Acoustic Music, Best Of..., Family, Heritage Travel, Monday Musings, Random DJB Thoughts
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Our year in photos – 2022

During this season of Thanksgiving, when so many are thinking of the love of family and friends, I continue my annual tradition of posting family photographs on More to Come. This practice began back in 2008* but has grown through the years so that the entire family now participates in the creation and curation of this particular entry.

As is often the case, we start with Andrew and Claire’s birthday celebration, when they began their final year as twentysomethings. We celebrated at one of our favorite area restaurants, Charleston.

Celebrating our 29th birthdays at Charleston

This winter was cold in the Washington region, but I still tried to get in that daily walk. Candice found this Maryland state flag-themed cap and scarf combination, which helped keep me warm and stylish. We also celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary as winter turned to spring with brunch at Washington’s Blue Duck Tavern. That was only the beginning as the celebration extended into June and a trip to Paris.

January in Silver Spring – sporting my new Maryland flag-designed scarf and cap
Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on March 20, 2022. It has been a wonderful adventure together.

Candice and I had a chance to hear Andrew sing some important new roles in his developing professional career. In March we traveled to Providence, Rhode Island, to hear him in his first Evangelist role in Bach’s St. John Passion, a magnificent performance. Then in April, Andrew — who began his career as a treble at the Washington National Cathedral (WNC) in Canon Michael McCarthy’s very first class in 2003 — sang tenor solos in WNC’s production of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, where three of the soloists (Christine Buras, Max Potter, and Andrew) were alumni of the boy/girl chorister program of the cathedral.

The soloists take a bow after the WNC performance of Elijah
Christine Buras, Max Potter, and Andrew (l to r) are alumni of the boy/girl chorister program of the cathedral under Canon Michael McCarthy (r). The group celebrates following the WNC production of Elijah

We made our first post-pandemic trip to Alameda to visit with Claire this spring. It was a gratifying time of exploration and catch-up. Our visit to hike through Muir Woods National Monument brought back memories of a 7th grade father-daughter spring break trip, where Claire and I visited the beautiful old-growth forests along the California coast.

For our initial National Trust Tours trip of 2022, I served as a study tour leader on a terrific May visit to Glasgow, the Scottish Highlands and islands, and the fiords of Norway. Candice and I visited a number of wonderful historic places, spent two weeks with some interesting and delightful fellow travelers, and felt we had rejoined the world after the pandemic shutdowns.

We were eager to see first-hand the places in Glasgow where architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife, the artist Margaret Macdonald, did some of their most important work for tearoom entrepreneur Kate Cranston. We found one of his earliest works at the Glasgow Art Club, and thanks to the kind doorman we were given the run of the gallery to explore.

In Glasgow we looked for the work of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh

The fjords of Norway were spectacular, and among the many highlights was a trip on the Flam Railroad, a small, single-track train, to the top of one of the nearby mountains.

Candice and DJB alongside the majestic Kjosfossen
At Myrdal’s mountaintop station (credit: Christine Berwyn)

Since we were already in Europe (!), we had made plans after Scotland and Norway to travel on to Paris to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with Andrew and Claire. Because it was Paris, we filled our phones with pictures (see here, here, here, and here), ate terrific food and drank a good amount of wine, explored the city and surroundings, and generally had a spectacular 10 days together.

Candice and DJB in the City of Light celebrating 40 years together
Andrew and Claire enjoy their first toast together after arrival at Le Christine in Paris
The family in the famous Hall of Mirrors at Versailles
What’s Paris without a night at the opera? Andrew chose Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for his adventure in the city, and we thoroughly enjoyed the delightful, slapstick of Count Almaviva, Rosina, Bertha, and Figaro.
Curtain call for The Barber of Seville
Andrew in Paris

We used a visit to the gardens at Monet’s Giverny to capture some wonderful family photographs.

One evening, Andrew, Claire, and I walked from our apartment down to the Eifel Tower to capture this terrific image in nighttime Paris.

