2016 was a FANTASTIC YEAR!

Woah, it has been almost a year since I have touched the blog. Can’t believe how fast time flies. This past years was truly the most amazing and eventful year of our lives. We took some big risks that have paid off tenfold. We stepped out of our comfort zone and grew tremendously as a couple and as individuals.

In a effort to make up for lost time, I am going to recap the year and highlight some of our favorite moments. DISCLAIMER: prepare yourself for way too many photos.

We started off the year in New Zealand….. need I say more? I have about 30 posts on that. I can summarize that trip in 3 words: Best. Experience. Ever.

As our time in NZ came to a bitter sweet end, we prepared ourself for another big move; our move to one of the most major cities in the United States: San Francisco, Ca. Before I get to our new life in SF, there are a few other adventures that we had along the way. I flew back from NZ back to Baltimore (YES! All the way back home to Maryland, halfway across the world) to surprise my family and prepare for our new city.

Flying for 20+ hours is totally worth it when you have such an amazing loving family to come home to. Not to brag but I need to give credit when it’s due. My time home was short and sweet. Just a little over a week to pack and prepare for another exciting (& exhausting) expedition: driving across country.

Cross Country Road trip

Luckily, my best friend (& younger sister) volunteered to ride shotgun and be my company for the week. We packed my little accord coupe to the brim with clothes, furniture, our duffle bags, and a cooler full of snacks. Our route: Chicago, IL- Kansas city, KS- Breckenridge, CO- Salt Lake City, UT- San Francisco, CA. The trip was so much fun!

 

San Francisco

We arrived to SF on Friday at approximately 3pm. Our first apartment showing was at 5pm. We hit the ground running on the apartment hunt, and we were glad that we did. Apartment hunting in this city was an adventure of it’s own. We looked at about 10 apartments before we landed the perfect one.

SF is such an exciting and lively city; there is always something going on. I’m sure I will have a series of blogs to come showcasing how cool this city is, don’t worry 😉.

Friends

Someone once told us that “you will have numerous visitors when you move here.” We didn’t really believe them, but they were right! We have been super fortunate to be able to host more then a handful of visitors in only 9 months of living here! Below are a few photos of us exploring our new home with some of our best friends:

Weddings

While we were getting settled in to our new jobs and new environment, we were still periodically flying home for all sorts of events. For example, my best friends WEDDING! I wouldn’t have missed watching her walk down the isle for anything. Not only was she is my best friend of 10+ years, I was also privileged to be her maid of honor. She looked exquisite.

This past December we flew back home again for another beloved friends wedding. Mr. & Mrs. O’Keefe asked Chad to be a groomsman in their wedding party and invited us to share their special day. Seeing all our old friends and firehouse guys was very nostalgic and made it very hard to fly back west.

 

North Carolina

Another event that we flew back home for was our annual Outer Banks, NC trip. We got to enjoy a whole week spending quality family time with Chad’s family and little niece. NC has a soft spot in my heart. It is the place where I feel most relaxed and myself. If you have never been….. take a drive down route 12 sandwiched between the sand dunes and you’ll know why it’s so magical.

Denver & Tahoe

If that wasn’t enough traveling for one year, we decided to do a couple more weekend trips. One of them being to check out Denver, CO. Chad had the opportunity to present his research at the SFPE 2016 Conference and at the same time we got to explore another awesome city.

We also got to take a trip up to Lake Tahoe, CA/NV for Thanksgiving. We got to see the first snow of the season. It was also our first time seeing snow in over a year! We were really hoping on getting to snowboard/ski but unfortunately there were only a few runs open so we had to pass. Needless to say, we already can’t wait to go back to Tahoe.

Christmas

Unfortunately we could not go back home for the holidays this year, but we were able to come back to Baltimore two weeks before Christmas. This is when we were able to celebrate a early Christmas with our immediate family. We got to sit around the Christmas tree, open presents, play with Charleigh. It was more then we could ask for.

The best Christmas present we got this year was Chad’s parents making the trip on Christmas day to be with us (told ya our family was pretty spectacular). We had a nice Christmas brunch, watched the football game, went to watch the sunset at the beach, and then came back to our cozy apartment for more food. We then proceeded to spend a week adventuring and exploring the west coast. We showed Chad’s parents some of our favorite places in SF, Muir Woods, Sonoma County, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel. We then finished off the year by watching fireworks on our roof!

 

Best friends

This past year we realized how many AMAZING friends and family we have. Funny how moving 8,753 miles away from home can make some relationships even stronger. Thank you to all the wonderful people that have been in our lives and supported us on this adventure.

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New friends

In addition to all the amazing friends that we have already, we had to be greedy and add a few more to our lives. We have come to a conclusion this year: Swedes are some of the best people on this planet. Considering that most of our new friends from this year are from Sweden. We have learned so much about the world outside of our little bubble through all of these amazing new friends from Sweden, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. We are looking forward to many more years of friendship with these guys 🙃. Skål!

Cheers to 2017!

Can’t wait to see what this year brings 😉

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