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(Last updated February 27, 2017)

I've been on a number of vacations over the years, and thought it might be interesting to come up with some sort of record of my journeys. This page is still mostly a work in progress.

LocationDetailsDateComments
New JerseyOcean City
Cape May
1975-1982Summer vacation to the Jersey shore. How original!
Quebec, CanadaHoliday Inn MontrealApril 1981This was my first trip somewhere by plane. I remember my Dad showed me the cockpit and I got a little airline pin. I do remember that it was bitterly cold -- the guide for a tour of some old fortress exclaimed "geez, it's cold!" first in French and then later in the English version.
PennsylvaniaWellsboro campingJuly 1983A trip to Pennsylvania?? What??? That's crazy!
Zihuatenejo, MexicoHotel IrmaFebruary 1984My first trip to a tropical resort. Life would never be the same. Mostly I remember driving past really poor people, beach guards with machine guns, really warm water, and buying a lot of stuff.
MarylandElk Neck State ParkJune 1984Simple camping trip to test a new tent.
MaineHermit Island
Acadia National Park
July 1984First major camping trip with my parents. It was a long time ago, we were camping, and it rained.
Sanibel & Captiva, Floridasome condoNovember 1984A trip with my parents and a family friend -- the weather wasn't great, but I do remember getting up early and collecting clams during really low tide.
Cape Hatteras, North CarolinacampingJune 1985This trip had quite the excitement: a park ranger drove through one night telling everyone to get our of their tents because of a severe thunderstorm.
Mauai and Kauai, HawaiiKihei, Maui
Waialeale, Kauai
December 1985My family's first trip to Hawaii was over Christmas, which was strange -- we had a small tropical evergreen as a Christmas tree in our condo.
AntiguaHawksbill Beach HotelMay 1986Another tropical beach resort - again quite nice. The paddleboats were fun.
Assateague, MarylandcampingJuly 1986Another interesting camping trip, this one with wild horses frolicking past our tent.
Williamsburg, Virginiasome hotelDecember 1986The traditional colonial America experience.
Kauai and Hawaii, HawaiiWaialeale, Kauai
Hilo, Hawaii
July 1987Second trip to Hawaii, Kauai again and also the big island.
Sicily, Italyprivate home, Fondaco NuovoJuly 1988A trip with parents AND grandparents. Trust me, don't do it.
Zihuatenejo, MexicoHotel IrmaMarch 1989Second trip to Mexico - the hotel had more than doubled in size and it wasn't anything close to the same.
BelizeSan Pedro Holiday Hotel, Ambergris Caye
Chaa Creek
June 1990A real adventure trip, including a stay at a jungle lodge near the border with Guatemala.
Cape Canaveral, FloridaHoliday Inn Cape CanaveralMay 1991Before he retired, my Dad worked as a quality assurance manager at the place known as [RCA Astro Space - then Martin Marietta - then Lockheed Martin]. He took me down to the Cape for a satellite launch once.
Milan, Rome, and Sicily, Italyprivate home, Milan
some hotel, Rome
private home, Santa Domenica, Sicily
July 1991Second trip to Italy, much better than the first. This time we demanded a car with air conditioning, and got a BMW 5-something.
Costa RicaRancho Naturalista
Drake's Bay
July 1992Our most adventurous trip - to a jungle ranch where I collected no end of exotic beetles, and a "beach" resort where the electricity only ran for part of the day and the shower water was sun-heated. Good barracuda fishing.
Cape Canaveral, FloridaCape Winds CondoAugust 1992My parents and I made another trip down to Cape Canaveral, part business, part pleasure.
AnguillaLa Sirena Resort, Mead's BayJuly 1993Tropical beach resort - actually quite nice.
TongaFafa Islet Resort, Tongatapu
Sandy Beach Resort, Foa Island, Ha'apai Group
March 1996Interesting but way too long. Don't take 3 week vacations with your parents. Lasted me five years.
BahamasBreezes Bahamas, NassauAugust 2001All inclusive but not recommended! My first solo vacation.
