A 2015 Recap

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This is my favorite picture from 2015, from my one of my favorite hikes I've taken thus far, Franconian Ridge in New Hampshire's White Mountains.
This is my favorite picture from 2015, from my one of my favorite hikes I’ve taken thus far, Franconian Ridge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Every year I make myself a list of weekend resolutions, and every year I set unrealistic goals that set me up for failure. Last year, I tried to be more realistic, but still set myself two separate posts of over 10 resolutions (some, which came with sub-resolutions). You could see them here and here. Every year, I then devote a post to revisiting said list, and going over whether I succeeded or failed at it. It’s usually pretty depressing, so while I’m still going to make a 2016 goals list (although I will be re-doing the format I use), I’m not going to revisit whether I succeeded or failed, but rather, do a simple recap of the year.

2015 was pretty good to me. I went a lot of new places, and the fun part for me, was that several of these were surprises, which doesn’t happen often-usually I have my schedule planned out 2 or 3 months in advance, and have an idea of where I’ll be going. This year, I took two big trips, and several smaller ones, which were thrown together the week before or so.

2015 started off pretty slow, only because I’d  just started a new job in December of 2014, after being unemployed for four months, and so was hurting for cash pretty badly. I laid low most of the winter, but did do a lot of cross country skiing. I took day trips to Crystal Lake Ski Center near Williamsport, High Point XC Center in New Jersey, and did a little XC Ski barcrawl here at home, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I was also able to squeeze in some snowshoeing at the Delaware Water Gap, and a trip out to Pittsburgh for some XC skiing near Ohiopyle, curling lessons in Pittsburgh, and finally made my way to the famed Foggy Goggle.

My brother curling: one of the best pictures I've taken to date.
Casual curling pic in Pittsburgh.

I was able to make it back up the Lake Placid in March, where I conquered my first high peak, which has given me the hankering (I can’t believe I just used “hankering” organically, but I’m keeping it) to become a genuine 46er (which is not a 2016, but rather more long-term goal).

First high peak: Cascade MT.
First high peak: Cascade Mt.

Spring was low key as well, with a couple local beer trips to Susquehanna Brewing Company and brewery hopping around Binghamton, but in May things really picked up. I went out to Pittsburgh for my brother’s law school graduation, which was bittersweet, because, while  obviously I’m proud of him for graduating,  at the same time I’d been going out there two or three times a year the past few years, and realize with him back home, it probably won’t be as frequent. Pittsburgh’s one of my favorite places to visit.

A great day spent boating around Point Park.
A great day spent boating around Point Park.

In May, I also started a PAWeekendFun Instagram account, which you should go and check out.  Instagram is my favorite form of social media, and by far the one I’m most active with in real time.

One of my favorite trips of the year came over Memorial Day, when I flew out to stay with my buddy in Boulder Co (Which I haven’t written about  yet, because I’m the worst) and got to explore Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ve never really been out west, so it was an awesome experience, and Colorado makes some great beer-I really hope to make it back in 2016.

Admiring the Rockies.
Admiring the Rockies.

I was excited in June to attend my first music festival, Firefly. I’d never been to one before, and as a big concert fan, it had always been on my bucketlist. I also really wanted to see The Killers, who is number one on my list of favorite bands I’ve never seen live. I learned a couple of things at Firefly. A) I’m old. B) Music festival are not my jam, and C) I probably just should have toughed it out and saw the Killers (I’ve added this one posthumously, and only because I’m listening to The Killers while writing this).

Firefly by night.
Firefly by night.

June also included an annual trip to Sea Isle, as well as rappelling down a waterfall, which was not as scary as it should have been for someone as afraid of heights as I am. Then, over 4th of July, I took an impromptu trip to up to Portland, Maine, where I basically was as American as possible, kayaking out to a civil war fort on the 4th of July, and having as many lobster rolls as I could handle. July included another jaunt up to Lake Placid, and my 2nd high peak.

High Peak #3 doesn't count, as "technically" we drove up Whiteface Mt.
High Peak #3 doesn’t count, as “technically” we drove up Whiteface Mt.

In August, I went on a family trip up to the Finger Lakes, and pissed myself off for not making it up there sooner-they’re only about 2 hours away, are gorgeous, and completely filled with wineries, breweries, distilleries, cideries and great food. I had a such a good time that I took a drive up in fall myself on one of my days off for some solo hiking and beer tasting.

Check out that view.
Check out that view.

One of my favorite trips was Labor Day in the Midwest (somewhere I never thought I’d spend Labor Day btw). Chicago was never high on my list of places to go (which was admittedly, a mistake) but when my cousin found round trip tickets for $120.00 out of Philly over Labor Day, I couldn’t pass it up. I found that I’m a big fan of the windy city, and we also decided to see Wisconsin via Madison and Milwaukee. Things I learned about Wisconsinites: they love cheese, beer, and xc skiing. They are my people.

Still made it to the beach on Labor Day.
Still made it to the beach on Labor Day.

Going north was probably the predominant theme of my 2015 travels, because my traveling year ended in a big way in October with a Columbus Day trip that included a hike in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, beer tasting in Stowe VT, a scenic drive through Lake Champlain, and a day in Montreal.

Franconia Ridge from below.
Franconia Ridge from below.

November and December, as always, are not low key, but spent in and around NEPA. I usually have too much going on around the holidays to travel much, and am usually spending most of travel budget on gifts, and food. For starting the year with a new job, and almost no money, I’m really proud of all I was able to do. I also took a little break from the blog, which is why my Colorado, Midwest, and VT/NH/QC trips haven’t been documented yet. I’ll be working on posting them through this winter. Something else I’d really like to work on? The amount of photos I take. I really dropped the ball there, and will be working on making the blog much more visual in 2016.

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