2018, Please Exit.

This year feels like it both lasted forever and sped by. I remember exactly what I did on January 1, but when I think of the entire year, it feels so long. 2018 was a mess of a year, but I’m still alive and thriving (or trying to), and that counts for something, right?

So what the heck did I do all year?

January

One of my greatest friends visited for NYE and stayed into January. Shyan and I have so much fun together, it’s ridiculous. She’s the kind of friend where no matter how long it’s been since we’ve talked or seen each other, we pick up as if no time has passed. I’m glad she was here in Seattle to bring in 2018.

February

The shortest month of the year, but it was a crazy one. I visited Lake Crescent (again) and I’m pretty sure I went to the Hoh Rainforest.

My dog, Luna, and I played outside in the snow. I enjoyed it more than she did. See how annoyed she looks? 😝

This month I was delivering flowers for a local floral shop chain. Valentine’s Day was INSANE, but it was a fun little gig.

This month I started my current job at the Comfort Suites in Tukwila. I left my job as AGM at Extended Stay at the end of 2017, and it was a struggle trying to find work. I applied for all kinds of positions all over the place. I applied for a front desk position at this hotel, and walked out as a Sales Coordinator. How that happened – I have no idea. But it did, and I’ve been in hotel sales since. I am not a sales person. I have never been a sales person. But I’ve learned a great deal from my amazing supervisor. This position forces me out of my comfort zone every single day, and my confidence has increased as a result. Sales is tough, I admire any of you who do this for a living.

I’ve met the best people at this hotel. Some of my greatest friends right now are coworkers. I’m so grateful to work at a place where I get along with everyone.

March

Baseball is back. There are no sweeter words… I went to the third game of the Mariners’ opening series. Don’t for a second think I’m letting go of my Brewers. Seattle and Milwaukee are in different leagues, so it’s acceptable to like both!

April

I don’t have any pictures for this month. It must have been pretty insignificant, because I don’t remember anything from April…I probably went to more baseball games.

May

In May, I (finally) finished my associate’s degree in Business Management. I know there is no timeline for life, but I felt like I was so behind on everything. When I finished my last assignments, I was over the moon. If you know me, you know I’ve been all over the place in regards to school and majors. This is huge.

I finished a certificate from Cornell University in March, but I framed it in May, so here we are. This was an opportunity I will forever be thankful for. Cornell has one of the best hospitality schools, and I was lucky enough to learn from some of the best hotel professionals. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but this was so amazing for me.

I visited Idaho over Memorial Day weekend. I’ve wanted to ride in a seaplane for years, and I was finally able to at Coeur D’Alene. It was incredible.

I got my hospitality/pineapple tattoo in Idaho.

June

I don’t have pictures for this month either. I know I went to a party at a friend’s house, but I think that was the only big thing?

July

My birthday month!

My friends took me out in Seattle for my birthday. We had so much fun! We got ready at the brand new Hotel Interurban in Tukwila. That was a good way to bring in year 24. I know I had tacos that night too, so it was obviously a great time.

I went home for a few days in July.

I didn’t take any good pictures with my family, so here is a portrait mode picture of my favorite Wisconsin beer.

August

In August, I saw my favorite band. I’ve wanted to see Pearl Jam for over 10 years. When they announced the Home Shows, I knew I had to go. On the day of ticket sales, I had alarms set so I would be on the website the minute it opened. I do that a lot – that’s how I bought my Cirez D tickets and my Steelyard London tickets. I had originally only bought tickets to Night 1, but it was so incredible, I took myself to Night 2. I saw my favorite band in their home city twice. Amazing. There aren’t words to explain how it felt to hear my most favorite song live, after 10 years of listening to it repeatedly.

This month I went to Mount Rainier for the first time.

September

This month I visited Mount St. Helens. To prepare for the visit, I watched one of my favorite movies, Dante’s Peak, because I have this morbid fascination with the eruption. It was really neat to see what’s left of the volcano.

Packers football was back! There’s a group here called the Northwest Packer Backers, and they get together to watch games. This day, I went to a German restaurant and they had a pop-up Wisconsin themed menu. I nearly cried. Cheese curds, brandy old fashioneds, and Oostburgers. Only a Wisconsinite can appreciate that holy trinity.

October

This month was emotional. Has your team ever played October baseball??? STRESSFUL. Unfortunately, the Brewers lost to L.A. in the NLCS. I’m not even going to pretend like I didn’t cry a little bit. At work. No big deal.

This month I went to Maris Farms for the third year in a row. I celebrated Halloween with my friends Lena and Amy. They dressed their kids as M&Ms. Look how cute they were!

November

My first big event of November was my trip to Vancouver. The next big thing was Santa Barbara!

My THIRD big event of November was New York City.

November was a busy travel month for me. I’m so thankful I was able to take all that vacation time. Since then, I’ve been itching to just go. I want to be on constant adventures and experiencing life.

December

This picture is from Enchant at Safeco. It was so neat! I loved the big maze of lights.

I went to Mount Rainier in search of a White Christmas. I found it!

I wasn’t able to make it home for Christmas, but I still made it into a family photo! Isn’t technology amazing?

What a year.

It was a wild ride. I went a lot of places, met a lot of people, and learned a lot of lessons. I feel I’m a completely different person now than I was at the beginning of the year. I’m looking forward to making a list of everything that I accomplished this year. I’m also excited to sit down and write my 2019 goals and plans.

I hope you all had a blessed year, and I wish you the best going into 2019.

Until next time,

-H

Vancouver.

I had to clean cobwebs off my passport! Just kidding. But it has been six years since I used my passport and left the United States. Something clicked for me a few weeks ago, and I decided that 2019 is going to be Heaven’s Year of Travel. But I started early.

Vancouver is only a few hours from Seattle, so I drove up with a friend. I’ve lived in the PNW for two and a half years, and the only area outside of Washington that I’ve visited was Idaho. And who goes on vacation to Idaho??? (Just kidding, I had a GREAT time in Coeur D’Alene. Idaho, I love you). Crossing the border was easy, though the wait was a little long and I had no idea how incriminating answering all those questions would make me feel! I’m dramatic, I know. I appreciate national security.

We drove up to the Capilano Suspension Bridge first. I had a coworker visit recently and she said it was a must-see, so obviously I had to go. It was terrifying. I had no idea that I’m afraid of heights now. I used to be in flight school, so I was 3,000 feet up in the air in a tiny Cessna and I was perfectly fine. Not anymore, apparently. The park was beautiful, though.

After we explored the park, we drive to the city. I am a city girl, 100%. I love being in nature and hiking, but I feel most alive when I’m in the middle of a big city. I felt it in Vancouver. We walked through Gastown before we went to Vancouver Lookout.

Wow. You guys. You all need to go to Vancouver. The people were wonderful, the views were beautiful, and the beer was cold. 🙂

I only spent eight hours in BC, and it definitely was not enough. But it was enough, to make my heart happy, and inspire me to plan more international trips.

I have quite a few trips coming up! This weekend I’m visiting my dad in Santa Barbara, I’m taking a friend to New York at the end of the month, I might meet up with family in Colorado for Christmas, and I’m going to London in May 2019. I’ve always been the “Maybe someday” kind of traveler, but I’m over it and I’m ready to make real moves. I’m ready to plan more trips! I just need to convince my friends to come with me….

Do you have Canada travel tips? I’m ready to go back.

Until next time,

-H