2014 was a whirlwind of a year.
Not only did we take the ultimate dream trip of a lifetime, but a few shorts months later we decided to pack up our lives in New York City and move across country. We found ourselves in a new apartment with new jobs, in a new city with new places to explore and new restaurants to be eaten at.
I admit that this post is at least a few days late — I was originally hoping to share it on January 1st, at the official start of the New Year. But in 2014 I learned that when life happens, you need to let it. You can’t say no to new and exciting adventures in leu of a blog post. And if that sometimes means spending a few nights in Lake Tahoe and posting an article a bit late, so be it. 🙂
Let’s start from the beginning: We rang in the New Year on the East Coast with best friends, homemade Mexican food, an open-bar, lots of party-hats and noise-makers, and waffle grilled cheese (a food-truck speciality from the streets of Stanford, CT).
In January, it was absolutely frigid in New York. Not just a little cold, but unbearable. Even with two pairs of socks, a heavy furred jacket, the works. The temperatures were worse than I ever remember, and we spent our weekends watching movies cuddled up on the couch. Too much hot chocolate and hot coffee were consumed. We always vowed to go out “next weekend”, but that hardly ever happened since it was below freezing most days.
In February, after the horrible winter temperatures January brought us, we finally booked our tickets to Bora Bora (using nothing but miles, woo!) I watched Couples Retreat (taking place in French Polynesia) a few too many times.
This little baby of mine, A Passion and A Passport, officially turned one!
March definitely started off on the right foot – at the New York Times Travel Show! Not only did I meet some amazing travel-fanatic girls, but met Arthur and Pauline Frommer, and Patricia Shultz! Celebrities in my book!
I had the opportunity to travel for work to Raleigh, North Carolina and although the conferences were beneficial, the food was even better. Biscuits, mac and cheese, pulled pork, and bacon-brussel sprouts anyone?! I have got to get myself back to the south soon! Someone remind me that in 2015!
Back in NY, we braved the cold for a snowy walk through Central Park, and then indulged at Eataly…let’s just say that night was filled with lots of cheese and pasta and Italian-y goodness.
In April, I made it my mission to spend a few days away, so we hopped in the car for a short road trip to Boston. It was a little chillier than expected (come on!), but after we saw our room at the Hyatt Regency (the super stylish penthouse suite) we forgot all about the weather. Our few days were filled with walks in the Boston Common and Public Garden, window shopping on Newbury Street, and indulging in lots of New England clam chowders – my new favorite!
On our way home, we stopped at the Newport mansions, and took a long leisurely walk along the water. The bright, yellow daffodils were such a delight to see after so much snow in New York.
May brought along a sisterly-bonding trip to Philly with Kimpton Hotels! Palomar Philly and Hotel Monaco were so bright and stylishly unique – I have a feeling I’ll be back next time I’m on the east coast. We skipped around Love Park, ate brunch in Rittenhouse Square, took a long walk along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and of course took some photos with the Liberty Bell. Too many sweets were consumed this trip – from world-famous ice cream to soft pretzels to chocolate chip cookies, it’s safe to say we over indulged.
In June, I forced myself on as many field trips as I could, and ended up at the Coney Island Aquarium, Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park.
Once the school-year was over, I spent a relaxing week in the San Francisco Bay Area, since my husband was busy working his butt off nearby on a work trip. There was lots of poolside reading (trashy magazines included), long shoppings trips to Target, and one crazy random night out in the city after too many Chinese Mai Tai’s. We spent a night in Half Moon Bay, and had clam chowder and lobster rolls on the beach. Noah ran his first 10k at Stanford, and I walked alongside my sister-in-law and nephew for the 5k. We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, went to the San Francisco Zoo with my little nephew, and hung around at the top of Twin Peaks for amazing views of the city.
