The year isn’t quite over yet and while I could still post another like-racking picture to my instagram account, like many people on your feed, I decided to check out what my top 9 posts of 2017 were. And I have to say, I’m a little bit surprised. I mean… they’re SO DC! Seriously… only two of them do not involve a Washington landmark. 5 of them were taken along the Tidal Basin, 3 feature cherry blossoms, 2 focus on the US Capitol, 2 on the Washington Monument and 3 on the Jefferson Memorial. It’s like I never left the city 😉
Now I love these pictures, don’t get me wrong (you can see my whole instagram feed here). I do feel they’re probably the prettiest I posted (or, you know, reflect how much people love Game of Thrones!) but I don’t know that they tell the story of what my year was like. So I picked 9 other photos from moments that meant a lot to me in 2017.
One of the most difficult but important thing I did last year was sell the condo where my ex-husband and I had lived since 2008 and buy a place of my own. It was an awful experience, but finally in August, after months of crashing in friends’ guest rooms or basements, I was able to move into my new condo, a whole two blocks away from my old one, in the neighbourhood I love and have now called home for 11 years. I love this first picture because it reflects just how happy I am now to be able to enjoy la vie en rosé from my rooftop, which has beautiful views of both the US Capitol and the Washington Monument. Another important thing I did in 2017 was run the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon with my bestie Caitlin (you can read my race recap here.) We met in Paris 20+ years ago, when our high schools participated in an exchange program but hadn’t been back there together in ages. I started running this year, it’s become a huge part of my life, even though I’m still pretty bad at it and I’m still learning to enjoy it. It was amazing to run with her at Disney (where I used to work right after college too!) then spend the rest of the week playing and eating in the city. AND I got to wear fun mermaid leggings too!!
The third picture was taken during the French elections. We voted a lot last year. Like every 2 weeks it seemed like I was back at the embassy but I love that my vote as an expat has as much weight as that of any other French citizen anywhere in the world. Voting for Macron, a rather unknown entity in French politics, was a tough decision but not one I am regretting so far. With everything that’s been happening here in the US, I’m proud of the course France has chosen. Speaking of France, I traveled to a part of France I had never been to before, French Guiana, to see a rocket launch. In the distance behind me on that fourth picture in an Ariane 5 fusée hours before I saw it blast into the sky. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience, though since I work for the company that launched the rocket, there might actually be others in my future 😉 The fifth picture is of course diner en blanc which took over all of Pennsylvania Avenue in early September. I had lobbied for that location for 2 years so I was stoked, and I was stoked also that my high school friend Alexandra came down from Montreal to attend the event with me. Hopefully, next year, it will be the other way around and I will head up to Montreal to see her and attend Diner en Blanc there! Next up is a picture of the adorable window at Ladurée in Georgetown. The iconic brand opened two locations in Washington DC and it made my year. I should note though that the fraisier in my original Best Nine picture is from Ladurée. It was a cute creation for July 14, with the bleu blanc rouge markings of the French flag on top of the delicious layers of cream and strawberries.
The last three pictures reflect a little bit of the travels I got to do last year. With everything that was going on in my personal life, traveling took a bit of a back seat. That being said, I still got around 😉 Of course, I went to Kourou which involved a lot of work but was still amazing. I stopped in Miami on the way back for a long weekend on my own. It was my third time in the city but the only time where I actually got to decide on what I wanted to do (I was seven the first time, so yeah, didn’t get a lot of say… though we went to Disney so I think I was pretty happy!) I also went to Logan, Utah for a work conference. That trip was very last minute so I didn’t have a lot of time to plan add-ons, though I will next year for sure! I also did a few fun weekends here and there, to Rehoboth during the inauguration, New York of course, Connecticut to visit my college roommate, to Savannah to see one of my faves marry an awesome French dude and to Richmond for the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit and Baltimore for their inaugural Diner en Blanc. But my favourite trip of the year was my road trip to Canada with my parents. We stopped in Albany where I had a drink with Lauren of Healthy Delicious (we went to grad school together!) and Medina where I checked up on Alex and Scott of a DC Minute. I caught up with my friends Lindsay (another exchange buddy from way back in the days!) and Rochelle in Toronto then drank all the wines at Niagara-on-the-lake, went on a great hike in Hamilton and of course saw those big famous falls. We then drove back to DC through Detroit and Pittsburgh but I love the time we spent in Canada while the whole country was celebrating its 150th anniversary. I also loved my long and rainy weekend in Seattle visiting my friend Katia. I hadn’t crossed off a new state in a while so it was good to visit Washington, aka number 44. Now I just have to make my way to Hawaii, Alaska, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.
Last but not least, yeah, cherry blossoms. I had many moments of doubts, of course, over the past year. I always said I lived in Washington because it was where my husband lived and worked. After we separated last year, I really wondered if I should stay here or if I should perhaps look into opportunities in Montreal or even back in Europe. In the end, I genuinely love living in this city and I fall in love with it all over again every spring when it turns all pink! I guess my original Best Nine were pretty spot on then 😉