I know it is a little late to be posting a “year in review”. But as I was writing in my journal, it occurred to me it would be a nice tradition.
Similar to most people, although it was much better than 2020, 2021 was not a big travel year for me. But when I took the time to reflect, I realized that I was luckier than many and I made some great memories. With that in mind, here are the statistics and best/worst from 2021.
# of Countries, States and Territories: 11
I spent time in Guam, Common Wealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI), Utah, DC/Maryland/Virginia (DMV), Florida, New Mexico, New Orleans, Texas (two trips), Ohio, Upstate New York, and Belize.
Only CNMI and Belize were completely new destinations. But it was my first time in Austin and I’d only driven through New Mexico before.
# of nights away from “home”: I think about 66
# of places I slept: 27
Most expensive hotel: Ramon’s Resort in Belize was by far the most expensive but it was definitely worth it.
Favorite hotel: Luna Mystica in Taos New Mexico. It was comfortable and unique but it was really the porch that put it over the top from some of the other great places I stayed.
Best value: I stayed at two Potomac Appalachian Trail Club cabins. These are beautiful cabins in unbelievable locations. Both were under $100 a night with a great view, porch and fireplace/wood stove. If looking for a place in the woods or mountains in the DC area, definitely check these out.
Best meal: Grillfish pairing menu in DC. We went to celebrate a friend’s milestone and the tailored menu was amazing!! Runner up is the Sawmill in Madrid New Mexico. I feel like we ordered everything on the menu and it was all fantastic.
Best drink: Blood orange margarita at the Shed in Santa Fe New Mexico. Runner up is the Pineapple Margarita at Elvi’s in San Pedro Belize.
Favorite dessert: Key Lime at Elvi’s in San Pedro Belize.
Best walk / hike: Southern Mountains in Guam. I did it 3 times in 5 months because I loved it so much!
Best sunrise: This is a bit unfair because I walked by the ocean and saw the sunrise every day in Guam. Belize also had some amazing sunrises.
Best sunset: They are all beautiful in Guam so I can’t pick just one. Runner up: Taos New Mexico.
Best view: Coast of Tinian, CNMI. Runner Up: Bryce Canyon Utah
Best animal viewing: Turtles and sharks snorkeling in Belize
Best spontaneous activity: Jazz and drinks at the New Orleans Ritz. Runner Up: Albuquerque holocaust museum. I almost always have a plan and it is hard to work something new in at the last minute. Both of these were spontaneous additions that reminded me sometimes it is ok to just go with the flow.
Best Museum: World War Two in New Orleans. Runner Up: Albuquerque holocaust museum. Even though this is a very small museum it is exceptionally well done. It tells a story and captures more than just the holocaust of World War Two.
Coolest adventure: Visiting Tinian is such a special and unique thing to do, it has to top the list. But flying over the Blue Hole in Belize was amazing. Both would make a life-time top 10 list.
Best hot chocolate: Chili hot chocolate at Belize Chocolate Company in San Pedro Belize. I don’t have it often but I love hot chocolate. Since I saw the movie Chocolate years ago, I have wanted to try a chili hot chocolate. This is the first time I have ever seen it and I loved it!
Best Performance: Celia and Fidel at Arena Stage. I love the small downtown Arena Stage theater and particularly enjoyed the production of Celia and Fidel. I left the show and bought a book about Celia in order to learn more. Runner up: Lord of Cries at the Santa Fe Opera House. I didn’t love the production but the venue was amazing and I will definitely return.
Fiction: 50 Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie
Non-Fiction: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez