In early October, 2016, my wife and I visited some friends in San Francisco. It was an amazing trip, with amazing views, and once in a lifetime experiences. The first omen of a good trip was seeing a Tesla Model X on the way to the city from the airport.
After we arrived, we had a small walking tour and caught some amazing views. We stayed in Noe Valley.
Next, we walked through the Ferry Building, a pre-1900 building, which houses a farmer's market now. Click on the picture below to be directed to the Ferry Building's website.
On the morning of May 18th, I was sad to hear of the apparent suicide of one of my favorite musicians, Chris Cornell. Cornell was the front man for bands like Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, Audioslave and solo work. I first started listening to Cornell in 2002 when Audioslave released their first song, Cochise. Audioslaves "I am the Highway", "Show Me How to Live", "Like a Stone", and Temple of the Dog's "Hunger Strike" are some of the best songs I've ever heard. Chris Cornell joins the list of musicians and actors that have gone too soon. I've been on an Audioslave kick over the last week, take a listen.
My wife and I swear by budgeting. This means creating a budget every month. We have been doing this together for 6 or 7 years, and it's been amazing. We started off by using Microsoft Money, but Microsoft stopped supporting that software. After trying a couple different tools, we landed on YNAB, and it's been great. YNAB adds the incentive to "age" your money, giving you a number of how old your money is. This creates the desire to live on last months income.
YNAB features an auto import feature for our bank accounts, which makes tracking accounts very easy. The budgeting is user friendly. YNAB also provides all kinds of support. Everything from podcasts, workshops, and newsletter articles. YNAB is $50 a year, and well worth every penny. Do yourself a favor, get YNAB. Why? Because you need a budget!
On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence visited and spoke at the University of Notre Dame's Commencement Ceremony. Being the previous Governor of Indiana, he had a warm welcome. There were some news stories about a group of students planning a walk out during the Vice President's speech. After speaking with a Secret Service agent following the speech, he said there were about 100 students that walked out, but the crowd started to boo the students who were walking out.
The Vice President landed in South Bend on Saturday and left in the early afternoon on Sunday. I spoke with several Secret Service agents, who were all personable and genuinely happy to be there. There were uniformed Secret Service, Secret Service mechanics, and EOD guys checking out the trucks in the motorcade. The size and scale of the operation was amazing! It was a great experience!
This weekend we are hosting our 5th set of guests through AirBNB. All of them have been amazing and we love the process through AirBNB. We feel like our home is safe and secure and we have the ability to choose who stays in our house. The payment process is great and the review process is genius. We write a review, then the traveler rights a review, but neither of the reviews are posted until we both have reviewed. This aids in honesty. Then, everyone has the ability to write private reviews to each other. If you've thought about it before, DO IT! If you leave near a Notre Dame, or any other attraction, DO IT!
Late April, 2017. Louisville, Kentucky has never looked so good. The bluegrass was green, the fences were painted, the horses were groomed and the bourbon was in the barrels. Mint Julep Tours provided the transportation and the guide. Our guide, Chuck, was fantastic! He was so knowledgable about bourbon and the horses, and his passion for both was palpable! I could have imagined a better guide or a better experience!
Our first stop was Woodford Reserve, tasting both the Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select and the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, both were amazing! The tour of the distillery was amazing. The process, although very complex, was quite simple. The storehouses smelled of the Angel's Share and the buildings are tucked into a hillside that only Kentucky can provide.
After a great tasting at Woodford Reserve we drove through the amazingly hilly Kentucky countryside. We drove past the Old Taylor Distillery, which is now Castle and Key, a new whiskey maker, who will make bourbon, rye and gin. This lead us to Wild Turkey, which had one of the best views! The wooden building and the natural light made for some stunning pictures! Wild Turkey was a quick stop for a nice little tasting. Before long, it was onto the next one.
The last stop, Buffalo Trace! The bourbon smell in this little valley was amazing! We had a great tour through the campus, seeing some of the barrel storage warehouses, bourbon aging warehouses, even saw an 18 year old barrel of Old Taylor Bourbon! As you can see from several of the pictures, most of the buildings look filthy. This is called whiskey fungus. During the aging process of the whiskey, a large portion of the barreled whiskey evaporates. The evaporated whiskey mixes with moisture in the air, sticks to anything around and develops whiskey fungus. The evaporated whiskey is called the Angel's Share, and man does it smell good!
Jack of All Trades, Master of None