Sunday, January 01, 2017

That's a wrap, 2016!

If you have been alive in the US, there’s never been a year that rocked the country to the core as 2016. We all hoped that Trump would be gone by Iowa Caucus and the adults could continue. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be and we went from ecstatic optimism on November 7th to dark depression on November 8th. We lost some of our greatest inspirations such as David Bowie, George Michael, and Prince. I wrote about David Bowie, who someone said was like an old boyfriend. George Michael and Prince were in the soundtrack to my high school and college years. We debated over what the heck is “Father Figure” about and my sister and I parodied “I Want Your Sex” with “I Want Your Granola.”

However, we need these bitter moments in order to value the sweet moments in our life. I want to remember 2016 for these special ones.

Year of Travel

In 2015, I flew to Kentucky for 2 days and we drove 7 hours to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This year, I had many good opportunities. Even when I travel for business, I try to make a few hours to do personal sight-seeing so it doesn’t become only about work.

We were in Portland, OR for a week, so we went into the city a few evenings. I was able to check out Powell’s bookstore and Voodoo Donuts. On my trip to Tampa, our attempts to go to the beach didn’t work out, until a few hours before my flight. We went to Joe’s Whiskey Bar for lunch and could enjoy the blue water of Florida. I went to Salt Lake City, UT and we had to check out the Mormon Temple and buildings. Of course, the mountains around city was just beautiful. I made a second trip to Portland in December, which was too brief to enjoy anything.

Our biggest trip this year was to India for 3 weeks. We spent two weeks in Mumbai with family and we had a chance to recharge our body and spirits. It had been at least 7 years since my daughter and I had gone, so it was wonderful to reconnect with family. Our 12-year-old nephew and I found a common interest in Harry Potter and spent an evening working on spells. It was great meeting cousins from Chicago and friends from Pennsylvania who were visiting too. We tried out cool restaurants and strolled the malls as well.

Another week was spent in Leh, Ladakh, India. This deserves its own blog (coming soon), but it was a week of adventure. We overcame our fears of heights and dingy toilets, and realized altitude sickness is a real thing that doesn’t go away after 5 days. We rode camels in the desert, climbed through ancient Buddhist monasteries and slept in a cabin by a turquoise lake. 

On our way back, we stopped in Paris for 24 hours (again, blog post coming soon). We took walking tours and my favorite moment was having breakfast at a boulangerie in Place de Victor Hugo. The bread, the cafĂ©! C’est la vie merveilleuse!


If you’ve read my blogs, you’ll know I’m an enthusiastic Obama and Hillary Clinton supporter over the years. With this crazy political year, I got to participate in a few of the rallies and had amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiences. 
  • In June, Bill Clinton, Gabbie Gifford and Mark Kelly came to speak at a local school. I was excited to shake Bill’s hand over the crowd, just a touch.
  • My sister and I waited in line for 3 hours to see Hillary Clinton and Katy Perry perform. Her music ended up being in my head during the whole election and aftermath.
  • My friend and I took our daughters to Philadelphia to join 20,000 others to greet the Obamas and the Clintons, as well as Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.
More posts about the Election are on my other site.
On personal front, we enjoyed celebrating weddings for close friends (wait, how did we become ‘that auntie and uncle’ at the wedding?) and welcomed babies into our families.

My family has gone through a lot of medical challenges with my father’s health, and it’s one more year that we’ve been blessed to have together. I’m always inspired by my father’s spirit to keep on writing, no matter what and my mother’s strength and focus to keep everyone going. In February 2017, they will have their 50th wedding anniversary, which is unbelievable (oh yes, the 50 years was such a breeze!)

Oh yes, “The Gilmore Girls”! I spent my summer watching the series every evening after work; I found it relaxing and bit of escapism to see a daughter who was so diligent about everything (sorry, mom of teen snark). We finally got Netflix to watch "The Gilmore Girls" update. I’ve also fallen for “The Crown” and “Grace and Frankie,” they’ve become like friends.

Looking forward to a new year where my intention is to step out of my comfort zone more often and  engage with new people, as well as maintain connections with the old friends.