The end of the year is a weird thing. Reflecting on this past year’s travel, the places we went in January seem SO far away, yet, at the same time, the year seemed to fly by. And, of course, there’s no better time than the last few days of the year to take a look back at our adventures near and far. So, without further ado, here’s the month-by-month recap of the highlights of my 2018 travel.
We kicked off the year by heading an hour north Frederick, Maryland on a particularly frigid weekend. Despite the 20 degree temperatures, our first overnight trip to Frederick was a success and I wrote several travel guides on the area. I was obsessed with the diversity of independent boutiques, the amazing food and alcohol scene, and our charming bed and breakfast stay.
Later in January, we headed even further north to a Nemacolin Woodlands Resort just an hour from Pittsburgh. We spent a few days eating delicious food (seriously, this isn’t your typical resort food!), skiing, taking in the art, and hitting the spa. We even stopped by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater on the trek back home.
February was a slow travel month, but we did manage to fit in one getaway to Charlottesville to go to a UVA basketball game with friends. Unfortunately, it was one of only 2 regular season games they lost – and in overtime. Regardless, we had a great weekend reliving our college days as much as is possible with babies in tow.
In March, we took a trip out to Austin with the sole purpose of just hanging out. I’ve told Adam that every time we’re there, we’re there for a family event and I don’t feel that I ever get to actually experience the city. So, that’s what we did. We spent 6 days in sunny and warm ATX working remotely and exploring in our off hours.
For the first weekend of March Madness, we were out in Las Vegas. I’d actively spent years avoiding Vegas, but, lo and behold, I ended up loving it. I mean, you can’t beat great food and flashy evenings, right?
One of the travel highlights of our year was our road trip to Ireland. We started in Galway, spent a day in the Aran Islands, and then made our way through Killarney, Kilkenny, and ended in Dublin. You can find Part One of our road trip here and Part Two here. This was a trip that taught us all about setting an itinerary that has flexibility built in.
I stuck around DC enjoying spring in Washington during most of April, but I did head up to NYC for a weekend for a friend’s bachelorette party where we realized that, in our 30’s, it’s a lot harder to keep going after a party brunch (though we did!).
We went back up to Frederick in May for a springtime weekend away and, yet again, I was absolutely smitten with the town. This time, we did a hiking and wine tasting weekend and it was absolutely lovely.
And, because one weekend of wine tasting in the spring is never enough, we went out to Middleburg a couple weekends later for a wonderful stay at The Red Fox Inn and a super relaxing weekend strolling around hunt country.
We ended May with a trip out to Nashville with Adam’s family and had such a blast eating and shopping our way through town. I loved being out there so much that I wrote 3 travel guides to the area. Check out my guide to Germantown and East Nashville, a guide to 12South and the Gulch, and, lastly, Broadway and Hillsboro.
I kept on moving in June and kicked it off with a trip to visit a friend in Jersey City. I’m not sure what I thought to expect in Jersey City, but it was an awesome place filled with great restaurants and charming streets.
Next up in June was a friend’s wedding in Key West, Florida. I loved the vibrant, quirky island, despite the 100% humidity, and totally understand why so many creatives have moved there over the years.
I wrapped up June with a trip to Madison, VA for a friend’s bachelorette. There’s nothing more relaxing than a few days spent in the mountains with good friends and good food. Plus, I was introduced to the adorable Market at Grelen.
Because who doesn’t need a quick midsummer getaway, we did a 24-hour jaunt out to Loudoun County. We went to vineyards, breweries, and took it easy out in this gorgeous rural area near DC.
Later in the month, we spent a rainy weekend in Virginia Beach (pictures below from our one sunny afternoon). I’d love to do a more extensive travel guide to VB this year, so stay tuned.
Perhaps my travel highlight of the year was our August trip out to California. The impetus for our trip was a good friend’s wedding in Headlsburg but we made a 12-day trip out of it since I’d never been to California. We did San Francisco, Healdsburg, Sonoma, and Lake Tahoe.
September was a month that was packed with fun, but minimal photos for the blog. We kicked it off by heading up to Baltimore for a day out on our friends’ boat. You can’t beat a day full of sun, beer, and water.
A couple weeks later, I went out to St. Michael’s, Maryland for a relaxing bachelorette weekend with a couple friends, my sisters, and my future sister-in-law. I had something low key in mind and this totally fit the bill.
September came to a close with a few days spent in Charlottesville meeting with everyone involved in our wedding and putting all the finishing touches on planning our wedding. This, by far, was one of the best weekends I’ve ever spent in Charlottesville and I cannot recommend a weekend and dinner at The Farmhouse at Veritas more.
Our travel slowed down later in the fall as we approached our wedding date, but we did manage to make it back down to Charlottesville once more (do we ever get sick of it? Nope.) for a football game with some of my college friends. Of course, we stayed an extra day and I wrote a fall travel guide!
In November, we went back out to Middleburg for one last getaway before our wedding. We spent a cozy evening at The Red Fox Inn and Middleburg totally showed off its holiday best.
For Thanksgiving, we were down in Austin, TX and out at Adam’s family’s ranch in Lampasas. We quickly realized we didn’t exactly think it through having our wedding the week after Thanksgiving, but we treated ourselves to fried venison and whiskey in moderation.
Our favorite month of the year!! Of course, we went down to Charlottesville a few days ahead of the wedding – on November 29. We spent time exploring the city with our families (Adam’s parents had never been there!) and enjoying time together before the wedding. December 2 was the big day.
After our wedding, we spent 6 days in lively and colorful Cartagena, Colombia for our honeymoon (and one night stuck in Fort Lauderdale). There will be many posts coming to the blog, so stay tuned!
We returned to DC briefly and then headed down to Urbanna, VA where my parents recently bought a river house on the Rappahannock River. I can’t wait to get back down there to spend more time exploring all the charming towns on the Northern Neck.
From the river, we went to Richmond for a few days to spend time with my family for Christmas. It was a quieter trip to Richmond than in years past, so we need to plan a trip back soon to keep up with the new places that are popping up left and right.
WHERE WE’RE HEADED IN 2019
So, that’s a wrap for 2018, but where are we headed in 2019? There are just a few trips on the docket thus far – Montreal and Quebec City later this month, followed by Orlando and Disney the last weekend of January. March will take us out to Carmel, California for a wedding, and then our calendar is wide open!