I love a new beginning. Whether it’s the start of a new year, setting new goals, or simply hitting the reset button, new beginnings mean a fresh start. One of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis, perhaps said it best, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” I have some pretty exciting and challenging goals for 2018, and I can’t wait to get started. Before I do, here are my top ten moments on the run in 2017.
#10 Running down 30A
We went on John’s family’s annual beach trip to Seaside, FL, in July. There is nothing my child loves more than riding the waves and hanging with his cousins at the beach. I got to eat seafood and run each morning down picturesque 30A, which made me happy.
#9 Two trips to Our Nation’s Capital
I recently recapped our October weekend in D.C. for the Marine Corps Marathon, but I also spent a week there in June during U.S. Travel Association’s IPW meeting with tour operators and international media. From watching fireworks over Nationals Park to exploring the National Mall, D.C. was a fun start to the summer.
A 10-hour layover in Los Angeles meant getting out of the airport and doing some exploring. My friend Zach and I hightailed it to In-N-Out burger and reveled in all of its glorious greasiness. It did not disappoint.
#7 Commemorating a king
Each August I make the trek with Elvis fans from around the world to Memphis, TN, to celebrate the legacy of the world’s greatest entertainer and promote his birthplace in Tupelo. This year was special as we commemorated the 40th anniversary of his death with a king-sized celebration at Graceland’s new Elvis Presley’s Memphis.
#6 Exploring the Chickasaw Nation
In January, I traveled with my work family to Aida, OK. We explored the cultural assets of the Chickasaw Nation and met with their leaders in anticipation of the building of the Chickasaw Heritage Center in Tupelo. I got in a couple of runs while there, mostly because of all the snacks we ate on the drive out there and one infamous stop at a chocolate factory.
We had to walk off that In-N-Out burger, didn’t we? That same 10-hour layover took us to the famed Santa Monica Pier. It was a gorgeous day and was a great way to stretch our legs before the long next flight.
When a conference just so happens to take you to the city where your brother lives, all is right with the world. While in Cabarrus County, NC, I went to Whiskey Prison, heard Jim Avett play (yes, THOSE Avetts), explored Great Wolf Lodge, enjoyed a tour of craft breweries, and ate made-to-order Downtown Donuts. Oh, and Jack cooked supper! The greenway by the Embassy Suites where I stayed made for a perfect three-mile loop to run each morning in the city that is home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The annual PRSA Travel & Tourism Conference was held in Palm Springs, CA, in May. While there I got to visit my best friend since birth, who just so happens to live like 20 minutes from Disneyland. Having never visited the original, we spent an absolutely perfect afternoon riding rides and catching up. Palm Springs was pretty fabulous, too. Check out that adventure here.
#2 Canoeing on Moraine Lake
I shared all of the details of our family trip to Banff a couple months ago, but canoeing on the ridiculously gorgeous, teal waters of Moraine Lake was one of my favorite activities on that trip. John uses this photo to claim that he did all the rowing, but Miles and I beg to differ.
When the summer began, I never dreamed that it would include sporting wetsuits two different times, because well, summer. But let me tell you, each experience was incredible. The picture above is from my experience in the Waitomo Glow Worm caves in New Zealand. All the details of that trip require a post all on their own, but my experience in the cave was life changing and the people I experienced it with are friends for life.
In 2017, I traveled further than I ever have before, I finished my sixth half marathon, I visited a new Disney park, I walked on a glacier, I held a koala, I set a PR in a 10K, and made some pretty amazing memories with friends and family. 2017, you were fabulous, but I couldn’t be more excited about what’s coming in 2018.