Wow!  What a year!  After all the stress and juggling of multiple tasks, looking back this year seems like a recordbreaker in accomplishments, as far as expanding my world view, having new and unique experiences, introducing new and expanding existing knowledge, and pursuing interests more actively.  All of this in addition to selling my first home, moving to a new state, and my first time building a home.  I swear there must have been more than 24 hours in each day this past year.

Best of all, I started this blog to share all these experiences with you in the hope that it inspires you to break away from routine and bring new adventures to your life.

Highlights of the Year:

  • Ran two big races - Miami Half Marathon and Marine Corps 10K
  • Continued my improv comedy with a short form improv class at DC Improv and performed in Washington Improv Theater's Fighting Improv Smackdown Tournament (FIST)
  • Saw four great author book presentations: Demitri Martin, Ashley Judd, and Bill Bryson at Sixth and I Synagogue and Bethenny Frankel in Baltimore
  • Saw some of my favorite bands: Panic at the Disco, Simple Plan, and Glee Live tour
  • Tried new exercise classes:  Barre3 and yoga
  • Read some great books - recommend anything by Jonathan Tropper, loved Tina Fey's Bossypants, Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, and suggest anything by Wall Street and financial topic writer Michael Lewis
  • Tried new restaurants, including Hill Country BBQ and Central Michel Richard in D.C. and Tom Colicchio's CRAFT in NYC
  • Musical Mania (and one play) in NYC and DC -- How to Succeed in Business with Daniel Radcliffe, American Idiot with Billy Joe Armstrong - Closing Night show with impromptu performance by Green Day, The Submission with Jonathan Groff (Glee), Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie), and Rutina Wesley (True Blood), Follies with Bernadette Peters, Wicked, Uncle Vanya with Cate Blanchett, Les Misérables, and Oklahoma
  • Finally got to watch my favorite, Rafael Nadal, play tennis live in Cincinnati
  • Attended the Army Navy football game in D.C. and saw the President of the United States, Barack Obama, for the first time
  • Visited my first Caribbean island - Grand Cayman - thanks to an award I won at work (wahOOO!!!)
  • Went to New Orleans for the first time and took a voodoo and traditional NoLa cocktail tour
  • Took my Grandma to NYC for her first visit in over 30 years
  • Visited all three 9/11 Memorials
  • Wandered around central Pennsylvania for two events, stumbling upon a great example of what I love about road trips: Summit Inn Resort - a very interesting historical hotel that provided lodging to Henry Ford and the Firestones as they brought their cars and tires up to the mountains for testing, in addition to Thomas Edison and others
  • Saw my first Formula One race and visited Montreal, Quebec for the first time
  • Returned to Spain to attend the Opening Ceremonies and first day of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona - also known as the main running of the bulls event - and visited several new cities, including Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, and Granada.
  • Explored D.C. like a tourist on a segway, revisited popular museums (Smithsonians, Spy Museum, Newseum), and discovered new points of interest (Lincoln's Cottage)
  • Returned to my alma mater for homecoming in Chicago for the first time since I graduated and took great tours (Bike and Architecture) that exposed me to new and interesting facts about the Windy City
  • Gained access to see the West Wing of the White House for the first time and saw the Oval Office
  • Started to learn more about my new home, Old Town Alexandria in Virginia, through several walking tours and tours of historical sites - Gadsby's Tavern, Carlysle House, Lee-Fendall House, Apothecary Shop, Fort Ward, Christ Church, Old Presbyterian Meetinghouse.
  • Hunted for ghosts in Gettysburg on, what happened to be, Remembrance Day in November, the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
  • Finishing off the year spending the holidays across the world in Cambodia and Indonesia
Phew!  I'm exhausted just writing that, and a little overwhelmed with how I could possibly top these lists in 2012.  But looking forward to it, nonetheless.  And looking forward to documenting the journey on this new medium! 

Happy holidays and New Year!  Here's to a great 2012 of more learning, living, and exploring!