Thursday, December 31, 2015

Travelogue 2015

Let's see...Cindy and I took the following trips in 2015:

Madisonville, TN (twice)

New Orleans (by train)

Sandersville and Atlanta

St. Louis

Iowa City/Minneapolis/Red Wing/St. Louis

Rosemary Beach

Some thoughts:
  • Other than the first trip to Madisonville (which I took alone to see my grandmother one final time), all trips were with Cindy. Traveling together is much better than traveling separately. 
  • Compared to recent years, we traveled less, but we took one longer-than-average trip (Iowa/Minnesota/Missouri) and two other longish ones (Georgia and Florida). 
  • We did not take a single flight in 2015. I really do not mind long road trips, especially if I am the one doing the driving; fortunately, Cindy does not particularly care to drive, so I drove pretty much the whole way on all of these trips.
  • Cindy and I are blessed to have the same preferred rhythm and pace when we travel: both of us have learned, through experience, that we enjoy our trips most when we can balance variety of activity with simple down time. Sometimes, it's better to leave a few possible attractions unvisited, a few meals uneaten, a few beers undrunk. I think our trip to Rosemary Beach was our most "successful" in that sense--much of what we did was within walking distance of our rental, and we started every morning on the late side with a bike ride and ended every day with a walk on the beach. 
  • Although I had my share of good beer (especially in Minnesota), I didn't treat any particular trip as a "beer-cation" in 2015. I love visiting breweries, tap rooms, and brewpubs, but, by and large, I'm less keen on making those visits the main focus of our trips. (That said, I'd very much enjoy a beer-centric return to St. Louis one day!)
  • We traveled with our nephews twice in 2015--and took them on their first just-with-Cindy-and-me vacation (to St. Louis) in May. They boys really do travel well and are also old enough to enjoy a variety of food/restaurants, making for a fun and relaxing trip for both them and the adults.
  • It might go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Cindy and I are blessed to have the financial means, time off work, health, and inclination to travel; we're both way more interested in traveling than we are in acquiring stuff, and I'm so thankful that we can share our adventures.