iPhoneography Photos From My Travels, 2013 – Second Half

One year of EXTREME travel complete.  I went through a transformation this year and decided to use the flexible (not necessarily free) time my PhD program afforded me to see the country.  I’ve been lucky.  Met amazing people.  Had great conversations and experiences.  Filled my soul.

Below you will find a chronological journey through my trips during the second half of this year.  I’ve tried to include pictures of the friends whose couches I crashed on and the new ones I picked up along the way.  I posted the first half here, in case you missed it!

Enjoy!  (Oh, and all pictures are “clickable” in case you want a closer look.)  And a special thanks to my buddies at JetBlue.  They treat me so well (read about the time they delivered Starbucks to me on the plane… hehe).

Part 1 included travel to: Miami, FL, Atlanta, GA, Las Vegas, NV, New York City, NY, Dallas, TX, San Francisco, CA, San Jose, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Denver, CO, Indianapolis, IN, Hawaii, Detroit, MI, and Provincetown, MA

Part 2 of my travels included some added unexpected places and concludes with:IMG_3291

  • Las Vegas, NV (again)
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Montreal, QC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Philadelphia, PA (again)
  • Maine day trip
  • Wisconsin Dells, WI
  • Columbia, SC
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Somewhere in South Jersey
  • Washington, DC
  • San Juan, PR
  • Back to Honolulu, HI… in progress

Las Vegas, NV
(August 1-5, 2013)

August brought me on a quick jaunt to Vegas to spend time with a new friend, Derrick, and to visit with my old grad school buddy, Nate, his amazingly awesome wife, Elaine, and their way-to-loveable-for-words Jack Russell Terriers.



I’ve always wanted to visit the Neon Museum and Boneyard.  This is a must see off-the-strip guided tour if you’re ever in town.  You get an amazing historical tour of Vegas through their neon signs.  They’ve restored some of them and some are in their decayed condition.  There’s a tour at night, so you can see them lit in all their glory.


Who wouldn’t want to go to the “Sassy Saloon?”

IMG_0589I had the chance to check out the Michael Jackson ONE Cirque Du Soleil show at Mandalay Bay.  Awesome.  A must see.  More of a Michael Jackson show put on by Cirque than a Cirque show with Michael Jackson music.

IMG_0799I made a quick day trip out to Hoover Dam.  Not only is it an engineering marvel, but the art deco design of it all is worth the trip all by itself.


Inside the damn.  It’s surprisingly quiet.

IMG_0879Below, I’m not sure exactly what this is of, but it was a picture I took on my flight from Vegas over to Long Beach.  Too pretty not to include.

IMG_0823As you can see, I made a couple of new friends along the way.  For some reason, throughout all of my travels, cats and dogs seem drawn to me. So much love from these two guys… Moose and Dublin… makes me want my own…


Anchorage, AK
(August 5-15, 2013)

Immediately from Vegas, I flew to Anchorage, Alaska.  I had spent a summer internship there working at the University of Alaska, Anchorage back in 2001.  I am lucky to have two dear friends from my time working at Miami University in Ohio now working at the University.  (Thanks for letting me crash on your couch, Michael!)  While there, I drove to many picturesque places and also spent a weekend in Homer.  As my friend Jennifer said, “We like you, so we’re taking you to Homer.  If we didn’t like you, we would have taken you to Seward.”


The above is called Mirror Lake.  I think you can tell why.  I just happened by it on my drive toward Wasilla.

IMG_0952At right is my friend Jennifer.  We hadn’t reconnected since Ohio… so so long ago.  We settled back in like old friends should.


The above is in Hatcher Pass.  It was an amazing drive with breathtaking views.  I think it looks like the Sound of Music, but my friend Wills says it reminds him of his home… bonny Scotland.


An amazing river that runs clear and blue with the glacier water coming off of the mountains.  I really wish these pictures could do it justice.

IMG_1144More of Hatcher Pass above.

IMG_1250The drive to Homer from Anchorage is one of the most beautiful you can ever make.  There are so many places you’ll want to stop and take pictures. If you ever get to go one place in your life, go here.  Do the drive.  You feel like you’re at the edge of the Earth.  Breathtaking.



Entering Homer… the Halibut Fishing Capital of the World.  This is the most beautiful bohemian untouched place on Earth.  I’m convinced.  A spit juts out into the water and you feel like you’re surrounded by glaciers and mountains.  Above you can see the clear reflection of the water and all of the boats in the area.


A view of the ferry coming in to dock on the Homer Spit.  These views surround you… 360 degrees.

