I really couldn’t have been more surprised (or pleased) with how 2012 turned out. It was a year full of change, both by design and by chance, and though I’ve shared only little of that here (à venir…), they’re stories I’ll happily tell for years to come.
January – Seattle was treated to several days of snow (enough to cancel school!) and I delighted in freezing myself on long, winding walks, stopping frequently for warming cups of coffee and hot chocolate, and eating huge, hearty portions of homemade ratatouille.
February – My dad came for a visit and we explored the Olympic Peninsula, stopping in Sequim, Port Angeles, and trekking out to Neah Bay by way of the Cape Flattery Trail to reach the most northwestern point of the contiguous United States. I received a package from Russia and met a fella named Phillip.
March – I finished the last quarter of my career at the University of Washington and took a celebratory trip to Vancouver, British Columbia with my darling roommate, Britland. We saw the sights, drank lovely coffee, ate gigantic sushi and then packed up our apartment and said our awkward goodbyes a few days later.
April – After extending my stay in Washington chez the aforementioned garçon, I flew back down to the Bay Area to save money for my upcoming stint as a teacher in France, by acting impulsively and buying tickets to see Paco de Lucía, the greatest living Flamenco guitarist (y no me arrepiento de nada).
May – I hosted Britland at the beginning of the month, and we toured San Francisco and took copious amounts of photos. Phillip came a week later, and we celebrated my 23rd birthday by camping illegally in a cow pasture in Point Reyes National Seashore. Fantastic! Not fantastic: working.
June – Always a student, never a graduate…until now! A trip back up to Seattle and a walk across the stage and my diploma was in my hands (five years well-spent!). I celebrated with friends and family and basked in Seattle’s warm weather.
July – Spent the month appreciating my surroundings: hiking in Sunol, eating San Francisco sourdough French toast, searching for the elusive Pliny the Elder (a Russian River Brewing Co. classic), visiting farms and sampling specialties in Pescadero, and finally crossing the threshold of Tartine.
August – A month of culinary triumphs with my good friend, Alyssa. We tried our hand at making our own falafel, pretzels, and croissants – our biggest success. Hours of stirring and rolling and waiting for dough to rise…there was no better way to spend August!
September – I couldn’t stay away from Washington for too long, and I went on an incredible hike in the Cascades with Phillip, complete with oatmeal and fresh-brewed French press coffee in the morning. Oh yeah, and then I moved to France. And jumped out of an airplane.
October – Phillip and I settled into life in Périgueux, and I started giving English conversation lessons at a high school in the area. We started a grande balade of the Dordogne, from the daily market held just outside our door, to the cute villages of Brantôme, Saint-Georges de Montclard, Bergerac, Hautefort, and Cubjac, just a short distance away.
November – The month began with a hike in the Spanish Pyrénées and a trip to Pamplona, the capital of Basque Spain. We slept in a bed with a dozen snoring Spaniards and found the most beautiful café. We hosted a friend from San Francisco and celebrated a semi-traditional Thanksgiving.
December – Perhaps the busiest month of all, I bought a bike, guzzled vin chaud, took a trip to Toulouse, checked into the emergency room, went ice skating, sang Christmas songs, traveled to Paris and said a sad goodbye to Phillip, his traveler’s visa having expired. When I finally had time to take a break, I fell sick, spending Christmas alone and in bed (boo hoo). I roused myself by taking long walks in France’s capital, eating clementines, and spending time with friends in Paris and Amiens, one of whom I hadn’t seen for over fifteen years!
My hopes for 2013: to be a good teacher to my students, to keep a healthy apetite for French pastries, to get to better know Dordogne by bike, to soon be reunited with my favorite Bellinghamster, and to make the most of my time, be it in France, California, Washington…on ne sait jamais!
Thanks for reading in 2012, and especially to all of those who found me a few weeks ago on Freshly Pressed, I hope I can be as interesting in 2013! Bonne année!