Looking Toward The New Year

Maybe I am getting way ahead of myself, but I am chomping at the bit to move onto 2017. Year sevens have always been super fantastic years for me- even as far back as I can remember!

In 1977, I was a small little girl of 4. I was entering Kindergarten and if my memory serves me right, it was a fantastic time to be alive. I gained a little sister, we lived in a fantastic house on Pineworth Road in Macon, I had a social life (lol – I was an only child up until this time, and I finally entered school!) My favorites included: Mickey Mouse, the color pink, the number 4, and the Grease Soundtrack. Life was good.

Then by 1987, I was a freshman in high school! I felt like the bell of the ball at Southwest High School. My friends and I were thrilled to be official teenagers and life was full of fun classes, socializing by The Wall, and hanging out at each other’s homes. I had my first official “relationships” and life was nothing but a blank canvas to paint the perfect pictures! I had accomplished many of my goals at this point: I wanted to go on Pointe, and I did. I was getting great roles in local children’s theater, and I had decided I wanted to be a writer/journalist. Life was good. 87 was a new year and I had conquered the bullies, conquered the awkward kid phase, and was entering a whole new life!

Then 1997 was even better! I had just graduated from Georgia College & State University with my Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. I landed a job as the Midday and 5pm producer at the #1 CBS affiliate in the nation! I was single, and living the perfect single life! Martinis, dancing on the weekends, random dates, my own little studio in downtown… Life was another adventure to conquer!

Then there was 2007.

A new beginning. Ending one really long relationship and heading into what I call my Eat, Pray, Love phase. Making good money, spending more time in hotels and airplanes that in my home. Hip, smart, successful friends and living an exciting life in Birmingham. I even got to meet a President. That was an awesome year!

And now we head into 2017. I will be getting married, going to Paris, and even buying a home! I am making new friends, have fantastic plans for the future.. and life.. Life is pure magic!

 

This my dears.. is what I am most thankful for. A full life with so much more in store!

A lot Can Happen In Half a Year

Today is my 6 month anniversary at my job. I’ve been the Tourism Director for Americus-Sumter County for six whole months. Which means I’ve lived in Southwest Georgia, with Tim & the girls for half a year.

Wow. A lot can happen in that short period of time.

It wasn’t easy at first, combining our lives. I had too much stuff and he had too little room. But we made it work. Tim was so accommodating, trying very hard to make life and the transition just a little easier. I’m sure my nerves about starting a new job and moving in and sharing our lives full time were at an all-time high.

The first week of my job was very intense. I would come home from work, and as soon as I sat down, I fall asleep. The time, the amount of information I was processing, and constantly going from community to community was a lot to take in. But I got through it with flying colors. I went from having to be at work at 10am and getting off at 3pm (as well as being my own boss,) to working from 8 am to sometimes 5,6,7,8pm and answering to tax payers, city council, the mayor, the city manager, and the tourism council. It was quite an adjustment.

But I got through it.

I even got engaged during the past 6 months. That was a surprise! Some of our plans have changed (building versus buying,) long term house versus get-the-kids-through high school home. I have seen Tim at his lowest and sick and he has seen me the same way. We have learned a lot about each other, and though we may trip up a little, we always sort it out.

This is all good stuff.

Work is going great! Better than great – I’m seeing the fruits of my labor. Record tourism numbers, more strategy – it’s just all really good stuff.

But there is still so much more to do.

I need to make some really good friends. I need to actually commit to creating a new circle. I will admit, I’ve been a little stand-offish (which I am soooo guilty of.) I’m friendly and I get invited to a lot… but I rarely ever go anywhere socially. I think in the New Year, I can do better. In with the new, out with the old!

I need to finish planning that wedding, and figuring out what to buy people for Christmas. I need to join some organizations…

I’ll get there. Just taking it one step at a time. But there is love. So much love.

And that makes leaving a my friends, my family, my job, and my sweet little hometown so worth it.

I Must Have Done Something Good

Remember this song? It was from the Sound of Music (a story I often refer to in my life!)

I was sitting here in the dark, in the little cabin in the woods, cozy in pjs and fuzzy socks and just reveling in how much good is in my life these days. What happened? When did the planets shift? Why so long?

