2010 contender for BEST damn year of my life

adrienne in bathroom

Without a doubt, I’ve been a highly blessed and favored woman wallowing in the joys of sweet, sweet happiness throughout 2010. It is as if the universe positioned all the key ingredients for an awesome year right in the palm of my hand. Before I take my annual stroll down the year that was, I should provide some disclaimers to the secrets of my abundant joy. First one being, I’m broker than a church mouse. (That’s something my mama might say.) Yep! I did NOT expand my bank account with $$$. I did NOT tuck a little extra into my 401k or increase my stock options. I have neither. (But I do have Jesus!) I can’t even say I made any major career advancements. (Nada – Although you said it would happen Ms. Susan Miller. It didn’t.) Another side note: My children’s book “Isaac and the Bah Tree” didn’t soar the top-sellers lists, but ya’ll can still support a sister and get your copy here.

On the flip-side, I managed to suck dry every mile in every frequent flier program I’m enrolled with which lead me to some fairly exotic destinations. And don’t let me fool you into thinking my very merry matrimony to the most amazing man in my life took a back seat to my usual globe gallivanting highlights. (P.S. I got married this year in case I missed getting the memo to everyone. Click here if: A. You missed the memo. B. Are seriously nosy. -OR- C. Wish to know about our forces combined.) Aside from my husband’s love and affection, I was able to be surrounded by the good company of friends near and far.

So that’s the summary. Just beyond these type-written words is the 2010 full-shebang accompanied by pictures, links and more. (I did my best to keep it flowing in chronological order.)

Let’s hit it!

January, February and March were pretty dull. Can’t recall anything spectacular that occurred. Those cold Florida wintry days were consumed with the following: A. Working 40 hour weeks on a temporary assignment. B. Planning my elopement ceremony. AND C. Crafting up ways to visit places outside of Tampa.

In sticking to my usual theme of par-taking in activities, events and social-networks that the average Black American chick usually does NOT par take in, I did recite a poem in Farsi during Norooz this year. My most awesome tutor at the Infinite Edge Learning Center here in Tampa put me up to the challenge during a local Norooz celebration. No footage/pictures exist of my moment there, but you are welcome to hear me recite the poem here. Strange cookie – midoonam. :)

Flash forward to April. After fulfilling my commitment with the temp agency, it was time to have some fun. How so? By going to Kaua’i (a small tropical island mass belonging to the state of Hawai’i) with my then-fiancee. You might recall at the end of 2009 my being victorious in a Trazzler ‘Island’ Writing Contest, which landed me and my lucky dude an opportunity to va-cay in the Aloha State. (Sumo size Mahalo to everyone who voted once more!) Safe to say we had an incredible time.

Safari Helicopter Ride

Tunnels Beach

limahuli terrace garden

luau kalamaku

Revisit my 2010 Kaua’i experience here.

Upon my return from Kaua’i, I was summoned by the U.S. Census Bureau. On I went for another stint as an office clerk at a new local LCO. If you’ve ever seen an episode of ‘The Office’ or better, worked at a government office – you can imagine what the environment was like. I have to say that I met some really unique individuals during my short employment there. Because they made the job so enjoyable I am going to give them a round of sound right here and right now. (Jhessye, James, Sandra, Michelle, Tracy, Ray, Flor, Lyon, Patricia, Dan, Linley, Elaine, Eric, Carol, Trish, Jonathan, McPhail, Chris and even Mr. Dixon — it was a tremendous pleasure being your colleague from April to August. Thank you for the song, cakes, laughs, flexibility, energy, patience and more. Thank you.)

adrienne work cake

Moving onward into May, my elopement planning was pretty much complete which only meant one thing: party time! I opted to mix and mash my birthday and bachelorette fiesta into one so twice the amount of fun could be had. I was fortunate enough to have most of my best gal-pals come from out-of-town to celebrate with me. As one can imagine, we did the manicure / pedicure thing, visit to the bridal shop, beach, club, dinner and made a trip to Orlando. Thank you to all my gorgeous girlfriends for being part of this.

DSCN0371

aka2


Revisit my 2010 Birthday/Bachelorette weekend experience here.

