iPhoneography Photos From My Travels, 2014 – First Third

My extreme travels have continued into 2014 and it’s time for another photo update and commentary on the amazing places I have visited, food I have eaten, and people I have met.  My photo installments from 2013 are here (1st half) and here (2nd half).

Nearly all of this travel saw me flying on JetBlue, of course.  (You’re not new here are you?)  All of the pictures were taken with my iPhone and I even added a new piece of equipment to my repertoire.  I’ve started playing with a series of physical lens attachments from olloclip.  In some of the following pictures you’ll see wide-angle and fisheye lens shots.  Very cool and fun to play with.  As always, all the pictures are clickable should you want to take a closer look at any of them.  (Some of my friends even wanted to make them their wallpaper!!!  So honored!)  Thank you to all of the schools I spoke at and the friends who let me crash on their couches, take up their spare bedrooms and play with their pets.  And… of course… to the new friends I picked up along the way.

photoThis year saw me traveling to:

  • Honolulu, HI
  • New York, NY
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Savannah, GA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Austin, TX
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Salem, MA / New Hampshire / Maine
  • New York, NY (Again)
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas, TX
  • Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Rochester, NY

IMG_1432On deck, I have travel planned for:

  • Dubai, UAE (Just Completed)
  • Nantucket Island, MA
  • Portland, OR
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Washington, DC
  • Tampa, FL
  • San Jose, CA
  • Blacksburg, VA
  • Washington, DC (Again)

Honolulu, HI
(December 28, 2013 – January 10, 2014)

The new year found me in Honolulu for nearly two weeks.  Rough life, eh?  I was able to visit with some old friends and get away on a little writing retreat.  Note to self: You don’t want to write when you’re in Hawaii.  It just doesn’t work.  Maybe if I lived there all the time… err… okay… maybe not.

IMG_4328Mojito!  If you’re looking for the best Mai Tai in Honolulu, I suggest going to Alan Wong’s.  It was AMAZING!  And a great way to ring in the new year.  I don’t know what they do to these things, but it’s by far the best I had… and I had a few. 😉

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The view from the historic Aloha Tower.  Great views.  They’ve tried to redevelop the area around the tower, but now it is quite sad.  Fun Fact: They painted the tower in camouflage during WWII.

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A view overlooking Diamond Head.  My host for the trip, my good friend Brad, and I had a little fun playing with the panorama feature.  (Hint: Start the panorama and run around the photographer to the other side.)

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I was also able to visit with my good friend Brian while in town.  LOVE Brian!  Great guy.  And special aloha to my new friend, Justin.

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This was the view from the balcony of Brad’s condo.  Not too shabby, eh?  I nearly tripped over myself to get a shot of this rainbow before it disappeared.  That’s Ala Wai canal we’re overlooking.

IMG_4492Also a pic of Brad’s condo.  This is a view down the middle of the building to the lobby below.  It’s open air at the top, like a big doughnut.

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A morning walk with my coffee had me coming upon a bunch of paddlers.  Perfect for a shot looking back at Waikiki.

IMG_4934The pineapple building.  I love the architecture on this one.

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Another beautiful view of Diamond Head.

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This is just a view out into the Pacific from some random little “pier” I found on my walk through Waikiki.  Windsurfers in the background.

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The University of Hawaii Manoa’s Center for Hawaiian Studies.  Great architecture on this one.

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Brad introduced me to this hidden little gem.  Poi glazed doughnuts from King Kamehameha Bakery.  This is an out-of-the-way little hole in the wall, but the doughnuts are AMAZING!  Also try one banana fritter.  Just one.  They are insanely rich.  You can eat as many of these purple taro lovelies as you’d like, however.

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On the UH Manoa campus, you’ll also find this immaculate Japanese garden.  It’s beautiful and great for picture-taking.

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More of the Japanese garden.

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Now we’ve reached one of my FAVORITE places on the island: The Valley of Temples.  The valley is basically a big cemetery but with these amazing little temples and such representing all sorts of religions.

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The most impressive architectural piece in the Valley is the Byodo-In Temple.  IT’s a smaller scale replica of the Buddhist temple in Japan.

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More of the Byodo-In Temple.  You should recognize it from a lot of TV shows.  Lostie fans, you should remember this one!

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Inside the temple is the Amida Buddha which is 9 feet tall.  I also got to run the Bon-sho sacred bell not he grounds.  If you go, don’t forget to buy feed for the bajillion koi.  They go crazy for it.

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This A-frame christian chapel is up on a hill and overlooks the Valley.  You can see right through the whole thing.  It’s quite amazing.

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Green tea tiramisu.  Yummers.

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I don’t know what this is called… but I found it on a random drive alone the eastern side of the island.  Total serendipity.

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Another view from that same pull-off.  I traipsed through mud for these shots, but totally worth it.

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This rock is called Mokoli’i, or “Chinaman’s Hat.”  I think you can tell why.

