Since it’s Lunar New Year’s Eve I figured I had a second shot at posting my obligatory YIP post (originally planned for earlier this month). That’s the best thing about Lunar New Year — if you miss the traditional New Year (and all those resolutions), then Lunar New Year is a good time to look back, recharge, and start over.
Happy Lunar New Year everyone!
After so much traveling and moving the past few years, January was a time to finally just *be* at home. We spent many weekends cozying up in our house, attempting to organize our crap, spending time with our little fuzzies, sitting by the fire, and cooking lots of good food. On a whim, we decided to brave the crowds (and the cold) and attend the presidential inauguration. Without getting into politics, it was a pretty cool experience. I have never seen more flags waving in one place in my life. At the end of January we met up with friends at a cabin in the middle of BFE Virginia and had ourselves a gut-busting meal.
Even though we still felt like homebodies for the majority of February, we did explore the neighborhood a little, We walked in the snow to attend a local Vietnamese New Year festival and took our first metro ride from our house into DC to attend an art exhibit. On Valentine’s day we kept things simple and gorged on Shabu Shabu. The day before V-day actually marked the third anniversary of getting engaged (does such a thing even exist?). In February we made a small change in our diets that ended up creating an even bigger change in our lives: Sly bought a juicer. We started juicing, eating more veggies, and in general feeling pretty awesome. We have been juicing pretty much daily ever since.
It snowed. Then it was warm. Then it snowed. Then it was warm. We took a day trip to Winchester and while warming up on Main Street with a cup of coffee, it started to snow. We attended a Sigur Ros concert and when it was over we walked out to a field of snow. March couldn’t decide if it wanting Winter to linger or Spring to arrive. On the weekends when it was warmer, we hiked and biked around town. Sly’s parents came to visit and we spent lot s of time drinking hot tea by the fire, talking til late at night, and playing with the kitties. For Sly’s birthday, instead of renting a cabin and hanging out with family like we had done the past two years, we decided to spend it at home. Keeping with a camping birthday theme, I built a fort in our living room and spent all day cooking and baking. It’s pretty much the one time out of the year when I actually do all the cooking.
There was so much cherry blossom drama in April as the bizarre weather confused the heck out of the blossoms. When they finally did bloom though, my goodness was it magnificent. I think I went down to the Tidal Basin at least a dozen times on my own and a couple times with Sly. One warm Spring evening we had a date night sunset picnic among the blossoms. Just as we sat down to eat, huge gusts of wind picked up and blew blossoms everywhere — the wind shook the trees so hard that it felt like it was raining cherry blossoms. And then just like that, after only a few days of blooms, all the blossoms were gone. Non blossom-related happenings in April included meeting up with an old SF friend (our first visitor from the West Coast) in Richmond, attempting a daily yoga practice, and going back to Houston to attend my little cousin’s wedding.
We spent a long weekend in May exploring (and eating) our way through and around Brooklyn. While we have been to NYC many times it was our first time exploring the city across the bridge. It goes without saying that we ate a lot.
June kicked off with a camping trip at the beach and a long (painfully boring) drive to Michigan to attend my cousin’s graduation party. We hung out by the lake that has been in our family for so long. There were lots of late nights talking with my cousin, lots of (Sly) cooking, and just lots of good family time in general. We also learned what a ‘bombsicle’ was. To me Summers will always be Michigan, my family, and that lake.
I kind of went MIA from blogging for the rest of the summer (some day I’ll catch up, right?) During my blogging hiatus we went back to SF for a bit and had an awesome time seeing all of our friends and visiting our old haunts. It always amazes me how one’s relationship with a city can ebb and flow so much — just like anything in life I suppose. On our first trip back to SF since moving to the East Coast, everything felt so foreign and vaguely familiar — like ghosts from another life. But this time was different — we fell right back into the swing of things, as if we never left, as if it was still our home. We enjoyed SF in the present instead of the past — like meeting up with a long-lost friend after years of not speaking and picking right up where you left off. And even though it’s not, it will always feel a lot like home as long as our friends are still there. I guess all that crap about home being where the heart is is actually pretty true.
