2019: A Year of Intention

Well, I haven’t touched this blog in over four months, but with the beginning of 2020, I’m back and ready to look back at the year that was. 2019 was a big and largely great year for me, and it’s fun to look back now and think about all that happened.

Here are some of my highlights!

January

  • Saw Cameron Esposito at Helium Comedy Club (I am by no means a big comedy fan, it is very hard to get me to laugh, but it was a great night out with my husband, and how can you not love her focus on feminism, social justice and LGBTQ issues?
  • Did color commentary for a Jr. Sabres hockey game for just the second time ever.

February

  • Used a sewing machine for literally the first in my life.
  • Planned & executed a pre-game hockey ceremony to honor the “graduating” players from the Jr. Sabres. It went off without a hitch, everyone loved it and I look forward to doing it again!
  • Filled in on color commentary for the Jr. Sabres again!
  • Wrote a piece for VP that I’m super proud of regarding broadcasting of women’s hockey & how people speak about women’s hockey.
  • Went to Lumagination at the Botanical Gardens. It was magical.

March

  • Welcomed nephew #5 into the world!

April

  • PUPPY YOGA.
  • Covered the NCAA Division-I Frozen Four. My first Frozen Four ever, and a pretty neat (if chaotic) experience. I’m really glad I got the chance to do this, especially with it being in Buffalo.
  • Was named OJHL Volunteer of the Year for my work with the Jr. Sabres. So grateful to work with such a fantastic team! (Technically this happened in March, but I went up to Oakville to receive the award in April.)

May

  • Our Texas trip, which was incredible! So many good things to point out about this trip, including that it was my first time flying, ever. Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas. Hockey fun, baseball, family time, tourist things, sightseeing, lots of great food. I can’t wait to go back again soon, hopefully in 2021. (I’d better start saving.)
  • Went to a holistic wellness retreat about 40 minutes from Buffalo, which I won the chance to attend through my work/health insurance. It was super neat and a great experience – two days filled with essential oils, massage chairs, exercise time, nature, reflexology, meditation, yoga & more.
  • Saw The Art of the Brick exhibit at the Museum of Science. Definitely neat, if it ever comes to your city… check it out!

June

  • Went to a wedding in East Aurora that Ryan was asked to DJ, for a former Griffs hockey player. Although I didn’t really know either the bride or groom at all, it was a super fun night.

July

  • Celebrated three years of marriage.
  • Got to celebrate the marriage of two good friends.
  • Got to see my sister & nephews for a short little visit.

August

  • Flew to Charlotte (only my fifth flight ever, first solo flight, etc.) and then drove about 1,000 miles across the state of North Carolina as I spent a wonderful week with my sister & nephews. Explored Raleigh, Greensboro & Charlotte solo, plus had lots of fun around Greensboro, Winston-Salem @ camping with the family.
  • Saw the Jonas Brothers in concert.
  • Went to DC/Baltimore with Ryan for our friends’ wedding, an Orioles game and some tourist-y fun.

September

  • Went to PLAY/GROUND in Medina after missing it in 2018. It was really neat to see how a bunch of artists transformed a former school and there were so many unique installations.
  • Got surprised by the Jr. Sabres with an on-ice ceremony on home ice to receive my ring for being OJHL Volunteer of the Year.

October

  • Road trip to Georgetown to work a Raiders/Jr. Sabres game. Ryan did his usual PA/DJ, while I ran the scoreboard, did the online scoring & manned the penalty boxes.

November

  • Turned 29, which means that in 2020, I’ll be some significant age.
  • Officially joined Canisius hockey as a features writer!

December

  • Spent parts of a few wonderful days with my sister & nephews while they were in town for the holidays. They’re growing up so fast and it’s always so good to see them.
  • Covered the first regular-season outdoor game in NWHL history.
  • Filled in on color commentary for Canisius hockey for the first time.
  • Focused on really getting some good rest!
  • Did more radio talk about the NWHL.
  • Welcomed nephew #6 into the world!

