Recap of the past year

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End Dec 31, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Friday, January 1, 2010

Don't even know where to start....  Well I guess I do, January is probably a good place.

Started off the year in Guangzhou China finishing up the inspection of equipment.  When leaving China, we took the ferry to Hong Kong and Macau, played in the casinos in Macau, ate really good dinner, then headed back home.  But only for 2 days.  Then we bundled off to Tres Lagoas, Brazil (in the Pantanal).

Still in Tres Lagoas working.  Did get to have fun every couple of weeks going mudding in the Fiat.  I had to work on my birthday and Jacqui's...

Still in Tres Lagoas working.  We were settled in fairly nicely by this point.  We also started diversifying our investments and gambling a little in the bond market (which did end up paying off nicely!)  This was also when we really started planning to move out of the house and try to live somewhere else in the country

Still in Tres Lagoas for most of the month working.  We did take an overnight trip to Bolivia to reset our Brazilian visas.  But Santa Cruz de la Sierra doesn't have much to offer in the middle of the night.  At the end of the month we headed back to our home away from home, Porto Seguro!

We didn't spend very long in Porto Seguro this time.  But for the return trip back to the US, we planned a circular route to get in a little bit of sightseeing.  So we flew Sao Paulo to Paris.  Spent the day at the Eiffel Tower and on the streets around Notre Dame.  Then flew to London and met up with Oz (who's living there) and Pete and Rose (who just happened to be in London on vacation) for 2 days.  Saw a big ole trebuchet and found my suitcase completely destroyed by Air France.  Then back to the US.  About a week after returning home (and after copious cleaning and decluttering and yard sailing) we put our house on the market.  Then we went right down to Alabama to look at property down there.  Then back in NY, I took a road trip back and forth across the state to pick up my buddies and raise hell.  And in a 18-year old, $600 Chevy pickup truck no less!  Then at the very end of the month, we prepped and left for our vacation to the British Isles!

Our planned trip of the year was a 2 week trip through the British Isles.  Started off in London, then made our way down to St. Ives.  Then off to the isles of Guernsey and Jersey.  Back up to the mainland to go horseback riding in Wales.  Then drove up to Scotland for Scotch Whisky distillery tour and para-gliding on the Isle of Arran.  Then a ferry across the strait to Northern Ireland for sightseeing.  Then drove all the way to the southern tip of Ireland to Cork and Cobh for more sightseeing and to visit some of Jacqui's old friends.  Then last day we went up to Dublin and met up with Kathryn from Travelpod.  After returning home, the rest of the month was spent trying to sell as much of our "stuff" as possible so we wouldn't have very much to move.

Started off July heading out to Rochester and Conesus lake for the fireworks.  Definitely recommend going out there for the 4th of July Ring of Fire.  Best fireworks I've seen anywhere.  It went on for probably an hour all around the lake.  Then I won 2 free business class tickets on Continental to go anywhere in the world.  So on just a few days notice, Jacqui and I picked up and left for Israel.  We couldn't stay away for long because of Jacqui's work but we spent several days Couchsurfing through Jerusalem and Haifa.  I also ended up buying a motorcycle right before we left for Israel, getting my motorcycle permit, and then two weeks later at the end of July, I decided I wanted to go to Sturgis for the big biker rally.  So on the 31st, off I rode!

The beginning of August was spent putting about 6000 miles on my a brand new rider!  Sturgis was excellent and I highly recommend going to anyone who rides.  Towards the end of the month, I took my first trip to NYC to pick up my shiny new Brazilian work visa (which took way longer than it should have).  Then at the end of the month, we hosted our first couchsurfers and as they left, I was leaving to head back to Tres Lagoas.

First week was spent running around Brazil like a mad man, Tres Lagoas, Ipatinga, Porto Seguro.  The rest of the month was spent riding the motorcycle around the Adirondacks and enjoying the scenery.

Started out pretty busy with a "business" cruise from Helsinki to Stockholm and back for a meeting.  Then I headed directly to Sytkyvkar, Russia to give some training classes.  Before leaving Russia, I wanted to see if there were any other fun ways to get home (similar to what we did in May).  Long story short, it worked out perfectly to take a trans-Atlantic cruise to get home.  So Jacqui flew to Rome to meet me.  I rented a scooter in Rome before Jacqui got there, which was much more dangerous than I expected.  Then we headed off and cruised to Tuscany, Monaco, Barcelona, Cartagena, Gibraltar, Cadiz, and Madeira then spending 7 days at sea before seeing land again in Fort Lauderdale on Nov 1.

Headed right back down to Brazil to visit suppliers.  So I was traveling a LOT around Brazil.  Then when I got back, we went to visit Jacqui's parents in their new (really cool) house in Utica.  We got an offer on our house right before Thanksgiving!!  Then we headed down to Doylestown, PA to visit Jacqui's grandma for Thanksgiving.  While I was down there, I decided I needed to move my motorcycle so I wouldn't have worry about relocating it in the middle of blizzard season. So...

1st, started riding my motorcycle from Glens Falls to my parent's house in Huntsville.  It was 18F when I left my house that first morning and didn't get above freezing until southern NJ.  Stopped in Roanoke to stay with my buddy Jim and his fiancee overnight.  After getting back to NY, Jacqui and I took the train down to NYC to go see Wicked.  Then I left almost immediately to head back to Syktyvkar...where it was -40F (or C, doesn't matter).  Luckily I made it home right before Christmas.  Then we decided last minute to fly out to Denver to visit Dave and Jen, some friends from college, for New Year's Eve.

So it was quite a busy year....I'm hoping that this year will be even busier.  It's shaping up to be :)
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Martin on

"Busy year" is the understatement of the century! You and Jacqui have done more in one year than many people do in a lifetime. Keep up the good work!

kathryn77 on

Cool :-) Glad to have been part of your year! AND - I totally forgot you went to Israel, and need to go back in your blogs for a read - I'm going there in March and can't wait!

martin on

Your blog is incredible. What type of job do you have that allows you to travel so much?

big_red_truck on

I am a mechanical engineering consultant now. I do Quality Control inspections, erection, commissioning, and start-up supervision, and field engineering.

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