February 8, 2011 · Posted in news, personal, photos, travel · Comment 

The past few months have been one great thing after another.

I got the opportunity to spend New Year’s Day in Colombia, which is better than any fourth of July celebration in any American city. In the US, where there’s an hour of fireworks displays, in Medellín, Colombia, the fireworks last the entire evening, night and into early morning. If one didn’t know any better, you’d swear you were living in a war zone with constant gun fire. It was truly amazing. The same thing happens on Christmas.

I also got married in Colombia, so that was kind of a big deal. We rented out a extremely fancy club and  partied until 4AM; then, we went to an after party. Also, my family got to see the amazing landscape that happens in no other place in the world except Colombia.

Too many things have happened since, so I have to keep this short, or not post it at all

Enjoy the photos:

Christmas Eve Night in Medellin

February 3, 2010 · Posted in personal, photos, travel · Comment 

That night we spent Christmas with Ana’s other side of the family. It was a very relaxed atmosphere while Ana’s grandmother handed out gifts. Ana’s family got me some 12 year old rum made in Medellín and one of Ana’s uncles gave me a bottle of wine. I’m not sure what kind of impression I made on everyone, but apparently they think I like alcohol. It’s true, but still.

Ana and I had gotten everyone a basic gift of candy from the US. It wasn’t much, but I had never met anyone and she has a bunch of little cousins. Besides, the suitcases were full of gifts for everyone, even my suitcases, so mostly we just said things were from both of us.

Later that night we set off more balloons with candles in them. The sky over Medellin was filled with at least 4 or 5 other balloons that had be set off nearby. Some were obvious what they were while others looked like large stars twinkling in the night.

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Medellín Colombia

January 26, 2010 · Posted in personal, photos, travel · Comment 

Ana took me to downtown Medellín via the metro. It’s a lot different than from where she lives up in the hills of Envigado. Since it was right before Christmas, the crowds were terrible. She and her sister went around to a small place that had eight different shoe stores all right next to each other, no exaggeration.

After about two hours later (you know women) we took the metro further north to where the botanical gardens are. Admission is free, so it’s more like a city park but they have different places where they grown different types of plants. It was really nice and well maintained. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the city.

I also got to try sugar cane juice, which is amazing. They take the sugar cane stalks and put it through a press, not unlike a cloths wringer, and juice just pours out of these things. They’re also amazing to eat but are a little stringy to enjoy all the time like that.

We also visited a ton of malls over the next few days. I was looking for some shorts to wear in the coast area where we were going scuba diving. Cloths in Colombia are magnitudes more stylish than cloths in the states. South Americans mainly prefer styles from Europe but you can find a few brands from the U.S. as well. I think I got to see almost all the malls in Medellin, of which, there are quite a few.

The photos below are from after we arrived until right before Christmas. Enjoy! Read more

Colombia – Ana’s House

January 25, 2010 · Posted in personal, photos, travel · Comment 

We arrived in Medellín a little after 3PM. My friend who lives in Northern Virginia gave us a ride to the Baltimore airport at 2 in the morning, even though he had to work the next day, so we bought him a bottle of 12 year old rum from Medellín named Ron Medellin.

We mostly stayed at her house that day and relaxed after the long trip. We unpacked four suitcases, three of which were gifts for her family and relatives. After all that unpacking was done, we consolidated all of our stuff into one suitcase. Gustavo, her god son, got to play with his Geo-Trax trail set that we set up for him. The engine has a remote control that allows it to go forward and in reverse. He absolutely loved it and the expansion we got for it that allows him to have a longer track and also gave him the ability to switch tracks.

Ana’s brothers and sister have five dogs, but luckily a nice big yard for them to run around in. Bruna, the big chocolate lab is Ana’s and of course her favorite. Hope you enjoy the photos below: Read more

Colombia for Christmas

November 20, 2009 · Posted in news, personal · Comment 

Last year, I spent Christmas in Slovakia. We did a ton of skiing in several countries including Slovakia, Austria and then in France. Two years before that I spent it in Hungary and then traveled alone for two weeks in Germany and Switzerland and back to Hungary via Slovakia. Well, not entirely alone since I met a ton of great people along the way. This year however, we’re planning on spending it in Colombia, in the home city of my girlfriend, Ana.

There’s enough for me to see in Medellin, since I’ve never been to South America before, or a Spanish speaking country, but we’ll be traveling throughout Colombia during our brief vacation. Around Christmas will obviously be reserved for spending time with her family but before and after that we have a few excursions planned.

Colombia is a Catholic country (even though a lot of them are scared of how religious the United States seems) and as a result, the city is full of lights and other decorations during this special time. Since towns in the United States are generally discouraged from putting up Christmas specific decorations, it’ll be something entirely different to see an unabashed version of a city Christmas display. Hungary has always put up lights in Budapest, with Christmas trees and other Christmas specific things, but from what I’ve seen from photos, Medellin Christmas lights are far more spectacular.

We’re still looking for a scuba resort where we can dive for a few days for less than $1000. You can do that in Florida in the Keys for half that price, including hotel, but for some reason, we’re having a hard time finding a good/cheap one in Colombia. I really don’t want to spend that much money right now, though if we had to, it’d totally be worth it to swim with whale sharks and huge manta rays.

Other than that, we are planning on visiting some colonial era Colombian towns, the coffee region (with Juan Valdez, the guy with the donkey on all the Colombian coffee) and various other things unique to South America or Colombia. We don’t have a whole lot of time, but we’re going to make the most out of the time we have. You can be assured there will be a ton of photos when I get back.