Seattle Bloggers | My New Project

Where is Tim these days?! That’s a great question. I’ve been missing for a while, but there’s a good explanation. I’ve started a new project with my girlfriend called Seattle Bloggers. As anyone knows, it’s not easy to get a new idea off the ground. It takes a lot of hard work and effort. So, that’s were all my time has gone — not focused here on All Around Tim (I’m really sorry!).

Seattle BloggersThe Seattle Bloggers idea is pretty simple. My girlfriend Tove and I adventure around Seattle, the Puget Sound area and beyond, and then we document our journeys on SeattleBloggers.com. Our blog posts have included anything from the Museum of Flight in Seattle to the Palace Hotel in Port Townsend — and anything in between.

We write about food, events, attractions, recreation, getaways and much more. We’ve already found a lot of success in a short period of time. Our Seattle Bloggers post on Saltwater State Park was featured on the Washington State Parks ‘Adventure Awaits‘ website, and we’ve been invited by Red Mango to try smoothies and Gallaghers’ Where U Brew to make our own beer. Heck, we’ve even been paid to promote products. That’s not bad for an idea we launched less than two months ago.

We enjoyed being paid (who doesn’t?), but our real joy comes from connecting with our fans. There’s no greater compliment to us than someone saying, “You make me want to go out and adventure,” or, “Thanks to your post, I went to check out…” That always puts a huge smile on our faces. We love Seattle and we want everyone else to love it too. That’s exactly why we share anything and everything we do with you on Seattle Bloggers.

There are several ways to follow Seattle Bloggers. You can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Google+, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow our boards on Pinterest. You can also bookmark our website and visit for al the latest. We invite comments on all of our posts. The more everyone shares, the more everyone can enjoy our incredible city.

Have you visited our Seattle Bloggers website? What do you think of it? I’d love your feedback — good, bad or otherwise. You can leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter and Facebook. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Like I mentioned, All Around Tim has suffered because of Seattle Bloggers. I really appreciate your patience and support as we grow our idea. Don’t worry — All Around Tim is not going away. Things will just slow down a bit. Thanks for being the best fans on the planet!

Heroes | A Bright Light In Dark Times

I woke up this morning and went to the gym. As I always do, I hopped on a cardio machine, cranked up my music and watched the television in front of me. ESPN was showing replay after replay of the Boston Marathon bombings. I had seen the clips hundreds of times, but I couldn’t get the video out of my head. When I came home, I just kept digging for more information. I hopped online and looked at hundreds of pictures from the scene of the crime. I didn’t do this because I’m sick and twisted – I did it because I noticed something.

Yes, I saw lots of carnage, tears and blood, but through all the horror I also saw heroes. Hundreds — if not thousands — of them. People rushed to the scene seconds after the first bomb exploded. What if there’s another explosion? Is this safe? Am I going to die? Those questions never went through their mind, and if they did, they didn’t care about the answers. Putting their own existence on the line, they helped the people affected by the blast.

There were police officers, firefighters, spectators, marathon volunteers and even marathon runners — people who just ran 26.2 miles — rushing to the scene. More than likely, we’ll never know any of their names or hear their stories. They’ll return to work as they normally do, and life will continue as it always does. Most will probably never consider themselves heroes, but that’s exactly what they are. An extraordinary situation called for extraordinary people, and they came to the rescue.

It’s a strange thought, but the worst in society often brings out the best in society. For every crazy person there are hundreds of heroes. People who are willing to risk everything to help others in need. They aren’t summoned by a light in the sky, they don’t wear capes and they don’t have super powers, they’re folks just like you and me who do whatever it takes to lend a hand. They use their jacket as a tourniquet, they push wounded civilians in wheelchairs, they comfort those who need comforting. That’s what real heroes do, and that’s exactly what we saw in Boston yesterday.

You can argue that there’s a lot wrong with our world right now, but there’s also a lot right with our world. Instead of focusing on the lunatic (or lunatics) that carried out the Boston Marathon bombings, I choose to focus on the heroes — the people who save lives; not take them.

Three people died in the tragic events yesterday, but I’m convinced the number could have been much higher if it wasn’t for the heroes who stepped into action. I’m a stranger from thousands of miles away, but I want to send my sincerest thank you to all the heroes in Boston. You gave us a bright glimpse of light in a very dark time.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Explore Dream Discover

Explore. Dream. Discover.

