I’ve talked about this before. The end of 2015 saw great changes in our family life and lifestyle. 2016 w as a year of transition and 2017 was a year of adjustment. But the end of 2017 saw yet another change in our family situation, and allowed us some wiggle room to breath and more importantly, travel once again. With the changes and budget secured, we set off traveling a new, with vigor, fulfilling some long ago promises, and indulging for the first time in some solo travel.
After years of promising, we finally took our kids to DisneyLand. We decided to go all out and headed out on the Great Southern California Adventure, where we went to San Diego, Disneyland, Legoland, and finally LA. We all had a blast, and the kids keep asking when we can go back.
I’m hitting close to a milestone birthday, but my friends celebrated it before I will. In March, my good friend hit 40 and we spent a weekend in Bodega Bay hiking, eating and drinking with lots of great friends, celebrating the milestone and friendships that have been forged.
For the first time in years, I got to spend Easter with my family. We went to New Jersey during the kids Spring Break, and celebrated my nieces first Easter with her and the rest of the family. We ate, hunted Easter eggs, made a quick trip to New York, and used my daughters broken arm to score early boarding on the flight.
Between end of the year parties, dance recitals and birthday, my best friend and I squeezed in a quick overnight to Mt. Diablo for a girls/kids camping trip. Two adults, four kids, one tent, one bottle of wine. It was a great night and a fun adventure with my best friend
July was a two-fer. Over July 4th week, we went to Wyoming and Salt Lake City to see my god-son baptized. Afterwards, we enjoyed the beautiful mountains and the quaint town of Jackson. Then we did some family time in Salt Lake City, and ended up discovering all the fun (indoor) things you can do in Salt Lake in the summer
Then at the end of the month, my sister, her husband and niece came out for a visit! I got to play host and take them around some of my favorite haunts. It was fun to introduce San Francisco to someone new, something I haven’t gotten a chance to do in a while
Wanting to take advantage of Labor Day, we went to Monterey for the weekend. 14 years in the Bay Area and this was the first time I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We saw sea life, went to the famous Dennis the Menace Park, and even had an amazing time whale watching. This turned out to be a really fun spur of the moment trip.
This was the big trip. When my mom visited in April, she mentioned she was going to Barcelona in October with her husband for a business trip. When expressing my jealously, my husband suggested I join her — without the kids. Yes, I went on a week trip to Barcelona with my mom, and showed her all my old haunts. It was my first solo pleasure travel in a long time, and it was a wonderful way to reconnect with my mom and myself. It was an eye-opening experience and something I look forward to hopefully doing again in the future.
The year isn’t over yet and I have one last adventure! My best friend is hitting that big 40th milestone and wants to celebrate with a girls trip — to Malta!!!. So the last weekend of the year I jumped on a plane with her, stopped over in London for some tea, and hit up the beautiful island! We are ruining in 2019 here and I’m excited to start the year on a traveling foot
What will 2019 bring?
I don’t know for sure, but I expect it to be more adventure and more change. I hit that big milestone in July and while it’s not pinned down yet where I’m spending it, it won’t be home. My mom, sister and niece will be coming out in the Spring and we are sure to do some exploring. And I’m hoping to spend some time in New York in December, I have been craving that for two years. I set a goal of doing one solo weekend trip. I’ve traveled without my husband and kids, but I’ve never truly traveled by myself. I’m social and like company too much. This is the year of self-reflection, and I’m hoping to get away one weekend by myself, to stretch my limits and learn how to be happy with just me. And as always, I hope to spend more time on this blog. To do more writing and reflecting. To write more useful tips articles for all those who need them. And to keep on exploring, by myself, with my kids, and with my husband. Because I truly believe that traveling expands your horizons and lets you learn in new and interesting ways. And we can all learn to open our hearts and let more love in in 2019.
Hope your 2018 was grand and your 2019 is even better. Happy New Year! Keep on exploring!
*Some photos taken by Atma Photography