December 31, 2017

So Long & Thanks for All the Fish (2017)

Just one more hour until 2017 makes her final exit. It's been quite the year, and it's been quite the mixed bag, both on a personal level and culturally speaking. But for my part, if 2018 is half as exciting as 2017, it will be a great year.

2017 has been a very quiet year for the blog and for our travels, though. At the beginning of the year, I expressed a simple desire to experience or see just one new thing per month even if no international travels were in the cards for us. As expected, we didn't set a single toe outside the country, and while that is disappointing on one level as we've consistently had at least one big trip per year since our marriage in 2010, it merely testifies to our changing life and priorities. That's not to say that travel isn't still something of a priority for us (because it is!), but for now it's on a smaller scale.

2017 Recap
January: Eating my way around the world at various eateries in Charlottesville
February: A weekend getaway to Mount Airy, NC
March: Rubbing shoulders with literary notables at a local fine dining establishment
April: Wine outings, questing after the goal of visiting all 252+ Virginia wineries by 2022
May: Discovering local parks, hikes, and splash zones in an effort to keep me and Toddler Gypsy active
June: Seven years a bride! Also, nine months pregnant = too hot and sweaty to do anything new
July: We had a baby!
August: Beach trips to Kilmarnock
September: Family vacation to Topsail, NC

October: Oktoberfest and polka plus pumpkin picking in the country
November: Weekend escape to Annapolis and the Eastern Shore for a family wedding at the U.S. Naval Academy
December: Busch Gardens Christmas Town (largest Christmas light display on the East Coast), our firstborn's second birthday, and one full year since buying our house

2018... What's Next?
Well, you know what they say about the well-laid plans of mice and men... but we are planning, saving, and hoping for a trip to Germany this summer. One of Danny's sisters and all his German relatives have yet to meet our littlest Baby Gypsy. We would have both a 2.5 year old and 1 year old in tow, so it remains to be seen whether we would take an excursion into a new country, but we most certainly would be seeing new sites while abroad. Hopefully, we will have firm plans within the next few months.

Beyond that, I am itching to map out our local and regional excursions for the year! They will revolve primarily around federal holidays so as to leave our vacation time freed up for a Europe trip. We had such a blast at the beach with our friends last year (in spite of sick kiddos), so I hope to make that an annual fall tradition.

The only thing I can say with certainty at this point in time is that I will be visiting quite a few new wineries this year! I've only visited 27 out of over 252 wineries just in Virginia. I have quite a lot of sipping to do!

Happy 2018, y'all. What plans do you have for the new year?

2017 is coming to a close, leaving nothing but smiles over the good times and excitement over what 2018 will bring! Every year, I hope and wish to travel more than the year before. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. But it's important not to fixate on what you don't have or what you don't get to do. Comparison is the thief of joy. If you spend your whole life comparing yourself to others or comparing your current self to your past, then you are robbing yourself of the present. I'm preaching to the choir here because I know how hard it is to find joy in your current circumstances when you are surrounded by people who seem to have it better than you. Social media makes it all too easy to see where Sally is traveling, what Johnny has accomplished, or what Billy has won. But you're not them! Don't waste your life pining over what others have. Seek to find the joy in your circumstances; no matter how small it may seem. Take a break from social media if you have to - but live this life you have. It's all that you have! May 2018 bring you joy! Happy New Year! #CarpeDiem #ComparisonIsTheThiefofJoy #HappyNewYear
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