This year we are back to pre-pandemic travel. Most of our travel was by car, to places in California, but we also went to Seattle three times and embarked on two International cruises. (Image: Oscar Wilde statue in a Dublin park.)
These are the trips (I've written blog posts on most of them):
Santa Cruz Coast, February 1& 2. We did this as a photography outing and got to see many places on the coast that we had only driven past.
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden, February 19. Our friends Janice and Hoy invited us on this adventure. It is known for its hummingbirds, local plants, and a collection of plants from Australia.
Death Valley, Paso Robles, February 27—March 6. Photography was our aim, and it turned out to be spectacular. Fortunately we visited long before the disaster with the flooding.
Napa Valley-Calistoga, March 26 - 29. We went with friends and took the opportunity to visit several places we hadn't been to, including the Bale Grist Mill and the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. We went back to the Calistoga Geyser, always a treat, and visited Antica Winery in the Atlas Mountain appellation. This winery gets very few visitors due to its remote location. We had a tasting hosted by the winemaker herself.
San Juan Islands (Uncruise small ship) with a post-Seattle visit- April 7—18. This was a family trip with Glen's sister Laura, his brother Paul, and Paul's wife Laura. Fun!
Ireland (Aurora Expeditions), May 11—27. We were supposed to go with Aurora Expeditions to South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands in 2021, but that trip was cancelled. We decided instead to circumnavigate Ireland as it was a bucket list destination. Wonderful time!
Monterey Bay, June 2—4. We never tire of visiting here. We snagged two nights on the waterfront using some accrued point.
Atlantic Canada and Newfoundland Circumnavigation, June 21 through July 16. This was two back-to-back cruises with Adventure Canada. I've written a lot about these elsewhere. Adventure Canada runs a terrific small ship adventure cruise.
Seattle, July 29—August 4. The first three days I attended a photography workshop with Bryan Peterson. Then Glen joined me for fun around Seattle.
Napa Valley and Bodega Bay area, August 13 — August 17. We started in Calistoga for a few days so we could attend a lobster feast at a winery. Then we moved on towards the coast. The Bodega Bay Area is famous for Alfred Hitchcock's horror film The Birds. I've wanted to go there for some time, but because it's also known for its beauty. The hiking was great and the small place we stayed in on the ocean was quaint.
Calistoga, October 20-21. It was time to pick up my shipment Schweiger Family Winery, which is in the Spring Mountain District of Napa. We stayed in Napa and took the opportunity to eat at The Gatehouse restaurant at Greystone. Students from the Culinary Institute of America run the restaurant. Terrific food.
Wild California: Channel Islands (small ship) and Santa Barbara, October 26 to November 3. We drove to LA to hop on a National Geographic small ship to finally visit the remote Channel Islands National Park. Afterwards, we visited friends in LA for an afternoon then made our way to Santa Barbara for two days. SB is another place we've wanted to visit but hadn't found the time until now.
Seattle Thanksgiving Road Trip, November 20 — November 29. Our friends Ewa and Eric invited us to Seattle for Thanksgiving. We accepted immediately as we haven't seen them in a long time. On the way, we visited a few sites in California and Oregon. While in Seattle we also caught up with other friends and family.