Kristin Luna
    Family Travel

In 2010

For the past two Decembers in 2008 and 2009, I’ve done year-in-review posts. This one comes to you in January, as I was flying in Dec. 31, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to recap my 2010 for my own amusement, mainly because I have a short-term memory and tend to forget to count my blessings. And because 2010 was an AWESOME year! Without further ado…

My year started out with a first trip of the season to Tahoe in early January, where I finally had a private lesson and became much more comfortable on the slopes.

I was hired by Alaska Airlines magazine to do a last-minute story on Wine Country, so SVV and I got to go on our first safari—and in Santa Rosa, at that.

At the end of January, SVV and I skied again, this time at Mammoth Mountain. We also tried our luck at snowshoeing, snowcatting and snowmobiling—all activities I like nearly as much, if not more than skiing.

The morning we flew back from Mammoth, we drove back to our San Mateo house, packed all of our belongings in a moving van, and relocated back to San Francisco, in the ritzy Laurel Heights neighborhood, in an apartment we absolutely adore, with neighbors who couldn’t be nicer. We love our place!

February was spent settling into our new digs and finishing up the 2011 Frommer’s guides. And I wrote a first edition book for another company on Tennessee, so I took a week-long research trip to Memphis, which I spent with my cousins and this little angel. (We also ran one very cold half-marathon in Birmingham while I was in town.)

There were also a lot of preparations involved for my next big adventure…Africa! But first, I took a little jaunt to New Orleans for my bachelorette party during the first weekend of March.

In March, I took off for a five-week trip, which had me starting off in Rwanda.

After 10 days in Rwanda, I flew back to Johannesburg to meet my mom. We then hopped a flight to Cape Town, where we met my sister.

Mom and I spent a little over two weeks exploring the natural beauty that is South Africa, then I flew back to San Francisco via Dubai for one month of accelerated wedding planning.

In May, SVV and I went to LA, flitting around between Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Long Beach, Santa Monica and Orange County. I had to tackle a number of assignments for the California board of tourism, but we also squeezed in visits with my friends China and Stef.

Then we came back and had a little event to tend to: our wedding!

We left for our honeymoon in Borneo after nearly not making it on the plane, and spent the early part of June bouncing between Malaysia and Brunei

…and in Taiwan.

Then, we flew back to Tennessee for three weeks forΒ our hometown wedding reception in Tullahoma.

While we were in the South, we went to East Tennessee twice: for Lahla’s wedding in Jonesborough and to spend a week at my sister’s apartment in Knoxville.

In July, I had planned to stay home after the craziness that had been that spring, but the moment I landed, I got an amazing opportunity to go to Tasmania

…so I took it obviously. I also got to spend a couple days in Sydney for the first time, which has quickly moved up the ranks to one of my favorite international cities.

August came quickly, and my mom flew out to visit for her third California trip of the year. This one had a purpose, though: to deliver our new baby!

The day after my mom left, I became a negligent parent (already…I know!) and left for a week in Bonaire.

When I returned, it was September. I spent the first few weeks trying to be a good owner to Ella, then flew back to NYC to visit my people.

SVV came to join me halfway through the trip.

I’d only been back in San Francisco three days after that trip when October came ’round the bend, and it was time to hop a plane again. This time, I was Bahamas-bound! I love the Bahamas, and even though everything that could go wrong did, it was a glorious trip.

When I got back to California, it was time to tackle the new Frommer’s California guide, so SVV and I headed down to Carmel for a weekend.

The weekend after that, we flew to Alabama for what was the shortest weekend trip ever in Auburn for my good friend Jana’s wedding.

In November, we chilled out. At last! We spent afternoons in Half Moon Bay, and Ella and I visited Ocean Beach on more than one occasion, and we went to Sacramento to see all of SVV’s family and Ella’s brother Marley.

Thanksgiving was spent in Berkeley at SVV’s sister’s house. It was nice, for once, to only have to travel 20 minutes over the bridge to celebrate a holiday. Having lived so far from my own family these past six years, I’m definitely not used to that!

December came before we knew where the rest of 2010 had gone. We went in on a cabin share atΒ South Lake Tahoe, so we drove out for a weekend before it was time to fly cross country for Christmas.

Then, I turned around, packed up my things and my pup, and flew to Nashville. After less than 12 hours at my parents’ house, Little Sis, Mom and I drove 650 miles down to Orlando.Β Though the trip had one mission, and that was to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and consume as much butterbeer as humanly possible. It did not disappoint!

After a weekend that flew by, we drove back up to Tennessee to prepare for the holidays, collect SVV at the airport and see Garth Brooks in his final concert.

What’s on the docket for 2011? Who knows…I have a clean slate these next few months, but do I foresee big changes in SVV’s and my future—and I can’t wait to see just what they are. In an effort to reflect on all the graces, big and small, we were given this past year, I made this video of 2010’s highlights, set to music of my spirit animal, Taylor Swift.

Long Live 2010 from Camels & Chocolate on Vimeo.

A happy new year to you all; may you have a blessed 2011!

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Comments ( 42 )

  1. Wow, just reading about all that travel makes me tired! haha Sounds like you had a busy and awesome year!

  2. Happy 2011 from the Bahamas!!!!!!!! :)

  3. WOW!!! Seems u flew more in 2010 than me and i am a stewardess haha! Hope ur 2011 will be even better!

  4. Fantastic work my dear. Here’s to another PaCKED year of adventure!

  5. Look at your swanky new blog. I like it.

    I might be going to Indonesia (Bali, Lombok and Flores) and Malaysia (KL) in March. Might be??? Dude, I’m totally going. Just paid for flights and accommodation. Can’t wait. Super excited.

