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2016: A Year in Review - California Globetrotter

2016: A Year in Review

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2016 has been another wonderful year, unfortunately it flew by so fast I actually felt like I didn’t have time to take it all in, soak up every moment and enjoy every minute. I certainly tried as best as I could to enjoy every single day and to slow down the time, but that is something completely out of my hands.

This year was a big year for us that had PLENTY of happy, joyous moments, many new adventures and lots of opportunities for which we are incredibly lucky to have had. So I want to take the time to show my gratitude to this beautiful life we live that has given us the chance to travel Europe. And I especially want to show my gratitude to my new husband who has been the most wonderful travel partner I could have ever asked for!

With each passing year, I feel that our lives continuously improve and grow and while there is so much more to be done, I know that for now, we should only focus on the here and now, but I can’t help but feel excitement for 2017 that will be filled with many new adventures, laughter, happiness and growth.

While I shouldn’t look to far into the future, I don’t want to look to far back into the past either. There were plenty of ups and downs throughout the year, on and off the camera, but that is no reason to dwell in the past either.

But a recap of our amazing year certainly doesn’t hurt that left us with long lasting impressions that turned us into story tellers and left pieces of our hearts everywhere we went.

January – March

We brought in 2016 standing on the Charles Bridge in Prague just as it began to snow at the stroke of midnight while watching the fireworks ring in the new year. Hoping for a proposal, I’d have to wait just a little bit longer. After all, patience is a virtue…which I dearly lack.

Czech'n Out of 2015 in Prague - California Globetrotter

A beautiful wintery day led us on a quick day trip to Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic to enjoy castles, beer and a beautiful historic city center. With each visit to the Czech Republic we fell in love more and more with this beautiful country. We visited the Hluboká Castle, did a tour of the original Budweiser Brewery and enjoyed traditional Czech cuisine.

Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic - California Globetrotter

February is such a great month as my birthday and Valentine’s Day are just a few short days apart, which mean a long weekend trip! Valentine’s Day weekend I knew we were going somewhere, but my then boyfriend refused to tell me where we were going until we were on the road. I quickly figured out he was taking me to Vienna as soon as we crossed the border. After much sightseeing, a few delicious cakes and some authentic Wiener Schnitzel, a horse drawn carriage ride ended the night with a proposal! And I said YES! Too bad the horse carriage driver took crummy pictures!

Vienna, Austria - California GlobetrotterVienna, Austria - California Globetrotter

April – June

When I mentioned we loved the Czech Republic, I wasn’t kidding. At the beginning of April we made another little day trip to the town of Karlovy Vary. Sad that we finally made it here after a friend had long since moved away, we mostly went because we were looking forward to our first Beer Spa experience! Such an awesome experience, it is highly recommended – after all, how can you beat a Beer Spa, unlimited beer in one hour, and homemade beer bread?

Karlovy Vary: The City of Baths! - California GlobetrotterOur First BEER SPA Experience! - Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic - California Globetrotter

From February to April, we were full steam ahead in wedding planning and preparing for our Engagement Pictures, a very American wedding tradition. A friend of a friend, Andreas F. helped us to create our vintage travel engagement pictures and they turned out amazing!!

HOW To Take Travel Themed Engagement Pictures - California Globetrotter

The beginning of May saw a road trip to Stuttgart for family reasons, which led us to the historic half-timbered town of Esslingen after we ran into a crowd of protestors in Stuttgart. Turns out May 1st is the day for protesting all of your woes in Germany. This town was by far way more picturesque than I had imagined and we instantly fell in love!

The Medieval Wine Town of Esslingen am Neckar - California Globetrotter

Mid May I made my first solo trip in 3 years without my then fiance to Texas for come wedding dress shopping! The most important part of wedding planning is saying “Yes to the Dress”, preferably with my friends and family! Also came a surprise mini-bachelorette sightseeing day trip to Austin, Texas before hitting the bars!