Back home on the East Coast, we started our first real search of tiny vintage trailers. And the search continues…
We were lucky enough to be able to go back West a second time during the summer — this time to attend a friend’s wedding (my old roomie!) Instead of flying into SF we flew to the opposite side of the Sierras into Reno, camped in Yosemite, and then finally circled back to Tahoe. It had been a long time since visiting Yosemite, and an even longer time since visiting during the Summer (now I remember why I never did it — too many frickin’ people). We had the best time — seeing so many old friends, hiking in one of my most favorite places in the world, and relaxing in a hot tub with a view of the mountains on one side and a beautiful lake on the other. I don’t know why, but for some reason I’ve always had it in my head that once we left the West Coast that we would never be back, preferring to spend our time exploring other parts of the world. If there was one thing we learned on this trip it was that we will *always* be back. Maybe one day it will be forever.
Other faves from August included a booze cruise down the Shenandoah River via floating inner tube where yours truly ate way too little fried chicken to offset the half gallon of punch that I consumed. Kids, do not try this at home.
While in Yosemite we were inspired to get outdoors more so we bought a National Park pass and vowed to use it as much as we could (and get in the habit of hiking more in general). The first long weekend we had we were off to Shenandoah and then later in the month we took a last-minute trip to Douthat State Park. Both times it rained like crazy. Good to know our streak of camping/hiking in the rain is still going strong.
Fall is my favorite time of year — the crisp weather, the promise of the holidays, turkey legs and ren faires, pumpkin everything, Oktoberfests and way too much pumpkin ale (like seriously I think there is such a thing as ODing on pumpkin ale), and craft markets. I love the changing of the weather, the changing of leaves and the promise of the Holidays (and seeing family) just right around the corner.
We set up ‘camp’ in our still-empty living room one night to have a ‘slumber party,’ and, well, lets just say our camp stayed there until it was time to clean up for Christmas. I loved that little corner of pillows and blankets.
We celebrated our third anniversary camping, eating, drinking way too many Pina Coladas, and exploring Puerto Rico. It will probably take until our 10 year anniversary before I actually post photos, but we had such an amazing time. Definitely will be back and definitely will be exploring more of the Caribbean together.
Halloween also marked another anniversary — it had been a year since we closed on our home. I cannot believe how much our house has become our home in the past year. I also could not believe how quickly the year flew by…
November is my second favorite month – mostly because I love gorging on food during Thanksgiving dinner. It started out promising enough — we spent sunny weekends enjoying cool weather, picnicking in the woods, and jumping around in all the beautiful leaves.
First our littlest kitty became ill and had to be rushed to the ER. He pulled through just fine, but in the meantime Sly and I frantically scoured the internet and read up on everything we could to help our little guy. The result: we switched all our kitties over to a raw food diet. They have been thriving on it.
After Rufus recovered, then it was my turn to get sick. I caught a stomach virus and was completely immobilized without any sort of appetite for nearly a week. It was the longest I have ever gone without eating, and it was made all the worse because I became sick around Thanksgiving. That just pissed me off.
But November had a happy ending — any weight lost from days of not eating was quickly regained by gorging on my mom’s and Sly’s cooking. If there was ever any motivation to get better…
Last year we sort of skipped over Christmas at our house — I was sick and having just moved to our new home, we lacked any real motivation to decorate or get into the spirit.
This year was different. We found the most perfect Christmas tree at the most perfect Christmas tree lot (well, I think so anyway) and we hosted Christmas dinner in our house. But as always, the best part of December was just spending time with family.
More Year in Photos
There are lots of (embarrassing) year-in-review posts hiding out on this blog, but I didn’t start doing year-in-photos posts until the past couple of years.