2017 Year Highlights

2017 is coming to an end, and 2018 is about to begin. How crazy is that?! Before heading into the new year, I decided I wanted to look back on this past year and see my 2017 year highlights. Come check it out!

2017 Year Highlights

Can you believe it? 2017 is coming to an end, and 2018 is about to begin. Although I started my blog back in 2016, at the beginning of 2017 was when I really decided to start taking it more seriously. I did a lot of research, joined several Facebook groups, and really dedicated a lot of time and effort into Life with Larissa. I know I still have a long way to go before my blog is where I would like it to be, but I’m beyond happy with the progress I have made so far. Not only have I made strides in my blog, but I’ve also met some really cool bloggers, done numerous collaborations, and started my own travel blogging Facebook group! Let’s take a look back at the 2017 year highlights:

january 2017:

The beginning of the year 2017 started off with me heading back to my alma mater, Campbell University. Each athletic team on campus has a day/night game, meet, or match that is dedicated to the seniors, known as Senior Night. It’s a pretty big deal – parents come out, flowers are given, and it’s a huge celebration! Alice is from Sweden, so her parents weren’t able to come out, as they understandably wanted to fly out for her graduation. So Alice asked several alum to walk her out – I was honored to be one of the ones asked! I was more than happy to be able to celebrate both Alice and Olivia during their Senior Meet, and to reconnect and hang out with other CU Swim alumni!

Walking Alice Out for Her Senior Meet
Walking Alice Out for Her Senior Meet
The Two Seniors
The Two Seniors – Alice and Olivia
CU Swim Alumi Celebrating the Seniors
CU Swim Alumi Celebrating the Seniors

february 2017:

I don’t think I did anything too exciting in February. The most exciting thing that happened was that I turned Alice’s favorite number – 24.

march 2017:

Ever since freshmen, my college best friend, Heather, and I have spent every spring break together. We didn’t think the tradition should stop after we graduated college, so we continued going on our “spring break” trips. Two years after graduation, on our 6th “spring break” together, we decided to go on a cruise to the Bahamas! We went on the Carnival Ecstasy and made stops at Half Moon Cay and Nassau. We had a blast, and of course just enjoyed spending time with each other! Read more about my thoughts on the Carnival Ecstasy here πŸ™‚

Carnival Ecstasy
Carnival Ecstasy
The Lido Deck
The Lido Deck
Laughing in the Crystal Clear Waters of Half Moon Cay
Laughing in the Crystal Clear Waters of Half Moon Cay
Pool Bar at Breezes Resort in Nassau
Pool Bar at Breezes Resort in Nassau
Kayaking in Nassau
Kayaking in Nassau

april 2017:

Who’s lucky enough to have two spring breaks? This girl! As my coaching job follows the schedule of the public school systems, we were off for their spring break. So my sister, Brit, and I headed to Honolulu, Hawaii to visit one of my college friends and teammates! We had an absolute blast swimming in the ocean, learning about the Polynesian culture, and just enjoying the the ways of Hawaiian life! Read about the Go Oahu Card and our experience in Hawaii!

Welcome to Hawaii
Welcome to Hawaii
Brit and I on a Catamaran Tour
Brit and I on a Catamaran Tour
Views from the Pillbox Hike
Views from the Pillbox Hike
Brit with Turtle
Brit with Turtle
Shakas on Electric Beach
Shakas on Electric Beach

may 2017:

This month, I had the amazing opportunity to witness the union of a college teammate and her now husband. It was a beautiful wedding, and I’m so happy to have been such a wondrous day! This is the group from Campbell that travelled near and far to southern Georgia to help Carly and Phil celebrate their amazing day!

Carly's Wedding
Carly’s Wedding

At the end of the month, my family and I headed down to Sarasota, Florida to kick off the beginning of summer! This was our first road trip with our dog, Biggs. We had a lot of fun, and it was a much needed relaxing trip for the family!

Brit & Biggs in the Pool
Brit & Biggs in the Pool
Loungin' in the Pool
Loungin’ in the Pool

I also decided to start my own Facebook for travel bloggers, called Life with Travel. This decision was one that definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I have no regrets. I wanted to create a community to share travel stories & pictures; discover new cultures & destinations; and support & encourage each other. I’ve met some of the most amazing travel bloggers, and read some of the most incredible stories. I am continually learning lots – about blogging and about travelling – through the wonderful individuals that are a part of the group!

