the U.S.A. Well, some of it, anyway. December 1999-February 2000
With three months to kill between the end of our job contract in Taejon and the start of our next one in Kwangju, we headed home to the USA to see family & friends, relax, and bring in the year 2000. Here's a huge list of pictures, categorized more or less chronologically with a few words of introduction here and there, from this marathon vacation of ours.
We flew into Portland, Oregon for the first of many happy reunions with Cheris's dad and stepmom, John and Sue. They immediately shuttled us off to Tumbletide, their beach house in Oceanside, Oregon, where we recovered from our jetlag in style. We also had the chance, while hanging out at the home base in Vancouver, Washington, to explore Portland, see Cheris's buddy Melissa and her adorable son Taylor, and go out to dinner at a Morroccan restaurant, where Rob received an unexpected and thoroughly embarrassing bellydancing lesson.
We also got the chance to head up to Seattle to see a our buddies there. (Thanks again, John and Sue, for lending us the car!). We arrived in town a week after the WTO riots, but we found relative calm there and had a great time.
At this point, Rob split off for a while to visit his Aunt Pat and Uncle Ted (the Bates family) in Phoenix, Arizona. (From here, the trip follows Rob for a while, since he has the digital camera that produces 99% of the pics for this site.) The weather, scenery, and hospitality were, of course, first rate. We made day trips to South Mountain, near the Bates residence, and Sedona, famous for its huge red rocks. As chance would have it, Rob's old buddy Claire was in Arizona at the time, and they met up for a few hours in Sedona.
Rob flew back to New York, and after the family reunion on Long Island, he headed back into the city for a weekend to see performances including Jennifer Middaugh at the Knitting Factory and Bill Lifford with the Chicken Foot Express at Chicago B.L.U.E.S.
Christmastime rolled around again, and we spent a jolly Christmas Eve at the Carpentier's place in West Islip, NY.
Between Christmas and New Year's Eve, Rob's old buddies David and Michele got engaged. Rob, lounging around his folks' house like a slug, was in the fortunate position to be one of the first to find out this happy news. And thus he managed to snap the very first photograph of them as a betrothed couple. Rob also made a few visits to Dave and Michele's apartment in Larchmont, NY during his vacation.
Cheris flew into NY on about December 28, and to ring in the year 2000, we went up to Schroon Lake in New York's Adriondak Mountain range and rented cabins for a few days with a whole buch of folks. Much champagne was on hand, and a good time was had by all. Kirk and Eric from NYC had the good sense to convert one of the cabins to a dance club for the occassion.
Rob and Cheris did a little bit of exploring and visiting folks on Long Island while she was in town.
We also took some trips into the city. We spent one particularly cool evening at Dave and Lindsay's place in Brooklyn, with some other suspicious characters in attendance.
Gus flew up to New York and we took off in a rented car for Ithaca, NY. After spending most of a week there, Cheris headed off on a trip to Colorado with Leah & Chris, then on to Texas. Rob and Gus drove over to Haverhill, MA to visit Eric & Jessi Drake, and to bring Rob's cat Mayet to her new home. Then Rob & Gus headed back to New York City for a few days before Gus had to return to Miami.
Rob flew down to Texas to meet up with Cheris, prepare to return to Korea, and of course spend some time with Cheris's mom and stepdad, Ann and Mike, and her brother, Joe. We had a great time there, and our only regrets were that we couldn't stay longer and didn't take enough pictures. Tyler, Texas is a beautiful, friendly little place, and of course we were in great company.
From Texas, we headed back to Korea (see the recent journey page if you haven't already), and our longest vacation ever came to an end.
But don't leave yet: here are a few totally random pictures that we thought we'd throw up here as well...