July started off in French Polynesia, where our days were spent jumping off our over-water bungalow, snorkeling with black-tip reef sharks, and jet-skiing in Bora Bora with go-pro in hand. We watched the fish from the “window” in our living room floor, went on a bumpy ATV ride up steep mountains in Moorea, and ate too much Tuna steak (my new favorite). We kayaked around the resorts, watched too many sunsets, and enjoyed the views from the infinity pool. Photo essays coming soon — still editing the 2,000+ pictures we took!
It was a breathtaking and once-in-a-lifetime trip, and my jaw really did drop. Especially at the prices of food (:p) However, after three weeks away, I was ready to come back home and sleep in my own bed.
August was a sweaty month back at work in Harlem, but I was excited to see my little babes again. Made sure to do as much speech therapy with them outside in the park, as I knew summer in New York wouldn’t last much longer. I hung around my parent’s pool on the weekends, met up with friends in Brooklyn, photographed the Highline, had sweets at Waffles and Dinges, and admired the naked cowboy in the city.
Noah got offered a job at a big tech company in Silicon Valley (!!!), and we went back and forth with the idea of moving for a few weeks.
In September, we officially decided to make the move to San Francisco, figured out all the technicalities of breaking our lease, how we would actually get across country (fly/drive), and quit our jobs. It was one of the longest, busiest, and most stressful months of my life – but hey, change is hard, especially moving thousands of miles away.
The month was spent packing and seeing as many loved ones as possible, and after a tearful goodbye to our family and friends (at our good-bye party) we were off on our cross-country road trip! After 3,000+ miles, 1,200 photos, stops in Madison, WI, Wall, SD, Blue Earth, MN, and Medicine Bow, WY (among others), were finally crossed the bridge and arrived in the Bay Area.
We spent the rest of the month unpacking our lives into our new (more expensive, yet smaller) apartment. The view and balcony totally make up for the space.
In other news, my best friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and she’s absolutely adorable — can’t wait to (finally) meet her in April!
October was spent searching for a new job, and thankfully, soon thereafter, was offered four different positions. I of course chose the one closest to our apartment (goodbye hour+ commute), and took advantage of my days off before work started. I spent a few days at the beach (because yes, that it totally possible in Northern California this time of year), dipped my toes in the water and collected shells (one of my favorite things to do).
We started really settling in to our new neighborhood, finding our go-to restaurants (hello million-dollar burritos and pineapple juice), and unpacked some more.
In November, I started my new job, and have the shortest commute of my career so far – just a 10 minute drive from our apartment.
We had lots of visitors during the month: two friends from NY came to visit us – we had a blast showing them around the city, including indulging in some sourdough bread from Boudin Bakery and some ice cream sundaes from Ghiradellis.
Both sets of parents visited as well – we explored Marin Headlands, Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur with my parents, while we spent a relaxing Thanksgiving week with Noah’s. We had so much fun showing everyone around, and we can’t wait for more friends and family to visit!
December was relatively quiet, as we were pooped from all the visitors in November. I must say it was nice to sleep in our own bed again after spending half of November on the air mattress. We checked out the lights on Candy Cane Lane, a nearby street known for it’s world class holiday decorations.
The weather was phenomenal, with only a few rainy days and one torrential rainstorm. I must say it felt weird without our heavy winter jackets and snow boots, but I’m not complaining! We spent Christmas at the beach in Half Moon Bay, dog-sat the most cuddly animal that exists, and confirmed my birthday weekend in sunny LA! So excited to work with both The Orlando Hotel and A Day in LA. We had dessert in Union Square with the most fabulous view, and walked for miles around our town.
And there ya have it, my life and travel highlights of 2014! I must say, I’m more than thankful for all the iPhone photos I took this year. Without those, I would have unfortunately forgotten about more than half my year! What a shame.
What does 2015 look like? To tell you the truth, I’m not 100% sure. We have a few weekend trips booked, and I’m itching to take my first solo trip. But I’ll definitely be back to New York sooner than later – I’m spending 10 days or so in the big apple in April, which can’t come soon enough.