This year flew by! I cannot believe I am sitting down trying to jot down thoughts about the different things that happened months ago.
See, I am not that much into year-end reviews. I haven’t done them in years. However, during the last days I remembered me thinking: “I really didn’t do much this year.” But, then, there were other parts of my brain screaming: “What about this” or “What about that.”
Well, after all the searching and organizing, it turns out 2016 was a very awesome year!
Therefore, this review has two purposes. The first one has to do with gratitude. I do not want to take for granted the opportunity I have to go out once or twice a month. I am deeply grateful for the places I went, the food I ate and the people I met. Mostly, my heart jumps with joy because I was able to share these experiences with my husband (and sometimes with friends and family).
In second place, I wrote this review because I think it is proof of one of my blog’s motto: you do not have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have a great adventure. I traveled in my own backyard a lot. That does not necessarily equate crazy adventures or international flair. But, nonetheless, I made out the most of these short (sometimes long) trips. The idea is to grow, expand and get out of your comfort zone. I think I accomplished that.
Without further ado, here is look at 2016.
The year started in a surprising way. On January 1st, we attended a church activity and my husband ran into a family he met while studying in Honduras. We made plans in minutes and ended up taking them to the Palos Verdes Peninsula the second day of the year.
The second weekend of the year we went with friends to Tijuana, Ensenada and the Guadalupe Valley. We had our first taste Baja Med Cuisine.
In our hometown of Redondo Beach, we went whale watching for a couple of hours.
We ended the month in San Diego by visiting La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Little Italy’s Mercato and Old Town. Not sure if you noticed a lot of our January activities were related to the beach and sea. That tells you a lot about the winter weather in Southern California.
This month we attended Cathedral City’s Balloon Festival. After that event, we stopped by Palm Springs since the city was celebrating Modernist Week.
We visited Solvang, one of our favorite gateways.
In addition, we attended The Essentials, a food event organized by LA Weekly.
This month we had the opportunity to visit the gray whale birthing and nursing grounds in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur. We got into a small boat to watch the mothers with their calves. On the way back, we stopped by a fishing town called Popotla and bought a dozen of crabs.
We stuffed our faces with tacos, tortas and tostadas during the Latin Food Fest in Los Angeles.
This was another month of eating since we attended the Palm Desert Food and Wine Festival.
This month saw us returning to the awesome Joshua Tree National Park. We spent the day among giant boulders and crooked limbs.
After the park, we proceeded to Palm Springs. It was super hot already but we didn’t lose the opportunity for a new adventure. We tried our first date shake. Believe the hype because they are delicious and unforgettable.
The month ended with another a dream fulfilled. After more than 10 years living in California, I was able to visit the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. We spend four days exploring the parks and the scenery was breathtaking.
This was another month focused on great food. We attended Tacolandia for the third time. This gave us the opportunity to have a taste of the best tacos in Los Angeles.
July was focused on San Diego County. We started by doing a round trip around the more rural, almost unknown areas of the county. We made stops at the different auxiliary missions, Mt. Palomar and Julian. We camped in a beautiful park where we were able to see wild turkeys and deer. And yes, we had apple pie and cinnamon ice cream once again.
On another weekend, we explored the beach cities of Northern San Diego County. We had a blast in Encinitas, Oceanside and Carlsbad.
August / September
We didn’t go out a lot in August because we were preparing for our big trip of the year. We spend 17 days in Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. I can’t still fathom the huge number of places we saw and the memories we made. I am slowly writing about the trip. I still have tons of material; so, expect some nice content next year.
During this month, we experienced some new places like the Los Angeles Original Flower Market. That was quite a nice experience.
In additional, we attended Artisanal LA, a marketplace showcasing all sorts of goods made in Los Angeles. We made our first trip to Oak Glen too. We kept searching and searching for some good apple related experiences.
At the end of the month, we camped for two nights in Bishop (Eastern Sierra). That allowed us to visit Bishop Creek (where we found incredible fall colors), Alabama Hills, June Lake and Mammoth Lakes Basin. This is an area in California that deserves more of our time (it is that beautiful!).
On November, we went to see the Indian Markets in Los Angeles. The ticket included entrance to the Autry Museum of the West, so, we spent some time there (and learned a lot). Also, we got out first taste of Indian fried bread.
We went once again to Santa Barbara and went back to places we have not been in a long time (city hall, wharf, presidio, etc.). In the Santa Ynez Valley, we kind of followed the same trend. I risked my life once again while feeding ostriches (let’s say they are not that friendly).
The weekend before Thanksgiving we flew to Dallas for the weekend. We spent most of the time with friends but found time to discover street art and eat tons BBQ.
This month we visited the Los Angeles Natural History Museum with our nephews.
On Friday, I am flying to New York to spend two weeks with my mom and sister. I hope I can do a lot during that time since I have not been to New York in a long time. My plans are weather dependent of course.
There you have it. This kind of gives you an idea of how my year went in terms of travel and going out. It would be impossible to describe all the beautiful moments we had. We are surrounded by a lot of loving friends who fill our days with joy and laughter.
Last but not least, I want to thank you, yes you, the person who is reading this post right now. It has been an honor to share a lot of my experiences with you (and some of you share your experiences with me too). It is my most honest desire that 2017 comes full of opportunities to seize.
Cheers to 2017!
How was your 2016? Let me know in the comments section. I am eager to read about your adventures!