This is the "Story of us"... the list of some highlighted trips, events or milestones in our life (my wife and my life's journey), or at least the ones that we got pictures of. Most pictures of trips are boring to me, because I don't have the context: so in this digital scrapbook, I try to offer just a little bit about each picture and why it matters. And you can tunnel in and see more in each section. I have plenty of gaps to fill, but when I'm done, I think I'm going to print a wall sized poster. out of it.
2018 Hawaii (Oahu)
Family Thanksgiving (Nov) in Hawaii: family, friends, and a Jellyfish sting.
Local friend suggested this fantastic place: great food, good prices, absurd portions.
I got hit (lightly) by a box jellyfish: very painful for a few hours, irritating for a few days.
2012 Las Vegas
Group outing to Las Vegas (May) with neighbors and friends: "Pawn Stars", the Neon Boneyard, and Love.
Leaving (for) Las Vegas. Group vacations are just more fun: though I'm not "the out 'til dawn" type I once was.
Where old signs go to die... in the heat. But interesting.
Like TV... but with longer lines.
Loved, Love. Best Cirque Show -- not because it was the best acrobatics, but best music. Though my wife thought it was bizarre. (Some of the darker Beatles songs).
2012 Hawaii (Big Island)
Another Hawai'i get-away, this time to the Big Island in March. We were in Kona (the Dry side), but did a drive around the Island (and saw the Lava and the Wet Side). With some hanging out at the pool or water with a Mai Thai.
When you to an airport without walls and open, you know you're in Hawaii.
We hadn't been snorkeling much, but really enjoyed it at Kahaluu Beach.
What big Island visit is complete without seeing a volcano?
Discovered the best thing ever:
Mai Thai's ran a close second.
2011 Coast to Roseville
For our Anniversary (Aug), we did a drive up the coast to Half Moon Bay, drove to Sausalito, and then Roseville. We ate at Michelin-starred Cafe Gibraltar in Half Moon Bay and tried Johnny Garlic's. Just an extended weekend get-away.
Overnighted in Half Moon Bay.
Visited, ate lunch and shopped in Sausalito.
We went to the Peanuts Gallery... er Charles Schultz Museum
2010 Ringing Bros Circus
Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus came to San Jose (Aug), so why not go?
Elephant train, Cool Clowns, Trapeze acts, Noise, Lights, Cotton Candy. It might not be the "greatest show", but it's still pretty good.
Too many motorcycles in a ball of doom, going every which way. It's a little dated in the era of Cirque shows, but it's "Classic".
Creepy clowns don't bother me, and this one wasn't too creepy. He even posed for a pic with us.
We didn't know this was one of their last tours and would be shut down a few years later.
2010 Caymen Islands
Melissa took a little jaunt (June) to the Cayman Islands with her flight-attendant travel-friends.
Who isn't happy at the beach?
Not a big place, but nice get-away.
2009 Year of the Ankle
Melissa stress-fractured the ankle running. A year of not healing, and rolling around the house on a desk chair.
In a cast, in a walking cast, no cast, back in cast, finally surgery to put in a titanium rod, all while California and the Federal Government said a cast and crutches shouldn't prevent her from being a flight attendant (rejected disability).
Thanksgiving in Colorado: Flew into Denver, drove out to Pueblo to see family. We visited Fire Station No 3 (built in 1881), right before it was converted into a Museum, and then went out to shoot guns at the range with Uncle "Tom" (who trains the DEA).
Dinner with the close-family, many more members and friends showed up for Thanksgiving.
We visited the Olympic Training Center & IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs.
Took a tour, rode the original brass pole.
I qualified for sniper. Nothing says thanksgiving in America like fully-automatic weapons.
2009 Family Reunion
We did a Family Reunion in August: Bristol (niece) was born. Dad was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in Nov (immediately in to Chemo). Christmas with the Family, and a fight with Uncle Bill lead him to sequester Grandma until she died.
Grandma at the Pool Party
Christmas with the Family.
In March, we took a weekend trip to Memphis.
Home of the Blues, Birthplace of Rock 'n Roll. And BBQ.
