The day after Christmas, my sister Allie flew to Paris to spend 10 days or so with her friend Meghan, who lives and works in Madrid. I was very jealous and very excited for Allie to see the beautiful cities, architecture, and culture of western Europe. The tiny glimpses I saw during my three weeks in Bristol were enough to convince me that life in Europe would be seriously beautiful in a simple, nostalgic, and old-fashioned way.

She got to see the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, and many other beautiful things (and yes these pics are shamelessly stolen from her Facebook account!) 🙂

A few days after Christmas, I flew down to West Palm Beach to meet up with Kyle and his family for New Years and a few days together before heading back to NY. They showed me around town, and there were no dull moments! Here we are posing by the intercoastal waterway, and then in a beautiful garden on Palm Beach island.

We went to the beach on New Years Eve since it was sunny and almost 80 degrees. SUBLIME. Kyle and I rocked the paddleboards. Sadly I didn’t get a sunburn to show for it, but it was still such a nice change of scenery from concrete NYC.

I exchanged gifts with his family on New Years Eve while we waited for midnight to approach. His family gave me an adorable Vera Bradley wallet and coffee essentials! As well as a copy of Elf, his family’s favorite movie. I have yet to be converted. 😉

I gave his sisters and mom jewelry from Acacia Creations, which is a fair trade company employing women in Kenya making jewelry from paper and recycled glass. They loved them! Here’s cute little Jenna!

His family took me to their favorite cuban bakery for Cafe Con Leche (mmm!!) on our way to church at First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, where their family has gone to church for the past 20+ years.

Kyle’s 25th birthday was on the 2nd, and his parents took us to dinner at a great Cuban restaurant called Versailles in downtown Miami, which has a large Cuban population. Then we went to a Miami Heat game! I got to see LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in action. 🙂

It was a great week filled with LOTS OF FOOD…  his mom made us Arroz con Pollo, arepas, chocolate chip waffles, steak, and more… and his family was very pro-active about keeping my coffee cup FULL. LOL. Sweetness!

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