Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Top 2013 Moments


2013 wasn’t a particularly busy travel year. We “only” went to Paris, Montreal, Ireland, and jaunted around the Boston area with quick trips to Atlanta, Newport, and Pittsburgh last month. But HELLO, PARIS.

I know frequent travel isn’t for me. After traveling to three cities in 5 months for work last year, I know that I am not a fan of business travel (among other things related to that particular position). I like to stay put for a week if I can swing it. Long weekend trips to places I’ve been before are fun to revisit favorites and discover new ones. 16 countries in 12 days? Nope. 3 months to backpack? Also, no. I’m not a backpacker (if you’ve met me IRL, you’d laugh at the idea). A week to 10 days? Perfect. I get to see a city, but I also get to have a cat that’s not neglected.


Some favorite moments this year are from exploring my (still relatively) new home. My mom came to visit for a few weeks, so I got to gallivant around to Concord and the MFA and cheese shops with her. Our artsy day at the MFA was full of wine, cheese, and laughing at awkward portraits.


I also attended a cat-themed film festival. Really, it was just a small-scale knockoff of the Cat Festival in Minneapolis. Instead of Grumpy Cat, we had Stroller Cat. But how can you not count a marathon of cat videos as a top moment?

I quit my job, volunteered at a museum in their collection department, took a temporary job inventorying public art, and found a job at a house museum doing a little bit of everything part-time. Working part-time AT A MUSEUM (FINALLY) is the best of both worlds for me. I have time for personal projects (you’ll hear about one big one soon), but I get to do what I’m good at in a setting that makes me ridiculously happy. Definitely a top moment.

Then there’s Paris. I have a billion top moments (like seeing my all time favorite church Sainte Chapelle), both art and food related. But I narrowed it down to two that still stick with me more than anything.


Having a picnic in the shadow of Chartres cathedral on a relatively leisurely day (until we crammed in the evening hours at the Louvre later) was how I envisioned visiting France. It was warm and sunny, my sandwich of ham and cheese was ungodly delicious, and I could sip on wine al fresco while staring at a church I had studied in multiple classes. For maybe 12 euro total for the two of us?


The other Paris moment was a surprise. After struggling to find the place, and being kind of tired from walking all day, the hubs nearly axed the visit. But the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine turned out to be my favorite museum of the trip. It wasn’t crowded, the views were gorgeous, and THERE WERE TONS OF MEDIEVAL THINGS. Rooms of architectural models and casts of famous medieval structures in France. It was like walking through half my major. Le sigh.


TBEX was a bit of a whirlwind, but I learned some valuable tips. And had free Guinness and piles of Irish cheese at the opening party. Always a win.


Another random moment was seeing a tree that I had seen on Pinterest. You know how so many of those popular pinned photos are doctored or labeled wrong? I thought there was no way a tree like this was anywhere near Navan. Turns out, it was on the property where my in-laws took us to lunch on our last full day.

What were your top moments this year?

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6 Responses to “My Top 2013 Moments”

  1. 1

    Jenna — December 11, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

    I enjoyed reading this, and I LOVE that tree (I’m a tree person 🙂 I don’t know what my highlights were. It was a pretty dull year, but I’m sure I’ll think of something 😉

    • ehalvey replied: — December 12th, 2013 @ 11:52 am

      There’s always a highlight 🙂

  2. 2

    Ashley — December 11, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

    Paris…sigh…I’m longing to go back there. But I had such a magical time there on my first visit, I’m slightly terrified that I’ll suffer from ‘Paris Syndrome’ upon my return visit.

    Also, just love this post. Love looking back on the year past, so I think I’m going to have to do one of my own 😉

    • ehalvey replied: — December 12th, 2013 @ 11:53 am

      It’s a great way to remember things that got rushed by an upcoming event or seem like such a long time ago.

      Also, I NEED to go back to Paris. It was tres magnifique.

  3. 3

    Christina — December 12, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

    I like your little travel manifesto. I am so not a backpacker either! I’m also happy you got the work situation fixed. Sounds like you are in a way better situation now!

    I’d agree that any year that featured a medieval art-athon in PARIS and a cat video fest was a pretty good year! Have an amazing 2014!

    • ehalvey replied: — December 13th, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

      2013 was pretty solid on the medieval art and cat front. 😀

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