2017 Recap

Brent has been asking me for months to update my blog with something happy, but in all honesty I just haven't felt compelled to write anything. I don't like to post arbitrarily or be dishonest in the representation of my life. So, it is what it is. Despite having a long list of reasons to be grateful and happy, I still had one of the worst depressions of my life this past summer. However, there were a lot of great times I enjoyed in 2017 too and now I'm a little bummed I didn't do a better job of documenting it. I hadn't planned on making any resolutions for 2018, but keeping up with this online journal is a good one, so I'll give it a shot. 

In the interest getting my feet wet again, I'll just do a year-long summary inspired by Brent's 2017 recap post, although you won't find anything as badass as winning a pro mountain bike race here, so check his blog out for the more exciting stuff. 

Here are my favorites from 2017:

Date night at Soif

Sorry to be a total cheeseball right off the bat, but literally every moment spent with Brent this year was my favorite. My belly is always full of laughter when I'm around the guy, and he's without a doubt the highlight of this year and my life, really. We had way too many fun date nights to count (like the one in the photo), plus a ton of great traveling together.

In February we had a McMenamins adventure weekend in Portland with friends from AZ... stayed two nights in a haunted saloon hotel and two nights in an old elementary school. But by far my favorite part of the weekend was exploring Powell's City of Books... twice. It's 4 floors spanning an entire city block full of BOOKS. AKA, Heaven. 

We had a couple of short weekend getaways for Brent's bike races... first Sonoma in April, then Carson City, Nevada in June.  Then in July we took a longer weekend for what has become an annual trip to Bend, Oregon to stay at yet another McMenamins. Highlights were floating down the Deschutes with Rudy and an old friend of Brent's, soaking in a big roman bath with an ice cold blackberry cider, and finding the little speakeasy hidden in a broom closet right by our room in the hotel.  

In August I met Brent for a few days in Colorado after he finished a week-long bike race, and we explored Breckenridge and Boulder together, had some delicious tacos, and found another amazing bookstore.  

Our latest weekend getaway of the year was a belated anniversary weekend in Guerneville together, complete with wine tasting, a couples massage, some of the best pasta I've ever had, and yet another perfect little bookstore.

Another favorite time from 2017 was our trip to Kauai... it was our second time there, and somehow even more incredible than the first. This trip came at the end of a very stressful period at work, and it could not have been better timing. That Hawaiian air literally breathed life back into my spirit. 

I love a vacation where Brent actually wants to take it slow... we had multiple days of just hanging out at the beach the entire day. We never made plans in advance, and just let each day be its own little adventure of whatever we felt like doing. During that one week I read three books, kicked my caffeine habit, and ate my body weight in acai bowls and poke. We also discovered the best burrito joint in town and managed to eat there twice, despite the burritos being the size of my forearm. 

I suppose it's not at all realistic to think we can buy a second home, but I admit I've been daydreaming about it... for now, we're scheming about how we can get there twice a year. 

This one may be a little silly, but I can't deny it... one of my favorite memories from 2017 was the abundance of random dance parties I had with my coworkers (friends, really). It makes me laugh to think about how self-conscious I used to be when dancing at weddings or night clubs (back in that 4-month period when I was 21 and actually went to them), and now I couldn't care less if we are the only gals out on the dance floor or creating our own dance floor wherever we are!

From crashing a farmers' mixer with the electric slide at a conference in Monterey in January to a 3-hour dance marathon at the House of Blues in New Orleans in October, we were unstoppable all year, coast to coast. We closed out the year after our company holiday party, dancing on top of the locally famous Peace Bus out in the streets of Downtown Santa Cruz. I think my favorite part, beyond the music and the great workout is how willing, eager even, people are to join in. There was a moment during our holiday dance party where there were at least 20 random strangers dancing in the streets with us in Downtown Santa Cruz. Sure, we tend to attract some weirdos in this town so it's not surprising we can rope people into spontaneous dance parties for no apparent reason, but nonetheless it tends to restore one's faith in humanity to see how universally happy it makes everyone to just boogie.

That pretty much sums up the major highlights of the year... there's a iPhone dump at the end of this post with many more photos to enjoy (roll the mouse over them for a caption), but in the interest of sharing I thought I'd make a quick list of my favorites:

Books: 
Non-fiction: Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer
Fiction: The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Memoir: The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti

Movies:
Overall fav: Wonderwoman
Most unique/creative & best soundtrack: Baby Driver
Comedy: Thor Ragnarok
Indie (ish): Table 19 (mostly loved this because of June Squibb and Lisa Kudrow)

Podcasts:
Weekly: My Favorite Murder (this will likely be my fav as long as they keep making it!)
One-time series: Dirty John & Missing Richard Simmons (tie)
Local: Bay Curious

Songs (yes, I know some of these are older than 2017, but still my favs this year):
Holiday: Santa's Coming for Us by Sia
Electronic: Light (instrumental) by Odesza
Classical: Qi by Phildel and September Song by Agnes Obel (tie)
Romantic: Chateau Lobby # 4 by Father John Misty
Dance: Aftergold by Big Wild
Bluegrass (ish): Ebb and Flow by Larry and His Flask (credit to Brent for introducing this one to me)
Roots rock (whatever that means): Only for You by Heartless Bastards (another Brent credit)