• A man running alone in the middle of a street with text overlaying that says "Finding ways to run while social distancing."
    fitness

    Finding ways to run while social distancing

    Since mid-January, road races big and small have been canceled across the globe.  The Tokyo Marathon limited its field to elite runners.  The London Marathon postponed its race from April to October.  Recently races across the United States have been canceled or postponed as COVID-19 continues to spread.  So how do people find ways to compete while social distancing?  With the advent of virtual races, running while social distancing is easier than people expect. What is social distancing? Recent health suggestions during the COVID-19 pandemic have encouraged people to maintain social distancing.  There are multiple aspects to social distancing that governments around the world have encouraged, such as working from…

  • Brick neoclassical designed building with white columns and a text box over the center that says "My experience at McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel."
    hotel review,  Oregon

    My experience at McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel

    For a trip to Portland, my wife and I wanted to spend a few days outside of the city to relax and recharge our batteries.  About 30 miles from downtown Portland, we found Tualatin Valley.  In working with the local visitors association, we settled on McMenamins Grand Lodge Hotel in Forest Grove.  The hotel is a 45-minute drive from Portland International Airport or a two-hour transit using TriMet.  From downtown Portland, the lodge is a 30-minute drive or about 90 minutes on TriMet. Original king with private bath My wife and I opted for a king room with a private bath.  There is plenty of space for two suitcases and…

  • Collage showing man on left holding t-shirt that says "I ran the length of Japan" with map of Japan's four largest islands and text overlaying it that says "My running goals for 2020 and beyond."
    fitness,  Japan

    My running goals for 2020 and beyond

    The end of the year usually brings about reflection and goal setting for the new year.  After taking time the past few weeks to reflect on 2019 and thinking about the future I’ve set some long-term running goals for myself.  I may accomplish some of these goals in 2020, but these are long-term goals, so I do not have a specific deadline. Setting my goals A few months ago, I participated in a 10-mile race.  It wasn’t officially timed, but I clocked in at 1:24 (about an 8:30 pace).  I shared this accomplishment on my personal Facebook page because I am proud of how far I have come with my…

  • Collage with four boxes for 2020 ballpark resolutions. Upper left contains logos for Indianapolis Indians, Fort Wayne TinCaps, and South Bend Cubs. Upper right contains logo of Rocket City Trash Pandas inside outline of Alabama. Bottom left contains Milwaukee Brewers logo. Bottom right contains JR East map of trains in Greater Tokyo.
    ballparks,  travel

    Revealing my 2020 ballpark resolutions

    The new year means time to make resolutions to better yourself.  For a lot of people that means a vow to lose weight, quit smoking, or some other self-improvement objective.  Those are all admirable goals, but I prefer to focus on traveling in the new year.  Specifically, I like to set goals to visit new ballparks.  Without further ado, here are my 2020 ballpark resolutions. Resolution #1: In 2020, I resolve to see all five @NPB teams in Greater Tokyo (@Chiba_Lotte, @lions_official, @swallowspr, @TokyoGiants, and @ydb_yokohama) play at home. #PlayBall #NewYearsResolutions #GoTokyo #StevenExploresTokyo — Steven Ericson (@StevenOnTheMove) January 1, 2020 I made this resolution last year as well (read last…

  • Four photograph collage of baseball fields with a white box in the center and text that says "Reviewing my 2019 baseball travel resolutions."
    ballparks,  travel

    Reviewing my 2019 ballpark resolutions

    For several years now I have made New Year’s resolutions to visit ballparks in the coming year.  Most of my goals are to visit new Minor League Baseball stadiums, but my resolutions are not exclusive to MiLB parks.  Each year I review my resolutions and assess how successful I was in fulfilling them.  So, here’s how I did with my 2019 ballpark travel resolutions. Resolution #1: In 2019, I resolve to see all three @TravelOregon #MiLB teams (@EugeneEmeralds, @HillsboroHops, & @SKVolcanoes) play at home. #PlayBall #NewYearsResolutions — Steven Ericson (@StevenOnTheMove) January 1, 2019 Last year my wife Katie started a program for an additional certification related to her job.  Part…

