Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Year in Review, Part 1

At the end of last year, I consolidated my blogging about food, travel, and life in general into this blog only. As a result, all travel posts have been here -- and we traveled a lot. Many of our trips had birds and wildlife as a focus, sometimes combining birdwatching with visits to friends or family.

I read a number of books this year, but I think fewer than most years. I didn't blog about all the books that I read. My favorite books this year were the four Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante, blogged here.

We did many things, ate some memorable meals, and visited quite a few new and familiar places in 2016. Below I've picked some highlights from January through July. For a complete description of the trips, check out each month of blog posts as listed in the sidebar to the right of this post. In my review part 2, I'll continue with a summary of July-December.

January: At Home

Maybe the most colorful dish I've cooked this year: from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem: Roasted sweet potatoes with green onions, peppers, figs, and balsamic reduction. On our later trip to London, we ate at Ottolenghi's restaurant.

February: Panama

Our travels in 2016 began in February with a week watching birds and other wildlife in Panama.
A sloth in a tree in Panama.

February: Florida

After returning to Miami, we rented a car and drove around in Florida for around 10 days, visiting relatives and watching still more birds.

Clown shoes at the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum, Sarasota, Florida.

March: Cape May, New Jersey

We spent one day in Lancaster, PA, with my brother and sister-in-law, then met Evelyn and her family in Cape May, N.J. for a weekend.
Miriam and Alice at Lobster House in Cape May.

March: Fairfax, VA and Washington, D.C.

After Cape May, we drove to Fairfax and spent a week visiting the family.
We viewed the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. during our visit to Fairfax.

April: "Birds and Art in Provence"

At the end of April and the beginning of May, we spent two weeks in France. First a tour titled "Birds and Art in Provence."

In the Camargue region near Arles: a flamingo and some of the famous white horses.
We not only went on a number of spectacular birdwatching and art-oriented tours
near Arles, we also enjoyed the open-air market in the town.
Above is a photo of a market stall selling bread and 15 kinds of macarons.

May: Paris

From Arles, we took the fast train to Paris and spent several days visiting friends and seeing a few of our favorite museums -- and one new museum.

The Musée du Quai Branly has been open for 10 years, but this was our first time at this unusual building, designed by Jean Nouvel. We enjoyed the collections of ethnographic materials.

May: Dinosaur National Monument and Provo, Utah.

Soon after we returned from Paris, we went to Provo, Utah, for a birthday conference for our friend Charlie. Before the conference we visited Vernal, Utah, to see Dinosaur National Monument and some very interesting prehistoric rock art.

A dinosaur bone with me for size.

Statue of Brigham Young at the Provo library where the conference was held.

May and June: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel.

Just a day after coming back from Utah, we flew to Tel Aviv, Israel, for a memorial conference for a friend. After the conference, we visited Len's cousin for a few days, and did some sightseeing in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Caesarea.

The city of Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv. We walked along the sea front from
our hotel to the tower in the distance in this photo. Jaffa is the
oldest still-active port in the world.
Falafel at a restaurant in Abu Gosh near Jerusalem.
The second half of my Year in Review will be posted tomorrow!


Jeanie said...

I love your recap (especially Paris, of course!) but we will have to agree to disagree on My Brilliant Friend, although I've heard the second is better. But I think I'll probably read the wiki synopsis. I just didn't like any of the characters!

Happiest new year -- look forward to recap 2!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mae
What a great idea to sum up the year. It sure was full of lots of travel, family, friends and adventure! Thanks for sharing Mae.
It's been wonderful getting to know you and your blog these past years Mae. You have always been honest and a loyal visitor, Thank you😊Looking forward to "seeing" you on Facebook.

~~louise~~ said...

What an exciting and fulfilling year you've had Mae. Filled with adventure, friends, and family. Kudos to you!

It's been wonderful blogging with you all these years Mae. I appreciate your loyalty and honesty through the years. Thank you! Looking forward to seeing you on Facebook. Thanks so much Mae.