Well, it’s been 543 days since I’ve updated this space and I thought the second day of 2018 would be a great day to come back to reminisce on 2017 and share my thoughts and dreams for 2018.
I had a great year, filled with more good times than bad and lots of travel.
I spent the week before Christmas 2016 in my happy place, Disney.
I went with my mom, brother, sister, aunt and cousin and we had the best time. Turns out Disney + Christmas = ultimate happiness. I’ve been to Disney 4 times and this time was one of the best. We were in a Christmas parade, spent lots of down time at the pool and ate tons of yummy good. Speaking of food, the block of white stuff (second row from the bottom) is the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had. The dish is called nudel gratin and it’s in the Sommerfest restaurant in the German Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. When anyone asks “if you could go anywhere in world right now, where would you go?” my mind always goes to Disney. Every time.
In June I went to Paris and Rome with my two best girlfriends for 12 glorious days. For as long as I can remember I wanted to go but I never really thought I would make it there, you know? After talking about it in 2016 (but without really committing to a date), my best friend finally said “I’m booking it in February” so…we booked.
I spent the next 4 months feverishly googling, yelping, google mapping, pinning, online shopping and jotting down all the information I could. Time went by so quickly, as time always seems to do, and before I knew it I was leaving for Europe (!!!) in a couple days and I was in a major denial/anxiety driven haze. I was worrying about everything under the sun (the flight, being unaware of my surroundings), bursting into tears and wishing I hadn’t agreed to this whole thing. My flight was in the evening and I spent the day packing, weighing my bags and repacking. Initially my luggage weighed 80 lbs and two hours later I managed to cut that in half. I then said my teary goodbyes to my family and the man (you would have thought I was going on a year long trek) and we headed to the airport. I was wired on the flight and was happy with the in flight entertainment and wishing I was rich so I could fly first class. We touched down in Paris and the airport was chaotic and we couldn’t find a taxi and we were so tired but I just couldn’t believe I was there. The next couple days were a whirlwind of Versailles, the Louvre, Champs-Elysées, the Eiffle Tower, picnics with Moet champagne on the Seine river, so.many.ham.sandwiches and walking up and down the 7 flights of incredibly narrow, uneven stairs of our hotel. Paris was so romantic and chic, I tried to soak in all the ambiance so I could keep everything in my memories. By the way, McDonalds is MUCH better in Paris!
5 days later, at 6 a.m. we boarded our flight to Rome and I was so excited (also nervous, I’m a horrible flyer) and couldn’t believe our time in Paris went by so quickly (jet lag is real!). We touched down in Italy, caught a cab and we all said a little prayer our room in Rome would be ready early. When we settled into the hotel, we decided to take a 2 hour nap and we set our alarm. I woke up feeling rested and really to take on the day, everyone else was sleeping so I turned on the tv and found out we had been sleeping for 6 hours and slept through our alarm! Again, jet lag is real.
Our digs in Rome was much nicer than Paris, we were a 10 second walk away from a main street which was a 5 min walk to Piazza Navona and the setting was incredible. The hustle and bustle of all the tiny cobble stoned streets, packed with restaurants and shops and bars. We had 2 more days in Rome than Paris and our time seemed much more relaxed. On one of the days we took a 2 hour express train ride to Venice. We didn’t have too much time to sight see but we managed to see the Basilica di San Marco. We were standing in the courtyard when a string band in tuxedos started played Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd and I burst into laughter at how perfect the moment was. Afterwards our water taxi gave us a lovely, scenic tour. During our week there we saw the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, and of course Piazza Navona. The food was amazing, I ate so much pizza, pasta, gelato, tiramisu and prosecco.
The trip was absolutely perfect. Writing this, it seems like forever ago.
I had a great summer, I went to 4 concerts, tons of fun day trips and tried to make the most of the great weather.
I went from a blonde to a brunette, again.
In August, at a concert, my aunt and cousin mentioned they were going to Las Vegas to celebrate my cousin’s birthday in October. My aunt threw out an invitation and a couple weeks later our hotel and flights were booked for 6 days in Sin City. Now, I’m not a spontaneous person so when my aunt invited us, I dug my heels in. I told my mom 100 reasons why I shouldn’t go. After my rant, she told me sometimes you just need to throw caution to the wind, take opportunity by the horns and make a bold move.
I spent the next month googling, yelping, google mapping, pinning, online shopping and jotting down all the information I could, again. I was really hesitant about Vegas, I’m not a gambler or a big time partier, so what is there for me? Boy was I wrong. I LOVED VEGAS! I loved all the glamour of the expensive hotels, the amazing restaurants and shows, and all the booze slushies. We saw a show called Absinthe and Drag Brunch, both of which I would recommend to anyone who isn’t faint of heart. We rode the High Roller ferris wheel that was equipped with an open bar and a hilarious bartender, 550 feet above the Las Vegas strip. We visited Fremont Street, which was such a wild experience and I’m so glad we managed to fit it in. I went swimming almost every day and despite it being October, the weather was unseasonably warm. I loved Vegas so much I’m going again this October!
I had a lovely Christmas, surrounded by family, too many presents and even more Christmas cookies.
I had a fantastic 2017 in most elements of my life. Now, what do I want to focus on in 2018 (because I know myself enough to know not to call is a resolution)?
-I want to lead a healthier life style and that mean losing weight by eating better and exercising. My dad is diabetic and I need to get my act together because health is wealth. I plan on losing weight by joining and following Weight Watchers, giving myself a water consumption goal for the day, and dusting off my neglected treadmill. I also plan on blogging weekly with my weigh ins because that makes me more accountable.
-I want to find a new job in a different field so I can do what I love and love what I do. I’ll keep the specifics to myself because they’re pretty boring.
-I need to get my drivers license. Like, for real.
-I want to keep traveling! I’m hoping for Greece and Vegas again this year.
-I need to see my best friend more. Life gets busy and we lead two very different kinds of social lives but that girl brings joy to my heart and we need to make our friendship more of a priority. There is no one in this world who knows me more or better and spending time with her, even when we’re doing nothing (which is most of the time), always makes my heart happy.
I’m wishing you all a happy, healthy and fun 2018!