Turks & CaicosClub Med Turqoise, ProvidencialesNovember 2003Like college with only the parties and on a tropical island.
GrenadaCoyaba Beach ResortMarch 2004Magnificent. Very nice people, beautiful, deserted beaches with cinnamon in the air, and lush mountainous jungles. Perfect. Then Hurricane Ivan.
Golden PrincessSouthern Caribbean Explorer cruise:
Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Kitts, Grenada, Isla Margarita (Venezuela)
April 2005A very nice tour of some less common destinations, although I'm not that big a cruise person. It was very depressing to visit Grenada and see all the damage done by Hurricane Ivan.
Tortola, BVILong Bay Beach ResortMarch 2006BVI is British Virgin Islands for you cretins out there who don't hang out at the yacht club. I pictured a tropical paradise with lush mountains leading right down to palm-fringed tropical beaches. Then I visited Tortola and realized it existed. Unfortunately Kim and I both got some awful flu on the way down, but we did stay an extra two days to make up for it.
Chicago, ILHotel AllegroAugust 2006Just a business trip. I spent a few days working with Morningstar on their then-secret acquisition of our database business.
Northern CaliforniaOccidental Inn, Occidental, Sonoma County
Wine Country Inn, St. Helena, Napa County
August 2006Kim and I got married on this trip to the wine country. We stayed at very nice places and got very spoiled! Kudos to the redwoods for being so tall, quiet, and mystic.
St. LuciaDiscovery at Marigot BayFebruary 2007We decided that St. Lucia would be a nice place to visit, given its reputation for stunning scenery, beaches, snorkeling, etc. We also happened to find that the Discovery at Marigot Bay resort had just opened. Marigot Bay is a wonderful little bay, barely 100 yards wide in places, full of sailboats, very good restaurants, and enormously expensive yachts. We had a good time!
Atlantic City, NJHarrah's, Caesar'sApril 2007Although a memorable trip in certain ways, especially for the brunch at Caesar's, this trip in no way changed my mind about the gambling or casinos in general (waste of time, and rather unpleasant).
Smokey Mountain National Park, TennesseeThe Lodge at Buckberry CreekMay 2007After much secrecy, Kim finally revealed to me in May that my birthday present was a trip to the national park, one of the top destinations for nature photographers. We were only there for a few days, over Memorial Day weekend, but it was a great experience, and the truffle butter at our lodge was incredible.
Avalon, NJ239 West 23rd Street!August 2007After a string of more exotic destinations, a week at the shore was in order for some much-needed rest and relaxation. I did take some bird pictures at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, but it just doesn't really compare.
St. John, USVIGallows Point ResortFebruary 2008After two day trips to St. John, one on our cruise and one from Tortola, we decided it was time to stay there for real. Awesome decision! I'll say that St. John sucks just to try to keep other people from going there. The margaritas at Margarita Phil's are mammoth and they give you your money's worth with the tequila.
Avalon, NJ239 West 23rd StreetAugust 2008After a crazy summer that culminated in moving into a newly purchased house, we went to the shore for a week two days later.
St. John, USVIGallows Point ResortApril 2009Yet another trip to the best place I've yet encountered. They might as well put a permanent reservation for us on the table for two out front at Margarita Phil's.
London, UKHotel RussellJune 2009I spent a week in London on business in 2009. My hotel room was most notable for its tiny balcony and the large collection of cigarette butts to be found on it. Yes, the London buses are really red double-deckers, and the taxis really the quaint little ones that look 50 years old. I was astonished at how much of the Parthenon was sitting in the British Museum, and found out later that it's a point of contention between Greece and the UK.
Utah and ColoradoHilton Garden Inn, Sandy, Utah
Best Western Canyonlands, Moab, Utah
Lumière hotel, Telluride, Colorado
August 2009Isn't August the best time to visit the deserts of Utah? Actually, part of the trip was in Salt Lake City, where it was unseasonably cool. This great trip covered some family visits in SLC, lots of hiking in Arches and Canyonlands national parks near Moab, and the Telluride Food and Arts Festival in Colorado, where we even met "Top Chef" Hosea Rosenberg one morning, since he was staying at our hotel.
