2014 is almost here and obviously, I took a bit of a blog hiatus since mid-September. Being home in California kept me busy, trying to grow a new business and all. I was fortunate in that I was able to make the most of my time at home in that regard. I didn’t get to see near the amount of people I had hoped to, which is shameful, given that we were home for four months, but work (both mine and Dave’s) made that tricky— our time was certainly NOT a vacation!
But that’s not what this post is supposed to be about. I saw that Facebook is pushing everyone to post their Year in Review (according to them, of course) so I figured I would give my own look at our 2013 because it was certainly an adventure!
January: I turned 30 this year and we celebrated with a rare night out to dinner, where, due to the language barrier, I ordered scallops on a bed of risotto and Dave ordered steak and potatoes. Naturally, we switched.
February: Dave’s turn for a birthday, only his day was marked by finals. We celebrated with a day trip to Avignon and I think there were some apple-speculoos tarts to be had. February also marked my very first website launch for my business— whoo-hoo!
March: This was the month where we assumed we’d start to see some spring-like temperatures. Didn’t happen. So we bundled up most of the month, which took us to Carcassonne for a day trip, a fun city to explore.
April: A month of fun and sadness. We kicked off April on a high note, visiting Paris for a long weekend— seeing all of the places that make the city so wonderful was such an experience; what an amazing city. The middle of the month saw the attack at the Boston Marathon and I had never felt so far away from home. We were glued to CNN (Dave found a way to watch live TV from France) for hours on end during the tragedy. Heavy sigh. The month finished strong though, as I spent time working, doing voice-over work, while Dave studied away at class.
May: Finals month for Dave again and our last month in Montpellier (did you hear the cheering?) Spring Break consisted of studying, which was fine since it was still cold in France (insert angry face here). We did visit Arles and loved that city. We also spent some time in Portugal before saying good
riddancebye to Montpellier.
June: We moved to Bordeaux for the month, while Dave finished up his first year of the Master’s program. We loved Talence (our homebase there) and Bordeaux in general. I still can’t help but wish the program would have found us in Bordeaux for eight months and Montpellier for one, instead of the other way around. I had plenty of photo ops in and around Bordeaux, thanks in part to my fellow ex-pat friend Jennifer, who lived in Bordeaux and was kind enough to be my tour guide. BDX will definitely be on the list of places to visit again.
July: We finished Dave’s first year with a celebratory road trip around France. We cruised the whole country as best we could in ten days, before meeting up with his parents in Nice, en route to Italy. Once in Italy, our lives basically consisted of laying on the beach and cooling off in the Mediterranean. I got really tan 🙂 . I got to catch up with an old friend while enjoying the Tuscan countryside and we had some amazing meals with family friends.
August: The month of travel. We left Italy, stopped over in New York, then headed to California. Dave started working Harvest and I began growing a business. Before we knew it, it was September.
September: More of the same— work work work. We offered to take on dinner service at Molly’s Country Kitchen (our way of contributing since my parents let us crash at their house for five or so months). One night, I made seven cookie sheets of sweet potato gnocchi. We gave leftovers away and still ate it for five days straight. It didn’t make it on the menu for the rest of our stay. I started a really good workout routine, only to have it fizzle in mid-October when work really picked up 😕
October: We found out Dave earned a scholarship for getting top grades during the first year of the program! I picked up a handful more clients, working in various capacities, including social media and website development. We ran out of candy on Halloween and I felt horrible.
November: The month of eating. Two Thanksgivings, for which I was so happy to be home. Dave ended his Harvest job towards the end of the month but was grateful to be part of the Continuum team that saw the first harvest at the new winery.
December: A whirlwind month, to say the least. We were fortunate to spend some time at the beach in Aptos for a quick getaway with my mom’s college roommate and her friend before coming home to get ready for Christmas Eve. That flew by, but I was so happy to have my whole family (both sides) around for the annual LeMasters-Gerlach holiday party. Dave and I finished packing on Christmas Day and headed to the airport at the crack of dawn on Dec. 26. We caught up with Dave’s family in Maryland for a few days before returning to Long Island; New Year’s Eve will find us celebrating in NYC with some of Dave’s oldest friends (not Times Square, for the record).
Looking back at all this, I can’t believe all the places we’ve been! I’m sure I missed some other highlights; I still can’t get over some of the experiences that I’ve had. I had always wanted to visit Paris and Italy, but never thought I would get a chance to see so many additional places in Europe and experience the cultures the way we did. We’re looking forward to 2014 in Italy (we leave next week) and all that the year will bring.
Buon anno a tutti!
I think/hope that is how you say it!