If you needed inspiration — I hope you just found it.

You’ve probably read this ’Explore. Dream. Discover.‘ quote before, and I have too, but I was reacquainted with it last night. I’m starting a travel only blog, and I’m struggling to find a cool name for it. Hoping to spark my creative juices, I browsed through some inspirational travel quotes and ‘Explore. Dream. Discover.‘ was one that I found. I hadn’t seen it for years, so it struck me like it was the first time I read it.

I love this quote. ’Explore. Dream. Discover.‘ is a friendly reminder that we only have one life to live. If you have goals and aspirations — go after them with all your heart and all your soul.

Everyone knows that time flies way too fast. Twenty years are going to pass before we even know it. I don’t like regret and it has no place in my life. I hate the idea of waking up as a 52-year-old and thinking to myself, “Damn. I should have traveled the world when I was younger.” Your passion doesn’t have to be travel. That’s just one example. Are you stuck in a rut at work? Do you want to change your life? Then do it! The only one holding you back is you. Catch the trade winds in your sails. It’s much easier than you think.

Tim Lewis Seattle | Cliffs of Moher

Catch the trade winds in your sails.

I don’t want to sound like a preacher. I just think that people need to cut loose from whatever is holding them back. Is there a recession? Yes (that’s not good if you want a new job). Are there parts of the world that aren’t safe? Sure (that’s not cool if you want to travel). At the same time, there’s always going to be an excuse preventing you from reaching your goals. Don’t let outside circumstances (especially issues you can’t control) dictate how you live your life. Throw off the bowlines, and sail away from the safe harbor.

You get one crack at this crazy planet. Make it worth your while. Explore. Dream. Discover.

What do you think about the ‘Explore. Dream. Discover.‘ quote? Have you read it before? I always love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on travel, sports, music, food and just about anything else!

P.S. I wanted to learn more about the ‘Explore. Dream. Discover.’ quote, so I did some research. It sounds like Mark Twain may have never written or said this. It’s unclear where the saying actually came from. I’ll be honest — I don’t really care if Mark Twain wrote/said this or not (that’s not why I like it). It’s a great quote no matter what (as long as it’s not a lyric from a Justin Beiber song or something like that).

P.S.S. The picture in the upper left is me on a zip line in Costa Rica, and the picture to the lower right is me at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Life is a trip — enjoy the ride!

I Rolled My Ankle Doing What?!

I’ve suffered some stupid injuries in my life, but this one easily takes the cake. In fact, I shouldn’t even share this story with you. The only reason I do tell you about this is so it can serve as a public service for the rest of the world: Beware of mini basketball hoops!

Well, that’s not exactly fair to the mini basketball hoop. My old, out-of-shape body is likely to blame for this ridiculous story. Here goes nothing…

mini basketball hoop KOMO office

The mini basketball hoop in our office

Just hours before the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers faced off on Monday Night Football (in what turned out to be the craziest game I’ll ever see in person), my photographer Paul and I were messing around at work. There’s a mini basketball hoop attached to the top of the door in our sports office that we usually just shoot around on. That apparently wasn’t good enough on this day, so to spice things up I made an athletic move (by my definition) to the hoop. I had Paul pass me the rock, and then acting like I did during warm ups as a kid, I drove to the rack for a left-handed layup. Little did I think about the unwrapped stack of printer paper holding the door open. I impressively (again, by my definition) made the bucket, but my right foot landed on the corner of the paper — rolling my ankle.

That’s right — I rolled my ankle playing on a mini basketball hoop. I felt two things at that moment: 1) extreme pain and 2) extreme embarrassment. I didn’t do it in front of an audience of one, instead I did it in front of my photographer Paul. Well, not only did I hurt myself in front of Paul, he was also the only thing in front of me after I rolled my ankle, so I grabbed on to him for support (otherwise I would have crumpled to the floor like a complete idiot). Paul was laughing so hard it was impossible to think. All I could do was squeeze his arm as hard as I could to take my mind off my throbbing ankle. Feeling like I was going to break his arm, and figuring he needed that arm to shoot Monday Night Football, Paul finally forced me to get off him.

