Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My 2016 Firsts!!

It's been a couple years since I've put up one of these's something I try to do for myself whether or not I post them here but while in the middle of our Trip to Croatia, I realized I hadn't started this year's list yet and there were so many things that were new experiences for me this year and it was only April!  On the ferry back from Hvar Island, I grabbed a notebook and started jotting things down.  So, fresh off the heels of an incredibly cool vacation, I figured I would share my list after settling back in to the daily routine.  I decided to start with the very first day of the year so my first item technically was...

My first New Year's Day in Paris!

First visit to Mont Saint Michel.
First trip to the Brittany Coast.
First time to Disney Studios Paris.  
First (and last) time trying Andouillette!  Trust me on this, people, andouillette and andouille sausage are not the same thing.  I was so proud of me for trying something new that I didn't know anything about and I barely choked down the first bite.  Kris sent it back to the kitchen, told them we'd pay for it and we ordered me much more agreeable plate of fettuccine.  Kris was telling coworkers about it the next day and one guy was like "Well, it must not have been cooked right," but I can't imagine that any of it being cooked any differently would have encouraged me to take another bite.  It's pure evil.  
Moving on!
First time witnessing a wedding by a French official.  Here, everyone gets married in city hall.  You can do a traditional church ceremony after the fact if you want, but legally, you have to get married in an official (but lovely) setting.  Our friends had a lovely ceremony and a serious party to celebrate and it was a blast.
First plane flight out of Paris (to Croatia.)
First time to Croatia!  We went landed in Zagreb, went to Split, Plitvika, Dubrovnik (Better known as King's Landing for all us GoT's fans), and Hvar Island.  
First time in Bosnia.  Our route to Dubrovnik took us into a corner of the country for about fifteen minutes of driving time easy way, long enough to get passports stamped to mark the occasion and pull over for a coffee and bathroom break, but we got stamps, so I count it as a thing, though I'd never have guessed that in all my travels I'd ever be able to say that.  But it simply reinforces the knowledge that you can drive all day and not get out of California but drive half a day here and cross a country.
And on that note, we thought Croatia was not in the EU but a couple years ago it was added, so on entering Bosnia, it was officially our first time leaving the EU while living here.  
First time on a car ferry!  The island of Hvar is large enough to drive around so we took our rental with us and followed our own little guide.  I've been on ferries before, of course, but this was the first one that hauled cars that I've ever been on.  
First ferry ride on the Adriatic Sea and the first time seeing the Adriatic in person!
First time speaking Croatian! (Just 'Hi' and 'thank you', but it counts.  It's 'bok' and 'hvala', by the way.)
First time tasting Croatian wine and Algerian wine, beef cheeks, and black cherry grappa and honey grappa.  We picked what turned out to be an amazing restaurant for dinner in Old Town Dubrovnik and everything there was amazing, and the grappa was graciously on the house with our dessert.  
First time leaving Croatia by bus.  And what was apparently out first time riding through Slovenia on route to Venice.  
My first visit to Venice!!  Kris has been there twice before but it was so amazing to see it in person!  It was so nice to be back on Italian soil with the laid back atmosphere we came to love living in Lugano and visiting Milan and Rome.  And along with that, it was our first visit to the Hard Rock, Venice, and my first time on a water bus.  Venice has boats, just like any other city has buses or a metro, that run back and forth along different routes and different stops along either side of the canals.  So very cool.
Traveling firsts aside, this year was my first time bowling in Paris, first time living with an inflatable couch, and as of later on this year it will be my first time as a matron of honor in my Best friend Kelsey's wedding, and my first time in a wedding party, so I'm super excited and very honored to be involved.   It's going to be a whirlwind of a year, but that's just how we roll on our adventures!
Allie H.

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