Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 was one hell of a year

I love seeing all these recap posts around the interwebs and seeing how much can happen in just one year. SO so much has happened in 2013 for us and I am excited to look back and recap it all!

Are ya ready? Let's do this.

We rang in 2013, smushed in with hundreds (thousands?) of other people watching fireworks from the Plaza Venezia in Rome, Italy. It's a moment that I will never, ever forget and can distinctly remember thinking how surreal it was to be there and how thankful I was.

Before leaving Italy, we made one last stop to explore the ruins of Pompeii. It was pretty incredible to see this place where people actually lived and to learn about the tragedy that happened to destroy it.

January 10th, we made it to Koh Samui, Thailand, where we spent the next 30 days exploring the island and discovering our new favorite place in the whole world. To this day, we can't go more than a week or so without somehow bringing it up again. I'm counting down the days until we can return to this amazing place.

February came and it was time for us to leave our beloved Thailand and move on to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a week. We didn't quite know what to expect with this place, and I can't necessarily say we'll go again. But I do remember it being Valentine's Day while we were there and we spent it having ourselves a classy lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. Cheesy American nachos when you're homesick? Heaven.

After Malaysia, we headed over to Bali! I was so excited to be there because it was a place I had always wanted to visit! We stayed in this incredible house by the beach, traveled to Ubud for a bike ride through the villages, then went to this secluded little beach resort on the east coast of the island for four quiet and glorious days. My favorite part of Bali, however, was when The Dizzle surprised me for our 100th day of traveling by booking a night at The Hard Rock Hotel. It was this amazing hotel with an amazing pool that had sand at the bottom! After 100 days of dinky hotel rooms and counting our pennies, it was nice to have one day to splurge and relax with a huge, comfy, king-sized bed!

After Bali, which came in as a close second to our favorite places, we headed over to Vietnam for 3 weeks. We started in Ho Chi Minh, took a train up to Da Nang and Nha Trang, then up to Hanoi and Halong Bay to spend the last of our trip. It was an interesting 3 weeks and not necessarily my favorite, but looking back, I'm so glad for our time there. We explored this country that has roots for both of us (The Dizzle's dad was stationed there and my sister was adopted from here!). Out of all the places, however, Halong Bay was my fave. We stayed overnight on a junk boat and toured around all of the little islands. It was breathtaking.

When Vietnam came to a close, it was already the end of March! We decided we couldn't leave Southeast Asia without seeing Thailand again, so we headed to Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok and spent another glorious month exploring!

Mid-April, we said our teary goodbyes to Thailand and hopped on a plane to go see The Dizzle's motherland! After 5 months of not seeing family, we met our moms in Amsterdam for 8 glorious days! I fell in love with this place immediately. It's so clean and friendly and yummy and beautiful. I keep nudging Verner to get his Dutch citizenship!

The week quickly came to an end and The Dizzle and I had one more stop on our world adventures before heading back to the States after 6 long months! We hopped on a quick flight to London to spend our last week abroad. Would you believe my camera broke on that trip?! So I wasn't able to capture many pictures before that stupid London Dungeon water ride broke it! #travelfail

April came and went, and so did our travels. We headed back to America with very mixed feelings. We spent most of May in Georgia at my Mom's house, processing, enjoying family, and most importantly, enjoying American food again. ;) We went "camping", had Mother's Day with the fam, and went to the Atlanta Aquarium. It was an interesting month trying to transition back from traveling, I tell ya, but it sure was good to see family.

After spending a month at Verner's sister's house, in June we finally got our very first apartment together in San Francisco! It was a very exciting time for us especially since we hadn't had our own home for the last 6 months. It was nice to finally settle into something that we could call ours.

Also in June, I got a job with Pottery Barn Kids. Though excited at first, I quickly came to realize it wasn't for me, and just 3 months later, I said Sayonara!

July is always a great month, in my opinion. The Dizzle and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary and I also had my 27th birthday! I was officially in my late-20's. I was at a job I didn't like. I was in a new city and still trying to get my bearings. But I had that man of mine, and it made things so much easier to transition knowing he was going through it all too.

Oh, and Alcatraz Night Tour for my b-day. Do it. It was awesome.

August I decided to do something about the excess pound gainage and joined a DietBet! I lost about 10 pounds and managed to keep it off (up until Christmas came...womp womp).

September we joined friends Mo and Justin for a weekend in Tahoe! It was such a beautiful place and was a great feeling to get out and see somewhere new and enjoy nature. We had an awesome time and a great bonding experience, too, over drinks and casinos. Two great combinations, in my opinion. ;)

September was also the month that The Dizzle and I got our little Hampstermobile! We love our little Dooter and especially love being able to explore a little more efficiently.

October was the month I started AND ended with Virgin America. It was a roller coaster of emotions that month seeing what I thought was my dream job taken away from me so quickly. I was definitely crushed, but with most things, time heals all wounds and I was able to see the positives and understand that it just wasn't a path meant for me.

November started out with a beautiful hike at Mt. Tam. I spent the day decompressing and processing with my best friend by my side. I was truly so thankful for The Dizzle because being with him made me feel like nothing else mattered and we'd get through anything. And get through we did.

We also made a road trip down to San Diego for my niece's 1 year birthday! It was good to see family again. It was also our first time back to San Diego together since we had left the previous year!

Then December was here before we knew it. We went and saw Beach Blanket Babylon here in the city, we got a new bed after breaking our last one, and we took another road trip to San Diego, this time down the Coast, to spend with my family for Christmas. New Year's Eve was spent with friends at Kevin and Serena's here in the city. It was perfect because we could walk home without having to deal with the craziness of trying to find a cab and we all brought some appetizers and ordered pizza! We watched the fireworks from their roof and played games. It was a great night with great friends and a great way to end this crazy year of ours.

Here's to you, 2013. You were a year filled with more than I could have ever asked for. I grew and experienced so much this year and I can't wait to see what 2014 brings!

Happy New Year, friends!


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  1. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2014!

  2. Amazing adventures! No wonder you are "lovin' life!"

  3. Wow, you guys had a wonderful and adventurous year! I can't wait to see what 2014 brings you!

  4. good gracious, woman. you had a crazy year filled with awesome adventures. I love it. hope the new year is filled with lots of crazy amazing things for you!

  5. 2013 seems like it was cuh-ray-zee awesome for you! Cheers to another full of fun, adventure, and accompanying blog posts to recap it all!

    ♥ Duckie.

  6. 2013 was a pretty epic year for you two! Hope 2014 is equally awesome in its own way :)

  7. You certainly had an amazing year and I can not wait to see what 2014 has in store for you!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  8. Such an amazing roller coaster year! I wish you all the best this year and I am looking forward to reading about more of your adventures.


  9. he should definitely get his dutch citizenship.Holland is beautiful.xx

    dreaming is believing

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