And already we have come to the end of September….
I think each year goes by quicker and quicker, which really is a shame when we have so many enjoyable things to do and look forward to eh? And we have been quite busy since my last update in July and have so many neat things left to see this year so I guess the rest is going to go by in a flash.
Since my update in July, L and I have enjoyed a little weekend get-away in New York City that made the most of a business trip I was on. We then spent a fantastic week in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick visiting my family and playing tourists. I also showed L all my childhood haunts, and admittedly became a little more homesick for Canada than I had anticipated I would. But the kiddo and I are back in Texas now and wishing for the weather to turn a little cooler so we can head out camping again which works to keep the homesickness at bay. Our trip over Labour Day to a nearby state park seemed good in theory (and we did have fun) but my goodness was it ever hot. So very hot. Come on autumn weather, we have camping to do!
I’ve also spent a busy couple of months learning a whole lot more about blogging, refreshing this site, and now I’m back to posting again and looking forward to settling in for a busy autumn and winter of catching up on our trips.
But before we get into more posts let’s see how the old travel goals are coming along since July.
Continue working towards my Lifetime Travel Goals .
Well since my last update we have left the country, but we haven’t visited any new countries as we went to Canada. We also have the rest of our trips planned through the end of the year and there aren’t any more new countries on those trips either. We’ll be back in Canada in November and then exploring more of the United States in December. No worries! I’m happy to have reached two new countries this year but,well, I wouldn’t be too bummed if somehow a business trip materialized for the autumn and miraculously we manage to squeeze one more new country in. :-)
New Countries Visited in 2016:
- Ireland (March)
- San Marino (May)
Well Canada doesn’t have 50ish sites on the UNESCO list like Italy does so we knew we weren’t going to be visiting seven more sites on our recent trip, but we did think we’d visit two. But then we didn’t. Womp, wah. We had planned to visit Joggins Fossil Cliffs and Grand-Pré but due to bad weather and just bad timing with the tides Joggins Fossil Cliffs weren’t meant to be on this trip. Had we gone we really wouldn’t have been able to see the cliffs as it was just about high tide, plus it was raining pretty hard. And even I, despite all my travel goals, don’t want to go just of the sake of saying I’ve been. Nah, we’ll wait until another trip to Nova Scotia and try to see them then instead.
We did,however, enjoy a very pleasant and peaceful afternoon strolling the grounds of the site at Grand-Pré learning about the farming techniques and the deportation of the Acadians.
Making up for the site we planned to see but didn’t, I was able to add an unexpected one to my list when I was asked to take a business trip to New Jersey in July. As always I made the most of the trip and booked the hotel to stay through the weekend so I could visit New York City, a mere 45 minute train ride from our office. To make it even better L flew over to spend the weekend with me! We had a GREAT couple of days exploring the city and I added the Statue of Liberty to my UNESCO list.
UNESCO Sites Visited in 2016:
- Brú na Bóinne – Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne (Ireland)
- Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico), Padua (Italy)
- City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto (Italy)
- Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna (Italy)
- Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (Italy)
- Venice and its Lagoon (Italy)
- Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta (Italy)
- San Marino History Centre and Mount Titano (San Marino)
- Statue of Liberty (July)
- Landscape of Grand-Pré (August)
Holy cow the landmarks just keep coming! Maybe I should have aimed a little higher with this goal as I’ve added two more – Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building– in July. These two bring my grand total for this lifetime goal up to 23 of 100 so far. Wonder if we’ll sneak at least one more in before the year is out.
Landmarks visited in 2016:
- Edinburgh Castle (January)
- St. Mark’s Square (May)
- Bridge of Sighs (May)
- Leaning Tower of Pisa (June)
- Statue of Liberty (July)
- Empire State Building (July)
And then there were three. Three months left in the year to TRY and accomplish this goal. You would never know that I have had years in the past that I have read 50+ books with the way I’ve chipped away (barely) at this goal. Now with that said I did actually finish a book recently…but it was set in England so doesn’t count as I’ve already read several books set there. Surely to goodness I can do better than ONE book this year. But it won’t happen by listening to the sequel to that book set in England …but that’s exactly what I’m listening too! I’m such a sucker for historical romance books set in England though.
Books read in 2016 towards goal:
- What Matters Most by Luanne Rice (Ireland)
This goal was officially scratched since July. I really don’t like cooking so not sure what possessed me to think this was a good idea in the first place. Oh well. Moving on… We’ll just continue to enjoy trying new dishes whether we’re traveling to other countries, or just hanging out in the US.
Mission Travel Stuff Organization
As I thought about in the last post I’ve decided to just make a folder for each country with sub-folders for particular trips and keep it simple. I guess at the end of the day it’s whether or not I can find the photos I want, and I can. So that’s all that matters. Plus I’ve caught up with backing my photos up, and even got the rest of the kiddo’s photos backed up for him too. Progress is being made.
Organize Travel Paraphernalia
Still leaning towards just throwing all this stuff out as I go. The main reason I pick it up in the first place is to use it as a resource when I write about a particular place on the blog so why keep it after that? I don’t go back and look at it. I’m about 90% sure that it’s going to be used for the blog and then thrown away. Easy peasy, and it’ll be less stuff to pack and move across the pond when the time comes. :-)
Cross one adventure item and one location off my life bucket list
Well, as I mentioned earlier in the post, we went camping again and I *thought* again I would get to try kayaking but I didn’t. By the time we got settled at the camp site the boat rentals were closing for the day and it was just too darn hot the next morning to even bother. All we wanted was a shower and AC. Such is the life camping in Texas in early September.
I did manage to cross another item off my old bucket list that was SO unexpected….I flew FIRST CLASS!!! What? I know!
I certainly didn’t book it (That money tree in the back yard still isn’t producing. Darn tree.) so how did I get to sit there? Well I woke up bright and early to check in for our flights to Canada because I wanted to try and at least upgrade us to Economy Plus (that I get with my Silver status). Low and behold there was an email waiting from United that said I had been upgraded to First Class for our flight from Houston to Newark. Crazy! Unfortunately the kiddo wasn’t upgraded with me but I was able to get him bumped up to Economy Plus just a couple of rows behind me. I have to say First Class sure is nice. We had a real breakfast and everything. Man, that is the life. Even if I do only get upgraded on the 5:30 AM flights. Along with 15 other people that were upgraded in the 20 seat section of first class. Hey, I’ll take it. :-)
Create an online travel course
Well no progress has been made on this goal since the last update but I’m definitely not abandoning it. I’d say though this is going to have to move on into my 2017 goals. I can’t possibly see how it’ll be finished by year end, but it’s going to be worked on bit by bit.
How about you? Did you set any travel goals this year? How are they coming along?
To read more about my 2016 travel goals and progress made, please feel free to check out these posts: