Hope for the Future

I hear a lot of doom and gloom about the future when it comes to the next generation. As a news anchor I often report on why millennials will never be as accomplished as previous generations. Just today I read a report that most millennials do not know when their taxes are due!

I don’t buy all of this hype about how the younger generation will fall flat on their faces. Last night I had the privilege of giving a lecture at Florida Atlantic University’s Advance Campaigning class. I spoke about the media and politics. These students were not only interested and well informed, but they were also passionate. These were not kids that are ready to let life roll them over. These students are ready to take on the world and make improvements that other generations before them failed to accomplish. I’m sure they also won’t have any problems figuring out when their taxes are due!

St. Paddy’s Day in Dublin, Ireland

I probably will never be able to top my last St Patrick’s Day. With just a few days of planning I decided to go to Dublin to celebrate the day we are all Irish. To make it even more magical it snowed during most of the day. It was cold, but the Guinness and the parade crowd kept us warm. I was surprised with how much of an international event St Patrick’s Day has become for Dublin. This will be one of the best memories of my life!

The St Paddy’s Day Parade in Dublin is even more amazing than I imagined!!! So many people from around the world!! 🍀🇨🇮🍀🇨🇮

Posted by Eric Roby on Saturday, March 17, 2018

Galway, Ireland and the Latin Quarter

Galway, Ireland is a college town with a thriving arts scene. It is historic with a city wall that dates back to about 1000AD. My favorite part of this picturesque village by the sea was the ancient Latin Quarter.

 

Made it to Galway, Ireland to only get lost in the Latin Quarter of this ancient city! So much fun exploring all of the tiny passageways full of artists and stores.

Posted by Eric Roby on Monday, March 19, 2018

Donnie the Ponyman

One of the most overlooked things about travel are the people that you meet. You have to get out of your personal bubble and interact with not only other travelers, but also the locals. One of my favorite memories of my recent Ireland trip is meeting Donnie the Ponyman. He took us through the Gap of Dunloe in a carriage. His humor and story telling was epic.

The best way to see the Gap of Dunloe is on a horse carriage! We met Donny the Ponyman. He’s definitely an Irish character. Listen hard for the echo over Echo Lake! #BucketList #Ireland

Posted by Eric Roby on Wednesday, March 21, 2018

On Top of the World in Dublin

The number one voted tourist destination in all of Europe cheated. They bought off the vote by giving everyone a free pint of Guinness! The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is five stories of amazingness. Even without the free beer it would have been one of my top spots to visit. Our trip here on the day after St Paddy’s day was made even more incredible with special live performances and a once in a life time chance to taste seaweed Guinness made only for that one occasion. BTW it was really good!

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Temple Bar, Ireland is CRAZY on St. Paddy’s Day

I can cross off another item on my bucket list: celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland! I stayed in the heart of the party which is the Temple Bar area. Despite landing at 7am on St. Paddy’s Day and jet-lag, the energy of the crowd kept me going well into the night. What a memorable and amazing day (and night)!

I think the partying for St Paddy’s Day finally stopped around 5AM in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. This is what it looked like earlier in the evening and this wasn’t even the height of the craziness!!! #BucketList #Dublin #StPattysDay

Posted by Eric Roby on Sunday, March 18, 2018

 

Surprise Discovery in Killarney National Park, Ireland

While exploring Killarney National Park in Ireland, I stumbled upon some rare red deer. The only thing more amazing were the views! Right next to this spot is a little café and gift shop. We stumbled upon it as we were wrapping up a day of driving the Ring of Kerry.

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Attack of the Monitor Lizards

Living in South Florida you get used to the exotic animals that surround us. We may be lacking lightening bugs, but we do have cockroaches the size of smart cars. In addition to our cute lizards crawling around everywhere, we also have 12 foot alligators. Even local rivers and beaches are now dealing with the beautiful, but poisonous lion fish. I can get used to most creepy crawlies, but I draw the line at dragons!

It’s true. A small colony of nile monitor lizards have moved in along the banks of the C51 canal in West Palm Beach. These lizards (that are indigenous to Africa) are so big they are sometimes called dragons. They can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds. They have a vicious bite and can be very aggressive.