I Rolled My Ankle On This Stack Of Paper

The stack of paper I rolled my ankle on (you can see the scuff mark from my shoe)

It hurt to walk, so I immediately downed ibuprofen to ease the pain. It didn’t help that I needed to be on my feet for the rest of the night, wandering the sidelines at CenturyLink Field. I’m not sure if it was the medicine or the adrenaline of covering Monday Night Football (and the crazy outcome), but I actually survived the rest of the night without too many ankle issues. The next day wasn’t as good to me. All swollen up, I could hardly walk after I woke up. The pain eventually started going away, but it honestly still bothers me nearly two weeks later.

I made that same incredible move to a mini basketball hoop in my playroom as a kid a million times and never had an issue, so this is either a sign that I’m getting old, I don’t have any athletic ability left in my bones, or I’m just flat out stupid. Whatever the excuse is (likely a combination of all three) – with a tear in my eye (because of the pain in my ankle; not the sadness) — I hereby retire from mini basketball.

Have you ever rolled your ankle playing mini basketball (highly doubtful)? What’s the weirdest injury you’ve ever suffered? I’d love to hear from you! Simply leave a comment below or you can connect with me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Don’t forget to also check out more on http://allaroundtim.com!

The Most Memorable Sports Story I’ve Ever Seen

A good sports story is supposed to draw emotion out of the viewer. You need to make the audience attach to those involved, and give them a reason to care. That’s what makes a story memorable. It’s not always easy to make an everyday sporting event unforgettable, but sometimes the circumstances come together for an incredible story. I’ve watched a lot of sports stories over the years (and I’ve even put more than a few together myself) that just didn’t grab me. But, others have left a mark. There’s one story in particular about Louis Mulkey and the Summerville High School basketball team that I’ll never forget.

I saw this story when it was first aired on ESPN’s Outside the Lines four years ago. I’ve thought about it hundreds of times since (including recently, which reminded me to share this with you). I’m not going to bore you with anymore of my words, instead I’m going to let you watch the story. The two parts are about 14 minutes combined, but — trust me — it’s worth every second.

I can’t explain why this story (more than any other story I’ve seen) left such a mark on me. Maybe it’s Louis Mulkey’s dying words to his wife, “I love you.” Maybe it’s the amazing last-second three-quarter court buzzer-beater that dashed the Summerville basketball team’s hopes and dreams. Or, maybe it’s the fact that everything Louis Mulkey predicted years before, and everything the team fought for as a tribute comes true in the end. The story literally takes you from tears of sadness to tears of joy within a matter of minutes. It has a spot with me forever — and it drives me to tell great stories on television every day.

I hope you enjoyed the story of Louis Mulkey and the Summerville basketball team as much as I do. I’d love to hear from you about it. Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more great sports coverage on http://allaroundtim.com.

I Think Vince Vaughn Is Following Me

I think Vince Vaughn is following me. No, I’m not kidding. Well, maybe he’s not. He’s either following me, or Vince Vaughn and I just keep ending up in the same place at the same time. Come to think of it – it’s more than likely the latter. Whether I have an A-list stalker or it’s just a matter of odds, I keep crossing paths with the actor.

Actor Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn

My first encounter with Vince Vaughn happened about two years ago in Las Vegas. My brother and I were strolling through the Cosmopolitan late at night when my brother suddenly said, “Dude, that was Vince Vaughn.” I didn’t see him, and my brother wanted to be sure his eyes didn’t deceive him, so we turned around to make sure it was actually him. My brother was spot on. Standing right there in the high rollers area (an isolated area away from the riffraff) was Vince Vaughn. We caught a glimpse of him and kept walking, but others took notice and were much more blatant — staring at him, talking about him (some almost screaming) and taking pictures.

