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Farewell 2010–Post 1: The Ghost of Travel Past

I can’t decide how I feel about this past year.  On the one hand it was not the best year–several health-related issues arose, I became generally disenchanted with my job, and we went to Europe.  On the other hand it was a pretty great year–several health-related issues were resolved, I decided the direction I would like my career to take…and we went to Europe.

Thus my three-part series of a mostly photographic journey.  First, the best (and worst) of 2010…

Traffic on the way to the Philadelphia Flower Show

Our first trip of 2010 was a minor one–to the Philadelphia Flower Show one cold weekend in March.  We don’t typically travel during the winter months–the weather is too unpredictable to risk it.  But last year we decided to do a last minute light-packing trip to see the flower show.  It was…crowded.  Beautiful, but crowded.

Me at the flower show

Little did I know how much of theme this was to be for all of 2010!

During this trip we also visited the Philadelphia Art Museum for the first time.  It’s kind of sad that we’ve never been there considering how close we live.  It’s a great museum.  There was a Picasso exhibit during the weekend we were there, which was the selling point for the whole weekend trip for my husband.  Little did he know how much of a theme THAT was to be for all of 2010!

The husband at the Philadelphia Art Museum

We’ve not been to a museum since The Great Europe trip, though we would definitely consider returning to the Philly museum.  In fact, if it were not such a pain-in-the-butt to organize, I’d be all over taking my 8th grade class there for a field trip this year.  But alas, that is not to be–those kids have tests to take, after all.  How dare I interrupt that with something as silly as art and culture?  But I digress…

On to trip number two for the year–no big surprises here, it was yet another nerd trip!  On a blisteringly hot day in late May, a coworker friend and I boarded a bus bound for NYC to attend Book Expo America.  The mission–bring back as many free galley copies of YA books for our students as humanly possible.  How successful were we?  Check it out:

The spoils--both backpacks are packed full, too!

Books, books, and more books!

A photo for our students

The next stop on our 2010 Travel Tour–Vegas, baby! We returned to the bright light city after absolutely

Sloth, thy name is Vegas

loving it there last year.  This time we were quite ironically staying at the Paris Las Vegas hotel; we were also

Outside Paris Las Vegas, Day One

determined to do as little as possible.  We spent our days lounging by the pool and our nights enjoying the best food Vegas has to offer (ok–the best food that Vegas has to offer AND that we could afford) and taking in the sights and shows.  We both gambled away a grand total of…drum roll please….$20.   Though I did find a $52 voucher abandoned in the ladies room–so I consider that a win!

The husband at LOVE, his main reason for returning to Vegas

Luxembourg Gardens--slightly more cheerful.

As everyone knows, the trip after Vegas was The Trip.  The great Europe Trip.  The trip that made me sing ‘God Bless America’ in my head all the way

Who doesn't love Paris? I don't--clearly!

across the 59th street bridge on our way home.  I do not regret this trip.  We did some pretty amazing things, and got to see some pretty amazing sights.  Would I re-do a lot of the trip, had I a flying-time-traveling DeLorean?  Absolutely.  But, to use a phrase my husband hates–it is what it is.  I learned a lot about the world and, more importantly, about myself.  Thanks Europe!  And Paris–I’m sill annoyed with you (but Amsterdam–you are still my second favorite city in the world!)

Will we be returning to Europe?  Of course.  Will we plan a completely different kind of trip?  I’d bet many, many euros on it.

After Europe I was nervous to go anywhere else–even my most favorite city in the good ‘ole U S of A–Washington D.C.  But back to D.C. we went–you simply cannot keep a nerd out of a book festival.  Our second visit to The Library of Congress’s National Book Festival was great–we once again got a great deal on a conveniently located hotel, and this time we took nerd friends (they really are the best kind of friends).

The National Book Festival

The husband in Epcot!

Our final trip of the year was–dare I say it–my favorite trip of the year.  The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention was

Happiest place on earth!

held in Orlando this year.  More specifically, it was held on Disney property.  I was once a hardcore Disney NON-fan, but after this trip I’ve been converted.  I’m returning at least twice in 2011…but that’s a story for another post.

So, in summary, this year we visited Philadelphia, New York City, Las Vegas, London, Bath, Paris, Amsterdam, Washington D.C., and Walt Disney World.  I vaguely remember writing something like ‘this wasn’t a great year’ back at the beginning of this post–why did I write that?

Here’s hoping 2011 brings even more adventures!

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