2018-Karas’ favorite places.

Happy New Year! 

I’d like to start this post with a thank you. 

Thanks to every single one of you who have read a post of mine, whether 2018 or 2017. I’m flattered that someone takes the time, considering the usual rigors of life, to read one of my blogs.  Blogging in the travel category allows me to share with, and read, travel bloggers from across the world.  While my stats are rather meager, I’ve reached 45 countries this year!

So, after that lead in, I’d like to recap this year briefly, including places  I have visited during 2018.   It was a pretty good year personally.  My mother and father, sisters and spouses along with their children, and those I know and love all had their health, as have I, and continue to flourish. 

However, this past year presented challenges for myself, as one who writes my type of blog.   Mainly, a DUI ticket that was dismissed and a totaled car.  The DUI loomed like a dark cloud all summer, but I was cleared because my blood alcohol content fell within the legal limits.   A month later, I bought a new car and totaled it by colliding with a streaking deer.  That was before the first payment was made. 

Besides the unforeseen obstacles, I was able to deliver some viewpoints on places that you may, or may not, have known.  The year started with a New Year’s resolution to climb out of my comfort zone.  Soon after that, we began our trip to warm and relaxing Mexico.  I know, I know, my tag reads affordable places in the upper Midwest and Mexico isn’t even the same country.  However, I couldn’t just ‘travel’ and not blog about it in my ‘travel blog’.  So, I beg you to pardon the contradiction. 

 Click my link to read about a quiet Mexican town amicably resting along the pacific ocean.  https://karasexplore.com/2018/01/16/barra-de-navidad-a-classic-mexican-town-on-the-ocean/

I was texted a list of suggestions, from a friend,  in late 2017. I did not get to them right away, but kept the list in my back pocket just in case.  After all, there were a couple of weeks when I had been stumped, because the day of the week or time of year, to find a real quality place to write about.  One of these suggestions brought me to the Payne Art Center, which is basically a Tudor style house residing in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. 

Click here to read my description and view photos of an Elegant building that never housed residents.https://karasexplore.com/2018/03/25/the-paine-art-center-a-manor-for-the-community/ 

Some places are enormous and, as I have a full time job to keep, I only have one day to investigate, form an opinion and write about my experience.  The National Mustard Museum is not enormous, one of the smallest places that I’ve featured in a blog.  However the uniqueness of this establishment wins it a place on my list.

Read about my excursion that day and this curious gourmet mustard shop.  https://karasexplore.com/2018/05/22/my-roundabout-run-in-with-the-national-mustard-museum/

Some of my blogs are solely based on the time of year it happens to be in Wisconsin.  Well, ok, most of my blogs depend on the time of year.  A great deal of my excursions, in summer, occur outdoors-I can meander a museum when its twenty below.  A popular tradition during summer in Door County, which is the neighboring county to the north, is cherry picking.  After all, this tourist destination is the second largest producer of Montmorrency, or ‘tart pie,‘ cherries in the United States.

Click here to read about my fact sprinkled tale about a visit to a typical Door Peninsula pick your own orchard.  https://karasexplore.com/2018/07/24/cherry-picking-in-door-county/

On a personal note, my father was honored by a group of exceptional individuals.  I won’t go into specifics, because I hope if you read any of my links, you choose this one.   I would like the reader to appreciate just how special this moment is to faithful Americans across this land.

The Story of men being rewarded for their bravery, and service to their country is on display if you click this link.https://karasexplore.com/2018/07/31/a-great-moment-at-a-world-class-event/

In the fall, as the shades of green persisted during our stay, we ventured north.  The name of the remote Michigan town that interrupts lake superior’s rugged shoreline is known as Munising.  Exploring this town by itself is quite a treat, being that it plays home to a handful of substantial waterfalls.  The real treat is hiking the pristine wilderness, known as pictured rocks, during the onset of autumn.  The bugs were non existent, the weather was comfortable and the falls continued to run despite being so late in the season.

The chapel falls and Mosquito falls trail have been imprinted in my memory banks.  I know it is my most lengthy blog, I chose to ignore the word count and tried to cram as many facts as I could.  I wanted to let every one in the world know just how outstanding this place truly is. 

Click here if you don’t mind a longer than usual read on hiking adventures along rivers and waterfalls among woodlands stretching towards a Great Lake.World Class Hiking in Pictured Rocks

Finally, even if you probably have had your fill of Christmas and are now focused on recuperation,  You know- losing the pounds from holiday meals, paying off the credit cards and getting rid of that drying tree that has left a pile of needles, I felt obliged to include a holiday themed blog.  Actually, the blog really focuses on the tour of the Wisconsin Capitol and walking State Street.  Fun stuff! 

If you are thinking of touring the Capitol building click this link.https://karasexplore.com/2018/12/11/christmas-cheer-and-more-in-madison/

That is my retrospective for 2018.  I have a couple of great Ideas for 2019, some places I can’t believe I haven’t visited yet.  It’s been a mild winter so far and I’m praying for snow.  Winter sports make for good blogs. That being said, 2019 promises to be a good year for my blog no matter the weather.  Hell, if we endure a hurricane I’ll write a blog on surfing Lake Michigan.  Seriously, if you’ve been reading a few of my blogs, I’ll focus on writing about interesting spots for you to enjoy.  

I hope today started off well and your fortune carries through 2019.

Safe Travels!

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