iPhoneography Photos From My Travels, 2013 – First Half

I’ve been traveling a LOT so far this year.  Some of these trips have been for conferences, and speaking/consultation engagements, but some of them have been just for fun.  One of the great parts about being a PhD student is that I have the flexibility to work from almost anywhere in the world.  Life is good.  I’ll go anywhere jetBlue flies and I have a couch to crash on! 😉

I wanted to pause here in the middle of my travels to share some of my favorite pictures.  Below you will find a chronological journey through my trips during the first part of this year.  I have taken a lot of great photos, so narrowing it down to “the best” was hard.  I also tried to include pictures of my old and new friends who I’ve crashed with and met along the way.  I am greatly blessed to have all of them in my life.  (Oh, and all pictures are “clickable” in case you want a closer look.)

Part 1 includes travel to:

  • Travel suitcaseMiami, FL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • New York City (x2)
  • Dallas, TX
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Hawaii
  • Detroit, MI
  • Provincetown, MA

Part 2 of this will be coming in December.  For the remainder of the year, I have flights  booked for:


  • Las Vegas (just finished)
  • Anchorage, AK (right now)
  • Charleston, SC
  • Newark, DE
  • Wisconsin Dells
  • Columbia, SC
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Somewhere in South Jersey


Atlanta, GA / Miami, FL
(December 27, 2012 – January 7, 2013)

The new year brought me to Atlanta and Miami to visit with my friend David.  David works for one of the traveling Cirque du Soleil shows, so I flew to Atlanta before the show tore down and we drove to Miami where I finished my trip.  I had the amazing opportunity to get a personalized behind the scenes tour of the production.  It was awesome and one of my favorite things I’ve ever been able to experience.


The “Grand Chapiteau” of Cirque du Soleil set up in Atlanta, GA.


I was able to meet up with Jeff, one of my former students, and ultimately my colleague, from American University.


My backstage pass from my visit to the Cirque du Soleil site.  I felt like the coolest kid in the school when my neighbor during the show asked about my pass.


My host, David, getting ready to head to work.  There’s a lot to be done during tear down and setup and he worked insane hours.


The view from the apartment in Miami.


Enjoying a cup of coffee in the warm January weather in Miami.  David introduced me to Nespresso and I’ve never been the same since.

Las Vegas, NV
(March 1-8, 2013)

The ACPA Convention brought me to Las Vegas for a week.  I was blessed to have my friend Jared allow me to crash in his room.  The room just also happened to be the presidential suite… complete with foosball table.


My Vegas suite during a portion of the Convention.


Enjoying cocktails at The Peppermill.  A great 24 hour cheesy Vegas diner.  Just how I like my Vegas.


Having breakfast at Hash House A Go-Go with my friend Nate is one of my Vegas traditions.  Note the portion sizes.


Before heading out we killed a couple of hours at the Pinball Hall of Fame.  You can play all of the machines…

New York City, NY
(March 29 – April 2, 2013)

At the end of March, I took a quick bus trip to New Your City to visit with my friend Eric and meet his wonderful wife, Victoria.  I also had the pleasure of extending my stay to visit with David (from my Atlanta/Miami trip… the Cirque du Soleil show had moved on to NYC after Miami).


The view from David’s amazing Midtown apartment.  I could wake up to this every day.


Visiting with Eric, one of my old colleagues from my American University days.


A view up the near complete Freedom Tower.


Eric and Victoria took me to this amazing (and small) Indian restaurant.  This picture doesn’t  do it justice, but the ceiling was filled with blinking holiday lights.  There was about a 4 foot clearance to get around.


I went to the Guggenheim.  The dino was added just for fun with an app from my phone.  No dinosaurs were harmed in taking this picture.

Dallas, TX
(March 11-20, 2013)

I was able to travel to the Big D to visit with my friend Laura from my Miami University days and meet her awesome husband, Fiachra.  If you ever stay with a Canadian and an Irishman in Texas, expect to be consuming copious amounts of alcohol.

IMG_6974While in Dallas, I crashed one night with my friend Rob who moved here from Boston.  Good food and good conversation is good for the soul.


