Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looking Back at 2014, Ringing in 2015

My apologies for the longer silence! The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of busy. Without further ado, I present a quick review of 2014.

Best Family Event
  • Christmas in Michgan: A total of 17 people, two cats and one dog at its busiest, this extended family Christmas celebration was a wonderful opportunity to get together. A big thanks goes to my sister and brother-in-law for hosting this large and sometimes rowdy gang!
Almost everyone!
Best Non-Family Event
  • Garezers Summer High School 50th anniversary celebration in July was So. Much. Fun.
Best Trips
  • The two weeks I spent in Latvia and Lithuania in May were just fantastic: seeing lovely nature, visiting new and already beloved places, meeting family and friends, experiencing culture, and commemorating history. I was particularly happy to visit Riga while it was European Capital of Culture. The time was so full of wonderful experiences that it took me weeks and many posts to write about it.
  • A long weekend on the Outer Banks, North Carolina in October was a welcome respite from daily life, and an excellent opportunity to finally visit that state, my 35th.
Biggest Purchase
  • In the closing days of 2014, after much researching, hunting, and test driving, I finally bought a new set of wheels! Now I have plenty of room to ferry tall (or short) family and friends, plus I'm ready to start planning some road trips in the new year. Any suggestions?
Best Book Read

The Power of Song: Nonviolent National Culture in the Baltic Singing Revolution
Best Restaurant Meals Enjoyed
Best Wine Enjoyed 
While 2014 had many ups, it certainly had its share of downs. I'm looking forward to 2015 and what it brings, hoping it will be a more peaceful and happy year for our world. May your new year be filled with health, happiness, and fun adventures!


  1. Thanks for the book recommendation, I've been hungry for ones about the region. I just finished Purge, a novel by Sofi Oksanen. Great read!

    Enjoy that new car in the new year :-)

    1. The book is rather academic, but because of the topic - popular music - still very readable. Lots of amazing tidbits and anecdotes about life in the Baltic countries during late Soviet times, and uplifting stories about the struggle for independence, yet it begins with Baltic history several hundred years ago, so the author covers a lot of ground and the reader learns a lot!

  2. Happy New Year! I hope this one is just as good as the last - or even better :-)

    1. Thanks! And hope your 2015 is great, as well!

  3. Laimīgu Jauno Gadu! Varbūt redzēsim tavu jauno mašinu in 2015? I left my copy of The Power of Song in Chicago to get a personalized inscription - it goes on my tbr list. As for High Cotton BBQ, we have a High Cotton in Greenville - also yummy. Maybe you make another southern trip - is GA on your list of states still left to see?

    1. Paldies, Tev tapat! Hmm, road trip to western NC for waterfalls and Asheville, and then to SC to see you all - that's an idea! I've been to GA, although have not seen much. Most of the remaining states are difficult to reach via car from here...


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