Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 in Review

After reading article upon article reviewing 2013, I thought I better get to it as well!

Over the last few years I’ve taken this opportunity to review the number of new restaurants we made it to over the last year. Sometime this year, I stopped counting. The hubby began a new job in 2013 that resulted in him traveling the majority of the time. It soon became clear that he would trounce me in the restaurant count this year and so I stopped counting. Congrats to him for finally beating me!

No new restaurant really made a strong case for restaurant of the year in 2013. So tonight we are revisiting an oldie but a goodie…Cafe Levain.  Cafe Levain is often a go to restaurant of ours in south Minneapolis.  The chef is outstanding and the service/atmosphere is great.  We even are recognized when we go there.  Sometimes it’s nice to go where everybody knows your name.  (OK, they don’t necessarily know our names, but you get the picture.)

Instead of restaurants being highlighted in 2013, travel and visitors came to the forefront.  A quick recap….

January – my BFF and her son from Phoenix came to visit the snow (I mean us).  Always a fun time hanging with those two!

February – my sister and her family came up from Chicago to go tubing and of course visit the Mall of America.  Unfortunately that tubing trip ended up with a visit to the ER for my niece.  Thankfully she was fine but did have a minor concussion.  Scary!

April – we took a couple of trips down to Illinois to visit family.  Unfortunately one of those times was for a memorial service for the hubby’s uncle.  Sad times but good to see the family and friends there.

May – my parents and nephew came to visit.  We had a great time exploring restaurants and the guys got to go to a baseball game.  The middle of May included a trip to San Francisco with a good friend of mine from work and the hubby.  We did make sure and hit as many good restaurants as we could over that weekend.  We also explored wine country in Napa Valley.

May/June – had the most awesome opportunity to travel to Sydney, Australia while the hubby worked.  It was a great experience and I would gladly fly that far again to experience more of Australia and get to New Zealand sometime.  I did a wine tour up into the Hunter Valley and met a woman and her mom who are from 30 miles outside of my hometown.  Small world!  Also visited the zoo there and saw pandas and giraffes – along with other animals but those were the highlights for me. 

July – a visit to my parents to check on their health and to visit.  Was able to spend 4th of July with my parents and my brother and his family from Kentucky.  That was a lot of fun!  Mid-July was my annual girl’s weekend – this year in Denver.  We had fun as usual – shopping, catching up, eating, etc.  We spent a few hours in Boulder which was such a cool town.  My friend’s twin 3 year old boys are super cute and very energetic! 

August – our annual family baseball game in Chicago to a Cubs game.  Always fun to go to Chi-town! 

September – the hubby’s work travel took him to London.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go with him on that trip.  However, when he mentioned he might go to Oslo, Norway for the weekend I quickly figured out a way to make that work!  So I flew over to Oslo on a Thursday and flew back on a Monday and met him in Oslo.  It was such a neat place.  Another place I would easily go back to in a heartbeat!  Mid-September saw me heading back to Illinois to visit my parents.  Health issues were pretty big for my parents this year and so it was good to be able to get down there and check in with them.  Thankfully as I type this they are on the upswing for the most part.

October – another girl’s weekend!  This time my friend from Denver and I flew to Seattle to meet up with a sorority sister from college.  We had a great time and I would love to get back there.  Love how it is so easy sometimes to just pick up where we left off with people even though we haven’t seen them in years.  Made it to the original Starbucks, did some boutique shopping, and of course no girl’s weekend is complete without the pedicure!

November – Spent Thanksgiving in Illinois with my parents and siblings and their families.  Always fun to spend time together – saw an Illinois basketball game with my brother and 4 of my nieces/nephews, did a turkey trot walk with part of the family, exercised with my niece, checked out a Pilates class with my sisters and sister-in-law, and had a great game of pictionary one evening.

December – Thought this month would prove to be a lull in the travel schedule.  However, about two weeks before Christmas the hubby was sent to Seoul, South Korea for work.  We decided to have me fly out at the end of his work trip and we spent Christmas in Seoul.  This was my 4th continent for the year (including North America).  Seoul is a huge city (2nd largest metropolitan area behind Tokyo – at 24 million people).  It is also very hilly.  They celebrate Christmas in much the way we do in the US – lots of shopping!  Managed to make it to a design show, the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, a Bhuddist Temple, and several unique markets.

As I take time to review all of my travels for the year, I realize a number of things:

  1. No wonder I finally made elite status on Delta Airlines.
  2. No wonder I’m tired.
  3. I may not have tracked all of the new restaurants this year, but suffice it to say – there were many!
  4. I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to travel.
  5. People all over the world are quite similar to us.

As I close out 2013, I am looking forward to what 2014 might bring.  My wish for 2014 is for health for myself and family, more travel adventures, and of course…many opportunities for new restaurants throughout the year.

Happy Eating (and traveling!)