    Have you been to Flores??? I need to find my own accommodation once there, so I’m kinda scared.

    • Sid, I sadly have yet to conquer Indonesia. We tried when we were in Malaysian Borneo, but logistically it was too hard and needed to be saved for a different trip. Top of my list, though–I’m jealous you’re headed that way!

  6. I am in love with that first photo!

    As much as I adored your last blog design this one is amazing. Really love it.

    • Thanks, Ayngelina! Scott took it on our honeymoon at Mabul Island. I’m obsessed with jumping shots (obvi)–explains my previous days as a basketball player, I guess =)

  7. What a great year!!! I can’t imagine topping that, but I’m sure your 2011 will be just as exciting. I too love Sydney and am hoping to someday get back there.

  8. I can’t believe you packed all of that travel in AND planned a wedding! Fantastic round-up. Best wishes for 2011.

    • Thanks, Laura! The wedding planning was the easy part…it was nailing down all our honeymoon details in Borneo that was the most stressful part of the year (I’m not even joking either)!

  9. Your smile is contagious!

  10. oh how cute your “new” place looks! What an aesthetically pleasing year you had :) Great photos as always

  11. As a freelance writer myself (although not travel — that’s mainly just for fun), I’d be curious to see a post about what/how you do your taxes. What do you write off? Do you write off entire trips for one assignment? Do you get a big rebate each year?

  12. Wow, pretty busy year! Wishing you an even more exciting 2011 and all the best!
    Viele Gruesse, Kristina

  13. Cannot wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeve for 2011! Cheers to a new year!

  14. I love reading these!! They make me so happy. You’re right, they’re a great way to “count your blessings”. You’ve got so many wonderful memories and pictures here.

    Anyway, if we’re in Montreal in June, we will absolutely meet for a poutine! I will take any excuse to have one. I’ll start doing the research for the best restaurant now :)

    • Montreal in June–it’s a date! Scott and I are going with my family, the in-laws and about 20 others from my hometown on a Holland America cruise from Montreal to Boston and tacking on a couple days on each end in both cities, as Scott’s yet to visit either. I’ve been to both, but they’re such lovely cities I can’t wait to explore more–and of course meet my favorite Boston- and Montreal-based travel bloggers while there!

  15. What great photos and memories you have from 2010! Can’t wait to see where you go this year (hopefully your “adventure” in TN was just a fluke). :)

    • Thanks, Chris! I have faith it will improve…I mean, I must have exhausted a year’s worth of bad luck in one weekend, right? πŸ˜‰

  16. What an incredible year for you- I always love reading your adventures and your home is STUNNING. Cheers to another amazing year ahead! I’ll be reading!

    • The big part missing from my year was “MEETING CHELSEA TALKS SMACK.” Though it looks like I might be in Colorado this spring–maybe even twice (once during ski season, once when it warms up and SVV and I take a road trip). Hope you’re there when I finally make it! =)

  17. It’s a shame you’re so boring and never do anything cool :)

  18. You certainly jam pack it all in! Here’s to a fun-filled 2011!! I’m heading back to South Africa – predominately Cape Town – in a few weeks so need to reread your posts and see if there is anything in particular I should do :)

    • Michelle, that’s so exciting! I’m completely in love with South Africa and can’t wait to go back myself. Two-and-a-half weeks, as my mom and I had, was nowhere near enough for as many things as there are to do there. Here’s a link to all the South Africa posts (so far):

      I’ve still got some more safari posts and Garden Route recaps to roll out in the coming weeks, too. Where else are you headed while there?

      • I’m only in SA for 10 days but it is my 3rd trip there so I feel I’ve done a lot already! This time I’m attending a friends wedding in East London – near Port Elizabeth – and then spending a week with another friend in Cape Town. My 1st trip I was in East London and did the Garden Route plus I spent a week in Cape Town and jam-packed all the major spots in so this time it’ll be nice to just hang out, plus my friend is now married (2nd trip to SA! which included Durban, and a safari from J’burg to Zambia) and has a 10m old. Also it’ll be hot so lots of beach time I’m guessing!

        Certainly helps to have South African friends to visit :)

  19. Your 2010 was so awesome I don’t know how 2011’s going to keep up! :-)
    You were all over the place last year but thanks for including Dubai and meeting up with me! All the best to you, SVV and the kiddie pup in 2011!

  20. What a year of adventures for you! Can’t wait to see where you will take us this year. :)

  21. what you did in one year seems like it would take 5 years! Happy New Year and good fortune in 2011! btw- I LOVE that picture of you and SVV kissing in the rain…so sweet :)

  22. Oh my goodness…. your year was amazing…. and kinda also sounds exhausting. :) That’s a LOT of travel. And by the way, you always have the cutest outfits.

  23. What an amazingly blessed year you had!
    Wishing you an amazingly more exciting 2011.

    • Thanks, Lola! I’d love for 2011 to be the year I return to your neck of the woods–my husband and I lived in Denmark together for a stint–so we’ll see how that pans out! We’re supposed to go to a wedding in Bornholm in August…

  24. All I can say is WOW!


  1. […] She does a recap every year highlighting the places she went and the things she did and the for 2010 is fantastic. So don’t worry if you haven’t been reading her, you can catch up in a […]

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