December always passes by in the blink of an eye with the holidays. This year was no different for us. We were entertained with Christmas markets, holiday lights, family parties, and spiced wine. Most activities were ordinary with the exception of running up the Rocky steps in Philadelphia, ice skating with Santa, driving through the shortest street block I’ve ever seen with the windows rolled down singing 12 Days of Christmas (I guess I should mention each house was decorated for one day from the song), and strolling through one of America’s oldest universities.
Our most exciting news for the month of December is our website’s traffic. Multiple travel websites shared our articles via Facebook, Twitter and their own websites so we saw a sizable boost in traffic, making December our busiest month yet.
Dave went back to work in the St. Louis area in December and I spent most of my time at home in the Chicago burbs. After a fast-paced two month road trip, it was nice to be able to relax a little. I say a little because we still traveled to New Jersey and Pennsylvania mid-month.
We explored Princeton University which is an absolutely gorgeous campus and a quaint town. We also spent the day in Philadelphia (my first time, Dave’s second). We saw most of the typical first-timers attractions like the Liberty Bell and Rocky steps, but had a few recommendations to get outside the norm. Since we were visiting friends, we were carted around to charming small towns we never would have known existed like Peddler’s Village in Pennsylvania.
Our first post in December was about our Extraordinary Experience Swimming with Manatees in Florida. I had reservations before and even during, but swimming with manatees was an unforgettable memory that I will cherish forever.
Since we only started the blog a few months ago, we will be writing about previous trips we’ve taken as well as new ones. We went down memory lane this month and wrote about Eilean Donan, one of the most recognizable castles in Scotland. It has appeared in many films, television programs and movies. We also highlighted the gorgeous Chateau de Villandry, a romantic medieval castle that received a Renaissance makeover.
Since the holidays were this month, we wrote up an Ultimate Gift Guide for the Traveler in your Life. It includes awesome gifts for any occasion not just Christmas for the frequent flyer, the road tripper, the tech savvy, the stylish or for the book-lover.
Spreading holiday cheer, this St. Louis Brewery Lights It Up all around their facility. It’s one of our favorite free things to do in the area. S’mores, beer, Christmas lights and shopping. Can’t beat that!
Save. Save. Save. We love sharing travel tips that we’ve learned so read about how to Reduce Hotel Expenses with Best Rate Guarantees.
Although we had balmy weather this December in the north, we knew the cold was coming. In preparation we wrote up how to Escape the Cold in San Antonio, Texas.
If you haven’t already, you have to check out our two posts reflecting on the past year – 2015: The Start of Something Wonderful and 2015 Top Instagram Photos.
It has been another great month on social media. We even joined another new platform, StumbleUpon. Never heard of it? Us either, until a few weeks ago. It’s almost absurd how many social media sites there are! And learning how to navigate them all leaves me feeling antiquated and out of the loop. Until that magical moment it all comes together and it just clicks. It’s such a joyous moment.
Well, I haven’t had that moment with SU (that’s what the kids are calling it these days), so I have no freaking idea what I’m doing. I promise we will figure it out soon.
We reached our goals on every all social media accounts this month. Yay! At the end of November we had 2,250 Twitter followers and at the end of December we are now over 3,000. On Instagram we had 685 followers and now we are over 1,000! Last month we had 56 boards, 598 pins and 340 followers on Pinterest. This month we have 66 boards, 810 pins and over 1,000 followers.
Most Popular Photo on Instagram
We were going through our pictures from the last few months and found this gem. In October, we drove a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway from Smoky Mountains National Park to Asheville. It was one of the most scenic drives we have ever taken. We probably stopped a thousand times to take pictures or to just stare at the natural beauty. We love fall color and cannot get enough. We were so excited that in late October there were still color on trees, we thought we might have been a little to late for that high of an elevation. Nope. It was perfect.
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We can’t wait to catch up and write about some of our adventures from this fall: Greece, Turkey, Cumberland Island, and our month long stay in Florida! We have nothing booked yet for 2016 (we are such slackers), but will probably be visiting a few places in the Midwest and South this winter while Dave is working in the St. Louis area.
I’m not surprised that all your monthly stats keep going up and up and up! You provide enthusiastically written details of your many travel experiences and I’m glad to see you being rewarded with such positive results.
Thank you Chris. We really appreciate that we have readers that follow along on our adventures. Hopefully our tips and resources help you plan for your future trips!