Fun town, we did a turbo walking tour, ate a couple times, and was out.
2008 Las Vegas
In November, we went to some off-season Vegas Shows:
Since this was during the recession, we got a upgraded suite overlooking Belagio fountain. Spectacular view.
Elton had great music, and bizarre inflatable boobs and phallic fruit.
Middler puts on a show: except for politics, she's great.
We tried Bobby Flay's Michelin starred SouthWestern food (Mesa Grill). Tasty.
2008 Indoor Skydiving
We decided to try indoor skydiving in February.
A vertical wind tunnel in Oakland
All smiles before...
Why so serious?
Sure, her lower mass make it look easy.
2007 Monterey Bay
We hadn't been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in years, so in September, we took a weekend get-away.
It's a fun visit. See the squid, eat the squid (they have great Seafood in Monterey).
Then you watch the otters, or play in the tidal pools, and it's educational too.
2006 San Antonio
We moved to Austin, but San Antonio is only a 90 minute drive, so we visited often
No trip to San Antonio is complete without the Alamo.
2006 Hawaii (Oahu)
We did Oahu, Hawaii in July
We hadn't travelled during my MBA, so we took a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.
We did the obligatory Luau. What's not to like about roast pig and getting lei'd.
Pearl Harbor, laying at the beach, all fun. But the entire trip was worth it, once we tried Malasadas. A local sugar-laden donuts.
We did a Helicopter Tour of the Island. Melissa’s first time, I hadn't been since I'd been airlifted out of the Sierra’s. Scenic.
The adventure started trying to come home: Melissa accidentally became an unreported stow-away, and technically, never left.
Paris: the city of lights in May... before it became a cesspool.
Paris: impressive city. The people were nicer than we'd been lead to believe, just try to speak French and be polite, and they weren't bad at all.
Eiffel Tower: we went there, and hung out. But didn't go up. Traffic was crazy and aggressive, it's like Boston without the restraint.
Louvre: big, impressive, but in some ways, too much art. High-class hoarders with questionable hygiene.
Londinium is always fun (May), thought it's gone down hill since Hadrian's Wall fell into disrepair: it kept out the riff-raff.
Our digital camera got lifted on arrival.
They still have phone booths?
Dinner with family in Northamptonshire.
Meeting my preemie niece in 2005.
Chicks dig guys holding babies.
Welcome to the world little one.
2004 Spencer Tunick
We got naked with 2,700 strangers in Cleveland (May). We had gone to MOCA Cleveland to see an exhibit by Spencer Tunic. Coincidentally, he was doing an installation in Cleveland soon, so I signed us up. I figured it was the only way we would end up in a museum.
This certainly made the local newspapers, as well as national and international.
I figured it would be an experience (and stories for us to tell). It was.
2004 Renewing Vows
While watching a movie with my girlfriend (now wife) about a bad marriage, I mumbled, "Marriage should be a 10 year contract with an option to renew". A cold chill filled the room, and she said, "Explain" as if my future depended on the answer. I stammered, "people get too comfortable in their ruts, if they have to renew every decade, they have to think what's in it for the other person... and try harder". (Whew). This answer appeased my future bride, and I thought that issue closed.... until 9 years after we we're married, and out of nowhere I hear, "So, you gonna renew?" Holy crap women have long memories... we renewed at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Vegas (Aug).
We renewed our vows at the top of the Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas.
My Parents came to this one (as did other family)... being in Ohio, it was really just an excuse to see some friends and family.
I said "Since Marriage isn't forever, we should get tattoos"... she got a smiley face (to reflect personality). I got the Henry Every Pirate Flag, as we're decedents (via Step-Dad).
2003 Washington DC
Melissa's Mom was going to D.C. in November, so we decided to fly over and visit her there. (It was closer than Reno). This city is littered with History and a tribute to itself and government.
2003 The Upper
Friends bought a resort Rental Property in the "Upper" (Upper Peninsula, Michigan), we went to visit and help with their Vitamin Business website (May).
We stayed in a little A-frame cabin on the water, watched the sunset at near midnight.
Just enjoyed the water, serenity. It was such a quiet place.
