Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Best of 2016!!!

Another year has flown by and it's time to review my destinations of 2016. Can you believe it? The first half of 2016 was light on travel - as I've mentioned before we moved my in-laws from Florida to North Carolina and Mr. UR was busy preparing for that. But once June hit, we were off and running. Let's see where 2016 took us-

A winter Outer Banks weekend
The Outer Banks are barrier islands off of the coast of North Carolina. Known for their lighthouses, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Wright Brothers Memorial and great beaches, the Outer Banks make a great holiday destination with lots of vacation rentals. We spent an off season weekend there last February staying at the Sanderling Resort, voted one of the top 10 resorts in North Carolina. The weather was cold but we managed to drive Cape Hatteras National Seashore and enjoy the hot tub at the resort. One of the best caveats to visiting there off-season - No Traffic!


St. Petersburg Beach, Florida
We spent a week with friends at their condo in St. Pete Beach, Florida. A relaxing, fun week full of happy hours, my first visit to the Salvador Dali Museum, plenty of pool time, a night brewery hopping and a Fathers Day sailboat ride on Boca Ciega Bay. Much fun was had by all.




Nashville, Tennessee
I've been visiting Nashville for over 20 years - way before it was uber cool - but I wanted to take Mr. UR there for the CMA Music Fest for the first time. Nashville ranks as my favorite city and I discover someplace new everytime I go there. This time, besides attending the Music Fest, I visited two neighborhoods that were new to me - the Gulch and Hillsboro Village - and visited the replica of The Parthenon. I also took a WalkEatNash food walking tour which was really a highlight of the week.




Southwestern Colorado
We flew to Denver for a great fare on Frontier's new service between Charlotte and Denver to visit my son and his girlfriend. We drove down to Southwestern Colorado staying in a cabin on a guest ranch and visited Telluride, Durango, and Ouray. We also rafted the Animas River and did a hike in Telluride - which was way over my experience level. But I made it . Barely.




Savannah and Hilton Head Island
My oldest daughter flew home from Boston for a visit and we made a road trip to Savannah and Hilton Head. We celebrated her younger sisters birthday in Savannah and had a beach day on Hilton Head. Fun. And it had been a hot minute since I had been to either.


New York City
We helped move our daughter to New York. We stayed in Lower Manhattan, an area I had never explored. And I explored a bit of Brooklyn also. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time, celebrated my 53rd birthday at an adorable little restaurant in the East Village and made not one, but two trips to Ikea. It was a whirlwind week and there will be more to come on this later - and there will be much more on New York in the blog as we'll be headed there quite a bit now.


Ohio
A family visit for me to Ohio. I visited with my dad's younger sister and brother who live in Columbus and was able to have dinner with two of my cousins. I also attended a high school reunion. So. much. fun. It had been way too long since I had been "home."




California Road Trip
I didn't make it to any new countries this year but it had been 15 years since I had been to Northern California. We did a 2 week road trip starting in Monterey, driving Big Sur, spent 2 days in Yosemite - my favorite national park - hit Lake Tahoe for my first time and ended in Wine Country.  Wine Country ranks up there with one of my favorite places ever. I told Mr. UR that I had found my calling - visiting wineries in beautiful weather in beautiful country - Sign Me Up!




Maryland
Our last trip of the year was a trip to visit friends outside of Baltimore. We had a group of 12 and we attended two football games. A fantastic weekend with friends - some we hadn't seen in years and years - and a few winery visits in the Maryland countryside thrown in, too. We stopped at a few wineries in Virginia and walked the pedestrian mall in the cool city of Charlottesville, Virginia on the way home.




Once again, I am grateful for all the places I was able to go and see and do. Considering that we really didn't start going anywhere until June, we packed alot into the last 6 months of the year.

Plans are in the works for 2017 already. The biggest news is our trip to Korea - a new country for both of us - to visit our daughter, who is living in Seoul. We have plans to spend about 5 days in Seoul and then travel south to Jeju Island for some beach time. Have you been to Korea? Any travel tips for me?

How about you? What was your favorite trip of 2016? What are your travel plans for 2017? Let me know in the comments!

This post is part of a link-up with: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, The Weekend Wanderlust Travel Blog Party and Weekend Travel Inspiration at Malaysian Meanders!

















11 comments:

  1. 2016 (the second half) sounds like a wonderful time for you. I was envious of your time in NYC. We stayed in East Village and went to a great little restaurant there too called Mogador in 2010. We walked across the Brooklyn bridge which at the time (Spring) had a brilliant blue sky as a backdrop. Your photo of the bridge looks very atmospheric. I enjoyed reading about all of your travels and have noted that Yosemite is your favourite park (for when we get over that way). Thanks for linking up with Travel Photo Thursday. PS Nancie will have lots of tips for Korea!

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    1. Thanks so much Jan!( The restaurant we went to in NYC was called Tre and had maybe 6 tables - great place for a birthday dinner!) I've bookmarked quite a few of Nancie's posts for our trip to Korea - I know they will be very helpful and I'm very excited. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season - and I hope you make it to Yosemite, it's extremely hard to get to but well worth it, I think!

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  2. Considering that the beginning of the year was slow for you, the remaining months certainly made up for it. I've always to visit the Outer Banks, Hilton Head, Savannah and Nashville. I look forward to hearing about Seoul and Jeju Island. How exciting!

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    1. We certainly made up for it in the second half, didn't we? If you get a chance to get to the Outer Banks, Hilton Head, Savannah or Nashville, give it a go - they are all well worth visiting. Thanks for stopping by, Michele!

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  3. Looks like you had quite the year and saw so many fantastic spots throughout the USA. The California Coast looks great I'd love to visit Big Sur and Yosemite. Colorado looks so different to what I imagined in summer, I always think of it in winter. Hope you had a great 2016 and have a great 2017. #WeekendWanderlust

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    1. Thanks so much! And the same to you! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. You did quite a bit in just half a year. Your California road trip sounds like my kind of drive.

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    1. We really did - and looking back really makes you focus on what you did and remember it all! And California was awesome! I will be focusing on it quite a bit on here soon!

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  5. i think you have to be a true beach lover to go the beach in winter. But i am and I would. I can totally understand the appeal of doing OBX or even Hilton Head, too, in winter. And the Sanderling is really wonderful (I bet their rates are gentler in winter, too!)

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    1. I agree about the beach in winter - and I am a true beach lover. I've come to love the Outer Banks in winter as we've gone there the last few winters and it has such a beautiful calm to it then (and I'm sure the locals agree!) I failed to mention that the Sanderling does have fantastic winter rates - we had a leap year special of $159 the first night and $29 the second.

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