Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year in Photos

I loved the idea I saw on a few other blogs recently- the year in review in pictures. One picture for each month. Here are some of my favorite moments of 2010:

January 2010: My Birthday at Moto! Moto is a great Chicago restaurant that specializes in molecular gastronomy and deconstructed food. My dinner at Moto remains my favorite dining experience of all time so really deserves a blog post all its own which I am working on, I promise! So, so good. For now, though, here is a picture of me in front of a cigar. What? Just kidding. It's a super tasty Cuban sandwich disguised as a Cuban cigar! This is just one example of the 10 unique, delicious courses we enjoyed at Moto.

February 2010: New Zealand!!! Trip of a lifetime. I'm so glad Adam was willing to splurge a bit and spent 2 weeks in NZ with me! We had such an amazing time and I wish I had been into blogging back then, because then I would have great posts to look back on. I think I'll do some retrospective posts on this trip in the upcoming year because it really was so great- I want to share some of our finds- sights, restaurants, hotels, etc- so others can follow in our footsteps. For now, just 4 quick memories:

Adam and I hiking on the Queen Charlotte Track.

Taking a quick break before arriving at our hotel - the Furneaux Lodge on the Queen Charlotte Track (hiking trail).

Kayak trip in the Queen Charlotte Sound

Kayak trip at Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park.

(If you are interested in seeing more of our NZ pictures, click here:

March 2010: I looked in iPhoto, I looked on my Google Calendar, and I still can't find an outstanding event in March. Late winter in Chicago is the pits. Cold yet no more snow, dreary, rainy, full of ick. I had to cheat a bit for my best experience for this month. So I choose my consistency in working out during this month. In March, I was going to my personal trainer weekly, and working out at the gym multiple times a week on my own and with my training partner, Sara. Below is a pic of her and I at the Mad City Mini-Marathon (which was not in March), but our training in March helped us get in 1/2 marathon shape....

April 2010: Again, apparently not a great month. Adam and I ran the Lakefront 10 Miler which was good for both of us. Adam beat me which made me super motivated at the Rockford 1/2 the subsequent month.

May 2010: Rockford Half-Marathon PR!! A perfect race and a perfect day:) I pushed myself for the entire 2 hours and 19 seconds of that race. I'm looking forward to a sub-2:00 half-marathon in 2011:) After the race we grabbed some beers in the outdoor garden at Der Rathskeller. What a great way to celebrate our victories:)

June 2010: Camping trip in Michigan!! Adam and I went camping in multiple national and state parks on the Michigan coast of Lake Michigan., including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and North Manitou Island. We had a lot of fun on the trip itself, but I'm even more excited about what the trip represented. Despite living in Chicago, I'm a nature person at heart. I love the outdoors, I love animals, and am happiest by far when I'm exerting myself (hiking, running, kayaking, cross country skiing etc) in nature with animals near by! Adam is more of an urban guy- his influence has made me a foodie and a more educated wine drinker. I like to think my influence has made him enjoy nature and an active lifestyle. This camping trip (and the purchase of a bunch of super fancy camping gear!) indicates that camping trips to Alaska, Yellowstone, and who knows where else, will be in our future! The best way to see animals in their natural habitats is to get into the backwoods and now we can:)

See our food and toiletries hanging from the trees? That's so the big, bad, Michigan bears can't get them:)

July 2010: Summer of Pritzker Pavilion. We did a great job this year of attending the free concerts- rock and classical- in the Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park. Any day we were home in time, we'd pack up our new wine backpack and portable chairs (w/ footrests, of course) and walk the block down the street to the shows. Some of my favorites were Planet Earth and Caribou, but they were all great! Most of the time it was just Adam and I, but other nights I convinced friends to join us.

Laura, me and Sara. We are some pale, pale ladies!

August 2010: 7th Wedding Anniversary at L20. Amazing food, amazing company. Later in the year, L20 won three Michelin stars, one of the highest international honors a restaurant can attain. Click here for my full review of the restaurant.

September 2010: September was a good month overall, but there is one day that stands out in my mind as the perfect last day of summer. I started the morning with a long run (22 miles!) with my friend, Sara. She didn't have to go a full 22 miles (i.e. she's sane) so the last few miles were on my own. At mile 15 or so, Wendy (below) called asking if I'd like to spend the day with her and her husband, Bart, on a boat in the middle of Lake Geneva. HELL YA, I would! I ran back to my place as fast as I could (which wasn't very fast given it was the tail end of a long run!), and hopped in Elly to drive up there. The weather was beautiful, perfect convertible weather! I had so much fun catching up with Wendy and Bart in such a perfect environment. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect last day of summer!

October 2010: I am so happy that Adam and I travel so well together. Running and vacations are pretty much the 2 best parts of my life! In October, we went to Boston (details here and here) and Maine, specifically Acadia National Park. Lots of hiking, biking, eating, drinking and relaxing. A great trip!

Relaxing at the Bass Cottage Inn

View of Frenchman's Bay in Acadia National Park. The leaves were spectacular!

November 2010: Thanksgiving in North Carolina! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and this year was extra wonderful. Had such a great time cooking, eating, drinking, and running with my family. And, of course, the 1st Annual Bison Family Turkey Trot was a highlight!

December 2010: Santa's Hustle 5K PR! And 3rd place in my age group! It was a perfect winter day- in the low 30s, snowing, 1500 Santas on the move:) I was uncomfortable every single second of that race- isn't that the point of 5K's after all? Looking forward to working for a sub-25 5K in 2011.

And for 2011?

Trying (and failing) to find something note-worthy in March and April encouraged me to create a New Year's Resolution:

Do something blog-worthy every single month. Yes, many of the things I write about are not "blog-worthy", and that's fine, but I'd like to have a stand-out event that I'm sure to remember every single month. Sounds do-able, right?

(Running goals to follow on a seperate post.....)

Happy New Year's!

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