A couple of highlights from this past year:
Best Festival: Hogs for the Cause. Great food, better cause. I splurged on the 100 dollar ticket this year, and it was probably the best monetary decision I made. For all the food from the contestants that I could eat and all the Nola beer I could drink, my money was going to patients with pediatric brain cancer. Oh, and some of the best local music acts around
Best Meal in New Orleans : Herbsaint on our anniversary. Spaghetti with a fried egg, followed by the best roast chicken I’ve ever had, and cucumber sorbet for desert. That meal was the second best at my table.
Best Concert: While it was close race with Neil Young and Glen Campbell, seeing Bruce Springsteen at Jazz Fest was by far the most joyful show I have ever seen. Grown men crying at “My City of Ruin” at one moment then dancing “Mary Don’t You Weep No More” made for possibly the best show I’ve ever seen. Worth every moment of heat exhaustion.
Best Meal In a Foreign Country: Being history nerds, we don’t often plan out our meals when traveling. We normally just eat at tourist traps mainly because we are near the touristy things. Well, near the Coliseum this past summer, we were just plain hungry and didn’t care about getting a great meal. The menu was in every language, an obvious sign that locals don’t frequent this place. Yet, the food was amazing. Maybe we were just hungry, but the Cacio e Pepe and stewed lamb was simply amazing. And having the ruins of Rome in the background made for a memorable meal.
Best Walk: This could have easily been Rome, Dubrovnik, Barcelona or Venice. However, we walked the Rock N Roll half marathon this past year. We planned on running, but illnesses and other things got in the way. But we did walk it. The whole thing. We finished. And when it comes to a half marathon, finishing is a great accomplishment.
Geekiest Moment: Meeting most of Star Trek: The Next Generation Cast. Still have to meet Patrick Stewart and Wil Wheaton but more to come on that adventure.
Best Gelato: Beet and lime gelato at La Divina. Vegetables made into an art.
Best Movie Experience: Seeing Color Me Obsessed: A Film about The Replacements at the Zeitgeist Multi- Disciplinary Arts Center. A group of die-hard Replacement fans watching a movie that was as much about them as their favorite band. This band’s music is the soundtrack for my life.
Best moment that should have been a horrible experience: Camping in Fort Wilderness in Disney World in mid-July. I thought it would be too hot. However, the lows were in the low 70s every night. Best three nights of sleep I got this year. Perfect three days except for the psychotic squirrel. He was out to kill us all.
Last year, I must have been cranky. I wrote about a few bad experiences. Maybe the holiday spirit is getting to me but I can only think of positive experiences from the past year. I mean the second day in Venice was probably a horrible experience by our European Cruise standards, but it’s hard to complain about a second day in Venice.
Looking forward to 2013, I plan on doing more cooking (and blogging about it). We are planning on going on a study abroad so we definitely will be writing about that. To anyone and everyone that took the time to read our blog this year, thank you. As I told a friend the other night, if you find a way to stay creative you have found the way to stay young. This blog, and doing things to write about it, keeps us young. Hope you all have a great 2013!
Updated: I did forget to update this post with some sad news. I didn’t know the man nor did I frequent his bar, but it was really horrible to hear John Hogan of Parasol’s died. I’ve been to Parasol’s three times in the past year and had a great time each time. In fact, Cristina and I celebrated taking and passing the GRE by having a roast beef po-boy at the Constance Street Bar. Parasol’s pulled pork sandwich was one of the best dishes at the Gambit’s Food Revue we went to in March. May John rest in peace.