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

Santa Barbara.

“I find myself becoming greedy. Greedy for new experiences, new sights and cities. I’ve become an addict for adventure, and I’m afraid there is no cure.” -C.M.T.

I finally made it to California. I’ve lived on the west coast for two and a half years and never made the trek south to CA. The state is a little intimidating, to be honest. There’s so much packed in to one place! I’m glad I didn’t have to plan my first California trip, because I would have had no idea where to start.

My dad was going to have some time off work, and he’d be staying in Santa Barbara. So why not fly down for a little family reunion? It had been just over a year since I saw him last, so I wasn’t going to pass that up. So I flew (very early) from Seattle to Santa Barbara.

I landed around noon in the most boujee airport I’ve ever been to. My dad picked me up and we were off to begin my adventure. We ended up at Mesa Cafe and I had the best omelette of my life. I downed a mimosa too – I needed all the help I could get. I had been awake since 6:00 am the day before. I worked all day, went out to a casino for my friend’s birthday, and went straight to the airport. And for some reason, I can never fall asleep on planes. But anyways…

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We (my dad and his girlfriend) checked into Hotel Milo, which is right on the beach. I was amazed by this property! Hospitality is my thing, so I pay attention to every little detail.

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How cute is this place??? They had wine tastings in the evening, and you could drink your wine around a fire. This property is pet friendly, and there were dogs everywhere. My own personal heaven.

We settled in and walked down the street to Stearns Wharf to catch the sunset. I thought I had seen some pretty great sunsets before, but nothing compares to a California sunset. I was blown away. I didn’t get any pictures of the sky turning the beautiful pinks and purples, so you’ll have to imagine it for yourself. We stopped at Longboards Grill and I had some damn good fish tacos.

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The next day I woke up super early (I passed out around 8:30 pm…) to have the Hotel Milo breakfast. There was a decent selection of foods – and they had a pancake maker. After breakfast, we borrowed bikes from the hotel and headed out to explore. We biked around five miles, and though my legs STILL hurt, it was so worth it.

We found a tiny Mexican restaurant and I ate some incredible carne asada tacos. If you know me at all, you know my true love is a taco. Look at these babies.

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Later that evening, my dad, his girlfriend (who lives in Santa Monica and was an amazing tour guide), and I walked to State Street to shop a little. I bought the California Uniform (a pair of Vans) and then we went to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.

This building was GORGEOUS. I love architecture and history; this place made my little heart so happy. And the VIEWS….

That night my dad and I accidentally ended up at a brewery. Funny how that always happens…. We went to Lama Dog and it was such a fun place. I drank something that tasted and smelled like black licorice, but I don’t remember the name. Yes, I’m one of those weirdos who likes black licorice. We drank, we talked, and we had a great time. A few hours later we were back in the hotel room with Pedialyte, applesauce, and a huge pizza.

The next day we went beach hopping. My dad’s girlfriend showed me Butterfly Beach and Santa Claus Beach. This state is beautiful. The whole time we were walking the beaches I had to make sure what I was seeing was real and not a postcard.

My dad and I went to Knapp’s Castle to catch the sunset. The drive up the mountains was very, in my dad’s words, unique. Crazy turns and dropoffs. We got there, and again, I was absolutely amazed. I’ll let these pictures do the talking.

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It was during that sunset, looking out over the mountains, that I realized I am happy. I’m going through a lot in my personal life right now, and the old me would have let it ruin me and I’d play victim. I’m stronger and more resilient than I ever knew, and I love the new me. I’ll always be transforming and changing, but compared to the Heaven y’all knew three months ago….I’m a completely different person.

I loved California. So much that I can’t stop thinking about moving there. We’ll see where that thought takes me.

Next week I’ll be on vacation again! I’m taking a friend to New York; he’s never been. I love showing people places and things that I enjoy, and I’m excited to show him everything. I’m also INSANELY excited for this Cirez D b2b Adam Beyer set in Brooklyn.

Happy Thanksgiving! This year I’m thankful for the beautiful souls around me. I would not be has happy and thriving as I am without all of you. My family and friends give me the encouragement to carry on and keep pushing through everything life throws at me. Without this support system, I’d be a wreck.

And tacos. I am always thankful for tacos.

On to the next one.

Until next time,

-H