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2009, a year of personal Review

2009 was an interesting year. I think I did more traveling in 2009 than I have in any other year.  I’m not sure I’ll be doing the same amount of traveling this year, but its still too early to tell. There were also some milestones.

Yellowstone National Park

In May 2009, my wife Cindy and I went to Yellowstone National Park. This trip was planned almost a year in advance. We hire a personal guide for two mornings, and were up before the sun both days to see the wildlife. I cannot express how incredible this was. Never before in my life had I seen such a variety of animals in the wild. From bison to long horn sheep, to the wolves and bears, Yellowstone was definitely the pinnacle of travel destinations in 2009.

Nixa, and Branson Missouri

In June I surprised my family by showing up in Missouri. Only my brother and my sister-in-law knew I was coming. My nieces and my parents had no idea I was coming to visit. The first surprise was when my brother took Claire to the airport to pick up a “business partner”. Her statement “There’s Tuca!” made both my brother and I laugh (Side Note: My Missouri neices call me Tuka (Tooka) because when Alyson was young I’d chase her saying “Tickle Tickle Tickle” and she’d reply “No Tuca”, so the name stuck!) When we arrived at their home, so one was there, so I hid in Alyson’s room with my back to the door, while sitting in a chair. She walked in freaked out as I turned around in the chair. Next, we went over to my parents house. My brother announced to them, “You’re not dying.” Then, I walked into the room. I think it took about a minute before they realized I was standing there. It took longer to convince my mother she wasn’t dying. I spent time with my nieces at Silver Dollar City, and White Water Rapids theme parks. Alyson and I did the cave tour at Silver Dollar City.

Las Vegas / Grand Canyon

October was a lot of fun. My brother-in-law and I met my brother in Las Vegas. I hadn’t been to Vegas since 1990 when I attended a Comdex convention. The three of us spent several days there, we say Ray Romano and Brad Garret. I took one day of the trip to take a tour of the Grand Canyon. It was a combination helicopter, boat, and land tour of the Upper rim of the canyon. The helicopter tour was amazing, and I also got to walk out onto the Grand canyon Skywalk. The skywalk is the glass horseshoe shaped bride with a glass bottom allowing visitors to look straight down into the canyon. It was a great trip.

Travel wasn’t the only thing that made 2009 interesting. I finally published my first children’s book, and wrote a second book. The entire process was very intricate and frustrating, but I know I have learned from any mistakes I made. Cindy and I made several trips to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, as well as the Green Cay Wetlands. We also attended a seminar on speaking to animals at the Panther Ridge Conservation center. We  got to meet Isabella the baby Jaguar, and attended a fund raiser for the center.

Although the economy hit us pretty hard, and the future of many aspects of our lives are still uncertain, I still think 2010 will be a great year.

Stay positive, and enjoy the new year.

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