Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cities of 2016

Following up on last year's list of cities, here is the 2016 list. When I think back on the cities AA and I visited (or that I traveled to solo mostly for work-related reasons), the highlight of the year was related to the picture you see here. AA took this of me at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, northeast of Mexico City. The temple was constructed over 1500 years ago and although one assumes it is related to the Aztecs, in fact it was constructed nearly a thousand years before the Aztecs rose to power. The views from the top at over 240 feet high were breathtaking. The height wasn't what made the climb so daunting; it was the steps that were treacherous and steep, with all these people clutching onto a rope ahead of you. If one person dropped, you knew in a moment all of you would be tumbling down the pyramid like a set of dominoes. I'm not exactly the most physical-fitness-oriented individual, so having reached the top was quite a challenge and it was a great personal triumph. Our long weekend trip to Mexico City over Memorial Day was really fantastic; I look forward to a return trip and to see other areas of Mexico.

The other vacation highlight of the year was our trip to Amsterdam and Copenhagen over Thanksgiving. These were two cities I had never been to before. I loved Amsterdam; the picture here is a selfie of us with one of the canals behind us. I have been jokingly referring to Amsterdam as Brooklyn with canals and 17th-century "brownstones." It's a very laid-back city, easy to get around, and everyone speaks English. The scent of marijuana floats through the air in different sections of the city, coming from the numerous coffee houses, so you can't help but be relaxed. It will be great to go back one Spring in the near future to see the tulips and windmills in other areas of the Netherlands. Copenhagen, in contrast, was quite posh (and expensive!), with one Neoclassical palazzo after another lining the streets. The New Harbor area is absolutely charming, and there is a great new food market and rising arts scene too. There was construction taking place everywhere in the city while we were there, which was frustrating, but on the positive side of things the Christmas markets were open and I drank a lot of glΓΈgg, which was delectable in the chilly weather.

Here's the list of the cities outside the NYC area I was fortunate to visit in 2016...

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Charlotte, North Carolina
Copenhagen, Denmark
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Liverpool, England
London, England (2 visits)
Mexico City, Mexico
New Haven, Connecticut
Ogunquit, Maine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Portland, Maine (2 visits)
Provincetown, Massachusetts
St. Petersburg/Palm Harbor, Florida (3 times to see family & friends!)
West Palm Beach, Florida

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