Happy New Year! I thought I would start out the New Year reflecting back on the trips we took in 2015, some of which I wrote posts about last year (linked below if you are so interested to read more details). So buckle up and come along for the ride.
My travel started out fairly early in the year with a trip in February to Orlando, not to Disney but to teach my class. Interestingly, I had just been to Disney for my very first time with my brother in December of 2014 so when a Disney bus passed me at the airport while I was waiting for the hotel shuttle, it brought back very fond memories of that trip.
I typically try to avoid air travel in the winter because of all of the uncertainties the weather can bring. Case in point, last year I had to make a business trip to New Jersey in January and as I often feared, a snowstorm blew in and I got stranded for two days in a Newark hotel waiting for a flight out.
But I figured going to Orlando in February would be a safe bet weather-wise and sure enough it was. And it was really nice to escape the cold Memphis winter weather and be able to walk around outdoors in the warm sun wearing a short-sleeved shirt.
My next trip wasn’t until May, but it was a big one. After a couple of years of planning, my siblings and I had our annual “SIBSAB” in Amsterdam in conjunction with me teaching my class there. The four of us met up in Amsterdam the week before I taught for quite an adventure. My brother had planned out a great itinerary and I served as tour guide having previously visited Amsterdam more than 25 times. This was the first time my two sisters had ever been to Amsterdam so we made sure we hit all of the main attractions—the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijks Museum, a canal boat ride, the Anne Frank House,
and the ever beautiful Keukenhof Gardens.
Then at the end of the week, my wife and sister-in-law joined me for even more adventures in between my teaching.
Our next trip was a road trip to our son-in-law’s parent’s farm in Illinois over the 4th of July. In addition to the joy of getting to see our daughter, grandson, son-in-law and his family, I got a great lesson from my daughter’s father-in-law in farm equipment…
…and we got to celebrate our grandson’s first birthday early.
In August, we made another road trip, this time a vacation to Asheville, North Carolina for just my wife and me. Before going to Asheville, we first went to visit my wife’s sister and her family in Winston-Salem where my wife had a really special treat when we arrived in town just an hour before the close of Maya Angelou’s estate sale, just enough time for her to get in and have a great time.
After a few days in Winston-Salem, we went on to Asheville where the highlight for me was to get to spend the day in my favorite place on earth—Montreat.
Also in August, I had a business trip to our manufacturing site in eastern Tennessee. While not a pleasure trip, it was nice to get together with some colleagues there that I have worked with for many years.
September found us in San Francisco for our annual trip there for me to teach. An added treat this year was that our son and his wife had moved back to the bay area and so we got to see them while there. And our daughter and grandson flew up from LA to spend time with us as well.
October turned out to be my busiest travel month of the year. The first week of the month, I flew up to New Jersey to spend three days at one of our R&D sites. And then less than two weeks later, I was back in New Jersey to teach a new class. After the course, I got back to Memphis at 10:30 PM on a Tuesday and then was on a flight to California the next morning at 6:15 AM (a very short night). This last trip was to meet our newest granddaughter, a mere three weeks old at the time.
So if I’ve done the math right, I had a total of nine trips in 2015, not a huge number but certainly some very special trips. Adding in the trip our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson made to Memphis in February and another in August, I got to see my grandson on four separate trips; not bad considering he lives almost 2,000 miles away. And actually not counting my business trips, every one of our trips this year were also visiting with family. So really, it was a splendid family travel year, well worth documenting and reflecting on early in this New Year.