Yay for the last monthly recap of 2017!
December turned out to be amazing. I didn’t have anything planned but it ended up being pretty action packed.
One more week in New York
I was scheduled to leave New York and return to LA in the very beginning of December. The day of my flight, I packed up all my stuff, stripped my bed, and prepared to say bye to Ray and Carmela.
We were all feeling sad that I was leaving. This is really the worst part about travel – growing close to people and then saying bye. Somewhere along the way, we started joking about “missing” my flight. But then I thought… wait, why can’t I miss it for real. And so, 5 minutes before I was supposed to leave for the airport, I booked another flight for the following Saturday. And then I brought my luggage back to my room and unpacked.
Best impromptu decision ever!
I had to eat the cost of the original return ticket, but it was sooo worth it. Moral: it’s always better to book one-way flights.
It’s times like this that I’m so grateful for my location-independent job. I know how lucky I am that I can just change a flight on a whim and decide to stay for an extra week.
With one more week, we were able to take a couple of more trips into NYC. We ate a LOT more food (and hit up 4 more pizzerias). I had the most amazing lox bagel that made this extension entirely worth it.
We even took a trip to Philadelphia! I already wrote a post about our DIY Philly cheesesteak tour.
I also did a 3 weeks in New York post that pretty much summarizes the trip. I still have a few more food posts from this trip coming up, so keep an eye out!
First snow of the season
First snow of the season!!! ❄️❄️❄️ Was so excited to wake up today to a winter wonderland! But sadly, I'm sitting at the airport now waiting for my flight back to LA. It was so sad to say bye to Ray & Carmela (@nowrongturns) after 3 amazingly fun weeks. But I had the perfect send off in the snow (even if we had to shovel the driveway and scrape the car first!).
It was such a happy coincidence when I woke up on my last day in New Jersey to a beautiful winter wonderland!
Overnight, the first snow of the season fell and the whole place was blanketed in fresh white powder. I hardly ever get to see snow, so I was super excited. I jumped out of bed and ran outside. Fresh snow was still falling down. I walked around for as long as I can stand the cold.
Later in the afternoon, Ray and Carmela were to drive me to the airport. But first, we had to shovel the driveway and scrape the car. Snow makes everything beautiful, but yep, I think one day is enough. :P
Met Magic Mike
Yep, I’m putting this as a highlight. :P
When I was in New York, Ray and Carmela kept on pointing out places where they’ve spotted celebrities. I told them that despite coming from LA, I have never seen a celebrity (yeah it’s totally not like what people imagine). Who knew that right when I got back to LA, I would see Magic Mike… ahem, Channing Tatum!
My friends invited me to a live taping of Man with a Plan, starring Matt LeBlanc (though he’ll always be Joey from Friends to me, no matter how much he’s aged). After the taping, we were eager to meet him in person and get a pic together, only to be told that we were not allowed to approach him.
But! Channing Tatum was there (as his wife was guest starring in this episode), and our attention was immediately diverted. He was super nice about taking photos with fans. We asked him for a picture and then even helped him take a family photo. Afterwards, when we were leaving, we kept on bumping into him and his wife and said hi and bye a few more times. Haha it was cool! Not everyday that you get to rub shoulders with a Hollywood A-list hunk.
(end tween girl crush rant)
Road trip with my college friends
I wasn’t sure what I was gonna do over Christmas. But then my friends said they were up for taking a trip somewhere. After some debating, we decided on a road trip to Las Vegas and Death Valley. We set off on Christmas day. Back in our early 20s days, we used to take a lot of road trips together, so it was nice to do it again!
It’s been years since I’ve been to Vegas. Vegas is always a fun time. This trip was all about eating good food. And oh yes we ate well. We splurged at several celebrity chef restaurants.
To offset all that food, we went hiking during the day. We’ve all been to Vegas multiple times, so there was no need to do “Vegas things” during the day. Instead, we took day trips to nearby state parks Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire. It was nice to get away from The Strip and the cigarette smoke and get some fresh air. I swear everytime I go to Vegas, my life is shortened by a year or two.
After 3 nights in Vegas, we headed to Death Valley. This was my first time there and I was amazed by the diversity of landscapes. You hear the name “Death Valley” and picture a middle-of-nowhere desolate place, but that wasn’t the case at all.
It was beautiful:
I’ll definitely be doing a post on it!
This trip was the perfect balance of nature, city, food, and fun times with friends. I’m glad I got to visit some of America’s parks that I’ve never been to. It really made me appreciate how beautiful America’s landscapes are.
We got back to LA just before New Years Eve. We ended the year with Korean BBQ with some friends, and then karaoke until the wee hours.
And that concludes my 2017! Even though there were no huge fireworks or a NYE kiss, I would say that I still ended this year with a bang. :)
I wrote a 2017 re-cap post, so check it out!
What’s going on in January
I can’t believe it’s almost the end of January! So far, this month, I’ve just been trying to see as many people as possible before I leave again. I’m visiting old favorite hangout spots and discovering new places in LA. Even though this is a stationary month, it’s been really nice.
How did you celebrate the holidays? What are you upcoming plans?