Homer's Travels: A Homer's Travels Look Back At 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Homer's Travels Look Back At 2011

It's time for, what has become a ritual here at Homer's Travels, the look back at the year gone by.  After a very lackluster 2010, 2011 turned out to be amazing.   While I only had two goals, they both panned out.

2011 turned out to be a year with a very different feel to it.  The first part of the year was full of anticipation (and a little misplaced dread) with a little fun mixed in.  The second part was all adventure, all the time.  The third part was slow, simple, relaxed, and full of nostalgia of the summer gone by.

Let's look back at 2011, shall we:
  • In January, after realizing my rather disappointing results at meeting my 2010 goals, I set only two rather large goals - The Camino and Route 66 - both that I managed to complete.  My mood, having been rather bleak for the second half of 2010, was turning around.  My eyes, corrected by Lasik back in 2006, finally fell to the ravages of age ... so I got my first pair of reading glasses.  I snowshoed for the first and only time in 2011.  January was also when I really started planning for the Camino in earnest, starting to look at how to get to Saint Jean Pied de Port and putting together a packing list.
  • In February I addressed dental issues, having my first root canal.  We went to high and low brow events like roller derby and Poetry Out loud.  I decided to stop posting under my old moniker (Homer-Dog) and started posting under my real first name (A decision that I'm still struggling with actually).  As I finalized the Camino transportation plans and bought things on my packing list, I began my usual freak out.
  • March was a fairly muted month punctuated with two major events: a roadtrip to eastern Iowa, including the birthplace of Captain Kirk and the Antique Archaeology home base, followed by participating in our first curling tournament.  I received my pilgrim's credential this month (though I would not use this one along the Camino) and I bought the train tickets and made the hotel reservations I would need in Spain and France.  My Camino plans were coming together nicely.
  • In April I started putting together the Route 66 vacation plans.  I failed at a good deed,  I consulted an expert about my Camino, and I met another Blog friend, Dobegil, in the real world.
  • In May, the Camino started.  After a rocky start I walked from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Boadillo Del Camino.  (This portion of my Camino was recounted in Homer's Travels starting on August 1 through September 11.)  I saw amazing things, met amazing people, and had an amazing adventure with ups and downs and amazingly amazing amazement.
  • In June my Camino continued with more amazing places, amazing people, amazing things, and more amazing adventure ending with me returning to Madrid.  (This portion of my Camino was recounted in Homer's Travels starting on September 12 through November 8.)
  • In July the Wife and I went on our Route 66 vacation.  After stopping at the lake for the 4th of July visit with the in-laws, we headed for Chicago and another adventure ... just as awesome as the Camino ... started in an amazing way.  (I started posting about Route 66 on December 1 and will continue into January 2012.)  A week after returning from Route 66 we gathered at the Haverhill Social Club and celebrated family.  The Wife and I also started planning next summer's blockbuster China/Tibet/Nepal/India vacation.
  • In August I started the Camino post marathon as I started writing three posts a week and posting pictures from my adventure.  I also started to realize that the leg pains I was experiencing since returning from Spain were not going away.
  • In September the post writing marathon continued.  GeekHiker stopped by for a few days.  The aches and pains didn't go away so I started physical therapy.
  • October ... the post writing marathon continued ... though with a week long break.  Not much happened this month.  Physical therapy continued.  The only thing of interest was seeing the movie "The Way".
  • November saw the completion of the retelling of my Camino.  I slowed down my writing soon after that.  I broke a shell (and my heart a bit).  The month ended with a large family Thanksgiving get together at our place that was great.
  • December, a month of unusually warm and dry weather was dominated in documenting our Route 66 vacation and Christmas at the Brother-in-Law's.
  • This year I hiked 756.44 miles, 513.61 of those were on the Camino.  This year I covered more walking distance than the last three years combined!  Crazy!!!
  • I biked eleven times this year (five times the prior year) for a total distance of 122.17 miles.  I've done better but it was a definite improvement over last year.
  • Snowshoeing ... once again I only did it once this year.  While it was my longest outing yet (5.35 miles) it was not very impressive.
  • I started this year thinking I wouldn't read any books in 2011.  This didn't last long.  I got my library card and started reading books from the library.  This year I read a whopping 10 books, down five from last year.  Being out of the country or on the road for ten weeks probably didn't help.  I read about 3,552 pages - almost 43% fewer than 2010.
  • We went to several concerts this year: James and Benjamin Taylor, Decemberists, John Mellencamp, and, of course, U2.  I didn't post about it but we took the Parents-in-Law to see Johnny Mathis.  The MiL saw him during his first year as a singer almost 54 years ago.
  • The number of posts, after dropping 36% in 2010, bounced back a bit because of the Camino and Route 66.
While most of my years have been filled with a multitude of small things, this year was dominated by two big adventures.  The Camino and Route 66 made for the most awesome three months I have ever experienced and that's no exaggeration.  It was the best summer we've both had in a long time, if ever.  While my Camino ended six months ago, my mind has never left the Way.

What will 2012 have in store for Homer's Travels?  Well, I'll save that question for another post and another year.

Here's to a Happy and Prosperous New Year for all.
May all your dreams come true in 2012.

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