Celebrations and road trips seem to be in the family bloodstream. Claire is always up to celebrate with good friends, so her summer — in addition to the trip to Paris — included two weddings and several other adventures. Yes, our wonderful friend Ella Taranto once again makes our year in photos review!

Claire (r) at her good friend Hannah’s wedding this spring
Claire with Ella Taranto at Filoli
Birthday party road trip with Pomona friends Susan (l) and Ali (r)
Pomona friends at Ali’s wedding: Ali, Kyra, Jackie, Claire, Susan, and Jason (l to r)

It was a tough year to be a Nationals fan, but the family still enjoyed getting to the ballpark for a few games.

Andrew and Keegan take in a Nats game over the July 4th weekend
Andrew’s version of a road trip: Sipping an iced Rooibos at Mercado San Miguel in Madrid while on a work gig (yes, seriously) singing through Portugal and Spain!

2022 was also a year of transitions. Of course, at the national level we had a midterm election, so I used the opportunity to encourage everyone to vote.

Vote in every election…even the primaries! DJB after voting in the July primary in Montgomery County, Maryland

On the professional front, after working for three years in two settings in the Bay Area, Claire passed her licensure test as a social worker. Here’s to one of California’s newest Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Claire Holsey Brown, LCSW!

California’s newest Licensed Clinical Social Worker: Claire Holsey Brown, LCSW

A consulting job took me to Dundee, Scotland, in early October. The city was a real surprise.

Outside the V&A Dundee Museum
A panel I moderated at INTO Dundee 2022. We had terrific presentations and insightful comments from (left to right in the picture above) DJB, Qin Zhang of the Ruan Yisan Heritage Foundation in China, Miquel Rafa of the Fundacio Catalunya La Pedrera in Spain, Ranald MacInnes of Historic Environment Scotland, and Evelyn Thompson of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.

A fall trip to Alameda to visit with Claire included a day trip to the National Trust Historic Site Filoli.

Outside the main house at Filoli
Candice and DJB in the gardens at Filoli

Andrew’s first major opera production came in October, when he was cast in the role of the Stage Manager in the Boston University Opera Institute production of Ned Rorem’s Our Town. He made the promotional pieces, and then received strong reviews for the production.

A promotional piece for the production of Our Town.
Andrew as the Stage Manager in the Boston University Opera Institute production of Ned Rorem’s opera Our Town (photo credit: Jacob Chang-Rascle)
Andrew in the Boston University Opera Institute production of Our Town (photo credit: Jacob Chang-Rascle)

Our second National Trust Tours trip of the year came in October, as I served as a study tour leader while we cruised the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia. It was a life-enriching experience in so many ways.

Returning from our Tuk-Tuk ride in Phnom Penh
Candice and DJB in the early morning light at the late 9th century Phnom Bakheng Temple in Greater Angkor.
Sunrise over Greater Angkor
Candice listening to a student practice her English at the English language school in Angkor Ban, Cambodia
Traveling around the moat at Angkor Thom via gondola (credit Sylvia Griffin)
Candice enjoying a Three Elephants drink at the Three Elephants Bar in the historic Greater Angkor Hotel
Dinner on our last evening in Cambodia with some of our traveling companions
With travelers on the Cruising the Mekong River trip in front of Angkor Wat
Settling in for our 15-hour flight from Singapore to Los Angeles. We found ourselves on a surprising number of planes in 2022

October turned into November, and the family remained busy.

Claire and Chai celebrate Halloween
We gather with the Hollywood Gang — Candice’s grade-school friends from Hollywood, FL and their spouses — for a dinner at an Annapolis crab shack.
Eating great seafood and enjoying even better company in Annapolis

We remain grateful for each of you and the friendships we share. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

More to come…


*For previous year’s posts, click here for: 2021, 202020192018201720162015201420132012201120102009, and 2008.


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


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