I discovered that Dallas was host to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.  The visit didn’t disappoint.  The Dude abides.


Laura took me to work one day and we went out later in Denton where I had the most amazing (and expensive) pizza in my life from Mellow Mushroom Pizzeria.


The world’s largest patio chair.  Everything’s bigger in Texas.


I had my first Sonic Drive-In experience in Fiachra’s convertible.

San Francisco, CA
(April 27-30, 2013)

I was presenting at the AERA Conference in San Francisco and I used the opportunity to crash with my friend Jess and her boyfriend John.  Believe it or not, this was my first time in San Francisco… and definitely not my last.


The view from Jess and John’s apartment window.  I swear, who has these views?  David’s NYC view was amazing… now this!  Wait until you see Brad’s view in Honolulu.


Jess and I had an amazing night out on the town.  She’s an excellent tour guide.


A panorama of the Bay.


The obligatory Golden Gate Bridge picture.


My new friend Kevin.  An amazing guy and an amazing time chatting over lunch together.  Kindred spirits.


What tour of SF is complete without walking around the Haight and Castro.

San Jose, CA
(May 8-14, 2013)

A week after being in San Francisco, I turned around and headed back to San Jose.  This time I was staying with my friend Jared.  We had a “writing party” and got a lot of work done on our respective articles and dissertations.


My first time at an In-N-Out.  I really don’t understand what the big deal is.


Visiting the Mothership at the Apple World Headquarters in Cupertino.


My host, Jared, having an amazing sandwich (with mozzarella sticks inside it) at Ike’s Place.  I also discovered the Falafel’s Drive-In as seen on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  Amazing!


I took a tour of the Winchester Mystery House.  A Victorian-era house with a labyrinth of 160 rooms that were continuously under construction.


Visiting the campus of San Jose State University.

New York City, NY
(May 15-16, 2013)

I made a quick trip back to NYC because I won a contest and had tickets to a CD release party for singer/songwriter Keaton Simons.  It was a great show and it was my first time staying in a pod hotel, Pod 39.


I got to bring along my great new friend, Nicholas for the show.


Park Avenue.with iconic NYC taxi.


Keaton Simons put on a great show.  I think his new album is his best.


Note the old Pan Am building in the background.

Philadelphia, PA
(May 25-28, 2013)

jetBlue began new service to Philadelphia, so you know what that means?  Cheap promotional fares!  I was able to visit with one of my former students, Scott, and meet his awesome wife, Jenna.


It’s always sunny in Philadelphia.  A view of City Hall.


One of the many iconic LOVE sculptures in the city of brotherly love.


Doing the classic pose on the Rocky steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


My good friend and former student, Scott.  Oddly, he just moved to Boston to start work at one of Harvard’s hospitals.  Now we’re in the same city again… ten years later.


Posing with Rodin’s Thinker.


The Eastern State Penitentiary is AMAZING.  Since it closed it is largely falling apart which makes for some really cool pictures.

Denver, CO
(June 7-13, 2013)

Next up was Denver.  I was hired to speak and do a consult on social media at Johnson and Wales University.  Luckily my friend Brian lives in Denver and I was able to extend my time there through my birthday.


Outside the house in Boulder, CO that is seen in the opening credits of the classic TV show, Mork and Mindy.  Na-Nu-Na-Nu.


I took a tour of the Celestial Seasonings factory.  The “mint room” smelled amazing.


Me and my friend Brian outside Casa Bonita (of South Park fame).  This was my birthday dinner.  It came with live cliff diving, a man in a gorilla suit, and a pirate’s cave.


If you ever go to Denver, eat the pancakes at Snooze.  From left to right… Blueberry Danish Pancake, Velvet Elvis Pancake, Pineapple Upside Down Pancake.

Indianapolis, IN
(June 24-28, 2013)

Indianapolis is the site of the 2014 ACPA Convention, so we had our Leadership Meeting there.  I was pleasantly surprised.

photo 5

Me and the Chairs of the Standing Committees recreating a picture from the 1980s.


Downtown Indy.


I had the opportunity to go out for drinks multiple nights with my good friend, John Hernandez.