My second incident with Vince Vaughn is just flat-out strange. It happened when my dad and I went to Chicago last December. We hopped on our flight to the Windy City, and the flight attendant introduced the flight crew. I missed the captain’s name, but the co-pilot was a guy named Vince Vaughn. Knowing that the actor Vince Vaughn actually lives in Chicago, and I’d recently crossed paths with the guy in Las Vegas, my dad and I looked at each other kind of funny. To make sure we heard her correctly, my dad asked the flight attendant if that was really our co-pilot’s name. She confirmed that it was. To be funny, my dad and I were going to take a picture with the co-pilot after the flight (to post on Facebook joking that we met Vince Vaughn), but by the time we landed in Chicago we forgot. So, just hours later, my dad and I are at the Tavern on Rush in Chicago. I was sitting right next to the window, but not much was happening outside. I did notice a police offer approach a guy and shake his hand though. Well, it wasn’t just some random dude — it was Vince Vaughn (the actor — not the co-pilot). It looked like Vaughn was just on a late night walk with his wife and kid. Vaughn talked to officer for a minute or two (they were literally at arms reach if the window wasn’t in the way), and then he continued on his way. I can’t even explain how bad I wish we had taken a picture with the co-pilot, because my dad and I both agreed that we would have asked the actor for a picture as well. That would have been the perfect way to cap an improbable story. We wanted proof it actually happened, because we knew there would be skeptics. I mean…seriously…what are the odds?!

My next encounter with Vince Vaughn happened just a couple of weeks later. This time he was in my city. I was working in Spokane at the time, and was out covering some high school basketball. My phone suddenly started vibrating like crazy. A friend of mine (who knew about my previous meetings with Vince Vaughn) texted to tell me that her friend had walked by Vince Vaughn at Northern Quest Resort and Casino, while my brother texted to say he’d just seen Vaughn on ESPN Friday Night Fights which was being held at — you guessed it — Northern Quest Resort and Casino. I’m not really sure why Vaughn was at the boxing event, but he was with actor/director Peter Billingsley (Ralphie from A Christmas Story). This time I didn’t see Vaughn with my own eyes, but it was still really random. It’s not often a guy like Vince Vaughn is seen hanging out in Spokane.

Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn at Wrigley Field

I didn’t see Vince Vaughn in my final story either. It was just a matter of being in the same city at the same time again. My dad, brother and I went to Chicago in June for a baseball trip that included a game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have a special guest sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch of every home game, so my dad, brother and I put in guesses as to who the performer would be. We jokingly talked about how funny it would be if it was Vince Vaughn. Well, it wasn’t. Instead we were treated to a terrible rendition of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ by former Cubs relief pitcher Lee Smith. I was surfing the web the next day and started reading a game story from the night before (we went to the game on Sunday, so I was reading about the Cubs game that happened on Saturday). At the bottom of the article were a few bonus notes, including the fact that Vince Vaughn threw out the first pitch and sang ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ on Saturday night at Wrigley Field. That means we missed Vaughn by just one day, making it another close encounter.

Seeing Vince Vaughn once is pretty wild, but having four different stories about the guy is just flat out weird. I feel like I’m a magnet for celebrities though (take last night for example — I randomly saw soccer star Abby Wambach in Seattle), so maybe it’s not that strange after all. I’ll probably have a fifth Vince Vaughn story coming soon – especially if he keeps following me around.

Have you ever crossed paths with Vince Vaughn? What is your own favorite celebrity encounter? I’d love to hear from you! Simply leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to check out http://allaroundtim.com for other great stories about sports, music, travel and more!

You’re Never Too Old For The Zoo

I’ve determined that you’re never too old to enjoy the zoo. In fact, I think you appreciate the zoo even more when you’re an adult compared to when you’re a kid. You think it’s normal to see wild animals up close and personal when you’re young, but as you grow older you realize how rare it is to catch a glimpse of these beasts in person.

I have a couple of examples to back up my theory: I was at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle a few weeks ago, and I heard a little boy tell his parents that he wanted to go home because “this place is dull.” Not long after that I took my nephew to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma. He would get excited about the animals at first, but then often lost interest after a few seconds. On the other hand, I stared, and stared, and stared in awe at the creatures for several minutes at a time. That might mean that I’m a dork — or a terrible uncle — but I can’t help it. I love the zoo!

Here are some of the pictures I snapped on my recent adventures to the Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. I posted these on Instagram — be sure to follow me @AllAroundTim!

