Looking back at the year reminds me that, while it wasn’t perfect, my family and I were incredibly fortunate and experienced a lot of joy together. Here are some of my favorites of 2016.
Favorite hotel: Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort
Staying here had been high on my bucket list. Speaking of favorites, giraffes are my favorite animal. I always wanted to say I’d seen them from the balcony of my room. Getting to do so was even more wonderful than I imagined. Animal Kingdom Lodge, and particularly the cast members there, exceeded my expectations.
Favorite album: Hamilton: An American Musical
Hamilton: An American Musical wins this one, hands down. And I know the Hamilton Mixtape is also mind blowing, but the Broadway cast recording will always have a special place in my heart.
Favorite song: Crazy by Ben Rector
I know, it’s a little crazy (no pun intended) that a song from Hamilton didn’t take this one, but hear me out. Lots of people are familiar with “Brand New,” the break out single from Ben Rector’s album of the same name. But the song that sums up 2016 best for me is “Crazy.” It reminds me how much I love my life and my street and makes me want to wiggle my butt deep into the couch cushion and relish everything that is home and comfort to me. There isn’t a video for it yet, but please have a listen and you’ll understand why I delight in saying, “Apps for everyone!”
Favorite girls’ weekend destination: Saugatuck, Michigan
I’ve been wanting to get to Saugatuck for years now, and was thrilled to finally make it this fall when I went with some wonderful friends on a girls’ weekend here.
Favorite book: Please don’t make me pick!
This one is tough. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Neiquist was powerful, and it was both comforting in challenging in the way that good friends can be.
In a word: Yum! I had every form of butterbeer possible: straight up, frozen, and as ice cream. All were delicious. I worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I needn’t have done so. It did. And if I had to pick a favorite, I’d say straight up is the way to go.
Favorite taste treat: Chocolate Piñata at Uncle Julio’s
An interactive dessert sounds a little wacky, but it’s really, really fun. And look, there’s fruit! So it’s healthy, right?
While my massage and facial were heavenly, I especially loved that hotel guests could take advantage of the spa amenities and pool at any time during our stay.
Favorite mother-daughter weekend spot: New Buffalo, Michigan
My teen daughter and I had a great time at this destination that’s just a few hours from Chicago. It felt like we were worlds away and on the coast, not in the Midwest.
Favorite Cause: Shot@Life
Around the world, a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. I’m not okay with that, so I’m working to change it through Shot@Life, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation that works to get vaccines to developing countries.
You May Also Like:
Don’t miss a post! Please subscribe to Between Us Parents’ safe, spam-free email list in the box in the top right corner of the page!