IMG_1311Make sure you get some halibut.  It is captured literally feet away from here you eat it.  At left was a halibut risotto I had at a restaurant on the spit.  So flakey.  So yummy.


A view from an overlook leaving Homer.

IMG_1439Me and my friends Jennifer (with her little one, Sophie) and Michael.  Posing on the Spit.

IMG_1312Below, one last view of the sunset from The Spit in Homer.

Montreal, QC
(August 23-28, 2013)

The end of August had me driving up to visit my friend Shon in Montreal.  It was my first time in Quebec.  Those five years of French in high school helped… somewhat…


On the drive up to Montreal I had to stop at the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont for a tour.  Yummy!  Secret flavor of the day? White Chocolate Strawberry.


A view over the city of Montreal.

IMG_2078Posing for a picture with my gracious host, Shon.  He was an AMAZING guide and took me all around the city.


A trip to the Biodome (think big indoor zoo) and then a walk around the Montreal Olympic Stadium.

IMG_1698Posing in front of the big orange of  Gibaeu Orange, known for it’s orange julep.  Basically, an Orange Julius.  Yummy.


The Village in Montreal is strewn with beautiful pink ornaments through its entire length.

The port area of Old Montreal.IMG_1806


A breathtaking catholic church.  Standing on top of it, you almost feel like you could fall off the edge.  The inside is amazing.  No pictures could do the high vaulted ceilings justice.

Charleston, SC
(September 20-23, 2013)

September had me heading to Charleston to visit with my friend, Carol, for a self declared “foodie weekend.”  Our days consisted of some adventure in the morning, followed by an amazing lunch, a nap, then drinks, then an amazing dinner… repeat.


The “rainbow row” of Charleston is lined with brightly colored old colonial-style buildings.

IMG_2453Carol and I in front of a the pineapple water feature along the waterfront.  As Carol says, “Pineapples are the symbol of hospitality.”  Couldn’t agree more.

IMG_2342Charleston’s streets are lined with palmetto trees and and tightly packed shops.


Being a foodie weekend, we had an amazing Pimm’s Cup “punch” at The Cocktail Club along with a bruschetta made of fresh cucumber and feta cheese.  Perfect food and perfect weather for sitting on the rooftop deck.  Also visited (and recommended): Husk, Cypress (AMAZING), Tattooed Moose, Kudu, Fuel, Gin Joint and the Early Bird Diner.


Charleston is also home to the military academy, The Citadel.  All of the architecture looks like the inspiration behind White Castle restaurants.

IMG_2340The most perfect picture of coffee I’ve ever taken.  I had it in Charleston, but other than that, it really has absolutely nothing to do with the city.


Citadel cadets are everywhere.  You don’t know how many times I had to do a quick turn around to get a perfect shot like this.  Almost looks like they’re holding hands… escandalo!

Philadelphia, PA
(October 3, 2013)

A canceled speaking engagement saw me returning to Philly for just a day, in and out.

IMG_2901My favorite restaurant… ever… a must stop in Philly.  The Continental Martini and Tapas Bar.  Get the Buzz Aldrin, now called the Astronaut, a martini rimmed in Tang.


Philly has some of the most iconic streets.  Walking around Center City almost makes you feel like you’re Benjamin Franklin.

IMG_2805It’s not pictured here, but I went to the Mutter Museum of medical oddities.  AWESOME!

I was able to hit up the Philadelphia Museum of Art which has a pretty amazing collection of some iconic works.  I was most excited, however, to see their collection of Duchamp, particularly this piece, The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even.  I had a nerd meltdown when I saw it.


An iconic view of the city from the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps.  Very Rocky Balboa.

Maine day trip
(October 5, 2013)


I took a quick day trip up to Maine with my sister and brother-in-law while my parents were visiting.  Oddly, it’s one of the few states I haven’t visited.  It’s absolutely beautiful and best viewed by driving.


A view of Nubble Lighthouse (still in use!)

IMG_2986Maine really does look like the stereotype.  Lots of fishing… classic New England.  It’s especially beautiful during the fall when the leaves start turning colors.

IMG_3085A view of the coast near Kennebunkport.  It’s not pictured here, but this is right next to the Bush (as in Presidents Bush) Compound.  It becomes very evident why they would retreat here so often. Gorgeous.


Wisconsin Dells, WI
(October 17-19, 2013)


Mid-October, I traveled to the Wisconsin Dells to give a series of talks at the WCPA conference.  Flying into Chicago afforded me the opportunity to take a fun drive up from Illinois.  Wisconsin will always be my favorite midwestern state.  Cheese curds!  Beer!


