Saying Good-Bye/Good Riddance to 2012

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year! It's 2013, which means the 21st century is officially a teenager! Hard to believe, isn't it? Most days, I feel like the 90s just happened, and here we are well into the second decade after them. Thinking about it that way makes me feel really old, so let's move on, shall we?

2013! Can you tell I'm excited about the New Year? I'm always excited when a New Year is approaching because a New Year means a new beginning, and a new beginning means a clean slate, endless opportunities, a chance to put the problems of the past year behind me and start anew. But I'm particularly excited about this New Year because, well, 2012 sort of sucked and I'm really glad it's behind me. That's not to say some really wonderful things didn't happen in 2012, because they did, but it was also a year of uncertainty and heartache and illness and uncertainty and isolation and more uncertainty, uncertainty that will unfortunately continue into 2013. But because I cannot control any of the uncertainties in my life, I'm not going to let them consume me the way they have the past several months. I'm going to spend these next few weeks focusing on the things I CAN control, at least somewhat--my work, my eating habits, how I spend my time. And, as is the tradition, I'm going to start the year by saying good-bye to the last one by recalling all my favorite memories, so here they are:
  1. Honeymooning in Hawai'i with my wonderful husband, including
    • Taking a helicopter tour of the Na Pali Coast of Kauai
    • Roadtripping all over the major islands, including south, east, and north Oahu; the northern coast of Maui; Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island; and all over Kauai
    • Seeing the sunrise at Haleakala and biking 26 miles down the volcano afterward
    • Sampling local cookies, chocolates, macadamia nuts, shaved ice, and ice cream on the different islands
    • Watching the sunset on Ke'e Beach on the North Shore of Kauai
    • Enjoying a Dole Whip at the Dole Plantation on Oahu 
  2. Taking an epic two-week vacation last summer to Disney World and LA/Disneyland, including
    • Visiting the National Portrait Gallery in DC on our first day and discovering a painting that became the subject for a story cycle I'm planning
    • Spending an afternoon just sitting in the sand at Huntington Beach
    • Exploring the rock formations at El Matador Beach in Malibu
    • Learning about the concept of gesamtkunstwerk (the total work of art) at the "Gustav Klimt: Magic of Line" exhibit at the Getty, one of the most inspiring exhibits I've been to in recent memory
    • Appreciating the beauty of the "work-vacation," writing, reading, and editing in the California sunshine on the lanai of our hotel room
    • Returning to Narcoossee's and the Grand Floridian a little more than six months after getting married there
    • Watching the 4th of July fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, which were spectacular and moving even after an hour rain delay
    • Hanging out with my little brother and enjoying all the treats he left in our room at Animal Kingdom Lodge almost every night
    • Going on a "snack tour" of the different parks, trying to get the most out of dining plan snack credits (highlights included the carrot cake cookie at the Writer's Stop and 4th of July cupcake at Pizza Planet in Hollywood Studios, cream-cheese pretzel and of course Dole Whip in Magic Kingdom, and white chocolate elephant cupcake in Animal Kingdom)
    • Riding Toy Story Mania over and over again with my husband, at both Hollywood Studios and California Adventure. I lost all but one time, but I still had fun because he's the one person I can stand losing to.
    • Partying at the delightfully whimsical, surreal Mad T Party in DCA
    • Exploring the new Cars Land (even though Radiator Springs Racers was broken when we were there) and seeing it all lit up in neon lights at night, riding Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, shopping for Cars-themed gifts for the nephews, and eating at Flo's V8 Cafe
    • Sketching Piglet at Hollywood Studios and the Cheshire Cat at DCA after discovering the animation classes, which might be one of my favorite things to do at Disney  
    • And ending my visit standing in the mists of World of Color, one of my favorite moments of the year
  3. Spending my first anniversary in New York with my husband
    • Visiting the Guggenheim for the first time for the incredibly inspiring "Picasso: Black and White" exhibit
    • Exploring in a more relaxed way, stopping to eat, linger in restaurants, and window-shop along the way
    • Taking in all the holiday display windows on Fifth Avenue, Madison, and at Macy's
    • Seeing Rockefeller Center all lit up at night and watching the ice skaters there and at Bryant Park
    • Celebrating our "paper" anniversary with a Newsies matinee and dinner at the Algonquin Round Table, where Dorothy Parker and other legendary writers and critics used to gather
    • Reading adaptations of 1001 Nights, African folk tales, and Hindu myths in the storybook section of FAO Schwartz
    • Collecting postcards in the "Charles Dickens: Key to Character" and "Lunch Hour NYC" exhibits at the New York Public Library
    • Discovering 92Y and their amazing literary programs, including attending a reading by Junot Diaz and Julie Otsuka, and getting to meet Julie Otsuka and have her sign her book afterward
    • Remembering why I love the city so much and always have
Of course, there were many other great memories made in 2012 and great achievements as well (such as finishing the introduction and first two chapters of my dissertation), but these moments were the ones that will stay with me longest, the ones I will try hardest to hold on to. These are the ones I will wrap around me as I move into 2013, that will continue to inspire me and remind me of how grateful I should be for the opportunities I've had, and for all that are to come. 

Relaxing in the peaceful central courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery.
T.J. recreating some of the bridal portraits Jason Angelini shot of me in the Grand Floridian's Basin White shop.
Sharing a milkshake at 50s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios.
One of the many giraffes that decided to get up-close-and-personal with us during the best Kilamanjaro Safari I've ever been on at Animal Kingdom.
Hanging out with Tigger at the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare, where we also met Pooh, Mary Poppins, Alice, and the Mad Hatter.

Making friends with the birds at El Matador Beach, Malibu.

Exploring the sunken gardens at the Getty.

Standing on the steps of the Dolby Theater (formerly Kodak Theater), where the Oscars are held.
As close to Radiator Springs Racers as we got that day.

My Cheshire Cat from the "Animation Academy" at DCA.

Step into the Mad T Party.

Alice is "Just a Girl" after all.

Dee and Dum, the coolest/scariest bouncers ever.

An entire arcade of Alice-themed games? Yes, please.

Rocking out with the White Rabbit DJ.

Neon lights of Radiator Springs, Cars Land, DCA.

Bellagio fountains on crack=World of Color

Good-bye, California!

And good-bye, 2012!


American Puzzle January 11, 2013 at 11:53 AM  

Love the memories and shots - and hope that 2013 is a good one for you, my friend. <3

Lacy Marschalk January 11, 2013 at 12:05 PM  

Thanks, Amanda! Wishing you the best, too!

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