Gratitude List 2017

I love my family very, very much.

There have been times when I’ve had lots to be grateful for but was hopelessly blind to see what it was. There have been painful times when the subtle power of gratitude couldn’t cut through the distilled agony of the moment. And there have been plenty of times when I could say to myself…”Sure, I have food to eat, and a roof over my head and I get to go on cool trips, BUT…..the problems in my life were other people’s fault. “How can I be grateful for that?” I’d think to myself in my own private, self-propelled prison. But then circumstances made me willing, and wise people were there to urge me on enough to consider that maybe, just maybe, I had it all wrong.

They were right! And while that transformation has taken a long time, and taken many forms, and is still well underway, I’m more convinced than ever in the power of gratitude. And this is not only because I really, really have a ton to be grateful for. I really believe that I have a ton to be grateful for because I’m really, honestly, sincerely grateful for…everything. And while the gratitude I have for my cute little family goes without saying, I have to admit just how gobsmacked I feel about all the stories I was able to write, and places I was able to see, and most importantly, all the people I was able to meet last year. So, I’m making this list to remind myself to be grateful for the fact that I have no way to know how things are going to work out. And most importantly, I’m making this list for my little one (I email these posts to him so he can have a record of what like was like when he was 5-years old) so he might get a head start on developing an “attitude of gratitude.”

Antarctica

Have you ever been this close to a whale in a small boat? We watched the whales from Zodiacs with knowledgable guides that got us close (but not so close as to bother) these amazing animals. Credit Bill Springer

This is from my Forbes piece “…As you might expect, exploring the Antarctic peninsula with a group of 12 people aboard a chartered luxury yacht is amazing to experience and incredibly difficult to plan and pull off. And yes, there are several much larger ships such as the National Geographic Explorer and others that can accommodate 100’s of guests cruising in Antarctica.

“We soon found there is nothing more “exclusive” than the private whale watches and penguin colony visits that are only possible on a private yacht. And the polar expedition experts at EYOS Expeditions who organized every element of the trip (charter, guides, permits, flights, itineraries) made it all incredibly easy.” Full Story

Cabo

“My recent fact-finding, fun-having, friend-making, and expectation-exceding trip the magical Mexican beachfront paradise at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Sur has produced a warmth that goes way beyond the usual “hey, man, you got some sun” comments when my winter white skin returns to the tropics.

“How’ s that for a wicked long, “sans-punctuation” sentence! Anyhoo, I hope you’ll please bear with my lack of being able to write short, well-punctuated sentences, because, this 5-day trip the San Jose del Cabo region of Mexico’s Baja California has tuned into something is way, way more moving, gratitude-inducing, and gee-wiz can you believe this is happening than the average, fun-of-the-mill Swizzle boondoggles that I usually chronicle here on a semi-regular basis.

“And the cool thing is since this trip was a sort-of-secret-ultra-lux-mission (that I’ll be explaining in much more detail in the days and weeks to come), I can’t really talk about too much.” Full Story

The Best Job In The World Gets Better

“I’ve been crazy busy in my new office as the new Editor in Chief of Ocean Home magazine. And the travel hasn’t slowed down either.

Is it wrong that I love that I’m not wearing a shirt in the photo in my first “Editor’s Note” at Ocean Home?

“In fact, recent fact-finding jaunts to Cabo, Bermuda, and Nantucket have been essential in helping us launch a new “Destinations” section in this cool magazine that has been celebrating high-end oceanfront real estate and resorts in print for over 10 years.”

Bermuda (Part 1)

The Swizzle Has Landed. And I’ve already put like 100 kilometers on my trusty Bermda scooter!

Bermuda is special. It was the first real “foreign country” I visited (as a 23-year-old) wannabe sailor/adventurer/runaway. Bermuda’s round “entry by sea” stamp was the first one, in my first passport, way back in nineteenhundredandnintythree when I sailed there aboard a mighty Swan 651 from Newport, Rhode Island, bound for the painful destiny that was waiting for me in Antigua. Full Story

Hanging With Academy Award Winner Michael Douglas

“Royalty, celebrities, artists and captains of industry have a long history of enjoying Bermuda’s special brand of sophisticated charm and understated luxury. But probably no other celebrity can trace his roots in Bermuda further back than Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas. And as I found out in a recent interview, nobody loves to esecape to this historic island in the Atlantic more than Michael Douglas does either.

