2017 was one for the books. I got settled into life in Chicago, traveled more than I ever have, and spent lots of time with family and the best friends. Here are some of the 2017 year in review highlights.
So. Much. Travel.
Okay, this one is a double-edged sword. I love a good adventure and after moving north, traveling to see friends and family because a reality, but let’s just say I hope my travel is a bit more focused in 2018.
My one big low of 2017 was saying good bye to my dad. He had been sick for a long time and as weird as it sounds, the timing just felt right. The silver lining to his passing was having a reason to reconnect with family and friends spread around the country. My brother and his family live in Denver and our family has a condo in the mountains. My mom went out there for a few months over the summer, so I joined her for a few weeks to get some R+R – and hiking of course.
Speaking of hiking, my biggest highlight of 2017 was a bucket-list trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. My friend and I strapped on 35-pound sacks and hiked 40+ miles in the Grand Canyon – specifically to Havasu Falls. Other highlights of the trip: Horseshoe Bend, Lower Antelope Canyon, and a Cirque show one night in Vegas.
Other trips of note: Dallas to see Jerry World and cheer the Gators on in our opening game; New Orleans for a week with mom on a semi-work trip; more work / friend trips to Orlando, D.C., and Seattle; a tour of the south to visit friends and families at the holidays; and lots of visits to Atlanta.
The Big 3-0
This one sort of counts as travel too because the greatest friends and I met in St. Petersburg, Florida to celebrate my 30th birthday. We stayed in a small hotel on the water and barely left the pool all weekend. There was a rooftop bar where we saw some great live music, we popped many bottles of champagne, and ate almost nothing but kids’ meals the entire trip.
It’s funny – I know 30 is a significant birthday, but I was (and still am) actually really excited about it. I feel so much more at ease with myself and my life than I did five years ago and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
I Started a Side Hustle
Starting a side hustle has been on my list of things to do for years. Not necessarily for the extra income – although that’s nice too – but more as a passion project – something I can use as a creative outlet.
Bumble and Bustle the blog is a new venture – one that’s not even fully launched yet – and while it will be fun to talk about in 2018, the focus of 2017 was all on my Etsy shop.
Who knew coffee mugs could be so entertaining?! I have so much fun coming up with new designs and have loved meeting some amazing maker and blogger friends via the Instagram community. It’s been an amazing ride and it’s only the beginning!
I moved to Chicago in late 2016, so getting settled and exploring my new city was top of mind for 2017.
While I had seen St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago before, it was so fun and different as a resident. Some friends came into town and we enjoyed walking along the green river and all the green drinks we could handle.
When the weather got warmer, I bought a cute patio set and practically lived outside. Other warm-weather activities included running along the lake almost daily, and one weekend I took a long bike ride to Promontory Point.
Of course, getting to know the restaurant and bar scene has been fun as well. My absolute favorite spot to grab a drink after work is Raised Bar in the Renaissance Hotel. It’s a roof-top garden bar that overlooks the river and the bustle of the city. And for food, take me to Blue Door Kitchen and Garden any day. I’m sensing a garden theme here …
I could go on and on about 2017 – it really was one of my best years yet. But, there are good things to come and I look forward to sharing more adventures with you in 2018 and beyond!