TAAG-along with me

TAAG-along with me

That, in a nutshell, is one of the first things I heard after the word “welcome”.

Recently, Linda and I took our Hydeout to Denver for a 3-day conference she was invited to attend. After checking into Woolley’s Classic Suites and taking advantage of their complementary happy hour, she and I got a text from her mentor to join them in the hospitality room set up for the Travel Agents Alliance Group, or TAAG.

When Linda started helping her mentor, Theresa Masterson, several years ago, it was to do research and to assist with wedding shows on a part time basis. Destination weddings and honeymoons are a large niche of the travel industry, and can be a lot of work. Their business was, at the time, affiliated with an umbrella company that had many franchises that could pool together and get better deals on travel packages for their clientele. When that company dissolved, there was still a need for support for the individual agents and companies that were left somewhat adrift. Hence, TAAG was established by co-founders Janet Ash and Elly Sterlacci, to replicate the benefits of the previous umbrella company without the negative ties some would remember.

During our welcome introductions a gentleman asked if I was going to participate in the meetings. Unsure of my agenda, my answer was going to be pretty much noncommittal. Before I could express my doubts, however, I was invited to join him and others to hang out, away from the busy workshop schedule.

Decisions, decisions!

I already knew that I would be welcome to attend the meetings along with my spouse, but I didn’t know if my attendance would be a bonus or a burden. And here I was offered an alternative.

It was also pointed out, quite literally, that my badge had me labeled as a TAAG-along. Well, okay!

TAAG along

In one respect I was already in unofficial tag-along mode since this whole trip was for Linda‘s business needs. But, now there was another agenda, quite flexible, and very laid back, to consider. I’m in!

I actually attended the morning session for about an hour and two short presentations from vendors representing resort groups. It was very informative, but my presence was redundant. Linda could handle this quite well without me in the way. The plan now was to meet the TAAG-alongs at noon.

Our first stop was Firehouse Station #26. That was both the name and location of a local craft brewery. Outdoor seating fit our needs, and the weather cooperated nicely. Some of the more “experienced” spouses spoke of the perks and dividends that might be earned by the agents through various vendors when waging a successful seasonal campaign. Discussion was good; so was the beer.

Next up was Lowry Beer Garden, located adjacent to the old Lowry Air Force Base. This craft brewery had indoor and outdoor seating, as well. Some more mellow conversation was accompanied by a more mellow brew, for me, at least. A nice apricot and wheat beer was a nice way to end our outing.


The evening agenda started with an adventure in TAAG-team-building. The entire group of agents and spouses went to Epic Escape Games. Divided into 6 groups of 6 or 7 members each, we were led to our assigned room, locked in and invited to solve games and puzzles to unlock the mystery and the exit door. We had a 60 minute time limit for the task. It definitely took teamwork and different modes of thinking and working together to figure out the “keys” necessary to escape. Our group was successful in getting out with about 6 minutes to spare. As the proof is in the pictures, you can see it was a tough task!

Whether a group actually escaped or not, it was still a good exercise to “people watch”, before and after (there definitely wasn’t time during the escape!).  I must admit I’m often guilty of that; it’s probably part of being a bit of an introvert. It was both entertaining and educational to see who favored results and who was more focused on the process. Maybe I’m slightly nerdy that way, but it was interesting to experience.

There are many adjectives one could use to describe TAAG. The word inclusive would have to be near the top of the list. The fact that all of the activities were open for attendance by agents and spouses alike was proof of that.

Tonight’s entertainment exercise was the Escape Game; the next evening would be a wine tasting we would all attend. Both events were followed by dinners sponsored by various vendors. Let me say that the vendors were excellent hosts who appreciated the business ties they were cementing, because the food was outstanding and each dinner venue was unique. It’s not often I’m offered roast bison for a meal choice. And, yes, it was delicious!

Saturday’s outing with the TAAG-alongs was at a local golf course, Buffalo Run, which suited me perfectly, even though I didn’t come totally prepared. I joined Ron M., Glen Couch and Sean Ash, Janet’s husband and a pilot, in a game of Robins (short for round-robin partners match) for nine holes of fun. My only regret was my usual: I didn’t have my own clubs this time, either. Thank you TAAG-alongs for sharing!


