(1) Too much Pennsylvania! Sure, everyone I ever grew up with got married and it was just Christmas, but whew... I left for a reason! (sorry, PA, well done on the pretzels, though).
(2) Successfully completing my New Year's Resolution of doing one new and awesome thing per month. Sound easy? You do it. (The point of doing one new and awesome thing per month was basically contingent on the fact that 97% of my "vacationing", ahem, "traveling", ahem, leaving Los Angeles revolved around... Too much Pennsylvania!
I kicked off my 2012 in style with my 20th or so trip to San Francisco. New adventures included extended time in Golden Gate Park and a completing the Lands End hike, which takes you along the OTHER coastline away from Fisherman's Wharf & Chrissy Fields with my friends Susie and Lauren, so just because I've been there loads, I was still happy to ring in 2012 unearthing new parts of this fine city!
Sometimes, an adventure is just an email away, and when my life-long friend, Rachel, came to San Diego for a wedding. We dined on brunch overlooking the Pacific, before hiking along the coast. Note to self: Why does the ocean look so much prettier just three hours south??? (Yes, that's a serious question).
Umm... wow. I visited Hearst Castle earlier this year on a travel-blogging assignment for Viator. I FLIPPING LOVED IT! There are only a few places one can go to fully embrace decadence like the obscenely wealthy, and William Randolph Hearst knew how to decorate! MY GOD. This is what billionaires did with their cash before space travel was an option...
Disneyland: I used to spend a fair amount of my SoCal time STARING at this amusement park without a hint of desire to set foot inside. But when my friend, Kelly, won a trip with a spare ticket... Yes. Yes, I took that ticket. Highlights including meeting Minnie Mouse and VANNA WHITE (so be jealous), the Halloween decor (oh yeah, it was October) annnnd... q/t with lovely ladies :-). We also hit up Knott's "Scary" Farm (October!) and Medieval Times (note to self: was only really exciting when I was ten!). What a fun trip!
So what is a good wintertime activity? Sleeping outdoors in the freezing desert where Joshua Tree National Park is located? NOPE. Hiking and having photo adventures in JTNP? Ohhh, let's say donning every item of clothing I had with me, and huddling friends for body heat through the night despite barely sleeping was SO WORTH IT. I'd wanted to go to Joshua Tree for years, and the dozens of gorgeous photos I was able to take was worth sucking it up... but next time, I'll go in the summer!
But for 2013, I'm keeping up these resolutions but making sure to explore cities and states I haven't been to and leave this country a few times! Holla!