2010 Year in Review Part III: Around the World

Author’s Note:  The Year that was 2010 was notable for me for many different things.  From great triumphs such as graduating with a Masters to degree to great opportunities such as traveling to DC to the greatest sorrow of losing my beloved Mother, 2010 is definitely a year I will never forget and a year no one post will adequately cover.  Here is Part III of this series looking back at my travels in 2010.

Over the course of my life I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel.  In my youth it was through the benefit of my parents who had both the opportunity and means to take us traveling.  As an adult its more through my job that I am fortunate to travel but at times, through saving wisely and through good fortune, we also afford ourselves the means to travel on our own.

In 2010 I had the chance to take several trips:

  • Washington D.C. for work back in March
  • Maui for work back in June
  • Maui back in September for a family function
  • Las Vegas back in November for vacation
  • Hilo back in November for a family function

D.C.

Me Fronting Capitol Hill

Caption:  Me fronting the U.S. Capitol and reflecting pool

Like with my trip to Boston (and NYC) in 2010, I was fortunate to be able to travel to D.C. through my work as I had a Project Directors meeting and training to attend with my other colleagues/counterparts across the UH System.  Aside from our training sessions I had ample opportunity to visit around town having arrived in town a day early.  It was my first (and hopefully not last) opportunity to visit the capital and my sense of awe at first stepping onto the National Mall after getting off the Metro cannot be understated.  It was definitely one of those, “I can’t believe I’m REALLY here” moments!

I spent the better part of 8 hours just walking in the foot steps of history within the Federal Center and the National Mall.  Some of the things I saw:

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Caption: Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian

Caption: Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian

Korean War Memorial

Caption: The Korean War Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

Caption: The Vietnam War Memorial

WWII Veteran's Memorial

Caption: World War II Veteran’s Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Caption: Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument

Caption: Washington Monument as seen from the Lincoln Memorial

House Where Lincoln Died

Caption: The House where Lincoln Died

Overall it was just a great experience to be in the nation’s capital and to see everything that was there.  There is sooooo much more in the capital I’d love to see (mostly museum’s and more monuments) so hopefully it won’t be my last time there.

[Photos]

Maui:  June 2010

June 2010 saw me journeying to Maui for the International Conference on the First Year Experience along with a big contingent of co-workers.  Following the conference I spent several days with the in-laws celebrating my wife’s Yakudoshi.  More in the next post in this series on that.

Maui:  September 2010

We returned to Maui in September for my wife’s grandmother’s 90th.  More in the next post on that.

Las Vegas:  November 2010

The Cal

November saw us return to Vegas.  Vegas was our scheduled vacation together this year which we pushed back several times.  We’d planned to go to Vegas in early summer to celebrate our graduation from UH but pushed it back to September due to work commitments.  My Mother actually passed away a few days before we were scheduled to leave so we postponed the trip again to attend to funeral arrangements and to close her affairs (that and the wife was totally ill at the time).  After a long year this trip was just what the doctor ordered.  Being my Mom’s favorite place in the world to visit there was actually no better way to pay tribute to her, of sorts.

In a departure from our past trips to Vegas (this was our 5th time here together) I wanted to take in some of the authentic culture of the place (as opposed to the touristy stuff) so we started our trip by visiting the Clark County Museum which among other things features a GREAT outdoor replica Western town.
Clark County Heritage Museum:  Train Yard Replica

Aside from the visit to the museum it was our standard trip to Vegas highlighted with lots of great buffets, lots of shopping and a few signature shows.  We’d originally planned on seeing Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis during our originally scheduled trip.  Unfortunately the show was dark the week we did wind up going so instead we caught O.  In previous trips we’d seen Ka, and LOVE which we both loved.  With its weird stage contraption Ka was just trippy to see.  With its Beatles soundtrack as the backdrop LOVE was amazing.  O on the other hand, with the element of water as its backdrop, was simply breathtaking and elegant.  With O in our books we just have Mystere, Viva Elvis and Zumanity (not gonna waste money on Believe) to scratch this item off our Bucket List.

Excalibur Hotel and Casino

The two other shows we took in were Defending the Caveman at the Excalibur and Menopause the Musical at the Luxor both of which speaks to the sexes from a “his” and “her” point of view.  Caveman was a hybrid stand-up routine of sorts and was just HILARIOUS discussing relationships and lifting heavily from men are from Mars and women are from Venus.  Menopause was a musical focused on women’s biggest change and the songs (parodies of popular tunes rewritten to focus on menopause) was just HILARIOUS and had the crowd in STITCHES!!!  Very well worth the money on both counts.

All in all, it was a much needed reprieve from a very crazy year.  Great trip, well worth it.

Hilo:  November 2010

The year ended with our Family Reunion trip to Hilo.  This was the first family reunion my Mom’s family has had in about 30 years or so (informal “reunions” at weddings and funerals aside) and I’d been looking forward to taking Mom to it all year when it was first announced.  It didn’t quite work out as planned as Mom passed away.  We wound up attending, had a blast and on our last day in Hilo buried my Mom’s ashes alongside my grandparents.

All said, it was quite the year in travel.

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