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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Year In Review - the First Half and a Surprise Announcement

I'm not much to do what other folks do usually, but this year in review thing that the bloggers do is pretty neat and I've jumped on the bandwagon.  Especially now that winter has descended and traveling has slowed it's nice to go back and remind myself of all the great experiences I had this year.  I'm enjoying everyone else's "look back" too so keep 'em coming!

January -  I started out 2014 getting up to some mischief in the hallways of Wisconsin's State Capitol with my buddy Jeanna.  Because if great architecture isn't amazing enough all you have to do is throw in a kooky gal sliding down the banisters to make your day!

"Genius of Wisconsin"

I ended the month in another State Capitol when Cory and I took a trip out to Nevada.  From getting lost on unmarked trails to an unplanned dip in Lake Tahoe, from walking around Reno's midtown district looking for treasures to treasures of another kind at the museums, and then driving out to see some boulder petroglyphs we saw all the Reno area had to offer including quite a few murals I still haven't even had time to share on the blog!  The best part though?  Still that Truckee Sourdough bread, hands down.

Lake Tahoe

Grimes Point Archaelogical Site

February - Not much happened in February.  Snowy and cold in Wisconsin tells the story.  And bored.  And I can't emphasize enough the snow and the cold.

Wisconsin entry in the
National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva

March - In March I was desperate enough to break up the winter blues that I drove up to visit Katrina in Menominee even though it was just as cold there.  Hey, at least we had cupcakes.

Night Owl Bakery in Marinette, Wisconsin

To keep the blog busy I ran some posts about the trip Wayne and I took to Yellowstone back in 2009.  Revisiting those happy times kept me going during a winter that was longer and colder than normal.

April - By early April I nuts with cabin fever and forced myself out a few times around Milwaukee and over to Kettle Moraine, but travel season soon began and that was the real story!  My mom and I drove down to Gatlinburg and rented a house and I hiked my little heart out in the Smokies.

Painted Trillium on the trail

Me and Mom at Laurel Falls

But I wasn't just hiking alone, not only did I get to meet up with Sharon but I finally got to meet Gene and Judi and hike with them on the Curry Mountain Trail too!

And as if that wasn't exciting enough I got a close encounter with mama and two baby bears too.

May - May was a very busy time for our family travel wise.  Wayne and I took Cory and Katrina to Newfoundland for a long weekend where we packed a lot in to a few days and got to spend time with those goofy newfies we call call family.

Beer with the cousins and uncles...and our pocket pals

hiking on First Beach with Aunt Agatha

hiking around Castle Hill

lobster feast

Back home in Wisconsin Wayne went back to work, Katrina went back to the Upper Peninsula and I discovered that the same wildflowers I found in the Smokies in April were blooming nearby thanks to Ranger Don's great hikes at Kettle Moraine State Forest sites.

We ended the month with a camping trip up to Munising where not only were there wildflowers but chunks of ice still floating in Lake Superior.

June - In June I started the month with some more wildflower walks in nearby Kettle Moraine.

But when the heat came on Wayne and I took the fifth wheel up to Door County where the air is a little cooler and explored some areas that are now new favorites, like the Ridges Sanctuary, Egg Harbor, and Newport State Park.

Ram's Head lady slipper at the Ridges Sanctuary

Tasty treats and an egg hunt in Egg Harbor

I'm hoping to get back out to Newport State Park for a solo camping trip this year because their trails and walk in sites looked very tempting, but timing will be everything because their mosquito population was pretty vicious.  Maybe a long weekend in April if I have some time, we'll have to wait and see what the work schedule will be like when my boss has her baby in March.  The park has camping year round, reservations aren't available though until May.

Newport State Park shoreline

That's enough for one post, the rest of the year in review will have to wait until tomorrow.  One more thing....Wayne announced last night that he wants all four of us to go to the United Kingdom this year to celebrate his turning 50.  His birthday isn't until December of course, but he's talking about a late May departure for a 3 week trip to take in everything from Dublin to Edinburgh to London too.  We'll see, but in the meantime I scrambled around to come up with a workable itinerary this morning and believe it or not I think it can be done.  Now let's see if he can conquer his fear of flying long enough to make it happen!


  1. Sounds like a good 6 months to me! And 3 weeks in the UK sounds great. We've been several times, driving ourselves usually, all the way from London to Inverness, but not Ireland. Have fun planning it!

  2. Woo-hoo, the UK! I'd love to visit there. You better take lots of pics and give us updates on your trip. :) I'm hoping to hit the Grand Canyon and southern Utah this fall. Gotta get the hubby to commit to a date.

  3. I like that pic of the ice floating in Lake Superior.

    I know I'll never get there, but I've always wished to see Ireland.

  4. What a great year! I loved the photo of the ice on Lake Superior. We had our first visits to the lake this past summer but there wasn't any snow:)

  5. Need to look into doing a 2014 roundup from my blog too. Got you message about coming to the UK. I might be of Irish decent as my parents both came from there but I'm no help on where to go apart from the Guinness factory in Dublin but the place is ful lof history Edinburgh there are a few places I know of and London should be easy. If I knew you itinerary I could find the best places to go. All depends on what you would like to see in the UK

  6. I enjoy reading people's years-in-review. I'm going to have to get on that. I'd love to see the United Kingdom, but Ron says he's never flying that far again.