From the Middle East to the Mid-west!

Prompted by being accepted into the #COL16 Google for Education Certified Innovator Academy in Boulder, Colorado I decided it was a perfect time to turn it into a little bit of a road trip around the mid-west. I got to see family and friends that I have been lucky enough to associate myself with in my lifetime.

First stop was Chicago.

I took a boat tour and learned about the city where I was born. Truly an impressive city that almost feels like it is one big machine. The amount of engineering that must take place to just to move people around the city is so impressive to me.

innovator-graduationThen it was off to Boulder for the Innovators Academy! I already wrote about my experience there, so please check that out if you are an educator considering an application. Definitely a professional highlight for me.

After that experience I took off for a few days in Wisconsin with family. From Madison, I decided to rent a car and drive around Minnesota and South Dakota. I got to see Ben in Minneapolis and Sam and Nora in Worthington. From there I took off all the way across South Dakota to check out Mt. Rushmore and Deadwood.

I am not a huge fan of driving but there is something very liberating about cruising across an entire state at 80 miles per hour. I am so incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to make these travels.


Escape Rooms of the Year

My FAVORITE activity to do while travelling. It is all about the puzzles.

The first two escape rooms of the year have both been successes. The Mindtrap – The Forgotten Kingdom was a room I did in Athens. We finished with 51 seconds left on the clock. The Sherlocked room in Bangkok had to be split into two groups since our group was a little larger. Three guys on one team, and four girls on the other. Both teams finished but the guys won out by a few seconds.

the mindtrap escape room sherlocked escape room

this. Is. ATHENS!!! Travel updates!

I have been really bad at providing updates about trips that I am taking. Since I just got home from Athens, I want to quickly upload my pictures from that trip. I took a ton, and I am super impressed with Athens as a city.

greece parthenon Arriving in Athens and heading straight to the Acropolis for the full tourist experience! This is probably the best picture I got (a selfie) next to the Parthenon. The amount of history that is around you at all times in Athens is pretty amazing. Even having been to excavated ruins like Ephesus and Pergimon in Turkey, Athens stands out.




Tgreece olympic stadiumhe Olympic Stadium is another impressive space. I ran a lap and now consider myself an Olympian. I even bought a coin as a reward, but I promptly misplaced it with the Euro coins I was carrying.



greece orange tree

You can find orange trees all over the city. Every breakfast I had came with delicious, fresh orange juice. They also make a good coffee.





greece hydraThe island Hydra (not from the Avengers) is a true jump back in time. There are no cars on the island so the people rely on donkeys to traverse the island.





Ygreece porosou can never get tired of these little port cities that are seemingly on every Greek island.





greece islandsgreece hydra clock tower

greece rooftop bus

I am a huge fan of taking sightseeing tours. Usually I prefer a walking tour, and there are a ton of them available in most big European cities. On this trip, however, the rooftop bus seemed like a pretty decent way to go. The weather was perfect for it!





greece lake vouligianis

Lake Vouliagmeni is a curious little natural lake just south of Athens. We hadn’t even heard of it before we stumbled across it on the rooftop bus. Good place to take a quick swim before we had to catch our flight out of town. Probably a little bit too pricey (12 Euro with no towel provided) but it was a good place to spend a couple of hours.

Where To Travel In Europe

Finally, a list of European cities that is different than the typical Paris, London, Rome, blah blah blah. I see people post those links all the time. I am going to focus on seeing as many of the cities on this list as possible in the next year.

There’s far more to experience in Europe than its most popular (and most Instagrammed) cities. For every Paris or London, there is a yet undiscovered city located off the beaten path. And you can be the one to unlock its secrets. Ahead, we’ve selected 15 cities you may not have considered for your

Source: Where To Travel In Europe

Summer Updates

Towards the end of the school year I developed a couple of projects just for the fun of it. I wanted to practice using some html, css, bootstrap, and jQuery all together. I also had a few ideas based on things that were going on.

First, I created a crowd sourced playlist generator(aggregator?) that anyone could submit YouTube links to and then others could vote on. I tried to add in an anonymous commenting system, but I never got around to making it totally functional. The idea came together pretty well, and pretty quickly.

Music Playlists

Second, I created an Instagram Scavenger Hunt type site. All users need to do is register, take pictures, and add the hashtag izmirscavengers and pictures would show up in one place. I thought it would be a good way to put together one large photo album created by all the expats of the SEV/ACI foreign faculty. Again, I didn’t really get everything functioning, but it was good practice for me. So, I really got everything out of it that I wanted.

Izmir Scavenger Hunt

As always, the total list of all my various projects can be found at: For the most part, they are all rudimentary examples of web applications, but I am proud of them, and they do kind of map my progress as I teach myself various programming languages.

» It’s May the 4th! Here’s 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Star Wars Books

Source: » It’s May the 4th! Here’s 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Star Wars Books

Very cool article of trivia about the Star Wars extended universe. Star Wars novels were a huge part of my elementary school life, and were instrumental in developing my love of reading. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn set me on a course that had me travelling to libraries all over town looking for more sci-fi/fantasy to escape into. As a matter of fact, it has been about 25 years, maybe it is time for a reread…