathedral for construction.
As we ventured up the plethora of steps I was reminded of the hill behind Ingapirca and how Kim, our new friends Earl and Alex, and …

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Making My Own Birthday Dinner

If you will recall I was scheduled to attend a Longhorn baseball game at the Disch on my birthday with my middle son. He fell sick with what I would guess was food poisoning from our dinner out the night before. A bad case of Lobster being mishandled. At least that is our guess.

I know how to cook fairly well and decided that I wouldn’t let the “Curve Ball” get me down and would make the most out of my day by cooking one of my favorites and my family’s favorites. Chicken Enchilada’s …

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Making Memories

The alarm came early and we both bolted out of bed with gusto. After all we were on our way to Ecuador finally and we both felt giddy with excitement. We got to the airport in Austin in plenty of time. Thank goodness, as the security lines were horrible. Easy breezy and we were at the gate with an hour to spare. Flights to DFW and Miami went off with no hitches.

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Amateur Traveler Episode 471 - Travel to Austin, Texas



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