As we mentioned in the introduction to this blog, my job requires a lot of travel. That's a double-edged sword. It's hard being away from family so much, but I get to visit lots of cool places.
By my count, work has taken me to 17 different states and one foreign country. That tally increases to 23 if you include states I've landed in or traveled to from work sites, including a wrong turn out of Philadelphia that put me in New Jersey for all of five minutes. I drove around the block and paid $3 to cross the bridge back into Pennsylvania, and now I can thankfully cross New Jersey off my list.
When I started this job, I realized I had two choices. I could make the most of my travels and experience the opportunities those cities had to offer, visiting the sites and discovering the best restaurants. Or, I could work all day and spend my nights in some crappy hotel room, waiting impatiently for the end of the week so I could return home. No brainer, right?
While being adventurous is fun, I have to admit that I often feel like Steve Martin in "The Lonely Guy." I love the scene in that movie when he walks into a restaurant and says, "Table for one." As he is led to his table, a spotlight follows him as he makes his lonely trek to dine alone.
That's often my life.
Frankly, it sucks to experience an exceptional meal and not have anyone to share it with.
That's where this blog comes in. Jami and I will take you along on a normal couple's journey to Livin' the Good Life, and if we're lucky, some of you will pitch in too.
While I'm out on the road, you can tag along while I dine at Emeril's New Orleans Fish House or Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, blow two day's worth of per diem at Rick Bayless' Topolobampo, or savor monkfish in Bergen, Norway. We might decide at the last minute to walk across the street and scalp a ticket to see Coldplay or The Police, spend an afternoon on one of America's Top 10 beaches or drive to Whitefish, Montana, in search of the perfect brew pub.
Who knows? Maybe one day you'll find yourself in Venice, Fla., and you'll think, "Hey, we should stop at Sharky's on the Pier, watch the sunset and have a Bait Bucket Margarita. I heard they're good."
And you'd be right.