As the year comes to a close, it is inevitable that we all sit back and reflect on the past 12 months. For my family, it is no different. We’ve experienced both highs and lows like previous years, but overall I think 2017 was a pretty good year for our family.
2017 Highlights – Vacations
The highs are always vacations, and we took two this year. The first one happened in late April where we headed to Kauai once again to recharge and relax. We stayed at our favorite hotel right on the beach. Enjoying warm breezes and the surf hitting the sandy shores, there is nothing more relaxing than this island getaway. Hence, we have dubbed Kauai our home away from home!
We planned a once-in-lifetime experience this past August – the viewing of the 2017 Full Solar Eclipse! To do this we planned a big road trip to Oregon. We traveled from Sonoma County east through Napa County and beyond to Hwy 5. From there we headed north out of California all the way to Portland where we stayed for a couple of nights. The actual viewing of the big event was in Salem where we hung out in the Walmart parking lot with all the other “eclipse chasers”. We talked to some of our “neighbors”, and found that many had driven all night just to experience this less than 3 minute event! It seemed others, like us, planned an entire trip around it. All I can say is that it was amazing!
Our Oregon Adventure allowed us to “scoop the loop” as I liked to say, stopping along the way to see the many great sites we had been to before, and others we had not, including two airplane museums (remember The Spruce Goose.) After the eclipse, we headed west to Seaside and then down Hwy 101 stopping at our favorite places all the way home. A fantastic nine day adventure that helped us to start thinking about making some important decisions.
Lowlights – Wildfires
The low for us this year was the wildfires that ripped through our beloved Sonoma County with a vengeance. Taken by surprised, we went into survival mode without even thinking. It was a grim time for both of us. We will forever remember October, 2017 as the worst time of our lives. We were spared from the devastation, however, some of our friends and colleagues were not so lucky.
To this day, it is difficult to drive into Santa Rosa and see the damage left behind from the massive destruction of Mother Nature. We may never know how it all started, but we have learned a great lesson. Always remain on high alert whenever the winds blow! The sad part for me is that rebuilding will take a decade or more, and we will probably leave the area before we see it returned to its former beauty.
Ending the Year
We ended the year by taking a break from the sadness we experienced in October, and headed to the coast for a short Thanksgiving holiday. As a result of visiting Mendocino and Ft. Bragg, we got a chance to breathe a little easier and unwind from the recent stress. We loved seeing the Holiday Lights at the Botanical Gardens. Every time I think of that, it puts a smile on my face.
Christmas was low key and quiet. We didn’t put up a traditional tree, deciding it would be more fun to put up over a dozen trees of various sizes and types scattered throughout our home. It was actually pretty fun and festive! Our inflatable Christmas Snoopy stood guard near the door, and brought cheer to the neighbors as well as us.
Wishes for the New Year
I spent the better part of 2017 looking for inspiration and getting away from what I truly love. Therefore, Today’s Writing Woman will be writing more in 2018 using what I found during the past year. Look for lots more from me in the coming months. Finally, we would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! We hope that it brings you good health, peace and joy. May you find all that you long for and we wish you abundant blessings!