2015 Travel Highlights And Reflecting On The Year
Wow….I can’t believe that 2015 is already coming to an end!
It felt like I blinked and here I am 12 months later looking back and 2016 is now upon us. A lot happened this year both incredibly amazing and devastatingly heartbreaking. I wanted to share and do a quick flashback of my 2015.
In January 2015, I went back to BC to have some “winter” time. I experienced a few new things on that trip. One was snowshoeing for the first time at Cypress Mountain.
Then after a few days in Vancouver, I went on to Whistler. I was able to experience Whistler Blackcomb’s Ski/Snowboard with an Olympian program. I tried cross country skiing for the first time. My guide around the mountain was Olympian Julia Murray. So far 2015 was looking epic!
Olympian and Whistler local Julia Murray
First time cross country skiing!
Getting ready to bobsleigh on an Olympic course
In February 2015, I went to Dusseldorf with Air Berlin. It was last minute and I’m not huge into group media trips (you never know how a group dynamic will work out) so I was expecting the worst but then ended up meeting some really great folks. Our group was on the Visit Dusseldorf float so it was really amazing to experience their version of Mardi Gras.
Air Berlin wing shot over NYC
Loving business class on Air Berlin. Hello, Tumi amenity kit!
On a float. Karneval in Europe reminds me of Halloween!
And right after my Germany trip…this happened!
I thought it was a joke but in fact, it was real. I have no idea why they picked me, to be honest, but I was and am still honored.
Wahhhh I’m at the Oscars!
Just a handful of celebs I spotted!
I attended a few events with Emirates this year. The first was going to their first class lounge opening at LAX. Emirates definitely know how to do things well.
Then I attended a movie screening of Nat Geo’s film, Living in the Age of Airplanes. We first mingled in the First Class lounge and then we boarded a 10 day old 737. We all sat in business and were able to tour the plane and check out their First Class section. It was fantastic. We met the director of the film as well as the late composer James Horner. While we watched the film, the plane flew above and around southern California. It was incredible!
Someone’s a happy camper with her champer!
It’s all about the stand-up bar on the plane!
An Emirates First Class suite!
Don’t disturb me….I’m balling!
I can’t complain about business class, though!
In April 2015, I attended an annual travel journalist conference and this year some of the attendees were invited to the James Beard House. The luncheon was held by Tourism Calgary, Alberta Culinary Tourism and Wines of British Columbia and the chefs were all women. It was an honor and privilege to attend. The event was top notch and opened my eyes to the culinary scene in Calgary.
A sampling of photos from the lunch
In late May, I did my what seems to be my almost annual road trip to Canada.
I always stop in the forest!
Fell in love with Bandon
Doing a tour of Adidas HQ in Portland
After my road trip, I flew immediately to Toronto for one of my BFF’s wedding and to meet her son Max. I spent two weeks exploring and eating as much as possible in Toronto and added in a little side excursion to the Mighty Niagara Falls.
Here’s my cutie pie Max. We pintxo’d it up at Bar Raval
After driving up the West Coast solo, I didn’t feel like being behind the wheel much, so I took a day trip via bus and train to Niagara. It was amazing.
At then end of June, I flew back to Vancouver and based myself there for the summer. I took a bunch of trips in Western Canada but I wanted to be close to my elderly father.
I went on the Rocky Mountaineer and experienced a train ride of a lifetime! It traveled across BC and through the Rockies to Banff. In Banff, I explored for a few days and reunited with a travel friend who I met in Bali.
In Banff, I got to see the sheer beauty of the Rockies!
Kori and I at Lake Louise
Right after the train trip, I went on a trip with my friend Christy from Ordinary Traveler up to Whistler. I took her to a few spots to shoot photos with her.
A Lynn Canyon solo!
Apparently I love suspension bridges! At the Sea To Sky Gondola in Squamish
River of Golden Dreams in Whistler
Ultimate Glacier Tour with Harbour Air
Shannon Falls via my GoPro
Right after Whistler, I went on a quick trip to Sonora Resort. It’s a luxury resort on the coast of BC. It is by far the most amazing resort I’ve been to thus far and my first all inclusive. Everything was amazing and the staff was all so friendly and genuine. From the moment you depart, it was first class. Did I mention you have to take a chopper to get there?
Epic all around
It’s no secret I love fishing!
After Sonora, I went to Victoria on a last minute trip to Victoria with a friend. I’m becoming more and more enamored with Victoria.
At the Breakwater at Ogden Point
Chilling out on the Chairs in Oak Bay
In late August, I left Canada to go back south and ended up hanging out in Portland for a few months. I was planning to go back to SoCal but something drew me to stay in the Pacific Northwest.
I may have seen Lebron James at Nike HQ !
In mid-September, I went on a quick trip to Calgary to check out a cool festival called Beakerhead. It’s a mashup of science, engineering, art, and music. I explored Calgary and it’s a lot cooler than I imagined. And there’s excellent food there in case you’re wondering!
Going down the rabbit hole at Beakerhead
Went to a Beakerhead molecular gastronomy event! It was tasty and fun!
Wonderland by Jaume Plensa in Calgary
Also in mid-September, my beloved father passed away suddenly. He was elderly but not sick to our knowledge. He had been heartbroken and distraught since the death of my mother in 2011. I’m devastated about losing him but know he’s in a happier place with my mother.
I miss him so much :(
After my Pops passed, I struggled with my grief. I took a bit of a break from travel and stayed in Portland with friends. I did a few trips back to BC; one to spread my father’s ashes and one up to Whistler for Cornucopia, a wine and culinary festival. Other than that, I turned down travel. I couldn’t bring myself to do much so I focused on catching up on writing on my blog and randomly picked up a copywriting contract with Nike.
A delectable dinner at Araxi‘s dinner during Cornucopia
Oyster overload at Whistler’s Cornucopia (Hello cute beard guy!)
This fall I crossed the 6 year anniversary of losing my husband Eric. I wrote about him on my blog here. It wasn’t easy but I finally felt like I was in a place to share my story. Randomly CNN emailed me and asked me to share a life changing moment from my travels. I felt like it was all connected.
I finally left the PNW in early December and drove back to Southern California. I took the coast as per usual and made a handful of stops along the way.
Did a few round ups for my road trip. One for California and one for Oregon.
I drove all the way down to San Diego I spent the holidays with one of my best friends and her family. I’m looking forward to the year ending. The year started out with a bang and my summer was epic. I’m so happy to have been able to spend a lot of time with my Pops. But then went downhill for me in the fall with my Pops passing away and also getting robbed the same week. If there is any consolation it’s that my Pops is in a better place and that I was able to write more and land a regular contract working with Nike.
I’m hoping that 2016 will bring happier days or at least, days without heartbreak and drama and of course, more travel and adventures. Goodbye, 2015!!!!