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travels

the big island

the big island

September 14, 2015 |  Category:   life travels

We took a little splurge and went on a mini vacation in the middle of our Hawaiian vacation. We first visited the Big Island right after we got married in Oahu 13 years ago. We were struck by the landscape that was so foreign to us, but also how diverse the island was. Rocky lava and coral exoskeletons, lush rainforests, wooded areas, and miles of farmland and cow pastures – you drive a few hours and the landscape changes. It was hard to resist a return visit considering how close we were going to be.   There’s a quiet to the Big Island that reflects the enormity of the ocean. I think one of my fondest memories is a morning… CONTINUE READING

the first sunrise

the first sunrise

September 8, 2015 |  Category:   life travels

That first morning in Hawaii is a moment that one never forgets no matter how many times you’ve visited the islands. Jetlag forces you to wake up in darkness, and we wait for what feels like eternity for the first sign of the dimmest light when we make our way to the beach, not able to see anything but the darkest shapes. The first sunrise is always a thrill. The girls now know this too. You watch your surroundings become slowly illuminated until you realize where you are. Is it a dream?   We planned this trip a year and a half ago and the girls had been waiting patiently since. Though we used to go a bit more frequently,… CONTINUE READING

July 4th in DC

July 4th in DC

July 9, 2015 |  Category:   holidays life travels

I wouldn’t recommend taking a trip to DC during the 4th of July holiday. Whoa, the crowds and heightened security. We didn’t really think it through and missed all the fireworks that we had planned on seeing. We decided not to stick around for the big display at the National Mall, and instead waited for fireworks that was planned for the end of a minor league baseball game near my cousin’s house where we were staying. The thing is, you never quite know when a baseball game might end. Of course this one went extra innings…and it kept going…and going…until we finally gave up at 10:30 when thick fog started rolling in. No fireworks this year, but it was a… CONTINUE READING

Philly in 3 hours

Philly in 3 hours

April 27, 2015 |  Category:   life travels

We didn’t mean to spend only 3 hours in Philly, but last weekend was one of those weekends where we tried to be spontaneous – but failed rather spectacularly. Mark and the girls had never been to Philly before, and while I did travel there for business on 2 occasions in the last 18 months, it was a typical business trip in that I spent all day in meetings. I saw the city through the backseat windows of cabs, but remember making mental notes of wanting to stop at all sorts of places.   It’s pretty remarkable that the city is a mere 2 hour drive away from NY. The kids felt a bit disoriented after we got out of… CONTINUE READING

a day at a time

a day at a time

April 16, 2015 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

Some more photos from our Spring Break trip to the Northwest. It seems like it takes as many days to catch up from a vacation as the number of days you spend away. The importance of getting away from daily routines, no matter how long or far you travel to escape them, seems like a necessity more than ever, but I’ll admit – it’s disruptive in the sense that I always underestimate how easy it’ll be to swing right back into things. A week in and I still feel “off”.   But I suppose that’s the idea of a vacation, right? You don’t come back quite the same. A good vacation is returning to the more mundane and tedious aspects… CONTINUE READING

The Tulips in Skagit Valley

The Tulips in Skagit Valley

April 10, 2015 |  Category:   life seasonal Seattle & the NW travels

Seattle in April, instead of August. When we arrived, it was all budding trees and cherry blossoms, fields of tulips and other Spring flowers. The NW always blooms a bit earlier than NY, but because of an unusually warm Winter, everything came up early this year. Lucky us. We got to see the Tulip Festival an hour North of Seattle in Skagit Valley, something we wouldn’t normally see since our yearly trips to the NW usually come in August. We’ve seen photos of the tulips fields from local Washington friends who visit yearly, but there’s nothing like seeing it for yourself. Driving in the car, approaching the farms, you can see the variegated strips of color from the distance. The… CONTINUE READING

Upstate

Upstate

October 19, 2014 |  Category:   family life travels

Took a short road trip last weekend and was dazzled by Fall colors on the drive upstate. Just 2 hours north and it was like a different world, particularly since we came home to weirdly muggy weather for this time of year. Driving back home was like turning back the clock as we got closer to the city – greener trees and higher temps, but maybe the perception of time slowed down is ok. You know once Halloween hits it’s an accelerated rush towards the holidays and I’m not in any hurry.   In Ithaca we visited a big farmer’s market which I had never been to before. It was good to go someplace new in a town that has… CONTINUE READING

the golden hour and the end of summer

the golden hour and the end of summer

September 5, 2014 |  Category:   family life Seattle & the NW travels

The golden hour is usually stunning wherever you are, but we had some really good ones out West. We ended our trip with a spectacular sunset on the pier and watched the sun disappear behind the mountains (we always try to end our trips out west with a water view and a sunset). Our time out here for me was bittersweet. My brother talked of wanting to move to Seattle in the last few months of his life. We talked about how nice it would be if we all eventually ended up in the same area, all of us old and retired sitting on lawn chairs with our garden gnomes, eating blackberry cobbler. I really wish he had made the… CONTINUE READING

Seattle

Seattle

September 3, 2014 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

People sometimes ask me which city I like more, Seattle or NY, and it always strikes me as a funny question since neither city is like the other and they represent different things to me. It’s been interesting to see how Seattle has changed over the years. It’s not like witnessing the changes in New York which I can track over the course of time if my path crosses certain sites often enough (likewise, I get to watch quite a number of buildings go up from the view way up from the office). In Seattle, we often time lapse into those changes on our visits every year. New buildings pop up or we can see how a whole neighborhood like… CONTINUE READING

to the ends of the earth

to the ends of the earth

August 29, 2014 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a view like this. A view where you can almost see the curvature of the earth and watch the sun go down on one end while tracking the movement of the shadows traveling across the mountains on the other. It has a way of making you feel very small. It’s been harder here to ignore my thoughts, looking out into the water, seeing the landscape of the trees, the gradation of the mountains in the distance, and reliving some memories from times past. It’s easier to coast by in the city, whether in NY or Seattle, where you’re caught up in the rush of movement and lights and just “stuff” everywhere. It’s… CONTINUE READING

more of orcas island

more of orcas island

August 26, 2014 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

A few things have changed since we last came to Orcas Island, though much of it remains as I remember it. Doe Bay Resort, where we had a class retreat for our music program back in college, got a whole lot bigger and expanded into multiple dwellings and even a cafe. Mark reminded me that some of us went swimming in the cold September waters on a dare during that trip. It was probably the only time I ever went swimming in Washington. I find the water unbearingly frigid and can’t even stand to dip my feet; they immediately go numb. The kids remarked at the difference in water temperature as well, but that didn’t stop them from wading in… CONTINUE READING

a birthday on orcas island

a birthday on orcas island

August 22, 2014 |  Category:   cooking family life Seattle & the NW travels

These are the sort of vacations that the girls will have fond memories of when they look back on their childhoods: a house full of family, meals eaten outside. This is a 70th birthday to remember – surrounded by family, a surprise Hawaiian dinner cooked by a son and a birthday cake baked in Seattle and transported 100 miles by car and ferry. Deer wandered into our backyard in the evenings and we saw the full spectrum of stars at night. Orcas Island was the first island I visited in the San Juans and it’s still magical 21 years later. It remains one of my favorite places on earth.… CONTINUE READING

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