Highlights of the past 1.5 years

Well… 2020, and then 2021. What a year and a half. It’s been a while since we’ve posted on our blog, mostly because we were a bit discouraged that things turned out so differently than we planned. In the scheme of things, we had a great year. We were lucky not to come down with COVID-19 (that we know of at least), our family mostly stayed healthy, we were able to spend time with friends and family, and we explored much of the USA and Mexico. Our timeline is still way off where we want it to be, but “going with the flow” is our new motto.

Looking back on 2020/2021, here’s a summary of what we did:


March - Mexico! We loved Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, and Guanajuato. After three weeks, we thought the world was ending and flew back to the USA once the travel advisories all went to “Level 4.” Hung out with Carolyn’s parents and planted a vegetable garden.

April/May - Drove up to the Bay Area to spend time with Carolyn’s sister and her family. Planted another vegetable garden. Drove back down for Easter with the parents. We hiked as much as we could in the Antelope Valley.

June - We stayed with Carolyn’s sister in a motorhome outside their house. Carolyn worked for ~1 month making COVID-19 test kits and Wes flew to his parent’s house in Pittsburgh to spend time with our niece and nephew that were there for a month.

July - 

Camping road trip part 1:

Cedar Breaks National Monument

Zion National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Salt Lake City, UT

Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Museum of the Rockies

Glacier National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Upper Peninsula of Michigan (“The UP”)

August/September - We hung out with Wes’s parents, went to Gettysburg National Military Park, and drove to see an aunt and uncle in Michigan. We learned how to burn wood, installed insulation in an attic, and did some urban hikes in downtown Pittsburgh. A highlight was a weekday trip to the Fingerlakes region in New York to drink wine and camp.

October/November - 

Camping road trip part 2:

Shenandoah National Park

Chapel Hill, NC

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Nashville (Highlights: hot chicken and music everywhere)

St. Louis (plus Cahokia Mounds)

Denver, CO

Breckenridge, CO

Santa Fe, NM (all the petroglyphs, plus Los Alamos)

Bandelier National Monument

Albuquerque (top thing to see: National Museum of Nuclear Science & History)

Petrified Forest National Park

Flagstaff, AZ (plus Wupatki National Monument)

Sedona, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

December - Christmas in California. We had a low-key party with just immediate family and had a dance party for New Year’s.


January - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, plus side trips to Mascota, Sayulita, and San Pedro.

February - Guadalajara, Ajijic, Aguascalientes, and Zacatecas (Mexico).

March - Oaxaca, Mexico.

April/May - Volunteering with sea turtle conservation in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. It was the most hot, sweaty, hard, and rewarding two months of our lives.

June - Sequoia National Park, San Francisco Zoo, Muir Woods National Monument. We got vaccinated!!! So thankful.

July - Pittsburgh adventures, whitewater rafting, museums, and a visit to the Carrie Blast Furnaces to learn about the production of steel.

August - Parties, weddings, adventures in downtown LA (Wes finally got to see the Hollywood sign), and Lava Beds National Monument.

Which brings us to now - we are currently traveling Europe and hope to update with more details later.