June was all about wedding bells. It was about counting down the final days of being a semi-unclaimed and unhonest woman. It was also about answering the question: Why Montana? On Thursday, June 17th, 2010 – I proudly became Mrs. Abiodun. With that being said, don’t let me forget the amount of time I spent in June getting people to say the new surname right. Still in need of a how-to yourself? Reference the July video blog.

West Glacier

honeymoon suite

DA

wedding cake

Alberta


Revisit my 2010 Marriage in Montana experience here.

July was snoring boring so I’ll bypass the details of cleaning house and clipping my toenails since those are fairly uneventful happenings. August stood for Argentina. This is the trip I did not truly plan for, did not budget for or probably should not have even gone on, but I am glad I went. Natalie and I always have a good time when traveling together, so I’m pleased she made the suggestion of going somewhere before children appear in our freshly married lives. We ate well, met some awesome people (Celina, Pablo, Nazeli and Solana) and did what tourists do when in Argentina. What we did not do well was speak Spanish. We should really get better at that.

BsAs Building

Steak at Miranda

Salta

Iglesia Adrienne y Cactus

Handstand in her hand

Revisit my 2010 Buenos Aires & Salta, Argentina experience here.

Enter September where I spent a few days in my favorite U.S. state – California. This trip was purely pleasure (for the majority) and consisted of going out with friends, visiting family and the tour of babies! Very many thanks to my amigo Quar Brown for taking these deliciously vibrant photographs of me in the Artists District in downtown L.A.

Angel & Me

Revisit my 2010 California experience here.

Later in the month I ran a full 26.2 marathon in Toronto, Canada. You’ll notice I didn’t seem very happy after crossing the finish line. I wasn’t. Let’s just say disappointed THEN and thankful for the good health and experience NOW. I’m also very thankful when moments like this are captured in photos. Not everything I do or go through ends with a big cheesy smile. This was one of those moments.

running the marathon post marathon

Revisit my 2010 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon experience here.

Come October I was back in Ethiopia leading my third Habitat for Humanity GV project. I spent ten days in Debre Markos working on the last seven plots of houses and a few days relaxing in Addis. From Ethiopia I went on to Zanzibar, an island situated off the coast of Tanzania. Visiting an island in the Indian Ocean was something I’d been hoping for forever. If you’ve got this on a bucket-list some place, get to it! Allow me to suggest Zanzibar. The place is simply stunning. The people are friendly and the food is delicious. The air always carries the smell of fragrant spices.

jambiani village

Ethiopia with group

Seaweed farm

Adrienne & Alemwerk with Injera


Revisit my 2010 Global Village Ethiopia experience here and my Zanzibar photo gallery here.

Last month I started temping again, so life took a slight turn for the unexciting. (You know I’m just being a brat.) Aside from finding my 40 hour 9-5 work groove again, I made some successful efforts at just cooling it around the house. Hung with the fam-bam, my friends and so-on. EJ and I scoped out the larger than life sand castles and carvings at Siesta Key. FUN! I celebrated my friend’s last fling the weekend before her wedding. Both were bucket loads of fun. I always love hanging out with a group of drama-free, fun and intelligent ladies. Two cheers for girl power. They were also great sharing the camaraderie of being a bridesmaid or simply part of the party. My friend married during Thanksgiving weekend and it was quite an event. I am thankful to have been invited and I wish the happily shackled couple an eternity of love. The photos below were taken by Akada Studios out of Atlanta.

Waiting

ChiChi with Bridal Party

Bridesmaid and Groomsmen

Revisit my 2010 Naija Wedding Bridesmaid Experience here.

This final month of the year was/is much like the rest of the year in theme. A little hard work, a lot more play and 12 times the laughter. Although the winter solstice was greeted by an amazing lunar eclipse, I’m still hating the weather these days. It slows me down almost to sloth like speeds. I only wish to stay indoors and hibernate like all the smarter species do during times of coldness. Because I am a lowly human being I am forced to be productive and make the most of every breathing moment. Huzzah & Hooray! If you are a regular reader here you probably just read about the quick weekend warrior trip to Troy, Alabama where I went with my mom and hubby to surprise my bestie during her 3rd decade born day celebration. She’s actually a Christmas baby so I suspect she’ll be celebrating more this weekend.

latofia and me

Aside from that I’ll be spending these last dog days of 2010 gearing up for 2011. More on that to come.

