“Firsts” in 2008

 

My first weekend of ’09 was pretty low-key (in contrast to the last few days/nights in 2008).  Worked all day last Friday.  Stayed in that night after 3 months of non-stop everything.  Did about 7 loads of laundry, FINALLY unpacked, and went out to dinner with friends on Saturday night. 

 

Over the last few years I’ve started actively trying to get to all 50 states.  I looked at my list and was a little disappointed to realize that I only added one state this year (even if it was a good one).  Even so, I had some other good firsts in 2008, and it was fun to think back to all of these:

  1. Went Surfing – I’ve always wanted to try, so this was #1 on the list for my Hawaii trip with Skip in August.  Despite swallowing about a gallon of saltwater, we did pretty well (despite wipeouts below).  I want to do it again for sure.    surfing1
  2. Hiked – I never really thought of myself as a true outdoors/nature person, but you can’t live in the Northwest without hiking.
  3. First full year living in Seattle!  I moved in September 2007, so this was my first (and probably only) full year living here before work takes me back to Cincinnati.  I freaked out yesterday when it hit me that it is really 2009, meaning a “moving year.”  It feels too soon!
  4. Rode in a helicopter – also in Hawaii, over Kauai (most of the island is only accessible via helicopter).  Really gorgeous…but really difficult to capture the full impact in pictures.  Here’s one anyway, above the Na’Pali Coast. img_2779
  5. Painted (most of) my condo – Every surface of my condo was beige when I moved in.  Skip and I painted my hallway and bathroom when he came to visit in February.  In November, I got on a little kick and painted my entire living room and dining/kitchen area by myself over a few weekends (on a temporary lull in between work travel and my brother’s Thanksgiving visit.  I’m sure he really appreciated my new color pallette!  🙂 ). 
  6. Took public transportation to work – Seattle’s transit system is only so-so (mostly buses), but I live and work close enough to the stops that I decided to try.  The ride times are a little rough because I change buses in Bellevue, which doubles commute time – so I don’t ride every day, but I love the time to read.  The people-watching is never dull, either.
  7. Celebrity run-ins – On one of my work trips to Cinci, Cuba Gooding Jr. started talking to me outside of the Westin hotel (he told me that my suitcase is bigger than I am, which led to a 10-minute conversation about nothing in particular), and I DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS HIM TILL AFTER HE LEFT!  I just thought he was someone who LOOKED like Cuba.  In my defense, Cincinnati is the last place I ever thought I’d see someone famous.  Next up was Mary Murphy (of So You Think You Can Dance) at the Luxor in Vegas, and I did actually talk to her.  (OK, and asked for a picture.  No shame here.  I have a slight SYTYCD obsession.)MaryMurphy
  8. Solo skiing – I started skiing a few years ago, and I’m hooked.  Before Seattle, I lived about as far from mountains as you can get.  On a random Saturday morning last January, I just felt like going (despite nobody to go with me), so I went.  Not necessarily the safest thing to do, but I went to a place that’s 45 minutes away and always super-crowded…so I figured if something happened to me, tons of people would be around to see it.  (I was fine.  But I still prefer skiing with people!)
  9. Voted in a caucus – Washington is a caucus state for the Presidential primaries (they do a mail-in primary ballot as well, which apparently doesn’t count towards anything).  I couldn’t pass up the chance to participate and see what one was like.  On February 9th, I went to my caucus location where we were split into tables by neighborhood.  The voting was a pretty simple and completely transparent process.  Everyone at my table put in our votes (mine for Obama), and our self-elected “neighborhood captain” counted them right in front of us.  Obama won our neighborhood by about a 70-30 split.  It was a really interesting experience, and very cool to see and be part of the results real-time. 
  10. Added 1 new state – Hawaii, as I mentioned, which brings my state count to 31.

On another note, I spent some time playing on Photoshop and went to hot yoga on Sunday, so I’m not doing too badly with my resolutions for once.  (Maybe a first for me in 2009?) 

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