2014 was quite a year for travel. 2014 brought me from my 100th marathon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Dubai, UAE, to Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan, to North Carolina three times, Virginia, Hawaii, Arizona and of course Maine.
January. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: The Louisiana Marathon was my 100th Marathon – and what a marathon it was (see, Marathon Report). It was also a Marathon Maniac reunion marathon, and a fabulous media trip for me. The tourism representatives of Baton Rouge are so nice and enthusiastic, they even decorated my hotel room at the Indigo Hotel with banners and signs before I arrived. It was wonderful to see my friends and to be supported by Won’t Run, who traveled all by himself to Louisiana and made it there in one piece (OK, that’s a little questionable… see his post HERE).
January. Dubai, UAE. This was a crazy mistake fare trip (see, Mistake Fare) I thought I was traveling solo, but I kept meeting people I knew along the way. The biggest coincidence was the United Airlines flight attendant who I went to high school with more than 30 years ago… (see, Trip Report and Hotel Review Radisson Blue Deira Creek, and Fitness Center Review).
February. Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan. This was a dream trip from beginning to end. Other than the bad weather in Kyoto (lots of rain and snow), the trip was divine. I fell in love with Kyoto, and stayed at the Hyatt Regency, which might just be my favorite Hyatt! Special kudos to the manager, Ken – the best hotel manager I’ve ever met. I ran the marathon in Kyoto, running by many world heritage sites and being cheered by monks chanting for the runners! It was incredible. Tokyo intimidated me at first, but as I acclimated, I fell in love with both the country and the people of Japan. I can’t wait to return. I kept meaning to write a report on the trip – I was just so overwhelmed by the experience. Here’s a report though on my flight over on Eva Air (see, Report).
March. Shamrock Marathon. Virginia Beach, VA. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Virginia Beach, but I traveled with a favorite friend, Kevin, which is great. 2014 was not a great marathon year for me, and although I like the Virginia Beach course, it was windy and raw for their marathon. I was not a happy camper. I was probably pondering why I run…
April. Rock n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon. There’s something about North Carolina. I just like it. (see, Marathon Report and Hotel and Fitness Review, Hyatt Place Raleigh Durham Airport)
Later in April, I attended the Freddie Awards at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. What an amazing venue. Go there if you have the opportunity!
May (I think). Charlotte, North Carolina. One of my many gatherings with crazy frequent flyer people who like to bemoan their love/hate relationships with CVS and Walmart. I learned some new tricks, but mainly enjoyed seeing my friends and running around the area. I went for a run, got lost, found myself on the “wrong side of town” but connected with some other runners and had an amazing run…
May. Cleveland Marathon. Everyone asked why I was going to Cleveland, and I said I’d never been there, and why not? I seem to have caught a flu, so the night before I sat in my beautiful suite at the Hyatt Regency wondering whether I would even run the following day. But, I woke up and felt better, so I gave it a shot. I had no expectations, but was really impressed by the course, the people and the scenery. Those houses were huge! There wasn’t too much to downtown Cleveland but enjoyed seeing the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. (see, Cleveland Rocks, Day One; Cleveland Rocks, Day Two, Fitness Center Review, Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arches)
In July, Won’t Run and I went to Charlotte, NC and Savannah, GA. We loved Savannah, and loved, loved, loved the Andaz! I really enjoyed running in Forsyth Park. (see, I’m Back from Vacation in Charlotte and Savannah! , Trip Report: Charlotte, North Carolina , Fitness Center Review – Hyatt Place Charlotte/Arrowood, Hotel Review – Hyatt House Charlotte Airport , Fitness Center and Pool Review – Hyatt House Charlotte Airport , In Love with Andaz Savannah [Hotel Review], Cuckoo For Jogging Maps – Andaz Savannah, Congregation Mickve Israel, a Savannah Synagogue , Hotel Review – Hyatt Regency Savannah, Fitness Center and Pool Review – Hyatt Regency Savannah, Cuckoo for Jogging Maps – Hyatt Regency Savannah and Airport Lounge Review: Passport Club at Savannah Hilton Head Airport).
