That’s right, it’s only four more days of being 14 for me, and then I’ll officially be 15 (and able to get my learners permit too…). Unfortunately, my birthday falls on a Monday this year, and since I’m not homeschooled anymore… That means I’ll have to
escape from school celebrate either late at night, on a different day, or even better, both!
It’s crazy to think that one year ago, I was in Nashville, TN, high jumping with not a care in the world (well, mostly). I really have to say, those months that we were in Nashville were amazing. Playing tennis almost every day, getting to high jump and get coached on it twice a week, scoring a ton playing on a rec soccer team, and most importantly, celebrating my birthday on my birthday, having gotten ahead in schoolwork previously.
Well, snowboarding starts soon, since Arapahoe Basin is scheduled to open in the next few weeks, so hopefully I’ll be able to get out there and shred some. Soccer’s been going well, and our last game I finally felt like I played great, even though we lost 3-1. My next game is today, followed by one on Saturday. Without going into too much detail, school’s been going fine. Grades in a few of my classes have gone down, while a few have gone up.
Steering away from that topic, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite places we traveled to or stayed in the past year – Nashville, Sedona, Atlanta, Austin, Keystone, Vegas, New Orleans, Ouray
- Sedona, AZ – June/July 2016 – Definitely at the top of the list. Although the temperature was sweltering hot, I had access to a high school track with a high jump pit, got to play tennis every day we were there, hiked to some pretty incredible places, and went to YoYoFactory. To top it all off, we got to participate in a 5-day Nike Tennis Camp, which I consider to be one of the most fun weeks of my life this past year.
- Austin, TX – November 2015, May 2016 – For me, going back to Austin is always an enjoyable experience (unless it’s in the dead of summer and it’s over 110 degrees). Staying for a few weeks last November definitely was a great decision, since we got to see all our friends down south once again. In May, we took a plane down to Austin, and even though it was only for a few days, I packed lots of memories into them. There’s something about Austin that just makes me want to always keep revisiting.
- Nashville, TN – August-November 2016 – Staying in Nashville was awesome, for a few reasons. We got to see our relatives, play tennis a TON, and most importantly (for me), I got a high jump coach, and got to high jump around two to three times a week! Celebrating my birthday here was fun, because I had a lot of family there, as my aunts and uncles that weren’t already there flew in from Texas. I had the crazy opportunity to attend a few weeks of a philosophy college course taught by my parent’s good friend, who is a professor at Belmont. I’d say I learned a substantial amount, and I still think about Descartes, Plato, and all the other philosophers and their ideas today.
- Atlanta, GA – November 2015 – We only stayed in Atlanta for a few days, but it honestly seemed like longer. We got to do and see many things, once even hitting the Georgia Aquarium, the Coca-Cola Museum, and the CNN Center all in one day. I have a lot of memories here, and I hope to return in the future.
- New Orleans, LA – November 2015 – On our way back to Austin last year, we passed through New Orleans. I got the chance to try my first beignet, not to mention a variety of amazing foods. We were only here for a few days, but it was an experience I want to repeat in the future.
- Keystone, CO – December 2015-June 2016 – We’ve been to and stayed in Keystone so many times it’s hard not to include it on this list. I have so many memories snowboarding on the mountain here, running snow-covered paths in the winter, and exploring the surrounding county. Although we’re not staying there this year, I know we’ll visit a lot this winter season.
- Ouray, CO – June 2016 – Staying here earlier this summer to kick off our summer travels was amazing. The views were amazing, the hikes were amazing, and the town was amazing. Almost every day we’d visit the park, whether it was to play Frisbee, go swimming in the hot spring pool, hang out in our hammocks, or offstring YoYo in the grass.
- Flint, TX – May 2016 – Earlier this year, after staying in Austin for around a week, we got the (rare) opportunity to see our best friends, the Halls, at their home in Flint. Just like every other time we see them, we packed a ton into just a few days, and had a crazy fun time. We played tennis, ultimate Frisbee, went for a run in the Texas heat, played some YoYo, and least importantly of all, played some Minecraft 😛
- Park City, UT – March 2016 – During the spring season, we took a trip out to Park City, UT with our friends the Burdiks. Although the snow wasn’t great, we had a great time shredding up the mountain with our boards, and in my case, my snowskate. Our friends had just gotten snowskates, and there was a snowboard run all the way down to the parking lot, so we decided to race some snowskatecross (it’s a thing). Naturally, I won. Most of the time. Well, the only time I would lose was when I gave them over a 20 second head start. Anyways, it was a great trip, and I definitely want to return.
- Las Vegas, NV – July 2016 – After leaving Sedona, we took a trip out to Las Vegas, Nevada, and before I start summarizing our time there, let me just say it was hot. Very, very hot. And that probably affected my experience there. Well, that and all the smoke coming from various casinos. We stayed at an awesome hotel, and every day we’d go out and explore the city. At night, the city was so bright and colorful it was a bit disorienting. We explored all over, walking all over downtown and on the Strip. I even went for a run in 115 degree weather (wrong idea), and that was… a unique experience. Dad celebrated his birthday here, and we went out for an awesome dinner at Therapy.
So those are my top ten favorite places I’ve been to in the last year! If I have time, I’ll try to write another blog post tomorrow or on the weekend, and I’ll hopefully include some pictures.