2012: A Stellar Year

Okay, obviously I haven’t been posting much lately on my blog. I started a new job and that’s definitely changed my schedule a little bit! But I promise I have lots of content coming up in the next few weeks.

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I started this blog. Not that I’ve been the most prolific blogger by any means, but still – pretty cool.

2012 has been the best year of my life. It feels a little crazy to say that, almost like I’m bragging. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. I managed to squeeze in lots of adventure into the last year, and it will be a challenge to match it all in 2013.

We started with the discovery that there is a little German town in Georgia. It’s called Helen and you will be able to gorge yourself on great beer, spaetzle, and wienerschnitzel. This can be overwhelming.

German food in Georgia

German food in Georgia

Xavier and his bratwurst

Xavier and his bratwurst

We also enjoyed exploring our adopted hometown of Atlanta. It’s full of unique and beautiful sights – urban treasures, if you will – and it’s always fun to discover them.

Relics in Atlanta

Relics in Atlanta

Atlanta also has a gorgeous old cemetery that’s full of photo opportunities. While some might find it odd to hang out in a place full of gravestones, it’s actually a peaceful and beautiful place with dramatic views of the skyline. After volunteering there during a community service opportunity, my friend Marie reported back that the cemetery caretakers wish the place was more like a park.

Exploring the cemetery...

Exploring the cemetery…

But Atlanta has real parks as well, and we spent our fair share of time in Piedmont Park. I love living right down the road from there. It’s a wonderful place to spend time with loved ones, including dogs.

Battling for a stick

Battling for a stick

Riley and Parley

Riley and Parley

We ventured away from Atlanta as well. Our biggest trip of the year was to Ecuador. This was my first trip and very much worth the wait! It was so great to spend time with Xavier’s family. I also loved seeing the amazing landscapes that the country had to offer.

El Panecillo, the Virgin overlooking Quito

El Panecillo, the Virgin overlooking Quito

An alleyway in Quito

An alleyway in Quito

Many homes in the city of Quito have embedded broken bottles in the concrete walls outside their homes - apparently they deter burglary.

Many homes in the city of Quito have embedded broken bottles in the concrete walls outside their homes – apparently they deter burglary.

We did venture outside the city of Quito and saw some beautiful sights in nature. I loved the volcano Cotopaxi – Xavier’s favorite place on earth – and was so excited to come across real wild horses while we hiked up there.

The volcano Cotopaxi

The snow-tipped peak of the volcano Cotopaxi, visible just beyond the winding path

We found this wild horse just up the pathway

We found this wild horse just up the pathway.

Two other fun trips we took were to New Orleans, which we did for Xavier’s birthday, and to Key Largo. I loved those.

Pretty scenery in New Orleans

Pretty scenery in New Orleans

And this year, I finally got to try two restaurants that I’ve been dying to taste for quite some time! The first was in New Orleans: you can’t go there without beignets from Cafe du Monde.

Cafe au lait and beignets

Cafe au lait and beignets

And we also tried a delicious burger from Shake Shack in Philadelphia! I loved it – and the concretes. Danny Meyer, can you please bring this to Atlanta?

Burgers from Shake Shack

Burgers from Shake Shack

The only thing better would have been eating that stuff with this view, which we enjoyed during our trip to Key Largo.

Key Largo... beautiful sunset

Key Largo… beautiful sunset

I think it’s pretty cool that in the space of a year I managed to try both skydiving and scuba diving. Low pressure, high pressure. Both were awesome, and I can’t wait until my next shot to try both.

Swimming with the fishes...

Swimming with the fishes in Key Largo… also, great hair day.

This is actually me, falling from the sky.

This is me falling from the sky.

My exercising took a great leap in this year, too! I guess I’ve been running for about six months now. I can’t say I’ve lost that much weight since muscle is much heavier than fat, but it was amazing to complete two 5K races and a 10K. I truly never thought I could do it. But I could, and it was even fun. Now I’m training for a half marathon in 2013!

Goofy grin for my cheering section

Goofy grin for my cheering section during my first 5K

Aside from all of my travels and adventures, I am really glad that at the end of 2012, I was able to begin a new job that I’m really enjoying so far. Yes, all in all, this was a truly great year. I can’t believe how fast it went by, and I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store.

Hopefully more love…

Love...

Love!

…. and a few more hot dates!

All dressed up and going out on the town

All dressed up and going out on the town

Happy New Year, everyone!

What was the best part of 2012 for you?

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One thought on “2012: A Stellar Year

  1. catalina

    What a great year! you did a lot of traveling!! Are you saving up miles with hotel stays and purchases? It takes a while but a free ticket every few years is always welcome 🙂

    Reply

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