While we love all manner of travel (airlines - not so much these days), one of our favorite modes of transportation remains by rail.
Ever since we took our first trip on Amtrak (11 days, 8,500 miles), we've been hooked.
Of course, it may be the slowest way to get from one point to another on the map. And there are the occasional hiccups when you can throw the schedules out of the window. But that can happen no matter the method of travel.
The benefits? You can actually see the country you are traveling through. You can opt to sit back, relax, read a book or even text while someone else drives. The food is good and there are bedrooms available for sleeping. Not to mention all the interesting people you meet along the way.
One of our yearly rituals is a rail trip to the Big Apple from West Palm. Amtrak will get you there in comfort -- no TSA security lines to navigate or sardine seating -- in 24 hours or so.
So we are cheering the news that Brightline will be starting rail service from Miami to Orlando, including stops at Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, in 2017. Besides the obvious environmental advantages, a mass transit option just makes good sense.
If you haven't traveled by train, try it. You might find sacrificing speed for savoring the experience a good trade-off.
UPDATE: My friend Willie Howard, reporter with the The Coastal Star and outdoor expert, informs me this fish is actually a Lane Snapper. Thanks Willie! By the way, Wikipedia has this to say about them: "They are easily caught on a variety of live and frozen baits, such as shrimp." Well now, don't I feel special!
A while back, I wrote about my mission to catch some Florida fish. Guess what? I finally did!
Now, I just have to figure out what I caught.
With the beautiful orange, yellow and red coloring, it looks like it belongs in an aquarium. Size-wise, it wasn't what Texans would call a "whopper." Not even a mini-whopper. In fact, it was just slightly larger than the shrimp I was using as bait. But it still qualifies as a catch.
So far the best I have come up with is a "Spot Tail Pinfish," described by one source this way: "Usually they are a pest fish when trying to catch a larger fish." That's harsh.
No matter. I caught a fish! After snapping this photo, I released it back into the salty waters of the IntraCoastal, where moments later I think I snagged its cousin, also about the same size.
Watch out, you Florida fish -- there's a new sheriff in town.
During ourrecent interview with Roger Amidon, general manager of the Marriott Singer Island Resort and Spa, Amidon touched on a topic that keeps executives in all kinds of businesses up at night: Millennials.
Millennials -- the generation generally born from around 1980 to 2000, the one immediately after Generation X.
Why the concern? For one, Millennials are now the largest living generation in the U.S --, 75 million of them -- surpassing the Baby Boomers. What are they buying, and why? How do they consume media? What are their goals and aspirations? What kind of careers do they want? What kind of marketing is the most effective?
Like just about every other business, Marriott wants to know. "Corporate America is trying to figure it out," said Amidon. "It is a challenge."
He noted Marriott has had a research lab for years devoted to studying the behavior of the Millennials (sometimes called Gen Y). The insights gained so far regarding their travel preferences that Amidon shared are fascinating. Among them:
Okay, but what about hiring Millennials? What are their work habits?
Amidon noted they, like other businesses, have a large number of Millennials on staff, "from sales to accounting." And there are some differences between them and older generations.
Yes, he said, the work ethic is there, but unlike the Boomers, who generally "don't leave until the job is done," the Millennials are more "8 to 5," which reflects what other researchers have noted: They want a strong work-life balance.
Read more about the topic in this Fast Company article: "Inside Marriott's Attempt to Win Over Millennials." And below is a related Marriott video.
One thing Amidon won't have to worry about: With a drop-dead gorgeous location on the Atlantic Ocean, his resort shouldn't have any problem attracting travelers or workers of any generation.
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."