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2015-a year in review

In many ways, 2015 was somewhat of a big year. To start if off, I turned 30, which in many ways still doesn’t feel real because let’s face it, I can’t believe I’m the age of some of my favorite television sitcom stars when I was a kid. I also went on a couple of amazing trips which I’ll be detailing below.

Since I work full-time, I’ve always made it my mission to have trips and events to look forward to all year, as opposed to using all of my vacation at once for one epic trip and then being in semi-misery the rest of the year.

As for how I did on this front-three out of four stars. While the majority of the year was awesome in terms of my varied travels, the end of the year somewhat fizzled. I guess not “everyone” shares my ardent desire to travel somewhere each month.

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2015 in numbers:

Number of planes taken: 18

Number of cruises taken: 2

Number of new countries visited: 2

Number of new states visited: 2

Number of food tours that I went on: 3 (I was thrilled with this)

Number of hotels I stayed in: 10

Number of books read: 22. While I know some people read many more than my number, I’m pleased with it since one, I work full-time AND have this blog, and two, I read a lot of historical non-fiction (as in heavy, 500 page tomes), so naturally I don’t race through them as much as a person races through a Jackie Collins murder mystery.

January:

It’s cold, dark, and dreary here during this bleak and depressingly long month. But thankfully there is Pittsburgh’s annual Winter Restaurant Week to look forward to and I made it two restaurants, one old, and one new.

2015-a year in review

February:

Well, while I traveled this month, it wasn’t exactly to a tropical locale. We journeyed over the state line to nearby Columbus, Ohio and enjoyed a pleasant weekend even though the frigid temperatures and Midwestern squalls did their best to not make it so. I went on a great food tour of a local neighborhood there and was thoroughly impressed with the beautiful Ohio Statehouse.

2015-a year in review

Isn’t the cupola just beautiful?

March:

I finally fulfilled a dream of mine by visiting a national park out West. I traveled to Utah (a new state) and loved every minute of my time there. Arches National Park was utterly stunning and incredible at every moment. For someone who comes from the flat and uninspiring East (in comparison that is), the landscapes of Utah were just breathtaking. I also had one of the best meals of my life in the small town of Moab.

2015-a year in review

April:

April brought somewhat warmer temperatures but also some in-state travel. I journeyed to my hometown of Philadelphia for the Easter holiday where I proceeded to celebrate with my family. I also packed in some terrific foodie adventures including afternoon tea with my mom at a delightful spot as well as dining at one of Jose Garces’ restaurants. I also relived my childhood by visiting a popular historical tourist haunt I enjoyed back in the day.

2015-a year in review

May:

May was tough since it was what “stood in the way” before my big, epic “I turn 30 in Europe trip” the next month. Thankfully, I did pack in a quick but fun overnight getaway to an upscale bed and breakfast that is Gone with the Wind themed! It’s someplace I had always wanted to stay at and am glad I finally had the opportunity.

2015-a year in review

June:

What can I say except that this was probably by far my favorite month (well, the first part was; the second part was so tough being back home). I visited two new countries (Denmark and Norway); I took my first ever cruise in Europe (and my first ever seven night one too, I just loved the experience); I turned 30; and I became absolutely, positively smitten with the Scandinavian region. Copenhagen simply took my breath away with its everything beauty (seriously, how had I not visited before then??) and everything I saw in Norway convinced me that it might just be the prettiest country in the world. I definitely look forward to returning one day to both countries in the future and exploring more.

2015-a year in review 2015-a year in review

July:

Well, as I was suffering from major trip withdrawal after returning from our cruise, I just “had” to book another trip. So that’s how a quick weekend jaunt down to Savannah, Georgia happened (unfortunately it was quite quick due to a terrible delay at Atlanta’s airport). The weather was beastly while there (exceptionally high humidity and then those famous Southern storms), but we had terrific meals at just about every place we dined and I just loved the beautiful architecture. Every street seemed like a backdrop to a film.

2015-a year in review

August:

Another slow month but after the whirlwind nature of June and July I wasn’t complaining. We did go on a little getaway to nearby Cleveland where I finally got to dine at a Michael Symon restaurant (one word-AMAZING). And then my mom and aunt came to visit and besides food tours, I partook in my other new favorite activity-afternoon tea.

2015-a year in review

September:

If Copenhagen was my favorite international city I visited this year, Boston would be my domestic favorite. I loved everything about it-its East Coast feel, its proximity to the ocean (I could smell the ocean air when we walked across the river to nearby Charlestown), its history, its buildings. Simply beautiful. If only rents there were not so ridiculously steep!

2015-a year in review

October:

I think this is the first year where I really appreciated and marveled at the beauty that is fall. I found scores of beautiful photo opportunities when I went home to Philadelphia for a short visit. I also had some Peruvian favorites that I hadn’t eaten since I was actually in Peru.

2015-a year in review 2015-a year in review

November:

November marked my final big travel of the year. I went on my second cruise, a mini one to the Bahamas with D and my parents. It was great seeing the ship decked out in full holiday decor and I really enjoyed the time I spent in Nassau. Since food tours are the best way to see a city, the one we went on in the Bahamian capital was nothing short of spectacular.

2015-a year in review

December:

I still have yet to make it to Europe (or Quebec City) for the famous Christmas markets but hopefully one year I will do some Christmas themed travel in December. I’ve already started researching and (mentally) planning trips I hope to take next year, so hopefully some of them will be actualized soon.

2015-a year in review

One of the Christmas ornaments we picked up this year on our travels.

How was your 2015? What was the best thing you saw or did? Are you like me and do you already know where you hope to travel next year?

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Bridget @ A Traveling B
    January 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    What a great 2015 you had! I’m with you with the historical non-fiction books ( I was up late last night finishing Dead Wake by Erik Larson – add it to your list if you haven’t read it yet!).

    I’m incredibly envious of your Scandanavian travels! Copenhagen is at the top of Europe wish list right now (and Utah is at the top of my North America list!). I’m intrigued by the Gone with the Wind B&B too. I might need to book myself a return trip to Savannah this year πŸ™‚ We did Charleston again for a week in November and it was amazing – love those Southern cities!

    Happy travels in 2016! Can’t wait to see where your trips take you!
    Bridget @ A Traveling B recently posted…Blissful MauritiusMy Profile

    • Reply
      Julie
      January 5, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks Bridget! I definitely need to add that to my list as you are the second person I know who has enjoyed it! I’m immensely interested in WWI history but don’t know too much about the sinking so I’m sure I’d like it.

      Although I always (mentally) struggled between the idea of returning to past destination loves versus new spots, Copenhagen and Utah both reaffirmed my stance on why I love making it to new locales πŸ™‚ A week in Charleston, jealous! That is probably in my domestic top five wishlist, if only there was a direct flight there from Pittsburgh!

      Thank you and the very same to you!

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