I did a lot of traveling in 2016. For most of my adult life, little getaways have been a luxury that I embrace fully. Whether it’s jumping in the car to a spot a few hundred miles away for the weekend or hopping a plane to a place I’ve never been, I revel in the chance to see new places and experience new things. (Though I have a print from Natterdoodle that says, “No matter how far I roam, Ohio will always be home sweet home.” Because I still love it here!)
My year of travel started in February when I hopped a plane from Indianapolis to Denver for a weekend, which in itself sounds like a bad idea (what could go wrong with traveling to the Mile High City in the coldest month?), but it turned out to be absolutely beautiful (and unseasonably warm!). I had a wonderful tour guide in Jason & incredibly welcoming hosts in Brian & Cathy (& my new awesome, pint-sized pal Finn) for the weekend. Jason and I took a trek into the mountains, our first stop being Golden, home of the Coors Brewing Company. I’m a pretty big beer fan and even though I’m biased toward local stuff, it was awesome to see another big time brewery (I’ve also been to Anheuser-Busch in STL).
From there we headed up further into the mountains to a little town called Idaho Springs. I’ve never been out west before, so the mountains mesmerized me every minute I was there, even when we were out in the foothills. We stopped at a few places for local brews and food and touristy things (as you do), and then headed back into the city for the hockey game! Colorado College and the University of Denver were playing an outdoor game at Coors Field, and I’ve always wanted to go to one, so I suited up in my brand-spanking-new DU t-shirt and pretended like I had a dog in the fight. Also, 1000 bonus points for the first person to satisfy me with an answer on why the U of D goes by DU colloquially because this will never stop aggravating me.
In March I made the surprisingly easy drive east to Pittsburgh to visit my friends James & Natalie. Somehow in all my years of living not too far away and visiting places like Wheeling and Johnstown back in my ECHL road warrior days, I’d never made it to the Steel City. It’s hard to remember now all of the great things they showed me in one short weekend, but again I had surprisingly good weather and we spent a good portion of one afternoon wandering around the city. I give Pittsburgh a lot of grief, it’s just a product of being from Cincinnati, but it’s not such a bad place after all.
In 2008, I moved to Louisville, KY on a whim and spent 13 months living in what turned out to be a pretty cool city. Unfortunately a job downsizing caused me to move home, but I always cherish that year and I’ve got a pretty solid appreciation for the city. It’s a lot different now and the neighborhood I used to live in is booming and cooler than ever, so I absolutely love to go back and visit. My sister and I have made an annual tradition in the last handful of years of going down for Thunder Over Louisville, which kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival. During the day, it’s an air show (one of my favorite things), and at night they put on one of the country’s largest fireworks shows (another one of my favorite things). It’s a huge to-do, with a quarter of a million spectators, but with some snacks and a book and a blanket we have a great time and the show is always worth it. Last year they did simultaneous displays on either side of the bridge and it was incredible.