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More of Mokoli’i

IMG_5078So my travels northward not he island were all for this. To see “The Others” camp from lost. It’s actually a YMCA camp, Camp Erdman.  For a donation of $5 they give you a little map and let you walk around.  They even identify whose cabin is whose. 😉  Awesome.

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A random pic I took on the north shore of Oahu.  This path was to public beach access.

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Hehe.  That is all.  Cute signs like this abound.

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A view of the beach on the north shore.  (Again, Losties, imagine this being near the plane crash site.)

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Hawaiian Punch graffiti.

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This is one of the courtyards of the Honolulu Museum of Art.  I was pleasantly surprised.  They have quite the impressive collection.  Definitely worth a stop.

IMG_6126On my last night, Brad introduced me to Japanese honey bread.  Japanese style bread, cut out and cubed, filled with ice cream and slathered with honey.  It’s AMAZING!  I don’t know why I hadn’t been introduced to this before. (At Shukudo Japanese Restaurant.)

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Sunset on the north shore of Oahu.

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Sunset on Turtle Bay.


New York City, NY
(January 14 – 16, 2014)

After returning from Hawaii, it was a quick trip to New York City to visit my friend, Nick.

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A classic New York scene.  Umbrellas along Central Park.

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A view from the Museum of Modern Art.  The views from nooks and cranes of this building can’t be beat.

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Of course, a trip to the Rockefeller Center ice rink is always a must.

IMG_6357And Atlas from Rockefeller Center.  Classic.

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A random street view from New York.  This is close to Central Park… end of midtown.


Pittsburgh, PA
(January 28, 2014)

I took a quick day trip to Pittsburgh… Why?  Because it was super cheap on JetBlue.  I can’t imagine why Pittsburgh in January was so cheap… I went to a lot of cool places including the Heinz History Center (ketchup exhibit!) and the Andy Warhol Museum.  The Warhol museum had the best collection of his work that I had ever seen.  It was really large and held a full range of his work.

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A view of one of the many iconic yellow steel bridges across the river looking at downtown Pittsburgh.

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Of course, my childhood hero hails from Pittsburgh, Mister Rogers.  I was able to check out his original sweater as well as all of the original puppets including Daniel Striped Tiger.  (Pittsburgh Children’s Museum)

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Orlando, FL
(February 11 – 13, 2014)

In an attempt to kick-start my writing, I went to Orland for a brief cheap trip.  I allowed myself one day trip to Bok Tower and Gardens.

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The singing tower (with carillon) is the centerpiece of the garden.  It’s an incredibly beautiful structure with amazing pink and blue hues.  IT’s hard NOT to take a good picture of this thing.

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The grounds of the gardens are also beautiful and include Charles Austin Buck’s estate (not pictured).  Definitely worth a walk through.

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Savannah, GA
(February 21, 2014)

February brought another trip to visit my foodie friend, Carol.  This time, however, I flew into Savannah.  It’s a close drive from Charleston, so I hit it up for the day and had an amazing day before Carol and I had dinner and then a drive back.

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The streets of Savannah are charming… old.. strewn with moss.  It’s a great place to just take a stroll.

IMG_7131 Savannah also has a bit of a quirky hipster edge to it.  You’ll find a lot of fantastic food.  It’s a bit “over-touristy” but we’ll forgive that for the parts of it that have charm.

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Charleston, SC
(February 22 – 26, 2014)

And back to Charleston for my “foodie weekend.”  Foodie weekends follow the following schedule: Brunch, vista/trip to some local place, nap, cocktails, dinner, bed, repeat.

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The shrimp boats around Charleston offer some charming views.

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Because if you were seated for dinner in front of a large painting of a chicken, wouldn’t you?

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The Angel Oak is believed to be the oldest oak (1500+ years old) in North America.  It is absolutely stunning and offers up some great opportunities for pictures. It has a circumference of 25 feet and a diameter spread of over 160 feet.

IMG_7337The Arthur Ravenel Bridge is a stunning span of over 471 meters.  Seen here at sunset.

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And, of course, the food:

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Austin, TX
(March 2 – 6, 2014)

SXSWedu brought me to Austin for the first time (surprisingly I hadn’t been here before).  I was able to catch up with an old colleague of mine, Charlie B, too!

IMG_7420Classic Texas.  Love the old signs… or made-to-look old signs around town.

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The Texas state capitol returned is a sight to behold.  It’s massive (everything’s bigger in Texas) and beautiful to behold.

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Just a few more views of the capitol.  It’s pink!

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Baltimore, MD
(March 16 – 18, 2014)

Next conference… NASPA in Baltimore.  I’m familiar with Baltimore from my time living in DC.  It’s always fun to walk around the harbor area.

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The Bromo Seltzer Tower was lit up green for St. Patrick’s Day.  Built in 1911 and now home to the arts in Baltimore.

