As I approach 2016, I have been reflecting on the best of this year. Best trip, meals, experiences. I think I will continue to ponder this until the end of the year. For now, I think the best trip was Austin. I kicked myself for not checking out that city until 2015. Amazing. You can't walk down a street without finding a cool bar and/or restaurant. Food truck Friday was pretty memorable, too. Shari and I chose to spend the anniversary in Austin this year. I casually mentioned this to my friend, Jonny. I think we were texting. Next thing I knew, he had purchased a ticket to Austin with the intention of crashing our trip. He did and it was glorious. He found our vacation rental and scouted the local bar scene. He definitely did good with both of those things.
Las Vegas in July offered numerous fantastic meal memories. My friend, Jennifer, from middle school met me there for a weekend. We dined at a Thai place off the Strip and I managed to dine, twice, at Olives. There was this Cirque show and a brief moment of checking out the pool. Spending time in a pool in Vegas is similar to spending time in a pool in Phoenix. Bath water. Unappealing.
Phoenix was in my present on five separate occasions. I flirted with the idea of becoming certified in yoga and finally accomplished it this year. The school I chose offered intensives which enabled me multiple trips to Phoenix to finish. Each intensive offered different classes. Initially, I thought I had to take as many hours as possible so that I could finish. Midway through the hours, I realized how foolish I was being. The final intensive was the best. I picked and chose which classes appealed to me. I took two classes a day. I was no longer concerned with finishing. I really wanted to benefit from what was being taught.
I saw some friends and enjoyed the city. I found that I missed aspects of being in Phoenix. Yoga, pedicures, restaurants and up and coming wine bars. Oh and shopping. What I wouldn't give to have access to some of the thrift stores in Phoenix. Nothing compares in Santa Fe or Denver.
I spent numerous weekends in Denver before moving back. I wanted to be in Denver and I wanted to work the season in Santa Fe. Finally, I found a yoga instructor that I liked. My friend, Libby, and I were bonding over coffee and our love of the green chile. I met Libby while living in Phoenix but befriended her in New Mexico. Then there was Ojo. I love the hot springs and tried to visit there on a monthly basis.
My trips to Denver intensified as I neared my departure date. I needed to pack my things and move them on my own. I knew that I would not be able to convince Jan to move my things back from Santa Fe. Instead, I rented a car and drove north. Typically, I would stay with Sara jo, the Goddess or Bryn. Dinners included wine bars, home made dinner and local spots. I shared some incredible meals with Shari and Maghan too. I now refer to them as reverse oreo, haha.
How could I forget Chicago? Talk about food mecca. So delicious. I have visited that city in August, in June, in January and now in October. Delightful. I had a blast and loved every minute of the food venture. We did some touristy things too. Saw the art museum and the bean.
I've been dreaming of New Orleans and think it will be part of 2016 somehow. I don't know when. Only that I would love to return to visit and see the latest and greatest. It never disappoints.
2015 has been about transition, change and travel. I'm thankful for the year and what it presented. The opportunity to go home.