Most folks spend NYE drunkenly reflecting on the resolutions they did or didn’t keep throughout the year. Then, just before the clock strikes midnight, they find themselves creating a mental list of their goals for the New Year. Lose weight. Quit smoking. Pay off debt.
I find myself in a similar situation every July, just as my birthday is approaching and we’ve officially reached that midyear point. I take some time to write about all of the momentous people, places and events that helped make my year pretty damn awesome. While I don’t find myself setting specific goals for the upcoming year, I’ve found that this is a really great way to reflect and appreciate all of the good in my life.
Without further ado, here’s D’s Year in Review:
I Went Skydiving…
A huge thanks to Groupon for making near death experiences so affordable. This is OG bucket list status; something that I had been dreaming of for 20+ years. When Katie asked, “Hey, do you want to go skydiving?” it didn’t take long for me to buy my ticket and start counting down the days to that fateful jump.
We had 4 jumpers in our group but even our height-fearing friends and family came to cheer us on. My only request? That our audience greet us with champagne and donuts afterward.
After being suited up and learning the proper jump technique, we were packed like sardines in an airplane that you would WANT to jump out of. Especially after the pilot tells you he got “really fucked up last night”.
Have you ever been mounted like a dog in a tiny aircraft? If it’s something you’d be into, go skydiving. All jokes aside, my guide made me feel confident and comfortable. Leading us toward the edge of the platform, he gave me zero time to second-guess my decision, which I really appreciated. A quick “I love you” exchanged between friends and I was out the door!
After the chute was pulled and I was able to take in the views (and breathe), my guide yelled, “Welcome to your new life!” I can’t really explain the feeling other than otherworldly. I felt exhilarated, carefree and small, but powerful at the same time.
I Traveled to Germany…
Shortly after skydiving I boarded another plane, but this time to Munich, Germany. Alone. Sure, it was work related, but still–I went to Germany. I was away for 4 days and I managed to find some time to explore Munich when I wasn’t lending a hand with an exhibit. Being that it was my first trip to Europe, I was determined to successfully navigate the city, drink beer, eat pretzels and visit a museum or two.
Here’s what Germany taught me: Warm beer isn’t so bad, sausage for every meal is. America is architecturally unattractive. Pretzels. My boobs look really great in a dirndl. Traveling alone isn’t so bad.
Biggest letdown of the trip? Finding out that Birkenstocks aren’t discounted in Germany. They’re the same damn price in the US. In fact, I could probably buy them cheaper at Nordstrom Rack.
I Went on a Cross Country Road Trip…
In January I accompanied my dear friend Katie (yes, skydiving Katie) on a cross country road trip from Florida to her new home in California. I could dedicate an entire post to this so I’ll try to hit the high notes:
Spent a couple of days in sunny Florida. Attended my first early bird dinner. Went to a dank bar with hundreds of bras stapled to the wall. Explored New Orleans. Drank in the street. Ate beignets. Made friends with random strangers and toured the city together; ditched them in a cathedral. Drove to Texas. Ate WHATABURGER. Fell in love with Austin; the city, not the man. Yelled at the valet. Ate Voodoo Doughnut. Explored a cave. Almost ran out of gas. Drove to New Mexico. Went to Las Cruces. Explored another cave. Ate lunch 75 stories underground. Saw the road sign for Roswell. Witnessed a beautiful sunset at White Sands National Monument. Hiked through Joshua Tree National Park; it got a little scrambly. Arrived in San Diego. Got drunk while wearing my Jeff Goldblum tee. Had a sad airport goodbye.
Let me say that this trip was not without its flaws:
Katie had to buy a new car…in a state where she was vacationing…THE NIGHT BEFORE OUR ROAD TRIP, PEOPLE.
I added an extra 2-3 in San Diego so I could relax and explore the city after the trek but, unbeknownst to me, a serious blizzard was heading straight for Baltimore. No big deal, I’ll come home a day early. No Danielle, no you won’t. Because after changing my flight twice to avoid said storm, Southwest emailed me and basically said “Yo, we know tickets to the east coast are going for $1,000+ but if you get on an earlier flight, we’ll eat the charge.” Done.
We arrived in SD from Joshua Tree, went to a restaurant where I was served an excessive amount of tequila, and Katie took me straight to the airport. I was in San Diego for 2 whole hours. TWO HOURS!
It was one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever taken. Great company, beautiful sights, awesome conversation. Thanks for the opportunity, Katie! xoxo
I Bought a House…
…the day before my birthday. Look for blog posts regarding all things home improvement/DIY/decorating very soon!
Ta da. What a year. Even reading about it makes me exhausted.