My 2022 started off with a BANG and a HUGE snow storm. I remember waking up bright and early on the first Monday of 2023 to the Lilly Pulitzer Sunshine Sale online and a bunch of snow. Needless to say, I was psyched! Then, just a week later, we celebrated my dog Rosie’s 1 year Gotcha Day with balloons and lots of doggy toys and treats. Rosie was pissed that she had to pose for the camera on a chair – LOL! I celebrated 2 years as a blogger at a gorgeous vineyard (Potomac Point Winery) down in nearby Stafford, Virginia, which I’d love to visit again sometime in the warmer months. As January progressed, I spent much time indoors due to the chilly weather and the still then-prevalent Omicron COVID-19 variant. However, my social life started to excitedly kick in when I met up with my good friends Brittany and Brianna for brunch at Farmers Fishers Bakers at the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, DC for DC Restaurant Week. And, our friendships began to bloom!!
February was a month ALL about self love. It was PERFECT for Valentine’s Day! Having recently celebrated 6 months in the workforce, I had been able to finally meet up with a friend who I had connected with through my company and we had a blast. My best friend Bree also came to visit for a long weekend and we went to see Louis Tomlinson in concert at The Wharf’s The Anthem, which Bree was in heaven the entire time for! We, then, explored Bree’s old neighborhood in Herndon, Virginia and the gorgeous Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia. And, we ended the weekend with a day in Washington, DC (mainly the National Mall, though, with food truck hot dogs and ALL!) without a plan. The following weekend, I got to visit Hannah and Alanna down in Raleigh, North Carolina to celebrate Alanna’s 25th Birthday – Lilly Pulitzer-themed!! I got to see our friends Caroline and Jasmine, too. However, the end of February was tough as my brother got into an accident that totaled his car, leaving me to give him the family car that I drove so he could get to school (I work from home), and, thus, putting me on the market for a brand-new car.
My March kicked off with all-things car shopping and the stress that comes with it all. After a stressful few weeks, I found my now-car Daisy on a whim and it was THE BEST decision that I ever made – she is a little white car with safety features aka the only standards I had for my first car! During that time, I went on a fun outing with my friend Brittany to Foggy Bottom in Washington, DC and Pentagon Row in Pentagon City, Virginia and we had a great much-needed time. A week after getting Daisy, we went on our first ever road trip to Charlottesville, Virginia where I got to attend a work conference at the University of Virginia and visit with my Aunt Lisa, Uncle John, cousin Mary, cousin Joey, and cousin Matthew for some special family time. Also, I got to visit the iconic #IfThenSheCan exhibit – honoring Women in STEM at the National Mall twice – once with my best friend Shivani and the other time with my coworkers (Shivani tagged along on that outing too LOL!). The iconic Cherry Blossom Festival also kicked off and Shivani and I spent LOTS of time enjoying ALL that Washington, DC has to offer, including the monuments, Tidal Basin, and the Opening Ceremony at Warner Theatre.
Late Spring 2022 was a fun one! The Cherry Blossom Festival continued, Papa and I visited a local yet new-to-us historic mansion aka Gunston Hall, and I got to see The Bachelor Live at Warner Theatre with a coworker. My best friend Wyatt and I visited the iconic National Gallery of Art during their Spring-themed After Hours Party that’s FREE at the museum on a Thursday evening. My Birthday festivities started soon after a lovely Easter with family, including Georgetown Cupcake, lemon drop martini’s, seeing family friend Amy Wright at Bitty’s & Beau’s on Opening Day in Georgetown, getting flocked (thanks Mom!!!), and lunch with Dad in the gorgeous historic town of Occoquan, Virginia. Soon after the Birthday festivities ended, I road tripped with Daisy down to Raleigh, North Carolina to celebrate my best friend Hannah’s graduation from Meredith College. It was a blast yet bittersweet getting to visit my sweet alma mater one year post-graduation. Afterwards, we had a huge potluck with Hannah’s family and friends AND a pool party. Many more friendships bloomed which led to us all taking a super fun trip to Asheville, North Carolina that August. While late Spring was a tough month on me mentally despite all the excitement, there were so many blessings as mentioned above!
Summer 2022 was a fun one! My best friend Bree started her internship in Ballston, Arlington, Virginia in June and moved to her old neighborhood of Herndon, Virginia for the summer. Bree and I had A TON of summer adventures in the Washington, DC area, including: a rained out Halsey concert, a visit to Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood, a stroll through the National Mall at night on a rainy and foggy Friday, a day trip to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and a walk through Old Town Alexandria. We had A BLAST!!! My best friend Amanda also came to visit me from New Jersey and we tried a mega bucket list restaurant item for me – The Hamilton – and it was GREAT. I took Bree and Amanda both to The Winery at Bull Run aka my favorite vineyard. Bree and I also visited my Dad and Step Mom at their home in Bethany Beach, Delaware and it was an epic adventure. On the same token, we also went to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit our best friends Allison, Alanna, Hannah, Sarah, and Drew for a Big Time Rush concert. As we were heading back, we sadly got stranded for 5 hours at a North Carolina gas station due to an accident which I had sadly gotten in a few days before heading to work via being rear-ended just minutes away from my office. At the same time, I got to attend a super-fun work function at a Washington Nationals game and meet many other coworkers that I hadn’t been able to meet due to the virtual work environment. I also got to meet some of Bree’s coworkers as her Plus One to a work happy hour event in the gorgeous Washington, DC Dupont Circle neighborhood. So much whirlwind of adventures – haha!
