Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: My Year of Traveling in Review

As I reflect on 2016, two thoughts come to mind when I think about my travels: a) "WOW! I got to do all that this year?!" b) "Is that really all I did? Man, I need to travel more".

It is weird to think these conflicting thoughts at the same time but I really do find myself going back and forth often. I am extremely thankful for all of the traveling I was able to do this past year but I am hungry for more. There are so many places I want to experience, that it can be easy to push aside all that I was able to do. So, as I reflect on 2016 I choose to be thankful rather than longing for more.

This year I was able to travel with my husband, both our families, and friends. We took quick weekend trips, drove, flew, and took every opportunity that was available to us to go out and experience new places. This was our year:

Lawrence, KS
Laura took a weekend trip with friends to Lawrence.
Duration: Weekend
Activities: breakout room, good food, dancing, patio sitting, and being with friends

Laura and friends in Lawrence, KS

Austin, TX
Grant and Laura went to visit a friend in Austin, TX.
Duration: 3 Day Weekend
Activities: Hamilton Pool Preserve, great food: tacos, Graffiti Park at Castle Hill, Sixth Street, and live music
Grant and Laura at Hamilton Pool Preserve, TX

Grant and Laura went to 3 Oklahoma State Parks.
Duration: Weekend
Places: Gloss Mountain State Park - Roman Nose State Park - Red Rock State Park 
Activities: Hiking
Natural Springs at Roman Nose State Park, OK

Kansas City, MO
Laura went to Kansas City with friends
Duration: Weekend
Activities: Crawl for Cancer and time well spent with friends

Crawl for Cancer

Grant and Laura met a friend to go camping in Oklahoma.
Duration: 3 Day Weekend
Places: Alabaster Caverns -  Foss State Park - Great Plains State Park and Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Activities: camping, hiking, and visiting a great friend

Micah and Grant at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, OK

Boston Trip
Grant and Laura went with Grants family to the East Coast.
Duration: A Week (flew)
Places: Halibut Point State Park  - Cape Ann - Plum Island - Portland, Maine - Boston, Massachusetts - Salem, Massachusetts
Activities: hiking, great sea food, watch a sunrise, run on the beach, shopping, duck tour, aquarium, Boston Red Sox game, whale watching, witch house tour, and so much more with Grant's family

Laura and Grant whale watching

Nashville, TN
Laura went with friends to Nashville, TN.
Duration: Wednesday-Sunday
Activities: Country Music Hall of Fame, Tour the Ryman, watch live music, Bluebird Cafe, lunch at the Gulch, shopping, visit Franklin, Grand Ole Opry, and Pedal Bike Bar downtown

Laura and friends at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN

Cowley County Fishing Lake
Laura and a friend went to the lake to see the waterfall
Duration: Day Trip
Activity: hiking, waterfall viewing, and friend time

Waterfall at Cowley County Fishing Lake

West Coast Road Trip
Grant and Laura went with Laura's family to the west coast.
Duration: Two Weeks (Laura) One Week (Grant had to fly back early)
Places: Denver, CO - Colorado National Monument - Arches National Park, UT - Great Basin National Park, NV - Yosemite National Park, CA - Fresno, CA - Sequoia National Park, CA - Kings Canyon National Park, CA - San Francisco, CA - wine country - Humboldt Redwoods State Park, CA - Eureka, CA - Redwood National Park, CA - Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, CA - Crater Lake National Park, OR - Twin Falls, ID - Great Salt Lake, UT - Rock Springs, WY - North Platte, NE
Activities: An amazing road trip filled with outdoor activities and far to much to list out, the places was hard enough
Grant and Laura with family at Arches National Park, UT

Fort Worth, TX
Grant and Laura went to visit Grants dad in Fort Worth.
Duration: Weekend
Activities: Vivian Meyer Exhibit, Texas Rangers vs. KC Royals game, and time well spent with family
Grant and Laura at the Rangers vs Royals game

Lansing, MI
Grant and Laura went to Lansing, MI for a wedding.
Duration: 3 Day Weekend
Activities: wedding fun and time with family

Grant and Laura at a wedding in Lansing, MI

Denver, CO
Grant and Laura went to Denver for a Mandolin Orange concert.
Duration: Weekend
Activities: hiking part of the Colorado Trail, mimosas, pretzel necklaces, good beer, and Mandolin Orange Concert
Hiking in Colorado

Manhattan, KS
Laura went to Manhattan to go brides maid dress shopping
Duration: Weekend
Activities: juice box mimosas, dress shopping, K-State football game, chips and salsa, great breakfast, and even better company

K-State football game

Fort Collins, CO
Grant and Laura went to Fort Collins to celebrate New Years with friends.
Duration: Friday- Monday
Activities: TBA

For 2017, my wish is to see and experience many new places. I want to stay present in all that I do and not take any days for granted. My hope is to look forward to traveling but not pass up days that I get to spend at home with my family and friends. There are many trips already in the early planning stages.  I look forward to all of the new places I encounter in 2017.

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