The Best Of 2011

Recently Paul and I had a dinner party and a great question came up – “What were your favorite memories of 2011?”

Here are a few of mine:

1. Grand Canyon

Paul took me to Las Vegas for the week of my birthday and the highlight was visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time. I’d mostly avoided it because when out in nature, I prefer the less busy spots but we found a section of the canyon that was 60 miles one way down a gnarly dirt road, therefore making it less traveled. We went with a tour company since an off-road vehicle was required and we ended up being the only two going out that day!
When we arrived we were indeed the only people there. This part of the canyon has been left untouched. There are no railings, signs or tour buses – perfect! I got a chance to hang my legs off the edge and look down thousands of feet below into the Colorado River. I’ve seen pictures of the Grand Canyon but there is no way they even came close to the feeling of seeing the real thing. The power of that place will literally take your breath away. Then, later that night for the first time, I actually won money at a casino. The next day our time-honored tradition of a shot of whisky first thing in the morning on Valentines Day pretty much completed one of the best birthdays ever!

2. Sedona

While Paul and I were on our longest road trip to date, we stumbled upon one of the greatest places on earth – Sedona Arizona. It wasn’t pre-discussed to travel there but on a whim we decided to check it out. We figured we take in a few hours and connect up to the I-40 and continue on to Santa Fe. We were so blown away by all the incredible views, the people we met and the energy of the place that we ended up staying an entire week. The inspiration for this blog was born in Sedona. A few highlights were visiting Antelope Canyon, the magical thunderstorms, checking out a vortex, and meeting four beautiful wolves. Sedona is now on our list for the next road trip!

3. Badlands

On our way home, we took the I-90 all the way across. A place that caught my eye on the map was Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The name brought me there, but the scenery will bring me back. I’ve been to a lot of places with red rock formations but none quite like this. I can see how the name ‘Badlands’ was chosen. There is something so eerie and mysterious about it yet so absolutely beautiful. While we were there a heavy fog set in making it all the more ominous. I only wish we had longer than one day to spend there, but that one day was more than enough to lure us back.

I’m really looking forward to 2012 and am grateful for all the incredible moments of 2011. I’m also thankful for the not so great moments because those were the times I learned so much.

Thank you all for being here with me on my journey. I am so appreciative of the support I’ve been given and the words of encouragement to continue on this path.


December 22, 2011

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Agreed. It was a much needed moment for reflection. And now I’m stoked to plan the next road trip!


So nice to spend some time reflecting and reliving moments that pass. It adds depth to those moments and re-energizes those experiences, enhancing gratitude and placing context into your life.


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