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

New York City.

“If you are greedy for life, that’s what New York is all about. If you’re trying to get as much as you can every day, this city is the place to be.” – Pam Nelson

New York is always a good idea. Every time I see that skyline, I fall a little more in love with the city. This was my third visit – my first during the holidays.

In August there was an announcement that there would be Cirez D b2b Adam Beyer shows in LA and NYC in the fall. I waited at my computer, refreshing the page until the tickets went live. All four shows sold out in just minutes, but I scored tickets for myself and my friends. I was so ready, but I had to get through a few months, and we all know patience is not my strongest suit…

November 29 finally came. Finally. I met my friend at the airport and we were off.  We were out of Seattle before the sun rose, and in New York after the sun set.

I checked us in to our hotel (Courtyard Marriott on 5th – great property), and we went to the Empire State Building. It was so cold on the observation deck, but it was worth it for that view.

There’s something so gratifying about watching someone experience something amazing for the first time. I love New York, and I want everyone to experience and feel what I have in this city. I’d take all my other friends to NYC just to watch them take it all in.

This was my first visit to NYC during the holidays. Amazing. The city is even more enchanting, captivating, and magical than usual.

After a walk through Central Park, I had to get back to the room and take a nap. The show was 10pm-5am and there was no way I was going to last until 5. I can’t party like I used to 😝

Eric and Adam didn’t go on until 2, so we left for Brooklyn around midnight. The warehouse was in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and finding it was a bit of an adventure.

That venue was absolutely insane. They could not have chosen a better place for this set. I really don’t have any other words to describe that show except wow. I’ve been saying EPIC 3.0 at Madison Square Garden was the best set I’ve seen, probably because it was my first time seeing Eric Prydz AND my first time in NYC. This one might take the number one spot. It’s hard to describe the feeling and energy from that night – it’s kind of a “you had to be there” kind of thing. My best friends couldn’t make it to the show and I promised to send them as much of it as I could, so I have almost the entire set in my camera roll. It’s embarrassing how many times I’ve rewatched them and listened to the whole thing on SoundCloud. Absolutely incredible. That night got me so excited for my trip to London. That was another spontaneous ticket purchase that I just couldn’t miss. And now my best friends and I are going to Steelyard London to see my man, Eric.

I think I finally went to bed around 7am. Is this what the younger people do? Party literally all night and morning? I can’t keep up. So worth it though.

Saturday was the last full day in the city, and we started at the Rockefeller Center. If you’re going to spend money on an observation deck, Top of the Rock is the one.

We spent a short time at the Museum of Natural History and then later went to Brooklyn for a different point of view.

After the night with Eric Prydz and Adam Beyer, going out another night was too much. I really don’t know how y’all do that. We went to a movie in Times Square (The Possession of Hannah Grace. Stupid but creepy). We got out around 2am and it was raining pretty steadily. Walking through Times Square in the middle of the night (and in the rain!) is exhilarating. That’s when I got my “Holy crap I’m in New York” moment. I’m not a huge fan of Times Square and going anywhere near it is grounds for an anxiety attack. Too many people not knowing what they’re doing or where they’re going. But, I needed my friend to see it and experience it. 2am was a great time to go!

We were able to grab breakfast and cruise around the city for a bit before our flight left JFK. It was a lot packed into a short time. We definitely didn’t have enough time and I’m already eager to return, but I had fun. SO much fun. To be honest, I was nervous for this trip. I’m a firm believer that you won’t truly know a person until you travel with them. It can either go really well or really terribly, there’s not really any gray area. I can only speak for myself, but it was good. New York is always good.

I’ve been tossing around the idea of moving to New York for several years – I think since 2012. Now that I have a fresh start, there’s really nothing stopping me. I was listening to a podcast and a GM of a hotel in Manhattan was being interviewed. Something about it ignited something in me and now I think I know what I want. I want to live in New York and I want to work my way up in the hospitality industry in New York. It’s going to be a tough city to make anything of myself in hospitality, but I’ll be okay. I’ll scrub toilets just to get in the door of a good hotel if I have to. I’m going to seriously consider my options at the end of 2019/early 2020. *insert New York, New York lyrics here*

Who knows where I’ll end up next…

Until next time,

-H