Another year is in the books, and it's been a busy one. We've been to so many new places here at In The Loop Travel, but I am also realizing that the more places I go and the more adventurers I meet during these trips that we will never have enough time to experience all there is in this wonderful world.
So, it makes no sense fretting about some list (because the list will always grow; every new traveler I meet offers fantastic "must-see" spots I might not have ever considered). What I do instead is embrace every day as a chance for adventure and try to keep on moving and keep on planning what to try next.
I look forward to another busy year in 2015. In The Loop Travel will turn 2, and I thank you all for making it as successful as you have. Please spread the word if you like what you see here. Also, always email, subscribe and comment on my pictures and stories to let me know what you want to see or any specific travel-related questions you want answers to.
OK Loopers, let's take a look back at 2014 and the places we have been.
Strictly chronologically, here are the wonderful places we've been:
New York City (multiple times because we live so close): The most fun adventures were with our great friend Matt, who came down from Rochester for a visit, and the day at Ellis Island and elsewhere with McMom.
Belize, Honduras and Cozumel on a Royal Caribbean cruise on Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston, Texas. This was a trip with my brother Bart, which shall forever live in infamy. I worked; he played. It was a blast.
Dublin, Ireland, was a perfect spot to go for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday and my wife's Irish heritage. Slainte!
London overwhelmed me, with so much to do and see, all packed within a vibrant, walkable area. We went twice, will return again -- and it will always be fantastic.
Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I got a behind-the-scenes look at this iconic destination -- a must-see spot for sports fans.
Key West, Florida, a stop on our Carnival Cruise sailing on Carnival Ecstasy. We popped in for a tour at a butterfly conservatory that was especially interesting.
Turkey, Greece and Croatia on the brand-new Regal Princess. This just might be my favorite ocean cruise ship of the dozens I have been on so far. This voyage also marked our first time in Turkey and Greece, great new destinations to explore.
Orlando, Florida. This is a fairly regular occasional trip we make to see my family, which lives in the area. Still kids at heart, we also like to hit the theme park rides (like those at Islands of Adventure and Disney) to get a thrill.
The Rhine River, on a Viking River Cruise, to Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands. This was a spectacular first experience with the Viking Cruises line, which offers included tours at all port stops. We learned an lot about historic sites while putting in plenty of steps, too.
Cancun, Mexico, for two sunny weeks. This long getaway consisted of two parts: a relaxing week with CMac at the Westin Lagunamar resort followed by a three amigos bash with Bart and Matt at the Royal Islander resort (three guys crammed in a studio unit makes for hilarity).
Tahiti and other islands in French Polynesia on Paul Gauguin Cruises. The scenery and service is indescribable on this cruise itinerary. When not onboard being spoiled with great meals and drinks, we spent days on private coconut-tree lined beaches in quiet lagoons gazing up at mountains that rise into the clouds. We also got in some nice hiking.
Austria, Hungary and back to Germany on another Viking River Cruise. The first trip with Viking was so great, I went back. Well, they had me back -- for the line's second #VikingSocial sailing. A group of social media and blogger types gathered to experience what a Viking River Cruise is all about (during the delightful European Christmas Market season) and convey the details to readers and followers like you. In short: It's great! You'll want to enjoy the holidays this way every year.
It's been a great year, and I can't say often enough how much I appreciate all your support. Please follow along as we continue to try to give you the info you need to have your best adventures ever.
Cheers and travel happy!