I checked state records and found a dozen or so have been found over the past year from Palm Beach International Airport to the Turnpike along Southern Boulevard.  A five footer was even caught inside of a screened in porch. The lizard got there by entering a doggie door.

The state is now trying to catch and kill off the breeding lizards. They’ve lost the battle in Cape Coral in Southwest Florida. A large colony is currently terrorizing that small town. The lizards are even breaking into foreclosed homes and breeding inside of them. Yes, the lizards are also breeding in West Palm Beach. I know because the state sent me a picture to prove it!

Most Floridians can take a lot when it comes to exotic animals. Boa constrictors moving into the Everglades and eating alligators is ok for most, but the idea of a monitor lizard moving in next door is not. Personally that’s where I have to draw a line.

First Taste of Freedom

My oldest son Vejas just turned 4 years old! For his birthday my wife and I had a long debate on if he was ready for his first bike.  I won and he got an awesome silver bike with a shark face on the front,  an annoying horn on the handlebars and training wheels on the back.

He loves it! Not only does he love riding the bike, but he had his first taste of freedom. On his first ride through the neighborhood we went up the coastal ridge that runs along West Palm Beach’s historic Flamingo Park.  His little legs worked hard to get up the steep Florida hill, but on the way down he was in heaven.  He lifted up his legs to the top bar and screamed like a cowboy on a bucking bull. I too was screaming!  I kept saying. “Put on the breaks!  Put on the breaks!” At the last possible moment before heading into the street Vejas did put on the breaks.  After I had a heart attack and finally caught up to him he said, “Lets do it again!!”

I was hoping he would not tell his mother about our “guy” adventure, but the first thing out of his mouth once inside the house  was, “Mama I went down the big hill.” Mama was not pleased, but Vejas keeps on asking when he can go down the “big” hill again.

My wife suggested we let him ride on the Lake Trail on Palm Beach. Trying to explain bike trail etiquette wasn’t easy.  His idea of being polite is to pass someone by honking his annoying horn 100 times and then sharply cutting them off! The But, the toughest lesson for him was looking forward.  He wants to look at everything around him, including what’s happening behind him. Even after a dramatic fall, we’re still working on it.

It’s a strange feeling as a parent to see your first child ride a bike.  You want them to enjoy it and do it, but you also realize that your relationship with them has just changed.  Your first born now knows that one day he will be able to do everything by himself and he likes it.

What’s Hotter: South Florida or Hot Yoga

Last Tuesday was the hottest day in South Florida for nearly 5 years!  I went outside and thought, “Wow that’s refreshing!”  I haven’t gone crazy, but I have picked up Bikram Yoga.  Its nickname is hot yoga because you practice it in a room that’s 105 degrees (making our 98 degrees in West Palm Beach on Tuesday feel chilly).

I’ve never done yoga before, so naturally I decided to start with the most punishing version of it.  Each class runs for 90 minutes as you work through 26 muscle and mind bending poses. It’s tough!  In fact one instructor told me, “If you enjoy this workout there is something wrong with you.”

Despite the warnings, my only true fear was being the only man in the class.  Boy was I wrong with that assumption.  In each class there have been a handful of men, but women usually outnumber the guys 4 to 1. During my first class a fellow compatriot told me to take it easy since men can’t bend the same way as women.  I soon found out he was speaking the painful truth.  I attended another class where the instructor was a man.  He proudly told me after class that men have it a lot harder than women during yoga.  I loved the comment, but the ladies nearby did not!

During my first class I focused on just staying in the room and not passing out from the heat.  After my second class I had to go to work and anchor 3 newscasts.  I swear I didn’t make sense the entire night.  Later, I asked if it was normal to be exhausted after a Bikram workout.  I was told by two fit yogies, “Yoga is the only exercise that gives you energy instead of taking it away.  You must not be focusing on your breathing.”  I said, “Breathing!?! I’m focusing on not getting heat stroke.”

I didn’t give up.  I’ve taken a few more classes and I am feeling energized afterwards.   I sleep better, but best of all I handle my stress a lot better.  Despite the benefits, during a hot yoga class I always think this is torture.  The two fit yogies wouldn’t admit it, but I bet they think the same thing.

Eric Roby CBS12 News Anchor West Palm Beach