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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?