Best of 2012

It’s the end of the year and many people are talking about the highlights of 2012.  My 2012 was pretty remarkable, so I decided I should properly document the most exciting, memorable, and epic adventures of the last year of my 20s!

In March, I did a Spring Break Trip to Italy with some AMAZING friends.  This was my third trip to Italy, and probably the most memorable due to the funny stories like the random man from the Czech Republic we met at our Roman hostel or the tour around the Uffizi Museum with my art professor aunt who explained the artwork like the details of the Birth of Venus and analyzed Michelangelo’s Holy Family.  We went to places I hadn’t been (Pisa, Sienna, Cinque Terre, and Burano Island) and did things I hadn’t before (attending Vivaldi’s Four Season concert and a bike tour around Rome).  We definitely created memories I will not forgot!

Florence Italy

Florence ItalyVenice Italy

Leaning Tower of PisaTrevi Fountain

Cinque Terre

In June, I did a quick visit to New York City with a great friend before she moved overseas.  She desperately wanted to visit the Big City before leaving the States and I never turn down an opportunity to visit a place that has one of my best friends and some of my favorite desserts!

Times Square

New York City

Baked By Melissa

New York City Skyline

Times Square

A spent the month of July studying at the University of Oxford where I made tons of international friends (perfect excuses to visit other countries) and studied History & Politics with a bunch of super legit professors who challenged like never before.  We day tripped around southern England and explored every part of Oxford.  Shopped, ate, played foosball, and lounged on the college green.

Exeter Chapel

Waddenson Manor

Radcliffe Camera

Christ Church College

Oxford

Post Oxford, I took a mini trip to Paris where I learned about French history (from a friend I made while at Oxford) AND this is where I found one of my newest loves, Ladurée macaroons!  I saw the Mona Lisa, heard the organ play in the Norte Dame Cathedral, and climbed a billion stairs (yes, that is an exact count) to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Norte Dame

Louvre

Eiffel TowerLaduree Macaroons

At the end of my grand tour around the United Kingdom, I hit up the Olympics with a friend from back home (in Glasgow and London).  We saw the U.S. Women’s Soccer team win their first match on their way to winning the Gold Medal and the U.S. Women’s Synchronized Diving team win the Silver Medal.  We also watched the Italian Volleyball team squeak out  a win against Japan.  We packed ourselves onto the Tube after events I hung out in Hyde Park watching the Games on the big screen with the locals.

Olympics 2012 Soccer

Olympics 2012 Diving

Olympics 2012 Volleyball

Throughout my 2012 journeys, I managed to go to FOUR Botanic Gardens (which is a not-so-secret addiction of mine) in Salt Lake City, Oxford, Glasgow, and Memphis.  Four in one year is certainly epic.

Rose

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Glasgow Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Garden

Oxford Botanic Garden

The most exciting part of the year is when I became an aunt!  I’m not going to lie, it’s a little weird because I don’t feel old enough for my sister to have a child (or my parents old enough to be grandparents for that matter).  But apparently we are and we are all better for it!  And yes, his onesie does say “I Love My Aunt.”

Aunt2012 certainly did bring memories that I will never forgot.  So bring it on 2013, let’s see what grand journeys you will offer!
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