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In Everyday Life/ Food & Drink/ Travel

Reflecting on 2015

IMG_7954_smToday, 2015 comes to a close and to be honest with you, these past 364 days have been nothing short of a blur. I was having a minor panic attack that I didn’t do nearly the amount of things that I had wanted to get done this year, like blogging more, traveling to more new places, or even reading more books. Then, I realized that this year ended up being much more about personal growth and life changes than the simple things like blogging, reading or coming up with new places to travel. In this realization, it got me thinking about how I go about posting on the blog more for what people will think, hoping for that approval on each post, rather than just writing my heart out and not worrying if everyone will like it or if that recipe will be up to everyone’s standards or picking the photographs that might get the most amount of likes. The blog platform is a mere canvas for the “art” I decide to put on it, and as the artist, it is my job to put up what I have the most passion for and can get behind the most (ah-ha moment). With this mindset going into 2016, I hope to have a newfound excitement and drive to publish content for the site, even if it means posting just a collection of photographs.

This year, I left my job of nine years and moved to San Francisco, you can see my emotional rollercoaster on this decision here. I just started my fourth month(!) as a San Fran resident and I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I have amazing friends, both old and new, a new job, a beautiful apartment and I’m in a city that is full of opportunity.

As far as travel, I didn’t get to wander around as much domestically as I would have liked to but I did take a trip-of-a-lifetime last February for my birthday to Italy. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to ring in my quarter century birthday than waking up to the festivities of Carnivale in Venice. You can see some of my posts about the trip here and here. With countless amounts of content from this trip, I can’t wait to share more of the adventures we got to take part in, even if it is a year later. In 2016, especially since I am living in a new city, I want to challenge myself to wander around the city and outlying areas instead of sticking to the already familiar areas.

Along with my love to wander, I also have a major love affair with food and wine. Throughout the year, I try to keep a list of restaurants and specific meals as well as wines that really stick out to me so I can pass on a recommendation. As a result, I have listed my top five restaurants/meals as well as favorite wines enjoyed this year below. (Listed in no particular order…let’s be honest, these were hard lists to come up with.)

2015 Favorite Restaurants/Meals:

  1. Home cooked Seafood Feast
  2. Miller’s Guild, Seattle, WA – 80oz steak anyone? I originally wrote about Miller’s Guild here
  3. La Giostra, Florence, Italy – one of the most fabulous restaurants I have been to (Thanks for the recommendation Dara!!)
  4. Tulio, Seattle, WA – this restaurant will always make my list of top dinners/places to eat – trust me, try the sweet potato gnocchi
  5. Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco, CA – Wayfare quickly climbed to the top of my list for favorite meals and restaurants, fried chicken + popovers + decor = winner

2015 Favorite Wines:

  1. 2006 Groth Reserve Cabernet
  2. 2005 Terra Valentine Yverdon Cabernet
  3. 2007 Vigneti di Jago, Amarone della Valpolicella – enjoyed in Verona, Italy
  4. 2012 Cascina Chicco, Barolo – went wine tasting at the winery in Piedmont, Italy
  5. Mark Ryan, The Dissident – no matter the year, this wine never disappoints

I have a favorite quote that perfectly sums up what this year was like:

“There are years that ask questions, and there are years that answer.” – Zora Neale Hurston

This year asked me several big questions, “Can you do it?” “Do you have the courage?” “Are you ready for change?” “How are you going to make it happen?” And this year, in 2016, I plan on further answering each of them.

To close out 2015, I want to share a few of my favorite photos from this year.

Bring on 2016!

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Regal - Carnival - Venice - Wine Dine Wander

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Mystery - Carnival - Venice - Wine Dine Wander

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