Buffalo Run Golf Course

 To recap, this long weekend was a fun, productive adventure with fun and productive people. We are excited to have met this group of dedicated travel entrepreneurs. We learned about TAAG. We got excited again about the many ways and places we could travel and help others do the same. And we look forward to hearing about your travels and wish list, too!

Mahalo and Aloha!




Trip or Vacation?

Trip or Vacation?

attachment2Or, should I call that trip versus vacation? They’re not always the same; and, sometimes they can actually conflict. I mean, a trip can very well be a vacation if treated like one. A vacation can turn into just a trip if you’re not careful.

Sometimes, all we really want to do is take a trip. We have a purpose. That purpose may not necessarily be relaxing; perhaps it’s work related; it could be a conference or convention; it could be a visit with family (and sometimes that’s work, too).

We go somewhere we either need to go or have always wanted to go, or somewhere we really enjoy already. Or, we go to visit someone we haven’t seen for a while and we hope to perhaps do other things while we’re there. We’ll just squeeze it in!

And we are prepared to do many things, see many sights, and sites. We want to eat at all those places we read or heard about. Then, when we return home, we are bushed. We have exhausted ourselves going and doing and seeing and experiencing. But when, if this was supposed to be a vacation, did we take time to refresh ourselves? Did we do anything that left us feeling rested and refreshed, or was just so much fun that we were excited about the future, at least?

As we have discussed in other places, that is one of the main functions of a Hydeout!

I read, with great interest and a great big smile, a blog post by M. Blazoned on pretty much this same subject. I agree, for the sake of humor especially, with many of that author’s views. In it, she takes aim at almost everything that might not seem to lead to relaxation and calls it a trip rather than a vacation. Of course, her perspective is from the viewpoint of a parent traveling with family, especially kids.

I don’t think, however, that I would go to quite those extremes to NOT call it anything but a trip. A vacation that ends up with me sleeping on a beach is entirely enjoyable. I’ve done that and enjoyed the heck out of it! I’ve done that more than once! But, I think that even a little break now and then can make it a vacation, or even a break from the trip. And that, my friends, is the goal!

My wife and I try to attain that goal on each and every one of our travels. Sometimes we are successful; sometimes not. I could reference our trip to Panama as a trip, for instance. We went there with the express intent to explore the area for possible relocation, future vacations, and to otherwise familiarize ourselves with a new venue. The side excursion to Isla Saboga in the Pearl Islands (Islas de Las Perlas) during that week, though, was definitely the vacation or break portion from our time there. It wasn’t the only fun or relaxing thing we did on that exploratory trip by a long shot, but it was the most hours of relaxation we enjoyed at a single time, so, therefore, memorable. That was surely a Hydeout.

  • Anywhere can be a Hydeout. (Hydeout: noun; a place where those of us named Hyde can have fun, relax, chill, party, live comfortably, or even… hide out from the woes of the world. Others are welcome, upon invitation, to join us from time to time; we like to share).

Whether one travels with kids or other relatives or not should not be a qualification for a trip versus a vacation. Oh, it could be; but, it doesn’t have to be. If you can’t have fun with your kids, why do you have them? If you consider them work, or something to get away from most of the time, you need more than a vacation. A babysitter will never be enough. You may need a new attitude and serious counseling.

But, this is not a parenting blog. This is a travel blog; it’s even a vacation blog. This is a golf blog,too ; it is sometimes a food blog. All these are rolled into one, in no particular order!

So, friends, I hope you get some small benefit, at least, from reading about our travels and travails from time to time. I hope you enjoy many travels of your own. And, please, find a way to take your own version of a Hydeout with you, every time.

If we can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or comment. Click the appropriate link on the page; get on our mailing list, if you wish. Linda can even assist with travel arrangements. I get to supervise. Okay, that’s a stretch. I get to watch sometimes.

Ciao! Hasta luego. Bon voyage. Aloha!




Hydeout: the Word

Hydeout: the Word

Helicopter Kauai 020

Okay, just what is this play on the name and the correctly spelled word? It’s not meant to be confusing. It’s not a typo. It is a deliberately spelled (or misspelled) word with a similar meaning, but with specific users in mind.

