US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 39 – Len – Semi-retired Entrepreneur – former CFO of Calvin Klein – from CT – met in Austin, MN

Incredible Day – it started with a heavy rain as I left Ames, Iowa. Heavy rain … and so I adjusted my travel plans to stay more to the main routes. I wanted smooth sailing (driving). For some reason, Spam (as in meat products) has kept coming into my life since I heard of a Spam Festival in Hawaii. Huh? I know …?

So on the fly … I mentally changed my route to go through Austin, Minnesota. That’s where the Spam Museum and the Hormel meat processing factory is. For some unknown reason, I meandered through the rural roads of northern Iowa and southern MN.

Since I’m on a mission to – Meet People, Make Friends and See if I can Help Make a Difference in People’s Lives – I was excited as dodged the scattered drops of rain while into the Spam Museum.Len and Stan at Spam Museum in Austin Minnesota_2

That’s where I met Len – who was taking photographs of exhibits – to take a photo of three ladies I had met (more on that in another blog).

He was on his way to Denver where he was going to deliver all kinds of things and household products and other stuff to his daughter Michelle. She teaches equestrian horseback jumping. on my way to Denver to deliver household product stuff still having same problems and as for my daughter Michelle who is teaching. His other daughter is a second-year resident at Columbia-Presbyterian, studying and focusing on Family Medicine, with a specialized focus on helping young women.

His wife Renee of 35 years packed all kinds of stuff that he was going to deliver. He mentioned that she sent him on his way with love in her heart. Len had worked hard all his life, in which he built his career rising to CFO of CK … and then retired early. He laughed when he said it gave him something to do. I interpreted what he said … as – I think – he hinted that she was giving him something to do and kindly get rid of him for a while. LOL …maybe.

He spoke lovingly of small town hamburger joints and quaint mom-and-pop cafes. He was specific about a great place he had found in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania – where there is a Rootin’ tootin’ hot dog place right off of Route 80.

Len told me he has a backpack in his SUV riding as a shotgun. Also, he has his camera bag handy and a ‘cat scratch’ pole for his daughter’s cat in the back seat.

I enjoyed talking with Len and we exchanged contact information. I might be so lucky to visit him when I pass through Connecticut in August. Wouldn’t that be absolutely great?

If you’re reading this … maybe join us?

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 27 – Dora – Owner of Dos Hermanos restaurant in Antonito, NM

Wow – I have to go back in time – I’m meeting so many real cool people and I have to go back a some days. Going to 50 states is really tougher than I thought.

But I’m on a mission to – Meet People, Make Friends and See if I can Help Make a Difference in People’s Lives.

Stopping for a late breakfast in Antonito, I met Dora who has been in the small town in Colorado for 22 years.Dora and Stan at Dos Hermanos in Antonito CO

She loves cooking and she likes the customers that come into the restaurant. Most of the people who come in are her friends and there are several she’s known for 22 years. Dora likes being busy. She’s been waiting on tables since she was very little.

What she doesn’t like is … cleaning the deep fryer and … after a brief pause, she also admitted that putting groceries away wasn’t a favorite either.

Dora’s parents helped her at the restaurant from the beginning and it’s been about 2 years that they were no longer were able to. It was on a sad note when she said her father passed away about 3 months ago. She smiled saying her son helped her in the business too.Smothered chicken enchiladas at Dos Hermanos

I had a great meal which Kayla the waitress served.

About the area – Dora likes the mountains and the weather is just fantastic in the summer. There’s usually a lot of wind in the early spring. The economy is really not that good.

She would like to have more people to move up here because it is just really beautiful and she just enjoys living here.Norm

 

Norm played himself as a regular customer.

 

Dora says that as ruler of the world she would have everyone be kind to everyone.

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 25 – Dominic – Medical Student of Albuquerque NM

It is so exciting to meet new people, but I did take a couple of days off after I returned from 8 fantastic days in Hawaii. Please forgive.

So back to it. With more energy than ever!

Going to 50 states is really big deal to me and restarted my never ending search of trying to find amazing people to talk to. I know I usually don’t have to look very far, and since I was driving cross country (heading through Iowa, Wisconsin Dells, then upstate New York) I started slow, but still feeling my way – more than looking for people. I let my intuition run wild … and stopped off at to continue my mission to – Meet People, Make Friends and See if I can Help Make a Difference in People’s Lives.