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After returning from Texas, the rest of May and June saw a lot of rain, so that meant finding indoor things to do! So, we had been saving the Munich Residenz for a rainy day trip, and it turned out to be just what the rain man had ordered! The Residenz was more glorious than anything we could have imagined!

The Splendor of the Munich Residenz & Why You Should Visit It - California Globetrotter

July – September

July is always a busy month as this is when we try to pack in the most of our sightseeing as the weather is usually the best in Germany at this time, and this year July had been a pretty wet summer. When we do road trips, we go big or go home, so we hit up the magical and surprisingly stunning town of Blaubeuren to see the Blautopf before continuing on to  Schloss Lichtenstein, the little brother to Schloss Neuschwanstein.

Blaubeuren's Blautopf - California Globetrotter

Schloss Lichtenstein - California Globetrotter

When the weather is just right, we itch for getting out of town and hitting the road, so another day trip led us to Bamberg for the day where we enjoyed Smoked Beer and more half-timbered houses!

Bumbling Around in Bamberg, Germany - California Globetrotter

End of July saw a totally spontaneous last minute change of plans for Hans’ 35th birthday. We HAD planned to go to Lake Constance for the weekend only to discover somehow I managed to only book a hotel for one night and not three, sooo as all the hotels were booked our first instinct was Bruges, Belgium. There was no second guessing, we looked and booked within 15 minutes and hit the road the next morning. It’s our favorite town and this time as we were “slow traveling”, we took the time to really explore Bruges more than our first visit, as well as our first beach trip to Blankenberge Beach!

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October – December

The beginning of October found us once again going away for the weekend – our last weekend together before we got married and before friends and family arrived from around the world. So we headed to one of Germany’s most stunning regions, the Rhine Valley where we visited the Loreley, sipped on a glass of Federweißer in Rüdesheim am Rhine, meandered the delectable town of Bacharach and made a side trip to Cochem to see the picturesque Reichsburg Castle.

The Loreley am Rhine - California Globetrotter

img_8310Cochem & the Reichsburg Castle - California Globetrotter

By mid-October family was already arriving two weeks before the wedding, so we did what we do best: We entertained by traveling and took my parents to Prague for a weekend! We went all out and did another Beer Spa, ate Trdelník (Chimney Cake), and walked till our feet fell off! Afterwards, as more and more family arrived, we went to Schloss Neuschwanstein, Schloss Linderhof, Schloss Herrnchiemsee and Munich all during the 2 weeks before and after our wedding! Whew! That was a lot!

img_0055Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany - California Globetrotter

Finally, October 28th arrived! The day we could hardly stand waiting for any longer! Our beautiful wedding day! Friends and family from the US, the UK, Germany & Poland came to join us to celebrate our marriage! The day that would be known as “the best wedding ever” would go down in history! We were surprised just how awesome our day would be, how well it all came together and exceeded all of our expectations!

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November was a relatively quiet month as we needed to recuperate after our wedding and two weeks of playing host and tour guide for friends and family. End of November however, begins a month of Christmas Market gallivanting! We hit up Nuremberg’s Christkindlmarkt as well as Strasbourg’s “City of Christmas” in France. Unfortunately, that was all we managed to make it to as I have recently been suffering from some severe muscle pain in my shoulder and up my neck and wasn’t up for sightseeing and carrying a camera around my neck all day. Plus, we booked a last minute flight home to Kentucky for Christmas.

Exploring Nuremberg's Christmas Market - California GlobetrotterStrasbourg is THE

December marks the time to start spending extra time with loved ones as everyone is infected with holiday cheer (at least, I hope they are!). This year we are spending our first Christmas as a married couple in Kentucky with my parents. It’s our first visit to Kentucky since my parents moved here at the beginning of summer 2016 so we’ll be hitting up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail! We’ll be playing with my doggies, catching up on some much needed shopping with a trip to Nashville, Tennessee.

img_0743A COMPLETE Guide to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail - California Globetrotter

What do we hope for in 2017?

