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  • Writer's pictureThe Killorans

2018 Travel | Year in Review

Updated: May 18, 2019

We visited various regions across the globe this year and wanted to share some of our most memorable moments (along with some photos, of course!).


1. Atacama Desert, Chile

We planned to visit the world's driest desert in the world where it rains a total of maybe 3 days out of the year - The Atacama Desert. With it's moon-like appearance, sand dunes, salt flats with flamingos, thermal geysers and one of the best locations to stargaze at night, what cooler place could there be? Unfortunately, mother nature had different plans for our arrival and it literally rained every evening we were there. Since it's a desert and does not have paved roads, all of the excursions to visit these various sites and stargaze were CANCELLED. Instead, we found other ways to entertain ourselves. The most memorable being our hectic search for bikes to rent so we could cycle out to the Valle de la Luna. It really felt like you were on the moon. It was unreal and the most alien-like place we've been to on Earth.



2. Antarctica. Just Antarctica.

Neko Harbour, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica

Our trip through Chile led us ultimately down to Antarctica to scratch off our biggest bucket list to date - visit all 7 continents before we turned 30. The most amazing moment we had was paddle boarding with Gentoo penguins popping in and out of the water right beside us avoiding a hungry Leopard Seal nearby all while chasing a Minke whale that we could see and hear blowing water every time it surfaced. It was absolutely surreal.



3. San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

We've decided San Francisco is one of our favorite US cities to visit due to it's very European feel, delicious food, fabulous weather, green spaces and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge. This structure always seems to take our breath away every time we visit. This year, though, we found our favorite outlook to view the bridge in all of it's glory. Luckily, the fog behaved the day we ventured over to this spot and allowed us some pretty spectacular views. With the overgrowing wildflowers and blooming trees on a gorgeous spring day, it was pure perfection.


4. Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, CO

We find our way out to the Colorado Springs area quite often to visit family but had yet to venture up all together to Pikes Peak. At 14,115 feet, Pikes Peak was an experience. We caravaned with our family up to the summit where we encountered beautiful views and experienced the dramatic temperature drop from 80 degrees Fahrenheit in town all the way down to below freezing at the summit. Needless to say, we were severely under dressed in shorts and t-shirts.



5. Palo Duro Canyon, TX

Palo Duro Canyon, TX

Every year, the 24 Hours in the Canyon mountain bike race commences in June at Palo Duro Canyon near Amarillo, TX. This year, we finally purchased real camping equipment and enjoyed a weekend camping out with our friends. One of our favorite moments, apart from the race, was waking up to 3 very large female turkeys gobbling as they walked past our tent.



6. Chicago, IL

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

With limited vacation, we always try to have long weekend trips when there's a good opportunity. This year, we visited the windy city of Chicago. We indulged in all of the local must-haves, did the "touristy" things like seeing the bean, stood in awe of the architecture along the river and fell in love with our now favorite US art museum - The Art Institute of Chicago.



7. McMinnville, OR

Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Newberg, OR

For Anthony's 30th Birthday, we made our way out to the Portland, OR area to spend a long weekend enjoying our favorite Pinot Noir from the Willammette Valley region. Little did we know, we found the most quaint, easy-going, gorgeous town of McMinneville just south of Portland thanks in part to recommendations we received from local friends we happened to make earlier in the year in Antarctica. We stayed at the best boutique hotel, had some amazing food and cocktails, but more importantly, drank our absolute most favorite wine.



8. Mt. St. Helens, WA

Mt. St. Helens, WA

A bonus from our trip out to Portland and meeting up with our friends who live there, our friend George happens to be a private pilot. On Anthony's birthday, he took us up in a Cirrus SR22 airplane, flew us over the Willammette Valley area where we had just spent days tasting wine, around and over downtown Portland, up the Columbia River Gorge alongside the national forest and circled us around Mt. St. Helens. No idea how we got so lucky. It was an unforgettable experience.



9. East Bass Lake, Cotton, MN

East Bass Lake, Cotton, MN

On a trip to visit family near Duluth, MN, we stayed with an great aunt and uncle at their cabin on a little lake known as East Bass Lake. The interesting thing about this particular trip to visit family was that this family was new to us all. Anthony's dad never knew who his biological father was and, after taking the Ancestry DNA test, was linked up with a half sister and family from the same town his mom grew up in. After meeting everyone at a reunion, even though we had just met them, it was clear almost at once that they were family. One morning, we took a couple of kayaks out around the lake for a few hours through fields of lily pads. It was a calming and special addition to an already special trip.



10. Fayetteville, AR

Fayetteville, AR

Though Arkansas is within an arm's reach of Texas, we never find ourselves traveling that way. A friend of ours was getting married in November, so we spent a quick weekend in Fayetteville to attend the wedding, not thinking we were coming during a perfect time of year to see all of the fall colors in full swing. And what a weekend it was to visit! The colors were absolutely phenomenal to witness and, even though we didn't plan much time due in part to some weekend rain showers to hike any trails, we instead found a really nice park to walk around and take in the colorful foliage. Needless to say, we will be back to see and experience more.




11. Rome, Italy

Temple of Saturn, Roman Forum, Rome, Italy

In an attempt to squeeze in another international trip before the end of the year, we decided to travel over Thanksgiving to none other than Italy. Rome, of course, was a planned stop, as it was always a dream of Anthony's to one day visit. The Roman Forum quickly became one of our favorite spots to see and experience the evidence of the ancient civilization of early Rome. The sheer scale of these ruined structures today are amazing and we could only imagine what they were like back when ancient Rome wasn't so ancient.



12. Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

On our trip out to Florence, we met up several times with Emily's Interior Design college professor, Cindy Mohr. She not only showed us some of our favorite restaurants we ate at in Italy but also gave us an insightful tour of the city of Florence. With her guidance, we were able to shape a good portion of our trip to see some of the more unique things in Florence.




 

2018 was wonderful and full of so many unforgettable experiences for us. We're excited to see what comes next in 2019.


Cheers and Happy New Year!

-#thekillorans

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