Other noteworthy moments:

Previously I dedicated August to Argentina. Well, I should also dedicate it to African Ancestry and the anticipation of my paternal ancestry test results compliments of my father. I now see Cameroon and the Tikar people as a future journey worth taking. I cannot thank my father enough for this wedding gift. There is so much research to be done though before trip to the country can occur.

Hmmm… I went kayaking for the first time in Kaua’i this year, but my swimming skills have not improved. Perhaps I’ll toss it on my list of resolutions once more.

My analogue cameras got more play than ever this year since I started with my Lomography addiction in 2003. They challenge me in more ways than others and I’m just starting to pick up speed. I just wish film and photography wasn’t such an expensive hobby like traveling. To conclude this year end journey, I leave you with a gallery of some shots taken with my toy cameras across the globe.

Enjoy and have the happiest of holidays. Here’s to many good years to come and the ability to be strong in the years that test our spirits the most. (Trust me, I’ve had my share of those.)

Cheers,
Adrienne

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Comments (9) Write a comment

  1. Wonderful pictures Ms. Adreinne. I am enchanted by the many experiences and the way that you absorb them. I am extremely pleased that you decided to share them. Thanks. Here is hoping that 2011 will be just as great and that all that was not accomplished in 2010 will be, i.e. $$ in your bank account etc.

  2. Geez, Adrienne. This is great!! You are such a great source of inspiration!!!

  3. You should write a book titled ‘How to Travel the World and Have a Great Year While Remaining Broke’. I still love the cactus in Argentina with it’s middle finger up, CLASSIC! My reccomendations for 2011:
    1. Make your husband an honest man by moving in with him.
    2. Learn to drive a stick shift (it only takes one lesson and alot of practice).
    3. Get Isaac and the Bah Family Tree on Oprah’s Book Club – that’ll cure all your financial woes.
    4. Stop looking for a job and start your own business. Your too smart to continue making someone else rich.
    5. Keep being the coolest weirdo I know. I must say, I don’t know why you do what you do but I do respect your originality and openness. 2010 decennial census workers UNITE!

    P.S. How is Jhessye (your mini-me)?

  4. What an amazing year for you! Loads to be grateful and thankful for. Congratulations again on your months of wedded bliss and wishing you many more years to come.

    Beautiful photos too!

    2011 can only be brighter and bigger than this year. Cheers!

    PS: My verification word was “IKEA”. Go figure :)

  5. Liked this recap on your travels and the year that was 2010! I’m riding the same wavelength (well, minus the getting married!) and do think this year was possibly the best one yet.

    Looking forward to another awesome year full of global treks, learning, and writing all about it.

    Cheers, Adrienne…

    Cheri

  6. @Richard Thank you for reading. If 2011 brings me fortune in $$$ that will be great, but if it continues bringing me love, friendships, happiness and good health — I’m ready and set.

    @Kristal Thank you!!!

    @James How is it you always have so much to say? Well let me waste no time in responding. 1. Don’t you worry about Hubby and me. We’re on our way! 2. My mom is planning on teaching me to drive stick sometime in the near future. This is great seeing how the Hubby won’t teach me, but it is also a bit scary. I don’t think I have seen her drive a stick in my lifetime. 3. I sent Oprah a copy of the book in early 2009. I guess she’s backed up at the moment. :( 4. I have my own business. 5. Weirdo? Well by golly – thanks! :)

    @Lola Thank you again for the congrats! Truly one of the best moments of my life to date!

    @Cheri Yes, cheers and best of wishes for the upcoming year. I have the feeling it will be a goodie too.

  7. Adrienne…always love reading your blog and viewing your photos. Wishing you an even more interesting 2011 and journal. Can’t wait to hear the results of your paternal ancestry test. Love ya babe!

  8. Adrienne I love the way you describe your awesome year!! You are very creative and unique. I miss those days at the census . Wish we could enjoy those days again.

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