What. A. Year.
On our Instagram account, a photo from this day one year ago on January 1, 2020 popped up. It was a great reminder and also so crazy to think about what life was like this time last year.
We’re grateful for our health and our family but empathize with the despair, heartbreak and anxiety felt around the world. It was the toughest of years and we learned a lot. Laughed a lot. Cried a lot. Missed a lot. We’ll spare you all the cliché phrases and reflections from 2020, as a quick scroll through social media will tell you everything you already know.
While most resolutions don’t actually hold much stake when you’re living in a pandemic — it appears ours held true. Tenfold. 2020 held A LOT of adventures and countless stories and memories, just not in the way we had expected.
A quick recap of the adventures 2020 held for us:
- Lots of sledding in our neighborhood, skiing and ice skating in and around Madison, Wisconsin
- Katie’s annual family trip to northern Wisconsin for ice fishing and spending time together in a cozy cabin
- Planned heavily, got excited, and began packing for a beach vacation to Florida…that was ultimately canceled the day prior to leaving due to lockdown
- Adjusted to the reality of pandemic life and lockdowns
- Projects around the home, like the DIY Board and Batten in Katie’s entryway
- A LOT of hikes and A LOT of beaches
- We started our “Adventure of the Week” series to highlight fun and safe outdoor activities in the Madison, Wisconsin area this summer
- We have a huge list of new to us hikes and beaches we explored
- Tent camped in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin
- Explored the Boundary Waters and watched fireworks in Minnesota
- Roadtripped to North Carolina in a 15-passenger van to spend a week exploring Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Bryson City, NC area
- Weekends with extended family
- An impromptu weekend spent in Galena, Illinois with friends
- Brought the dogs and explored the bike trails in Sparta, Wisconsin and stayed at Justin Trails Resort for the perfect fall weekend
- Did all the fall things like apple orchards and pumpkin patches
- Enjoyed an early snowy fall weekend at Alderwood Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin
- Geared up for the unusual holiday season with outdoor dining spots, holiday lights and new traditions
How it started:
Even though we officially started our blog and Instagram account in the fall of 2019, it took us a few months to get our feet wet. Funny enough, NYE 2019 was the first time we actually “talked” on Instagram stories and we had so much anxiety over it 🙂 (Fast forward a year, and we’re less anxious but still awkward!) We envisioned this blog as a family travel and adventure blog. We intended to highlight small towns in and around Wisconsin with unique lodging options, kid-friendly restaurants, and family-friendly activities. We had a few bigger trips planned, along with a few longer weekend trips with our families and other friends and planned to share it all.
How it’s going:
Well, our “few bigger trips and few longer weekend trips with our families and other friends” changed significantly. A week-long spring break beach vacation to Anna Maria Island, Florida had to be cancelled as the country shut down. (Still bitter about the money lost on that one…and we are now scarred for life and obsess over cancellation policies!) A long weekend with our high school friends in Door County, Wisconsin was cancelled. Countless “normal” weekends in summer spent boating, camping with friends and family, backyard cookouts with friends and neighbors, and festivals and events were suddenly halted. We became each others’ social circle due to proximity (living 4 houses away has perks), transparency (we knew exactly who we’d seen, what we’d done, and where we’d been in effort to remain low risk), and sharing the same level of COVID-consciousness (okay, anxiety!). This was by far the hardest thing about 2020. We’re grateful to have had each others’ family to hang out together, but we have a whole bunch of loved ones that we didn’t and couldn’t spend time with.
Where do we go from here?
We’re not entirely sure but more of what you’ve already seen from us. 2020 had us realizing very quickly that a “travel blog” isn’t sustainable so we incorporated a lot of hikes and outdoor activities, as well as the few safer trips we were able to take. We’ve adopted a low-key low-commitment motto these days when it comes to activities and adventures. In addition, we’ve mixed in some lifestyle posts with recipes, DIY projects, and fashion (let’s call it apparel because we aren’t all that fashionable in fleece-lined pants! Haha! 🙂
We aren’t going to put any kind of label on ourselves for 2021 because we are a little bit superstitious and don’t want to funnel our way into something that we can’t pull off. Our goal is to provide good content for you and your family to enjoy the simple activities, both near and far from our homes in Madison, Wisconsin. 2020 has opened our eyes and ears and hearts and it’s not something we want to forget any time soon.
We’re here for the big adventures and the little moments, and are so grateful to have you following along.
Cheers to new adventures in the new year!
– Sara and Katie