2017 in pics

I was going to intersperse pictures throughout my 2017 recap post, but I thought it would be better to just keep it separate. This doesn’t even begin to capture everything, but I had to stop somewhere or there would be a thousand images in here. I’m currently trying to reorganize all my photos so these aren’t in chronological order. *shrug* Enjoy a visual look at my year!

I never got to see the Civil Wars in concert, and it’s one of my biggest regrets as they were just…sigh. When John Paul White went on his solo tour and made a stop in Seattle, I knew I had to see him, and he did not disappoint. While it definitely wasn’t the same as seeing both of them, seeing him was easily a close second. I took my friend for his Christmas present and we both had a great night!

Continuing to follow my love of art, my friend & I were in route to a bathroom in a mall one night when we saw a pop-up gallery showcasing some amazing pieces. We stopped in and it was one of the best impromptu art showings I’ve been to. I miss doing things like that with her.

When I visited Detroit in February, I found a cafe having a spoken word night, and we were NOT disappointed. It was one of the most transformative nights of my year.

Eastern Market, Detroit. One of the first areas I fell in love with. 

The destruction and decay of Detroit was very real, but it sparked something inside of me. This beautifully sad reminder that nothing lasts forever.

 

My Midwest heart

Visiting Napa was a long-time dream of mine, and 2017 was the year that dream came true. When work called my friend down to San Francisco, we made a girl’s trip weekend out of it, and lived it up!

I still cannot believe how beautiful California was. We were lucky to have arrived after a lot of rain, so everything was green and lush.

The first winery we stopped at ended up being our favorite of the day. If you’re looking for amazing wine, go to Luna Vineyards. They were amazing! Sit on the veranda, enjoy the orange bushes, look at the vineyards and relax.

Silverado Vineyards was our second favorite place, because of the location, ambiance and Pixar posters on the wall. (You’d have to understand our love for Ed Catmull to truly get it)

Another amazing concert that I went to was Jenny & the Mexicats who are this amazing Spanish band (even though Jenny is from the UK). My friend turned me on to their music a year or two ago, and they ended up making a stop in Seattle at a small venue. Their live performances were…..everything. So glad I went!

I couldn’t let more than a year go by without taking a trip to LA to see my favorite cousin, so early December was the point I could make it happen. We did our traditional thing of staying at the beach, but we picked a different beach this year: Hermosa Beach. And it was by far my favorite area of LA I’ve been to. 

Sunsets in LA NEVER disappoint. Ever. It was the exact love letter from mother nature that I needed that weekend.

Upon arriving back in Detroit after my beautifully sunny and warm LA adventure, I was thrust into winter. Hard. Core. Winter. I quickly relearned how to drive, walk, and live in 5-8 inches of snow, and remembered just how magical this white powder can be.

I took a road trip down to Columbus in the fall to spend the weekend with someone I was seeing and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the little city. While I wouldn’t choose to live there, Columbus was fun.

I carved my very first pumpkin for Halloween this year at my co-worker’s house (Mine’s the ghost on the right). We sipped on adult beverages and chatted about life. New friendships take so much time, but I’m glad I have a handful of people who I’m getting to know here in Detroit.

I spent some time in the Eastern Market during the Murals in the Market exhibit going on and loved every minute of it. This was my favorite piece. Watching the artists in action was a dream come true.

I spent Labor Day Weekend in Chicago with friends. Even though I’m from Illinois, I’ve never been to Chicago (save for a college trip my senior year which doesn’t count), and I was shocked by how big it was, and how much I loved it. I’m so happy to be so close and to be able to visit it whenever I want!

Ginger & I did a lot of solo-exploring this summer around Detroit (before we had friends). Belle Isle was an unexpected surprise. Next summer, I want to have a bbq there with friends since it seems that everyone does that.

On our trek across the country, Ginger made it very well known that while she loves car trips, trips that are over 1 day long are not her cup of tea. She did so well for the 4 day journey, but I’ll try to never subject her to that again. 🙂

The landscape driving out was just incredible. I felt really good making the journey alone, allowing myself time to process the move.

More scenery from the drive

Ginger has slowly adapted to being a snow dog. She still doesn’t enjoy the snow on her paws, but she looks pretty damn cute frolicking around in it.

I made a trip back to Seattle in November for a wedding and was lucky enough to have perfect weather. It was definitely an emotional trip, realizing how many people I left behind. I miss them all so much.

 

The Detroit Institute of Arts is so impressive! And as someone who lives in Oakland county, I get into the museum for free whenever I like. It’s incredible and helpful because it’s so big, you’d never get through it all in one day. This exhibit went on in the summer and it was incredible. 

I visited the MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit) before the DIA, and loved it. It was such a different vibe and space. I need to get back there. 

Spotting an original Thrashbird piece on the sidewalk of Georgetown (Seattle) was a highlight for me. It’s rare for me to pick something out randomly. Usually I’m on the hunt for a specific piece, but I literally walked on this one and realized what it was.

On our second date, the guy I was seeing and I went to the Dequindre Cut and I can’t even explain how fun it was. The art was vibrant, the company good, the day beautiful. 

Another piece from the walk 

I went to Mexico this year (another stamp in the passport!) to see these two get married, and while it started off pretty rocky (got ditched by my traveling companion and translator), it turned out to be a great experience. I met new friends, spent time with old ones, drank a lot (A LOT) of tequila, and ate some amazing food. 

Agave fields. 

Ladies in Mexico

Before I left Seattle, my coworkers (one Japanese, one Vietnamese) forced me to like soup. I have to admit the Hot Pot and Ramen were really damn good.

I’ll admit, I was wrong. These were good. Pho is still on my list for being blech. But, ramen’s cool. 

I drank some DAMN good whiskey this year thanks to my good friend’s generosity. He has single-handedly helped shape my whiskey pallet, and I’m very thankful to him for that. 

Yeah. I can’t believe he let me have this either. What an amazing soul he is!

And there you have it. Enough to let you know that while life still isn’t perfect, it’s still really, really amazing. I feel honored and privileged to know so many amazing people. I feel so proud of myself for taking so many risks, doing things solo, making new friends, and making good use of my alone time.

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