It’s hard to believe that in a few short days, 2016 is coming to an end. I think that I say this every year, but I really really mean it this year – this past year has flown by! But at the same time, we’ve been blessed with a lot of family time, a lot of travel, new adventures and fun opportunities that have made 2016 feel very full and very fun for us.
January was filled with a lot of traveling and fun memories – from Christmas in New York City to jumping into the New Year in Boston with our nieces. But the hubby and I both agree, discovering Lucali in Brooklyn was a game changer – in fact, we both think that it is the best pizza we have had outside of Italy.
February was a really nice relaxing month at home for us – we had a few family visits, and spent a lot of time cooking and trying new recipes. But even with all of the new recipe successes, I revisited an old favorite, 7 Hour Lasagne, and we fell in love with it all over again.
March was a month of self exploration for me. I tried meditation, found out that I hated cauliflower, and attended the Women in Travel 2016 conference. And the conference was definitely the highlight for me. #wits16 not only gave me a lot of confidence about who I was and where I was going with my blog, but it also gave me a lot to think about. It was a great day that really became a stepping stone for me in terms of personal growth with the blog.
April was a special month for me…I embarked on an Italian adventure. And although I did visit some new places, I also returned to Tuscany to take some language classes and settle in for a couple of weeks. Montepulciano is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, and being able to call it home fills my heart with joy.
Still in Italy (and so blessed to be so), I left Montepulciano for some new adventures. One being in Bologna, where I took a food tour of the region that included a “light lunch.” Well, the day was one of my most favorite travel moments, but also hilariously not light on anything at all. You truly have to read it to believe it.
June was a mix of finishing up some travels and nice quiet time at home together. As much as I am a homebody, my husband’s cousin’s wedding in Sicily was definitely the highlight for me. I had heard so many things about how amazing and over the top Italian weddings are, so getting to experience one was so much fun…and definitely unforgettable!
July’s highlight was without a doubt, or slightest hesitation, camping and touring Yellowstone National Park. And when I think about that trip or look through the pictures again, I just automatically start singing, “home, home on the range…” Yellowstone is truly where the deer and the antelope play, and the buffalo and the wolves, and the…well, you get the drift.
This may sound crazy, but the one place that the hubs and I feel most relaxed and recharged is in Palm Springs. Have you ever heard of some one needing a vacation from a vacation? Probably not. But truly, when we are both tired, overworked and need to mentally vacate, we both think Palm Springs. So after many months of travel, a weekend getaway to P.S. was definitely the recharge that we needed.
After months of blogging little lists, seasonal inspirations and mini bucket lists, I finally bit the bullet on the list of all lists. I created my 101 in 1001. Since creating the list, I have had very real moments of, “I wrote that?” or “what was I thinking?” But with 8 goals done and 4 in the works, I am feeling pretty good. Plus, my Aunt Marty offered some great advice, “you’re always allowed to change your mind.” And you know what, she is totally right. Maybe in a year I will need to revise some of my goals, and maybe not. I guess I’ll know when I get there.
Another hands down, easiest highlight to pick for us was traveling to Thailand. Sort of a trip that we booked on a whim, but also a trip that left such an impression on us (so much so that we often dream of going back). If only we could slip away to Crystal Bay for even just a day…
After Halloween passes, I always start to get really excited about the Holidays. Yes, the shopping and gift giving and parties are fun and all, but both the hubby and I look most forward to getting to spend time with our families. The hardest part for us about living in San Diego is being so far from our families. But we also feel very blessed to get to see them a lot throughout the year. So, for me, November was all about the gratitude.
On our way to visit my family for Christmas (or slightly out of the way, depending on how you look at it), the hubs and I went to Spain for the first time. The culture, the food, the people, the Christmas decorations…we were wined, dined and dazzled by Spain. And…for the first time in our personal travel history, we didn’t burn the candle at both ends; so we actually showed up to my parents’ house relatively rested and definitely relaxed. It was the perfect way for us to kick off the Christmas holiday.
Looking back on these moments, my heart fills up. 2016 has been such a beautiful year, and I can only imagine what 2017 has in store for us.
I wish you all the best for a happy, healthy and joy-filled New Year. Cheers!