Tag Archive: Eckerd College

Sep 14 2013

London Update – 2013


Well, it has been almost a week since I touched back down here in the United States after what I can only describe as a much needed and much enjoying trip back to the United Kingdom and London specifically. To start off the week, it was simply some of the best weather I could have ever asked for. Temperatures was in the upper 70’s and 80’s and the sun was out for almost the entire time with only one morning of rain the entire trip. I honestly cannot complain about it at all considering the last time I was in London, it was the middle of winter in January 2004.

IMG_20130902_143211This trip was a much needed return to the city I had grown to love over three enjoyable Winter Terms at Eckerd College with some really great friends. For those that have been following my blog and website for a while, you will know about my previous London updates. My past visits and extended stays in London have allowed me to experience a lot of amazing and exciting museums around London and the United Kingdom. This trip though, I wanted to do something different. I made it a goal to visit some great friends that I have made over the years and to do some activities that I haven’t done before or something that might not be the usual must do in London.

IMG_20130901_175914Where do I start? Well, the first day I was pretty jet lagged having not been able to get much rest on the plane over. For those that don’t know, I have never been able to sleep well on a plane. I know I travel a lot but, I just can’t do it. So I basically stayed up for the entire day and just hit the ground running. First stop of the trip, visiting Startford Centre to get my SIM card for my mobile. One cannot be a local with out a local phone number right? Joking aside, this was actually fun to do while waiting for my hotel to open up. I got a chance for a quick peek at the Olympic Park and some of the local shops. Next was a quick stop at the hotel to clean up and then it was off to Spitalfields Market, Old Spitalfields Market Market and Brick Lane. I did this on recommendation of a friend as a chance to see what the typical East Ender does on a Sunday. All I can say is wow. Sensory overload! So much going on here but, it really was a neat experience and lots of little things to buy and experience. After this, it was near dinner time so I figured I would hit my all time favorite in London, Nando’s. I can’t say enough about how amazing this chain is. Mark this is stop 1 of 4 for the trip. By this point, I had been up for almost 36 hours so it was time to head back to crash before one of my most looked forward to tours of the trip.

IMG_20130902_092605So Monday arrived and I was up bright and early, armed with my Costa Coffee and off to the BBC to tour the BBC Broadcasting House. This is a newer tour as the BBC just moved the last of it’s operations out of Television Centre and in to Broadcasting House to complete the modernization of the networks. This was a pretty cool tour. I would actually go to say it was probably better than the CNN tour I did in February when I went to Atlanta. It was cool to see one of the world’s largest newsrooms in action and then to see where the BBC Radio teams broadcast across the world. Another bonus was seeing Lady Gaga in passing. The only thing I would have loved to do on the tour would be to tour Radio 1 which I listen to all the time but unfortunately, that isn’t offered at this time. Maybe next trip. The rest of the day was spent bouncing around the town and walking through some great high street shops where I managed to find some nice new outfits from Topman. Full day overall with lots of exploring including a nice surprise meet up with my friend Vitor from the Disney Magic.

IMG_20130903_103314Tuesday was equally as full as Monday with a morning tour of the Buckingham Palace State Rooms, the Churchill War Rooms, and more general exploring before meeting up with Dave and Kevin for drinks and dinner. Let’s start with Buckingham Palace. I feel like I’m about to make a Doctor Who comment but, it really is bigger on the inside. The view from outside really only gives your a glimpse at how massive this place is. This is the first time I had ever toured the State Rooms as in the past, HRH Queen Elizabeth has been in residence so it was not open to the public. The history inside the walls and the special displays on The Queen’s Coronation were actually really interesting to read and see. The amount of tradition that continues through the centuries is really something amazing. It’s really amazing to see that protocol is still followed after all these years. After the Palace, it was off to the Churchill War Rooms and British Museum again and then by the time I was able to relax, it was time for drinks and dinner with Kevin and Dave. I don’t think I could have packed more in to this day.

