It has been a LONG time since I’ve posted anything here or even looked at my lonely blog. Poor thing needs some TLC! Hopefully this is the beginning of me hopping back in and not just a fluke. Time will tell.

So how have you all been?! I don’t need to remind you that it’s been an absolutely bizarre year. The travel bug was reaching fever pitch in February, but the itch was due to be scratched in early April with the first work trip of the year.

Welp.

Covid-19 had other ideas. Sort of. I did get to travel for work and even sooner than April, but it wasn’t the sort of travel I was expecting. My company is an essential business. Without all of the detail, I worked in two of our stores in two different States for a few weeks in the early days of the pandemic. It was a surprisingly great experience. Exhausting and scary, but great. Getting out of the cube farm to spend time working with our store associates and helping our customers was so rewarding.

After being home for a couple of weeks, I was getting extra itchy. Going into the office every day was a life saver. I know so many people think I’m crazy, but still interacting with my co-workers as normally as possible helped keep me from sliding down the dark hole of depression. That didn’t solely help though. Ordering groceries and essentials online, not getting together with our friends, and just lacking many day to day interactions, I had to do what I could to get out of the house, so I increased my hiking regiment. I still hit my local metro parks here and there, during the week when the daylight and weather held up, but started branching out to our Ohio State Parks. The third facet to my sanity, was seeing my immediate family regularly. My parents, brother, sister-in-law, and of course our pups. We celebrated birthdays, went hiking (shocking!), swimming at my parent’s house, and of course sharing meals.

Things seemed to be calming down enough by late May that we decided to go ahead and reschedule our annual Mother’s Day trip to Florida for early June. The timing worked out perfectly! Had we gone Mother’s Day weekend as planned, the Naples, FL beaches would have closed at midnight on the day we arrived. Talk about a massive bummer. All we do is sit on the beach and go out to dinner! The beach reopened and the city of Naples was slowly reopening by the time we went a month later. We practically had the beach and restaurants to ourselves. It was great!!! (We did stay in and cook a few times, too.) I was the only person going through TSA on my flight down and the flight back. Southwest was, and so far still is, leaving middle seats open. I feel horrible for the people who make their living off of tourism, but for me it was one of the least stressful, most comfortable travel experiences ever. I made sure to tip extra everywhere!

There were some other sanity savers sprinkled throughout the year thus far. We had a small, surprise backyard wedding in the family this year. Outside on a beautiful summer evening. I kept my gardening game up all summer. The amount of flowers and tomatoes that grew this year was nuts!

We went out to visit the “in-laws” in Pennsylvania whom we hadn’t seen since Thanksgiving. Way too long between visits. We mixed in a mini vacay with the family time by staying in very nearby Railroad, PA at a fantastic bed and breakfast. I highly recommend making a trip and staying at Jackson House Bed and Breakfast. The train tracks run right next to the BNB, but these days only run the occasional tourist train. Historical footnote: These same tracks were used by President Abraham Lincoln to get to Gettysburg to deliver the Gettysburg Address, and later his funeral train followed this same route.

Ohio State football is back (Go Bucks!). Despite the dry summer we’ve had a beautiful, if mildly less vibrant, autumn, and I’m almost actually looking forward to the first snowfall. Almost. The Second Summer this week also makes me wish it never drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit again. LOL

I am looking forward to what November and December bring to my bubble this year. A challenging year, but a year full of experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I’m looking forward to sharing my State Park experiences with you, so hopefully this post isn’t just a fluke and instead is a sign I’m getting my head back in the writing game. ๐Ÿ™‚