The most notable moments in 2014 have been all the travel. My lifestyle business has allowed me to travel for fun about one week a month.
In January I flew out to Atlanta after Alison finished her sales training with AT&T and helped her with driving to move back to Houston, stopping in New Orleans along the way.
I was able to get to Arizona several times this year. I hiked in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, located on the Arizona / Utah border just north of the Grand Canyon. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument has vivid rust-colored petrified sand dunes eroded into waves. Only 20 people a day are allowed by permit to hike the protected area. Here are some of the photos I took hiking Vermillion Cliffs and a nearby slot canyon, Wire Pass. On another trip, Dad and I drove the Apache Trail, a beautiful trip I haven’t done since I was a kid. I know this sounds like a Pepperidge Farm Remembers moment, but the Apache Trail and the Salt River Canyon were much more treacherous driving back in the day. Now, road improvements have straightened out and widen the road so that you’re not driving a one-lane road along a sheer cliff with your heart in your throat. On another trip to Arizona, I helped my dad with a garage sale to sell all his “valuable stuff” and transition him from his home in hot Phoenix to his new retirement home in cool pines of Prescott Arizona. The entire family went to Arizona again in May for Sarah’s (our niece) wedding. After the wedding, I took my dad on another boondoggle through the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Telluride Colorado, New Mexico, and the White Mountains, with photos here. And, on another boondoggle, dad and I spent the weekend in our family’s cabin. Photos are here.
Gladys and I also made several local trips less than one hour from our home to bird watch and sightsee in the wildlife refuges and parks that are a migratory flyways between North and South America. During the right time of year you can see millions of birds, reptiles and such. Here is what we saw this year at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, Brazos Bend State Park, and Barker Reservoir.
This last spring, Charlie, his girlfriend Elesa and I drove out to West Texas to debunk the ministries of the Marfa lights, explore Big Bend national Park, and the towns along the Rio Grande Texas / Mexico border, such as Terlingua, TX. I’m glad I was finally able to make out to West Texas. Wow, Texas is huge! It took us over 12 hours to drive out to West Texas from Houston.
Gladys and I spent two weeks in June exploring Costa Rica with friends, Tina and Eric. We did some guided tours, but mostly explored on our own in our rented SUV through rain forests, clouds forests and beach towns. We get lost more times than I can count, but part of the fun of exploring is the serendipity that you find along the way and back.
Later in June, Charlie, a business partner Brian, and I spent a week in Reno Nevada at the Peppermill Reno resort on “business” at the invitation of a friend Daniel, the food and beverage director, discussing the possibilities of a mobile app for his business. Under Daniel’s insistence, we tried out all 12 restaurants, nightclubs, bars and cafés in the resort to make sure we understood what the place had to offer. It was a tough job but we were up to :-).
In August, Charlie, his girlfriend Elisa and I spent a week in Alaska, checking off a bucket list item I’ve had for many years. Alaska is amazing! We started in Seward, exploring glaciers, kayaking and hiking and then went to Denali National Park. We saw all kinds of fauna and flora; 4 bear settings, Moose, caribou, spawning salmon, bald eagles, and believe it or not, no mosquitoes.
This year, Gladys and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We went to New England to see the fall colors change, spent the weekend in Manhattan visiting with friends and went on a jazz crawl going to three separate jazz at separate clubs finishing up with Chick Corea at the Blue Note. It was a very memorable way to celebrate our 30th.
In November, my lead developer Mike, and I flew in and out of New York City for a quick 24-hour boondoggle to join our Costa Rica partners for a business networking cocktail party they hosted in The City. We later went to Birdland jazz club with a buddy and jazz fan, Keith. We finished the evening doing a pub crawl, discussing business strategy for 2015, doing an “OJ-styled” dash through the airport to barely make our Oh-dark 30 flight back to Houston.
This New Years Eve Gladys and I will be in Costa Rica. This time we are going to check out the Caribbean side, which we have not seen yet. Trip report to follow…
Happy holidays and happy trails to you, Corey