Life with Travel Facebook Group

june 2017:

At the end of the month, my sister and I headed down to Orlando, Florida for Fourth of July weekend. We drove straight to Disney World to meet up with one of our long-time friends, Courtney, who works there. We spent the day at Disney, and even had the chance to get a glimpse of Pandora!

Pandora
Pandora
I Look Like I'm Having Fun, But I Actually Hate Roller Coasters :)
I Look Like I’m Having Fun, But I Actually Hate Roller Coasters πŸ™‚

july 2017:

Brit and I were still down in Orlando, and we spent the rest of our weekend with our cousin, JoJo. We hit up UniversalΒ for the day, and that was a lot of fun. I stayed away from all the roller coasters, but there still lots of different rides I could go on – and of course, we made a trip to Harry Potter World! FYI – the frozen Butterbeer is way better than the original!

Universal for the Day
Universal for the Day
Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Three Broomsticks
Three Broomsticks

Later that month, JoJo’s brother was throwing a baby shower, so we drove up to Virginia to help them celebrate! It was nice to get some of the family together, even if it was only for a weekend.

Baby Shower for Kev and Paris
Baby Shower for Kev and Paris

At the end of the month, I made another trip to Orlando because there’s no such thing as spending too much time with your cousin [if you have ones as cool as mine], and who doesn’t love going to Florida! JoJo and I went to the Kennedy Space Center for the first time, and it was very educational!

Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center

august 2017:

I was still in Orlando at the beginning of the month. JoJo and I had so many different activities planned throughout the week I was there – a food tour, a cocktail cruise, an escape room, the shooting range, and so many other ideas! Can you believe almost all of our plans fell through for various reasons? Hahaha it was the like the week that wasn’t meant to be; however, we were able to go to the escape room [we didn’t escape πŸ™ ], and we went to the shooting range for the first time! We also made our own cocktails, our own food, and we enjoyed a good game of bowling!

Shooting Range
Shooting Range

I got accepted into the Master’s program of Public Health at Georgia State University, and I started school again. It’s definitely been an exciting adventure, and I realized just how much I missed learning. Throughout this semester, I’ve had some of the best professors to help ease me back into school, and I even had the opportunity to meet the dean.

First Day of Class
First Day of Class

september 2017:

I had the opportunity to attend Music Midtown in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia. This is a two-day outdoor music festival filled with great talent, delicious food, and fabulous people. There’s something for everyone at these festivals, and the people-watching is phenomenal! Everyone is just here to have a good time, and the vibe is just awesome! Some of the musicians in the line-up included Big Sean, Mumford & Sons, Bastille, Weezer, Blink-182, Milky Chance, Zara Larsson, Young the Giant, Future, and so many more! One of my favorite performances of the festival was Bruno Mars! It was so much fun – and he was such an energetic performer!

Music Midtown Group
Music Midtown Group
Music Midtown Pass
Music Midtown Pass
Midtown Festivities
Midtown Festivities
Bruno Mars was AH-MAZING
Bruno Mars was AH-MAZING

october 2017:

This month was filled with various activities – the Georgia State Fair, winning a trip to St. Simon’s Island, and having my first glassblowing experience! I went to The Georgia State Fair with my sister, Brit. It was fun for a little bit, but it’s not really my scene. Brit enjoyed playing various fair games and won a stuffed animal! We also indulged in fried Oreos and fried cookie dough – not as good as we’ve previously had before.

Go Camels!
Go Camels!
Brit Won the Turtle
Brit Won the Turtle
Fried Oreos and Fried Cookie Dough
Fried Oreos and Fried Cookie Dough

A few days later, my mom and I headed over to St. Simons Island, Georgia because I WON A TRIP! I’m still in disbelief that it actually happened. We were able to attend the St. Simons Island Food + Spirit Festival, check out the St. Simons Lighthouse, and even head over to Jekyll Island to spend some time over there. It was a lot of fun, relaxing, and I’m so happy I was able to spend that time with my mom! I have reviews of The Georgia Sea Turtle, The King & Prince Beach and Golf Resort, and I also wrote about my experience at the St. Simons Food + Spirit Festival – check them out if you’re interested!

