Made it through two weeks of the new year! Phew! I was worried. School is already getting me down, so I’ve decided to reminisce on all the great things that happened to me in 2017. Not to dwell on the past or anything, but I need a pick me up.
Here are a few of my favorite moments from last year:
Groundhog’s Day Redemption
Our first party of the year! It was so fun to go all out for an event nobody ever thinks about. We got out the fur and cheap champagne and a good playlist, and it was a hit! We invited so many of our friends–most of them didn’t come, but the eclectic group of people who did come brought their friends. It was a lot of random people mixed with people we all cared about. It was so much fun.
AOII Dad’s Weekend
This was the first year (at least in a while) that AOII did a Dad’s Weekend–planned by our one and only Taylor. I didn’t think my dad would want to come, but when the shirt designs came out, I decided that maaaaybe I would I ask. Turns out he did want to come and he wanted a shirt. Sweet!
I got to spend good quality time with my dad. We went to happy hour one night for a drink and appetizers and just talked for a long time. I learned about all the pranks his family used to pull on each other and the wacky things that used to happen to them.
Tori, Mads, and Kristin’s dads came too (and Tori’s mom, my fav person!), so we all got to bond and check things off of our fun “to do” list Taylor made up of things around downtown. It was a lot of fun, and I’m so glad I asked my dad to come up for the weekend.
Spring Break Wine Tasting
After a few years of watching my mom and JoDee go wine tasting in Paso Robles without me and my underage butt, it was finally time to join the party. And Gracie came up too! We hopped from winery to winery tasting and laughing and eating a lot of cheese and crackers–ahem, I mean, charcuterie.
It was all fun and games until we went to church a liiiiittle drunk and my mom expressed a tad too loudly that she needed a diet coke, which cause Gracie and I to laugh so hard we had to leave for a few minutes to collect ourselves. And then it was margaritas with the priest! Being Catholic is somethin’ else sometimes.
But it was such a good time! So many laughs, so many good wines, so many smiles.
The Great Toboggan Debacle of 2017
Thanks to my lovely little with a very nice house in Mammoth, I got to spend a low key weekend in a snowy wonderland. Madeline and Danielle spent most of the time snowboarding, while I stayed snuggled up in the house doing homework and watching 13 Reasons Why. It was so nice to get some alone time!
The best part was that I came up with an idea for Book 3. I woke up on the couch and just completely fell mesmerized by the falling snow. It was absolutely wonderful. Such a peaceful time to really reflect and get things done.
Tori’s First Rodeo and Pozo Saloon Camping
Tori was the first Frat Rat after me to turn twenty-one. It was really exciting to finally have someone to go downtown (and split an Uber fare) with. I had a few friends old enough, but not a roommate. It was such a fun time to really get to be a part of my great friend’s bar crawl, and thanks to Zach it went pretty smoothly.
This day was also special because it’s the day I met Matthew for the first time!! Wow, what a day.
That weekend we hit the Pozo Saloon for a night of country music and margaritas. We got there early and set up camp, ate snacks, and drank cheap beer. It was hot and I got badly sunburned, but it was so much fun. So many Cal Poly students were there getting their country jam on. It was such a good time! We froze that night, even with the layers we brought, and we all felt
hungover terrible the next day, but it was a weekend for the books.
San Francisco Day Trip with Matthew
Over the summer, right before Matthew started his big boy job in San Jose, I drove up to visit him in his new place. One of the days that I was there, we rode the CalTrain into the city to explore and go to a Giants game–I know, how could I?
We walked all over the city and saw all the touristy things and some non-touristy things. Matthew showed me where he used to intern, we ate at his all time favorite sandwich place (and I must say it was delicious), and we took a cute picture in Union Square. I got to spend so much quality time with Matthew, and I was so, so happy to spend the whole day with him.
Quickie Trip to Tennessee
Wedding bells were ringing for Natalie’s cousin this summer, and I got to be her plus one. An excuse to go to Tennessee with my best friend? Count me in! There is so much green it is crazy. It rained the first night we were there–which ruined my new copy of Lord of the Rings–but we still hit the hot tub. It was so weird but so fun.
The wedding itself was beautiful. Small and quaint and lovely. There was a weeks-old baby I got to hold for a long time. So many pictures and so much love. In lieu of a cake, the couple had different flavored cupcakes, and they were so good! I still think about them sometimes. So add good food the list, right after love.
My favorite adventure buddy, Amy, tried so hard to win tickets to the album release party for Niall Horan (former One Direction Irishman and all-around adorable person) at iHeartRadio. Who wins things ever, though? Nobody!
Oh wait, except Amy!!
The stars aligned perfectly and she won two tickets to the mini concert, and she invited me! The plus was that the venue is basically down the street from my house, so we could just stay for free. But we drove down, waited in line, and got ready for one of the greatest experiences ever! We were pretty close to the front and had a good view. The music was wonderful and Niall was such a cutie, as always.
What a highlight!!!
Obscure Barbie Night Out
Halloweekend is a big deal in college, and being our last (cue the tears), we wanted to make it count. Our plan? Obscure Barbies. Goth Barbie, Doctor Barbie, Astronaut Barbie, etc. It’s not too easy to pull off, so ours weren’t perfect or too obscure (except Madeline), but we still went as all out as we could. Kristin was Pop Star Barbie, I was Jazz-ercise Barbie, Madeline was Paleontologist Barbie, and Tori was Doctor Barbie.
The lines were long and we got separated, but Tori and I ended up in Blast Taproom (meaning that yes, one of the walls is just a line of beer taps), with a few of our friends. There was live music and good food and an array of tastes. Sadly, no gin, but it was still a fun time!
I’m a Great-Grandmother!
Last year, Danielle took a little, and I didn’t get to meet her until after I got back from abroad. I missed the whole reveal experience: the revealing itself, the pictures, the dinner at Pluto’s (RIP to our place!!), the drive-in movie. It’s the best part about getting a new addition to the family. But this year, my grand-little Jen took a little of her own, Jordan. She’s so cute and fun! I mean, to be honest, I don’t know her that well, but she handle our crazy family that night like a pro. My branch just keeps getting cuter and cuter!
This goes without saying, but seeing Hamilton at the Pantages Theatre in LA was such an amazing experience, and I will remember it forever. The cast, the music, the sets, the choreography, IT WAS ALL SO WONDERFUL. I cried.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Wow, what a great year! So many fantastic things happened and I met some pretty great people (like Matthew!). My life has changed so much, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
I’m ready for whatever comes next!