Traveling 2016

I flew about 75,000 miles this year. That’s a lot. For comparison, that’s about 1/3 of the way to the moon (238,855 miles on average). I went to:

  • LA (6 times – once for work, the rest for family stuff)
  • DC (3 times for work, including a memorable Snowpocalypse adventure)
  • New York, NY (for work, but managed to see Hamilton!)
  • Baltimore, MD (work conference)
  • Bloomington, Indiana (workshop)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (workshop)
  • Wichita, KS (work stuff)
  • Madison, WI (for a friend’s wedding!)
  • Arecibo, Puerto Rico (radio telescope!)
  • Carpinteria, CA (annual family Labor Day fun time)
  • Paris and Lyon, France (work conference)
  • Edinburgh, Scotland (work conference)
  • Singapore (work conference)
  • Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam (vacation!)

So yeah, I’m a bit tired. That was probably too much. I’m going to try really hard not to repeat that in 2017, but who knows what will happen. I love traveling, but it is exhausting.

Here are some photo highlights from my year of travel.

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Auntie Cynthia

Last week I was Super Aunt Cynthia and spent five long days with my brother and sister-in-law and their newborn twins Lucas and Sophia. It was exhausting, but also amazing and I am so glad that I could be there and help out and spend that time with them.

Lucas and Sophia turned four weeks old today. I can’t believe it’s already been a month! Lucas is eating a lot and is trying to catch up with his sister who was a bit ahead of him in terms of weight. Last week, Sophia quickly earned the nickname “angel baby” because she was such a good sleeper and was so calm and relaxed most of the time. Lucas was “fussy butt” because he basically didn’t want to sleep and just wanted to eat eat eat. They both stole my heart though.

Here is our angel baby sleeping, as she loves to do:
angel baby

And here is our fussy butt, awake and being curious:
Lucas

And here’s Anthony sleeping, because the other major theme of the week was getting naps here and there whenever we could:
the third sleepy kid

However, I think one of my favorite pictures was when Lucas started crying in his arms and Anthony decided to impersonate him:
Anthony impersonating Lucas

And here’s the whole new family:
IMG_0690

They are both lovely babies and I can’t wait to see them grow up to be amazing people. I feel very lucky.
bro and sis

Check out the full album of Lucas and Sophia pictures here.

Aunt Day 2 and a Big Storm

Day 2 of being an aunt is going well. Lucas is still being pretty fussy and Sophia continues to be an amazing sleeper. They are both still adorable and lovely and I just want to cuddle with them all the time. We’ll see how it goes tonight now that I’m staying with them and on call through the night (which is also what I’ll be doing the rest of the week).

We finally received some good rain yesterday and today. California is having a serious drought as you probably know. We are expecting lots of rain over the next few months. From what I’ve read, most of our El Niño rain will arrive in November (that’s now!), January, and February. So it’s beginning now apparently.

Before the rain storm tonight there was an amazing sunset with some spectacular clouds. I ran out a few minutes too late to get the really good pink, but this one was pretty nice:
stormy sea

Lucas and Sophia were also surprised about the thunder and lightning:
Lucas and Sophia
Just kidding, this is them after their bath tonight.

Red Rocks

Last summer, when I was in Boulder for the ICLS conference, I stayed a couple extra days to hang out with some friends. On a seriously perfect and beautiful day, Carrie, her dog Scout, and I went hiking in Red Rocks. Red Rocks is an outdoor amphitheater and recreation area near Denver with lots of hiking and cool things to do (in addition to listening to awesome music).
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Birds of Paradise with a hummingbird

I was at the Getty Center Museum in LA last November around sunset and I found this big patch of birds of paradise near the edge overlooking the ocean. It was so beautiful and the light was so perfect with all of the colors. And then a hummingbird showed up and it made my day. The hummingbird definitely upped the level of difficulty, but it was a nice challenge. I got a couple good action shots of the hummingbird. Some of my favorite shots from the outing are below:

Untitled
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Chile: Part 3

If you somehow missed parts 1 and 2, I would highly suggest reading those first: Part 1 and Part 2.

Santiago

After our adventures in Patagonia, we flew back to Santiago and found our apartment/hotel in the Providencia area of the city. It was pretty nice. We got ready to go out for dinner that night and had a bit of a tough time because it was election day in Chile and many of the restaurants were closed (something about not being able to serve alcohol on election day – thank goodness we don’t have that here!). But we managed to find a place that was open and met some of Katie’s friends there. We took the metro to Tiramisu, a very popular local restaurant that had delicious pizza and lots of wine and gelato (yes, I know I was in Chile and not Italy – we didn’t have a lot of options). It was an enjoyable and relaxing, and a good break from the last few days of crazy adventures.
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Chile: Part 2

If you skipped part one, you really shouldn’t have. Catch up here: Part 1.

After our two nights in the Elqui Valley, we headed back to La Serena and flew down to Punta Arenas to begin the next phase of our adventure.

Punta Arenas

We got in fairly late that day and got to our hostel (Hostal Fitz Roy) in Punta Arenas. The hostel was alright; we had our own little 5-person cabin at the back of the property. It was cozy but it took us a while to figure out how the heat worked. And, oh yeah, since we were in Punta Arenas now and basically as close to Antarctica as you can get without actually being in Antarctica, it was very cold even though it was spring (November). Breakfast at the hostel was typical chile: toast with jam, meat & cheese, tea or Nescafe “coffee”1, and some weird almost-orange juice.
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