BUDGIE

Budgie Buddies Tacoma Point Defiance Zoo

ELEPHANTS

Elephant Pt Defiance Zoo Tacoma

Elephant Seattle Zoo Woodland Park

GIRAFFE

Giraffe Seattle Zoo Woodland Park

GRIZZLY BEAR

Grizzly Bear Seattle Zoo Woodland Park

LEMURS

Cuddling Lemurs Pt Defiance Zoo Tacoma

LEOPARD

Leopard Seattle Zoo Woodland Park

MEERKATS

Meerkats Zoo In Tacoma | Pt Defiance

POISON DART FROGS

Poison Dart Frogs Woodland Park Zoo Seattle

POLAR BEAR

Polar Bear Pt Defiance Zoo Tacoma

SHARK

Shark Point Defiance Aquarium Tacoma

How often can you get right next to a grizzly bear, leopard and shark all in one place? Nowhere — except for a zoo (and aquarium). I think it would be incredible to see all of these animals in the wild (and some of them I have), but in most cases that takes lots of money and really good timing — many of these animals are endangered; that’s why they’re in a zoo.

This world is filled with amazing creatures — don’t miss them! Young or old, the zoo is the best place to soak the entire animal kingdom in.

Do you love the zoo or can you go without? What’s your favorite animal at the zoo? I would love to hear from you! Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. You can also find me on YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. In other words, there’s no reason not to reach out!

A Dream Come True | Working On The Desk With My Dad

You know him as KOMO 4 News anchor Dan Lewis, but I know him as dad. Not only is he my pops (one of the several nicknames I have for the guy); he’s also one of my best friends — and now he’s also one of my coworkers.

Tim Lewis KOMO Sports

I don’t even know who this guy is…

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a sportscaster in Seattle. After paying my dues in smaller markets, my dream finally came true when I was recently hired as the new weekend sports anchor/sports reporter at KOMO. That means I wasn’t just going to be working in Seattle — I was going to work at the same station as my dad.

I work on the weekends, so my dad and I only crossover three days a week. We work together indirectly most of the time, because I only do sports on the desk on Saturdays and Sundays (my dad anchors Monday-Friday). During the week, I cover practices and games, and report live from the scene of sporting events. It’s the coolest job in the world, but that means working on the desk with my dad (something we’ve talked about for years) will be a rare occurrence.

One of those moments actually happened last night. For the first time in my life I worked side by side with my dad on television. It was an incredible experience, unlike any other day I’ve had a work before. Our station’s social media managers came in to take pictures of the two of us and live tweet the entire newscast. I even took part in a news tease (a quick promotion you see on TV before the news) with my dad — something sports guys are never included in. All of that happened leading up to my sportscast.

Tim Lewis Dan Lewis KOMO

My dad and me on the KOMO set together

NOTE: A friend of mine took this picture of the news tease when it ran on television. He sent it to me on Twitter, and it literally knocked the wind out of me for a second. I recorded the tease with my dad, but it was the first time I’d seen the two of us together – with our names and everything — on the set.

Then came the moment of truth…the actual show. Since I don’t hit until a little later in the newscast, I don’t stroll to the set until right before sports. I’ve thought for years what it would be like to walk into the studio and see my dad sitting on the desk. Well, I finally had that moment. I took a deep breath, opened the door and walked in. To my left was Steve Pool doing the weather, and my dad and Mary Nam were right in front of me. I have no idea what my face looked like at the time — all I know is that I couldn’t stop smiling.

I sat down with them, and two minutes later we were on the air. My dad tossed to sports over a picture of me as a little boy. I was honestly so caught up in the moment that I didn’t really hear much of what he was saying. When it was finally my turn to talk I was just really thankful that I made sense. At the same time, it was amazing how comfortable I felt. There were obviously some nerves, but these were all familiar faces — people I’ve known for much of my life – so that made the situation much easier. Not that I ever doubted it, but it felt like I belonged up there with them. That helped the show go off without a hitch. You can actually watch our first moments on TV (and check out some of the fun pictures they took of us) together by clicking here.

Steve Pool, Dan Lewis, Mary Nam, Tim Lewis KOMO

Steve Pool, my dad, Mary Nam and me

Following the show, I received an outpouring of congratulations. I honestly think that’s been the most fun thing about this whole experience. I’ve received congratulations/compliments from people I don’t even know, my best friends and people I haven’t heard from in years. It really means a lot to me that so many people care.

I honestly don’t know if this post makes any sense. I’ve said to several people over the last two weeks that I can’t even begin to explain how cool it is to be working with my dad at KOMO. This was my best attempt at putting it into words. I hope it isn’t too jumbled. If you’ve made it this far, I guess it wasn’t too bad. :)

Like I’ve mentioned before, I want to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment, or you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest. In other words, you don’t have any excuse to not contact me.

