Happy Blogiversary to me! I wrote my first blog post one year ago today, and I can’t believe a whole year has gone by already. As I reflect on the last year, I am immensely grateful that my life has allowed for so many fabulous vacations and memorable meals with those I care about. It’s also been really fun for me to look back and see how my writing has evolved over the last year, and to relive so many great meals and adventures.
My original motivation for writing Dish & Room was to have a place to share my travel experiences and recommendations with friends and family. I’ve enjoyed having a quick way to share these suggestions when someone mentions, “I’m going to Rome – do you have any recs?” I’ve also learned that the blog serves as a kind of photo album and travel journal as well, and it’s been especially fun to read through old posts and relive these experiences all over again.
You may have noticed my blog post proliferation slowed down significantly in January of this year. That was about the time the I transferred to a new position at work. I really love my new job, but there was a steep learning curve and I found it difficult to crank out more than one post per month. I was much more fatigued at the end of the work day and I was also spending a lot of time and brain power studying new concepts for this new position. Fortunately, I am now feeling much more comfortable in my new role and I am hopeful that I will be able to spend more time writing in the coming year.
I wasn’t able to write up every meal and vacation I took this year, so I thought I’d make a list of the adventures and dining experiences I’ve had:
Weekend trips: Healdsburg (Jack’s birthday and New Year’s Eve), Arizona (Scottsdale), Mendocino County (Little River), Monterey/Carmel/Paso Robles, Los Angeles (West LA for Christmas and Downtown LA for Jack’s high school reunion), Napa
New Restaurants: Lazy Bear (SF), The Perennial (SF), Petit Crenn (SF), In Situ (SF), Cala (SF), Bellota (SF), Barndiva (Healdsburg), Otium (LA), Otis + Penelope (LA), Momofuku Ko (NYC), Eleven Madison Park (NYC), Central (Lima), Astrid y Gastón (Lima)
Other Restaurants: Quince (SF), Zuni (SF), Rich Table (SF), Mason Pacific (SF), Tosca (SF), Trestle (SF), Bar Crudo (SF), Ragazza (SF), Anchor Oyster Bar (SF), A16 (SF), Aatxe (SF), Coqueta (SF), Cafe du Nord (SF), Outerlands (SF), Aster (SF), Scopa (Healdsburg), Campo Fina (Healdsburg), El Dorado Kitchen (Sonoma), La Balena (Carmel), Carousel (Glendale).
Many of my friends often ask me how it is that I am able to travel so much. The simple answer is that I’ve made travel a priority in my life. At this point in our lives, Jack and I have chosen to spend much of our free time and disposable income on travel because we enjoy it so much. We’re also very strategic in our use of credit cards that earn us hotel points/airline miles (I hope to write a post about this soon); oftentimes our flights/lodging are paid for this way. In addition, my job gives me a generous amount of paid time off and is very supportive of my work/life balance. So Jack and I have positioned ourselves to be able to make travel a priority. I feel strongly that if one wants to fit more travel into one’s life, there are often ways to make it happen.
So what adventures do we hope to enjoy in the coming year? Right now we’re looking forward to a very relaxing week in Kauai for Thanksgiving with my family. We’re also toying with the idea of going back to Italy next year, visiting some areas in the north that we’ve never been to (Lake Como, Piedmont, and Cinque Terre, perhaps?) We would also like to do some traveling in the U.S. – we’d love to visit Chicago together (I’m dying to eat at Alinea), Seattle (we have some great friends who live there), and maybe even return to NYC. We also hope to squeeze in some weekend excursions to Healdsburg and Carmel, our “happy places.” And of course we plan to keep cooking and dining out in this fair city of ours. Life is good and I’m feeling ever so grateful.