IMG_20130904_124324Wednesday marked the last of the pre-planned days I had this trip. I slept in a little bit and then headed north to Startford where I did a walking tour of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the town itself. While the Olympic venues are still in the process of being converted from the 2012 Olympic Games, parts of the park were already open to the public. What was neat about the particular tour I did was that it really focused on the impact of the Olympic Games had on the transformation of London’s East End in to a new up and coming community. It was also really neat to walk along some of the canals that go to the Thames and to see some of the more unique living locations on canal boats and some really cool loft looking flats. The transformation will do a lot for the community and is really neat to see. After the tour, I headed over to Greenwich using the Emirates Air Line and then exploring the National Maritime Museum before having Nando’s again and then heading to walk along the Thames at sunset and enjoy the night life.

Thursday, my friend Ben came up from Brighton for the morning which was fun. We explored Hyde Park and then walked Oxford Street and looked at some tradition London High Street shops like Harrods’s and Selfridges. After Ben headed back to Brighton, I went to see the real MI6 and then headed to Westfield Stratford to see the One Direction movie, This is Us. I will be honest, this was actually much better than I expected it to be. Just some more exploring the town before heading to the hotel to crash.

IMG_20130906_181415Friday was the only day of rain I had the entire trip. And luckily for me, it only lasted for the morning. I took the time to explore Tate Modern and The London Transport Museum before heading back to Canary Wharf and visiting the Museum of London Docklands which is something new for me. By this point, the sun had come out and the clouds cleared so I took the advice of Kevin and headed to The Shard and took in the View from The Shard. The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe and offers sweeping views of London from over 1,000 feet up. If you are visiting London and have a clear day, this is a must do. I spent a good hour up here just taking in the view.


At this point, I was in to the home stretch of my trip and decided to head back to the great Upper Deck SE1 that was suggested by Kevin for Tuesday night and enjoy another great night and a few pints along the Thames reflecting on the amazing week I had back in London. Once the sun finally set over the Thames, I headed back to Canary Wharf one last time and had a great Japanese dinner at Wagamama which has got to be my second top dine in chain in England behind Nando’s. This was the perfect evening to end the trip on with great temperatures and clear sky.

So as you can tell, it was a full trip packed in to 6 full days in London. I am so happy that I made the trip back and I am already planning my return for Spring 2014. Thanks again to all my good friends that made it a great trip. Sorry we couldn’t see each other more and for those that I missed, there will be time in the Spring. See you all again soon across the pond!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2013/09/london-update-2013/

Oct 12 2010

Weekend with Dad and another Cruise

Well, work has been going great. I am still very much loving the new role and to date, could not be happier where I am at. It’s also been a nice relaxing last couple of weeks. First, Dad came down for a father and son weekend which was nice and relaxing and included a relaxing visit to Eckerd College, Ft De Soto State Park and the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. Here are a few pictures from the visit to St. Petersburg.

So what else can make last week better? How about finishing it off with a 3-Night Bahamian Cruise on the Disney Wonder? My friend Brian and I took a last minute cruise deal and decided to head to the Bahamas for the weekend. Pictures are up below. That’s all for now folks. I’m back to cleaning house and getting settled back in to dry land.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2010/10/weekend-with-dad-and-another-cruise/

Oct 17 2008

Returning to my Roots

This weekend I am down in St. Petersburg, FL at Eckerd College to visit some old friends and teach a lifeguard training class. As I sit here in The Pub having dinner, I realize how much Eckerd means to me in my life. Behind me, Pitchers with Professors is going on. Bring one of your Eckerd Professors and get a free pitcher of beer. Students and professors are not only socializing together but, talking and engaging each other on current events, course work or the College Program Series Lecture from last night. The sense of community never leaves here even if the the people change. Eckerd College really is special and I can see why it was listed in Colleges That Change Lives. Tomorrow I will be teaching a Lifeguard Challenge course for the pool staff here. Having lifeguarded and taught water safety for 7 years of my life, I have to say, I sometimes miss it.

Teaching aside, life continues to roll on by. I slowly continue to add things to my place that make my home me and make it feel like home. Several more pictures on the wall and just adding the finishing touches. Dad also came to visit the other week which was a nice long weekend for me. We enjoyed the parks as always but also went over to Kennedy Space Center and did the tour over there that I hadn’t done since Space Camp in elementary school. It was also cool to see both Atlantis and Endeavor on the launch pads ready for launch. You don’t realize how big they are until you see them even from a mile away!