In August, I got to take my first-ever week off from my 9-5 job to hit the road with my Papa and dog Rosie for Maine. We had the BEST time!!! We stopped in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, saw the Portland Head Light, visited my family reunion favorite stop of East Grand Lake, took a day trip to Canada, and drove up the top of Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park. My vacation was much-needed and a few days later I set off for North Carolina to celebrate my best friend Kearra’s Birthday. Me, Aspen, Hannah, Alanna, Rachel, and Kearra and I all had an amazing time together as we saw The Biltmore, made candles, enjoyed gorgeous mountain views, and explored The Biltmore Village. Asheville has been on my bucket list for YEARS, too!! However, as we were driving home from Asheville, I got the call that my grandad who I called Deedat had passed. I was super sad and ended up taking off from North Carolina early to be with family and grief.
September was a tough month at the start. It started off with me and Papa having to cancel our then-planned road trip to Iowa and South Dakota due to Deedat’s passing. I, then, ventured off to Delaware to be with my Dad and my Step Mom for Labor Day weekend at the beach and Deedat’s funeral to follow. While a rough time and sad for us all, it was great to be able to spend time with my Dad’s family and relish on memories with Deedat’s loved ones. My friends Brianna and Brittany and I met up recently after the funeral, too, and we were all going through rough times. It was nice to meet and know that NONE of us were and are ever alone. But, at the same time, the Lilly Pulitzer Sunshine Sale and shopping in-person at The Pink Crab in Annapolis gave me a lot of much-needed sunshine. I remember talking to my boss and we both agreed that we were ready for a brand-new season, so, bring on Fall!!!
Fall 2022 was a fun one!! It started off with a trip to see my best friend Bree at her college East Carolina University and meet up with our besties Hannah and Alanna for the East Carolina University VS Naval Academy game. I loved getting to see Bree’s campus and meet some of her college friends that she’s talked A TON about. Papa and I visited two pumpkin patches along with our annual visit to Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive to see the iconic Fall Foliage. I got to see Hamilton live on a solo date at the iconic Kennedy Center. My best friend Haley and I also visited our bestie Violet who is a Nursing student at Philadelphia’s Drexel University. Philadelphia is one of my all-time favorite cities, so it was GREAT to be back! I also got to meet up with my bestie Amanda who lives in the nearby New Jersey suburbs for dinner in the city. I ended Fall with a trip to my alma mater Meredith College’s iconic Cornhuskin’ Homecoming tradition to experience it all as an Alumnae with Papa and Rosie. I saw SO many great friends from my college years and it was such a special time!
Once Papa, Rosie, and I got back from Cornhuskin’, we started to get into the Christmas spirit! Brianna, Brittany, and I visited this adorable cafe/bar called Virginia’s Darling in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The following weekend, my best friend Hannah came to visit for her conference in Washington, DC and we did ALL the things, such as: the Downtown Holiday Market, Old Town Alexandria’s King Street, Old Ebbitt Grill, the White House (with a preview of The National Christmas Tree), The Willard Intercontinental Hotel, and *of course* Shake Shack. It was a great way to kick off the holiday season before Thanksgiving, which included great family time, seeing Frozen Live by the National Symphony Orchestra with Brianna and Brittany, and a trip to Leesburg, Virginia to see the Lucketts Store Holiday House. I, then, had a bit of a health scare during early-mid December as I got really tired and had to miss out on some work networking events along with Hannah’s Birthday weekend in Raleigh. While disappointing, everything worked out health-wise and I am thankfully OKAY. Luckily, I got to spend some time with my Dad and meet their newly adopted rescue Yorkie Ginger and snuggle with her as I processed it all. The same goes for time with Papa, too. However, when I got the GREAT health-related news, I went out on the town to the Library of Congress’s Late Night Live at the Library for a fun time with Brianna and Brittany. The year closed with some quality family time, including an outing to the US Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greenings Display with my Mom, dinner with my Papa at National Harbor with espresso martini’s, and visiting Enchant with my bestie Stephanie.
One of my other holiday season highlights was getting to help plan and be the social media point of contact for STEM For Her’s first-ever STEM For Her Day! STEM For Her is a nonprofit organization focused on facilitating interest in STEM and teaching girls about career paths in STEM. They focus on empowering the next generation of women in STEM with an emphasis on underserved communities. Needless to say, at STEM For Her Day, I got to meet some incredible people, like: WUSA 9’s Kaitlyn McGrath, PillowTalk Derm’s founder, two IF/THEN ambassadors, and Toni Townes Whitley. It was A BLAST and such a needed day. STEM For Her Day also ignited my passion for empowering the next generation of women in STEM!!
Here’s to MANY more adventures in 2023! Happy New Year!
XOXO – Katie <3