Saturday, January 8, 2011

Top Ten of Twenty Ten

Dear Friends,

Twenty Ten has been a year full of learning- not the type of learning that takes place in a classroom, but the type that requires deep thought and reflection. In between my figuring-out-life sessions, I've had the opportunity to travel the state, country, and world. Here's a few of my favorite trips (in chronological order).

 1. Visit to DC (April): After 4 months of being back in North Carolina, I was ready to return to the District to visit fabulous friends and familiar places. This photo was taken at Old Glory, a southern restaurant in Georgetown. It's one of the FEW places in DC that serves sweet tea, so it was always a favorite for us Carolina girls. :)

2. Trip to West Virginia (June): The last time I was in West Virginia was when our family was taking an RV trip. I can't remember if it was the trip to Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon, but I do remember we spent 12 hours at a gas station for repairs after the RV was rolling backwards down the hills of WV. Luckily the trip this year didn't involve such chaos. I went to visit a good friend who is studying for a PhD in Clinical Psychology. This picture was taken at Coopers Rocks State Park on a gorgeous afternoon.

3. Oak Island, NC (July): I spent a week at the beach with my mom, grandmother, and brother. We were able to catch up with my one of my mom's best friends from childhood and her parents who were good friends of my grandparents. I also got to spend some time with Kristen, a fellow Carolina alum who is studying in Chicago. Annnnd I spent many hours trying to piece together this puzzle.

 4. Newport, RI (August): From January to August of this year, I cared for a beautiful two year old girl who was recently adopted from Russia. In August, I accompanied the family on a trip to Rhode Island. We spent our days frolicking in the wake, baking cookies, kicking the ball, and learning to swim in the pool. This shot captures her exuberant spirit and childlike wonder.

5. Pumpkin Patch in Durham, NC (October): One of my good friends from college works at NCSSM in Durham. When I learned he was taking a group of students to a pumpkin patch, I was so excited to find out I could tag along. It was the first time I picked a pumpkin off the vine. It was an afternoon of good talks and lots of laughs.

6. First Grade Field Trip to NC Zoo (October): Since March, I've been tutoring a first grader through the Communities in Schools organization. In May, I watched him graduate from Kindergarten. I love my weekly visits with this precious boy and had a great time chaperoning his class's field trip to the zoo. This is a picture of my group for the day. We wandered through the zoo pretending to be giraffes, lions, and gorillas.

7. Honduras!!! (October - November): This wins best trip of the year award! I spent two weeks in Honduras with one of my best friends from college, Blair. She's been in Honduras since September of 2009 and was a great hostess throughout my visit. I ziplined through the rainforest canopy, spent many hours on buses, bought lots of bags of water, met other Peace Corps volunteers, ate too many baleadas (tortilla with beans, eggs, cheese) to count, and spent time catching up with a dear friend. Miss you Blair!

8. Thanksgiving at Mt. Mitchell (November): My mom's oldest sister hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her house this year. All of my mom's siblings, their spouses, and children were able to attend (that's 1 grandmother, her 5 children, 4 spouses, 13 grandchildren, 2 grandchildren-in-law, and 5 great grandchildren). It's not often that we're all in the same place at the same time, so I insisted on documenting the momentous occassion!

9. Snow in Chapel Hill (December): In the middle of December, Blair returned home for the holidays and we made a trip up to Chapel Hill for a good friend's wedding. While there, we met up with Rachel for an Old Well photo shoot. I never got snowy pictures at the Old Well while I was a student, so this was my chance! I do miss that place and all the people I met there.

10. Rockingham Reunion (December): I met up with these lovely ladies for a quick lunch in Rockingham. They were roommates our senior year and now are all living in big cities of Durban (South Africa!), Chicago, and Atlanta. During our lunch, we schemed a plan for us all to reside in DC after we complete our higher education goals. Can't wait to be living near them again. ;)

Twenty-ten was not what I expected, but I think it has prepared me for 2011. Here's to a new year and new adventures!

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