In late August, Won’t Run and I went to Kauai. That island is freakin awesome. Did someone put something in the koolaid (or the Poke?) because the Kauai spell was cast on me. We stayed two nights at a small kitschy boutique hotel, where once again, we learned how warm and wonderful people can be, followed by 3 nights feeling like children dressed in grown up clothes staying in a gorgeous humongous suite at the Grand Hyatt. The Kauai Marathon was a media trip for me, so I was treated to the experience of attending a pre-marathon VIP dinner (meeting some really awesome runner personalities), ran a fun run that wasn’t too much fun, and ran a marathon. The marathon was beautiful and well supported, but way too hilly and hot. I walked a lot, which seems to be a general theme for my 2014 marathons. This was a destination marathon trip – it was about the entire week, not merely the run. .. I want to go back. NOW. (see, Overview: Kauai is Magic! [Trip Report], A 26.2 Mile Run in Kauai, Hawaii, Tropical Paradise – Grand Hyatt Kauai – Awesome Suite!, The Painted Doors at Kauai’s Garden Island Inn!, Kaua’i Marriott Resort – a Picturesque Resort, A Spectacular Run and an Ugly Map, Sampling Hawaiian Cuisine: 10 Delicious Local Foods and Drinks).
In September, I went to Cancun, Mexico, for a Travel Blogger conference, called TBEX. In addition to lectures, there were many local events and parties. One trip was to a local community, this baby caught my attention.
Later in September, I went to a meeting of Boarding Area bloggers, BACON, in Las Vegas, Nevada (see,This is What a $48 Suite Looks Like).
In October, on my birthday, I ran the Mount Desert Island Marathon. We stayed at a little motel in the middle of Bar Harbor. I’m drawn to Maine, like drawn butter. All of the people I know from Maine or genuine. I get a fuzzy feeling from Maine, if only the weather was better. Did I mention that I love lobster? The marathon was spectacularly beautiful and the race organizers put every bit of themselves into the race. Thank you Gary and Mary. I really like smaller marathons better than the big ones.
In November, I ran the NYC Marathon. It was my 17th NYC marathon. I’ve grown jaded. I prefer the smaller marathons- such as MDI Marathon and Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon. And this sign is icky.
A week later, or perhaps two, I visited Phoenix, AZ for yet another weekend of frequent flyer “enthusiast” (translate: lunatic) fun. I divided my love between Hyatt (staying at the Hyatt House Scottsdale the first night), and Kimpton (staying at the Firesky Resort the second and third nights). The stay at the Hyatt was unfortunately, glitchy (to say the least), but the Firesky experience was divine. I also got to see my brother who lives in Scottsdale. (see, Musings on the WestCoastDo, My Run in Scottsdale)
Later, in November, my travels took me to Nashville Tennessee. I stayed at a good friend’s home, and many of us ran the “Monkey.” The course is beautiful but crazy hilly, and it poured in sheets throughout the day. The race director sends entrants his condolences, and everyone lovingly says that running is stupid. This is a killer race – the elevation chart looks like a heart attack. But the love is strong, and, as usual, it saves the day. Thanks, in particular, to Trent (for directing this stupid race), Diane (my friend and host), and Larry (for helping me through those long miles. Did I mention that I accidentally bought a groupon while I was running! (see, HERE).
I know I took some other trips, but I can’t remember at the moment. There were also a few hotel “staycations” both in Manhattan (at the Eventi and the Intercontinental Times Square), as well as numerous stays at the Hyatt Place in Flushing, Queens. It’s become the second bedroom I’m lacking in my own apartment.
If you can believe it, 2015 promises to be crazier travel-wise than 2014 was. In fact, it makes 2014 look tame… More on that in another post.
Thank you for sharing my 2014 journey with me!!