My Year End Recap 2017. Travel and Life.

I enjoyed doing this post last year. It helps me see what I did and could have done with my year.

My first trip of the year was a big one. A destination I had always dreamed of going to. A drive to Los Angeles in a (rented) convertible BMW and had a very LA trip. First to the beach, then to Korean BBQ, and a few drinks. After a successful and fulfilling time in LA, we were on our way to board a flight to Chicago. One night in Chicago, beer, burgers, and freezing wind and rain in May. You’re out of control, Chicago. I was not dressed for you. Warmed up with a deep dish pizza from Giordano’s and then we were off. Where all roads lead. To Rome.

There was no entertainment on a nine hour flight but the airline compensated with free booze. Most people didn’t seem to mind. I still remember looking out the window of the hotel, looking down Corso Street, listening to the bells and even though it was far away, I still had a view of The Basilica di San Pedro. There was also a night layover in London and we took advantage and were tourists all the way.

Went to Las Vegas in June in a (rented) convertible Chevy Camero SS. I loved that car and tried several new restaurants and ate at my stand by favorite, Hash House a Go-Go. Spent the rest of the summer recouping and relaxing.

In October, I had another trip to beautiful central Mexico to a lazy town called Chapala. I ate way too much again. It’s a losing battle trying to control yourself when around every corner is something new and delicious. This was my third trip to Chapala/Ajijic/Guadalajara and it’s still one of my favorite places. I do have to say that Pipiolo’s in Guadalajara has to be one of my favorite restaurants in the world.

Due to some scheduling issues at work, I had to take my last week of vacation a little earlier than expected. I had planned to go to Seoul or Bali but I guess it works out that I didn’t go to Bali due to the volcano. So I decided to pack up my car and take a trip to The Petrified Forest in northeast Arizona. It was surreal and amazing. It’s so hauntingly beautiful when you feel like you’re the only one on the planet.

The year in photography. These are my favorite photos of the year in no particular order.

Below is just a little something I put together of random footage taken throughout the year. Taken with whatever camera I had handy. I don’t have a gimbal or anything so it’s a little shaky but I think that just adds somewhat of a human charm. I used some of the presets to add some pop, effects, and cinema style which turned out better than I expected.

Now onto events of my life. Not really that eventful I’m afraid.

I signed up for Spotify and absolutely love it. Username phxdown13.

This was the year I decided to stop placing so much emotion and attention to things that I have no control over. Things like sports, or politics to a degree. So I spent more time on the things I could control. Listening to more music while writing or just laying in the dark, editing photos, and reading. Read more books, write more pages, run more miles, take more photos, help others where I could. Also, trying to tread the line of both creating art and being a consumer of.

I completed another year of the NaNoWriMo. Maybe I’ll turn this into something more in the future.

Nanowrimo2017 (1)

My TV watching time was slashed drastically. I still watched Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, The Punisher, and Stranger Things 2 but not much else. My time watching silly things on YouTube also decreased in favor of more educational and tutorial based content.

More money was spent on great food. Less money was spent on beer but it was of better quality. My most memorable dish of the year had to be the plate of pasta I had in the shadow of The Colosseum. I actually ordered it both times we went to this place.

Rome Select (19 of 30)
The best meal I had.

I took it upon myself to read more this year. Several King novels and even started reading some books on my phone before sleeping on Google Books. Usually new releases or books I was interested in but didn’t care if they were on my self. Most instances I would read more than one book at a time. I averaged two books a month. Keep in mind that several of them were over or nearly 1000 pages long.

Books completed:
Salem’s Lot – Stephen King (672 pages)
Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy (368 pages)
The Stand (Uncut) – King (1472 pages)
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (reread) – King (288 pages)
The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three (reread) – King (496 pages)
Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk (224 pages)
Quitter’s Inc. (short story) – King (15 pages)
Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited – Aldous Huxley (384 pages)
IT – King (1168 pages)
American Gods – Neil Gaiman (541 pages)
Animal Farm – George Orwell (144 pages)
1984 – Orwell (336 pages)
The Mist – King (176 pages)
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (400 pages)
The Martian – Andy Weir (384 pages)
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (176 pages)
Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton (416 pages)
The Shining – King (688 pages)
End of the World Running Club – Adrian J. Walker (464 pages)
Insomnia – King (912 pages)
The Boy on the Bridge – M.R. Carey (400 pages)
The Girl With All the Gifts – M.R. Carey (416 pages)
The Green Mile – King (400 pages)
Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption – King (110 pages)

Miles traveled: Approximately 17000 (not counting all of the miles run or walked)
Pages read: 11050

I don’t know what life is holding for me in 2018. I kind of like not knowing, not having a scripted life. I have some rough ideas of where I’d like to go and things to accomplish but only time will tell.

Watch the movies and shows you love. Read the books you love. Listen to the music you love. Take in the art you love. Just remember to give some of the things you don’t love a chance.

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