Here we are again, the end of a year. 2014 was a big one for us. New jobs, new friends, engagements, a new blog, and now a time to reflect on who we were and what defined us these last 365 days. I read yesterday that 2014 was the year of the horse, which is supposedly a restless, active energy and that seems like a good way to sum it up. 2014 was all over the map, literally. We traveled, we ate a lot of good food, and we definitely made some unforgettable memories. Here are our top 15 (for 2015) “Where We Were, What We Ate, What We Made” highlights of 2014:
A few of Amanda’s top moments of 2014, in chronological order:
- I traveled quite a bit in 2014, which takes over the majority of this list. While I took about 20 trips to different cities, the New Belgium Brewery tour in Fort Collins, Colorado was one of the best. I highly recommend going with a group of friends and spending the day. So much to do. And drink.
- I walked. And ran. A lot. I participated in my first half marathon, the Nashville Rock-n-Roll Half, and my first marathon, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Marathon, all in 2014.
- I rode alone in a small plane to my hometown. This sounds trivial, but it was such a peaceful experience, just me and the pilot- that it makes the list. I got to put my feet up, feel the breeze coming in from the pilots OPEN window, and take in the beautiful rolling hills of early spring surrounding my home town.
- I took a boat with some friends on a random trip to Ship Island, home of Fort Massachusetts, built in 1859, off the coast of Biloxi, Mississippi. You can walk to the top of the historic fort for free, and the island has beautiful white sand, clear, shallow water and unique marsh land with stretches of wooden boardwalks. It’s also BYOB. We spent the day floating in the sea emptying our cooler. There’s nothing better.
- Somehow until 2014 I had never been to Washington D.C. Along with the harbor and Georgetown, I instantly fell in love with the Lincoln Memorial. It was somewhere I had always wanted to go, and standing there in front of Abe I’ve never felt more patriotic. I ended up taking 4 trips to D.C. in 2014 and I highly recommend a nighttime sightseeing trolley tour. There’s just something special about D.C. at twilight.
- I was lucky enough to get to spend some weekends this summer in historic Urbanna, Virginia. The best thing I ate all year? A fried soft shell blue crab from the Virginia Street cafe. Hands down. Kayaking in the creeks of the Rappahannock River and boating in the Chesapeake Bay also made my summer very magical.
- Austin, Texas. Everything about it. I want to move there, like yesterday. Doesn’t everyone?
- Asheville, North Carolina: the city was as cool as everyone says it is, local breweries, good music, great food; it seemed like a little bit of Colorado in the Carolinas. But the Smoky Mountains surrounding it steal the show. I saw a bear for the first time on the side of those mountains and I will never be the same. I’ve wanted to see a bear in the wild forever. Every Colorado trip I hope and pray, and then, just like that, hanging out on the side of a North Carolina mountain along the interstate was the most majestic big black bear I will ever see.
- I spent my birthday this year with a best friend in Chicago. She took me the Shedd Aquarium, indulged me in my love of donuts and coffee at every turn, was brave enough to introduce me to her awesome friends at an all-you-can-drink-and-eat-brunch, and laughed at me when I got offended that the hotdog vendor called me Jennifer Aniston and made fun of my coat. I ate a Chicago hot dog for the first time in 2014 and rang in year 27 like no other.
- I recieved a dog as a present, also for my birthday. All of my childhood dreams came true at that moment. As a huge animal lover, my parents finally thought I was responsible enough for a dog, nevermind the 2 cats I already own. Her name is Paisley Mae Mae and has instantly become the babyrescueprincesspuppy I never knew I needed so badly. She is a Chinese Crested Powderpuff and quite possibly the cutest dog alive.
Roshani’s top 5 defining moments:
1. I’ve never had a kid, so don’t judge me here, but I had to give away my sweet pup to a loving family member. My sweet dog, Kanga, was like my little girl. I adopted her right before I started graduate school and she had been my companion, my girl, my loving friend. She’s in a better place, a land called Ohio, with lots of snow, walking, and boisterous young boys to keep her company.
2. Started a new job! Change is always a bit frightening and you never know how it’ll turn out, but I took a leap of faith and am now able to serve my Memphis community directly through my new role at an education nonprofit.
3. We traveled to Singapore and Sri Lanka in late November. My dad is originally from Sri Lanka and taking my fiance there was incredibly important to me. We were able to spend five days driving around the island and giving him a better glimpse into culture, traditions, and, of course, lots of food.
4. I started to bake my own bread this year! Never realized how easy it really is nor did I realize how easy it is for me to eat a whole homemade loaf on my own. At least it was whole wheat, right? Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-whole-wheat-bread/detail.aspx
5. This year I became a fiancé, and with that came joy, happiness, and all that wonderful emotion eventually lapsed into wedding stress. The engagement high was short lived, but here’s to hoping that I can take time to cherish my other half by avoiding wedding talk for more than 1 hour.
Overall, 2014 was good to us. We traveled a lot, but still fell even more in love with all of the new opportunities at home in our Memphis community; we cheered courtside at some Memphis Grizzlies games and had a blast at Memphis in May; we lost some amazing people, but celebrated their honor with close friends; we gave it our best and it can only go up from here!
Peace out, 2014!
Love, Ro & Am