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A look back at 2010

2010 was an exciting year for me - perhaps even the best so far. It was full of so many new adventures and opportunities. To give you a quick glance, here’s a few of the highlights.

In February, I made another trip to San Francisco to see my best friend and old college roommate, Nang. Lucky for me, her and her boyfriend are photographers, so we spent the week taking photos all over the city.

In March and April, I got involved with my first musical at Pull-Tight Theatre doing “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” I coordinated props backstage during the show, and my boyfriend and I even had small nonspeaking roles as Hairy Ishmaelites.

In April, I had my first magazine debut! The cast of Joseph got asked to do a photoshoot for the spring issue of Southern Exposure magazine. It was so much fun. I even got asked to do the summer issue as well.

In May, I finally got the chance to visit Washington, DC. Being the history nerd that I am, I loved it! We got to see all the monuments, walked through some museums, toured Ford’s Theatre and visited Mount Vernon. I’ll definitely be going back.

In June, my sister and I went to the CMT Awards in Nashville, which is something I’ve been wanting to do since I’ve lived here. It was so exciting to be there in person.

June also marked the first of many trips to Florida. I had a work trip to Orlando but went down a few days early to help my sister move back to Tampa before her husband returned from Iraq. And of course, we made time for the beach.

The rest of summer was spent prepping for the next Pull-Tight show, “Seussical the Musical,” which opened in September. I did props again and had another nonspeaking role as Vlad Vladikoff, the evil eagle. It was so much fun, and I made some great friends, including Meghan (yellow bird), my new photography friend.

September also marked my first trip to my boyfriend’s family’s house in Lincoln, Nebraska, for his step-brother’s wedding. It was so nice to get to know his family better.

At the end of September, I started the Day Zero Project with a list of 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days. First on the list - to start this blog. At the close of 2010, I’d completed 21 of the items. I hope to make a big dent in my list this coming year.

In October, we hit up the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was so much fun, I plan to go again next year.

I also worked on the crew for “Wait Until Dark,” my first straight play at Pull-Tight, doing lights and sound. It was fun, but not nearly as exciting as musicals.

I also ran into Taylor Swift again, a little perk of living in Nashville among the country stars.

In November, the boyfriend and I made another trek back to Florida for Thanksgiving. It was great spending the holiday on the beach and finally getting the chance to go parasailing.

In December I took another major trip - New York City! I’ve always wanted to see the huge Christmas tree, go skating in Central Park, see all the holiday decor everywhere and go up in the State of Liberty. And we even scored tickets to Letterman with guest stars Robert DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman. It’s going to be hard to top this vacation.

To end the year, I made yet another trip down to Florida to spend the holidays with my sis and family in Tampa. It’s hard to beat a beautiful sunset on the beach on Christmas Eve.

Time to close the chapter on 2010. I look forward to seeing what’s in store for 2011!

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A day on Anna Maria Island

This year my family and I spent Thanksgiving at my sister’s in Tampa. Since we were already there, my boyfriend and I decided to make a vacation of it and spent a week exploring the area.

While we made a point to visit a different beach each day, my favorite was the day we spent on Anna Maria Island.

Our first stop was The City Pier Restaurant where we had lunch. The food was nothing extraordinary, but the atmosphere and the view were amazing. The restaurant is located on the end of a long pier, and the walls were full of windows, which made it feel like you’re sitting in the middle of the ocean. While you’re eating, you can watch sailboats floating by and people fishing off the pier. It was beautiful - and very cheap.

After lunch, we went parasailing at Fun n’ Sun Parasail (#37 on my 101 List). I’ve always been afraid of heights, so I was a little nervous about going. Once you’re in the air though, it’s amazing. It felt like swinging in the sky, and the view was breathtaking. And the hour-long boat ride around the island was just as much fun.

(That’s our boat driver in the background.)

Once we made it back to the marina, we went across the street to Bradenton Beach. This might be the most beautiful beach I’ve been to in the Tampa area so far. I loved the rocky wall down to the beach and the powdery white sand.

There must have been some sort of sand castle competition going on that weekend too because the beach was covered with the most amazing life-size sand castles. My favorite was Snoopy.

The beach itself did one on recycling, which was very impressive because of its size and detail. I can’t believe this is made out of sand!

To end the day, Tanner and I got ice cream at the cutest ice cream parlor and sat and enjoyed the sunset.

Here’s a sneak peak at the gorgeous sunset that night. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever stopped to watch one before. We had fun taking pictures as it set, but I’ll save those for another post.

Check back this week to hear about the rest of our trip and see more pictures of beautiful Florida.

Hope your Thanksgiving was just as enjoyable!

-Lu

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