February 2016 Recap

For being a short month, February has been a little wild. I’ve overused the word “wild” to describe everything in my life the past few weeks, including the weather. Up one day, down the next. Luckily, everything is on the up and up right now, including the temperature. I started to take regular yoga classes again, mostly in an attempt to tone up my arms before I’m in a bikini next month, but also to RELAX a little, though it’s hard in a studio where your mat is always touching the mat of four other people. I also started my French 2 class with Fluent City, which I will  complete just in time to help me out with my April trip. Here’s what else went on in February:

Posts I Wrote This Month:

I Became an Ambassador:

Visitdotorg

No, I haven’t yet become an ambassador to the UN, but I *have* become a Storytelling Ambassador, with an awesome organization called Visit.org. Visit.org connects travelers with meaningful cultural experiences with non-profits that help to impact the local country and people.

As an example, some experiences in NYC are with League of Kitchens – where you can spend an afternoon learning how to cook a meal from a recent immigrant’s home country – and with the Lower East Side Tenement Museum – which I loved and wrote about here.

In Cape Town, South Africa, experiences range from working with penguins, planting trees in an underprivileged school system’s yards, learning about urban farming, and an interactive tour with locals with the opportunity to assist on community development programs.

As I expand my travels this year, I will take advantage of the unique cultural experiences available through Visit.org and write about them, to help tell the story of Visit.org and the non-profits they work with.

Travel Plans:

10milesbehindme_feb1

I have an exciting opportunity coming up in March. I’m not sure what to expect AT ALL, but it has to do with sunshine and something else I’m pretty passionate about. Details to come. My family and I booked a trip to Guadeloupe in April. We also don’t know what to expect on this French territory in the Caribbean. Not a single person we know has been there, but it was on the NY Times’ Places to Visit in 2016 and it has an active volcano, so yes, we thought this was a good idea. A dinner with Erin and my new friend Prachi also convinced me to look into heading to India, although, if we are being honest, I’d already been thinking about it a lot.

Family Time:

Every Presidents’ Day Weekend, my family gets together to celebrate two birthdays.

10milesbehindme_feb2

This year, our matriarch, the beloved Mom Mom, turned NINETY-SIX. Celebrating this amazing woman with all of my favorite people is always one of the best days of the year, and any time with her is an opportunity to hear new stories. This time, she told me all about a trip she took to Winnipeg on the train with her friend when she was in her 20s, where the connecting train actually waited for them (can you imagine that happening today?!) and everyone glared at the two American girls. They met a bunch of American pilots, one of whom knew someone she knew from NJ (which I’ve also experienced while traveling). They were still in Canada when the news broke that World War II was over.

10milesbehindme_feb3

That weekend, we also celebrated my sister Katie’s birthday – her first birthday in her own house. A few cousins, my parents, Katie, and I beered it up, played Dutch Blitz {an awesome card game}, and laughed A TON into the wee hours of the night. Well, okay, my parents went to bed when the dog turned in around 10:30.

Speaking of Dogs:

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I was obviously excited to see my family Presidents’ Day Weekend, but I was also ridiculously pumped to see Darcy, my parents’ amazing little Dachshund-Beagle mix rescue pup that I picked out online last summer. My heart grows three sizes every time I see her.

I spent a day with Caitlin and snuggled with her new rescue pup, Jackson. Caitlin kept me well fed with a cheese platter and avocado toast and taught me how to pick out my own avocados at the grocery store. Considering I eat at least 5 servings of avocado a week, this has been an important step in adulting.

To top it all off, Aubrey helped dog sit the adorable Frenchie Hudson. I joined them for a stroll along the river named after him on the sunniest day of the month. So sunny that my cheeks even got a little color in February, which is good because I’ve been looking pretty ghostly lately.

Speaking of my friends:

Aubrey and I had two perfect date days this month. One was with Hudson, the other was one of those great New York days where you plan on just doing one thing and then do about 1,000. We started out at the Frick Museum, where we found some Rembrandts, El Grecos, Vermeers, and a guy staring at a painting of a person who looked exactly like him. (He was obviously the person in the painting back from the dead.) Macarons from Ladurée were eaten while we walked up to Bluestone Lane, an adorable coffee shop where we got chai and (more) avocado toast. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was the next stop, to use the bathrooms (free entrance with your corporate ID!) and to peruse the gift shop. We then took the bus to one of my favorite diners and sat there for several hours, eating cheese fries and dominating a crossword puzzle together because that’s what we do.

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I spent a few days this month at my old stomping grounds in DE and met up with Amy for dinner. I was also lucky enough to meet and fall in love with her adorable little daughter. My old roomie, Nicole, and I had our first one-on-one in about a year at a future Global Bites without the Flights. Jenna and I caught up over Sushi from Amber, one of my go-tos (the Angry Lobster roll is three thumbs up emojis). Last weekend, George and Traci made me a lovely breakfast with homemade mimosas (no pulp). This weekend, a bunch of us celebrated Jenna’s birthday at a long brunch with more mimosas and some spirited political debate. And on Friday, I gave up my after-work plans to watch the entire series of Fuller House in my pajamas to have a much needed catch-up with Kat. Considering how excited I was for Fuller House, that says a lot about Kat.

xx

This post contains affiliate links, which means some cash will be contributed to my chai latte/everything bagel fund if you purchase a product I recommend. I would never recommend a product I did not believe in.

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