As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on a year of travel and reflect on what made it special. I’ve been to new places and old, familiar; ones and I enjoyed every single trip except one. You’ll understand which one and why.
What a way to ring in the New Year! We spent New Year’s Eve in a restaurant that was within walking distance from our hotel. Or should I say within stumbling distance. That night, I saw a male belly dancer for the first time and was mesmerized. We had such a good time in Istanbul. I felt very safe, maybe because I was travelling with my husband. I know women travelling alone can feel uncomfortable there at times. For some strange reason, I felt at home, even though this is not my heritage. I loved the food, it felt and tasted familiar. I would go back in a heartbeat.
New York [US]
One of my sisters and her two daughters came to visit us in Dallas. We did a lot of sightseeing here in Dallas and A LOT of shopping. Shopping with teenage girls was a new experience for me; although I enjoyed it, it made me feel old and out of touch with fashion trends. But it was fun! We fit in a short girls’ only trip to New York.
It was very cold in New York; we didn’t enjoy that at all. We saw the sights: Central Park covered in white, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State at night, Little Italy, Wall Street, Times Square. We crammed quite a bit in less than three days. We cut the visit short because there was a snow storm coming and we didn’t want to get stuck in the city.
Caddo Lake and Jefferson [US]
Sean and I went on one of our little road trips around Texas. We hadn’t been that far east and I wanted to see the Spanish moss hanging from the cypresses, so we headed to Caddo Lake first and then to the pretty little Victorian town of Jefferson and it’s Shakespearean theatre festival.
Buenos Aires [Argentina]
As usual, I combine visiting with family and friends with a little sightseeing. This time I took a stroll around Barrancas de Belgrano, a park I hadn’t been to in years, and visited Chinatown for the first time.
As I probably commented before, my brother and his family moved to the hills of Córdoba and I went to visit them. I took the bus to the capital city, also called Córdoba, and got my history fix here among colonial buildings. We did a lot of sightseeing. My favourite, though, was crossing the Altas Cumbres (high peaks). The views were awe-inspiring.
New Orleans [US]
Another road trip, this time to New Orleans, an 8 hour drive from Dallas. We drove to Natchitoches first, where we spent the night. This is a lovely town in Louisiana, one of the first French settlements in the area. We pushed on to New Orleans. I’m still not sure whether I loved the city or hated it, probably somewhere in the middle. But I loved the food! We had some incredible meals here.
Buenos Aires [Argentina]
Another visit home. My mother and I took the grand-kids to the guided tour of the Colón Opera House. And I got to meet the lovely Leigh and her wonderful family!
Although this was a very short visit, we managed to do a lot, like seeing the hanging bridges on the Altas Cumbres or enjoying the peace and quiet of babbling mountain streams.
The reason for this trip was a very sad one: my father-in-law’s funeral.
New York [US]
This has become our annual ritual: get together with friends to watch the tennis US Open. The girls and I had an absolute blast both in Manhattan and at the Billie Jean King tennis center in Flushing. I think we laughed nonstop.
This was a more relaxed visit. We packed a lot in: dinner with friends in Canterbury (love love love the cathedral), a weekend in Cambridge and Ely, a day out in Portsmouth, trips to London to see the magnificent poppy installation at the Tower of London and to meet my friend Mercedes, family meals and my birthday dinner. Phew!
December is all about family. We’ll go to Toronto, Canada, for a pre-Christmas O’Reilly reunion and then on to Buenos Aires to spend the holidays with my family.