There is something really special about the end of a year and the letting go of one year and looking forward to the next. I love these days after Christmas and before the end of the year comes. For me it is such a reflective and tender time when I look back and marvel at all of what was the year. We had our best of times, we had our worst of times, and we just had those times that were neither good or bad but the fabric of daily life. But they have all made up the year and I feel grateful for all of them and what they taught me.
This is our first full year here in Tennessee. We have spent the year in our new house and working on making it our own. We have been making our way around the state seeing what we could, adding new state parks to our list, and checking out some of the nearby states as well. This year I visited two states that I’ve never seen before and one new country. Hopefully 2022 will be more full of travel opportunities and less full of pandemic related restrictions.
So now allow me to share with you where this year has taken me…
Home sweet home! Tennessee really has such a wealth of places to visit. I have loved checking off state parks as we visit them and the many suspension bridges that we have crossed. Visiting different historic sites around the states has been a interesting look at the things that have made this state what it is. I have learned so much about the American Civil War from this time of living on the dividing line between the ideologies. For all we’ve seen in this year- we haven’t even scratched the surface of everything that Tennessee has to share.
The beginning of the year took me to the Phoenix area for my friends wedding. Saguaro cacti and stunning views of Lost Dutchman State Park marked this trip in between all of the wedding festivities.
Georgia has been a great discovery this year for me. Before I had ever just driven through it but had not really seen it. But I’ve seen a couple of the beautiful state parks, learned some more about the Civil War, flown with Superman, and seen the incredible views from Lookout Mountain. I am hoping to go and see Atlanta in this next year and everything that great city has to offer.
Kentucky has been a regular on our adventures this year because of its proximity to us. I loved seeing the athletic legends of the Louisville Slugger baseball bats and the Kentucky Derby horserace that are home to Louisville. Getting in touch with the humble beginnings of President Abraham Lincoln at his birthplace was a honor. And seeing the beautiful areas that really show the state at its finest.
In May Tessa and I went to the Central Coast of California to see some friends. Getting to hug them in person was the best part of the trip but the next best was the interesting places we got to visit with them. We saw the beautiful Danish community of Solvang, the historic Santa Barbara Mission, the exuberant lavishness of the Madonna Inn, and enjoyed the Pacific at a few state parks.
On a quick trip to Missouri we spent a day at Silver Dollar City enjoying all the thrills of this early 1900s themed amusement park. They were celebrating their 60th anniversary which made it all the more fun to be there.
On our way back from Missouri we made a quick stop at Crowley’s Ridge State Park in Arkansas. I had never visited Arkansas before but after our visit it was easy to see why they proudly claim the title of the ‘Natural State’. Such a beautiful part of the country that I want to see more of.
The summer took me on an unforgettable trip to Israel. I saw many national parks, got in touch with parts of the Bible, learned about the complex political and religious relationships, and got to ride a camel for the first time. This trip was so incredible and I felt like I came home a different person from what I was when I left.
On a random getaway we found ourselves in West Virginia, another state that I had never been to before. We visited the country’s newest national park, New River Gorge, and saw some of the natural beauty that is so characteristic to this area. No wonder that John Denver sang about it being almost heaven.
We spent a weekend back in Florida where we enjoyed the excitement of Universal Studios and the splashing about at Volcano Bay waterpark. Our chapter of living in Florida seems like another lifetime ago. But any reason to have a drink of butterbeer is a good one and so off to Universal we went.
And last but not least, we are ending the year with a visit to my family in Utah where we are enjoying the winter wonderland of the mountains. I get very homesick for these mountains and all the hiking trails that I explored there. And feeling very glad to be here now reconnecting with my roots and seeing my family.
Thank you for coming along down the year’s memory lane with me today. I appreciate the time and comments that you share with me and for letting me be part of your 2021. I hope that this next year brings all good things your way and that it is a year full of love, joy, and adventure. Thank you 2021 for all that you’ve given me. Hello 2022 and all that you have in store!
21 thoughts on “Year In Review :: 2021”
What a wonderful review of your year Meg. Despite the ongoing pandemic you managed to visit numerous states from east to west not forgetting your epic travels around Israel. Wishing you all health and happiness for 2022 and most of all a return to unrestricted travelling! Marion xx
Thank you so much Marion 🙂 heres wishing you a wonderful, less restricted, 2022 full of joy and adventures! I have so enjoyed following along on your trips and I am looking forward to seeing where this next year takes you.
Oh my, what a year of great adventures you have had, Meg! You have visited some beautiful, historic and interesting places. Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope you have a very happy new year with many more adventures in 2022!
Thank you! I really appreciate that! I have loved following you and seeing your beautiful pictures from so many places! I hope your new year is wonderful and full of all good things 🙂
Thanks so much! Here’s hoping for a great 2022!
What a wonderful review Meg, your tour of US states is amazing and I’m so glad you got to visit Israel. Feeling like visiting another country has changed your perspective/outlook etc is so powerful. Have a happy new year and a great 2022 – I look forward to following along 🙂
Thank you Hannah! Heres hoping for lots more travel for all of us in the new year! I hope you have a wonderful new year full of joys and adventures 🙂
What a great year of travel you’ve had! So many adventures – I’m impressed you found the time with a new house and all. Both times we’ve bought a house, every weekend for the first six months was spent at Home Depot! Happy new year – looking forward to reading about your 2022 adventures!
That awkward moment in buying a house when the home depot employees come to know you by name and current project 🙂 thank you, I appreciate that. I hope you have a wonderful new year as well!
That’s the moment!
Well Meg, that was a thoroughly decent travel year, especially considering the time and expense needed to craft a new home. I have enjoyed following your US adventures throughout 2020, while Israel was just something else in terms of history and culture. I also get very reflective and nostalgic at the end of the year, though I actually dislike New Year’s Eve itself and all the background noise around it. I hope you enjoy the night and that 2022 brings you everything you’re hoping for. I am just putting together my own end of year review after a blogging break. Happy New Year!
Thanks Leighton 🙂 Im not much for new years eve either- lots of noise, lots of ads about organizing and dieting, lots of resolutions that get dropped wayside by February. I have really enjoyed following your posts and reading your stories about all your travels. I hope this next year is full of joy, success, and adventures. Happy New Year!
Such a great year to enjoy your travels. Makes want see Israel sometime soon. Have a great and happy New Year . Anita
Thanks Anita 🙂 Israel was amazing, I hope you get to experience it soon. I hope you have a wonderful new year!
A lovely recap to a very fulfilling year! You got to really explore states we’ve never really seen, and the trip to Israel must have been so fascinating. Here’s to a grand new year filled with even more adventures and new experiences!
– Susan and John
Thank you so much! Israel was incredible to be sure. Heres hoping for lots more adventures for all of us in the year to come! I hope you have a wonderful new year 🙂
Wow, you had an incredible year! Great to see you got to so many places. Did you have dinner or stay at the Madonna Inn? It’s so cool in there!
We had dinner there and it was so good-especially their famed pink champagne cake. I have put staying in the hotel on my bucket list now. 🙂
Same!! Would love to stay in one of their rock rooms.
Wow, you managed to see some amazing places this year. Arizona looks amazing. Hopefully you can have a great year of travels in 2022 too.
Thank you! I hope you make it to Arizona sometime because it really is stunning! Wishing you all the best in this new year 🙂