St. John, USVIGallows Point ResortApril 2010Seeing a pattern here? Actually the weather was only so-so, but we did rent a real Jeep and got to Coral Bay, Saltpond Bay, and Anneberg Plantation.
Amsterdam, Netherlands and London, UKThe Grange City Hotel, LondonSeptember 2010This was just a business trip. I didn't even stay at a hotel in Amsterdam, I only took a shower in the "Yotel" in the airport after a red-eye flight and ahead of a meeting. That sucked. I did get to stay near the Tower of London and eat some decent food. Trivia: did you know that English sounds like Dutch when you're waking up and only semi-conscious?
St. John, USVIGallows Point ResortDecember 2010Two trips to St. John in one year? Well, due to various issues with work schedules, we decided our best option for a winter break was to go the week between Christmas and New Year's. We made it out just in time before a big snowstorm, and the weather on the trip wasn't great -- quite cloudy and very windy, rougher than I'd ever seen it before.
AlaskaPhiladelphia Airport Marriot
Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver
Coral Princess (Vancouver to Whittier)
McKinley Creekside Cabins, Denali
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Embassy Suites, Anchorage
July 2011For our 5th wedding anniversary, Kim and I gave ourselves a two-week trip to Alaska. It was awesome. The first week was a cruise from Vancouver up to Whittier, with stops in Ketchikan (lumberjacks), Juneau (whale watching and amazing scenery from Mount Roberts), and Skagway (helicoptering into the wilderness to hike!), and tours of Glacier Bay National Park and College Fjord. Once off the ship in Whittier we rented a car and drove up to Denali National Park, and did the bus ride and a few hikes (including our very own close encounter with freaking big Grizzly bears). From Denali it was down to "quaint" (read: hippie and a bit weird) Talkeetna, and finally to Anchorage for more hiking before the long flight home. I came back with more than 2,000 pictures.
Chicago, ILHotel AllegroSeptember 2011Just a business trip. Not very exciting.
Las Vegas, NVBellagioOctober 2011I'd never been to Vegas, and I was fine with that, but my wife wanted to go for her big birthday. My view: Vegas is a great place, except for the people, gambling, and smoking. We had some very expensive food and took in a Jimmy Buffet concert and Cirque de Soleil's "O." Apparently people have a love/hate relationship with Cirque de Soleil. My wife loves it, but me -- not so much. We did take a tour of Zappos, which was cool.
MaineCourtyard Marriot, Portland
Beachmere Inn, Ogunquit
Lindenwood Inn, Southwest Harbor
Hartstone Inn, Camden
July 2012It had been many years -- perhaps 30 -- since I visited coastal Maine, so my wife and I decided to make this our next adventure. We got a mix of New England beach town in Ogunquit (with utterly, astoundingly, incredibly crowded beaches at high tide), lots of solid hiking time in Acadia, ungodly amounts of lobster, and even up close time with Puffins. I also got lots of quality time with my new D800E :).
St. John, USVIGallows Point ResortFebruary 2013I know, boring St. John again -- but we really needed a vacation. The weather was just about perfect. This time we had a Jeep Commander, a big truck of an SUV, and made it out to our usual favorite spots (including Honeymoon Beach, Margarita Phil's, Saltpond Bay, the Tourist Trap, and DaLivio's), plus a couple new ones like the Ram Head hike. I also got to play with some new gear, including a Nikon V1 kit and an underwater Panasonic TS20.
New MexicoInn of the Governors, Santa Fe
Sheraton Albuquerque Airport
May 2014For my big 40th birthday trip my wife and I went to New Mexico, an idea I'd had ever since getting back from Utah. There was some interesting stuff in New Mexico, including Bandolier National Monument, but unfortunately I had a really rotten cold during the whole trip (a bad cold plus travel plus altitude is not good). I found out that miles and miles of wide open desert can be pretty boring and that there were better places for Mexican food in Pennsylvania.
