As Chele pointed out, this is at least a 10-year tradition and I’m not about to give it up even though it’s the only thing on Ye Olde Blogge now.
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Bought a house in Key West
Adopted a parrot
Went to Copenhagen and Berlin
Biked much more than we drove anywhere
Saw the World’s Largest Rubber Duck
Saw Hamilton and The Great Comet on Broadway
Saw owls in the wild
Was a member of the Southernmost Bocce League
Saw a sea turtle release
Went to FEST in Gainesville
Took the ferry to the Dry Tortugas
Went to a Twins Spring Training game
Saw the Blue Angels perform
Won the Viva Trivia Summer Slam trophy
Did a ghost tour
Saw Pitbull live
Went to Hemingway Days
Saw the Tall Ships in Duluth (and sailed on the Denis Sullivan)
Had mango, banana, guava, fig, lychee, papaya, and citrus trees
Hung out on a sandbar in the Keys all day on a pontoon with waterslides
Saw the space shuttle Atlantis in person
Had an outdoor laundry room
Went to the Southernmost Air Spectacular at Boca Chica Airfield
Went to a Marlins game in Miami
Toured a treasure-hunting ship
Had a chicken hatch eggs in our carport
Was a landlord
Saw 3-on-3 overtime NHL hockey, and a shootout live
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
My resolution was to spend as little as possible on travel while not changing how much we travel. We did a great job of planning out how to use signup bonuses and other credit card rewards, and managed this pretty well. We spent about half what we usually do, and that included a trip to Europe.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Rosie the chicken!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Germany, Denmark, Sweden. Denmark and Sweden were new to me.
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
An outdoor shower. Just ask Matt how much I want an outdoor shower. (I also want a pool, but I’m guessing that’ll be a few years.)
7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Finding out we got the house (which was also the same day the chicks hatched in our carport)
The day Prince died (we were having lunch at Hollywood Studios when we found out)
Walking out of the U-Bahn station and seeing the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
The day we moved into our house
Seeing Hamilton on Broadway
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Buying a house! We had to jump through a lot of weird hoops to get it, and it seemed for a while like it probably wasn’t going to happen. It worked out really incredibly well.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I hate this question. I mean, there’s always a lot more I could do in a year’s time, I’m sure, but I’m pretty happy with my life. I wish we’d gone to that embassy party in Copenhagen, just to know what an embassy party is like. Oh, and we haven’t put up our sunshade in the backyard yet because we don’t own a ladder. We need to own a ladder.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
There was that time I sprained my ankle on the boat-waterslide on a sandbar! Have you ever tried getting around Old Town on crutches? I wouldn’t recommend it.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A house, all my plants and trees, our $25 bird (Roy’s adoption fee!), and a ChefTap subscription – we use it constantly.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Anyone who spoke out against the way things are going in America today. Anyone who stands up against bigotry in any form. Staying quiet and hoping for the best is not the right tactic against those behaviors.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Half of American voters, for electing a white supremacist president and legitimizing racism, sexism, and bigotry in general.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Our house. Though finding out we needed almost $15,000 less at closing than they told us? That was pretty nice.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Shaky by Daddy Yankee, since it’s on the radio constantly. Terremoto? Terremoto!
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Fatter or thinner: The same (sigh)
b) Richer or poorer: Richer
c) Happier or less happy: It’s a weird combination of being very happy with my life and very, very worried about the future of the country and people I care about. Just a constant state of anxiety over that.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Kayaking, swimming in the ocean.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying (see: political anxiety). I can’t even complain about work – I have it pretty good.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Matt and I made a fancy meal on Christmas Eve and opened our gifts from family and each other. On Christmas Day, we went to a party at Christine and Nick’s. Roy came along; it was 80 degrees and we hung out by the pool. Matt’s parents are arriving Friday, and we’ll celebrate a late Christmas (plus New Year’s) with them.
21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
I’m *in* love in 2016. Matt and I celebrated our fifth anniversary in Copenhagen, and came home and adopted a parrot. Who needs kids? They just make a mess.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Better Call Saul, Catastrophe, Game of Thrones, Westworld, You’re the Worst
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Let’s just say I have more negative feelings toward humanity after the election. I’m just shocked by the abject anger and resentment that a lot of people are apparently harboring toward other people.
24. What was the best book you read?
Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS. Short version: we did it to ourselves.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery of 2016?
Ummmmm. I can’t think of anything I learned about this year. I should probably listen to new music more often.
26. What did you want and get?
A house, a garden, an organized shed (we had to wait til winter for that, because it’s so hot in there), various vacations…
27. What did you want and not get?
I want one of those little automatic inflatable life vests for kayaking because mine is bulky and hot. I think that’s it. Life is hard, obviously.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
La La Land. It was magical and I loved it.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I honestly don’t even remember what we did on my birthday. I turned 43 this year. That was three days before the movers arrived, so I’m guessing we were packing like crazy people!
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Trump not winning the election? That would solve a lot of problems.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Comfortable and lightweight. I have my work-at-home clothes (a tshirt and pajama bottoms, usually), and then change when we leave the house in the evening. Since we bike everywhere, breathable clothing is important.
32. What kept you sane?
Matt, being outdoors, ignoring social media when it got too stressful.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Anything driven by people’s need to hate and discriminate against other people.
35. Who did you miss?
My grandma, our friends up north, and friends we made here who have already moved away!
36. Who was the best new person you met?
We met so many awesome people here this year. Everyone from trivia and bocce.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
People don’t actually care about things like facts and the truth. They’re willing to believe anything that serves their interests.