Searching back on 2018 | C’est Christine


All in all: 2018 was a pretty great year. I went to 3 new nations (Slovenia, Japan, Estonia), which fulfills an ongoing annual purpose of mine (3 new nations, which includes one particular birthday in a new country–something I’ve managed to preserve up due to the fact moving to New York City in 2012). I explored far more of California and Mexico, went back to London and Paris, spent lots of time in New York City. I did nicely in my day job. We celebrated at friends’ weddings, held friends’ newborn babies, warmed friends’ new residences. I published a book (!). My husband and I purchased a home (!). Malibu wine safari

This year felt like a giant whirlwind, one particular that I do not know if I’ve been capable to appropriately slow down and appreciate really however. I didn’t entirely achieve my new year’s resolutions: I nonetheless really feel like I will need a healthier every day schedule (my every day meditation habit has entirely slipped), and regardless of taking some Spanish lessons, I nonetheless can not hold a conversation. There are nonetheless so quite a few far more locations to go to for the very first time, and ones I’d really like to revisit, and issues we want to do to the home. Despite the fact that I’m pretty significantly seeking forward to 2019, here’s a speedy recap of the highlights of 2018: Iron Mountain hiking views in San Diego, California

San Diego

All round, 2018 definitely cemented how content we are with our choice to move to San Diego. We found hiking trails and surf spots, became loyal to particular coffee shops and fitness studios, and showed off our favored locations to watch a sunset or grab a fancy cocktail to out-of-towners. And, of course, we purchased a home! We’ve been enjoying settling into our new neighborhood and tinkering with updates to the home and yard. [A weekend guide to San Diego, if you’re interested!]

Christine A. Merrill at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City El Moro hot chocolate and churros in Condesa, Mexico City

Mexico City

Without the need of a doubt, one particular of my favored trips this year was celebrating our very first anniversary in Mexico City. We completely loved CDMX: it had stunning (and colorful!) architecture, extraordinary meals (at all price tag points), a wide assortment of museums and cultural activities and a pretty dog-friendly hipster neighborhood. It was one particular of the coolest, most vibrant, most very affordable and most pug-friendly cities I’ve ever been to. It promptly got on our brief list of locations that we would really like to go back to, once more and once more. Campera Bubble Hotel in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico

Exploring far more of Mexico

Exploring far more of Mexico was higher on my priorities this year, due to the fact it was our very first complete year of living in San Diego (just a 20-minute drive to the border!). We went craft beer tasting in Tijuana with mates and wine tasting (in a bubble!) in Valle de Guadalupe. Both trips produced Mexico really feel so significantly far more accessible (even with my poor Spanish expertise) and reinforced how significantly I really like traveling right here: the nation is so massive, with so significantly diversity in culture and meals traditions and landscapes. I nonetheless really feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface, and appear forward to do checking out far more locations in 2019 (present debate: Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas?!).Christine Amorose Merrill and Jillian Wishart at Lodge at Torrey PinesAly Gill, Christine Merrill and Katelyn Downey in Laguna Beach

Annual girls trips in So Cal

Even even though the climate didn’t really cooperate for our girls weekend at Torrey Pines (out of all of the weekends to rain!), we nonetheless produced the most of Jillians’ time in town. I got to show off some of San Diego’s cutest shops and most photogenic coffee and cocktail spots, and we got lots of ocean views and relaxation in as nicely. This was our fourth annual weekend trip with each other, and I’m so grateful that we’ve continued to make it a priority–even via babies, job adjustments, and cross-nation moves! I also had my second annual girls trip in Laguna Beach with two of my greatest mates, a further weekend getaway that is generally so significantly exciting and I’m so thrilled continues to be a top rated priority. Christine Amorose Merrill

Lots and lots of New York trips

Anytime persons ask me if I miss living in New York City, I can honestly say that I do not: it is so significantly far more exciting to pay a visit to, and I’ve been fortunate sufficient to pay a visit to A LOT this year. From a weekend girls trip with Aly (my BFF and former Brooklyn roommate!) at the peak of cherry blossom season to a handful of function trips to getting back for the holidays: I have gotten my fill of the essential NYC carbohydrates (bagels, pizza, spicy chicken sandwiches from Commodore!) and had lots of possibilities to catch up with mates.

Views of the river in Soca Valley Lake Bled, Slovenia Jamnik Church on a mountain in Slovenia

The magic of Slovenia

The spot that most shocked me this year was undoubtedly Slovenia: I anticipated to like it, but I didn’t count on to Enjoy it as significantly as I did. All of the brilliant turquoise water, the castles in the middle of lakes and churches perched on mountaintops, the cobblestone streets and colorful architecture: almost everything felt like a fairytale. It was also the very first massive solo adventure I’ve carried out in a although: I loved driving alone via the Slovenian and Italian Alps, getting capable to to cease anytime the heck I wanted to cease and drinking a glass of wine although reading a book with, really frankly, one particular of the greatest views of my life. David & Christine Merrill in Teton Village, Wyoming

Household time in Jackson Hole

We spent a week with David’s extended household in Jackson Hole over 4th of July week, and I entirely fell in really like with Wyoming. It is straightforward to neglect how stunning the landscapes in our personal nation can be: you definitely do not have to go far to expertise such all-natural grandeur. It was a fairly low-essential week that ended up getting so rejuvenating: lots of hiking, BBQing and taking in the epic views at Grand Teton National Park.

mother daughter trip nashille

A mother-daughter trip to Nashville

Despite the fact that my mom and I have traveled with each other to France various occasions, it is been a although due to the fact we took a trip just the two of us–so I was thrilled for the chance to travel to Nashville with her. It was her very first time ever in the South (and very first time drinking sweet tea), and it was definitely exciting to discover a new city with each other: I’d also wanted to pay a visit to Nashville for such a extended time! We specially loved our evening at the Grand Ole Opry and popping along the diverse shops, street art and restaurants on 12 South. Christine Amorose Merrill at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan


Japan was the #1 spot each David and I wanted to go for a extended although, but it generally seemed so far away: an not possible trip to make occur in the midst of weddings, moving and all of the daily life issues that look to add up. We purchased our tickets for a September trip on New Year’s Day (a new tradition, probably?!) and produced it happen–and I’m so glad we did. Even even though it rained a lot far more than we anticipated, we completely loved our time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka–and I’m currently scheming on how and when we can go back.

afternoon tea ritz carlton london


I managed to squeeze in two trips to London this year, taking benefit of flight bargains to and from London to catch up with great mates prior to hopping to other locations in Europe. Following six visits to London, I also lastly wrote a post on all of my favored locations in the city. I specially loved experiencing the fantastical globe of sketch and the scrumptious meals at Dishoom, wandering via the pastel-colored facades of Notting Hill, and going for a appropriate afternoon tea at the Ritz.

tallinn architecture


Yet another travel highlight was experiencing my very first European Christmas marketplace in the delightfully preserved medieval Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia. I loved exploring all of the cobblestone streets and Russian-influenced architecture, as nicely as the bohemian quarter complete of cozy cafes and bars. We had been also shocked by how great the meals was: nonetheless salivating more than that soft, warm brown bread!

Grateful for a further year of so quite a few adventures, at property and abroad, and seeking forward to what 2019 brings. As generally, so appreciative of all of your comments, “likes” and assistance!


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