Five Favorite Places for 2021

Every year (except 2020) I have written about our five favorite places for the year.  I’m not sure why I didn’t write last year.  In the midst of the pandemic we weren’t going too many places and I didn’t feel like we went anyplace new.  But I’ve written about the five favorite places all the other years since we retired.  You can read the previous posts by clicking on the years:  2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.

We traveled and did enough things this year that I feel comfortable picking five favorite places for 2021.  The numerical order is not necessarily their order of importance.

Sunrise at Char-Mar Ridge Park across the street from our house
  1.  The first of our five favorite places of 2021 is our little house north of Westerville.  The longer we live here, the more we like the area and our location.  The house is a comfortable size and we can make it what we want.  But, as they say in real estate, location is everything.  We love how close we are to Mom and Dad and John and Jackie.  Tom and I love the bike trail and park across the street.  We take advantage of them for outdoor time every day.  After spending the summer in a remote place, we came back to our house appreciating our proximity to stores, restaurants, movie theaters, museums and family.  Every day we are thankful to live in such a beautiful, convenient place.
On the porch of the Bourgeoise House at Fort Union Trading Post

2..  The second of our five favorite places of 2021 is Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site.  We very much enjoyed our summer working there.  We got to explore a new area and learn a lot about the history of North Dakota.  I especially enjoyed watching the endless skies and the variety of sunsets and sunrises.  Tom especially enjoyed working with Ranger Karl and all the things he learned from him.  They were an unstoppable duo all summer.  Tom got to do living history every day which makes him very happy.  I got to do a variety of things, including having a cool spot to weave on hot days.  That made me happy.  We also enjoyed game nights with the seasonal rangers.

The Painted Desert at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

3.  The third of our five favorite places of 2021 is Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  This is a beautiful park with fewer visitors than many of the other places in the area.  It is so big that it doesn’t feel crowded, especially once you head down the trail a little way.  It contains the Grand Canyon of North Dakota, bison herds, and wild horses.  The park is also tied to Theodore Roosevelt, who is a very interesting person to learn about.  The gateway town of Medora was a wonderful place to spend the night.  We loved the Pitchfork Fondue and the enjoyed the Medora Musical.  Just walking around the lovely little town was a delight, especially after a hot day of hiking.

Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota

4.  The fourth of our five favorite places of 2021 is Austin, Minnesota.  We were only there for a few days, but we really enjoyed exploring the small city.  Tom and I really like cities that have about 30,000 people.  They are usually small enough to get around easily but big enough to have a variety of things to do.  Austin is a small city with a sense of humor.  After all, it has the SPAM Museum.  How can you not enjoy a city with a SPAM Museum?  It also has the Hormel Nature Center and Preserve, which is a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors.  There is a wonderful bike trail, the Shooting Star State Trail, which is 29 miles of paved trail from Austin to LaRose.

Sundaes with John and Jackie

5.  The fifth, and final, favorite place of 2021 is wherever we can be with John and Jackie and Mom and Dad.  Spending so much time with them during the pandemic only deepened our love for these very special people in our family.  No matter what we are doing, we have a great time together.  Whether we are moving dirt and topsoil or admiring Christmas lights, we have more fun when we are together.  I appreciate my parents’ adventurous spirit and desire to go.  I also love quiet afternoons or evenings playing games together.  John and Jackie introduce us to good restaurants and fun places to shop.  I especially enjoy going to the movies with them because they always get the good, recliner seats.  In the midst of their very busy lives, they make time for us.  It was a breeze to get through the pandemic with them.

Supper with Mom and Dad

Those are our favorite places for 2021.  What was your favorite place this last year?  What did you do that was new, interesting, or exciting?  I’d love to hear from you!