And I’m spent.
2011 work highlights included having a full-page spread in The Wall Street Journal, trips to Israel and Rome, and Louisville.com becoming the city’s most-read independent website and winning a couple of big honors in the process.
Luckily my wife and daughter were able to join me on many of my trips. The latter turns two next week and already has visited 18 states and Washington, DC. We got her a passport this year, but it might be a few months at least before she’s able to get her first stamp—her little sister is slated to arrive in February.
Here are some of my writing and travel highlights for 2011:
- In January, Air Canada’s enRoute published my article about taking a poker lesson from two-time World Series of Poker winner Mark Seif and then hitting the tables solo in Las Vegas.
- Later that month I went to Israel, visiting Tel Aviv, Galilee, and Jerusalem. Turns out Jerusalem has some fun drinking venues.
- In February, enRoute published my article about photographing flowing lava with Photo Safari Hawaii on the Big Island.
- BlackBook added Louisville to its City Guide mobile app and website in March, publishing 100 reviews of bars, restaurants, and hotels that I wrote as the Louisville City Editor.
- Also in March, I spoke with Louisville’s Society of Professional Journalists about being a travel writer.
- Later that month, I visited the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts; my article on a gladiator fighting lesson I took ran as an enRoute web exclusive and in Air Canada’s onAir frequent flyer newsletter in June.
- The attention the Kentucky Derby brings to Louisville has been great for my career: in May, The Wall Street Journal devoted the entire back page of its Derby-day edition to an article I wrote and interviews I conducted on city hotspots. And Fox News published my piece on five horse racing-related activities travelers to Louisville can enjoy on non-Derby weekend visit.
- In July, I visited Montana with my wife and daughter, the highlight of which was glamorous camping at The Ranch at Rock Creek
- Louisville.com won the 2011 Louisville Magazine‘s readers’ choice award for best local website in July
- I trekked around in 107-degree heat in Dallas for enRoute, scoping out the city’s art scene for a yet-to-be-published article on buying art.
- Indianapolis really impressed me—seriously!—when I took the trip 2.5-hours north in August. Super Bowl fans will find plenty more to do than just watch the game this February.
- Nantucket did likewise when I returned to where my family vacationed a couple of times when I was a kid. Don’t plan on reading anything about this trip: it was a family trip and I didn’t take a single note.
- In October, Louisville.com writers and readers stuffed the ballot box enough to earn second place for best local website in LEO Weekly’s, the city’s alt weekly, Readers’ Choice awards.
- Louisville.com was again an official media partner of the Breeders’ Cup, horse racing’s world championships, this November. In addition, BlackBook dispatched me to cover the Jocktails party, part of the run-up to Breeders’ Cup, and preview Downs After Dark, the sole night race of Churchill Downs’ 2011 fall meet.
- Also in November, Louisville Magazine published an account of my bravest assignment yet—eating at the Paula Deen Buffet in Southern Indiana’s Horseshoe Casino
- Louisville Magazine made a bold move when it let me write about why Kentucky isn’t that great a state for basketball (as well as break down the differences between Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals fans) in its December issue. Expect letters to the editor.
- An eight-point 170-pound buck died because I shot him through both lungs. My hunt was televised on KET’s Kentucky Afield this December. Louisville Magazine will publish an account of my hunt in early 2012.