Travel: A Week in North Carolina

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My (likely) final trip of the 2019 calendar year is now behind me, after a wonderful week spent down in North Carolina with my sister and nephews. I’m really glad I was able to make this trip happen; they moved from Buffalo in 2016, and this was my first time going down to visit them. It was also quite an adventure considering I went alone, got on a plane (for just the second trip of my life) and drove 800+ miles around the state (more driving than I do in a month typically.)

Here’s a rundown of my trip and some recommendations I have along the way!

Continue reading “Travel: A Week in North Carolina”

Our Texas Travels: San Antonio, TX

The last leg of our trip was a short time in San Antonio before we headed back toward Austin and eventually, Buffalo. Our hotel in San Antonio was wonderful, and I’m sad that we didn’t get to spend more time there! The Hotel Contessa was such a beautiful place to stay. I especially loved the exposed brick wall in the room, which gave it an eclectic feel! Everything was very comfortable; we paid to valet the car, and also ordered room service breakfast the next morning. While on vacation, sometimes you’ve just got to treat yourself.

Continue reading “Our Texas Travels: San Antonio, TX”

Our Texas Travels: Dallas, TX

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From Coupland, we continued our Texas travels and really started to get around the state a bit more. On Monday morning, we headed to Dallas. On our way, we stopped at a Buc-ee’s in Temple! What a place. It feels wrong calling it a “gas station,” as it is… so much more than that. Wow.

We did make it to Dallas, where our first stop was a scheduled tour of the American Airlines Center, home of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. As a hockey fan, but also just as a tourist, this was a wonderful tour – and only $5!! It was a great way to see the arena, and get to see areas we wouldn’t normally see if there for a game/concert.

Unfortunately, this was the point in our trip where things got a little topsy-turvy. My husband came down with some sort of stomach bug, and we tried our best not to let it put a damper on things too much. Unfortunately, I got it a few days later, but in both cases, it lasted under a day and thank goodness for that. There’s few things worse than being sick on vacation.

At any rate, after our tour of the AAC, we stopped at the Dallas Grilled Cheese Co., where I ate a grilled cheese sandwich with macaroni & cheese on it. It was delicious! And a super neat place to boot. From there, it was to our AirBnB, the Oak Cliff Tiny House. This was my first time ever booking an AirBnB, and it was fantastic. Such an adorable place, great location and great hosts.

That was pretty much it for our Monday. Ryan tried his best to sleep off the bug; I popped over to CVS and got some health things (thank you, Pedialyte) and ordered Chipotle via DoorDash for dinner. After some sleep, and with Ryan feeling much better, we headed towards Houston the following morning.

Before we left Dallas, we made a quick stop by Dealey Plaza to see the spots where JFK was shot. We didn’t go into the museum, but maybe next time. It was honestly surreal to stand in that space and think about what a pivotal moment in history occurred there. Eerie.

In order to split up the drive to Houston, we elected to spend Tuesday night in Buffalo, TX. Also, being from Buffalo, NY…. how could we not? Before that, however, we headed up to Frisco for a RoughRiders baseball game. We had originally planned to go on Monday evening, but decided Tuesday’s morning game worked out better, especially since Ryan was feeling better! It was fun, hot, rained a little and the best part of all, my husband got to meet one of his public address/music friends!

After a few more stops, we hit the road again and once we made it to Buffalo, it was a low-key day and evening, with dinner with family at The Pharm restaurant. I also picked up some Blue Bell ice cream. (Honestly? I’ll always be partial to Perry’s.)

Wednesday morning, after our night in Buffalo, we began the trek to Houston. Unfortunately, this is where the stomach bug hit me, so our plans were a bit derailed. We did eventually make it to Rosenberg – where my husband used to live, and our hotel for the night. I stayed cooped up in the hotel to recuperate, and Ryan visited some family in the area. Again, a low-key night but it was what we needed at that point!

Once I felt better on Thursday morning, we hit the road to Houston. Stay tuned for more 🙂