Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 year of travel

Every year, I enjoy looking back on where I have traveled, eaten and created memories.  This year, I relied on my Airbnb receipts to figure out where I had traveled.  Ironically, after writing down the places, it looked a little light.  I had to remember that there were places I visited where I stayed with friends and family and so no Airbnb was necessary.
Here is the breakdown--
Santa Fe (six times)
Nashville  (first time)
Rincon, Puerto Rico (first time but will definitely return to visit friends)
Minneapolis (first time in years)
Palm Springs (second time in two years)
Walla Walla, Washington (second time in 8 years)
Kansas (family)
Washington D.C. (3rd time in my life)
Not bad, I think.  In retrospect, maybe I could have shifted a trip to Santa Fe and headed to Pagosa Springs or Aspen.  Both of these towns elude me.  I will have to change this in 2019. And, let's be honest, I love Santa Fe.  I love visiting friends, soaking at Ojo Caliente and of course, the food factor.  I think I may be able to arrange a quick trip down in January.  And, in February, I have bought tickets to go to Dallas.  That is the destination for this year's trip with Shari.  I have my eye on a body scrub at a Korean spa and will start investigating the restaurant scene.
Back to my year of travel, 2018.  Yes, multiple trips to Santa Fe.  I toured wine country in Washington State with my friend, Jean.  We found the best food truck across the border in Oregon--Bomb Tacos.  Wine was delicious and the food factor was pretty great, too.
D.C. encouraged a mini reunion of sorts.  I met up with my friend, Jennifer, from middle school.  Over the years, Jenn and I have met in Las Vegas, Denver, ABQ and now D.C.  She took six months off to hike the AT and I met her in D.C. for a city break.  There was never a mention of me hiking with her and for a minute, I was semi-offended.  I am healthy.  Why wouldn't she want me to experience some of the beauty of the AT?  The more I thought about it, though, I knew we had made the right decision.  I am a great guide in most cities. I enjoy finding restaurants and bars.  And D.C. does not disappoint.  We dined at Bad Saint and Tail Up Goat in addition to a few other spots.  Both are amazing and I am so thankful to have found them.  We met up with classmates--Mitch and John for dinner and drinks.  That was great to reconnect and chat about life.  Also, I introduced Jennifer to my friends, Megan and Marc.  They were my neighbors from my rental on Logan Street in Denver.  Megan has always enjoyed cooking and we had a chill night with them and their kids.
Minneapolis and Kansas were inspired by family trips.  My mom turned 65 in August and my aunt and I surprised her with a quick visit to Kansas.  Also, I treated my mom to her first ever pedicure and she loved it.  I couldn't believe it!  65 years and no pedicure.
I adored Minneapolis.  The yoga scene was off the hook and I enjoyed day drinking and finding new restaurants to dine at.  My aunt was a gracious hostess and I enjoyed spending time with her.  We did some thrift store shopping in EDINA and spent the majority of time in Uptown.
Nashville was fantastic.  We chose that location for our anniversary trip and Sara Jo joined us.  Four days to eat Hot Chicken, explore music and the city.  I had a great time and would love to return at a later date to see more of the city.  We packed in as much as we could and there was still so much more to do.  Palm Springs was a little laid back.  Spent time with Sara Jo and my friend, Marc.  Hiked at Joshua Tree and checked out the high desert.
I conclude my year of reflection with Puerto Rico.  My friends, Tiffany and Dan, had planned a relocation there for a few years.  They had everything planned and then the hurricane happened.  Still, they were determined to move there and so they waited for a bit.  They didn't want to go there and take away from people that already were experiencing difficulty with resources.  I commended them on their foresight and compassion.  They invited me to their wedding in March and it was lovely.  Spending time and seeing how resilient Puerto Ricans are.  And, I do love the ocean.
Quick recap of my year.  I am thankful for all of the time spent traveling, drinking wine and seeing friends--creating memories.  I look forward to this upcoming year and think of where I will go.  What does 2019 hold for me?
We shall see.  Til then, cheers and enjoy your Saturday!

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