As anyone who knows me personally is aware, 2017 was a difficult year. Following on a difficult 2016. There were major emotional losses over these two years, including both of my parents, a beloved aunt and a beloved uncle, a dear, dear friend and a wonderful pet dog. They are all very deeply missed. We had tragedies of other sorts as well, with illnesses including cancer striking several people at the core of my family. Those stories are yet unfinished but are looking better.
|Travels, Life to-date|
I don't often get on about my personal life here on the blog, but that may change with the new year. As I often do this time of year - as many people do - I am re-evaluating what works and what does not. I'm vowing to have a lot more fun in the new year once we get past the unhappy task of burying my father in Arlington National Cemetery this upcoming week. Full military honors, and yes, I will be sharing that here.
In the new year I think the blog will evolve just a bit. I find myself wanting to do more than just post shots from a variety of places around the world which I've visited. I want to do more, be more varied. Movie reviews, experiences, books I've loved. General lifestyle things which don't necessarily relate to travel but are significant nonetheless.
I want to talk about travel experiences more, devoting more time to things which motivate me and others to see the world, to experience it directly instead of simply online. (Yes, I get the irony.)
So...stay tuned. More on that later.
As far as travel in 2017, it picked up only slightly over 2016. As usual we took one major trip, and a variety of smaller ones, though the number of smaller trip destinations was more restricted that usual (petty much Las Vegas, Laguna Beach and Lake Arrowhead, all relatively nearby). The larger adventure was a blitzkrieg event, driving 6200 miles in 19 days, visiting 25 - half! - of these United States.
Overwhelming and exhausting, to the point we modified plans in the last week, cutting out two favorite destinations. We found ourselves missing home and decided to drop Santa Fe and the Grand Canyon from our planned itinerary, deciding instead that a direct route home from San Antonio was called for.
This was brought about as we wandered through San Antonio's splendid Riverwalk and found we weren't being properly enthusiastic. We'd arrived after a long drive from New Orleans, encountering a major storm near Beaumont which sapped our energy considerably. (Driving in rain is stressful. Driving in a Texas-style downpour is moreso.) Thus we arrived at the Alamo's city considerably the worse for wear, and made the decision that we simply needed to head home.
(I will note that the purpose of the trip was to attend my father's funeral in Annapolis, which certainly contributed to the sudden lack of enthusiasm. We probably, in hindsight, succumbed to that life event's aftermath rather than simply becoming tired of the road. Events likely combined to sap our enthusiasm.)
Throughout the trip I posted updates, both photographic as well as video, on our Instagram and Twitter feeds. Hope you followed along. I am reposting a few of those things below, as part of the recap.
And yes, there were many martinis along the way.
So, as I write this on the cusp of a new year, I'm looking back on considerable sadness, but also with some happy memories which can bouy my thoughts. 2018 looks like a fun year, with several trips already on the docket. (Maui later next month, a gift to ourselves for the travails of the past year.)
Regardless, the adventure continues and we'll be posting thoughts, ideas, suggestions and a lot more content over the next twelve months. Kinda looking forward to the new year and the experiences it promises.
As I remarked above, stay tuned. And thank you for following along.
Happy New Year.
The photographic year in review:
|Laguna Beach dining|
|The Colorado River|
|Storm in Kansas|
|A stop in Hayes for lunch|
|A necessary stop|
|The Missouri River|
|View from the Gateway Arch|
|Whiskey distillery- Yum!|
|The excellent Hotel Covington|
|Leaving Annapolis, for the last time?|
|Shop in North Carolina|