Wow, did the holidays and 2013 really fly by? I am now back to work and settling back into my life. Without many travel plans for 2014 yet, I want to share a holiday photo essay, along with 2014 plans/ announcements.

Taking red-eyes can be rough, especially since I am getting older and do not rebound from lack of sleep like I used to. We spent time with both our families in Pennsylvania. Even though most of my time when I travel back to my home state is spent relaxing with friends and family, I still kept myself busy.

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Early Morning in the Dulles Airport

One of my favorite things to do when flying into Pittsburgh is to drive through the Fort Pitt Tunnel to see Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s hills and rivers create some natural barriers when driving around the city. If you visit, make sure to drive through one of its many tunnels. Just be careful to avoid any tunnel monsters that might get you πŸ™‚

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Driving into Pittsburgh

Here are some highlights of my trip:

Spending time with family

I tried to see as much family as possible when I was home. It was full of dinners, parties, and lounging. We even were able to celebrate a white Christmas with some fresh snowfall. I would not have had it any other way.

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A Snowy Front Yard

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Loving the Tree this Year

Revenge! Last year my brother-in-law decided to wrap my gift card in lots of duct tape and plastic wrap. After receiving him in our family gift exchange this year, I knew I had to come up with something. Even though it did not take him long to tear open the pallet surrounding his present, the thought was all that mattered. I couldn’t make it easy, so I decided to wrap the presents in duct tape as well just for kicks.

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Unwrapping Gifts

I came away with some great photo gear to use on my travels, along with travel knitting needles, a book, and clothing.

Playing with dogs

We were around young and old dogs when home. Since I love dogs but do not have one of my own, I make sure to spoil my siblings’ dogs when I can. This means lots of snuggle and fetching time with these balls of fur.

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Mayah Playing Fetch

Learning to crochet

If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that I like to knit. However, I found a pattern to make a Huntress Vest from the opening scene of Catching Fire. It did not take me long to learn to crochet, which I have avoided for years. Maybe 2014 will bring me new confidence for trying new patterns (crochet and knitting).

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Worth Packing my Yarn

Meeting up with friends

I was fortunate to reconnect with many of my friends. I met with different groups of friends during my visit, which was a real treat.

I was lucky to head to a new bar/craft store to enjoy drinks with someone I went to high school with. I realized I have not seen her in roughly four years. We talked about our 10 year reunion, along with catching up on life.

I met up with friends at one of my favorite breweries in Pittsburgh, Fatheads. Even though we had a longer wait than expected, we had a great time reminiscing and catching up.

Andy and I had a blast catching up with more college friends at a house party for New Years. We brought in the New Year by playing beer pong and playing Cards Against Humanity.

With flight cancellations, we had an impromptu trip to Cleveland to make our connecting flight (Pittsburgh to Cleveland was cancelled so we decided to drive). Since I used to live in Cleveland, I contacted some of my friends and was able to spend some time with them between our drive from Pittsburgh and heading to the airport to catch our flight.

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A Snowy Ohio Turnpike

Seeing a movie in an old church

Andy and I have been wanting to see the new The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. When we were told it was playing a town away, we decided to see it. Little did we know we would be watching the film in an old church turned into a movie theater. It was a unique experience. I have been to many establishments that used to be churches and turned into something else (bars, clubs, and now a theater).

2014 Plans

With missing our lower budget trips recently, Andy and I have decided to not make any travel plans until finding a cheap flight or travel deal. I am really hoping to go to Asia for the first time. I was excited to move to the West Coast for more access to the other side of the world. However, we went to Europe twice in 2013. It just doesn’t make sense. . .

With this being said, I have few plans so far. I can’t wait to see where 2014 will take me. I do have a few plans that will be shared on my blog this year.

Whistler

The only planned weekend trip I have so far is to Whistler. A 4 to 5 hour drive from Seattle, we will be staying at an Airbnb house that sleeps twelve. We will be celebrating St. Patty’s Day while hitting the slopes and hanging out with friends.

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Whistler Gondola (Photo Source)

Mountaineering School

The Washington Alpine Club in Seattle offers a basic climbing class. Even though I have not been accepted yet, I have submitted my application. I hope this is something I will be able to share with my readers on exploring more of the PNW, along with what I will be learning. If you like the outdoors, be sure to follow my journey.

Travel Blogging 101

I am excited to announce that I will be participating in a travel blogging course. Amanda from A Dangerous Business is sharing her travel blogging knowledge. I can’t wait to learn more about the blogging realm.

A Blogging Conference

I am still waiting for the North American TBEX conference to be announced. I am hoping it will be in close proximity to the PNW. I am open to other blogging conference suggestions if you know any. I prefer travel related, but I will consider others.

Angela Travels Blog

I think 2014 will be a great blogging and learning year. Along with some of the planned trips and courses, I do plan on undergoing a redesign for my blog to make it user friendly. If anyone has anything they would like to see from me, please let me know in the comments. I will take all ideas into consideration when organizing my new design!

I hope you enjoyed your holidays as much as I did. It is time to look forward to what the new year may bring! Cheers!

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