(June 28 – July 10, 2013)

I’m lucky enough to have a friend, Hannah, who now works at the University of Hawaii, Hilo.  She graciously let me stay with her on the Big Island for almost two weeks.  I was also able to visit my new friend, Brad, in Waikiki.  You’re going to get more pictures from this trip than any other, just because they were so good.


The orange trees outside Hannah’s house made the most amazingly fresh orange juice.


Hannah and I swimming in some warm springs that are heated by lava underneath the rock.


Puu Puai, a the result of the Kilauea volcano eruption of 1919.


About a 5 minute walk from Hannah’s house was the Kaumana caves.  I did a little spelunking, but because I was alone, I didn’t go in very far.


Rainbow Falls.


Twin Rocks at Onomea Bay.  Legend has it that they were two lovers turned to stone.


A quick flight over to Honolulu and Waikiki.  The beautiful view outside of my friend Brad’s condo.  Sigh…


Brad and I did a little exploring including finding this bunker.


Spent a day at the beach.


The roads all along Oahu have some of the most amazing picture-taking pull off points.


A panorama at one of those pull off points.


I spent the day walking around Waikiki while Brad was at work and just liked the composition of this shot out into the ocean.


I loved the reflections of the boats on the still water at the mouth of the Ala Wai canal.


A beautiful sunset greeted me on my flight back to Hilo.


On my “must do” list was a visit to a Kona coffee plantation.  The smells and the samples were amazing.


My favorite picture of the entire trip.  We drove along the eastern side of the island.


Another great shot looking in the opposite direction from the above picture.


Since it said, “Do not stand here.  Falling Mangoes,” of course I had to pose with it.


A beach shot near the Japanese gardens of Hilo.


The botanical gardens provided a close up view of some amazing small waterfalls.


On my last day in Hawaii, we visited some pristine and largely empty beaches.  We had them all to ourselves.


My last sunset in Hawaii.


During my layover in Honolulu, my new friend Brian, who’s in the Navy, gave me a tour of the destroyer he works on.  I wish I could have taken pictures, but as a consolation, you get a shot of the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor.


And a sunset to end it on.

Detroit, MI
(July 11-14, 2013)

In less than 24 hours after returning from Hawaii, I was back on a plane to Detroit for my friend Susan’s wedding.  It was a big reunion with some of my favorite friends from my time working at Miami University.


Susan shows me where I am in “the mitten.”


From left to right, Susan, the bride, Alex, the groom, Carol, and I.  We all stayed in the house the first night.  What a blast.


The rehearsal dinner was in Greektown at a restaurant that made sure the food kept coming and that the wine was flowing.


Throwback!  Jess and John, who I stayed with in San Francisco, were at the wedding.


Detroit has a lot of interesting abandoned buildings.  It is both sad and beautiful at the same time.  This is Michigan Central Station.


Me in a picture with the bride, Susan. So cute.


More pictures of urban blight.

IMG_0116I reconnected with my former grad student from Miami University, Jennifer, who also went to Geneseo for her undergraduate degree.  I also knew her husband, Eric, from my Geneseo days.


The architecture at the reception was all sorts of mid-century modern coolness.


Cutest wedding cake ever?

Provincetown, MA
(July 18-21, 2013)

The end of July brought me to the tip of Cape Cod after a quick two and a half hour drive. My friend Vernon was in town for his annual “Purse Party” fundraiser.  Never a dull moment when he’s around.


P-town-o-rama.  Looking down the pier.

IMG_0363Me with my buddy Vernon at the Tea Dance.  We’re dangerous together… in a good way.


This pigeon was very cooperative.

IMG_0347My new friend Roberto was kind enough to show me around Ptown and we took a walk to the tip of the cape.


Classic New England.  I felt like I was on the set of Jaws.


I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Richfield 1981.  That woman is a trip and a half.  She’s so quick with the jokes and wit.


Posing with the bears in front of the Marc Jacobs store.

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One thought on “iPhoneography Photos From My Travels, 2013 – First Half

  1. wow i knew you were traveling a lot but seeing a collage all in one place just confirmed that!! way to go–makes me feel so confined.
    John H

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