2009 Year in Review

All this review is a little delayed it was well worth the time. Despite the overall gloomy haze that covered most of 2009 for the nation, there were many things to be proud be proud of.

small checkmarkChaired for Pre-Conference at the IA Summit in Memphis, TN
With the help of fantastic folks like Samantha Bailey, Keith Instone, Mags Hanley, Jennifer Bohmbach, Donna Spencer, Stacy Surla, and Dick Hill, I took on the responsibility to organize and manage the efforts of the pre-conference workshops for the 2009 IA Summit. In addition to workshops, we also were able to hold the first-ever consortium in the history of the Summit. An awesome accomplishment with great success for the content strategy community.

small checkmarkRan Second Marathon in Baltimore
In 2008 I ran my first marathon in Philadelphia with my good friend, Regan. It was such a major accomplishment for the both of us in my hometown that we also decided to give it a go in hers. Read about the fantastic experience we had in October.

small checkmarkCompleted Full Year as a UX Researcher
In my quest to be the best User Experience Designer I can I chose to spend the past 18 months concentrating on understanding our users and how to best use that information to affect the products we provide. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done so far and the progress I’ve made as a new researcher and a designer.

small checkmarkMentored a Transitioning UX Designer
I had the privilege this year of providing guidance to a very smart and enthusiastic woman interested in transitioning to UX. This is really fantastic and rewarding opportunity. I’m very proud of the progress and hope to continue playing a role in her transition.

small checkmarkTraveled to London, Edinburgh, Zagreb and Hawaii
Like every year, we try our best to travel to new places while also making a stop in Zagreb to see family. This year was no exception. The UK is always a treat, but Edinburgh was amazing and I really hope we get the opportunity to live there one day. Enjoy the pictures from my trip to London and Edinburgh.

I can only hope that 2010 continues to be a year of great experience and accomplishment. Looking forward to whatever lies ahead.

Running on The Big Island

At first I was worried about traveling to Hawai’i during a time when I have to run 18 and 20-milers for my Baltimore Marathon training. I was really anxious about the heat and humidity, but excited about the scenery.

I had the pleasure of running my first 18-miler on the famous Ali’i Drive. Ali’i Drive is the official run finish of the Ironman Hawai’i. The heat and humidity did not overcome the beautiful coastline I ran along. I’m excited to run on it again for my two 6-mile runs later in the week.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironman_Triathlon

http://www.hawaiiweb.com/Hawaii/html/sites/kailua_kona_town.html

Dinko in Namche, again

Got another quick email from Dinko. He’s back in Namche, which means he’s on his way back to Kathmandu. He’s having a fabulous time despite the little stomach illness and altitude sickness between 12,000 and 18,000 feet. He did manage to go to the Everest Basecamp and can’t wait to come back and share the pictures and stories with everyone…only not toooo fast.

He raved about being able to take 3 showers during the past 2 weeks, of which one was out in the open only wrapped in a tarp. Too bad we won’t have a picture of that – HA. And lastly, he announced that he most certainly looks like a Yeti now that he hasn’t been able to shave since he left Philadelphia.

For all those interested, he will be back this Friday. I can’t wait ;)

Dinko in Namche

I managed to get an email from Dinko today. He was in Namche Bazaar in Nepal. It’s the last town before Everest and he found Internet access. It was very slow and very expensive so his email was short, but such a surprise to get. He’s having a fabulous time and is really enjoying the trek and the company. I will likely not hear from him again until he returns to Kathmandu in 10-12 days.

Kauai Day 6 – Last Day

Our last full day on Kaua’i was spent lounging on the beach, reading and relaxing. Perfect weather again. We will miss this place. Tomorrow we will pack up, have our champagne breakfast and be on our way back to Philadelphia.

Kaua’i is a fantastic small island with everything you need no matter what your interests. I hope to come back here with my husband soon.

Kauai Day 5 – Waimea Canyon and Lu’au

We drove down to the South Shore this time to hit up Waimea Canyon and attend our “free” Lu’au. The Canyon was breathtaking but we didn’t have the best conditions for picture taking. The higher you go up in elevation, the cloudier and mistier the environment becomes. Still, it was gorgious to see the deep reds and browns of the canyon mixed with the bright and deep green grasses and trees. I took as many pictures as I could.

It was a long time in the car, driving from sea level to 4400 feet, but well worth the winding, narrow and bumpy roads. There were so many trails along the way. I really wished that my husband was with me so we could hike them.

The most unusual thing we saw was a huge whole fish, teeth and all, on the side of the road at a lookout half way up. Our Dutch friends that were following us all the way up and down the Canyon claimed it was a “flying” fish :)

After the canyon we drove into Poipu to attend our “all you can eat and drink” Lu’au at the Sheraton Resort. It was a sunset dinner and show on the beach. Very entertaining with decent and abundant food. And there was some very tasty guava chiffon pie for dessert. Yum!

Kauai Day 4 – North Shore

We took our ridiculously big, gas guzzling, bright red snob mobile cruising up Rte 56 to the North Shore and the start of the Na Pali Coast. The end of the road is at Bali Hai. It took us all about 45 minutes to drive up there. The island is so small, but the maps make it seem big.

The waves on the beach of the North Shore are really big and rough. We spent about 2 hours on this beach waiting for the sun to set so we could snap a bunch of pictures of the glorious sunset, Bali Hai and part of the Napali Coast. It was really beautiful.