On this last day of 2015, it has been nice to reminisce about our year, where we’ve been and where we’d still love to go someday.

Our travels began when we welcomed in 2015 with a New Year’s celebration with our parents in the Florida Keys and took us to Estes Park where we photographed the sun rising over Rocky Mountain National Park on Easter Sunday.

Ann loved the chance to venture out at sunrise on Easter morning for a private photography lesson near Estes Park, Colorado.

We made three more trips back to Rochester, Minnesota, this year where Ann had another surgery and was treated at the Mayo Clinic [read about a touching experience at Mayo here] and we spent time with friends and family in Minneapolis.

This summer, our daughter studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain, and we were fortunate enough to be able to “pick her up from school” at the end of her term after a relaxing Celebrity Cruise that began in Rome, Italy, and ended in Barcelona, Spain.

The view from our ship as we docked in Ajaccio, Corsica, a place neither of us had ever seen and both want to return.

The view from our ship as we docked in Ajaccio, Corsica, a place neither of us had ever seen and both want to return.

When we returned to our home in Crete, Nebraska, we explored some local sites, including Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, Morrill Hall, the National Roller Skating Museum, the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, and the Germans from Russia Museum and stayed close to home most of the fall so we could attend home Husker football games.

Jellyfish in the Aquarium at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.

We did something new for Thanksgiving this year and drove to Dallas, Texas, where Meghan got to see her beloved Cowboys play in AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day.

Sadly, we didn’t get to display this sign much, as Tony Romo went out early with yet another injury.

We spent Christmas at home this year and will welcome in 2016 with a quiet dinner at home, with family and new friends.

We are so grateful for the opportunities we’ve had travel, relax, explore, and learn and don’t take any of this for granted. We’ve really enjoyed blogging about our adventures and cannot thank all of you enough for your comments, shares, reposts, likes, and especially — your postcards. As we close out 2015, and reflect on all of life’s ups and downs, let us leave you with this anonymous quote … “We travel not to escape life, but life to not escape us.”

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and well-traveled 2016.

  • We walked in to the @elevatepeople store in Kearney, Nebraska, by mistake. We'd been looking for a coffee shop. Elevate wasn’t a coffee shop, but what we found was a store full of beautiful, handmade leather goods. These ethically sourced products were actually produced around the world by artisans who are working to escape poverty. Elevate, a non-profit, provides them with small, low interest loans to start their businesses. When the money is repaid, it is then re-invested into the same community to help another person start a business. It's a purchase you can feel good about.
  • Florida is a wonderful place to go in the winter. There you'll find sunshine and warmth while much of the rest of the country is experiencing the chill of winter. We love seeing the plants and flowers in bloom when we visit.
  • When our daughter, Meghan, was younger, she wanted an affordable, easy to store souvenir from her travels with her mom. She settled on pencils. Over the years, she's collected a couple hundred pencils from various destinations including the ones that others have given to her. She keeps them in a jar in her apartment, creating a great conversation piece.
  • We won't lie, our cruise aboard the @CelebrityCruise Edge was more about the ship than the destination. We loved sitting in The Retreat while watching others head ashore for excursions. But let's be honest, we really loved just sitting in the Retreat, soaking in the beautiful sun.
  • There is nothing quite like preparing a perfect dish in your own kitchen. Courtesy of @thechefandthedish, Ann prepared a traditional Spanish paella with Cyndi Kane, a.k.a. Ree Drummond's BFF Hyacinth. Sure, learning to make the dish was fun. Savoring the meal, and the friendship that went with it, was the best part of that great afternoon.
  • In the chilly, pre-dawn light of an early spring day on the Platte River in central Nebraska you can be sure of one thing: soon you'll witness one of nature's greatest spectacles, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes taking to the air for a day of foraging for food. If you have never witnessed this incredible sight, you must make sure you @visitnebraska so you can experience this for yourself. @visitKearney
  • A good cocktail is an experience. Instead of just having a drink to throw back, we love savoring a well-crafted beverage. Something we love about @celebritycruise is that good cocktails are easy to find. We aren't huge drinkers. Instead, we are strong believers in quality over quantity.
  • Something that always impresses us is the sheer size of a cruise ship. The fact that something that large can move and float and provide great service never ceases to amaze. But one of our favorite views is when we're docked next to another ship, and walking down a pier suddenly feels like walking through a canyon.

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