One of many large Bessie the Cows to be found along the roads in Wisconsin.


I stopped off in Rockford, IL on my drive up to Wisconsin.  I really wanted to see the Rockford Peaches exhibit (the WWII-era all women’s softball team that was the inspiration behind the movie, A League of Their Own).  There’s no crying in baseball!  One of the Peaches’ original uniforms.

IMG_3479The beautiful grounds of the Rockford Museum itself.

IMG_3522 IMG_3542

The Wisconsin Dells area is filled with oversized animals, landmarks, and attractions.  It’s the watermark capital of the world and is filled with cheesy goodness.  (Pun intended.)  It’s a lot of fun to go around and take pictures.  I live for stuff like this.


Columbia, SC
(October 20-23, 2013)

Back in South Carolina!  This time it was to serve on the faculty of ACPA’s Residential Curriculum Institute hosted by the University of South Carolina.


Downtown Columbia, although a little desolate and sad at points, has some amazing “old South” architecture and art.  Above is a picture of one of the corners downtown.

IMG_3671A view of the South Carolina Capitol building.  (Confederate flag not shown… I found it too disturbing… but it’s there.)


IMG_3679A view of one of the gates onto the campus of the University of South Carolina.  The campus has some beautiful old architecture and trees.  Go Cocks!

IMG_3615A shot I took on the drive down to Columbia.  I had flown into Charlotte, NC.

St. Louis, MO
(November 14-17)

The Conference for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) brought me  to St. Louis.  I was lucky to crash with my good friend, Danielle, for a second time in a year.

IMG_2840 (1)This was Danielle’s dog, Robbie.  He’s awesome.  Basically a really big ball of fur.


Of course, the iconic St. Louis Arch.  It’s an amazing structure and definitely worth going up in.  (I didn’t this time, but had already done it back in 2000.)


I looked like a crazy person walking around and moving my camera to get the angle on this shot just right. 🙂

IMG_2782Cardinals stadium.  (Insert World Series joke here.)

Somewhere in South Jersey
(November 17-18, 2013)

IMG_2947Immediately from St. Louis, I traveled to Philadelphia and then onwards to somewhere in South Jersey for my good friend Leah’s wedding to Jordan.  Mazel Tov!


Washington, DC
(December 13, 2013)


My role with the Governing Board for ACPA-College Student Educators, International, brought me back to DC for the first time in a while.  Views of DC and the Dupont Circle area from the windows of the National Center for Higher Education at 1 Dupont.



A view up one of the iconic DC Metro escalators.  They had recently renovated this one which included lights at the base all along the “stairs.”  Made for a neat effect.


The National Airport (DCA) is decked out for the holidays.

San Juan, PR
(December 16, 2013 – December 19, 2013)

After one of the most brutal semesters, I took a vacation to San Juan.  The much needed alone time was awesome.  It also didn’t hurt that Boston had a big snow storm while I was away.  Hehe.


The very first picture I snapped while there.  A view of the sunset reflecting off the clouds outside my hotel.


A view of the moonrise over the inlet to the lagoon.  That’s my hotel, the Hilton Condado Plaza, in the upper right.

IMG_3632On the side of a building, a mural by Cundo Bermudez, one of the last surviving Cuban vanguard painters.

IMG_3778 IMG_3753

Views from the Forts of Old San Juan.  The above picture shows a view of the capitol building with the rest of San Juan in the background.  Garitas, or domed sentry boxes, are all along the walls of the forts and provide views over the ocean with embrasures for a lookout.  Below, a horizontal embrasure that was used to look for German U-Boats during WWII.

IMG_3688All of these fortifications are a part of the San Juan National Histoic Site and are a UN-declared World Heritage Site.


A view of the inside of the Castillo de San Cristobal.  This is the courtyard where Spanish troops and officers were quartered.


Above, in the background, views of the Castillo San Felipe Del Morro.  In the foreground views over the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery.  This cemetery has some crazy detailed graves and memorial sites.  It is also situated directly overlooking the ocean.  A wall… then cliff.. then ocean.


Two examples of some of the amazing graves and views of the cemetery.


The beautiful colored houses and shops of Old San Juan.  All of the streets are like this.

IMG_3733 IMG_3995A view of a walkway along the outside of the city wall.  This tree lined path leads around San Juan Bay and to the formal entrance to the city where welcomes for people arriving by sea occurred.


Two pictures of Puerto Rican sunsets… always perfect.


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