I’m not quite sure where the last year has gone – yes, it’s a cliche, but seriously, how are we already nearly at the end of January 2018!? This year certainly hasn’t started like I thought it would, but in the spirit of my Adventures in 2016 post, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on our travels over the last 12 months. Looking back, 2017 was divided between keeping it local with trips close to home in California, and journeys ‘home home’ for a variety of occasions, with a smattering of international destinations thrown in for good measure.
To say sayonara to 2016 and kick off 2017, we headed to Big Sur on California’s Central Coast for a long weekend of walking, cooking and cozy nights by the fire. I feel so lucky we went when we did, as a month later huge landslides blocked access to this beautiful part of California, and it only became accessible again towards the end of the year. I took my Pentax K1000 along and if you fancy a ‘butchers, you can see more photos from the trip here.
At the beginning of February we headed east to New York and Boston. We went to the Big Apple to meet up with M’s brother and his wife as they were considering moving there from London. Having previously only visited in spring or summer, I didn’t love how cold it got (even snowing in Boston) but I had a great time visiting museums, queuing for cookie dough and exploring Boston’s historic sights.
I ticked off a big travel goal in March, with a holiday to Tulum, Mexico. I don’t know if it’s because we booked it fairly last minute, but both the holiday and destination itself blew me away. I left feeling so relaxed and I think it won’t be the last time we visit. Needless to say, I waxed lyrical about this trip, so you can read more about the beautiful beaches, tranquil cenotes and delicious food here.
In April we headed back to the UK for F & W’s wedding, and I got my fill of seaside walks, quality time with friends and family, and lots of fish and chips! Our next trip back was scheduled for Christmas, but little did we know that life would have other plans…
This month limped to a start after our 4th of July road trip to Mount Shasta was abandoned when the car broke down in (almost) the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, we were able to enjoy some beautiful scenery before that, like these impressive Redwood trees. Later in the month we also spent a long weekend in Guerneville, an hour or so north of San Francisco, with friends barbecuing up a storm, soaking in the hot tub and floating along the river, which as ace.
In August some friends stopped by SF to see us on their Great American Road Trip, and we joined them on a jolly to Yosemite National Park. Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of America’s National Parks and I was excited to visit Yosemite again. Sadly the area was blighted by wildfires throughout summer, and there was a concern that we’d have to evacuate our cabin at one point, but luckily we were able to enjoy most of the park, including a hazy sunrise at Glacier Point.
For Labor Day weekend we had a road trip re-do, finishing the trip that we’d planned for July. We hiked up a dormant volcano in Lassen Volcanic National Park and stayed in an old railroad caboose near Mount Shasta, which I was so excited about! Later in the month M’s sister and boyfriend came to stay, so we took them to Guerneville for the weekend. Cue more hot tub time, river shenanigans and barbecuing.
October featured two firsts for me – my first American bachelorette party and therefore my first visit to Santa Barbara, in Southern California. I was a bit nervous about going as one of the bride’s newer friends, but I needn’t have worried as it was a great weekend, with paddle boarding, swimming, beach yoga, wine tasting and dancing.
Life threw us a curveball in November and so it was that we found ourselves back in the UK – M for one week and me for just over two. We made the most of it though, playing tourist in London, visiting lots of museums and even seeing the Queen. After M flew back to SF, I stayed to catch up with family and squeezed in a quick trip to Bristol, which was lovely.
December was a tale of two travel halves, as it began in Palm Springs for a friend’s wedding and ended in the UK, via Reykjavik, Iceland. I’ve spoken about my love of Palm Springs before and it was just as beautiful as I remembered. As for Reykjavik, it was a surreal experience to go from sunny California to a country with only four hours of daylight each day, but we enjoyed soaking in the Blue Lagoon and learning more about the geology of Iceland by way of a day trip around the Golden Circle. The Northern Lights evaded us on this occasion, so fingers crossed we’ll get another opportunity to go back.
As always, I’m already thinking about where this year will take me – how about you?