Regardless of whether or not I am cashing in karma points, I don’t want to take a single moment for granted. Just to catch you up, we have finally recovered from our Disney Trip (financially and physically.) THAT was a grueling trip. We had so much to cover, see, and do – it was such a push to get to all of it. I would like to return some day, go through it slower, and just experience the place. Note to friends planning a trip: I think you will enjoy it, if nothing else for the childhood novelty, but try not to do so much in such a short amount of time.

Looks like I have about 3 months until my wedding! THAT is hard to believe. Now we are down to the wire with little details. Though I am going completely non-traditional, there are still many, MANY things I need to take care of before the big day. For one, we start our pre-marriage counseling this week. This is a non negotiable for both of us. We chose to use a Christian Counselor (since I have lots of experience with being spiritually unbalanced in my former relationships.) We are looking forward to possibly picking up a few new tools to make sure we get this one right.

I have some other news! We booked our honeymoon! And boy oh boy, was that a fiasco! We went from possibly flying to St. Lucia, to heading to the Pacific side of Mexico, to finally agreeing on the Dominican Republic… that was, until I got on Trip Advisor. (I have to tell you, I’m not sure if TA is our friend or the kill joy for Tourism.) After reading the reviews on a certain hotel I had my heart set on, we opted to bypass the foam parties/twerking contest hotel option. Apparently, it is quite the hangout for young people.

Then we went back & forth on cruises. Carnival versus Norwegian. Celebrity versus Royal Caribbean. Honestly, I’ve never taken a cruise. The idea of being locked on a ship with a thousand other people does NOT sound like a vacation. However, I warmed up to the idea. The price was right and the locations were doable. Except for one thing – They all left on Sunday at 4:30pm. Not a big deal, right? Ummm.. We live 8 hours away from the ports. Our Wedding is from 7 – midnight on Saturday. There will be drinking. Just. Not. Sure.

So we backed out of the 7 day cruise option and began to explore the idea of a shorter cruise from either Charleston, Tampa or New Orleans. Well.. it would be Mardi Gras in New Orleans, so the Tuesday port of call would be difficult to navigate. Tampa? Blah. Charleston – yeah.. I’d like to do that trip another time properly. And the destinations were sort of boring: Mexico… Bahamas.

Okay.. so we regrouped. And this is when I realized I had a keeper. I was randomly throwing out dream vacations: Santorini, Croatia, Bali, Bangkok… and Tim was genuinely trying to make it work. Either it was going to be too far away with travel time for the limited amount of time we had (did not want to spend 4 of our 7 days traveling.) Or the prices were double what we were interested in paying. (Which is why the Caribbean seemed so much cheaper.) Then he asked – Where have you dreamed of going? He was worried that I sort of shrugged my shoulders every time he mentioned Mexico.. or something like that. Heck, we even tried to compromise and look at traveling out to Sedona. Then… he said… What about Paris? I thought – you have to be kidding! That is my #1 since the beginning of time. Sure, I’ve traveled overseas and even to many, many places in America – but somehow, Paris has always alluded me. He said, if you can do it for “said” price, we will go. But the only caveat is that I have to plan it.

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Not a problem. Can we say… Boom & Done!

Now the real fun begins… and that’s where you guys come in. I need help researching fun things to do OUTSIDE of the obvious. I’m fairly well versed in Paris (I mean, I’ve been dreaming of going since I was in elementary school.) So telling me I have to visit Versailles or the Lourve… I hate to say this, but – DUH!

Our flight leaves Monday night from Atlanta (Delta.) Overnight direct to Paris! We should arrive by 7:30am. I prearranged a shuttle for us. We are staying at the Melia Colbert.

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Our hotel is located in the Latin Quarter of Paris on the Left Bank.


What I like most about this is that it is within sight of Notre Dame.

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Not too shabby!

Then one of the items I have picked out for Tim & I is a little culinary tour of Montmartre!

Of course, the promo video is one.. what about the actual experience?

Macaroons, Chocolates, Cheeses, Bread, & Wine – Oh my!

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I shared it with Tim and he smiled and said – Count me in! Score on first excursion!

Obviously, I want to hit one big thing per day – Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Louvre, Sacre Couer… etc.. and we will – but those hidden French experiences, I want those more than anything else. I did check out this website – Paris Pass. It is a little expensive, but seems to cover 60+ museums and an unlimited bus pass.

I think I have a good start.. and uh.. I need to pull out that old Rosetta Stone and brush up on my Francais! business130930_grumpycat_2_560