2014 Recap

January
2014 began with friends and fun! I went to Hilton Head Island with some of my besties and partied downtown for new years. I had injured my knee when I was running in December and was preparing for surgery. I had my first knee surgery towards the end of January and spent most of it in bed.
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February
By mid February I was feeling back to normal and trying to be more active and healthy. I went on a lot of walks downtown with hubby.

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March
I spent Spring Break in Gatlinburg, TN with the in-laws. Gatlinburg was a good redneck party spot. I think we spent the whole trip drunk between moonshine and whiskey distilleries. My favorite part was driving into Smoky Mountain National Park and driving up to Newfound Gap. The view was amazing and it was an Appalachian Trail access point, which I want to hike part of one day when my knee is healed.

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April
April was a wonderful month! There were walks downtown, a trip to Athens and a visit from a BFF. I hadn’t seen Val in years and it was wonderful to reunite. We went on beach trips and had girlie cocktail nights downtown. (there was also that bee getting into my bra incident that was really no fun). Also, in April I got a fabulous new haircut.IMG_2892

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May
In May I was done with Spring semester and had a week of freedom before the grueling summer semester. I spent that time hanging with my girlfriends, then road-tripping to beautiful Charleston, SC for some R&R with my hubs. We visited the beach, walked the historic cobblestone streets, and toured a plantation. It was lovely. Also in May, I discovered Zenni Optical and started my over the top glasses collection that I’m in love with!

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June
Summer school came on in full force and basically consumed my life. I was taking 4 classes that are normally 12 week courses in 4-5 weeks so I had exams, papers, projects and homework due almost every day. I spent weekends lounging by my parents pool and managed a quick weekend trip to Atlanta for Korean BBQ and Karaoke with friends.

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July
My second summer semester began (which included the WORST group project I’ve ever experienced I had a terrible partner). I watched World Cup games and cheered for USA whenever I wasn’t studying (blurry photo).  Also, I added to my glasses collection and managed a small weekend trip up to Athens. We visited a cute new brewery and ate some amazing food. I also helped my little sis move into her first real place.

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IMG_3920August
August was basically one of the best months of my life, because with less than 3 weeks notice we planned a trip to Europe and I was on a plane on a dream vacation. The adventure began with a huge road trip up to New Jersey, with an overnight stop in Virginia Beach. After 2-3 days of crossing our fingers and waiting (plus sleeping in the car one night), we boarded a plane to Germany, flying Space-A with the United States Air Force (did I mention it was completely free?). I need to post a full story of our big adventure, but short recap: we landed in Frankfurt and rented a car. We drove to Amsterdam where we spent 3 days before heading through Belgium to Paris (which I’ve dedicated 2 posts to: here and here). From Paris we booked a coach to London and travelled via the Chanel Tunnel, which was such a cool experience. We spent a few nights in London and took another coach up to Liverpool to visit my family. I reunited with an old friend and stayed with my Granddad in his idyllic little English town. We wished we could have stayed for week, but after 2 days we rented a car and left with heavy hearts. Luckily, my husband drove (on the wrong side of the road and no GPS) and we managed to get to the Mildenhall Royal Air Force Base to try to catch a flight back to the USA. After 3 days of being passed over for flights to the USA, we finally got on a flight to Seattle. We flew on a huge cargo jet with no windows and sat against the wall in little jump seats. After the plane took off, though, we were able to sprawl out of the floor and it was a pretty comfortable experience (despite the 9 hour+ flight). The whole trip back to Savannah was a whole miserable blur. There were missed nights of sleep, food poisoning, late flights, missing baggage, dead car batteries and jet lag. Eventually we arrived home and the whole thing was the best experience of my life!

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September
My fall semester was back in gear and I was back to the normal routine of class and studying. I discovered a new cafe in Savannah that I’m obsessed with now and practiced photography downtown with my new camera. I also spent a perfect, cloudy few days in Ponte Vedra, FL for our second wedding anniversary and got accepted to grad school! By this time my knee was really bothering me and it had been deteriorating slowly since March.

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October
This was a relatively quiet month. My little sis visited for her birthday weekend and we went for a fabulous meal downtown. I spent Halloween weekend in a mountain cabin with my girlfriends AND it snowed!! Also, I interviewed for a summer internship at the company where I really want to work.

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November
There were more walks with the doggies downtown and lattes in the park. On Thanksgiving week the hubby and I spent a few days at a cabin in the North Georgia mountains where we visited Amicalola Falls and Blue Ridge. Thanksgiving was spent with my family and we feasted like kings!

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IMG_4914December
And, December. In December I: finished finals, celebrated my birthday with the Black Keys in Charlotte, brewed beer, enjoyed a spa day, had my second knee surgery of the year, celebrated Christmas with my family, interviewed for an internship, and rang in the new year with champagne!

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IMG_5310And that wraps up 2014! What a year!!!

Best, x.

A Day in Paris

If I wrote about all of our adventures in Paris, it would be overly wordy; so here is what I did Paris in a nice clean list:

  • Ate lots of bread: baguettes, croissants, etc.
  • Art gawked at Le Louvre
  • Saw the Notre Dame
  • Sipped cafe au laits in little cafes
  • Devoured famous Laduree macarons
  • Strolled along the River Seine
  • Took lots and lots of photographs
  • Got lost
  • Relaxed in the Jardin des Tuileries
  • Spoke a little french
  • Took selfies at the Eiffel Tower
  • Smelled some amazing cheeses
  • Rode the Metro
  • Drank French wine
  • Touched the love locks (didn’t participate)
  • Walked until my legs and feet hurt
  • Soaked in the history
  • Admired architecture
  • Dreamt about moving to Paris

Honestly, I wish we had longer in Paris. There are so many things that we didn’t get to do and Paris, I know we shall meet again.

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Paris: My First Day in the City of Lights & Love

Paris. What is there to say about Paris except that it’s amazing.  Paris was one of the stops on our trek across Europe and the city I was most excited about; I’ve dreamt about visiting Paris for years. I feel so fortunate that I visited the most romantic city in the world with the man I love (I really owe him so much for taking me to Paris!)

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We drove from Amsterdam to Paris, through the countryside, and my excitement built as roadsigns for Paris began to appear as we got closer and closer. It was early August and the weather was cloudy but lovely for the 2 days we were in the city. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Paris Boulogne in the wealthy suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt about 7 km from central Paris. We stayed outside of the city because Paris is very expensive, but I ended up being very happy with the location; it was very quiet because Europeans are often on vacation in August.

Paris 3When we finally arrived at the hotel after navigating the very narrow roads in Paris, we dumped our bags, changed and headed down to the metro station. It was only a 5 minute walk to the subway which ran directly into Paris. After a confusing 10 minutes, we finally figured out how to buy the right tickets and we were on the train. I must say, my rusty high school French helped us more than I imagined it would. After a  15 minutes ride, we located the metro stop closest to all the action and headed into Paris!

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After emerging from the subway, I was immediately mesmerized by the Parisian architecture. The buildings are beautiful; TV or photographs really don’t do them justice. We rounded a corner and I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time. I couldn’t help but smile. I was so happy. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower, but to me it really made it sink in that we were in Paris.

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We joined the hoards of tourists in taking terribly stereotypical selfies in front to Eiffel Tower. How could we resist??

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We walked the streets of the 7th arrondissement until our feet hurt while I created a fantasy life in a lush Parisian apartment in my head. Then we finished off the evening with a glass of wine and a small dinner at a cafe while we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It was only a short metro ride and stroll back to the hotel in the City of Lights! Perfection.

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Happy travels x.