2020 Has... Ended?

We survived. 2020 is over and now we can see what this next year has in store. As we do that, lets look back on some of the best moments of the year 2020 from a Destination Vacation Network perspective!

I honestly can not believe the end of 2020 has arrived so quickly. It seems like I started this adventure with many of you only a week ago - yet this all started back in February. This may seem like a long time ago and believe me when I say this Disney lover has been counting down the days since Disneyland closed but this was even before then! Yes! You could still visit the Happiest Place on Earth (for real) back in February - a mere 11 months ago.

All joking aside February was an amazing month for me as I became a registered Travel Agent in the State of Florida and signed up with my amazing partners Destinations to Travel. This team has been great in helping combat what many of my fellow agents would agree is the worst season for travel ever (oh no - am I a curse...). While February started off as a win, March would show us all the dangers of what was to come.

As I am sure we all aware of - a pandemic hit the world. I am someone with a compromised immune system - long story short I have been recovering my immune system due to chemotherapy treatments in 2019. You can bet I have been over cautious when it comes to protecting my health. With that I was still able to enjoy some "stay-cations" as I do live in the beautiful San Diego Area. There were still several trips I was able to make over the course of the next few months - it felt like so much longer!

Some of the trips of course have been the featured blog posts here - my favorite being our own Safari Park. I have discussed here how much I love animals so it should come as no surprise if I couldn't be at Disneyland - I would be at the Safari Park or Zoo. That is just what happened for several weeks in a row as I gathered pictures and enjoyed the great food and atmosphere. The Safari Park is situated in Escondido, CA just a shy 45 minute drive north of the World Famous San Diego Zoo and an hour and half or so from Disneyland. This park has an open plain enclosure featuring a section for the African Savannah and another for Asian Plain animals. It truly is a sight to see when you see a herd of giraffes moving together towards a feeding area.

I am going to take a side path here and just talk quickly about the amazing experience it is to be able to eat a meal while looking out on a safari. The Safari Park has a restaurant within the park with a wonderful season menu. They also have a full bar with specialty drinks - which can come with a souvenir plastic cup. I highly recommend going and making a reservation!

Food was a huge aspect of the pandemic. SeaWorld, Knott's Berry Farm, and LEGOLAND, CA all had some food and/or shopping experiences throughout the pandemic. Eating was a chore that I had to do for all of you! Well to be honest it was a treat because I had also started this year on a new diet. With that said - there were some amazing dishes. I don't think I can pick a top one - so I will pick a few!

SeaWorld had 2 food festivals which had both highlights and lowlights... that's a thing I think. One of those highlights for me came in the Winter Christmas Celebration: the hearty chilli won hands down! It was perfect for a cold night and so filling. Now if you wanted some good grub - Knott's Berry Farm is where it is at!

Knott's Berry Farm had so many winners I could probably list 10+ due to the 4 festivals they had (3 of which I was able to attend). My favorite of some of these included the Ghost Town Boysenberry Sangria, many of the sliders, but most of all - I loved anything with pulled pork! I will always be interested in this and Knott’s even offered vegetarian options with jackfruit pulled pork. It’s truly delicious and nutritious!

Is your mouth watering too? Enough about food. Let’s talk about what’s coming up next. Well for me March is shaping up to be a big month for me with a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. I’m also constantly working on updating my website here for you all. Be on the lookout in the next week or so for some new content including Aulani and Adventures by Disney! Are you looking forward to any of these? Also look for brand new experiences and giveaways on my Facebook and Instagram. This has been a bit of an abrupt ending but I wanted you all to know what’s going on and my plans as we move into the new 2021. I will definitely have a new update sooner than later!

I can not wait to see where you will travel in 2021 with me!

Your Friendly Travel Agent

Patrick O’Connor

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