Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year in review 2013 Edition

Hey everyone!
This past year, 2013, has had a lot of new things for my life. It was a great year and loved it, problem is that it went by to fast! I am still wondering what happened to my Summer as I didn't do a lot of things that I really wanted. I also didn't put as much time into blogging as I wanted. I don't think I ever finished posting my first Japan trip but I got plenty from my one this year!
It started out as a slow year, not much going on in January. The biggest thing and most important is that I started my first full time job as an Environmental Field Technician. It allows me to see the state and my work place changes frequently, it is a 98% of the time outside job! Having this job I had to cut back my hours as a server as 63 hours was to much and tiring. I am still a server there too this day.
For the blog in January, I posted a lot of things from the Japan trip in 2012 but I also added a trip to Meadow Farm which is just a local county park.
 Photobucket   Say hi to the turkey!
In the month of February my girlfriend and I went on a trip kinda for Valentines day. We went to Luray Virginia to stay at the Mimslynn Inn and see the Caverns! It was a fantastic trip and it started to flurry in the town. It was beautiful.

Not to much happened in March and there really wasn't many posts other then those from Japan. I did go to Maymont and mostly worked!

In April spring time is starting to come together and that time of year I get cherry blossom happy! We went to Washington D.C. to see the blossoms as I never got a chance to the previous year. It still seamed that we were a week year for the peak but that didn't stop the enormous crowds there. That was a great day trip! photo IMG_8075_zpsed6a72f4.jpg
I wouldn't dare to leave you without some blossoms to see so here you go, these were from Browns Isle that is in Richmond downtown! There were also some more from Maymont, take a look here.
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In the month of May many things were going on and I can not recall doing a lot of trips or even going out to parks. Although my lifestyle changed drastically. I moved out of my house that I grew up in and into an apartment with my girlfriend. It was a big step for us but also for me as it was the first time officially out on my own other then my trips. It has gone really well and I have enjoyed this new since of freedom. I do miss being able to walk out the front door and right into my forest though. It is not as quite as it is back there. Also I had more room for my plants and my moped this there as well as my canoes. Oh I got another canoe as well!

In June I posted about my Azalea plot at Bryan Park in Richmond. My girlfriend and I had adopted a bed and we did a lot of up keep with it and were happy to see them looking great!
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I also went to the mountains, Shenandoah Park in particular, to go camping with my girlfriend. This might have taken place in May or even April but I posted it in June on the blog. It was still chilly so I think it might have taken place in May some time. I had a great time and it was her first time camping since she was really young. She had a great time but thought it was a little to chilly for her. You can read about the trip here!  photo IMG_8200_zps9b9f173a.jpg

In July it was hot and such. I wish I did more then I really did but I had enough time to go to the beach with my family for a few days. I also went with my friends for a few days a few weeks prior. I always have a great time at Nags Head and it is peaceful with my family as I go about and do stuff on my own. I think I have a trip about Nags Head every summer on this blog since I started it. You should go if you ever get a chance!
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August is a really hot month in Virginia. Nice and humid with plenty of heat but it wasn't all that bad. Yes I work outside but we didn't go drilling the whole month since I was in a truck accident and it messed up our trailer. Well it totaled it. Anyways that got the tech's out of drilling but there was other things to do out in the summer heat. It was mild yet still.
I also managed to get out of town for another trip to Shenandoah National Park and this trip was a lot of fun. There was way more wildlife in the area and my girlfriend had a blast. We were able to stay in Big Meadows this time unlike last and that was because I reserved a site! There was deer and bears galore! All about the trip you can click here.
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September is the winding down of the summer season and everyone goes back to school, including my girlfriend but not myself. It wound down so much that there was not a single post on the blog about anything! That surprises me and I really was slack about posting on the blog this year. Work really tires me out afterwords and I just get really lazy with everything. There was a lot of things that I wanted to do this year, for myself and the blog. I meant to crack down on learning Japanese and going to groups/clubs and practice my photography. Also been working on a site but it never happened. I hope to change this in 2014.

October the month of candy and scary beings roaming the neighborhoods. Mostly about not having much photographs on the site or posts is because I didn't have a working photo editing software on my laptop. It froze up and crashed my computer over and over and was trying to figure out what to do next. I did end up getting Adobe Light room which I have been enjoying now with much more control of the finer details that you can change. I did go out to the park a little bit like Maymont and Belle Isle but that was really it for October. It was a nice month and a good time to do outside work. At that point I was truly looking forward to next month which was all about my second tip to Japan, all in Kyoto. I did do some hiking though in October but the posts came up in November. I did a hike with a friend on Moormans River and also did a solo hike bright and early in the morning on Old Rag Mountain. I love that hike and recommend it a lot. I wish I had gone a week earlier but because of the "Government Shutdown" that park was closed and it was not allowed and it lasted the good part of the Autumn peak in the mountains there. Here is a picture at 7am or so on my hike up Old Rag.
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Here is a picture of Richmond from a post in October.
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November is here and I was looking forward to my trip so bad. I love Japan and it was such a great learning experience last year and the amount of freedom was such extraordinary. It was not the same as last year since it wasn't all that new to me but I had a great time and met some new faces. The autumn foliage was great but I probably was a week early from the peak which was fine. The numbers of people there was way to much. It is a popular time and it shows for sure. I did a lot of things that I did not do in the past. I love bonsai and Japanese gardens and that was once again my highlight of the trip that and some hiking and hot springs. I think I might do another trip in 2014 possibly and go to Tokyo and maybe somewhere else to not sure. It is in the back of my mind. Since that trip took two weeks and I got back into Thanksgiving week I just didn't give myself time to make posts about the trip at all. I posted pictures while on my trip onto Instagram and if you follow me you saw them. I got up the Old Rag posts before I left and schedule it while I was out of the country! I also did buy a new camera on Cyber Monday and upgraded to a 60D and I also recently got a new lens that I used all the time in Japan the 17-55mm 2.8. Loved it.

December was a month of Christmas parties and good things to come. I enjoyed my works dinner party and also the lab we use took us out for drinks. I went to my girlfriends work party and had a great time as well. I did not get to go to the Festival of Lights yet with my girlfriend at Lewis Ginter but I got some pictures of the tree downtown and the Jefferson Hotel. There was no white Christmas which is fine but I am guessing we might actually get snow this Friday possibly. I started posting some from my trip to Japan like Kibune Shrine and Kurama-dera. Also some big change is that I got a promotion in my company. I am now a Project Manager with and office and company truck. Hard work pays off and especially you show that you are reliable and hard worker. I also had my birthday and my girlfriend gave me a Blue Pacific Juniper and a nice bonsai pot, really excited about it.
Here is a photo from those posts.
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I have a couple goals for 2014 in which I have already started on them.
I plan on learning Japanese and already started to take some online courses!
I want to get out and do more photography with a group in the area and more so for myself.
I also am working hard the past week on a new "site" for myself. More professional but I will still be blogging.
I will have more time to do things as I am not to lazy when I get home with an office job, that part I am excited about.
I think we might find a house to rent so I will move some time this year.
I want to take a big trip again like last year but not sure how much time I can take off while I am now a manger. I sure hope so though. Also with the new management position I might stop as a server on Saturday nights and be able to take more weekend trips or do things and that mean more photos!
Lots to look forward to everyone! I will see you in the new year, 2014!

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