Virgin Goda, BVI and St. John, USVIRosewood Little Dix Bay
Gallows Point Resort
February 2014Winter 2013-2014 was rough, the coldest in many years with lots of snow and ice. We knew ahead of time we would need a break from it, and this was it! In addition to a week in our usual stomping ground in St. John, we spent a few days on Virgin Gorda at absolutely gorgeous Little Dix Bay (including a 12-hour power outage one night). My wife even ran the Virgin Gorda 5k while we were there. In addition to our usual stops on Jost Van Dyke and at places like the Tourist Trap, Dalivio's, and Honeymoon Beach, I got to snorkel Waterlemon Cay and hike to Brown Bay.
Stone Harbor, NJ June 2014Just a short stay at the beach.
Virgin Goda, BVI and St. John, USVIRosewood Little Dix Bay
Gallows Point Resort
February 2015Sound familiar? Yeah, pretty much the same as the previous year. We realized that there isn't a heck of a lot to do on Virgin Gorda, and the surf was so rough at the Baths that you couldn't even go in the water!
Avalon, NJ239 West 23rd StreetJuly 2015Yup, another week at the shore at our favorite rental house. This week involved a lot of laziness and sleeping.
Gettysburg, PAGettysburg HotelAugust 2015A cousin of mine who moved to Chambersburg was getting married, so we spent a weekend in Gettysburg for the wedding. The battlefield tour on horseback was probably the highlight.
St. John, USVICaneel Bay Resort
Gallows Point Resort
February 2016Yes, another winter, another trip to the islands -- but this time we spent a few days staying at the fabulous, historic, very expensive Caneel Bay Resort, in a very nice beach-front little bungalow. It was nice. I especially liked the way the wild donkeys paid us a visit every morning as they took their daily stroll along the beach.
HawaiiHilton Waikoloa Village
Honu Kai Bed & Breakfast
Volcano Village Lodge
Island Goodes Bed & Breakfast
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel
June-July 2016Hmm... where to go to celebrate a 10-year wedding anniversary? How about Hawaii? Sounds good! An amazing trip full of beaches, snorkeling, hiking, waterfalls, volcanoes, and such, all on the big island and at a number of very different and unique places to stay. Oh, also geckos. Lots of geckos. The volcano was going while we were there, and driving/hiking to the lava fields became somewhat of an obsession for us. We stayed at the Hilton mainly so my wife could participate in the Kona Marathon 5k, but unfortunately the hotel also had one of those dolphin experience places where they keep the dolphines in tiny little pens. That was sad and I will never support that kind of thing again.
St. John, USVIGallows Point ResortFebruary 2017It's winter, so time to get out of dodge and get down to the islands. Ironically it was unseasonably warm at home while we were away - but still not warm enough. Lots of hiking, snorkeling, food, and spicy tequila drinks. Also bushwackers. I had not had bushwackers before. I definitely need more bushwackers in my life.
Lackawaxen, PASylvania Tree FarmAugust 2017I mentioned to my wife that I missed the woods, and she found this great, secluded set of cabins upstate. Particularly memorable for the unseasonably cool and damp weather, and after more than 40 years of trekking around in forests and swamps, my first ever sighting of a Timber Rattlesnake. The route up also took us past my parents' old cabin in the Poconos, which we visited and also found that the lake by it had been drained for dredging, and to say the least was not quite the way I remembered it.
St. John, USVIGallows Point ResortFebruary 2018I watched the weather radar helplessly in September 2017 as catastrophic category 5 hurricane Irma made a direct hit on our annual winter escape, followed by another hit from Maria (which finished the job of devastating U.S. territories in the Caribbean). Luckily the one resort that escaped complete destruction was the one we always use, and we stuck with our plans to visit. It's quite a different place now, but also very much the same, and the spirit of the people there is amazing. I felt incredibly lucky to go back.
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