2020 will be known as the year that I didn’t travel. At least not much. Although I had a couple of trips in January and February, before the Coronavirus kicked us all to the curb, I checked nothing off my bucket list. I had several trips planned to check off a few of the items, including a trip to Egypt and a Nile cruise, and two European cruises, so now I’m just hoping travel will be safe again in the second half of 2021.
Instead, I worked on business stuff, including cleaning up some themes on my smaller sites, worked on my Pinterest strategy and tactics, launched a new site (although the pandemic meant it’s a very, very slow launch) – My Listly, binged a lot of television and movies, read a lot of books, hosted some virtual wine tastings featuring delicious selections from around the world, and spent a lot of time on Zoom.
My biggest challenge has been writing a book, Secret Seattle, to be published by Reedy Press next year. The pandemic and restrictions in Seattle often meant that it was one step forward, two steps backward, as things changed faster than I could keep up with it. Add in an acute case of tendonitis and the death of my mother, and my deadline has been pushed into next year. I’m still massaging details and schedule, so stay tuned for a new estimated publication date.
So I did travel in January and February, so let’s highlight those trips.
In January, I headed off to Boulder, Colorado, to check out a new communal hotel concept. I was traveling with a couple of other travel writers, so it made for a good combination of fun research (ski slopes, food, and shopping) and community, a perfect combination for the hotel – Element Boulder – and their concept of communal living and dining area, with individual private rooms surrounding it. You can read more about the hotel and what to see and do in Boulder here.
Later in the month, Tony and I headed to New York City for the annual IMM event (conference, media marketplace, and various events). We stayed at the Park Terrace Hotel across the street from Bryant Park (read my review of the hotel here) and when not committed to events, had a great time at the theater, meeting up with friends, and doing some sightseeing. We enjoy visiting the city because there is always something more to see and do and we’ll never see it all.
In late February, Tony and I went to Palm Springs to meet up with friends and to enjoy some quiet time in the sun. It was just what we needed! We made a return visit to the Living Desert, always a favorite, and were able to check out a few new spots. I enjoyed our time visiting the Salton Sea and had never heard of it before we went there.
In early March, I headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for a conference on travel in the southern U.S. I spent time doing some sightseeing in Lake Charles as well. It was just a taste of what the state has to offer beyond New Orleans and I was looking forward to getting back to explore in more depth, but alas, that’s also pushed into the future now.
As I was returning from Louisiana, Tony was heading to Las Vegas for the NCAA basketball tournament. He saw one game before everything shut down – the games, the theaters, all the entertainment venues. He spent time by the pool, but was ready to get on the plane and return home.
And then we stayed home. Washington State imposed fairly restrictive guidelines, not surprising since the first Corona deaths happened here. We took them seriously, wore masks, stayed away from group activities, and hibernated at home and in our yard.
Late in the summer, as things seemingly started to seem manageable, we ventured out around the state. We enjoyed a day at Northwest Trek, doing their Drive/Walk options that let us enjoy nature and the animals while still practicing social distancing. Read more about Northwest Trek here.
A few weeks later, we kept with the Washington State theme and spent a few days in Port Townsend. We stayed at the Tides Inn & Suites with a great room overlooking the water. August in a great time in the Pacific Northwest, and we hiked, walked on the beach, and just kicked back and enjoyed nature.
Our last getaway was last month, before we headed into restrictions again. We spent a night at the Salish Lodge & Resort. This beautiful property is on a cliff and overlooks Snoqualmie Falls. We hiked down to the base of the falls, enjoyed an evening around the firepit on our patio, and just relaxed. We’ll definitely go back when restrictions are lifted and we can enjoy their infamous breakfast menu.
And that’s it for 2020.
We don’t have any travel on the books for 2021. Yet. I’ve been tempted to take advantage of some of the great bargains that I’ve seen, but I honestly don’t see traveling much beyond Washington State until the third quarter of 2021. Please, please, please, let me be wrong.
To close off the year, here our our top 10 most read posts in 2020.
Top Posts of 2020
I’m not rushing around trying to see things before I die (kick the bucket) – I’m making lists (I LOVE lists) to serve as a roadmap to living the very best life that I can with the years I have left. Lists help keep me on track, plan efficiently, and make sure my life priorities – travel is one of them – are kept front and center.
Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands (but owned by Spain), located about 63 miles off the coast of Africa. Flights to Fuerteventura Spain go into the airport at El Mattoral, from dozens of cities across Europe, making it an easy and affordable destination for a beach vacation.
Located in Richland County, Ohio, Mansfield may not be your first choice for a weekend getaway, but there is certainly enough here to keep you occupied. In fact, you may find that there are so many things to do in Mansfield that you’ll need to make a return trip.
On a weekday Pioneer Square is full of people in suits, the King County Courthouse and numerous office buildings are close by, but on weekends you’ll find a mix of workers, shoppers, tourists, and a few men and women who call the park benches home. Walk around and discover Seattle history, wander through the shops and galleries, or grab a table at a restaurant or café. TMobile Park and CenturyLink Field are a short walk away.
This list represents films set in Italy, not necessarily filmed in Italy – we all know that set designers can make a studio backlot look like the meandering streets of Venice or a Tuscany hill town. While most of these movies are in English, no Italy movie list can ignore the many fine sub-titled Italian movies, so I’ve included some of those. I’ve tried to include the memorable, historical, and romantic movies set in Italy, while acknowledging there are a few that are, perhaps, better forgotten. And if you’re planning a first trip to Italy, this is a great list of movies to watch before you go.
There’s no reason to be bored, there are plenty of proactive, interesting things that we can do until we’re back safely traveling. I’ve assembled a list of 51 things, along with lots of links and resources, that you can do while waiting out the coronavirus. It’s divided broadly into categories so you can use the Table of Contents to jump to what interests you.
Located in the far western part of Texas, at the intersection of Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua, Mexico, El Paso is rich in history and culture. You might not initially think of visiting El Paso, but as more and more travelers are prioritizing domestic travel over international, this is a city worthy of consideration. Whether you’re lining up a Texas road trip, going in search of Tex-Mex cuisine, or just finally getting to cities that you’ve overlooked, there are plenty of things to do in El Paso.
I love it when I find a destination that’s perfect for both a summer and winter getaway. Mammoth Lakes, California, manages to tick all the boxes. It is a location with plenty of activities all year round and has an excellent infrastructure to make your stay a pleasant and convenient one. While many people think of Mammoth Lakes primarily as a ski resort – and it is a popular one – there is so much more here to enjoy regardless of the season.
When planning a weekend getaway in Washington State, check out this useful guide to Walla Walla. We cover where to stay, where to eat, as well as things to do in Walla Walla. You may come to Walla Walla for the wine, but you’ll find so much more.
Burgundy (Bourgogne in French) is located about three and a half hours southeast of Paris and is probably best known for its pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. This was a wine region we wanted to learn more about and the reason we selected the Classic Northern Burgundy itinerary. We were also familiar with the food from this region of France (delicious cheeses, beef bourguignon, coq au vin) and some of the history. This was a perfect itinerary for first-time barge cruisers who are food, wine, and history lovers!
We’re excited to review our hotel barge, the itinerary, as well as share our tips with you. Discover Classic Northern Burgundy barge cruising on La Belle Epoque with us. And European Waterways
Save this post and refer to our Top 10 ideas to plan your next vacation!