As we are counting down the last hours of the year, I wanted to take a moment to look back at my favorite moments of the past 365 days.
This year, I was lucky to go on a few trips, to visit new parts of the countries, all places I had been wanting to visit for a long while. Each trip brought opportunities to take too many pictures and taste local dishes.
I met my husband in Chicago during my spring break. While my husband was working, I walked around, explored, and…ate. Chicago dogs from Portillo’s, deep dish pizza, lobster grilled cheese and my first poké bowl.
During my mom’s annual visit, we had the crazy idea to take a long road trip. Soon after, we had fully orchestrated a 3-day road trip to New Orleans with my mom and my good friend Anays. Again, the goal was to try as much new food as possible: gumbo, praline beignets, muffuletta, po boy sandwiches, alligator sausage and crawfish bread were among my favorite discoveries.
Over the summer, we visited Indianapolis. While this was our first time visiting the city, the biggest and most important highlight was meeting our niece for the first time. We became buddies right away and, I must admit, it was hard to focus on anything else.
To end our year, Jeff and I planned a trip to Boston. We were cold, we walked over 26 miles, and ate more seafood in 3 days then anyone should. We also took a few trips down memory lane as we met up with an old friend (someone I met in the UK in 2007) and visited the train station I went through to return to Charlottesville in 2008. I tried chowder for the first time, and rekindled my appreciation for oysters. I also ate lobster in many forms: chilled lobster tail, warm lobster bisque, and an overfilled lobster roll.
Visitors: This year, we were also lucky to have a few wonderful visitors.
My mom spent 2 weeks with us in June for her annual trip. On top of our trip to New Orleans, we also introduced her to Fogo de Chao, went to see Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds live, walked all around the city.
Later in the fall, my mom convinced my dad to come on his first trip to Atlanta. We took him as far as his old knees would allow. World of Coca-Cola, Fatt Matt’s Rib Shack, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Stone Mountain, Six Flags. When we were done with Atlanta, we went to the mountains for some more family time, and extended that trip with a visit to Chattanooga and Rock City Gardens. We also introduced my parents to their first American Thanksgiving meal and celebrated Christmas a month early.
We ended the year with a very special visit from our good friend Zac. Since he lives in Australia, we don’t get to see him much so this was particularly special. He visited my classroom (teaching my toddler class all the important Australian dance moves), we took him to some of our favorite restaurants and bars, and we listened to our yearly quota of Christmas music.
This year, I also tried to make a lot of new dishes I was too scared to try before. The list may not seem that long but I am very proud of what I did and hope to make a lot more in the upcoming year.
- Hand pies (7 types)
- English muffins
- Puff pastry
- Six-pâtes (Layered Meat Pie)
- Fruit cake
- Tuna tartare and tuna poké bowl
- Gougères (Cheese Puffs)
2017 was a wonderful year and I can only hope to have as much fun in 2018.
While I don’t believe in resolutions, my main goal for the new year is to continue to find ways to alternate between making all the food I want to try and staying healthy. It is not always easy but I am a firm believer that it is possible to indulge once in a while if I make good choices the rest of the time.
On this note, I wish you all a very Happy New Year! May all your foodie dreams come true!