The Year that was 2013

Grand Canyon

Rob and me at the Grand Canyon

It hasn’t been a bad year at all for me. Lots of traveling.

In January I attended the Winter AAS meeting in Long Beach, CA, and got to hang with a bunch of my friends from grad school. (Also got to go to Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo with my friend Laura). Sadly, it was my only visit to my homeland of Southern California for the year. Must go back home again in 2014!

I took a trip to the Southwest with Rob in May. We saw the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, and Chaco Canyon. Lots of amazing sights. Chaco Canyon was a big personal achievement because we hiked out to see the famous supernova pictograph. I hadn’t thought I could do a six mile hike in the desert, but we did. Rob made me do it, actually. He said we couldn’t pass so close to something I had always wanted to see without trying. We took lots of walks and hikes pre-trip to prepare ourselves and it paid off.

In July I attended the ASP/Cosmos in the Classroom meeting in San Jose, CA, and got to see a bunch of my college friends that I hadn’t seen in years. And of course, got to bond with lots of fellow Astronomy 101 teachers at the meeting.

From there I went directly on a trip with my parents to Connecticut. I always swear it will be my last roadtrip with them. Sigh.

Over Labor Day weekend, Laura and I attended Worldcon in San Antonio. It was my first time attending and I had a great time. We voted for the Hugos and it reignited my love of short fiction. Neither of us can attend the 2014 Worldcon in London but we’ve got our supporting memberships so we can vote for the Hugos again. (My next post will be on what I thought was the best of 2013)

Coming out of our Not the End of the World Cruise in 2012, we got invites to the launch of the NASA MAVEN mission to Mars. Rob, my sister Liz, my nephews, and I trekked down to Florida the week before Thanksgiving and watched (with a few thousand other guests) the unmanned spacecraft liftoff from Cape Canaveral. My first time seeing a rocket launch up close. Amazing. Rob got to ride his first roller coaster while we were down there too.

Rob and I made two trips to New York City in 2013. One in a sweltering July, the other in a snowy December. We just couldn’t win.

I don’t like to talk a lot about this kind of thing but I had another big achievement this year: I lost 25 pounds. I didn’t think I could do it, but seeing my weight go up and up and up over the last few years scared me and I had had enough. With a lot of help and encouragement from Rob and an app on my phone (myfitnesspal), I cut my calories, watched what I ate, got lots of exercise, and the pounds fell away. Now the trick will be keeping them off.

Of course, it wasn’t all great this past year, but 2013 was nice enough to save the shitty part for last. My orange boy kitty, my Maui baby Rhu, died in December. He was thirteen. A piece of my heart went with him.

So that was my year. I don’t have any concrete plans for travel in 2014, but I’ve got a few ideas. We’ll see what happens.

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