Mom and I in Front the of the Welcome Sign - The Georgia Sea Turtle Center
Me and Mom in Front of The Georgia Sea Turtle Center Sign
Tasting Under the Oaks - VIP section - St Simons Island Food Spirits Festival
Tasting Under the Oaks – VIP section – St Simons Island Food Spirits Festival

During the middle of the month, my friend Derek and I attended our first glassblowing class! I did not expect it to be as cool as it was. I’m so happy Derek invited me to go. We got to see each and every step of glass making, and then we were able to conduct each step with the help of our teacher! Read about Decatur Glassblowing, and get the full scope on our experience!

Blowing Glass - Decatur Glassblowing
Blowing Glass
Pinching Off the Pumpkin - Decatur Glassblowing
Pinching Off the Pumpkin
Take a close-up look! - Decatur Glassblowing
Take a close-up look!

november 2017:

I visited my first Asian country – Japan! One of my best friends from high school, Vika – her boyfriend, Telal – and I went to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto! It was an experience of a lifetime, and I’m so happy I was able to go. We got to go on a MariCar Tour! We ate so many different tasty treats and so many noodles – saw various different sights, and I got to meet Vika’s friends from college – Kaori and Taku. I also had the chance to meet Kaori’s boyfriend, Wayne. They are so nice, and showed us around the cities! I even put together a photo essay of Japan!

Zojojo Temple and Tokyo Tower - Tokyo
Zojojo Temple and Tokyo Tower
Our excitement to be out on the streets of Tokyo Mario Kart style - MariCar Tour
Our excitement to be out on the streets of Tokyo Mario Kart style
Japanese Sayings in the Garden - Osaka and Kyoto
Japanese Sayings in the Garden

december 2017:

The first weekend of December, we drove up to Virginia to celebrate our cousin, Kevin, getting married to Paris! It was a small, intimate wedding, and truly a beautiful ceremony. We spent the weekend having fun and hanging out. We got to meet our two new baby cousins [not pictured], and got to see our family again!

Kev and Paris Get Married
Kev and Paris Get Married
Cousins at the Wedding
Cousins at the Wedding

A few days later, can you believe Georgia had snowfall?! I was talking to one of my friends from Canada and she was telling me that they hadn’t even had snow yet! It was crazy!! SNOW COVERED EVERYTHING! I’ve never seen anything like it! It happened so fast – trees were literally breaking and falling from the weight of the snow. But we made the most of it, and went outside and played in the snow, and of course had a snowball fight with Biggs!

Larissa, Biggs, and Brit
Larissa, Biggs, and Brit

At the end of the month, the fam and one of Brit’s friends, decided to go check out the Atlanta Botanical Garden Lights! I had seen pictures from a fellow blogger, and they expressed how much fun they had, so off we went to see for ourselves! Absolutely no regrets. It was a beautiful display of lights and music – and you can even enjoy hot drinks and s’mores [unless you’re there super close to closing, which was our case, so we just made s’mores at home]. But seriously, we all had a great time, and I highly recommend going to see it!

Atlanta Botanical Garden Lights
Atlanta Botanical Garden Lights
Pretty Lights
Pretty Lights
Pretty Pathway of Lights
Pretty Pathway of Lights
Larissa, Taylor, & Brit at the Garden Lights
Larissa, Taylor, & Brit at the Garden Lights

2017 year highlights:

As is with each year, 2017 was filled with many trials and tribulations, but it was also filled with family, happiness, adventures, and love. I want to thank each of you who has supported Life with Larissa as I continue to find my voice in this blogging community. There are times when blogging can becoming overwhelming and challenging, but each step is a learning experience, and I am blessed to have this opportunity to share my life with you! I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2018, and I look forward to sharing those adventures as well!

44 thoughts on “2017 Year Highlights”

  1. Oh my gosh you’ve crammed so much into a year – it puts me to shame. Music Midtown looked incredible – very jealous!

    Hope 2018 is as exciting for you as 2017 was!

    1. At the time, I didn’t think I was doing anything, but looking back, I realized I did do a lot this year! Music Midtown was so much fun! I’m sure you had some great times in 2017 πŸ™‚ I hope you have a very happy New Year, and a great 2018!

