Starting this blog fresh in 2019, I thought it would be fun, and appropriate, to reminisce some of my favorite memories from the past year. Tragic 2018 memes aside, I year was actually quite spectacular. It was a year filled with new triumphs and many new experiences. As I sit and take the moment to reflect, I am overjoyed with the fond memories that race through my mind. And, I am happy to share them with you as well.
As a New Englander, it should be no surprise that I’m a Patriots fan. But, it ‘may’ be a surprise that I had never been to a professional football game before. That is, until last year. Billy was asked to sing the National Anthem for the Patriots play-off game, just before they went to the Superbowl. I stood on the ground behind him while he sang for a sold-out arena, proud as ever, but freezing my ass off in two (that’s right… TWO) degree weather! However, watching Tom Brady wink at him on the jumbo screen during the big note made it all worth it. It was also my first time watching a pro sports game in one of the illustrious box seats. The free booze was all it took to warm me right up!
Shortly after Christmas, we realized that our old apartment was simply too small. We actually couldn’t take the Christmas tree down because there was legitimately no option to store it. So, we made the decision to upgrade to a larger apartment. Luckily, a bigger space became available just down the hallway and so 2018 marked the journey into our new space. Having a much larger apartment has enabled us to entertain our friends and family to a far greater capacity. We’ve been lucky to make such fond memories with those close to us in our spot that we call home.
Now I am a HUGE Disney fan. I’ve always loved it as a kid, but the reality is, Disney is way more fun as an adult. I plan to dig deeper into why I believe this in the future, but we’ll stay on topic for now. In April, we took a family vacation with my parents, my brother, and his fiancé to Orlando. We had an absolute blast at the parks, enjoying the warm weather and making memories. One special treat was having a Disney “escort” to join us for a day. (Shout-out to Disney for making this happen and our girl Kelsey for being amazing) With our escort, we had a private access to all the parks behind the scenes, no wait time on any rides, and were offered a unique bout of Disney knowledge that most people probably don’t know. Billy and I ventured off that night to have dinner at California Grille, one of Disney’s finest restaurants on the top of the Contemporary hotel. We had a fabulous meal, some delicious Clicquot, and watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the balcony of the restaurant while the music enveloped us. It was truly ‘magical’ and one of my fondest memories of 2018.
In May, Billy surprised me with a trip to Paris for my birthday. That’s right… MOTHER FUCKING PARIS! And not just any birthday, it was my 30th birthday to be exact. I got on a plane, and when I landed, I was in Paris and I was 30! We had some champagne under the Eiffel Tower and dinner at a fabulous restaurant nearby. It was a dream come true. This was my first time in France, and frankly I had no idea what to expect. One of the more amazing days of the trip, was our visit to the Louvre. What an incredible experience it was to see so many works of art one location. I remember walking up to the Mona Lisa and thinking ‘Holy Cow!! There she is!’. Obviously, you have to fight your way to the front to get a picture, but boy was she worth it!
Living in the city, Billy and I try to get out and walk around as much as possible. Summers in Providence offer new and exciting adventures, if you’re willing to go looking for them. This year we did our best to venture out see what we would stumble upon. Whether it was a new restaurant that just popped up, an art festival on side street, or even just some freshly painted street art, the city never ceases to surprise me. One of my favorite memories, was when we randomly met some friends at an art festival on Westminster street. It was a show we seen mentioned before, but was brimming with great street vendors and food trucks. Take this as a friendly reminder to go out and explore your local area. You’ll be surprised what you find.
While summers in the city are full of adventure, the real perk of living in Rhode Island is that we’re only a short drive from the ocean. Narragansett beaches, Newport strolls, and especially trips to Block Island are all amazing for summer fun in Rhode Island. It can be difficult to fit this excursions in our busy schedule, but this summer we were determined to get our share of time in the sun. I remember on a special occasion, we joined our Yacht Club in southern Rhode Island and ventured out into the waters as part of the Blessing of the Fleet tradition.
In the Fall, Billy and I joined a group called Aquafest on a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Mexico and Honduras. The last time I went on a cruise, I was 16 and I can honestly say, they are far more fun as an adult. We met some amazing people from all parts of the country on this ship. The food was excellent, the service was superb, and the drinks were flowing. My absolute favorite part of the trip was our excursion in Honduras. If you’ve never been ziplining before, please add it to your list of ‘things to do’ for your next vacation. I’ll admit – I was incredibly nervous at first. My knees were trembling because we were so far up that you couldn’t see anything below the tree line. However, I can’t express enough the exhilaration from flying through the lush vegetation. Monkeys were literally jumping over us as we swing through. Truly a moment I will never forget.
We wrapped up our year with some extra special holidays. Sure, it is always a hectic time, but the moments we share with our friends and family are always worth the hustle. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve were all wonderful. I look forward to what 2019 will bring us.