Many reunions in the big apple

NYC was a whirlwind of reunions! I’m feeling refreshed and full of joy as I enjoy my last week at home.

I got in Friday afternoon and made my way to Hersh’s apartment in Chelsea where I dropped off my stuff. I met Ang and we made our way to the High Line. After, we went to the Chobani store for yogurt. Not quite as good as The Yogurt Shop in Copenhagen, but still delish. We met Hersh for dinner (Italian food was soooo good) before Ang went back uptown and Hersh and I went the Chelsea Pier driving range. Y’all, everything in NY is open super late. Like who plays golf until midnight?? Apparently New Yorkers.

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Grand is an appropriate adjective for the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon cannot be reduced to simply words and photographs. Regardless, I’m going try anyway. The Grand Canyon is kind of like a series of upside down mountains in that you get a panoramic, beautiful view from your starting elevation. With mountains, you have to climb UP the mountain to see everything. With the GC, you just pull over to the side of the road for phenomenal, expansive views. So it’s like the lazy person’s version of getting great “mountain” views. Woohoo!

Dad and I left Vegas for the Grand Canyon with a car full of cereal bars, Honolulu Cookie Company cookies, peanuts, and 3 oranges. We crossed into Mtn Time and gained about 4500 feet in elevation. It got dark about half-way through our drive, so I couldn’t tell we had gained that much elevation aside from having to equalize my ears once and the seemingly sudden appearance of snow on the side of the road. On our way into Tusayan, where we stayed, I looked out the window and saw SO MANY STARS. Because of Tusayan’s elevation and the fact that it’s Tusayan (aka pop. 550), there was hardly any light pollution. No dull orange on the horizon to outshine the stars. The only other place I’ve seen so many stars is in the Middle of Nowhere (HaMakuya), South Africa. (I say Middle of Nowhere fondly as HaMakuya is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever visited.)

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Zion National Park

Happy centennial to the National Park Service! I’m going to celebrate by visiting as many National Parks as possible. First stop: Zion National Park. Michelle leaves for Atlanta today, which meant we only had part of Saturday and Sunday to travel before coming back to Vegas for her flight out. We picked Zion NP because it’s only a 2.5 hour drive.

We left LV late in the afternoon after a frenetic last day at CES. On the drive to Zion, we passed through 3 states (Nevada, Arizona, and Utah) and crossed a time zone (Mtn. time). We stayed in Springdale (population ~500), just outside of Zion for the night.

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CES 2016

This was my fifth* trip to Vegas, but my first to CES. The show was massive and it was spread across several different sites. It was a bit overwhelming and I didn’t get to see the stuff I was really interested in (healthcare related devices) until the last day.

At a glance, these are some of the big trends I saw at the show (I’m not paid or sponsored by any of the companies. Not even sure who actually reads this aside from Char, Robbie, and maybe Dr. Palmeri??):

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San Francisco (Winter Vacation Part 3 of 3)

SF: tech mecca of the world! Although I didn’t do anything remotely related to the tech/startup scene, I did enjoy California’s great outdoors with some city on the side.

We took a red-eye from the islands to SF, arriving bright and early the following morning. We were greeted in the drought-racked state with RAIN. Although it was annoying to trek through the rain to get our rental car/get to the hotel (operating on ~3 hours of on-and-off sleep), I was happy to see CA finally get some water.

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Hawai’i, Hawaii (Winter Vacation Part 2 of 3)

The island of Hawai’i is home to an astounding number of ecosystems. There are beaches, rainforests on the windward side, a desert on the leeward side, the active volcano Kilauea, and an alpine climate at the summit of Mauna Kea. On Hawai’i, I needed clothing ranging from a swimming suit to a down jacket.

Back in the day, before the Americans annexed the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Hawaiian royalty made the island of Hawai’i their home base. Nowadays, the island of Hawai’i is often called the Big Island to avoid confusion with the state name Hawaii. Even before our plane touched down, the island felt different from Oahu. The remains of lava flow spread out across the ground into black and grey rocky formations.

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Oahu, Hawaii (Winter Vacation Part 1 of 3)

I’m back from a trip out to the islands of Hawaii and subsequently San Francisco. I’m splitting the trip into three posts: Oahu, Hawai’i (the Big Island), and SF. I’m sitting at the kitchen table with a Toto at my feet, NY Philharmonic on TV, and a cup of tea at my fingertips. There is a certain lovely joy in the comforts of home, just as there is in movement and travel.

We arrived in Honolulu on the afternoon of the 13th and drove out to Disney’s Aulani Hotel, west of the airport. It’s a delightful resort built with attention to detail (on the Hawaiian and Polynesian culture) that one comes to expect from Disney. After climbing 12 flights of stairs to our hotel room (the elevators just happened to be out of service when we arrived), we called it a night.

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