Thanks for reading! Have an awesome day (or night)!

My Vacation Beard And Its Demise

As a sportscaster, I have to shave every single day. I can’t have scruff on television. It just looks sloppy. I’ll be dead honest with you though – I hate shaving. It’s my least favorite part of the day. When I have the opportunity to go without shaving; I jump all over it. It’s usually just a weekend or a quick vacation, but on my trip to Europe last month — my facial hair got out of hand.

Tim Lewis Vacation Beard

My vacation beard at Wrigley Field in Chicago

I worked my last day in Spokane on May 25th, and that was the last time I would shave for weeks (because I didn’t start my new job until July). During my trip overseas, I went from a hip looking scruffster, to a guy with a regular beard, to frickin’ Paul Bunyan. I loved staying away from the razor for so long (I went 24 days without shaving). Aside from the constant itch, I liked having a beard. My brother told me that I “wore it well.” I’d honestly grow a beard again (for a short spurt) if I had the opportunity.

After I returned from my trip to Europe, I immediately jetted off to Chicago for another vacation. That’s where the beard situation came to a head. My facial hair didn’t fare well in 98 degrees and 90% humidity, so it was finally time to say goodbye to my growth.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to attack my beard. I didn’t have clippers to trim it down, and I knew it would take forever if I just used a normal razor. In other words, it was going to be a pain (literally and figuratively) to get the hair off my face. Instead of dealing with it on my own — I let someone else do the shaving.

I strolled downstairs at the Hyatt Regency (where we were staying in Chicago) and walked into the Spa Di La Fronza Salon. That’s where I met Frank La Fronza — the owner. Frank sat me down in his chair and the adventure began.

Tim Lewis Before After Beard

Before / After

I’d never had someone else shave my face, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This situation played out much different than I anticipated. Frank first trimmed by beard with clippers, prepped my face with a warm towel, and then got to work with his straight edge. The only problem — Frank didn’t use any shaving cream. No joke — the dude did a dry shave on my face. It felt like he was either slashing my face with his razor or tearing off half my skin with every stroke. He would lightly slap skin, tug on my face, and then shave some more. It was one of the most painful/strange experiences of my life, but it got the job done.

When Frank was done with my face, he started to clean up around my ears. I was a few weeks overdue on a haircut, so I appreciated the gesture. I thought it was just part of the face shave, but suddenly Frank started cutting my hair. He didn’t ask me if I wanted a cut — or how I wanted it done — he just clipped away (later explaining that it needed “shaping”). I sat there in awe as Frank started chopping of my hair. The guy is straight old school. He didn’t use clippers (like most of my barbers do); he just used his scissors. The blades never stopped moving. Even when he wasn’t trimming my hair, the scissors were still quickly clamping down on the air. Frank was precise — he wasn’t going to miss a hair (even though I never asked him to cut one of them) — looking at my hair from every angle before he called it good.

After Frank finished up his masterpiece, it was time to pay. I was sure there had to be a set price for a shave and a cut, so I asked Frank how much I owed him. In response, he told me “whatever you want.” I’d never run into anything like that before. Since he didn’t take debit/credit cards, and I don’t carry money, I had to go to the cash machine. I took out $40, walked back over to Frank, and handed it over. It looked like I gave the guy a bar of gold (I clearly overpaid). He said thank you, opened up his drawer, grabbed a business card (which was sitting right next to the latest edition of Playboy), gave it to me, and told me to come back again anytime. Frank knew a whale when he saw one.

Frank La Fronza

Frank La Fronza from an article on ChicagoMag.com

I learned a lot about Frank La Fronza that day. Originally from Italy (he has the accent to prove it), he’s lived in the United States since 1966. He’s a short older guy — I would guess mid-to-late 60′s (or maybe even 70′s) – with style. Frank loves his salon, but the economy is hurting business, so he’d like a smaller location. He calls his female employees “baby” and is clearly loved by his regulars. They just stop in to say hello to him and chat – not even looking for a cut. It’s a real barbershop-type experience. At one point, Frank told one of his guests (a guy who was a regular when he lived in Chicago, but now lives in Colorado Springs) that life is a “mother f^&#er” sometimes — referring to business being slow. It was pure entertainment just listening to Frank talk.