  • Black-and-white photo with overview of a gas station with a large flag pole and red text overlaying the image that says "Rutherford B. Hayes Birthplace. Delaware, Ohio."
    Ohio,  presidents

    Rutherford B. Hayes Birthplace in Delaware, Ohio

    In 1817, Rutherford Hayes Jr. and his wife Sophia moved from Dummerston, Vermont, to Delaware, Ohio.  On October 4, 1822, Sophia gave birth to the couple’s fifth child, Rutherford Birchard Hayes.  The elder Rutherford died about two months before his son’s birth, so Sophia raised her son and his sister Fanny Arabella by herself.  The future president later graduated from Kenyon College, earned a law degree from Harvard, and moved to Cincinnati.  In 1926, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a marker near the Rutherford B. Hayes birthplace.  Unfortunately, the house was torn down the same year.  Currently, a gas station stands at the location…

  • Four beer fans with autumn imagery on a counter top with text overlay that says "Review of Japanese fall (秋) beers."
    Japan,  travel

    Reviewing Japanese fall beers

    Seasonal beers are found throughout the world.  For example, Märzen (a.k.a. Oktoberfest) beers were traditionally brewed in March for consumption in September.  Japan has numerous seasonal festivals and breweries have capitalized by creating fall beers.  Japan’s big four (Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo, and Suntory) breweries release autumn beers, which are available from late-August into October.  The packaging evokes fall with red, orange, and yellow colors and images of falling leaves on the cans.  If you’re visiting Japan during this time of the year it is a great opportunity to try beers that are notably different.  Now onto sampling Japanese fall beers. Asahi Kurenai (紅) is Asahi’s fall beer.  Although 紅 translates…

  • Black-and-white overview of a family grave site with an obelisk in the center. Text overlays the image saying "Benjamin Harrison Burial Place. Indianapolis, Indiana."
    Indiana,  presidents

    Benjamin Harrison Burial Place in Indianapolis, Ind.

    Following his departure from the presidency, Benjamin Harrison returned to his home in Indianapolis, Ind.  In 1896, he married Mary Lord Dimmick, the widowed niece of his deceased wife Caroline.  He returned to practicing law and represented the Republic of Venezuela in its boundary dispute with British Guiana in 1898.  In February 1901, doctors believed Harrison was suffering from a severe case of influenza.  Despite treatment, his condition worsened, and he died from pneumonia on March 13, 1901.  He was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery next to his first wife.  In 1948, Mary Dimmick Harrison was buried next to her husband in the family plot. Crown Hill Cemetery is almost…

  • Diagonal view of a three-story, brick Italianate house with "Touring the Benjamin Harrison presidential site" overlaying the image.
    Indiana,  presidents

    Touring the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

    In 1875, Benjamin and Caroline Harrison relocated their family from downtown Indianapolis to the Old Northside.  While campaigning for president in 1888, he gave speeches outside the house.  After leaving the presidency, Harrison married Mary Lord Dommick after his first wife’s death and resided at the house until his death in 1901.  Eventually, Mary Dimmick Harrison sold the house on the condition that it remain a memorial to her husband.  In 1974, the Arthur Jordan Foundation renovated the house and opened it as a historic house museum.  The home is now known as the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. Arriving at the museum The museum is at the intersection of North…

  • Image of a yard of bricks with "Kissing the bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway" overlaying the image.
    Indiana

    Kissing the bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

    Few places come to mind as quickly as Indianapolis Motor Speedway when discussing motorsports.  For fervent fans, visiting Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) is like a pilgrimage.  However, even the casual fan can enjoy a visit to the historic track, its accompanying museum, and walk away with memories of kissing the bricks at IMS. Arriving at the speedway Entrance to the speedway for fans is between Turns 1 and 2 along 16th Street.  Visitors drive through the South Tunnel before seeing the museum in front of them with parking on each side. Museum atrium The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum opened in 1976 and underwent a renovation in 2016.  It currently has…