Reelin’ in the Years — 2014 in Pictures

I made a New Year’s Resolution to blog more often. I took a little break because sharing all the details of our lives made me feel a bit self absorbed, like writing a Christmas newsletter every few weeks. People say they like blog posts and Christmas newsletters, but do they really? I suppose I’ll find out.

Here is a look back at 2014. It was a good year and we wish everyone a happy, healthy 2015!

January

The past year has been a whirlwind. Last year at this time, we could never have predicted how dramatically our lives would change.  We received an amazing opportunity and everything fell into place to make it happen. As we adjust to life in Hong Kong, we’ve had to say goodbye to friends and family and we’ve met lots of new people. We are trying to soak up as much of the beauty and culture of this crazy place as we can in the time we have here.

Last January, as we were taking down the Christmas tree, we had no idea of the changes that were to come in 2014
Last January, as we were taking down the Christmas tree, we had no idea of the changes that were to come in 2014

February

Claire attended the Military Ball with an ROTC member from her high school.
Claire attended the Military Ball with an ROTC member from her high school.

March

I love pipe and drum bands. They remind me of going to see my Uncle Jim play the bagpipes.
I love pipe and drum bands. They remind me of going to parades to watch my Uncle Jim play the bagpipes.

April

We took a trip to Washington, D.C. Of all the places I have been, this was my first time touring the nation’s capital. It made me reflect on how our country began and all that we, as Americans, have to be thankful for.

Claire's high school band played in the Heritage Performing Arts Festival in Washington DC.
I chaperoned the high school band as they played in the Heritage Performing Arts Festival in Washington DC. The venue at George Mason University was spectacular.
Band-Washington (72 of 72)
We had a chance to tour Washington, D.C. and see lots of museums and monuments. The Vietnam Memorial is especially moving.
Arlington National Cemetery is a powerful reminder of the cost of freedom. So many tombstones; so many families mourning their loved ones who served to protect that freedom.
Arlington National Cemetery is a powerful reminder of the cost of freedom. So many tombstones; so many families mourning their loved ones who served to protect that freedom.

May

Claire went to the prom with her friend, Leo.
Claire went to the prom with her friend, Leo.
We had a wonderful few days with our son and it was hard to say goodbye.
We had a wonderful few days with our son and it was hard to say goodbye.

June

Normal activities like proms and high school trips would soon be behind us. As we looked around us we had to ask ourselves if we had made the right decision agreeing to go to Hong Kong? I wrote a couple of posts about how much I love our little town. You can see them here and here.

We savored or last days in our lovely little town of Stuart, Florida.
We savored our last days in our lovely town of Stuart, Florida.

July

Just weeks to go before the big move, we visited Newport and snuck in a few college tours. It was good to see this area of the country with such deep ties to our nation’s roots just before going abroad. I wrote about our trip and you can see the post here.

We spent a beautiful day sailing with friends in Newport.
We spent a beautiful day sailing with friends in Newport.
We got to see Fourth of July ceremonies by re-enactors.
We got to see Fourth of July ceremonies by re-enactors.
We toured colleges in the Northeast. The architecture is beautiful and the history is fascinating.
We toured colleges in the Northeast. The architecture is beautiful and the history is fascinating.

August

The adventure begins. Bags packed. Wheels up. We’re off to the opposite side of the world.

city skyline
We toured the island and searched for apartments. Many of them had spectacular views of Victoria Harbour.
We toured the island and searched for apartments. In a short time, you can travel from city skyscrapers to serene beaches.
In a short time, you can travel from city skyscrapers to serene beaches.
Within a few blocks, you can savor almost any kind of cuisine.
Within a few blocks, you can savor almost any kind of cuisine.

September

We had been here a short time when we got to see Chinese culture in action. First was the Mid-Autumn Festival which I wrote about here, a spectacular display that brings families together to celebrate. Then, Occupy Central began and it was fascinating to see how peaceful the protests were. Since it happened right outside our apartment, we also got to see the difference between what the world media reported and what was actually going on. Thousands of students sitting in the road is not nearly as newsworthy as tear gas. You can see the post here.

Lanterns began to appear all over, a harbinger of the coming Mid-Autumn Festival.
Lanterns began to appear all over, a harbinger of the coming Mid-Autumn Festival.
Thousands of student protestors shut down major roadways to demand democracy.
Thousands of student protestors shut down major roadways to demand democracy.

 October

The protests continued and caught the attention of the world. There was a lot of art in conjunction with Occupy Central. You can see some of it and read more here.

The protests continued and caught the attention of the world. Messages of support poured in.
Messages of support poured in and the “Lennon Wall” was covered in post-its from well wishers.

November

 Fish doesn't get any fresher than at this floating market in Sai Kung
Fish doesn’t get any fresher than at this floating market in Sai Kung
The Bird Market in Kowloon is an iconic Hong Kong sight.
The Bird Market in Kowloon is an iconic Hong Kong sight.

December

I had an opportunity to go backstage at a Chinese Opera performance.
I had an opportunity to go backstage at a Chinese Opera performance.

Thanks for sticking it out to the end of this extremely long post. I hope you have enjoyed a look back at the past year. I have lots more to show you  so I hope you will keep reading. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think and be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here’s to a wonderful year!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. karner2014 says:

    What a wonderful synopsis of the last year’s highlights in your family’s life. I am fortunate to have you part of my friend’s circle and wish when I saw you here in Palm City for a fleeting second I could have had time to sit an refresh the connections of our busy life’s! Meanwhile my kids are franticly trying to figure out how we can come visit. because boy we want too! Will you be there the summer?
    Regina

    1. smasonnc says:

      I will be here. Claire is going to Spain to see her sister for most of July. It’s beastly hot here in the summer. It makes Florida look like the Alps.

  2. donnaswift says:

    Fabulous year of pictures and posts. Just incredible memories to last a life time. Claire looks amazing; how is she enjoing her new environs?

  3. smasonnc says:

    Claire loves it here. She is doing great in school, her band directors are wonderful to her, her teachers care about her and she loves Hong Kong. This has been good for her.

  4. Laura says:

    thanks for keeping us updated – I love reading your posts!

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