Best of 2017
As another year comes to a close, it’s always fun to look back and remember the best parts of the year. Below, I complied my favorite things from 2017, including the best books I read, my favorite fitness adventures, the best things I ate, and the best trips I took!
Best Books I read (in no particular order):
Set in Australia during an extreme drought, Federal Agent Aaron Falk has to travel back to his small home town after his childhood best friend, Luke, dies. Soon it turns out there might have been more to Luke’s death than originally thought; as Aaron digs into his best friends death, old mysteries that he thought had been buried come back to haunt Aaron.
This book kept me guessing until the end, and I loved that the two different mysteries that the plot revolves around were intertwined while still being separate. The characters, including the town and weather ,were believable and yet contained so many layers.
Flood girls follows Rachel Flood as she returns to her hometown of Quinn, Montana, population of 956. As Rachel looks to make amends for her past, she teams up with her young next door neighbor Jake, who just doesn’t quite fit in in Quinn.
This book will make you laugh and cry, and after reading this book way back in January of 2017 I’m stilling thinking about the ending.
This is the second book in the Warm Bodies trilogy. Warm Bodies follows R, a very unique zombie, and Julie as they try save the world from the plague that has destroyed civilization as we know it.
There is something about the way Marion crafts his characters that I just can’t get enough of. The plot is unique (which is saying a lot for a zombie series) and I never see the twists and turns coming. I can’t wait until August 2018 for the last book to see how R’s journey ends.
When Lane gets a call that her cousin Allegra has gone missing, she is forced to return to the home she fled (and promised never to return to) when she was young.
This book was seriously twisted and I loved it. The family drama and secrets that had been festering for years come to light and Lane has to learn how to live with what her family has done.
Loosely modeled after Romeo and Juliet, A Million Junes is set in Michigan and follows June and Saul, the boy her family has forbidden her to befriend, as the magic of the town of Five Fingers grows stronger the closer they get to uncovering the truth of the cruse that has plagued their two families for generations.
The writing of this story was beautiful, the plot whimsical with some darker elements tossed in, and the characters were fun to root for.
I seem to have a thing for books this year that focus on the main character returning home for some form of redemption – weird, but I’m just going to go with it.
My favorite Races:
This was my second time running the SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon and so far it’s been my favorite half marathon – the event staff is amazing and the race always runs with out a hitch. The race starts in Central Park and it’s been great to walk over from my apartment just a few minutes before it starts. I’ve run my fastest half marathon yet on this course (it ends up being a little more than 2 loops of central park) 2:01:54 and it’s always fun to see what celebrities come out to run it (last year Sara Bareilles was there!).
This was my first triathlon and I finished in 3:24:08- I struggled with the swim but loved the bike and run which went by all the monuments in DC. Plus my parents were there to cheer me on, which always makes a race better! Check out my post on the tri for full recap of the race.
The best things I ate:
This bread was amazing – like Jeff and I went back the next day as a break from the parks just to get this bread again. It wasn’t overly sweet and you could actually taste the almond. It was also reasonably priced for the size of the loaf.
Fresh Fish in Alaska
While in Alaska, I had the chance to eat salmon that was just-caught and cooked on an open fire and halibut on the grill (along with some other amazing fish dishes – including a smoked salmon dip). I love fish, and it’s never better than when it’s fresh.
Superman Ice cream (Michigan)
A staple in the summer time in Michigan. It is always a mix of red, yellow, and blue ice cream and is normally blue moon, cherry, and lemon ice flavored. I had the chance to get it a few times this summer when Jeff and I were back in Michigan.
Frittata Scramble Bagel Breakfast Sandwich – Spread Bagelry Philadelphia (Madeline and Michael took us here when we went to visit them in Philadelphia which was also an amazing trip filled with super good food and tons of fun!)
The bagel was amazing and the fillings were unique while still being tasty breakfast options. I got one with eggs, cheddar, bacon, tomatoes, and strawberry jam. The sweet jam with the salty bagel/fillings was amazing. The line wasn’t awful when we went but Madeline said it gets really out of hand most weekends.
Apple/Cranberry pie – November 2017 (Cream Cheese crust)
For Thanksgiving this year I made a apple/cranberry pie with a homemade cream cheese crust. I was really surprised with how well it turned out, and I loved the tartness that the cranberries added – definitely a pie I’ll make again.
My favorite Trips this year (I took/visited many more people than I can include here–I limited myself to six picks, but I had a blast every where I went this year and it was so amazing to get to see so many wonderful friends and family this year!!!):
DisneyWorld – January 2017
Jeff and I joined Karly, Ross, Scott, and Maria for a trip to Disney world at the beginning of the year. We had a blast and Maria is an amazing planner – which meant we utilized the fast pass system to the max and fit the most into the few days there that we possibly could.
Atlanta – January 2017
Chris, Jeff, and I flew down to Atlanta to hang out with Dante for a weekend in January. Even though it was a little chilly, we had a blast seeing where Dante has been spending all his time, checking out the College Football Hall of Fame, and drinking a ton of beer.
San Francisco – July 2017
Steph, one of my good college friends, got married just outside San Francisco in the beginning of July. The wedding was beautiful, the reception was a blast, and we got to spend a ton of time with Madeline and Michael. After the wedding we spent a day in San Francisco proper and had a chance to visit with Sofia, one of the first friends I made in college! We had a blast and the weather was amazing.
Alaska – July/August 2017
Jeff, Karly, Ross, and I rented an RV for a little under 2 weeks and drove around the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. We saw a ton of wildlife (including a bear and her two cubs right by our RV – the cubs were playing on our bumper), kayaked around glaciers, had several great bonfires, did a ton of hiking (including Exit Glacier and Alyeska), and again drank a ton of beer from local breweries. We also had the chance to stay a night in Seattle on our way back home and got to catch up with some west coast friends!
Michigan/Ann Arbor – November 2017
A bunch of our friends joined us back in Michigan the weekend of our one year anniversary to celebrate in style – and by in style I mean with a tailgate and going to the Michigan v. Minnesota game. The weather was awful (it hailed at one point) but it stopped in time for the game which was a blast!
DC – November 2017
The very next weekend we headed to DC to see a bunch of our friends and go to the Michigan v. Maryland game. The weather was cold but we had a blast at the game and getting to see our friends was fantastic.
All in all it was an amazing year and I can’t wait to see what amazing things I do, read, eat, and the great places I go in 2018!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful end to their 2017!
What were your favorite things this year?