It’s not too much trouble for anyone who knows our name to pick up on the play on words and the spelling of our name. Perhaps the rest of you, the ones we don’t know, yet, should get a little assist.

The dictionary defines a hideout as a place to safely hide, a sanctuary, a haven.

For our purposes the definition will be:


  •        Noun: for those of us named Hyde it means a hiding place, shelter, sanctuary, refuge from those things that would threaten us with worry or worse; a place to get away; a haven; a place to relax, chill, party or just think quietly, away from troubles; maybe most importantly, a place to rejuvenate, renew, and redeem one’s sanity and peace.
  •      Verb: to go to or utilize the function of a haven.

There are many more than one type of Hydeout. My home is one such place, as is my daughter’s house and my son’s apartment, just to name a few. And I have two brothers who both oversee their particular version of a Hydeout. We’ve each used the term to refer to our residence as our major place of security. My home is a fairly permanent location for a Hydeout. But, that does not mean all Hydeouts must be or remain in a single place. They can be quite mobile. More than one place at a time can be called a Hydeout. A Hydeout can even be a state of mind.


Home is where the heart is.

That’s why it is the first place we think of when we think shelter, relaxation, and rejuvenation. It is, of course, also the most natural and logical choice for Hydeout status. We sleep there; we eat there; we kick back and party there. We entertain and play there. And we don’t have to be alone there to maintain that status. We can invite family and friends to join us in our relaxation, or our party or our games. Sharing a Hydeout is a good thing.


Vacations should be a Hydeout.

There is definitely some question whether a journey is a trip or vacation. Some believe if you can’t relax on a vacation, you must be on a trip, instead. That’s not to say there are not moments of relaxation, but the question becomes one of quantity versus quality. How much time are you allowing yourself to let go and how much time are you devoting to being busy, or trying to accomplish your list of “things to do”? Hydeouts, as a form of relaxation, should be a necessary part of any vacation!


I love to Hydeout on the golf course.

Did you see what I did there? Yep. I used it as a verb. When I play golf, I am not thinking of the outside world very much. I am focused on my game, my playing companions, and hopefully, a wonderful venue and great weather.

We should enjoy concentrating on having fun. We should try very hard to not allow outside influences into our heads during a round of golf.

That’s why, for me, this addictive sport, this passionate attempt to attain a higher level of competence, makes it acceptable to call golf a Hydeout. It is a place I enjoy spending a lot of time and energy (not to mention a fair portion of my income) to keep myself sane and ready to take on the more difficult aspects of life.

Others may have another avocation, sport, hobby, or interest that allows them the same respite from stress and worry. And you should use them often. Again, these are necessary Hydeouts.


Head games can be a Hydeout, too.

Sometimes, as a last resort, you and I need to find a place to get away for a while, but it’s not really timely or convenient. It’s time for head games. We need to find someplace internal to escape for a few moments to allow our subconscious to sort out our next step.

Perhaps we daydream. I’ve been known to do that, sometimes to the dismay of others (sorry, honey!) Perhaps we get lost in a game or puzzle for a few minutes. Not only is it great brain exercise, it is a great getaway from worries for a short time because of the concentration required to do it well.

It’s difficult to remember problems when concentration is needed elsewhere. So, yeah, I have been guilty of taking a short mental vacation in order to come back to a challenge refreshed and ready.

And I’d call that a Hydeout.


Now, let’s have a word of caution here. Yes, it’s about computers and cell phones.

We shouldn’t completely eliminate them as a possible Hydeout mechanism, but, let’s face it: hiding behind cell phones can be totally obnoxious if we’re not careful. Of course I have games and puzzles on my smartphone. They are sometimes used for the mini-mental-vacations mentioned above. We do not, however, want to be rude! If we’re with others, using that electronic device to escape being social is not acceptable.

That’s just plain hiding; that is not the same thing as relaxing.


FAR from complicated.

Many psychologists refer to the basic formula necessary for long life, success, happiness and fulfillment as FAR, which stands for food, activity, and rest. If we use those components daily, we should maintain our health, both mentally and physically.