I'd work a few hours here and there, on their little project. But this was escapism.
2003 Cedar Point
Cedar Point is the best roller-coaster amusement park in America. It's not even close. So we drove up to Sandusky, Ohio (Aug) to try it out.
Melissa loves roller-coasters, Cedar Point has 5 roller coasters taller than 200 feet. Not-going was not-optional.
"Best Amusement Park in the World" for 16 consecutive years from 1997-2013.
We got there early, and rode everything... twice. And tried on goofy hats. She took visitors there a few more times.
2003 Brothers Wedding
I was the best man for my brothers wedding (Sept). He lucked out finding Sarah.
I had 2 duties: bachelor party and wedding toast. While trying to do the former, we had the "Great Blackout" while I was boarding my plane. Flight cancelled, I drove home, and the party went on without me.
The toast (and wedding) went without a hitch. 3 kids, and a dozen years later, and their marriage is still strong.
2002 Flight Attendant Graduation
With a Bachelors Degree is in Early Childhood development and doing social work for many years, Melissa was over-qualified became a Flight Attendant. She graduated in August.
Graduating with Honors
Her Graduating class, not counting those that couldn't hack it.
While ferrying a plane (no passengers), she got to ride in the cockpit.
This is still one of our greatest family vacations. In June, our immediate Family and my Cousins did a group anniversary get-away to Cozamel, Mexico (with a little jaunt by ferry to Cancun).
It was an all inclusive place, except for excursions -- like shooting over to Cancun, or trekking through ruins.
Having the Cousins meant lots of people to interact with, or chat by the pool while nursing free drinks.
We swam with Dolphins, they pushed us through the water, and even took a photo kissing them (they taste like Mahi-Mahi).
Dad ate the shellfish, and got El Parasito, which meant he hated life the last day or so.
2001 Ohio Bro Visit
We moved to Ohio, and when my brother visited (late Sept.), we did all the Tourist stuff with him. Which we kind of repeated when anyone else visited.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Football Hall of Fame (Canton)
My wife spent a lot of time in the Cowboys area (Fan-for-life).
And we did an obligatory Corn Maze, got maple from trees.
2001 Niagara Falls
We June road-tripped to Niagara Falls, Buffalo and visited Canada too, eh.
I wanted to pee off the lookout as a testament to mans impotence compared to nature. (Plus I had to go).
My wife didn't want me to get arrested, so veto'd my idea of performance art.
So we took the maid of the mist, got wet. Ate a lot.
The Canadian side is much more commercial/touristy, Melissa bought kitsch.
1994 Weekend Honeymoon
Our Honeymoon was we drove down to San Diego for an extended weekend.
We did old town, PB, and went to Sea World and saw Shamu, before the PC Nazi's ruined it.
In hindsight I think the alpha predator being domesticated and doing tricks for dinner is called foreshadowing.
The next week, we had a party for our friends and announced we'd gotten married. Some felt cheated/slighted, but we did it "our way".
I said, "A wedding is something I'd do, if I could do it in shorts and tennis shoes"... next thing I knew, we were at the chapel (Aug).
We did it quick, and intimate: the couple that introduced us, my Grandparents and Brother, her Parents and Aunt.
We just saw the stress and drama of others, and wanted something more private and low key.
We took my little Isuzu Amigo, and drove off into the sunset... Actually, we drove to Orange Hill Restaurant, and had a nice dinner with the Wedding Party... then we drove south to San Diego (while the sun set in the west).
Does your neighborhood have a Toga Party? Ours did.
Nothing bonds the neighbors together like the shameful memories of drunken nudity and debauchery.
We had a few "get-aways" in 1992.
We used to go out to our Palm Springs house, and fish, hike and have network game parties (SpacewardHo!).
A friend hosted "How to Host a Murder" with a Star Trek theme, and made mandatory uniforms.
1991 How we met
I met my wife in 1991.
I taught Martial Arts.
She joined my class.
I took her to a Family Reunion a few months later.
She showed poor judgement by not fleeing after meeting those nut-jobs and miscreants: aka, a keeper!