The last month of the year was filled with lots of fun, cozy activities on the weekends. It felt very wintry.
White Plains, NY
Miles Traveled Map
1223 miles this month! Crossed PA four times. This state is massive.
Favorite Destination of the Month
Lancaster, Pennsylvania wins for favorite because it was just such a surprise. I had not idea that there were so many great places to eat, shop, and drink beer. We did all those things and played board games in a gorgeous house in nearby Kirkwood. I would highly recommend staying in this area to learn about the Pennsylvania Amish culture.
Best Travel Moments
Discovering Central Market in Lancaster.
Central Market is the oldest farmers market in the United States. We bought fresh vegetables, fresh pasta, and whoopie pies to make a fun birthday dinner for my friend Cathy that night at the house. We also did quite a bit of Christmas shopping. Friends and family got hot sauce, pickles, mugs, and more, all made by hand.
Celebrating Christmas in New York.
I love Christmas with my family. We have many traditions (mostly surrounding food) that come up at Christmas time. And, I continue to believe in Santa Claus because reindeer pooped at my parents place! Did you know reindeer poop has bourbon in it? Chocolate, too.
New Year’s Eve at Claddagh.
We got silly on New Year’s Eve at Claddagh, an Irish pub on Pittsburgh’s SouthSide. It was best early in the evening while there was a live Irish band playing and we toasted the Irish New Year at 7 pm with Guinness. At 11 pm, it magically became like any other SouthSide bar. It was a bummer, but we made the most of it by people watching and gossiping until midnight.
Worst Travel Moments
Hitting snow on our drive to Lancaster as soon as we got on the Turnpike. It wasn’t supposed to snow on our drive at all. We checked several times because we knew it would also be dark since we were departing Friday evening. But the moment Kev’s tires touched the PA Turnpike…snow. It snowed for the first two hours of our drive and got far worse in the Laurel Highlands. It was a slow, not fun drive and we almost stopped at a hotel in the Highlands. Luckily, we didn’t and we drove out of the storm and the last bit of our drive was nice and dry, but we were definitely tired from the stress of unexpected snow in the dark.
Favorite Travel Tool
Airbnb. Having a house to share with friends in Lancaster was beyond wonderful. It was so much more fun than staying in hotel rooms would have been. We were able to spread out, cook together, drink tea by the fire, and play air hockey in the game room.
Favorite New Food
Reindeer Poop! The cookie version made by my parents. (See above.)
In December, I committed to a month of Core de Force. It was awesome. It’s an MMA-style workout where you punch and kick your way to fit. I got my frustrations out hardcore during the workouts and I was sore every day. In fact, I was so sore that I decided to stop after week three to give my body a rest before starting marathon training at the beginning of January. I kind of miss doing this workout already, so I’m imagining another round of it will happen after the marathon in May. I think it will go even better then because this was a tough workout to start after a month of not working out. I’m excited to tackle it starting from a better fitness base.
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