My travel year started out early in January with a business trip to New Jersey for an industry committee meeting. I arrived the day before the meeting accompanied by one of my work colleagues. In spite of his numerous trips to New Jersey previously, he had never been to New York before so we headed there first. I served as his tour guide pointing out many of the sights within easy walking distance of Penn Station. We capped off our too-short visit in New York at the Marriott Marquis in their top floor bar getting a 360-degree tour of Manhattan as we rotated around.
Unfortunately, the next day during our meeting, a big snowstorm struck and we got stranded for two days before we could get a flight out due to all of the cancellations. Fortunately, we were able to find a hotel room near by so we didn’t have to spend the next two days camping out in the Newark airport.
Our next trip didn’t occur until the end of April when my wife accompanied me to Amsterdam so that I could teach my class. It was a fun trip made all the more interesting as we arrived on King’s Day to join in their celebration.
This event was described to us as Holland’s answer to New Year’s Eve in Times Square. While we have never been to New York for New Year’s, we can vouch for the tremendous party spirit that was displayed everywhere in orange clad Hollanders consuming large quantities of adult beverages.
After I was finished teaching, we took the train to Paris for our first ever visit.
We planned this trip to celebrate our 35th anniversary, which would occur in December 2014. Our first full day in Paris was May 1st, which turned out to be a national holiday. Although many museums were closed that day, we managed to at least see quite a lot of Paris—from the Louvre to Notre Dame to the Eifel tower as documented by the nearly 30,000 steps measured on my wife’s Fitbit. We had a great time over the next several days in spite of mostly rainy weather.
Also in May just days after returning from Paris, I traveled to Washington, DC for a professional conference and to teach a new course for the industry trade group that I serve as one of their committee chairs. Fortunately I had a little time to sight see before returning home.
In June, my wife again accompanied me to San Francisco so that I could teach my course. We arrived the weekend before I taught and rented a car to drive down to Monterey where we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was really impressive but also provided some useful on-site research for a fictional event that occurs at this aquarium in a book my wife is writing.
After the course, we also had some time for sight seeing and visited the Cable Car Museum, which I found most interesting.
In July, I made my first trip to Providence, Rhode Island to again teach my course. This was a fairly short trip with no time for sightseeing. Other than having a very successful course, my most memorable moment was the delicious meal I had at Legal Sea Food before my flight out the next morning.
August found us back in California, this time in Pasadena for the birth of our first grandson.
He was actually born in July but not knowing if he would be early or late, we had previously booked our flight for early August. This timing coincided with him being just three weeks old. It was a week of bliss getting to be with him and his parents and it was one of the hardest things ever for me to leave at the end of the week.
In October, I was once again in New Jersey to teach my class. This happened to be another trip with no time for sightseeing so my travel photo was from one of my favorite spots in the Atlanta airport awaiting my connecting flight.
December turned out to be our busiest travel month. At the beginning of December, I met my brother in Orlando to go to Disney World. This was my first ever visit and my brother did an outstanding job crafting our itinerary. Over a four-day weekend, we managed to get to all four parks and ride some of the most exciting rides.
Our last ride before heading to the airport was Spaceship Earth where we got to create our own animated future during the ride.
And then for Christmas, we traveled out to Pasadena again to spend Christmas with two of our children and their spouses and of course, our grandson.
It was our first Christmas to be away from home in 35 years and it was a very special week.
The day after we got back from California, we hopped in the car to drive to North Carolina to spend New Year’s with our friends in their cabin. It was difficult to go from Pacific Time to Eastern Time and 70 degree weather to 30 degree weather in just a matter of 48 hours but we still had a great time. On the way there, as we have done in past years, my wife’s sister drove down to meet us in Knoxville so the two girls could get to spend some time together.
All in all, it was a total of 12 trips. When I started writing this post, I didn’t think I had travelled as much in 2014 as I had in 2013 but it turned out to be exactly the same number of trips. Some of these trips, I previously wrote blog posts about during the year where you can get more details but this summary provides a synopsis of the year of travel.
So far, I don’t have as many trips planned for 2015 but only time will tell. I guess we’ll have to wait until 2016 to reflect on how many we take.