Friday, December 30, 2016

Reflections on 2016

Photo by Patrick Jones. Point Dume, 23 Sep 2016.
It has become a blog tradition to recap the year with a closing post and some thoughts on the things to come. I have some wonderful memories from 2016, of new places and experiences. I have some sad memories too, losing our Dad to cancer and seeing others more famous gone too soon in 2016. The long election and Presidential result added to the negative thoughts on the year. I can only hope things look up in 2017. The uncertainty with an unfriendly administration taking shape in DC brings a challenge that will shape the next four years and beyond.

Looking back, I started 2016 in LA. Returning for meetings brought an opportunity to walk where my 5th-great-grandfather Francisco Suastegui may have walked in 1835. I also ran with Blacklist LA and started the long preparations for the half-marathon and marathon.

Later in the month I went to Istanbul, a place that has become one of my favorite cities. Istanbul and Turkey as a whole had their own challenges in 2016. The people are very resilient and I am looking forward to going back in early 2017.

I returned from Istanbul early for our epic Snowzilla storm. We celebrated by turning our street into a toboggan run and making the best of the snow with our neighbors. As fun as that was, I am hoping 2017 brings less snow to DC.

In March I was able to do another Miami street art layover, see Madrid and Marrakech. As a family we spent Spring Break in Mexico, visiting the ruins at Chichen Itza and Coba, and swimming with dolphins at Xcaret eco park. In April I went to Bangkok and Siem Reap. I was able to see the amazing Angkor Wat, a brief trip that I will never forget.

May included a whirlwind trip through Moscow, Amsterdam and Minsk. June took me to Helsinki, Finland, a land of stunning sunsets. I started July with a stopover in Reykjavik and a first visit to the calming waters of the Blue Lagoon. I also went to Montevideo, Uruguay and stepped up the mileage for the Reykjavik Marathon.

I have already written quite a bit about my running experiences from 2016. The marathon and the trip to Iceland were unforgettable. After returning from Iceland, I ended August with the family at Duck, North Carolina.

September included a visit back to LA and a family trip to Universal and Harry Potter World. October featured a trip to Namibia and stopover in Dubai. November included a trip back to India and a memorable Thanksgiving run back at home in Del Ray. December has been spent at home, taking the family to movies and enjoying the holidays around DC.

I know 2017 will begin much like past years, with meetings back at the West Coast home. Los Angeles is one of my favorite places and it always feels like home to go back. Right now I am not planning to run another marathon, but I may enter another half-marathon in 2017. I will certainly enter a 10K and perhaps the Parkway Classic 10 mile race in April.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Hyderabad, India. 1 Nov 2016.
I am ending this post with a photo taken at Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad. The lake has been declared as the "Heart of the World" with UNESCO. May 2017 bring good fortune and many new adventures. Have a safe and Happy New Year!

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