“What’s so special about Bermuda?” I ask the legendary actor and producer who’s busier than ever working on the sequel to 1990’s cult movie favorite Flatliners with Kiefer Sutherland and getting ready to return as Dr. Hank Pym in the sequel to the Marvel blockbuster Ant-Man.

“I’ve gone there all my life,” he says. “My mom’s family has been in Bermuda pretty much since the island was settled in the 1600s.” Full Story

Nantucket

The Wauwinet welcomed myself and the Honey Bunny for Daffodil Days las spring.

This is from my Ocean Home gig “No other island reveres and revels in its history quite like Nantucket. And no other hotel on the island is quite like The Wauwinet, which has been attracting vacationers to its special stretch of sand between the Head of the Harbor and the open Atlantic since 1875.

Of course, The Wauwinet has had a few upgrades since then. But one thing hasn’t changed: guests come for the lawn, the beach, the dock, the dining, and most of all to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of town.

Bermuda (Part 2): All-Access America’s Cup

From Ocean Home: “It’s been four years since the America’s Cup briefly captured the attention of the nation when Larry Ellison’s ORACLE TEAM USA completed one of the greatest comebacks in sports. Back then, the impossibly fast 72-foot-long hydrofoiling catamarans they raced on windy San Francisco Bay propelled the sport of sailing into a whole new stratosphere of speed.

“The drama of ORACLE TEAM USA being just one race away from losing the Cup and then winning eight races in a row to win it showed that the competition could produce worldwide interest in addition to adrenaline. People said the new America’s Cup was like Formula 1 racing on the water.” Full Story

Living Like A Rock Star In Malibu

“After my long flight from the East Coast and traffic-choked drive from the airport, entering the Nobu Ryokan hotel on Malibu’s most exclusive stretch of beach was an almost spiritual experience. And after spending two nights there recently, I realized that’s probably exactly what Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison had in mind when he bought and started transforming the property that was the site of a 1950s vintage motel on Carbon Beach way back in 2007.” Full Story

Mt. Ventoux

You all know how much I love the London to Monaco Ride and all the people who are there. This year was even better.

I got pretty choked up today. It started at about 18 kilometers to go to climb the iconic Giant of Provence when all of a sudden I felt like crying for joy and gratitude. In fact, I may as well be honest and just admit to it.

“I started crying behind my uber-Swizzle-esqe white sunglasses. You know the weird welling up that comes from somewhere deep inside that feels strange and welcome and actually kinda good when something just hits the emotional bulls-eye? Maybe it’s happens at a movie. Or at a funeral. Or when you get good news that you’re just not equipped to take in completely. Or bone-crushingly bad news.

“Well, that’s what happened. I was overcome with a sence of gratitude that goes way deeper than garden-variety gratitude…a real, deep down, wonder-of-life gratitude that comes from realizing that in spite of some extremely rocky early years, I’ve got a life that’s filled with love and fun and goofyness and success and failure and most importantly, people who mean more to me than my silly little vanities and what can be at times, terrorizing fears and selfishness that come from silly little vanities and terrorizing fears.” Full Story

Monaco

From Forbes: “One of the true highlights of this year’s Monaco Yacht Show was that I did more than just view the new Aston Martin powerboat (the AM37 built by Quintessence Yachts); I was invited to take one for a test drive.

Needless to say I jumped at the chance. And since I love James Bond movies (and a bit of fun), it seemed only fitting to drive this very British, very powerful boat off Monaco while wearing my well-worn Armani tuxedo. Full Story

Back To Barbuda

“After spending several days with the people of Barbuda (and being one of the lucky few who’s experienced Barbuda’s special charms anchored off it’s pink sand beaches and at the now totally destroyed Coco Point Lodge first hand), I hope to help by sharing their story of destruction and the inspired grassroots efforts that are finally starting to make a difference.

“When I was in Barbuda last month (3 months after Irma hit), I was surprised to see how slow the rebuilding efforts were. Many of the buildings on the island’s main village of Codrington were still uninhabitable.” Full Story

And there’s much more to come! Here’s to 2018!

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