Well...2020 was quite the year! I think I speak for everyone when I say 2020 did not turn out the way we had planned. A global pandemic, stay at home orders, and travel bans only scratch the surface of the year that was 2020.
It was a tough year for many people, and I think it is natural to want to turn the page and move straight to 2021. Yet I feel it is important to also reflect upon the good things that came out of this crazy year.
Despite travel taking a huge hit, I launched our family travel blog and embarked on a new adventure! This year will always be the year it all began.
And yes, I am fully aware of the irony--launching a travel blog in the midst of a global ban on travel. But I am following my dream, and nothing will stand in my way.
Travel may have looked a little (or a lot) different this year, but we took advantage of every opportunity we possibly could. Take a look at our year in review and check out the places we DID travel to in 2020.
Just a few days after the new year, I purchased a Disneyland Annual Pass. This was the year. Austin was under 3, so I could bring him with me for FREE! Obviously, our plans of visiting Disneyland all year long changed once it shut down. However, I did still manage to take Austin a couple of times before it closed, so we got to enjoy quality one-on-one time...plus Mickey!
Somewhere around February, I decided to start a family travel blog. As I began behind the scenes preparation, I discovered that running a successful blog requires far more than I realized. BUT...I loved every second of it! And so…the Worth Every Trip family travel blog was born!
Our annual MLB Spring Training trip to Phoenix was off to a great start. Austin cheered through one baseball game our first night there, and we had tickets to 3 more Dodgers games in the upcoming days. However, when we woke up the next morning, we were blindsided by the news of all remaining spring training games being canceled due to COVID.
Unexpected circumstances arise when you travel, so we did what we always do...PIVOT! We spent time with family in our Airbnb, played at a local park, and discovered some awesome family hiking at Papago Park. Oh...and we swung a few rounds at TopGolf.
April - June
As spring led to summer, I continued preparing to launch my blog. I wrote my first blog posts and developed my website and social media platforms. It sounds so simple, but if you are a fellow blogger, you know how much time it takes!
There were a couple of trips we had planned that got canceled because of passport delays and further closures. Cancun, San Antonio, San Jose, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World -- we look forward to visiting you another day.
Instead, we spent time together around home. We took countless walks around our neighborhood and visited the beach at least once per week. Ah, the perks of living in San Diego. 2020 definitely made us realize how blessed we are to live in one of the world’s top vacation destinations. The ocean, sun, and sand restored our sanity.
Since Disneyland was closed, we created Disneyland at home and brought the magic to us! It wasn’t the same as going there, but Austin enjoyed the surprise. Who wouldn’t love your crazy mom’s cameo appearance as Ariel?! (Don’t believe me? Watch the Youtube video.)
Apparently, we started going a little crazy because we decided to get a dog! Meet Ollie. This may not sound like a big deal for the pet owners out there, but you should know I had never owned any type of pet my entire life prior to this summer. Like...no dog, cat, bird, fish, NOTHING!
Bo makes fun of me because I can't even keep a plant alive. So I still don't know what we were thinking! Blessing in disguise, or biggest mistake of my life… I’ll get back to you on that.
For all the animal lovers out there, don't worry. Bo grew up on a farm with a completely different animal upbringing. If it had 4 legs, he had one…or more! Dogs, cats, a bunny, pigs, a lamb, and 2 cows! So, Ollie is in good hands…as long as Bo is around.
On a fun travel note, we took a long road trip and met our extended family at Bass Lake for a week full of boating and fun on the lake. It was our first trip since March, and we savored every second of it!
Austin and I flew on a plane for the first time during the pandemic to visit family in Minnesota. I developed some tips and tricks to get my toddler to happily wear a mask through an entire flight. He did great, and we realized we still enjoyed flying and traveling even with added restrictions.
Later that month, Bo and I took a weekend getaway to Palm Springs for our anniversary. It was our first time traveling anywhere without Austin. While we love traveling as a family of three, the quality time we got to spend together just the two of us was blissful. We will be taking at least one of these adult-only trips each year from now on.
As travel started to become a little more comfortable, we took a family trip to Florida to visit Walt Disney World. It was Austin’s first time there, and we made the most of it! Even with new pandemic guidelines at Disney World, we had a blast and made incredible memories!
Our favorite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, were advancing into the playoffs. We would usually attend playoff games in LA, but this year they were all happening in Dallas, TX. Luckily, we scored some tickets to go see a National League Championship game.
Plus, the following week we were able to fly back to Dallas for game 6 of the World Series. After 30 years, the DODGERS WON THE WORLD SERIES! And we were there to witness it! This was a major highlight of our year (and maybe even our life).
November - December
The final months of the year were filled with celebrating our little man turning 3, spending time with extended family, and FULLY embracing the holiday season around San Diego.
We drove up to the Central Valley for Thanksgiving, and (like every other trip we take) we stopped at Rosemary’s Family Creamery for the BEST homemade ice cream! If you are ever passing through Bakersfield, CA, make a pit stop. You won’t regret it.
As the year draws to a close, we are celebrating the holidays with close friends and family. Despite anything this year has tried to throw at us, we are determined to make the most of it and treasure our time with loved ones.
Now we continue to dream about what our 2021 travel plans will look like. We know plans can always change, but you have to keep dreaming because it's Worth Every Trip!