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What can I say? I really enjoy travelling!

Early years

When I was younger, the longest family trip was to Florida a few times. My mother's brother was a captain in the Navy and living in Cocoa Beach for a while. We went down to visit a few times... did the Disneyworld/Epcot thing, too.

In 1985, right after my junior year of high school, I chose to go to Europe with a group headed by my English teacher, Kate Shah. We flew into Greece and spent a few days there. There are a lot of rocks in Greece, and I think we saw all of them. One evening we took an overnight boat trip to Italy. That same night a plane with passengers bound for Italy departed from Greece and ended up in Lebanon. I was glad we took the boat! That event became known as the TWA Hostage Crisis, and when I mention it, people still remember.

I've also been to Toronto, Canada. Once I went with an Exploring group (a division of BSA). Later, I went to see my friend Damian's band play at the NxNE festival there.

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My first long trip in the country was to Arizona to visit my friend Al. He went to the University of Arizona, and I visited him shortly after he graduated from college. That was my first visit to the southwest, and also my first visit to Los Angeles. We road-tripped up to L.A. to visit my friend Christina. We planned to stay for a night and head back the next day. She told us, "You're welcome to stay as long as you like." We stayed four days. I have to say that it was one of the really fun times in my life before I moved to California.

My second long trip was to Colorado to visit my Uncle and Aunt and my cousin Tyler in Colorado when they lived in Evergreen. Since then they've moved to Mission Viejo, CA, which is about an hour south of my home in Hermosa Beach.

Before I left Maryland, as sort of a last hurrah, I went camping with my friends Hal and Sarah. In all the time I was living on the East Coast, I never really took the time to enjoy the intrinsic beauty. For the first time in my life, I hiked into the wilderness away from the car and all civilization. We spent a magical three days communing with nature, eating like royalty, and skinny-dipping in (cold!) mountain streams.

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Recent Travels

Since moving to California, I travel a lot. There's the usual trips back east to visit family and friends. I've also made a point of visiting other parts of the country where I have connections.

My first year in California, I only did road trips. I traveled to Arizona for Thanksgiving the first year, and my car got totaled. I was hit from behind at a stop light. Ask me about it sometime. It was an experience with a lot of learning and growing for me in the process. I spent a few months without a car, and then bought a van. In that time I drove to Eureka in a rental car with Hal and Sarah to visit Sarah's family.

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In the van I went back to AZ to pick up the stuff I left there. My friend Ed came with me, and we stopped in Sedona on the way back. The van broke down on the way back to L.A., so I got to visit Victorville, CA. Later, on a trip to San Francisco, I met Eric at a party in Oakland. That was one wild weekend, to put it mildly. After getting home at 6AM, grabbing a shower, and heading out to work at 7:30, I decided I'd try flying.

Before I forget, be sure to take a look at all the pictures from my fabulous Caribbean trip, which has its own section below. I mention it here because chronologically speaking, it belongs here.

I discovered that flying on Southwest airlines is pretty cheap, and they don't make me pay penalties for switching or canceling a reservation. Also, after a bunch of trips, they give me a  free flight! I would travel to San Francisco about once a month to see Eric. With all the frequent flying, I would accumulate a few free flights.

On one flight coupon, I visited my friend and former housemate Jeff in Seattle, WA. It was fourth of July weekend, so I got to see fireworks. We were lucky it wasn't raining!

That same year I flew up to visit my friend Mark near San Francisco, and we did the camping and rock climbing thing near Lake Donner.

On another trip Eric and I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras! Now THAT was a fun time. We visited my friend Dennison who invited my whole class of 200+ people. About four of us plus significant-others, etc. had a blast enjoying the parades and Bourbon street. They determine how well Mardi Gras went by counting the tons of trash they collect afterward. It's all about beads!

Then, over the summer, there was the famous Telluride trip. Friends from school and I spent four days in Colorado enjoying the sounds of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. It's quite an event!

My most recent adventure was to Albuquerque, NM to visit Eric's family. (I recently developed the pictures, but I haven't scanned them in.) I met his sister, nephew, dad, and a host of friends. It was a really fun time. We stayed at a place called Tara Cotta. It was a small adobe guest house, and it was really nice and cozy. It had a hot tub, which was really nice in November! We drank lots of hot chocolate with whipped cream. I discovered sopapillas and other fine New Mexican cuisine.

In August, I bought a new Saturn SL2, and over the December holidays I drove it up to Eureka for my usual trip. It's become something of a tradition. This year I also flew up there for Labor Day. The Herbelins had a goat roast at their farm. I discovered that as long as I book far enough in advance, flying is cheap! It was only $169 round trip!

The Fabulous Caribbean/Eclipse Trip

In February of 1998 I set out with friends to chase a solar eclipse. I've dedicated an entire section of this website for this most marvelous and wondrous journey.

Future

One of my goals in life is to visit Alaska (in the summer), Australia, and Hawaii. I did visit Hawaii once, but I was only there for less than six hours. I want to go back and spend some quality time. The other two places I have never seen. I don't have to visit them in that order, or all on the same trip. However, I want to visit all of them and have the time to explore the place and meet the people who live there.

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