As 2015 was such an amazing year and 2016 was fantastic, I can hardly wait to see what 2017 will bring! As we are a bi-national married couple, we talk about moving abroad together quite often as we think it would be a great experience for the both of us, but haven’t decided when or where we will go. Maybe 2017 will be the year of change! Fingers crossed!

With moving, comes the hope of also finding new jobs for the both of us, doing something new and exciting that will get us out of the hum drum we currently find ourselves in. Preferably, working from home more often via the internet so that we have move freedom to travel and pack up and go when we want, or the option to stay longer in certain places.

Of course, 2017 will also be the year of our honeymoon finally, as we delayed it to early summer at the end of May/June. So this is something we definitely look forward to!

 

If you’re interested in visiting Europe and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Other Posts Related to End of Year Reviews:

Superlatives of 2015

My Top 8 Most Popular Posts from 2015

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Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

75 thoughts on “2016: A Year in Review

  1. It sounds like your year was amazing! Congratulations on your wedding. I wish you and your husband a lifetime of happiness together. #wanderfulwednesday

  2. Awwwww I loved reading about your year and getting to know more about you. The photos in this post are amazing, by the way! What an eventful year… ending it with a husband! I hope 2017 brings about even more amazing trips and adventures. Have a great holiday season with your family! x

  3. Your year has definitely been amazing! How can 2017 possibly beat it? 😉 I’m sure you will find something awesome to do with a husband by your side.

    I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. How is it Christmas Eve in TEN days?!

  4. Congrats on the wedding and all the best for 2017! I loved reading all your posts about Germany this year – made me realize that there is so much I haven’t seen in my own home country yet!

  5. Wow you really have had quite the year! congratulations on getting married ! 🙂 You look beautiful in your pictures. Here’s to 2017! #wanderfulwednesday

  6. Oh wow, what a year you have had! Your pictures are stunning! I think I will have to add a few of the places you visited to our list of places to go! Congrats on your wedding, your dress is beautiful! Hope 2017 is a good one! x

  7. What an amazing year – you’ve managed to fit so much in AND plan a wedding – incredible 😀 Congratulations to you both! There’s so much inspiration here, it’s been bookmarked – I just showed my boyf the beer spa and we can’t wait to go! Your blog is fab and so happy to have found it through #WanderfulWednesday

    • Oh so glad to hear that! You will LOVE he Beer spa! It’s amazing! And trying to travel and plan a wedding at the same time kind of makes me pull out my hair but at the same time I really needed those days to get away from the wedding planning just to relax! Look forward to reading your blog more too!

  8. Spectacular year! You are living the life girl! I know all of us have ups and downs (and the downs do not come a lot in our blogs or social media accounts) but I am glad you decided to focus on the positive. I hope your plans for 2017 come to completion. Congratulations to you and to your husband! Looking forward to read your upcoming adventures.#wanderfulwednesday

  9. Talk about an incredibly busy year with not only traveling but a ton of personal activities too, like getting married! I still can’t get over how beautiful Neuschwanstein is in the fall! We visited in September, and the colors were just starting to change.

  10. Fantastic recollection! You did have a wonderful and a very memorable year. I am going to Prague few days after New Year’s and I hope to catch some sun too! Not very likely, but we’ll see 🙂 All those places you’ve been to in 2016 are beautiful. Good luck for 2017 as a newly married couple! 🙂

  11. What an amazing year you had! I hope 2017 will be even better. 🙂
    BTW, I love your wedding photo – you two are gorgeous couple.

  12. what a year! and you got married! beautiful wedding photo!#farawayfiles

  13. wow what a busy year! and congratulations on getting married. I feel ashamed that I haven’t been to any of these places, though – looks amazing! #farawayfiles

  14. Wowee! I think 2016 was an incredible year of sights and milestones for you. I think you should call it Schloss16 for all the castles. Looking forward to finding out about Nashville! Best of luck for 2017 Lolo and thank you so much for joining us and being such a wonderful community member of #FarawayFiles – you rock!