After stopping at a mechanic’s shop in Payson, AZ, I continued on going east on Highway 260. Even though it was almost noon, I was still trying to wake up. I downed about a quart of my nutritional shake (loaded with a steady picker-upper of Mochatonix), I passed a scenic spot of Mogollon Rim Visitors’ Center. Something strong struck me, told me I HAD to turn around. I made a u-turn the first chance I had … and went back to the center.Dominic and Stan

I parked and strolled out to a vista point lookout deck at the rear of the visitors’ center (which was locked tight). Looking out over the great view of forests and mountains at an elevation of 7,500 feet, that’s where … I met Dominic.

We talked about his journey, in which he was heading back to Albuquerque, having just come from Phoenix where he had been scoping out Naturopathic colleges that he could continue his progress in the medical field with the hopes of becoming a Physician’s Assistant. Dominic has also been looking at the University of Arizona Medical School in Tucson.

Why a P.A.? And not a full doctor? Dominic said that there was too much schooling involved and it would take far too much patience for him. Plus the cost of the education. Then the long term rigorous on the job training to get fully skilled as a physician. I understood … it’s a battle to achieve such a goal.

What was it about the future that he saw in being a PA? He gave a quick answer in that it was engaging with people, and in helping them. And not so much about the amount of money he would be making. Not much about the money.

But what would he do if he was ruler of the world for a day? Dominic would declare a holiday for everyone, but they would have to take the day and seriously look at how they could take full responsibility for their own health. Dominic – “It’s important for people to take responsibility for their own health. They need to do it for themselves, not let someone else manage it for them.”

What’s great about Albuquerque? It’s a great area for any and all outdoorsy sports people. Plenty of camping, fishing and hunting. “Let’s go,” he said.

I think Dominic would also be open to talk with successful mentors who could show him how he could make more money without devoting a lot of extra time to the business. There’s always excitement about ‘living the dream’ that could come to anyone … just by turning spending into earning.

OMG – I Can’t Believe It – I was a Tourist in Hawaii Yesterday

Even though it was raining, I decided to go out for a stroll from where I was staying at the Aqua Ohia Hotel in Waikiki. Just after crossing the street of Kuhio Avenue, and to get out of the rain, I found myself walking through the International Market Place, an indoor-outdoor shopping mall.Tourist Stan in front of banyan tree

Something caught my eye and I stopped to look through the store window. I looked at a t-shirt display inside the window. I thought – “What a cool shirt! Maybe I’ll go in and buy it.”

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I also saw a glimpse reflection of myself in the glass.

It hit me! My breath sucked itself right out of me.

Oh my god, I could not believe what I was transforming into.

A TOURIST!

Yuck!

But I wanted to buy that shirt. I avoided my own eye contact and walked into the store. I made a bee-line straight to the pile of shirts with the same saying on it of …

“I got lei’d in Hawaii.”

I whiffed through the pile but there weren’t any XXL’s!

What? Oh … NO! It can’t be. My first chance to go to tourist heaven seemed to dissolve as if I was part of a surreal mirage.

But then … I was saved …!

… when the store salesman … explained to another customer about … these fine and extra silky – just got in & brand new – shorts with 92% coconut fibers. Coconut fibers? Holy, leapin’ crap! That’s something I must have!

I jumped at the chance for tourist redemption and immediately tried on a pair, knowing the whole time, if there was even a remotest chance for a fit, I was going to walk out … a full-fledged vacationer-traveler who buys stuff that he doesn’t need and may never use!

WOW!Lei'd Stan

Later, I put on my lei and felt that … like I had just been lei’d.

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 16 – Peterson – Dermatologist of Thousand Oaks, CA

When you’re feeling good and happy, it’s easy to meet people from around the U.S. I know I’m just at the beginning of a long trek across the 48 states, plus Hawaii. My mission – meet people, make friends and see if there’s a way I can help make a difference in people’s lives.

At the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, I had arrived early (about an hour and a half early) and so many people were gathering already at the gate of departure. I took a seat next to a gentleman who was a photographer of some sort based on the type of tripod he had with his gear.

Peterson and StanWhen I asked him his name, he said Peterson and I was going to call him that (though I’m usually on a first name basis with nearly everyone I meet) … and just now, I learned that is his first name.

He said he had been at a photography workshop on the Havapai Indian Reservation. I guess it was good training and he learned a bunch. So okay, what about what do you do for a living?

It was a short but pleasant reply – “I’m a Dermatologist.”

He said he had his practice in Thousand Oaks, CA. He thought the city was a great place to raise a family, and it’s green and lush and the people are the very best.

What he liked best about his practice was the people and the variety of things he gets to do.

But what he doesn’t like is that he hates dealing with those insurance companies.

As fas as being ruler of the world for one day – “I would change human nature.” He would make it happen for one day that there would be less selfishness and more caring for others.