2016 was a roller coaster of an emotional year for me. Highs included being part of my closest cousin’s wedding, attending the wedding of one of my closest friends, and traveling to Scotland, a place I’ve longed to go for years, and my 3rd (of 5) top countries I want to see. The biggest low was a devastating discovery, but more on that below.
As a celebration of 2016 being finished, I want to share with you my 10 favorite pictures I took in 2016 and the meaning behind each. The pictures are in chronological order.
April – Canada – The lake at a cottage in Seguin, Ontario
My aunt arranged a surprise birthday weekend celebration for my uncle in Seguin. She rented two cottages to accommodate us all, and it ended up being a wonderful time spent with extended family. I truly love my family and big get-togethers like this are always tons of fun. This picture was taken while sitting out back with my mom, enjoying the peace and quiet.
July – England – Standing in the Great Hall at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Leavesden, UK
I could ramble on for days about how much attending this tour and seeing the Great Hall meant to me, and still never come close to describing it properly. The Harry Potter series has always been close to my heart, and helped me through some truly dark times. To be able to stand in the Great Hall and imagine what it would be like to attend Hogwarts was a feeling I’ll never forget. Shout out to the family and friends traveling with me who were game to go here!
July – England – The model of Hogwarts at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Leavesden, UK
As we neared the end of the tour, I found it hard to think about leaving. Until we rounded one last corner and were greeted with the sight of this stunning model. I’m not ashamed to admit I got a little teary-eyed looking at the magnificent beauty in the details. As the amazing JKR once said, “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
August – Scotland – St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, UK
This stunning 12th century cathedral can be found along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Just walking inside took my breath away and I eagerly paid the 2 pound photography fee. I still feel the same sense of peace and calm when I look at the pictures that I felt standing there in person. It’s a must-see for anyone making their way to Edinburgh – you won’t be disappointed.
August – Scotland – Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh, UK
In case you haven’t noticed yet, most of the pictures in this post are from my summer trip to the UK. With sights like Holyrood Abbey, how can I be held at fault? Nestled behind the Palace of Holyroodhouse, I fell head over heels in love with the ruinous abbey.
August – Scotland – A tree on the shores of Loch Lomond, UK
Scotland was as magical, mystifying, and diverse a location as I had ever dreamed it would be. Standing on the shores of Loch Lomond snapping this picture, I felt extremely content. I still can’t quite wrap my head around why this tree and this image strike me as so beautiful, but I have a feeling it has to do with how at ease my frame of mind was while there.
August – Scotland – A quiet place to reflect along the shores of Little Loch Broom
Driving around the North Coast 500 was a highlight of my life, let alone 2016. The diversity of the coastline was pleasantly surprising, and choosing just a handful of pictures out of the thousands I took was incredibly difficult. Of course, I fell instantly in love with driving through the mountainous areas as well.
August – Scotland – A beach along the North Coast 500
Our drive around the Highlands continued to deliver stunning scenery straight out of my deepest dreams. Sadly, I don’t know the name of this beach, but I could have happily spent a quiet eternity on it!
October – Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario
I was beyond impressed with all the effort and time spent creating the spectacle that is Pumpkinferno. Just under 7,000 pumpkins are transformed into hand-carved masterpieces, staged in groupings to make a scene or a theme. This unique event was an awesome addition to my list of things I’ve come across in Ottawa.
December – Canada – Hope and Christmas tree in Ottawa, Ontario
On returning to Canada after my summer UK trip, I received the devastating news that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer. Other complications arose due to that in ways I won’t get into, but suffice it to say, the past 5 months have truly been a roller coaster of emotion. I took this picture on a day when I was feeling particularly down about how everything was progressing, in order to remind myself that the best best way of supporting my dad was through hope and optimism. I am VERY happy to say that he had surgery earlier this month and it was a success. I respect my dad’s privacy too much to say anything more than that, but looking at this picture, I felt I had to include it in this post.
This concludes my 10 favorite pictures I took in 2016. I’m debating returning to previous years and creating more posts like this, because I really enjoyed it!
Do you have a set of favorite pictures?