2015 In Review

Happy New Year, everyone!!! Well, another year has come and gone and 2016 is here in all her glory! As is my usual practice, I thought I’d look back over the past year and reminisce a little.

I wrote 56 blog posts in 2015 (lots more than that, if you add in all the ones I wrote for the Albion High School Alumni Blog and our church blog). This past year, the focus of most of my blogs was photographs. I’ve always loved taking pictures and have taken some really nice ones, but in May, I broke down and bought myself a Nikon D3200 and spent a lot of time just driving around practicing with it and posting my photos. I took my little hobby to a whole new level and ended up capturing some really nice shots in the process!

Here is a summary of my year:

Adventures: A few of the most noteworthy adventures from 2015.

  • Most of my adventures were spent just driving around snapping photos – including lots of great sunsets at one of my most favorite places in the world, Point Breeze, and a really great early morning drive capturing photos of the fog around the area!
  • In April, Albion was host to several hundred Santas from all over the world for their annual Santa Claus Convention! I had a blast following them around over several days of events taking photos and greeting them. It was an adventure to remember, for sure!
  • In July, several hundred cyclists passed through Albion on their annual ride along the Erie Canal. I spent a few hours greeting them and taking photos – it was an incredible experience and I met some really awesome people!
  • In August, I stumbled upon a group of zombies playing croquet in Mount Albion Cemetery! (use your imagination or go to the search box and type in “zombies” to find the blog post)
  • I had three noteworthy adventures in September:
    • A friend and I spent the day at the Genesee Brewery in Rochester where we toured the brewery, checked out the gift shop and displays, and had a great lunch at the Genesee Brew House. The adventure included a walk on the bridge that crosses the Genesee River with views of the High Falls! Spectacular!!!
    • I went on our annual trip to Letchworth State Park and lunch at the Glen Iris with our monthly Ladies Lunch group from church. Always a great adventure!
    • And, I attended the St. Rocco’s Festival in Hulberton for the first time, this year! I’ve always wanted to go and just never got there before now! In September, I was asked to cover the festival for the Orleans Hub (our local online newspaper – my first assignment, which was an adventure in itself), so I finally made it to one. I watched the WNY Bocce Ball Tournament – first time I’ve ever seen the game played in person – what fun!

Bucket List Items: I also put a dent in my Bucket List – places or things I’ve identified as stuff I’d like to do when I can!

  • In April, I went for buckwheat pancake breakfast at Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn in Angelica, NY. They are only open a few weeks each year – just during maple syrup season – and I’ve heard it is fantastic, so I’ve had it on my list since I moved back home four years ago. I finally made it this year and I was NOT disappointed!
  • In May, I made it to the Original Kazoo Factory and Museum in Eden, NY. What a treat!
  • In July, I was so very excited to finally make it to the Herschell Carousel Museum – WOW!!! I have always loved carousels and this adventure made for an amazing day!!!
  • My friend, Cathy, and I made a day of it – as well as visiting the carousel museum, we also went to Vidler’s Five and Dime – an incredibly HUGE old fashioned Five and Dime store! It was a great day, in deed!
  • My bucket list included visiting either the Rochester or Buffalo Zoos. I got up one morning in September and decided it was the day to do it. I chose the Buffalo Zoo. So, “local zoo” is checked off the list!
  • Something I’ve always wanted to do was a driving trip across the New England states – staying in Bed and Breakfast Inns and seeing the sights. I’ve also always wanted to go to Nova Scotia, Canada. Well, in October, I did a New England and Canada cruise with my friend, Cathy. It was a wonderful trip and gave me a taste of some of the sights I would have seen in a much more relaxed manner! I saw Boston, Portland Maine, Bar Harbor Maine, Saint John New Brunswick Canada, and Halifax Nova Scotia Canada! LOVED IT!!!

Books:

I used to read a lot when I was younger. Then, I started going to college late in life…..I completed three degrees back to back, going to school full time while working full time. Needless to say, I got real sick of reading for school and work real fast!!! By the time I finished with my Master’s program, I didn’t care if I never opened another book again! I did try off and on after that to read for pleasure, but I just couldn’t make myself stay interested! So, when I was considering my options for possibly retiring and moving back home, I bought myself a Kindle and loaded it up with books that looked interesting to me! I started reading a little while I was still working, but my goal was to spend a lot of time reading after I retired. I didn’t get into it as quickly as I had hoped – tons of other stuff to do! But, I got into reading a little more each year since and this past year I really hit the Kindle heavy! 🙂

Here are the books I read in 2015 that I rated with four or five stars on my Goodreads page (there were a few others that I rated a 3 or less, but will only list those I liked the best) – list is in no particular order:

  • The Girl on The Train – Paula Hawkins
  • The Rumor – Elin Hilderbrand
  • The Secret Between Us – Barbara Delinsky
  • The Rather Series – C.A. Belmond
    • A Rather Lovely Inheritance
    • A Rather Curious Engagement
    • A Rather Charming Invitation
    • A Rather Remarkable Homecoming
  • Those Secrets we Keep – Emily Liebert
  • Little Big Lies – Liane Moriarty
  • Violets of March – Sarah Jio
  • The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah
  • The Promise of Home – Darcie Chan (this is the third in a series – I previously read and loved Mill River Recluse and Mill River Redemption)
  • Firefly Lane – Kristin Hannah (this is book one of two – I am currently reading, and loving, book two – Fly Away)

So…..there is my year in a nutshell!!!

Now, for a look ahead to 2016! Of course, I still have several items on my Bucket List and will likely go on more than a few impromptu adventures as they pop up! One thing that is already planned and booked is an Alaskan Cruise – CAN NOT WAIT – this has been on my Bucket List forever and is finally going to be checked off! I haven’t reviewed items that haven’t been checked off the list, yet, to see if there are things I might want to drop off, make a priority, or add to it. But, I will be doing that, soon!

Here are just a few of my favorite photos from 2015:

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Bar Harbor, Maine – it was too foggy to tender ashore, but I got this photo from our stateroom!

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An abandoned vegetable stand located across from Walmart – it just looked so cool the day I took this photo!

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I snapped this while out walking one day and just really like it! It is the wall between First Niagara Bank and The Hazy Jade Gift Shop

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My favorite photo – EVER! It was the best of the ones taken on an early foggy morning – taken in Mt Albion Cemetery!

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One of the cyclists passing through Albion in July – loved her smile and her hat (helmet with a brim and a rear-view mirror)

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Another cyclist – the youngest of the group! She came up and tapped me on the leg and asked if I wanted to take a picture of her in her helmet – how could I not????

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Love this one of Indian Falls – when I snapped it, I was sure it would be one I’d delete because I couldn’t get the falls to focus in because of the leaves in the foreground, but it turned out to be my favorite of the day!

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This family in an older section of Mount Albion Cemetery wanted the family dog memorialized with them!

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Santa Color Guard during the Santa Convention in April

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One of the final photos taken of the beautiful Good Shepherd Window in the Albion First United Methodist Church before our congregation moved out of this building in April because of the exorbitant $1 million + costs of repairs needed

That’s all for now…….hope your new year is full of adventures and laughter!!!

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