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a look back at 2013: our year in pictures

With the clock ticking down on the last hours of the year, we indulged in a bit of nostalgia, looking through our photographs from the past twelve months and reliving the highlights of a busy and adventure-filled year. We split 2013 between three continents, starting the year in Kenya, spending the summer months on home leave in the United States, and moving to Moldova in August. In addition to exploring a bit of our own homeland, we set foot in eight other countries, and hope to visit many others in the coming year.


We started January on safari, sharing our favorite part of living in Africa with D’s relatives and a couple of friends, before taking one last safari trip ourselves as we began to bid adieu to our wonderful first assignment with the Foreign Service.


Despite being slammed with work as Kenya prepared for elections in March, we made time over a long holiday weekend to take one last trip abroad to play in an ultimate frisbee tournament in Rwanda and see the gorillas in the country’s famed misty mountains.


In March, we both served as election monitors, traveling to remote corners of the country to observe one of the most crucial elections in Kenya’s 50-year history.


We greeted April — our last month in Kenya — on the beach. Before the rains began and we had to say our final goodbyes, we spent Easter weekend hanging out with friends and playing one last East Africa ultimate frisbee tournament.


Leaving Kenya on May 1, we spent a few days with D’s parents before heading West to visit friends and explore California. Yosemite. Death Valley. Lake Tahoe. Big Sur. Sierra Nevada. At first we had thought we would road trip across the United States but after spending three weeks driving around California, we had to admit that we barely even scratched the surface of what this state has to offer the adventurous tourist.


We returned to the East Coast in June to spend some time with both of our families. In addition to a small side trip to Chicago, we had the pleasure of seeing both D’s sister and one of his best friends get married.


Unfortunately, the trip to France in June marked the end of our summer fun, as D started training in preparation for his next assignment. He left for Moldova at the beginning of August, while S enjoyed one more week at home with her parents in Maine.


Like a politician on the campaign trail, Moldova showed off its best side in August. Gorgeous weather, fresh produce, and plenty to see and do as we settled into the rhythm of living in a new country.


Although the latter half of September was unseasonably cold, there were still plenty of long, sunny days and many interesting festivals to attend. While S traveled to Amsterdam and Berlin with her family, D found an ultimate frisbee team and escaped to Ukraine to play in a tournament in September.


In October, we both traveled to Ukraine, spending a week in Kiev and Lviv — two amazing and incredibly different cities that highlight the best of Ukraine.


After Kiev, we traveled to London, and then wrapped up our international travels with a Thanksgiving trip to Vienna.


Even before Chisinau’s streets were coated white with the winter’s first snowfall, we had hung up our traveling boots and become homebodies in anticipation of the long, cold season that lies ahead. We spent Christmas week moving and now that we have our new house in order, we are finally feeling fully settled. This peace won’t last long, however. S flies home in a couple of weeks to deliver, and a whole new set of adventures awaits us in 2014.

Happy New Year!

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Loved the blog – just moved back to Colorado after 7 years in California and so I am a huge fan of Tahoe, Big Sur, Yosemite (where my daughter was married in the meadow behind the gorgeous Ahwanee Lodge) and of course wine country, etc
    I cannot say enough about the beauty of California, except to say that Colorado has just as much to offer!

    December 31, 2013
    • We’ve only been to Colorado once. S had a public health conference and D tagged along because he had a couple of friends in Denver and another in Boulder. We did a little bit of hiking. Gotta say that the people we saw were probably some of the healthiest- and happiest-looking people on the planet. Everyone was hiking, biking, trail-running, and everyone was wearing a huge happy grin on their face. Definitely wish we had more than just a handful of days to spend there.

      December 31, 2013
      • you must come back – go to an outdoor concert at Red Rocks amphitheater, visit Aspen, Vail and Copper, go to a Bronco game, eat our great food, see some art galleries, go to the Denver Film Festival – see the Rockies with snow on them! Heaven!

        December 31, 2013
        • That’s the eternal dilemma of the wanderer — return to the places one loved to explore them more in depth or seek out new adventures in a new land. We try to do a bit of both; I suspect we’ll return to Colorado again. Thanks for the suggestions.

          January 1, 2014

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