Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

Sheesh, I knew we had quite the year, with relocating from Texas to North Carolina, but typing this all out made me realize just how busy we were!

We rang in the New Year with friends at one of our favorite TX restaurants, Jasper's, followed by champagne in coffee mugs, and (an illegal) DIY neighborhood fireworks display.

I spent a few days in Dallas for a national conference for work.

For Valentine's Day weekend we headed to New Orleans. We cashed in some Hilton points to stay in the Roosevelt Hotel which was totally worth it - there was a TV in the bathroom, people!

My best friend since 7th grade came and stayed with us for 10 days in Texas, doing veterinarian things at Texas A&M during the week and enjoying all the things TX has to offer on the weekends (yay rodeo!)

We traveled to PA for Easter and a memorial service for my grandfather (belated) at the state park where he sailed his boat for many years.

My trusty 2001 Camry called it quits on me while driving to College Station for work. This led to us buying our first ever brand new car.

We spent a few days in Charlotte, exploring and finding an apartment. We finally signed a lease the morning of our flight.

I enjoyed a weekend at my alma mater for my 5 year college reunion. Simultaneous feelings of "how did I get so old" and "it's like no time has passed" ensued. Great fun was had staying in the dorm we had lived in junior year, enjoying all of our favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and drinking multiple giant iced coffees from our favorite Dunkin Donuts knock-offs (seriously, they were sued at one point because so many people pulled into their parking lot thinking it was a Dunkin Donuts.)

I had my last day at work then our movers came and packed up our apartment, so we checked into a hotel for our last night in Texas.

Early on the 1st of June, we headed off on our 1,068 mile journey to our temporary home in Charlotte. We stopped in Mobile, AL on the way.

After two weeks in the hotel we moved into our apartment, stayed for less than a week and then headed North for two weeks. I spent a week at home with my parents and a weekend with one of my best college friends in NYC.

We went to the Jersey Shore for the 4th of July, ate one of the best meals of our lives at the Knife & Fork Inn in Atlantic City, climbed a lighthouse, stumbled upon world championship sand sculptures, soaked up sun and time with our nephew, and enjoyed fireworks on the beach.

We hosted my parents as our first visitors in Charlotte.

We celebrated our one year wedding anniversary!

We headed to CT for a wedding and Boston to see friends.

We bought a house! Well actually, we bought a plot of land that will eventually have our house on it.
We started off the month at a beautiful Labor Day weekend wedding in Saratoga Springs, NY.

We took a spur of the moment weekend trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We enjoyed amazing panoramic views, moonshine, and junk food (and rain, don't forget the rain!)

We headed to Cape Cod for a lovely beach wedding, and rented an awesome house next to a nature preserve with some college friends.

We hosted my in-laws for their first trip to North Carolina. We visited the Biltmore and Asheville and showed them around Charlotte.

I did some solo tourist stuff in Atlanta while A. attended a training. I visited the World of Coke, Centennial Olympic Park, and ate clam chowder by my lonesome.
Centennial Olympic Park from our hotel room window.
Old Coke ads at the beginning of the Coca-Cola tour.
We celebrated my 28th birthday with several fantastic meals in Charlotte.

We had our pre-construction meeting for our townhouse and walked around "in" our house which at that point was a leveled pile of dirt. Closing date is set for late February.

We drove home to Philly for Thanksgiving, stopping in Washington D.C. on the way to visit with my brother (and eat!) We enjoyed a week of quality time with family and childhood friends, fantastic food, and chilly weather.

We got our first "real" tree!

We checked out the Speedway Christmas event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

We drove back to Philadelphia for another week with our families for the holidays. I took no pictures. Sadly we left a day early to beat some bad weather, but it was nice to enjoy one last lazy, rainy Sunday for 2013.

We did some after-Christmas sale furniture shopping to fill our to-be house.

I also got to spend an afternoon with one of my best friends from college who was visiting family in Greenville, SC.

Tonight we're anticipating a low-key celebration of Chinese food, champagne, and movies at home. I couldn't be more excited!

And finally, for you visual learners:

2013 Road Map
I only included states that A. and I visited (or drove through) together. He would have to add a few more for various work trips. In 2013 we visited 17/50 states.

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