Thursday, January 5, 2017

kissing 2016 goodbye

I guess I'm a little late to the party with sharing my year end review, but I was a little busy ending 2016 on the best note possible thanks to a trip through Europe. Now that I'm back stateside and finally having a moment to unpack, catch-up, and shake off the jet lag, I'm ready to officially say goodbye to 2016.
In a lot of ways, this past year was not an easy one. I feel like I was tested in so many my marriage, in my desire to become a dentist, in the path I've chosen in life. But there were also a lot of good moments freaking fantastic moments. So here are a few highlights from my 2016.

exchanging all my American dollars for pesos and euros. 
Not everyone gets to leave the country so the fact that I could manage to visit multiple countries on my tight schedule and budget was a major highlight for me.
seeing my father graduate with a Masters Degree 
My parents didn't have an opportunity to attend college until much later in life. They both attended college while I did and now my father has recently earned a Masters degree. I have some pretty incredible role models. 
this nice collection of postcards that Husband has mailed to me over the year, all places that we've visited together. These are the best reminder of two very important things. 1.) how important it is to always go on adventures together and 2.) how sweet and thoughtful my husband can be
And here's a look back at the best of each month, including a few of my favorite photos. 

Kicked off 2016 with holiday detox. Then we filled the month up with skiing, winter postcards, and succulents on sundays.

Because all you need is love... and art, our valentine's date was our first visit to Boston's Museum of Fine Art. Celebrated the rest of Valentine's Day with a special dinner at home. February is also Husband's Birthday, which we marked with this homemade donut cake. This really was a lovely month.

Welcomed the start of spring by planting a new window sill garden, lots of nature walks, and filling up my time with all the weekend things.

A month full of relaxing weekends. Kicked things off with even more snow, but kept colds away by catching a little vitamin C at Boston's most unique museum. Finally ended Boston's cold weather and made the big shift into Spring. And this mama got a brand new bag which I loved enough to review.

Took day trips to Boston's Cape Ann. Loved it so much, we visited Gloucester and Rockport. Then flew out west for our first big trip of the year where we spent 7 days hiking through Utah's Mighty Five. Had the best adventures in Zion National Park, mostly trying not to die at Angel's Landing hike. Slept in a tipi and took a mule ride in Bryce Canyon National Park. Road-tripped across Utah with a pit stop that involved hiking in underwear, then made it to our next stop and realized all the reasons why you shouldn't skip Capitol Reef National Park. Next, we hiked through Goblin Valley and Little Wild Horse. More fun with glamping in the desert, hiking islands in the sky, seeing the best sunset views, and spending 12 hours at Arches National Park. This was the best Southwest adventure done all on a budget.

Celebrated my birthday and insisted on no gifts. Instead I ended up with a wanderlust birthdathat involved lots of trips. Sweet husband took me to a birthday tea and also planned a day out in Provincetown Cape Cod. This spoiled birthday girl also got to go camping in Acadia National Park in Maine and this first visit included bringing our pup along. And one last big outing for June involved riding ferries and mopeds with a day trip to Block Island, Rhode Island.

Spent the 4th of july weekend in Vermont with waterfall hikes and camping with the pup. Then celebrated the actual holiday with fireworks in Boston- it literally took days to wash all of the ash out of my hair. Then spent the rest of the month checking items off our summer bucket list.

The craziest month of the year! After taking a year off, I moved back down South to return to grad school. Spent a few weeks adjusting to school, being in a long distance marriage, and settling into my grad school apartment. Got a week off of school and flew back home to Boston to reunite with the husband. We took several short getaways to make the most of the time together. Headed to the windy city and biked Chicago on the tiniest budget. Then the white mountains were calling and we had to go....we can never turn down waterfalls and mountain air. Plus, we filled up on lobster with a day trip to Portland Maine. And one last summer day trip in New England with a trip to Connecticut that included a big surprise.

Mostly focused on school this month, so it was low key. Visiting husband back in Boston involved going kayaking with our dog. Completed our summer bucket list and started our Fall to do List. We celebrated 3 years of marriage with an anniversary weekend that involved time at Boston's Sowa Sunday. Said Goodbye to September, Hello to October.

Made the best of my Fall break from school by taking an anniversary trip through the Pacific Northwest. Loved Wandering through Washington thanks to finding this hidden gem in Seattle. Took a day trip through the North Cascades, one of America's least visited, but most beautiful national parks. Kayaked Lake Crescent and got up close with wild elk in the Hoh Rainforest at Olympic National Park. Encountered the best/worst weather with snow, rain, and hail at Mt. Rainier National Park. Finished out our Fall tour of the Pacific Northwest with a visit to this famous pumpkin patch + America's best Oktoberfest. Then polished off the month of October with this epic halloween fail.

Started the holidays early by taking a trip to Mexico, which was our Christmas gift to each other. Spent Thanksgiving in Tulum, then road-tripped through Mexico. We climbed Coba Maya ruins, got lost in the secret world of Elk Balam, visited Chiczen Itza-a wonder of the world, and stopped in the town of Vibrant Valladolid. More on this trip to come.

Finally started feeling festive, thanks to decorating our tree with the travel ornaments we picked up during the year. Finished up all our Christmas shopping...see the gifts I bought for myself and the gifts we gave to everyone else. December really was the most wonderful time of the year, especially thanks to this best gift ever that involved a trip through Europe!
All in all, this year has involved some crazy moments. Visited 4 countries, 10 states, and 9 national parks. Went from having my freedom and living with my husband to being at the mercy of grad school and living apart. This year was full of so many changes, but most of them for the good. Glad to see what 2017 has in store and giving 2016 a big kiss goodbye.

linking up with thinkingoutloud//

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