Reflections on 2011

A Year of Travel

Could we possibly cram more living into the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve? While the Holiday season officially kicks off with Thanksgiving, it does seem that Halloween has become more of a pre-workout warm-up these days. This afternoon, I find myself looking back on the year that was. It’s been an amazing run to say the least.

This was a year of travel for me and I chalked up quite a few frequent flyer miles visiting several cities for the very first time. I blogged about some of these cities notably Tokyo, Japan and Glacier National Park in Montana - which were among some of the ‘firsts’ for me.

Other first time visits included Portland, Oregon where foodies will be in heaven and desert climate dwellers like myself find themselves mesmerized by the green of the landscape. Another first for me was our visit to Miami, Florida where we had an incredible meal at Quentin’s in South Beach.

When my husband Chris schedules early departure flights we often spend the night before in a hotel near the airport. On one such trip out of San Diego we were given the Presidential Suite at the Grant Hotel ... what a gorgeous, gorgeous experience.

I finally made it to Boston, Massachusetts and walked a bit of the Freedom Trail. On that same trip I visited Newport, Rhode Island; also for the first time and went on a driving tour of turn-of-the-century coastal mansions. We were there just before Thanksgiving and I was treated to a beautiful New England Autumn and even saw a wild turkey in the brush alongside a country road.

It seems that all of my senses were treated to new and wonderful experiences while traveling; including several amazing meals. As a result of my travel this year, I’m teaching myself Japanese Cooking through a textbook-style cookbook because we fell in love with the food in Tokyo. By the way, I also skied in Vail, Colorado for the first time this past year - it pushed me beyond my comfort level and I’m a better skier for it.

It goes without saying that it was the people we arranged to meet and those we met en route that give true value to these memories I’m reliving. We spent weekends with family, old friends and enjoyed the company of new acquaintances as we experienced new venues. We also were able to host dear friends at our own home in Southern California who stopped by the house on travels of their own.

My 2012 wish for you is to discover new places, new people and new food while appreciating the family & friends who become more dear with each passing year - and may you be pushed outside your comfort zone and be better for it.