Life & Musings

2019: travel, eats, sewer water and shiny new shoes

An eventful year with plenty of good food, travel and fun!

Well guys, it’s that yearly time of reflection that I tip-toe around dreading and also embracing at the same time. It’s funny because so far, what I’ve expressed previously on the blog was a very down year and a very up year, while sometimes I just avoid posting entirely. Here I am closing out 2019 with a very middle-of-the-ground year. Ups and downs. Lessons abound. Regrets, I’ve had a few. Fun, I’ve had a ton.

We started the year out in Puerto Rico, which is one of the most loving and inspiring places I’ve ever been thanks to the kindhearted and spirited souls that live there. Just a truly fantastic place to visit.

We also got to hit up NYC in a whirlwind long weekend where we explored, ate, drank, saw friends and had the best damn time. Honestly I’ve always been of the mentality of “I live in a big city, I don’t really want to vacation to one” – but this trip changed all that. Absolutely killer time.

Our big trip of the year was taking my mom to Europe for the first time for her 70th birthday. We hit London, Oxford, Marseilles, Paris, Cassis and Aix-en-Provence and had a fabulous time. The highlight of the trip had to be my mom finally getting to meet her penpal she’s had for 55 years from Oxford. Talk about adorable – they walked arm and arm and seemed like old friends.

We got nerdily more close-knit with our cat family. Laugh all you want, but having these three crazy cats in our lives brings us so much joy. Watching them run down the stairs in a herd in the morning for breakfast, trill at the birds and squirrels in the tree, and roll around in our gardens…LORD…heart soared.

We also had more cooking adventures with our wonderful friends D and Laura. It’s like we found our fun foodie couple soul mates. From impromptu simple roast chicken on the grill to elaborate meals planned around specific regions of the world (Argentine night, Japanese night, Sichuan night) to smoked goat, homemade pastrami, lamb on the rotisserie and more – damn we’ve eaten good with those two this year!

We visited family for the holidays, we hosted super fun dinner parties and BBQ’s, we partied with the wonderful neighbors on our block (I won the neighbor lottery), we got closer to friends, while some grew more distant – as happens with time and change.

We had a great Halloween (my favorite holiday) as I decided to dress up as one of my all time favorite TV characters (BECAUSE ALIENS) and had a blast hunting for all the perfect pieces. And even though it snowed on Halloween, we had a bunch of adorable trick or treaters.

We tried more gardening this year by adding a vegetable and a cut flower garden, which didn’t do too hot unless you have a recipe for 267 cucumbers and a few peppers, but hey, live and learn? We’ll try again next year and I think given how much we’ve learned, we’ll do alright.

It’s hard to do a recap of the year and avoid mentioning the political climate we currently live in. It’s provoked anxiety and fear in me that’s hard to manage. For my own mental health I’ve tried to keep it all at a slight distance and have found peace in gardening, cooking, spending time outside with the kitties, yoga and even writing this here blog.

Our beloved home, built in 1914, has seen better days. We planned on a simple front step redo that resulted in a difficult, disheartening and expensive endeavor with a contractor we wish we’d never met. We started in early September and it’s still not complete (just needs painting), but its at least close to done thanks to a new contractor that did an amazing job.

Next up the basement flooded with over a foot of water, destroying the carpet, baseboards, blowing out the extra fridge (hello party beer holder) and damaging some items we had in storage two days before we were leaving for Europe. Nuts.

And just when we thought we had stabilized this old house it rained sewer water all over our basement. Yep, pipe even decided to burst while we had guests in town. So that got replaced and the basement totally re-cleaned. All of this happened in the last four months of the year, so it felt a bit much. I’ll refrain from a photo of that day, but instead show you me and Steph and the concert her and her hubby were in town for. 😀

At the end of the day when I look back at the things that were lame about 2019 – they were related to unexpected expenses and house stuff out of our control that we dealt with the best we could. We have our health, we have each other and I have these amazing shoes.

So, all in all, a pretty darn decent year.

Hoping the best is yet to come in this next rockin’ decade and I’m wishing you all a very happy new year! ❤

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