The year 2013 was filled with exploring new places and seeing familiar faces. With visits to Cabo, Hawaii, Europe and a road trip across the U.S., it was tough to narrow down our highlights of 2013. Here are 15 moments that stick out when I look back over another amazing year.
1- Ringing in the New Year in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico where each day ended with a magnificent sunset was a perfect way to start the year.
2- We took the ferry to Orcas Island for a weekend of camping and hiking. This view over the Rosario Strait to Mount Baker was breathtaking.
3- This is my favorite beach in Hawaii. We made sure to fit a day in here on our trip back to Hawaii in February. Waimanalo State Recreation Area has a long beach with the softest sand to stroll down. The surf sometimes can be rough, but the waves are fun to play in.
4- Who doesn’t love a Hawaiian sunset? We had an awesome time hanging out with old friends during our last visit.
5- Juniper Dunes Wilderness Area is a unique area west of the Tri-Cities. It’s bare landscape is very different from most hikes in the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest. Over Memorial Day weekend we bounced around the dunes before a storm rolled in.
6- On the Fourth of July we climbed to the top of Mount St. Helens. While standing on the cornice seemed scary, it was worth it to look down into this sleeping giant. We saw steaming vents and heard many rocks crumbling into the crater.
7- On a ferry ride to Seattle from Bainbridge Island we had an awesome view of Mount Rainier in the distance behind Safeco Field, Century Link Stadium and the cranes of the Port of Seattle Shipping Yard. I miss this view and riding the ferries in Washington State.
8- Glacier National Park was our first stop on a road trip across the U.S. The peaks here are spectacular!
9- On the other side of the Continental Divide the sharp peaks turned into flat lands quickly. Here is a storm cloud rolling in at the border of Wyoming and South Dakota at sunset.
10- While I may not remember everything we did in Milwaukee, I can tell you that these people know how to party! We visited a couple breweries, saw a Brewer’s game and then joined a pub crawl with Milwaukee natives. The next morning we woke up with a cowbell in our possession? Don’t ask me how.
11- Shortly after we moved to North Carolina we hopped on a plane headed to Europe. We packed in so much during our time in Paris. We visited the Louvre, Versailles, the Arc de Triomph and of course the Eiffel Tower. The night we spent chilling on the lawn at Champ de Mars is still one of my favorite memories in Paris.
12- Munich was next on our trip in Europe. This scene in the Hofgarten at sunset was gorgeous. The Theatine Church in the background may have been one of my favorite buildings in Munich. At night it was lit up so perfectly.
13- The Riessersee in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is home to a beautiful resort near the Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany. We enjoyed a couple afternoons swimming in this lake during the warmest days of summer.
14- Our view over Prague’s Old Town Square looking towards the Tyn Chruch may have been the best view out of all the hotels we stayed in Europe. Here is a picture of how it looks just after sunrise and before the square fills with vendors and tourists. We had the best food in this square. Two words: Grilled Cheese!
15- September arrived and we have been settling into North Carolina. We bought a couple kayaks and have already spent a few weekends exploring Jordan Lake.
Whew! It will be tough to fit this much in to next year. We’re looking forward to traveling around this corner of the country. The south is very different from the Pacific Northwest, but I think we are adjusting well. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!