Well, now that 2020 has gone and we're full-swing into 2021, people who may have been expecting things to magically go back to 'normal', whatever that is, are somewhat disappointed. It's going to take more than the calendar flip to get things back on track.

Don't look now, but we're coming upon almost exactly a year since the rumors of this COVID-19 virus strain that was causing problems around the world may soon find its way here. We know now that it sure did. With the widening distribution of promising vaccines and modified behaviors, I'm choosing to be optimistic about the prospects of beginning to get back to doing the things that we love here in Washington State.

Here are Seven Things Washingtonians Miss During The Pandemic.

1) Visiting The Space Needle in Seattle.

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The Space Needle came along in 1962 (as did I) to be a part of the World's Fair at Seattle Center. Elvis filmed a movie there, but I was only a couple of months old and my mom wouldn't let me hang with my friends and ride the elevator. I was bummed.

2) PIKE PLACE MARKET.

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While in Seatle, a visit to the PIKE PLACE MARKET is always fun. Some things are opened up but so much is still closed, it's far less fun.

3) Taking Brewery Tours.

Emily Stephenson

How we miss touring and hanging out at one of our great local breweries such as Bale Breaker. The taproom remains closed for the safety of all concerned, and that's the right call. But, I still owe a couple of friends who've moved here since Covid personal tours of this amazing brewery. Thankfully, they do drive-thru service still and of course, their many varieties of beer are available at stores everywhere in the valley.

4) Wineries.

Emily Stephenson

We're pining for the full-function of winery opportunities as soon as possible. Normal operation of tasting rooms, tours, and all of the fabulously well-attended food and entertainment events is a must if you live in this state, especially in the Yakima Valley.

5) Sporting Events with BIG CROWDS!

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Yes, the wounds are still fresh from the Seahawks collapse in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs. However, they're already working on making next season the one we've all been waiting for, and when Lumen Field is once again filled to capacity with thousands of us screaming for our team, whether Seahawks or Sounders, we'll be ready!

6) Crowded Bars & Restaurants.

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Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you........

You know the rest. Some of my favorite establishments thankfully are still serving in a limited capacity. For example, Yakima Steak Company is open with its heated patio and of course, they offer take out.

Brian Stephenson

7) Live Concerts.

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Yes, please. The bigger the crowd the better. Like Watershed Big. Or, of course, Garth!

Take heart, this too shall pass, and we'll be back to what we're missing sooner than you think.

See Striking Photos of the Tourism Industry During COVID-19