For a long time, as in 20 years, my two main hobbies have been writing and cooking. It is generally difficult for me to do multiple things at once (or at least to do multiple things well at once) so one or the other hobby suffers. When I write a lot, I order in food. When I cook a lot, as I did in 2016, my blog doesn’t get updated. This post is my last ditch effort to get something together for 2016.
I didn’t travel abroad this year, but I did take a few trips around the US and as always loved and appreciated being able to soak in the beauty of my native state, California. Here is a round-up of the little trips I was able to take in 2016.
(1) New York in January and February. One thing that was really cool about my last job was the opportunity it gave me to travel to New York City for work. I had been there a number of times on my own in the past, but these trips with coworkers showed me another side (basically, a more expensive side) of the city. But, mostly, I just adored the chance to wander around and take it all in.
(2) New Orleans for Mardi Gras in February. When my friend Meghan invited me to Mardi Gras, I immediately jumped at the chance to go back. I attended Mardi Gras in 2000 and 2001, back when I was in college, and had a blast. Those were the days before I even had a cell phone, let alone apps like AirBnb or Google Maps. Like New York, New Orleans is a place I’ve been a number of times, but feel there’s always more to see and do. Again, I had a blast, though of course it was more tame than when I was younger!
(3) Solo road trip up the 395. Earlier this year I decided to switch jobs and in the space between companies took a solo road trip up Highway 395. It was gorgeous and allowed a lot of contemplation. A highlight was visiting Manzanar, the former internment camp turned National Historic Site. I think remembering past events such as these is as important now as it ever has been.
(4) Road trip to Bodie in August. KB was learning about the gold rush during the 4th grade, which made me think of the ghost town Bodie. I had passed by on my solo roadtrip up the 395, when it was still closed for winter. After moving into our new apartment on August 1st, we packed our bags and drove over the Sierra to check Bodie out.
(5) Trip to Columbus, Ohio in October. I had intended this trip purely to visit my friends David and Frances from grad school who now live in Columbus. Upon arriving I was so pleasantly surprised to realize that the changing colors in fall (something I didn’t grow up with in LA) were in full effect. We spent some time driving around to catch the best leaves.
(6) Solo road trip up Highway 1 in December. My final trip of 2016 was a sad one, to attend the funeral of my friend Amy Arriaga in Bakersfield. After the funeral, I headed to the coast and meandered up Highway 1 back home to SF. I stopped at Hearst Castle, I cried a lot, and thought about Amy and life in general. I watched the winter sunset in the heart of Big Sur, all alone wrapped up in a blanket. It was an intense way to end the year, but a beautiful one.