“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return”. – Leonardo da Vinci
I love this quote. Living in Southwest Minneapolis, our home is right under the flight path to the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport and over the years I’ve come to know when the “big boys” or 747s are coming in to land from their 12-hour flight from Japan. At times, the planes can be loud and annoying, especially during a summer evening when we want to dine outside. Yet being close to the airport comes in handy when you are a diehard wanderlust. Simply looking up in the sky and watching the planes come and go makes me feel excited about the next adventure.
Today is my birthday and I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful loving family, good health, caring friends and another year of amazing adventures. As the last month of the year comes to a close I reflect back on all the fantastic travels both near and far. I’ve been to some new places and some that I haven’t been to in decades. All in all it has been a terrific year of adventure.
Here are a few select memories from some of my favorite destinations of 2016.
Arizona and San Diego
We ended last year with a trip to Arizona for Christmas and San Diego for the New Year. I will always feel like Tucson is my second home and I’ve grown extremely fond of all the wonderful things San Diego has to offer. Being outside in late December and early January without my heavy winter coat is always a pleasure.
For the second year in a row, my daughter Sophia and I met my Dad for a weekend of skiing at Snowbird, Utah. They had just gotten a huge dump of snow and I took nine-year-old Sophia on the back side of the mountain which wasn’t groomed. She wasn’t pleased but made it down the bowl. I was so proud of her! I love our three-generational ski trips!
In February, I was invited to review an all women’s learn to surf program in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. I’d never been to Nicaragua before and loved it. I really enjoyed exploring nearby Granada, and I also got to finally meet fellow blogger Debbie and her husband Ron. It was a fun winter getaway!
For spring break, the kids and I went back to Arizona to visit my parents in Tucson. It was lovely weather and we enjoyed lots of hiking. The bonus: All the cactus were in bloom! Not so great: My son Max was in a cast since he broke his arm snowboarding so no swimming.
I had never been to Tennessee and I can’t say this visit was truly a trip. However it was an adventure as I flew down to rural Tennessee to pick up our new puppy, Winter! Flying with an eight-week old puppy through Atlanta, the busiest airport in the world, was quite the adventure. Needless to say, I’m glad I have this off my list.
After three weeks of restless sleep (who knew getting a new puppy would be like having a baby again?) I headed to London and Prague with my mom and sister. I hadn’t been to either destination since 1993 when I lived in France. I enjoyed my time in both cities but especially feel in love with the beauty and romance of Prague. What a picturesque place!
Ely and Lutsen, Minnesota
In June, we took our first road trip with our pup. It wasn’t fun as we soon discovered Winter gets carsick. Looking back the memories are hilarious but at the time it wasn’t much fun having the dog vomit all over the car. We have been going to Lutsen on the North Shore of Lake Superior for years, however, Ely was a new destination for us. We stayed at a cabin on Lake Mitchell and it was a wonderful couple of days.
My dad and I did a week trip to Romania. Neither of us had ever been there before and it was a surprisingly delightful find. The people are warm and friendly, the culture and nature are superb and the cost of traveling there was very economical. It was a wonderful trip despite being pretty short.
The Apostle Islands
My husband and I got a rare weekend away to Hayward, Wisconsin, the launching off point to the Apostle Islands. We stayed at a lovely B&B, enjoyed hiking, sailing, kayaking and dining out. It was a magical time and I am hoping to go back!
Back to Ely
We enjoyed our time in Ely so much that we made a trip back in the fall for a long weekend. The colors were spectacular and of course Winter loved it even more. He is definitely a water dog!
In October, the kids had a school break and we headed to Orlando and Key West. The kids finally got to see Harry Potter at Universal Studios and we got to enjoy some sunshine and craziness in Key West.
Looking back, it has been a busy year but full of magic and delight. The kids are finally at a good age to travel and we have embraced our time together exploring both near and far. We’re looking forward to our first big family trip this April to Costa Rica. Until then I’m sure I’ll be getting itchy feet. But don’t worry…I have a special trip coming up soon in January. A true wanderlust can never stay still for long.