Since this is a travel blog, I thought it appropriate that I wrap up the year with a few images from my travels during the year.
May through September
The unexpected passing of my father led to months of weekend trips to my childhood home in Sauk Centre to join my brothers in going through my father’s belongings, preparing the house for sale, preparing for the auction, and helping my mother resettle into a new life.
My husband and I took a break from my family’s affairs, renting a car in Helena MT and driving through the astounding scenery of Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rocky Mountain parks (Waterton, Banff, Jasper, and Yoho).
Our sailing friends treated us to a few heavenly days on the water in the Apostle Islands as August came to a close.
As fall arrived in Minnesota, we started making detours on our way to Sauk Centre to better enjoy the early color in central Minnesota. Along the way we visited Glacial Lakes, Monson Lake, and Sibley state parks. We also managed a quick trip up to Banning State Park.
This fall was simply glorious in Minnesota, so we made an effort to get out of Saint Paul to visit a few Minnesota state parks, including Kathio, Charles Lindbergh, and Frontenac state parks, along with the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.
A family wedding brought us to the Grand Rapids area, which allowed a bit of late-in-the season leaf peeping along the way and at Father Hennepin State Park.
The opportunity to visit dear friends brought us to Massachusetts, where we spent time in Boston, Cape Cod, New Bedford, and Plymouth . . . with a bonus day in New Hampshire.
November found us headed back to Arizona, this time driving through the heart of the Great Plains, across New Mexico along Route 66, and down through the mountains to Phoenix. It was a short trip, but long enough to get my mother settled in for the winter and to say hi to a few friends.
A week after returning from Arizona, we were off for three-weeks in the Mexican Yucatán where we rented a car in order to tour on our own before settling in along the beach with my Finnish cousins.
And so the year ends. It was not at all the year I was expecting or hoping for, but it was a year with good things tucked amid the painful, new beginnings amid the endings, and opportunities to explore both near and far. Not well represented here are the discoveries we made right in our own back yard. Nor does this properly acknowledge the many friends, family, and co-workers who were always there for me during this challenging year. I am so blessed.
Finally, I want to give a huge thank-you to all of you who have followed my travels this year through this blog. Your time and attention – not to mention your comments, likes, tweets, and shares – are appreciated. I hope you continue to find inspiration and information here in the year to come.
Best wishes to all of you as this new year begins.