In the end, I wish I would have kept the beard longer. I should have stretched it all the way to July just to see how ridiculous it would get. At the same time, I wouldn’t have met “Franky Baby” (as I now refer to him). The $40 I paid feels like a bargain when you can walk away with a story like that. I do it all over again if I had the chance.

Do you have any wild salon/barber shop stories? Am I the only one who hates shaving? I would love to hear from you! You can leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Google+. Don’t forget you can also connect with me on YouTube and Pinterest as well!

Starting My Dream Job In Seattle

Just like any other little boy, I wanted to be a professional athlete when I grew up. Luckily, I’m a realist, so once I noticed I didn’t have the skill, size, or athletic ability to make it to the pros — or even sniff college athletics for that matter — I decided to focus my dreams elsewhere. It didn’t take long for me to decide what I wanted to do; I wanted to become a sportscaster (because it’s the next best thing to being an athlete) — and I really wanted to be a sports guy in Seattle.

Dan Lewis | Tim Lewis

My dad and me at a Chicago Blackhawks game

Working on television in Seattle wasn’t just a random idea; I kind of stole it. My dad is longtime KOMO 4 News anchor Dan Lewis. I was always in awe of what he did (and honestly — I’m still in awe of what he does today). I actually remember sitting on the news desk at KOMO during an elementary school field trip, staring at the lights and cameras, and hearing voices blaring through the IFBs (aka earpieces) left behind by the anchors. It was incredible! That was the first time I thought to myself, “This is what I want to do when I get big.”

As I grew older, I held onto that goal. There was never a doubt in my mind that I wanted to become a sportscaster. That dream led me to Washington State University. Aside from the fact that I had terrible grades in high school, and my brother and sister both went to WSU, the nationally recognized Edward R. Murrow School of Communication seemed like the perfect fit for me. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Washington State gave me everything I needed to start my career.

I’ve been very lucky to call several cities home along the way. I was most recently in Spokane, spending five years of my life there. I love Spokane. The people are incredible (they’re some of the most passionate sports fans I’ve ever met), the city and surrounding areas are beautiful, and my television station (KREM) was great to me. I honestly could have spent the rest of my life in Spokane, but that wasn’t my plan — it wasn’t my dream — Seattle was.

Tim Lewis & Cole Prill

My nephew and me at a fundraising event in Seattle

I love my family. They’re not only my blood, but they’re also my best friends. Over the 13 years I’ve lived away from home pursuing my dream, I missed my family like hell. It always ripped my heart out when I had to leave them, or when I couldn’t be with them for holidays (the news never rests), etc. I wanted more than anything to be close to them again. I also wanted to be near my friends. I built strong relationships when I was younger, and then I had to leave everyone behind. That was never easy for me.

The perfect storm came to a head a little more than a month ago. The weekend sports anchor/sports reporter position opened at KOMO. Everything that I ever wanted — working in Seattle, with my dad, near friends and family — was finally sitting in front of me. I quickly applied for the job opening, and not too long after that — I was hired! It was the most amazing feeling in the world. I’ve worked my tail off to get to this point, but every hour of overtime I worked (and didn’t put on my time card because I was “paying my dues”), every missed holiday, every second away from my family all finally paid off. I hate to sound clichéd, but dreams really do come true if you fight, scratch and claw for them.

The first day of my new job at KOMO is today. Just like an athlete, I feel like I made it to the big leagues. I get to cover the Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, etc., for a living. It still feels surreal to me. I can’t believe I get to walk into work today and see my dad sitting in the office. At some point the two of us will be on the desk together. That’s something we’ve talked/dreamed about for years. That moment is now going to happen (yes, it’s actually going to happen — I still need to remind myself this isn’t a dream) sooner rather than later. It’s crazy to think about.

Tim Lewis KOMO

Getting comfortable with my new surroundings at KOMO

My drive, ambition and passion doesn’t end where this dream does. I’m going to walk into KOMO today rocking and rolling. I’ve had more than a month off (travelling to Europe and Chicago), so I’m itching to get back to work. I’d love for you to join me on this adventure. You can watch me every weekend on KOMO 4 News and/or you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTubeGoogle+, and now Pinterest as well.

I always try my best to be a glass-half-full kind of guy. There’s no effort needed right now. I’m as full as I’ve ever been. Life is good and only keeps getting better!