Anyways, I think I am going to head out and go stroll around campus and memory lane before the pool party/tip-off tonight here on campus.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2008/10/returning-to-my-roots/

Sep 22 2008

Home and Intellectual Improvement

Is it really almost October? Where did the month go? Things have been about the same around here. I am continuing the home improvement kick and slowly finishing off the place. I think I have most of the living room area done and have moved on to the dinning room and my bedroom. This past Friday I joined Luke, Casey and Sawyer at the the Orlando Home Show. Nothing really too exciting but, it gave me some ideas/incentives to get the place done.

In the “I’m feeling old” direction, Sawyer and I went down to Eckerd College for a lecture on Global Values versus Cultural Relativism by Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah. It was a very good lecture and it made me realize what I miss about Eckerd and the need to learn and expand my mind. I guess that is why I listen to NPR and watch Nat Geo, PBS and Discovery these days. It’s nice to have a roommate that also likes to think and learn. One of these days I’ll head back to school and work on a masters. I just need to figure out when and what I want to go in to.

Candlelight is going well and I already have agood start on the required 10 rehearsals. I should get two more done this week and that will put me at the half way point and well in line to get all 10 in before the crunch time to complete them. I still can’t believe that we are already thinking Christmas. Then again, the Magic Kingdom is having Halloween parties now and has been since September 1.

In general life is good. Sawyer’s brother will be down this week with his significant other and Dad will be here next week so I will be busy with entertaining and enjoying our parks. The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival starts this week which, like always will be a fun time and as a bonus, Jonny Lang performing in two weeks which is exciting for me.

For now though, I’m off to make my lunch for tomorrow and watch some TV before heading to bed.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2008/09/home-and-intellectual-improvement/

Aug 12 2008

Minnesota and Ceremony of Lights

So it has been almost two weeks since I was back in Minnesota for my cousin Sarah’s wedding and visiting family and friends back home. I have to say, it was nice to get away from Florida for a nice long weekend for a change. The wedding was very enjoyable and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weekend weather wise for the event. Sitting on the hsoores of Lake Minnetonka brought back many memories of growing up and lifeguarding. I miss it to a point even though I have an ocean somewhat near by, ok an hour and a half away. Also, we officially welcomed Justin, Sarah’s husband in to the cousins group. Here is the new Webster Cousins:

Wedding aside, the weekend home was also a nice chance to reconnect with some old friends from Hopkins. Ryan, Pete, Paul and Scott, it was great to see all of you at home. For those that I missed, I will have to catch you the next time I am home.

Back in Florida, this past Friday Sawyer and I went down to St. Petersburg for something different to do. We started the morning off at teh Salvador Dali Museum downtown near USF and then spent the rest of the day at Eckerd where I gave Sawyer the full tour and met up with some of my old mentors and friends before attending the Ceremony of Lights for the Class of 2012. Can I just say I officially feel old now that the new Freshman class was all born in the 1990s!

This week is just a slow week around the office. My main manager in on vacation and there really isn’t much going on with distribution being completed. Not much planned for this weekend other than a few meetings and appointments I have with the doctor and dentist. So that’s all for now folks.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2008/08/minnesota-and-ceremony-of-lights/

May 04 2008

Kappa Karnival Weekend

Well, this weekend went by too quickly. I went down to Eckerd this weekend for a great evening and to visit some old faces/friends. I had a great time at Kappa Karnival on Friday night with Mark and Aaron. It was great to be back in the swing of things and taking a trip down Memory Lane. Philip, it was nice to run in to you as well, sorry we didn’t get to catch up too much. Thank you to Fred, Jim, Lova and Campus Activities for a great time. Saturday morning came too early though (for those that know Kappa Karnival, you will know why). My main goal Saturday was to teach another Lifeguard class at Eckerd for a few more pool staff that missed the last round. That went by quickly and I want to thank Blake, ECOS President for 2008-09 for taking me around campus, lunch and hanging out for the day. It was a great relaxing day. Lova, sorry I couldn’t make it down to Sarasota for your CD Release Party. I wish I could have stayed longer

Back in the office today. Things are crazy this weekend. Not So Scary and Very Merry Tickets are on sale and everyone is booking them in fears they are going to sell out. So files are way above what they normally are. Just lots of longer days coming up I guess. I’m still working hard on the networking for Leadership Casting Call. I really feel that this time is my time. I really hope it works out. I’m ready for the next step.

