My year summarized in 100+ photos.
I know, I’m super late. We’re like a third of the way through 2016 already (WHAT?!), and I’m just now getting around to this. But 2015 was an incredible year and I wanted to share it with you.
- I went to four countries in 2015 – Sweden, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
- New York for the first time.
- Texas for the first time.
- Salt Lake City for the first time.
- Los Angeles, seven times.
- Orlando, Florida.
- I went to some beautiful weddings, on fantastic hikes, to amazing concerts.
- I laughed a lot in 2015 and got to spend a lot of time with the people I love most in the world.
Here is my year in photos, pretty much in chronological order:
(And oh-my-gahhh, I’m sorry this looks so bad on mobile devices. WHY are the photos different sizes?! So annoying. Looks fine on my desktop though.)
|New Year’s Pajama Party, Agoura Hills
||Redwood City with the Townsends
|Half Moon Bay, California
||Golden Retriever Sandwich
|DIY housework party for Co Trang, Seattle
||Amanda’s housewarming, Santa Monica
|Zachary’s 1st birthday, Redondo Beach
||Vy and me in Leavenworth, Washington
|Leavenworth walk with the cousins
||Wine-tasting with the cousins
|A Seattle smooch for Stan Lee
||Stan Lee’s Mini-Me
|Seattle with my wifey
||Anthony Mackie at Emerald City Comicon
|Michael Rooker at MegaCon
||Lou Ferrigno at Megacon
|My relatives in Orlando, Florida
||Noah: “Whatchu lookin’ at, Auntie T?”
|Mom and dad in the newspaper
||Mom and dad’s escape story
|Honoring Fern Powers, refugee sponsor
||Fern’s 80th birthday
|Tolmie Peak, Mount Rainier
||Mount Ellinor, Olympic Mountains
|The OG Karaoke Krub at Rockbox, Seattle
||Daren the Blues Man at Charlie’s, Olympia
|The parentals and me in Seattle
|Jared and Jeanette’s Swedish Wedding
||The Best (Wo)man
|Bella and me at Grundsunda
||Family dinner in Örnsköldsvik
|Stockholm meet-up with Tomas & Casper
||Stockholm reunion with Agneta
|South Kensington, London with Vneet
||London layover with Joolz
|Pei’s “25th” Birthday, Seattle
||Family fun at the fair, Puyallup
|Santa Barbara with Chandra
||Venice Beach with my sister
|My best uglyface of all time
||Tina’s Boiling Crab cherry – popped
|Leo Birthday Trifecta, DTLA
||Amanda’s and Eliza’s skydive, Oceanside
|First time in Texas
||Jared’s pre-wedding dinner party
|Jared and Jeanette’s Dallas Wedding
||Madhattering with Jane
|My relatives in Houston, Texas
||Learning to make Bánh Khọt in Houston
|Anthony and me in Houston
||Couchsurfing with DJ in Austin, Texas
|Austin with my Swedes
||Delivering Meals on Wheels in Austin
|My Austin butterfly wings
||Reunion with Dr. Jae in Austin
|Kelly Clarkson concert at Staples Center
||Taylor Swift concert at Staples Center
|All smiles with the Mussie brothers
||Infinity Mirrored Room at The Broad
|First time in Brooklyn, New York
||The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
|“Best Time Ever” with Neil Patrick Harris
||…and Little NPH
||My great-aunt’s garden on Long Island, NY
||My New York cousins
|“Framily” Reunion, Salt Lake City
||Parkin Wedding, Salt Lake City
|Mormon Tabernacle Choir
||Brighton Lakes Trail, Cottonwood Canyon
|18-Hr Flight to Vietnam w/Mom & Aunt Hai
||Mekong Delta with Cousin Nhi
|Offering gifts at a traditional wedding
||My cousin Lộc, the groom
|Floating market in Cần Thơ
||Củ Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
|My Saigon “Framily”
||More cousins in Vietnam
|Vietnam countryside for my 36th bday
||My birthday karaoke system
|Bánh tráng nướng with cousin Bear
||My guilty pleasure at the Saigon airport
|Ping pong with Aunt Linh in Saigon
||Hội An night market with my cousins
|Floating in a bamboo basket with my sister
||Fishing in a water coconut village
|Overnight bus ride Hội An -> Nha Trang
||Sea snails for dinner in Nha Trang
|Nha Trang outing with the cousins
||Monkey Island with our Nha Trang boys
|Canyoning & cliff jumping in Đà Lạt
||Chiang Rai Night Market
|Golden Triangle – Thailand/Myanmar/Laos
||White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand
|Crossing the border from Thailand to Laos
||Campfire with my Khmu hilltribe friends
|A sweet Khmu village girl and me
||Trekking with a Hmong tribe in Laos
|Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang
||Book of Mormon, Seattle
|Learning to sail a Catalina 25
||Ice skating with the Chou gals
|Tis the season with a Yorkshireman
||Christmas with the fam bam
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON 2015
What I’m most proud of: Writing that piece about my parents’ escape from Vietnam, and the follow-up piece about how they achieved the American Dream. I learned a lot while researching and writing those, and I feel more connected to my family and my culture than ever before.
The Dress: It was white & gold. I don’t care what anyone says.
My obsession of the year: Bitmoji.
Serial Podcast: Ok, so this came out in 2014, but I didn’t listen to it til 2015. And my life is forever changed – I’m now a superfan of the podcast format, and need more of it in my life!
Best thing I ate: It’s a four-way tie between the smoked hamachi tartare at Commonwealth in Burbank, California; Mormor and Ivan’s homemade Swedish sill; bánh tráng nướng in Nha Trang, Vietnam; and fresh uni, straight out of the shell – also in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
Best cocktail I had: Spring Sensation at Auction House in Manhattan’s Upper East Side (42 Below Manuka Honey Vodka | fresh cucumber lime juice | St Germain | ginger ale).
Best live performance I saw: It’s a tie between Stay Human at the Ed Sullivan Theater in NYC, and Book of Mormon at the Seattle Paramount.
Best hike I did: Two days to the remote Khmu and Hmong hilltribe villages in Laos.
My favorite newsmakers of the year: Obergefell v. Hodges, Bernie Sanders, Justin Trudeau.
News stories I’m embarrassed to admit I obsessed over: Brian Williams’ fall from grace, Deflategate, Rachel Dolezal, Cecil the Lion, the New York prison escape, and yes, the rise of Drumpf (*shudder*).
My biggest crush of the year: Stay Human’s Jazz Cowboy Percussionist. And Stephen Colbert (although that’s EVERY year).
The best new people to enter my life in 2015: The Yorkshireman, the Barbee Man and my bestie Joshua.
The people who moved me most and touched my heart in 2015: Fern Powers, Scott Young, Cheré Johnson, the Earles family and my Swedish family in Kvarnbacken.
Thank you to everyone who brought love, laughter and joy into my life last year. I am grateful. So very grateful.