  2. These posts are my favourite, I love reading what kind of year one has been for someone and your 2017 looks like it has been amazing. There are some great photos in the post, the Fried Oreos and Fried Cookie Dough looks delicious! Have an amazing New Year and wishing you all the best for 2018!

    Emmie

    1. These are also my favorite posts as well – not only to write, but to read! It’s so much fun to go back and look at what one has done throughout the year. Thank you for your kind words πŸ™‚ I hope you have a great New Year, and a fabulous 2018!

  3. What a busy year! You’ve inspired me to compile my year. It is so great to be able to look back and be thankful for all the travel each of us has the opportunity to complete. There are so many things that could prevent us from doing what we love. Here’s to 2018! A Thankful Traveler

    1. I’m so happy to hear I inspired you to compile your year! You’ll have to share it with me when you’re done πŸ™‚ I am definitely blessed to have so many opportunities to travel, and to share them here on Life with Larissa. I’m so grateful for each opportunity. I hope you have a great New Year and a wonderful 2018!

    1. Thank you so much! I wouldn’t call myself a world traveller yet, but I’m working on it πŸ™‚ I hope you have a fabulous New Year and an even better 2018!

  4. I just have to say that I am so incredibly jealous because you did two of my bucket list items this year. 1. Harry Potter World!!! and 2. Glass blowing. I so want to do both of them someday.

    1. I hope you’ll be able to do both in 2018! Harry Potter World is so amazing! The attention to detail is truly breathtaking. I honestly felt like I was at in the Wizarding world. Make sure you get the frozen butterbeer! And glassblowing is so much fun. You’ll have to do that as well!

  5. I am a Life Coach and Social Media Consultant, I have been blogging since 2008, blogging is definitely a journey! A fun one, but not always an easy one for sure. I put in a request to join your facebook group, to be honest I got into the whole groups thing kind of late and am still trying to get the hang of it all.

    I am a cruise virgin so I really need to work on taking a cruise in 2018 since I hear so much about it. I love to travel and have done a bit of international travel but all by plane.

    1. Tracy, that’s awesome! Congratulations on 10 years of blogging. That is so incredible. More than me, you definitely know the challenges of blogging, but also, how rewarding it can be!

      So happy to hear you put in a request for the group. You should be able to access it now πŸ™‚ I look forward to seeing what you have to share, and I look forward to learning from you as well! The trick for me when it comes to group is to not be a part of too many – that can become overwhelming very quickly!

      I hope you’ll be able to cruise this year. You’ll have to let me know if you do go on one! You’ll have so much fun πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Jordan! Same to you πŸ™‚ I also hope you get to try a fried Oreo – a really good one! They are very interesting, but if done right, they’ll keep you coming back for more!

  6. I find this concept so cute and inspiring πŸ™‚ It’s just a great way to really see the positive things of your year in perspective! And it ends up being an amazing motivation tool for the year to come! Wish you the best for 2018! πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Maria! It was definitely great to be able to see what all I had done throughout the year, and be appreciative and grateful for all the opportunities! Happy New Year, and may 2018 be filled with greatness!

  7. I can’t believe all the bucket list type places you went in a matter of months! So so cool! What sport did/do you play? The cruise looked amazing and I hope Hawaii was amazing for you as well! I just went to Maui and fell in love with it!

    1. I still have trouble believing that I’ve been to some of the places that I went to. Hawaii was truly breathtaking, and I wish to go back. I heard Maui was incredible, so I’d love to visit one day. The cruise was so much fun, mostly because I able to spend time with my best friend! And I’ve been a competitive swimmer for about 13ish years now. I just can’t seem to stay away from water! Haha..Happy New Year!

  8. Wow Larissa, first off, Happy New Year for 2018. It is not yet 2018 but it is 1 hour and 56 minutes away, or technically it is NY at our home in Auckland, NZ.

    Secondly, what a busy year you have had! Well done. You have really been all over things. Keep it up. Here is to another proactive year ahead.

    I better get back to writing our last post for 2017.

    All the best for the year to come. Happy New Year, from the Tipsy Travelers.

    1. Happy New Year to you as well! I’m excited to see what this year has in store for both of us – and I’m excited to keep up with your adventures πŸ™‚ I’m wishing you the best as well throughout this year!

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