Friday, November 25, 2011

Paris Day Three

Here are some pictures from the busiest day of the trip.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Paris (day two)

Below are the pictures from how M and I spent Thanksgiving in Paris.

In a market near our hotel.

In the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles
The Catacombs of Paris where 6 million Parisians are buried

Saint Sulpice (famous in the Da Vinci Code) and also the 2nd largest church in Paris
Dinner at a restaurant about 20 feet away from our hotel. It was featured on Rick Steves (we found this out by seeing a picture of him with the owner and then also realizing that two other groups in the restaurant were talking about Rick Steves). It was an excellent meal.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Paris pictures

From our 1st night in Paris:

Trip to London

The risk of going abroad is pretty substantial. I know I talked about risk/reward in my last long blog post about quitting my job and moving to Columbus, but bear with me on that concept. The risk of going abroad is that you will spend too much money at a place you don't like with people you can't stand. Also, there is the risk that if you pick one place over another then maybe in your life you won't get the opportunity to go the silver medal site. Life isn't like the movie Groundhog Day because you can't go back in time and try to get it right again. You have one shot. (I loved the quote below from a street in London.)

One reason M and I picked London and Paris were because they were two places on our bucket list. They were two places that we couldn't go through life without seeing. M has actually been to both places, but only briefly in Paris and maybe (hopefully?) not the same type of trip as she had done before in London. Those two places were worth the risk because of all we have heard and seen about the cities.

Now the good news is that so far this trip has been amazing. I am sitting in a small hotel room a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower and thinking back on our trip to London. Those were four wonderful days that I will look back fondly on. The food was much better than the expectations of English food. Whether or not we were in a pub (which we went to a decent amount) or a real restaurant we were consistently impressed. My favorite traditional English meal was a simple fish & chips meal at a place near Trafalgar Square. My favorite overall meal was the duck confit at a place called Henry's (located on the road Piccadilly Circus).

Other than eating our way through London, we also did the big tourist sights. A quick rundown of what we saw:
  • Tower of London
  • National Gallery
  • Buckingham Palace (we went to see the changing of the guard one day)
  • Imperial War Museum

    • London Eye
    • Westminster Abbey
    • Harrod's
    • Big Ben
    • Backbeat (a play at the Duke of York theater)
    Out of the list above our favorites were the National Gallery, Imperial War Museum (we spent about 3 hours there) and the play (Backbeat) about the forming of the Beatles. I could go on and on about the merits of those three activities specifically.

  • I am going to get some rest now in anticipation of our first full day in the *Kansas City of Western Europe.

    *I'm assuming that if Kansas City is known as the "Paris of the Plains" then actual Paris must be knowns as something like the Kansas City of Western Europe.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011


    Unfortunately I don't have much time to post, because I can't figure out a way to charge my computer. Here are some quick pictures from M and I's trip to London. So far it has been a really great trip. We are looking forward to going to Paris tomorrow.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Risk, Reward and Big Life Changes

    One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received was from my Finance professor at Miami University, Dr. Terry Nixon. He said to understand finance you needed to first realize the risk vs. reward scale. If risk goes up then expected reward should also go up. Subsequently if risk goes down then your expected reward should go down. This made logical sense, but until that moment I guess I had never really thought about the direct relationship between risk and reward. It is a useful guide though when faced with both financial and personal decisions.

    The reason I bring up the risk/reward is that M and I are going to be taking on a big risk. We are moving from Minneapolis to Columbus, Ohio. This is a *huge life change and something that will in the short term bring in a lot of complex situation. There is risk that we won't like living in Columbus or that our jobs won't be as fulfilling as they have been in Minneapolis. There is also risk leaving behind a great friend group here because their is no guarantee that we will be able to have as nice of a social scene there. I can list out other risks, but by moving away from the status quo we are taking on additional risk.

    *A few months ago my brother-in-law wrote a small post on the big life changes that seem to happen every summer for him. He referenced the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, which lists out "43 stressful life events that can contribute to illness." Well it looks like M and I are heading down a pretty stressful fall/winter.

    However, the other side of the scale means that with this extra risk we should expect additional rewards because otherwise we wouldn't make the decision to move. And the reason we are moving is because the rewards of moving back to Columbus justify the potential risks. We get to be closer to both families, which should be invaluable if/when we decide to have children. The cost of living and salary information means that we will be making more money. The fact that we have decided to make Columbus our long-term home means that we can take on the *risk of buying a home.

    *Rewards: 1) Home prices might go up. 2) We can build equity. 3) We can join a society that seems to look more kindly on home owners compared to renters. 4) We will have a bigger, nicer place.

    We have the reward of being more centrally located. Columbus is within 4 hours of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Louisville. Also, we are only a day's drive away from New York City, Philadelphia, DC, Atlanta, St. Louis, Nashville and Chicago. Minneapolis is unfortunately only really near *cabins that are "up north." You are a day's drive away from Kansas City, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis, but there aren't nearly as many options around **Minneapolis.

    *I have been in Minneapolis for over 6 years and still never been to a friend's cabin up here. This is something I will always find very strange and unfortunate.

    **However, in the city itself there is more stuff to do in Minneapolis than Columbus. I will miss seeing the Twins and Timberwolves. Also, I love the selection of restaurants here. I know there will be places to eat in Columbus, but I doubt there will be as nice of a variety as there is here.

    We are taking on additional risk, but I'm excited for the move. I will look back fondly on my time in Minneapolis working for two great companies. This is the city where I experienced a lot of personal and professional growth, met great friends and had a wonderful time. I am looking forward to living in Columbus, but I am not looking forward in leaving Minneapolis.