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A view of the World Trade building in Baltimore inner harbor.  The Dragon is from Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

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Random cross walk art from around Baltimore. This was one of my favorites.


Boston, MA / Salem, MA / New Hampshire / Maine
(March 21, 2014)

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My friend Joe visited from Colorado (his first time ever in the New England area) so we had to hit up a few of the states in the area.

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Thanks to friend and Geneseo alum, Carly, we were able to get a little extra VIP treatment at the Sam Adams brewery tour. 😉

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The always fun Salem and Witch Museum.  I wanted to hit up the pirate museum too, but alas, no time.  We had to make it out to Maine.  I did not get turned into a newt.

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Nubble lighthouse in Maine.  This bird posed perfectly for my shot.  You’ll notice the same thing happened in Chicago a little bit later. 😉


New York City
(March 22 – 23, 2014)

Since Joe had never been to New York City before, we had a whirlwind two days in the Big Apple.  I was able to hit up some new iconic places even I hadn’t been to yet.

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Grand Central Terminal.  (Taken with my Olloclip wide angle lens for iPhone.)

IMG_7865A view out the windows of the New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman building.

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The iconic Ghostbuster’s reading room at the NYPL.  (Bonus: Check out this excellent Improv Everywhere clip filmed there.)

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Outside Grand Central Terminal with the Pan Am building in the background.

IMG_7891Random fun.  I can’t remember if this was in Toys R Us Times Square or FAO Schwartz.

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The 9/11 Memorial was an amazing sight to behold.  The museum hadn’t yet opened, but the memorial itself was impressive enough.  The Freedom Tower was complete on the outside.

IMG_7926The sheer scale of the Memorial really made you ponder and reflect.  This is really a must-go-to for NYC.  So sad, but a very fitting tribute.

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I love this view up the class staircase of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue.

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Bird watching in Central Park.

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And…. BAM!  A view of the sunset atop the Empire State Building.


Indianapolis, IN
(March 28 – April 2, 2014)

The ACPA Convention brought me to Indianapolis.  It gets a little crazy around here during March Madness.  Beware.

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A view of the Indiana State Capitol in reflection on one of the nearby buildings.

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A lot of my favorite people in this picture.  Many of the Governing Board members of ACPA.


Chicago, IL
(April 2 – 6, 2014)

IMG_8518I took advantage of my trip to Indianapolis by flying into Chicago and spending some time visiting my friend Jeff in the Windy City (and also made a bunch of new friends including Scott and Michael!).  In addition, I had the chance to catch up with my old colleague, Stephanie.  Peeps… inside joke.

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A stop by Wrigley field…

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Me and my good buddy, Jeff! 🙂

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A view of the Tiffany glass mosaic ceiling inside the Marshall Field building.

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The always iconic Chicago Theatre.

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A view out to Lake Michigan.  Maybe the same bird from my Maine picture? 🙂

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Looking back over the pedestrian bridge over to the Art Institute of Chicago.

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The Cloud Gate in Millenium Park.  Colloquially known as “the bean.”

IMG_8608I got my kicks… on Route 66.

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Grabbing this shot nearly got me hit by a car.  But it was totally worth it.

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Another view on the streets of Chicago.

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A view of the Wrigley Building looking over the bridge across the Chicago River.  Great time on the Riverwalk.


Dallas, TX
(April 15 – 22, 2014)

IMG_9172 Everything’s bigger in Dallas.  April was my 1 year anniversary of visiting Laura and Fiachra, so why not do it again?  (and you too, Brother Ron and Nicole!)

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Thirty foot tall eyeball?  Yes please.

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Driving around the Big D with Laura.

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Only two things come from Texas… this is from the Cattle Drive sculpture at Pioneer Plaza.  It’s enormous and great fun to walk around.


Montreal, QC, Canada
(May 1 – 5, 2014)

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A quick drive up to Montreal to visit my friend Shon.  Also a repeat trip.  A little bit colder this time though. 😉

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A view of the sunset outside of the Hotel Zero One.

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I have the best friends.  My friend David has been working on the new traveling Cirque Du Soleil Show, Kurios, since it’s inception.  He was able to score Shon and I some free tickets.  The show was awesome.  I’ve seen enough Cirque shows to be a bit jaded and I can definitely say this is one of the better ones I’ve seen in a long time.

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It’s poutine… no it’s dessert.  Cinnamon fried pineapple for the fries,  Sponge cake of the cheese, and caramel sauce for the gravy.  (at Rebel Brasserie)

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Random graffiti.  I dunno.  I just liked it.


Rochester, NY
(May 11 – 12, 2014)

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Mother’s Day saw me flying home to surprise my mom.  See the video at the end for her reaction.  Priceless.  She had no clue!

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It also just so append to be the Lilac Festival while I was there.  It was a little bit early, but I was able to at least get some shots in.


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