Well, I think I’m going to crash for the evening. If anyone wants to do something this week, let me know. I’m free evenings and Friday/Saturday. Cheers!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2008/05/kappa-karnival-weekend/

Mar 30 2008

I’ll Be Ready….

Well, this past month has just flown by. I have been busy with work as usual and doing all sorts of meetings in my effort to continue my growth with Disney. This past weekend though was a nice break a return to something that I used to do a lot, teach Lifeguard Training. I spent my two days off in St. Petersburg at Eckerd College doing a lifeguard refresher course for the pool staff. I had a nice relaxing night on Friday visiting with some college friends and Dean of Students, Jim Annarelli. I must say, Eckerd is looking great with all of the improvements and it is exciting to visit every time. Next visit, Kappa Karnival in May. I can’t wait.

This weekend though made me realize how much fun I used to have being a lifeguard and training. I remember living Lifeguarding and all things safety. May be I should consider a teaching career again after I am done at Disney. So many options. Well, I am beat after a day at the office and then an evening catching up with old friends here in Orlando. Normal day tomorrow with some more networking meetings later in the day. Ta Ta for Now.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2008/03/ill-be-ready/

Feb 07 2008

Finally, a break!

Well, it’s been a crazy week with lots of “fires” that needed to be put out at work. Projects/deadlines that I was never made aware of being thrown at me with the expectation of a final product instantly. Always fun. I’ve also started to look more in to my career with Disney and setting goals for what I want to do in the long term.

Work aside, things are going well. I have started on a work out routine that includes a plan to go at least 4 nights a week and have set a goal to work on getting in to shape and working on my general wellness more. Disney has set up a program with WebMD Health that not only gives me a credit on my insurance (hey, it’s a free $100) but it also gives you a personal assessment that is tied with your doctor on the disney health plan to help create a tailored plan with coach to help set goals and work out a plan to achieve them. Its pretty nice and I’m hoping that it will help me loose the few extra pounds that I want to shed.

I’m also taking a long weekend this week with a personal holiday on Sunday so that I can spend the whole weekend with my cousins Lisa and Stephanie here at Disney. I’m looking forward to it as well as the extra time off. My next mini-vacation will be to St. Petersburg and Eckerd College in a few weeks for the 50th Anniversary Convocation with Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and writer of Night. Sounds exciting and will be a nice excuse to go back to Eckerd for a night.

Other than that, I’m just doing my thing. Catch everyone later.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2008/02/finally-a-break/

Jan 15 2007

Goodbye Christmas, Hello Eckerd?

Well, after a busy holiday season, I have finally packed away all of the Christmas decorations. The decorations at the Resort went down on January 8. Due to my busy schedule, I wasn’t able to get mine down until yesterday. I’ve either been working (which I know I do a lot of) or I’ve been out with friends.

This past weekend was a nice change to the craziness. For those that are not aware, my days off are now officially Friday and Saturday. This is a strange adjustment since I have had Wednesday and Thursday off since March 2005. So, Andrew thought that I should take advantage of it and we both decided to go back to visit the ‘ol stomping ground of Eckerd College.

Once we arrived on campus, it was strange to sense that not much had changed in the three years since I have left. My mailbox still opens (1497) with the same code I had in college and the students are still just as eco-conscious as always. Granted, I have not been out of school THAT long, it’s just funny to see that even with a new dorm, new library, new administrators, and new programs, that the school has not changed at all.

Andrew and I had a nice chance to walk around campus and see new dorm which I must say, is very new and modern but, has the total feel of an Eckerd Dorm. We also saw Jim, the Dean of Students and a close friend/mentor to me and met up with him and his wife Anna for dinner. It was a nice treat and always great to reconnect with old friends.

Work this week is full with me back to training new College Program students on turnstiles intermixed with my regular coordinator shifts. My biological clock though is all out of whack with my normal close, close, mid, open, open schedule being changed around. After next week, I hope to be back to normal.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2007/01/goodbye-christmas-hello-eckerd/