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Monday, January 20, 2014

2013 Year in Reflection

The year 2013 was a crazy (in the best way possible) one for me. After returning from a cruise to the Panama Canal with my family, I flew across the Atlantic to spend the semester in Genoa, Italy. While living in Genoa, I not only had the opportunity to explore Italy, but I visited Paris, Berlin, Dublin, and Barcelona.  I also ventured into Switzerland with my friends Derrick and Jennifer, and went on a Mediterranean cruise solo and with my family.  After returning to the United States, I had only a few weeks at home before I flew to New York City to spend the summer participating in a Clemson architecture studio.  I then tackled my third move of the year into a cute, new college community with my roommate, Sarah.

My fall semester at Clemson was my final synthesis studio and also the most demanding and exhausting I've ever experienced.  I did, however, get to travel to Chicago with the fourth-year architecture students and also managed to squeeze in a trip to Walt Disney World to celebrate my sister's birthday at the Food & Wine Festival (becoming annual passholders!).  And I got to participate in some monumental celebrations - Clemson School of Architecture celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Villa in Genoa during my semester abroad (how's that for perfect timing?) and the 100th Anniversary of the School of Architecture with a 50K Beaux Arts Ball in Lee III.  I also celebrated four years with my boyfriend, Max (awww!)..... in a tent, camping out for Clemson football tickets.  And speaking of Clemson football, I got to cheer on the team during one of our best seasons, yet.... and the sign I made for ESPN Game Day got a lot of airtime, thanks to my sister Rachel's hard work holding it up!

Over Thanksgiving, I traveled with my family to Mississippi to remember the life of my sweet MeMaw who passed away on November 23, but also to celebrate the birthday which I share with my dear Granddaddy (November 29 - he's 85, and I'm feelin' 22!).  I stressed over graduate school applications and portfolio (Want to see?  Visit my website!) along with my FINAL final review at Clemson.  But all of the hard work was worth it when I got to celebrate Christmas with my family during our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Royal Princess and ring in the New Year at my favorite place on earth - Walt Disney World!

2013 was an amazing year.  A year of exploration and adventure, loss and remembrance, and celebration of triumphs big and small.  It was a year of growing up - traveling and living by myself (and with some wonderful friends), and then contemplating and working towards my future (as uncertain right now as that may be).  I got to know a lot of amazing people and was touched and inspired by many.  And I've learned that no challenge is too big to overcome, especially when you are surrounded by people who love and care about you.... and believe in you.

Panama Canal (Christmas Day 2012)

Genoa, Italy

Genoa, Italy - the view from my balcony in the villa

DSC_0628-5Skiing with Derrick and Jennifer in Madesimo, Italy

Eiffel Tower in Paris with Alex, Abby, and Eliza

Disneyland Paris - Parc Disneyland

Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall - Germany with Alex

Genoa Study Abroad
Genoa Study Abroad Group at the Villa

Palma de Mallorca
Balearic Islands on Norwegian Epic Mediterranean cruise with Rachel, Alec, and Max

NYC Summer Studio
NYC Summer Studio

Day 3
Walt Disney World for Rachel's Birthday

Beaux Arts Ball
Clemson 100 Years of Architecture Beaux Arts Ball

ESPN Game Day
Rachel with my sign for Clemson's second ESPN Game Day.... let's not talk about game results

Chicago with Amandaleigh, Bria, and Sarah

My 22nd Birthday and Granddaddy's 85th

Christmas Cruise on Royal Princess

12.30.13New Year's Eve at Walt Disney World

I cannot wait to find out what's in store for 2014!


  1. Wow what a year for you! You are one lucky girl, to do lots of things I love (and/or would love) to do at such a young age. My daughter is 21 and in accounting school in Colorado. I need to show her your blog. She shares your love for cruising and for Disney. And we plan to visit Germany (again) this summer, including Berlin! A few notes - congrats on the anniversary with Max! Thanks for the photos. I would love to read full reviews of your escapades if you ever have time. And I checked out your website a few weeks ago - very nice! Hopefully one day our families will meet on a cruise or at Disney - or both!

    1. Thank you! One of my goals for 2014 is to finally write about some of my European adventures. And I'm waiting for the day that I'll be on a cruise or at Disney and someone will recognize me from my blog/trip reviews!

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