I started writing my annual year in review post and then stopped. It was depressing, I mean, really depressing. No one wants to read that. We all know that 2020 had more than its fair share of heartaches. So I stalled a bit, thinking about a way I could present 2020 in a better light.
I decided to use the five senses to describe the good things about 2020 since the list of bad things is just too ridiculously long.
Best Thing I Saw: Gore Range in Vail
The view from the Upper Piney River Trail outside of Vail blew my mind. It was like hiking into a painting, for real. I am so glad that the beauty of Colorado never ceases to amaze me.
A lot of people in the travel world (bloggers, etc.) have been trapped in one place this year and have been lamenting this issue. If you are lucky enough to be trapped in Colorado, you’re lucky enough.
Best Thing I Heard: Dog Groans
My first German Shepherd had amazing sighs. It was like, at the end of a long day, Xena let go of all life’s stresses in one big long exhale. Try it. It’s therapeutic.
Fritzi groans. Fritzi also whines, whimpers, barks, woofs, trills, squeaks and is basically the most vocal dog I’ve ever owned. Whereas Xena, my first dog as an adult, had wonderfully big sighs, this dog groans when she’s going to sleep. Just hearing her long groans of comfort is a sound I love.
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Runner up: Geese in flight. I love to hear the calls of geese as they fly in large flocks overhead. Although they poop all over, I would be sad to live in a place without geese.
Best Thing I Smelled: Roasting Green Chiles
Our time spent in Pueblo was filled with the smell of roasting green chiles. I think this scent could be bottled and sold. It’s that good.
From Musso Farms to Mauro Farms & Bakery, every Pueblo farm is roasting green chiles from late summer to early fall. I have gone for the last two years to buy a bushel of green chiles, put them in freezer-safe Ziploc baggies (12-15 per bag), and freeze them. I have green chiles all year long at a fraction of the price of buying them by the bag (which we can do up and down the Front Range of Colorado).
There are all kinds of eatable items at these farms. Every kind of pepper you can imagine, plus, lots and lots of other things. Maura Farms has a bunch of different kind of dry beans (now that I have an Insta Pot that cooks them fast, I’ll buy some next year).
Best Thing I Tasted: Green Chile in Wyoming (yes, really Wyoming)
I am a sucker for pork green chile. It’s super easy to make so that’s mainly why I buy a bushel from Pueblo every year. That being said, I am picky and most green chiles at various restaurants do not live up to my standards.
At 17th Street Cafe in Laramie, the green chile knocked my socks off. It was so good that despite having roasted green chiles in my freezer, I bought a few pints. So, yes, I highly recommend that you drive to Wyoming right now for a delicious breakfast smothered in green chile. What are you waiting for?
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Runner up: Lobster risotto at Chimney Park in Windsor, Colorado. For my birthday in October, Ryan took me to a multi-course meal at Chimney Park, and while every bite was delight during this special dinner, the lobster risotto was surreal. Words cannot describe the deliciousness of this dish. I may or may not have licked the bowl.
Best Thing I Touched: The North Platte River
Despite the pandemic this year, we were able to do a few activities and this one has been on my radar for a long time. We went tanking on the North Platte River in Nebraska. Not only did it live up the hype, it exceeded it.
We tanked with Dusty Trails in North Platte and renting a tank with them couldn’t be easier. Floating down the lazy North Platte River was dreamy. We could easily get out and stand in the water because much of the river is shallow. Being from the West Coast, a place with lots of water, being out on the water fills my soul. It’s not often that an experience exceeds my high expectations, but this one did.
So there you have it. These are the best things of 2020, because, despite the hardships of this year, a few really good things happened. I am going to try to remember that because despite all the yuck, I was able to get up every morning. Each day that I live should be celebrated. I am trying to remember that. Now bring on 2021!