All those things are part of everyday life, and consequently, can be part of a Hydeout.

In our world, though, we sometimes refer to it as ESG, which, of course means: eat, sleep, golf. This is our method for many of our most successful vacations. Eat-Sleep-Golf, repeat daily. See? All the basics are covered!


We’ve listed and talked about some of our Hydeouts. We haven’t covered them all, I’m sure, but we have the idea now. Don’t we?

Whether you use a place, a time, a hobby, or a friend as your own version of a Hydeout is up to you. But, we all need one from time to time. In fact, the more often we visit them, the better we feel, the better we are, and the better we do.

Remember to take your rejuvenation tools with you when you travel, too.

Should we meet on one of our many travels, I look forward to welcoming you to my Hydeout, wherever we may be.









Hydeout Travels Welcomes You With: Hello World!

Hydeout Travels Welcomes You With: Hello World!

Welcome to Hydeout Travels! In this web log I (and/or we) will be letting people know something of our travels, our attempts to weave golf into our trips as well as our daily lives, and our focus on rejuvenation and self-renewal when on the go. We will also share some of our preferences regarding food and entertainment we find along the way.

Palm Springs 020

While we certainly don’t travel in luxury, we’re not tent campers either. We do travel on somewhat of a budget, because we are retired and have a fairly static income, for now, at least. There are no five star hotels or restaurants on the horizon.

But, we have come to expect certain creature comforts as we matured, shall we say. And golf is not always the cheapest endeavor we could choose. So, I guess I’m saying we’re gonna be pretty much your average, middle of the road, splurge when we can, scrimp when we need, voyagers.

Jamaica 053 Couples Resort, Jamaica

We will also be reporting on things to do and see in and around our home area, since we are not yet full-time travelers, jaunting around the globe. Oh, I know, those of you that are travel blogging and doing it full time can rub it in all you want. And, we may even admit to being somewhat jealous. But, some of us still have responsibilities to our family, or a job, or our community that prevent us from enjoying the benefits of permanent wanderlust, whether we like it or not.

But, we are going to keep on trying!

Some of the first posts here will be of fairly recent journeys. Since the idea sprouted to write about them, and hopefully bring enough value to the table to be profitable for all concerned, we have taken some notes and pictures to remind us of what was most memorable, and hope we can convey some of the value we received and felt to you.

Europe 15 197

The future will be mostly about our bucket list. Yes, we still have a very long list of things to do and see that we are looking forward to accomplishing and sharing.

We have been to Hawaii four times and still haven’t been on “the big island” of Hawaii. I went to educational conferences on Oahu three different times (for work, before I was retired, mind you!). Two of those trips saw us going to Maui for a short stay afterward. The third trip to the Aloha state, we went to Kauai for a week of enjoyment before the conference. The last time we went there was solely to visit Kauai with friends. But, the island of Hawaii is still waiting for our visit, and still on the list.

Kilauea 004 Kilauea Lighthouse


How can I call myself a serious golfer and not visit the home of golf?!?! Scotland and Ireland are calling!

The southern coast of Spain is one place we may visit very soon also.

Then there’s Italy, and Greece.

We want to visit Malta, too.

We want to see more of our own United States too. So will likely revisit the Sonoma and Napa valley area in California.

SanFran2 011 Golf in Wine Country, California

We love the Palm Springs, and Temecula areas of California, as well. They should absolutely be on everyone’s “to do” list of places to visit.

Palm Springs 011 On the road between Palm Springs and Temecula

We have places we can stay in Texas hill country that we have only recently seen, and enjoyed. I hadn’t realized there were so many wineries in the Lone Star state. Go figure!

We missed out exploring several interesting and desirable areas during our visit and evaluation of Panama last year. We hope to return soon.

We also have an urge to visit Ecuador.

Panama 006 Panama Canal

You get the idea. I could go on and on…. and on…. and on, about the bucket list of places we wish to visit, but for brevity’s sake will not subject you to that here or now!

Just stay tuned as we take our Hydeout with us on our journeys to visit other places and other lifestyles.

Oh, yeah! We just might squeeze in a little golf along the way!