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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

The Ghosts Of Christmas 2015

christmas 2015.jpg

Merry Christmas, Wyoming ~ 2015

Merry Christmas, friends! As I look back on this year, it was a great one.┬áThe only regret I have, really, off the top of my head, is that I’ve not been able to blog more. But, I suppose, that’s also a good thing. After all, if I were blogging about all of my fun and travels, I wouldn’t have been doing everything I wanted to do.

San Diego's Balboa Park

San Diego’s Balboa Park

Rewinding to the start of the year, I was returning from a great trip to San Diego to celebrate a late family Christmas and to attend my sister’s wedding. Hard to beat that, when it comes to kicking the year off right. And each time I head down her way, I like San Diego a little more.

Punching buttons I probably shouldn't be touching

Punching buttons I probably shouldn’t be touching

I no sooner set foot back in Denver than I was off to Houston for an opportunity of a lifetime: a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA and the opportunity to meet Astronaut Scott Kelly and two Cosmonauts who were also going to the International Space Station.

To tour NASA was something all its own. But to throw those extra added things in there, those meet-and-greets, and be able to ask questions in a new conference broadcast globally, well, yeah, that was pretty awesome.

Crew: Scott Kelly (left), Mikhail Kornienko (right) and Gennady Padalka (middle), with me at NASA in Houston

Crew: Scott Kelly (left), Mikhail Kornienko (right) and Gennady Padalka (middle), with me at NASA in Houston

What’d I ask? I wanted to know what things they most look forward to when in space for such a long time. Answer: fun change-of-pace things like cargo deliveries, new crew members, and the like.

I was there in Texas to work on a Young Adult Sci-Fi book. I was doing research after writing the first couple of chapters. Work on the novel has pretty much been my life since then, with the exception of a few other jaunts around the country…

A black bear in Yellowstone

A black bear in Yellowstone

In June, my girlfriend and I headed up to northwestern Wyoming to see the national parks…Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. She’d never been, so I thought it a good opportunity to show her around while she taught me the ropes of camping.

I’d camped as a kid, but never as an adult. And so it really was a completely new experience for me. Overall I really liked it, although could do without having to wear a stocking cap and gloves to bed. Man did it get cold at night up there!

Our Canyon Campground site in Yellowstone

Our Canyon Campground site in Yellowstone

We had a few more camping trips throughout the summer, but nothing so big as Yellowstone. We were both busy with work, writing, and the such, that we just didn’t have the time to get away for anything too long.

What’s the and such that kept us busy? Trips back home to meet the parents, of course!

Checking out Niagara Falls

Checking out Niagara Falls

We traveled to both Buffalo and Minneapolis to meet the respective families and see the hometowns. Both trips were fantastic, seeing where she grew up and stopping in to visit Niagara Falls – something I’d not seen since I was a little boy – and the Anchor Bar for wings, and then taking her to all of my favorites back in Minnesota.

Jousting at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Jousting at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

In addition to those trips, I also headed back to Los Angeles for the annual Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) national conference. It was my second time, and an experience every bit as good, if not better, as the first. Heck, I loved my time there so much so that I’ve decided to make it an annual tradition.

A behind-the-scenes tour of FOX Studios in LA during SCBWI

A behind-the-scenes tour of FOX Studios in LA during SCBWI

I was so geeked over the experience that I hit up the local conference a couple of months later here in Denver. I’d never done that one before, and loved it as well. I’m hoping that I can return each year, as there always seems to be so many amazing and sincere moments at both of these events.

University of Minnesota at Colorado State

University of Minnesota at Colorado State

Rounding out the year were a bunch of great visits by people coming to see me here in Colorado…my buddy from Minnesota for a football game and a weekend of relaxing and now the family for our upcoming belated Christmas celebration. Both were and will be great, and are fantastic ways to ring in what’s already shaping up to be a fantastic 2016.

But, more on all that in another post…

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3 Comments on “The Ghosts Of Christmas 2015”

  1. Ellen Hanson December 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    It is always fun to hear from you. Glad you are doing okay and love the picture with the girl friend. She is really cute and we are happy for you. Do you have a new book out? Have a wonderful Christmas and greet all of you family for us. Ellen and Randy too!!

  2. Traveling Ted (@travelingted) January 3, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Looks like a fantastic year despite the lack of blogging. Like you said, sometimes that is a good thing. I know when I am not blogging enough it means I am having a great time. Happy New Year!

    • Jason's Travels January 3, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

      Happy new year, buddy! I hope you have a fantastic 2016!

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