25 Reasons to Be Thankful in This Year of All Years

reasons to be thankful

25 Reasons to Be Thankful Now

I wrote the post “25 Reasons to be Thankful for Time” exactly five years ago. I had just begun writing Adventures of Empty Nesters, and so many things were so different in my life. Who knew? One thing that hasn’t changed, I am still so grateful for time! However, we all have a lot more time than we ever did before.

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Family Adventures: When Four Generations Meet For the First Time

four generations of women
Four Generations of Women

New Family Adventures!

Since travel adventures are not currently a top priority, family adventures are just about all the adventures we can create. Some of us see our families often, while others have not been together since March or before. This lack of family interaction is heartbreaking, and uncertainty is commonplace.

In a million years, I never thought that I would not be writing about my exciting global travels and only focusing so close to home. I was in Japan just one year ago, and I still dream about travel. I have taken several trips during COVID between Washington and California. You can click HERE to read about my experiences.

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An Escape for the Weekend in Yosemite – Yes Please!

Tunnel View - Yosemite
Tunnel View – A beautiful view, earlier in the day

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” Ansel Adams

An escape for the weekend in Yosemite!

sunset view Yosemite
Tunnel View Yosemite – Sunset

Don’t we need a weekend away surrounded by granite walls, deep valleys, forest creatures, and sublime sunsets? Right now, most travel plans focus toward the direction of the outdoors with a priority of open-air, lots of space, and peaceful surroundings. California offers many scenic destinations where we can unwind and be one with nature.

We had grand plans to spend a weekend in Yosemite National Park, but COVID had other ideas. This year is overflowing with canceled or postponed vacations and weekend getaways. I am sure there are too many to count. 

Unfortunately, COVID restrictions pushed off our plan to hike and experience Yosemite, but our son Nick and new wife Kylie live much closer to this National Park and were able to enjoy a glorious weekend trip!

They graciously allowed me to live vicariously and provide me with their details to write this inspirational post! This month I am partnering with Hotels.com to help create a dreamy future weekend in Yosemite!

Now more than ever, careful planning is a necessity for every vacation or travel plan. We must do our homework to learn of any restrictions and closures and best understand our chosen destination.

Yosemite is an extremely popular destination all year round, and even if there were no extenuating circumstances, the weather can always provide challenges with road closures and snow.

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A Trip to Nashville Should Be On Your Adventure List!

trip to Nashville
Photo- Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A Trip to Nashville

It’s official; we are starting to see some positive movement toward travel. Travelers are thinking about a possible road trip and trying to decide just where to go. Many have already taken the plunge back into the delightful world of travel. Today I am working with my friends at Hotels.com to talk about a tasty, fun-filled trip to Nashville, Tennessee.

Whether it is country music, the incredible food scene, fall colors, or a lively atmosphere, Nashville has become the place to be. Just writing this post reminds me of how at home I felt in this vibrant destination! This city has a big heart, is large enough to have everything you want, but still gets away with a small-town feel.

trip to Nashville
A must visit! Country Music Hall of Fame

Craig and I, along with two of our best friends, Troy and Brad, designed a fantastic road trip that went from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to Nashville. We have been friends since we were kids, and this was our fourth recent trip together.

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Love, Anniversaries and Long Term Marriages – Is there a secret?

long term marriages
Our recent anniversary trip to Big Sur

Long term marriages – The joy of family!

It’s October! This month brings Fall leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, the World Series (Go Dodgers!), and is our anniversary month. For as long as I can remember, we have traveled somewhere to commemorate our anniversary. Maui was our usual celebratory destination, but this year it isn’t possible due to COVID restrictions. We are traveling to Carmel by the Sea and Big Sur, CA, and looking forward to it!

Always find adventure

Allow me to declare that all anniversaries should be celebrated! Any time a married couple begins another year together, it’s fantastic. Long term marriages and relationships are an essential milestone, and I wouldn’t be me unless I also said we need to find adventure in life too!

Read moreLove, Anniversaries and Long Term Marriages – Is there a secret?

Celebrating Life and Love in a Year That No One Could Imagine

celebrating life

Celebrating Life!

I vacillated back and forth as to how to write the introduction of this post. Do I recap how hard things have been this year? The sadness, despair, disappointment, and COVID? Or any of the other negative adjectives?

No, I am skipping the bad parts and going straight to the joyous part! Ok with you? Here we go!

Celebrating life in the craziest, most challenging year we can remember is the best way to look at 2020. Many people may want to erase this year, but I don’t want to forget any of it, because we have grown from it. And more importantly, as a family, we are rejoicing three very special additions to our family!

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A Visit to Joshua Tree National Park Should Be on Your Adventure List!

visit to Joshua Tree National Park

A Visit to Joshua Tree National Park

A visit to Joshua Tree National Park and the town of Joshua Tree will take you away from everyday stress and introduce you to a desert landscape that is so incredibly different from city life!

Recently I have written about finding adventure in woodsy, pine-smelling forests with vast lakes like Lake Tahoe and charming towns like Jackson Hole where the Grand Tetons impress and welcome you.  So today, along with my partner Hotels.com, I share one more destination inspiration! It is time to seek the sandy, rock-climbing terrain of Joshua Tree. We loved it!

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The Adventure Continues: Finding Joy Wherever We Can

finding joy

Finding Joy in the Everyday.

Life as we have always known it is not the same, and we will never forget 2020. That is the understatement of the year, right? Most people want to forget 2020, but I refuse to do that, especially since our twin grandchildren, James & Josephine, were born this year! Something else is happening very soon and will bring our family great joy as well, but I am keeping it on the down-low for now. 

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Small Group Tour Anyone? – A Truffle Hunting Adventure in Italy!

small group tour
The gorgeous Italian countryside – All photos in this post by The Italian Tour!

A Small Group Tour will be the hottest travel ticket in town.

I am thinking of planning my next small group tour. For the past six months, did we ever think we would still be socially distancing on month #6? We have been stuck inside, unable to travel like we used to before COVID.  

Everyone has a different philosophy, and perhaps underlying health issues that complicate this discussion further. 

This is me talking; I will not put any pressure on you to make plans to travel. However, I can offer you something fun to think about and maybe put down a deposit for the possibility of taking a small group tour.

Tours of 12 or less will be popular for the obvious reasons. Fewer people, more intimate tours created by locals who can prepare and protect their guests while visiting. 

Can we forecast how travel will be in November 2021? No, we can’t. But we can dream and plan for it.

Read moreSmall Group Tour Anyone? – A Truffle Hunting Adventure in Italy!

Changes From COVID Influenced The Biggest Adventure of Our Lives

changes from COVID
The gift bag in the center is filled with toiletries I couldn’t live without and for emergencies. So glamorous! But we are all smiles on the road North!

The life changes from COVID are endless.

Can we count the ways that COVID has changed our lives? Where do we begin? Life as we know it has turned on its head, spun around fifty times, and then was asked to stand up straight. How can we do that? Answer: One day at a time.

Parents welcomed their grown children back home when they couldn’t go to work or lost their jobs. Empty Nester Moms and Dads readjusted to making meals for many instead of two once again. Were we sad they came home? No, not all. Adjustments were made, new routines were created, and bonds became even stronger.

Read moreChanges From COVID Influenced The Biggest Adventure of Our Lives

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