  15. I have no idea how you planned for a wedding and spent so much time travelling this year! I struggle with just one of those! I hope 2017 is as awesome for you as 2016 was! 🙂

  16. What a beautiful year! Congratulations on your marriage!

  17. What a fabulous year! I loved seeing the pictures of your wedding. You’ve had such a spectacular year filled with castles, half-timbered town and beer. I have so much enjoyed reading your blog this last year and delighting in the joy you find in everything you see. Thanks for sharing it with us on #FarawayFiles

    • Thank you for your sweet words Clare! It’s been fun getting to know you ladies too and seeing your passion for continuing to travel with kids! It’s very inspirational and helps me to consider the idea of doing both still one day! Happy Holidays!

  18. Looks like a great year. Wishing you all the best for 2017!

  19. So sweet that you got married this year! And your dress was beautiful. It sounds like you’ve had an absolutely wonderful year! #farawayfiles

  20. My, you had a busy year. Lots of Europe and getting married also. Best of luck in the new year.

  21. What a year! You covered lots of ground and did lots of amazing things 🙂 Here’s to an amazing 2017 and your honeymoon too!

  22. Amazing post following your year. I love the recap. Congrats on your wedding. That was planned quickly though. Glad your family and friends were able to join you can’t wait to read your new posts.

  23. What a year. You visited some of our favourite places. Congrats on your wedding. Happy New Year to you both, from Gordon and I

  24. Tillykke as the Danes say! Congratulations, what a year 2016 was for you! I’m sure you will make the most of 2017 – best of luck with new endeavors! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin #FarawayFiles

  25. What an amazing year you’ve had! I love your vintage engagement picture – so groovy. And all your beautiful chocolate-box pictures of German towns are making me itch to go there. Hope your neck and shoulder pain doesn’t trouble you over the holiday x #FarawayFiles

  26. Such an incredible and exciting year you’ve had! So many adventures and all with the person you love! Seems like you guys have a really great thing going and I’ve loved following along! Here’s to 2017 and many more adventures! 😀

  27. I always like year end recaps, and I especially like them if a wedding is involved. There are so many gorgeous photos that I think I want to visit them all. And I like your outfits, too. Have a fantastic trip to Kentucky and ringing in 2017.

  28. What a wonderful year ! Happy new year and happy travels !

  29. Glad to hear that you have had a beautiful and memorable 2016. Here’s wishing you a beautiful 2017 with many more wonderful memories to be made, Lorelei!

  30. What an amazing year for you- even without the wedding it sounds like it would have been memorable but what a wonderful highlight for 2017. Love the beautiful wedding dress in your photo too. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  31. An awesome year! I loved your photos and obvious joie de vivre. Congrats on the nuptials and hope 2017 is great for you too. Wilbur. #citytripping

  32. It’s lovely to read this and remember some of the posts I have read through these linkies – lots of schlosses and half-timbered houses. Fabulous! Czech Republic looks beautiful and so do all your photos. Congratulations on your marriage and here’s to a happy 2017.
    #citytripping

  33. What an amazing year you had! Congratulations on your recent wedding! Good luck to you and your husband in your new life!! Your photos are wonderful, you have an amazing eye! I look forward to seeing where 2017 takes you!

  34. What an incredible year you have had..and going away two weeks before the wedding? You must have been one chilled out bride! Many congratulations! It’s been fantastic to get to know you more and read all about your adventures. Look forward to hearing more and seeing what 2017 holds. #citytripping

  35. I previously commented on your Bacharach post – I see you also made it to my other favorite German town: Bamberg. Couldn’t take that smoked beer though…

    Frank (bbqboy)

  36. wow what an amazing year and congratulations, you have had some wonderful experiences and visited some truly breathtaking places x

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