During the winter, I hibernate. If I don’t have to leave the house, you can usually find me curled up here – particularly on the weekends. Of course, I am still an extrovert, so I can’t stay cocooned by myself for too long.
This winter, I braved the cold for a few fun things…
Celebrating the 40th birthday of one of my best friends in Cleveland (where it was even colder and snowier than St. Louis)!
[This friend joined me as my +1 for the birthday party, which was so fun! Believe it or not, we went to the same high school, university, and then to Nestle Purina. It was great to catch up with her while I was in Cleveland!]
Book Club Meetings (where we discussed Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes and Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie)…
Dinner at a few new-to-me restaurants from my 2018 Goal List, like Meskerem Ethiopian…
Southern (where they serve some delicious Nashville hot chicken)…
Vicia (named #2 restaurant in America in 2017 by USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards), where we enjoyed the six-course chef’s tasting menu…
Brunch at Sardella, which was delicious…
and Lulu’s Seafood & Dim Sum for a dim sum brunch.
And a (mostly) Miami reunion in St. Louis with these lovely ladies! I met two of them in my freshman dorm, and we went on to live in the same dorm sophomore year and the same house junior year. I went to visit all three of them when they lived in North Africa, and the non-Miamian is the one who introduced me to a very dear friend when she moved to St. Louis a decade ago. We had a Moroccan dinner at Baida, and it was delicious!
One of them brought along her baby girl, who is precious! It was our first time meeting.
A retirement celebration for a friend who’s been counting down the days, since I met her about a year and a half ago.
In some cases, I invited friends over, so I didn’t have to leave the house at all!
I hosted a good-bye dinner for a couple I met in Switzerland. They are moving from St. Louis to Oklahoma City, and we will miss them terribly! This evening was a winter highlight for me, because we laughed until it hurt.
I also hosted dinner on Valentine’s Day for some of my girlfriends!
When we crossed into March, I kept thinking spring had to be near. This inspired me to leave the house for a couple of fun activities. A day of flowers and afternoon tea with my mom and aunt was really lovely. If you’re ever in St. Louis for Art in Bloom (late February / early March) at the St. Louis Art Museum, I HIGHLY recommend attending. Local florists create flower arrangements that are inspired by works of art throughout the museum. Here are some of my favorites from this year’s exhibit:
[My friend is the florist behind this display, and she was the only one to receive two ribbons!]
[It took awhile, but by the end of the exhibit, my mom and aunt became very good interpreters of how the floral arrangement linked to the artwork.]
We ended a day of culture at Mary Ann’s Tearoom for Afternoon Tea.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) Men’s Basketball Championships came to St. Louis. My dad came to visit, and we went to 11 games in four days. I’ve never done a tournament like this, and I thought it was so fun! We saw so many games that we had opinions not only about the basketball players, but on the pep bands, cheerleaders, dance squads, mascots, and halftime performers. University of Tennessee (our favorite) made it to the finals (where they loss), so we had a horse in the race the entire event. We also met my aunt at Waffle House for breakfast.
I came down with a terrible sickness for a week in March, and one of my sweet friends brought some sustenance…and flowers!
I’m glad that winter is (hopefully) coming to an end, and I’m thankful for these highlights that make braving the cold worthwhile. Today, I’m headed out of St. Louis in search of sunshine…wish me luck!