Hemingway’s Porch- Havana, Cuba in background – February 2012
First, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
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2012, to say the least, was quite a year for us. We went on our long-planned three-week trip to Africa in May. But we also made an incredible last-minute week long trip to Cuba (Havana). And a three-week trip to Wyoming, Colorado, Georgia, New York, and Chicago.
CUBA: Travel to Cuba from the United States is now possible through relaxed travel restrictions known as “cultural exchanges.” We left Miami and very shortly we stepped into a time-warp: the 1950’s. Havana is badly decaying- but extremely colorful- and the people were marvelous. I strongly recommend that anyone make this trip- and sooner than later. There is still an element of innocence in Cuba- this will disappear when the 50-year old trade embargo ends at some point in the near future. Internationally known photographer Arthur Meyerson led our group through sunrise walks in Havana, a trip to the largely abandoned Hershey sugar factory, marvelous meals at local restaurants, tango exhibition, and several other memorable events. Randy and Carolyn Cole were in our group- and we bonded instantly. We stayed an extra day in Miami in order to experience our first airboat ride in the Florida Everglades. Cuba pictures start here.
GRETCHEN TAKES UP PHOTOGRAPHY: During our trip to Cuba, Gretchen ended up using my back-up camera- and she was hooked. She is blessed by having a very good eye. After a quick Introduction of Digital Photography at Santa Fe Workshops In March (Kimber attended also), and an intensive five days with Jay Maisel in NYC (see below), her work stands for itself (see her Blog).
AFRICA: Cousin Dave Thomas accompanied us on this journey. We started with a short-week in Capetown, South Africa followed by visits to four game reserves: Zulu Nyala, Selinda, Somalisa, and Shinde as well as a layover at fabulous Victoria Falls. We had incredibly good weather the entire trip. In summary, it took about a week for the reality to set in: this was where these animals actually lived, not a zoo or wildlife reserve.
WYOMING, COLORADO, ATLANTA, NEW YORK, and CHICAGO: attended a photography workshop in Jackson Hole in early October (Photography at the Summit). Gretchen flew in for the final night’s festivities- then we drove to Breckenridge, CO to visit my sister Kathy. After a quick plane ride to Atlanta, and short drive to Blue Ridge, GA, we spent a few days with Randy and Carolyn Cole before we drove north to New York City. Gretchen attended a 5-day Jay Maisel Workshop while I drove north onto Vermont to explore. Finally, after a fabulous dinner with friends in NYC, we headed to Chicago to visit my son Kevin and his family.
OTHER: We made a couple short trips to California as well as visiting daughter Kimber, and her boyfriend, Nate, in Portland to hear our favorite vocalist Brandi Carlisle. And a quick trip to Washington state’s Tri-Cities to see Gretchen’s son Brent, and his wife Stormy. Daughter Ryann continues to live in nearby Fremont (Seattle)- and we had several opportunities to dog-sit her Samoyed, Maker. Finally, we went to several Seattle Photography Club Meetups with Alan Lawrence, and his wife Mary, to fine-tune our photography skills.
A very good year! And 2013 will start off with a bang as Gretchen and I fly to Phoenix to watch our Oregon Ducks play in the Fiesta Bowl- and for a quick visit with cousin Dave Thomas, and Carol in Sedona- and maybe a look at the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
Go DUCKS… and Happy Holidays.
Gretchen and Chris
GRETCHEN’S BLOG: Gretchenimages.com
In case you missed any of the posts this year, please refer to the ARCHIVES in right Column for all links: February 2012: Cuba, June 2012: Africa, October 2012: Wyoming, Breckenridge, Blue Ridge, New York City, Vermont