If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know each year I chronicle all the trips I took in the prior calendar year. Usually this is one of the first posts of the New Year but this year I decided to start off with my book review so this post is coming to you a bit later. However, this is one post I always look forward to writing as it allows me to look back at all my trips at one time.
As is typically the case, my travel year normally starts out sometime in March with a trip to teach one of my courses. This year we got to return to Chicago, a city in which we have not taught in in quite some time. But with typically unpredictable weather there, rather than spring blooming out, it was rather cold; so cold that to get some exercise, I walked across the street from the hotel to wander the aisles of a Lowe’s. It was warm inside, I racked up some steps on my Fitbit, and I did get to see a number of useful items they don’t sell in our Memphis Lowe’s like snow shovels, gas snow blowers, and drive way markers (yard long poles topped with reflectors so you will know where to steer your snow blower to clear your driveway). Unfortunately it was too short of a trip to get to do any site seeing in downtown.
My next trip was actually a double trip in early April, first to visit my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson in their new home in Seattle and then to see my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in San Francisco. Seattle was cold but San Francisco was nice and warm, just the kind of weather you look forward to after a cold winter. I actually wrote a post about each of those trips that you can link to here and here if you are interested.
A week later, I was off to New Jersey to teach my other course but this time the course fell in the middle of the week so I didn’t have a weekend to go into New York, something I always enjoy getting to do.
In May, I drove over to Northwest Arkansas where my two sisters live for our annual SIBSAB, our sibling sabbatical when us four siblings get together. This trip coincided with the Bentonville Film Festival and is documented here.
In June, I was off on my annual trip to Amsterdam to teach one of my courses and as was the case last year, my wife did not get to go with me (something we plan to rectify in 2018). I did mostly new things on this trip since after traveling there almost 30 times; it was time to explore other venues. If you are interested in reading more about this trip, you can do so here.
Over the Fourth of July holiday, we got to spend time with some friends who have a house at Pickwick. It was a nice day to speed around the lake in their boat, float some in the water, and enjoy some good food and adult beverages.
Later in July, I drove back over to my see my sisters in Northwest Arkansas where we went to the Dale Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges. This trip made it into a post as well, describing how much I love glass artwork.
In August, my wife and I got a chance to take a “real vacation”, one where I was not working. We drove to North Georgia where we rented a cabin on a small river and toured the wine scene there. It was nice to get away just the two of us (click here for more details).
Also in August, I flew up to our New Jersey office to do some training. While it was a quick trip with no time for sightseeing, I did get a chance to have dinner both the nights I was there with colleagues I used to work with. We had a really nice time catching up.
In September, my wife and I drove over to Nashville for our dear friend’s son’s wedding. Obviously notwithstanding the bride who is always the most beautiful woman at the wedding, I thought my wife was the prettiest woman there.
The day after the wedding, I continued to drive East to our facility in Eastern Tennessee near Chattanooga. Arriving early on Sunday afternoon, I got to check out downtown Chattanooga. It had progressed quite a bit since the last time I was there with many cultural things to do. At one-third the size of Memphis, it was amazing to learn that Chattanooga has 11 microbreweries (more than double those in Memphis), one of which I had to try.
I also got to have dinner with another former work colleague who retired over two years ago and who had moved to the area.
Between the middle of October through the week of Thanksgiving, I made three separate trips to the west coast. First up was a trip to San Francisco to teach both my courses. This trip included a weekend layover that allowed me to visit with my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, for the second time this year. Returning to Memphis marked the beginning of my retirement as my last workday was October 27th.
Then just two weeks later, before I could even get use to all the extra time I would have being retired, I was off to Seattle for a second visit with my daughter and grandson while my son-in-law was out of the country for a professional conference. It was a very special time with both my daughter and grandson.
Two days after returning to Memphis, I was off to Pasadena for my nephew’s wedding. Since my daughter moved from Pasadena in February of 2017, I didn’t think I would be coming back any time soon. But it was a nice week, with nice warm weather (it was 92°F on Thanksgiving Day), time for some sightseeing…
…and a chance to see all my siblings for a second time this year.
So if I’ve done the math right, I had a total of 13 trips in 2017, not a huge number but certainly some very special trips. With my retirement in 2017, I should have even more time to travel in the future. And with the extra time, we should be able to take some extended road trips to see parts of the country that neither my wife nor I have been to.
So cheers to another fun year of travel in 2018!