And we've made it through another year together!  If you're reading this, thank you for your support and interest.  It really pushes me to get out there and try new things so I can report back to you all.

This past year continued the trend, that seems to have started in 2013, of more travel adventures.  And I don't mean this to imply more time on airplanes traveling to far off destinations, though I still try to do that as much as I can within the normal constraints of job and responsibilities at home.  What I mean is pushing myself to get out of the house for day trips, weekend trips, road trips, etc. Or when that's not possible, just getting out in my own town to find opportunities to engage in my new favorite word: mircroadventures.  I've been making exploration a priority, basically.  I've also noticed a shift in my pattern of doing less classes and activities (what I used to do for my "Learn" category) in favor of learning through doing, especially when it's something where I can bring my camera to continue improving on my photography skills.  Coincidentally, one of those photo opps is happening early tomorrow morning, so I need to write faster so I can get this posted and get to sleep.....

I'm looking forward to keeping up this pace into next year and have some big things planned.  Hopefully, I won't encounter another physical injury that could derail my plans, like I did this past spring with my ACL surgery - though I was and continue to not be a cooperative physical therapy patient because I am always pushing my knee before it's ready.  For instance, right now I know it's still recovering from the ridiculous amounts of walking and climbing I did in Scotland. Did I mention how I never felt like I went downhill, only uphill, while staying in Edinburgh?

OK, and now on to my favorite posts from my 4th year as a travel and lifestyle blogger:
  • First, I will start with an easy one:  The Northern Lights!  I froze my butt off in Sweden for those photos, but observing this natural phenomenon is indescribably humbling and the resulting photos were worth any frostbite risk.
  • One of my favorite bands, Mumford & Sons is back!  And I somehow scored tickets to one of their secret gigs played to only 500 or so fans.  I made new friends of fellow fanatics in the process, and one was with me at the Gentleman of the Road New Jersey stopover where we randomly got to party with some of the members of the band!  As my dad always says, it's better to be lucky than smart.
  • I've joined up with local photographers to shoot abandoned buildings this past year that have resulted in interesting snapshots of a time long ago, now covered in dust.  My favorite may be the abandoned silk mill in Maryland.
  • I went to Portugal for the first time, and it may be one of my most favorite places I've ever visited.  I can't choose which city I loved best: Lisbon, Sintra, and Porto.  I want to go back for more!
  • They may have tasted like normal buttercream frosted chocolate cupcakes, but the Scotland Hairy Coo cupcakes I made were, I my opinion, so adorable they broke the cuteness scale.
  • My last favorite was just a super fun and memorable experience at the annual Del Close improv comedy marathon in NYC.  I can't remember laughing that much!  Of course, it helps to have non-stop, back-to-back shows with the best of the best improvisers in the country up there on stage.

Thanks again for reading!  Don't forget, I'm also on Facebook and Instagram.  I'm also going to try to reboot up my Twitter feed.  I've been ignoring that one for the past year as I leaned more toward Instagram.