*before you read any further, I’ll warn you, this post unintentionally ended up sounding dangerously similar to one of those Christmas
cards essays from that family you haven’t seen in years, who, over the last 12 months, has celebrated three births, a promotion, some kind of high school sports team championship, a marriage, maybe a break-up, a stellar report card, a well-trained pet, a vacation to outer space, a Pulitzer Prize nomination…you get the idea.
I hope you won’t crumple this post up and toss it in the trash before giving it a chance…
This year was ______.
January began the first of many lasts; last semester on Hawk Hill, last lengthy Winter Break, last Formal and Date Party with my best Squirrelfriends, last few (million) cups of Wawa coffee. I (somewhat reluctantly) completed one final internship requirement in Center City and proudly stood inside Hagan Arena for one final basketball season, witnessing the Hawks take the A10 Championship title, every step of the way, from Philly to Brooklyn. The winter was long and to be blunt, miserable. I spent much of it snowed-in with an extreme case of Cabin Fever that spread like wildfire from floor to floor in our 5-bedroom, 6-person house. I spent a night or two waiting far too long for Domino’s delivery, and “ventured” out of the house only when absolutely necessary (so, maybe…three times a week? Five?) for margaritas and nachos at the bar just down the street. Towards the end of February, things started looking up. Aaron Carter performed live at SJU (photos below) and Once Upon a Plate was born.
In the spring, I spent too many mornings at Delancy’s Deli (as if that’s even possible) and not enough nights at Howl at The Moon. I searched relentlessly for a post-grad career (to my dismay, babysitting on Cape Cod wouldn’t cut it this summer), all the while with dad’s voice in my head, “…and why do we go to college? To get a JOB.” (a phrase I’d been hearing at the dinner table since 2005). I applied to just about every open position that contained any form of the words “Boston”, “marketing” and/or “social”. I mastered the art of a Skype interview and finally received an offer just minutes before heading into my final, final exam.
In April, I stuffed every dress at Lilly Pulitzer into one small dressing room, picked a winner with help from my big sis and in May, hid that nautical, blue and white shift dress underneath a black gown, as I walked across stage on Graduation Day. In June, I said a teary goodbye to The City of Brotherly Love, paid my first visit to The Street, caught a Red Sox game and headed to Eastham for three weeks of basking in the sun on First Encounter Beach, paddle boarding on Great Pond, sipping wine in Truro and sipping coffee with mom.
In July, I moved to Boston and never looked back (Just kidding. In reality, I spent the first few weeks in denial and spent every Friday afternoon for the next 3 months heading back over the Sagamore Bridge for more beach time and homemade chowder). From conference calls to clam bakes, I transitioned into the “Real World” with ease (and a pretty nice tan).
September and October brought picnics at The Street, food truck lunches, Brewery tours, Duck Boat tours, concerts in Boston Common, new friends, old friends and lots and lots of oysters. I spent the last of warm weekends getting lost in Beacon Hill and Harvard Square and boarding the commuter rail to Salem.
November brought me back to Philadelphia for a basketball game, a fashion show and a much needed night at Kildares Irish Pub. I took some pretty important next steps into the world of blogging, ate much too much turkey and stuffing, advanced my indoor cycling skills, and nearly doubled my scarf collection on Black Friday.
December was filled with gift shopping, gift wrapping, gift giving and gift unwrapping, holiday events at The Street, Christmas chaos at home, Bloody Mary’s, mini-manicures, chocolate martinis, new traditions (although I’m not sure how long waking up to a barren tree on Christmas morning will last) and old ones. A peaceful and happy end to an eventful year.
What I’m trying to say (in a very indirect way), is that this year was a lot of things. It was exciting and terrifying, unbelievable and inspiring. It was challenging, disappointing and meaningful, heartbreaking, uplifting and bittersweet, filled with lots of laughter, many smiles and only a small handful of stressful, sometimes tearful, fits of panic. It was like nothing I could have ever planned for or expected.
It was a year I never thought would come. In 2006, the year 2014 seemed unimaginable, futuristic even and in 2010, it still felt millions of years away. My four years in college would undoubtedly last forever. 2014 was nothing to worry about. But 2014 came and went in what seemed like a blink of an eye.
It’s been a pretty good year, a heck of a year, thanks for being a part of it! Take a look at some of my favorite meals and moments from 2014…