The Senator and Jennifer go to Washington Print

As usual, I registered for the annual NCBFAA Government Affairs Conference, which is an exciting several days of political activity on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. I always work photography into it somehow, as well.

This year the trip became problematic because I had hernia surgery in late July and was still under doctor's orders not to lift anything over 10-12 pounds. A lightly packed camera bag was a bit more than that but doable; my suitcase and computer bag, however, were not.

Enter Jennifer, who volunteered to do my heavy lifting. We used to travel together frequently before she and Duane got married, so this seemed like a great way to have some fun together. Plus, since Kelsey had just moved back to DC, it gave us a chance to have dinner with her on Saturday, and spend much of Sunday with her, too.

So, we did it.

Newport Coast Villas vacation, June 2012 Print

Having enjoyed two weeks at our timeshare last year so much, we decided to do the same thing this year. This was an excellent idea, because (1) it was, again, incredibly relaxing, (2) we enjoyed visits from friends and family, and (3) getting there isn't arduous. Also, did I mention that it was relaxing?


New York for our 40th (actually 41st) anniversary Print

Originally, we planned to visit New York in 2011, for what would have been our 40th anniversary.  I made elaborate arrangements at a few restaurants for special dinners, and booked a room at a unique Renaissance hotel in midtown Manhattan that would have made for a special experience.  And, I booked confirmed business class seats on United for the trip.

Then, we had to postpone the trip not once, but twice, and that moved the trip into 2012.  Oh, well.  The third time was a charm, and we went to New York in May 2012 and it was wonderful to be back.  Having spent innumerable times there, staying with Jennifer and Duane in Bronxville, staying in the Yale Club in Manhattan, etc., this was a new experience for us--familiar haunts, but staying in a new hotel.


Newport Coast Villas vacation, June 2011 Print

In June 2011, we spent two weeks in our timeshare at Newport Coast Villas.  It was the most relaxing vacation we've taken in years.  Many mornings, we'd start reading after breakfast and ask each other what we wanted to do that day, and after deciding, "Oh, how about nothing?", we'd go back to reading.  There's plenty to do in those parts, and we enjoyed some lovely excursions, but gee, what a great vacation.

Solvang, CA & the Santa Barbara wine country Print
We hadn't been to Solvang in—well, ages. We actually couldn't remember when we were there last, and we're pretty sure that we've never stayed there. Sue's parents had a home in Lompoc for a time, and lived in Morro Bay for a while, and my parents had a home in Cambria for some time, so Buellton was a frequent stopping point for us on trips to those areas, but we'd never really spent any time in Buellton or Solvang, even though they're next door to each other. Thus, it was a new—and delightful—experience for us to spend a long weekend in Solvang with our good friends Tony and Sam Rubino.
Ireland 2010 Print


 We have been to Scotland and England a number of times (and there are articles on this site regarding most of those trips), and Sue went to Ireland with her parents in 1970, but I had never been to Ireland.  Given that my great grandfather on my mother's side immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in 1852, we decided that we should go.


Chicago Print

I've been to Chicago many times, but Jennifer, despite the fact that she's been all over the world, had never been there, and neither had Duane.  When we planned to go to Taryn's wedding, we decided to spend two nights in Chicago on our way back home.


Kauai 2008, trip #2 at Hale Nalu on Poipu Print

We spent the last two weeks in July, 2008 on Kauai again, staying once again in Hale Nalu on Hoona Road in Poipu.  The house is on Baby Beach and allowed us to (once again) walk out the back gate onto the beach.  Looking from the corner of the seawall in the back yard south toward Stonehouse, the view was very pleasant:

Kauai 2008, trip #1 in Hanalei Print

This year was a major birthday for Sue and she doesn’t like birthdays very well—in fact, she doesn’t like them at all. For my significant birthday, we had gone to Mélisse with Jennifer and Duane for an incredible dinner that surpassed, in cost, even the amazing dinner we enjoyed at Le Bernardin a few years ago. I suggested to Sue that we could do that for her birthday, but she isn’t as into food as I am.

One day she said that she wanted to go to Kauai for a week for her birthday. I pointed out that we already had firm plans to go to Kauai for two weeks in the summer with Jennifer and Duane, and Christopher and Brooklyn. She said right, and she wanted to go to Kauai for a week for her birthday.

So, we went to Kauai for a week for her birthday.

Vermont at Tarky's Lodge in 2002 Print

Jennifer found Tarky's on the internet somehow and in several IM and email conversations, said that we needed to vacation in Vermont and that Tarky's looked like the place to do it.

Sue and I knew nothing about  Vermont, except that we have some good industry friends who hailed from Vermont.  But, what the heck--you don't know 'til you try something, so I called Missy Wisnowski and reserved the West Cabin at Tarky's.

Scotland 2005 Print


In June, 2005, we spent two lovely weeks in Scotland with our friends Art and Ellen Litman. A primary purpose of the trip was (1) for Art and me to visit our investment in two casks of Springbank whisky in Campbeltown, and (2) for me to visit my investment in a cask of Bruichladdich on Islay. We did so, and we saw some other sights too, among them the distilleries of some of our favorite whiskies.

Kauai 2006 Print


It should be obvious to all by now that we love Hawaii, in particular Maui and now, even more so, Kauai. (Thank you, David and Milly, for insisting that we go back.)

Kauai 2004 Print


We enjoyed Kauai so much last year that we couldn't wait a year to go back. If you have looked at my photos from our trip to Kauai last year, you may recognize Stonehouse in this photo. This year, we went in April and we rented another home owned by the same family called Hale O'he that is right on Baby Beach. Like, you walk off the deck across a lawn about 15' and then you are on the beach.

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