Mike Dariano

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Using Evernote to Plan a Trip

Goodbye TripIt. It took some time for me to delete this service. This was the first services I signed up for that made me think my iPhone was awesome. All your travel details in one place along with check-in times, weather, and other things you may need like car rentals, food, and more. The best part was that it was all automated. I gave them authorization to scan my email for trips and then they would automatically populate my trip list. The service was great but I found a better one* - Evernote (collective gasp noted).

I used Evernote to plan our recent trip to Cincinnati and was really pleased at how well it worked. It wasn't automated like TripIt but that was good because I considered our options ahead of time to make a list of the best choices. How to do it then?

For traveling via car - air travel I add the flight number, departure time, parking information and so - I always include the hotel name, phone number, and address at the top of the note, that way I can call or get a map with one tap. I also include the room rate so it's fresh in my mind and the confirmation number. All of this takes 10 seconds of copy paste from the confirmation booking screen to the Evernote note.

Below lodging I have a list of attractions. This is structured the same way, name, address, phone number and any confirmation numbers or details. During our Cincinnati trip we pre-purchased King's Island tickets and had that confirmation number listed but our trips to the Newport Aquarium and museum didn't have any. For each of these places I also listed their hours and ticket prices. The hours of operation were very helpful on that trip because we finished walking through the aquarium around 2PM and weren't sure what our next stop would be - another attraction or the hotel - but I pulled up the note which listed the museum closing time as 5PM and after tapping the address link we saw it was only fifteen minutes away. Done and done.

Tavern Man in California and his BIG surprise!

On City Goes Country

Tavern Man’s first trip to California happened in February, just a month and a half after my last trip to see him. I threw him into California lifestyle right away. The night he flew in, we went downtown to meet up with my friends. Tavern Man seemed a little quiet that night, maybe he was tired, or put off by the millions of people occupying a single bar. Where he is from, 10 people in a bar is reaching maximum occupancy. He survived his first night and was ready to see the rest of the Huntington Beach the next day.

We went to the beach and walked to the end of the pier to eat hamburgers and milkshakes at Ruby’s diner, an acclaimed spot in Huntington Beach, that every tourist must seek out during their visit. We took time to lay out on the sand and work on our tans. A perfect beach day in the middle of February!

Our next stop was Catalina Island. Luckily for us, my youngest sister’s boyfriend got us very discounted tickets, and the two youngsters tagged along. On the island we played a round of miniature golf. This golf course is one of my favorites. At each hole there is a fact about the island and the hole is set up to match the fact. It is a very fun and challenging course. I am proud to say that I won that round, and my golf skills are much better than Tavern Man’s. ;-) Next, we walked through the little tourist town to a kayak rental booth. Tavern Man brought his go pro and spent more time filming under water life than paddling. There is proof of this on his videos! Needless to say, my arms got their workout! When we got back from the island we got In-N-Out burger for Tavern Man. Our famous fast food joint in California with the best hamburgers and fries. Tavern Man was not openly impressed with his food, but I know secretly he was wanting more and wishing South Carolina had its own In-N-Out.

On his last day in California, my other sister and I took Tavern Man to Hollywood. The three of us hiked up to the Hollywood sign where we got a great smoggy view of LA and a very up close look at the sign. After the sign, we did the Walk of Fame and followed the stars along Hollywood Blvd. Doing the tourist thing was fun, but I myself can only handle a little bit of LA at a time, and I was happy to go home and just hang out with my family.

The next day I had to take Tavern Man to the airport very early in the morning. It was such a sad parting. My next trip in April was not set in stone. I didn’t know if I could get time off from work. But I wouldn’t have to wait until April. Tavern Man surprised me in a BIG way in March.

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