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Friday, November 19, 2010

Birthday in New York

For my birthday this year, I took the day off and celebrated in New York, seeing Pee Wee Herman on Broadway.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Orlando, FL

This year's annual "EPCOT drink around the world" got a little more interesting. My trip coincided this time with the EPCOT Food and Wine festival. This means there were not only the usual "countries" to experience, but lots more country "mini-pavillions" with food and drink, including New Zealand (delicious lamb sliders), Chile, Argentina, Italy, Singapore, and lots more.

Another new activity was actually in an old location, the pub in the UK. This time, Jonathan and I did a flight of scotch. I did the single malt:

I flew to Orlando on November 11, this time staying at the Contemporary Resort (the one the monorail runs through from Magic Kingdom!)

Jonathan, Corey and I taking a break from our 'trip around the world:'

Magic Kingdom was decorated for Christmas. Here's Main Street USA:

The real reason for the trip, however, was the Children Miracle's Network Celebration Gala.

Here I am all dressed up outside my room at the Contemporary:

At the gala, I met Travis Stork (from the Doctors), Miss America, and John Schneider (again.)

After the gala, we went back to Magic Kingdom for a ride on Space Mountain -- while still all dressed up. We got lots of looks, as if we were really important folks, and then got put to the front of the line.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chile Habitat Build

I've decided that my trip to Chile for the Habitat Build was the longest I slept in the same bed in ages! I flew to Santiago on October 27 and returned to Atlanta on November 7, spending 10 nights at The W Santiago, in the neighborhood of Las Condes.

The first day, we toured the build sites in El Monte, the town where the build was to be, and met with the Mayor. One of the photos of me taken that day was published in the El Monte newspaper.

That night we had dinner at a great restaurant called Zanzibar, which had the best ceviche I have ever had.

The next day, we had lunch in a neighborhood called Lastarria. The restaurant was called Patagonia. After that, we toured the hill near Santa Lucia where the city was founded, climbing up to the top of Castle Hidalgo for great views of the city. When we left for lunch, we didn't realize we wouldn't get home until nearly 12 hours later. Big tour day.

The next morning, we met our colleagues at the airport for their arrival into Santiago, and immediately proceeded to a vineyard called Vina Huelquen in the Maipo Valley. It is owned by a real character named Mario.

Here, Scott and I tour the vineyard with Mario.

Of course, the real reason for this trip was the Habitat build in El Monte. I was the team lead of my group, building a house for a young lady named Elizabeth and her two children, one a year old, and one 16 years old.

Here's the team, including Elizabeth and family:

Scenes from the build:

Above: the cow right outside the house we were building.

After the build, we traveled to Cascada de las Animas nature sanctuary, where we enjoyed great views, food, ziplining, horseback riding, and white river rafting.

Scenes for Cascada and rafting:

All in all, this was a fantastic trip. So fantastic, in fact, that while I was there I decided to change my plans for later in the month and go back to Santiago for my parents' 45th Wedding Anniversary!

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