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I hand wrote the entire entry yesterday and it comes to about 8.5 pages hand written, so I’m going to give you a fair warning that this post is going to be a long entry. But it will be entertaining to say the least. So here is my typed up version of my 2011 year in review.

As 2011 draws to a close and 2012 comes a knocking, besides my book year in review, it’s time to break apart my year.

Let’s start with:

Writing

Jan-March: 21, 157 words
November: 15,008 words

Unfortunately, that total is way short of my 75,000 word goal. But if I could go and count every page I wrote on 750words.com, LJ, wordpress, scripts, and Yahoo! Contributor articles, I’m sure it would be a lot closer to 75,000.

Reading

As mentioned in my previous entries, I read 58 books. I will admit that when I go to the library, I have a soft spot for children’s books. Either books I never read as a child or books that just look interesting. Sometimes they are parts of series I had read as a child but never finished, or some series that never looked interesting to me as a child but now looks cool. I figure I’d never buy these books, but there is no problem with borrowing them from the library.

Travel

Visited 2 countries (Scotland and Canada)
Visited “New to me” states 4 (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Illinois)
States Visited in total: 11 (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois)

This year marked the year that I finally visited the rest of the states on the east coast. And I got to go on my second business trip to Chicago. That trip was pretty cool, surprised by the small size of O’Hare, the weather was decent for October, and the food was amazing.

Amusement Parks

This year I went on an amusement park trip with Theme Park Review (I will not tolerate any hate or negativity towards Theme Park Review on my page, your comment will not be approved, and it will be reported. Just because there are people out there that have issues with the site, I have not, and I’ve had more than my fair share of positive experiences with them. And yes, I’ve done my research on them as well so I know what I’m talking about).

This year I went to 13 amusement parks (15 if you break apart Coney Island into the 3 parks that it is).

I visited:

Knoebels (4x)
Coney Island (Luna Park, Scream Zone, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park)
Quassy
Lake Compounce
Six Flags New England
Palace Playland
Funtown/Splashtown
Canobie Lake
La Ronde
The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom
Magic Forest
Dutch Wonderland
Six Flags Great Adventure

This year I had two milestone coaster credits. 100 and 150. Coaster 100 was the Circus coaster at Luna Park (yes, the infamous Cyclone was only 99). Coaster 150 was the right side of Rolling Thunder at Six Flags Great Adventure (my body still hates me for that ride).

So for unique coasters this year, I rode the Coney Island Cyclone, Boulder Dash, Bizarro at SFNE, and I rode a whole host of other interesting coasters, but none that are OMG amazingly unique or awesome.

Lastly, I also got to ride Black Diamond at Knoebels on it’s opening day during the Phoenix Phall Phunfest.

Celebrities I Met:

This year I met more authors than celebrities, but authors are celebrities in their own right. (Well to me anyway)

Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Brent Ridge
Maureen Johnson
Sarah Mylonowski
Sara Shepard
Natalie Zaman
Alissa Grosso
Charlotte Bennardo
Kristi Cook
Kathy McCullough
Hugh Jackman
Marcy Playground: John Wozniak and Dylan Keefe

I also met some more local celebrities as in news anchors/reporters from WPVI.

Matt Pellman
Rick Williams
David Murphy
Nydia Han
Amy Buckman
Katherine Scott
Cecily Tynan
Monica Malpass

Concerts/Shows/Sports/Movies

This year I went to a number of concerts, plays & musicals, sporting events, and movies.

Concerts:

NKOTBSB
Glee
Marcy Playground
Christian Kane
Gary Hoey
Q102 2011 Jingleball

I also went and saw my parents friends cover band Undercover a few times this year. (They have since disbanded, but it was fun to hang out with family).

Sports:

Braehead Clan- Ice Hockey in Glasgow
Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park
Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park in Washington DC

Shows:

Aladdin (Panto)
Les Miserables
Reduced Shakespeare Company- The Complete World of Sports (Abridged)
Uncle Vanya
La Cage Aux Folles
Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway

Movies:

The King’s Speech
The Smurfs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1
The Muppets

This year I also got to experience a TV show recording. I went to a recording of Would You Rather?…with Graham Norton for BBC America. It was a pretty cool experience to see how a panelist show was recorded. Two episodes were taped during my taping, and we got to move seats around in between shows so it looked like a different audience.

OK, that’s my year by category, now it’s time to break it down by month.

January

Travelled to Glasgow, Scotland to see John Barrowman in Panto (Aladdin). Also got to see a hockey game, and did some sight seeing as well.

February

I went to the chiropractor for the first time. Interesting experience. I don’t mind when I crack my own knuckles but hearing someone else crack different body parts was kind of an out of body experience. The plus side was when I got to actually feel how decent it felt when my hip was in alignment.

March

Visited Laurie and we saw Les Miserables at the Hippodrome in Baltimore

Met my friends Chris and Bobby for the first time. (Ok, so I’m  not really friends with Bobby any more, more like acquaintances, but still…)

April

Went to the ER, and then ended up having emergency surgery. I ended up being in the hospital for a week following that. The rest of April was spent recovering, and on and off throughout the rest of the year as well. (I still have some lingering effects from the surgery, but it just takes time to let your body completely heal)

Went to a benefit for my cousin Kellen. (Kellen was born with HLHS a rare heart defect).

Met the Fabulous Beekman Boys (Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge) at Terrain. (One of my first outings for a length of time after my surgery). Josh’s books and episodes of the Fabulous Beekman boys kept me sane/entertained while I recovered from my surgery. I’m completely glad I found this show, and got to meet these awesome guys.

May

Went to the Philadelphia Zoo with Laurie and Bobby. Another thing I did post surgery (walking around for a few hours). Got caught in a downpour, and overall it was a good day.

My parents went to Florida and I dog sat. Fun adventures with my aunt and cousin.

June

Started seeing a counselor for my anxiety issues. My anxiety reared its ugly head after my surgery. I’ve gotten better since then, but every so often it rears its head, but I’m stronger for it.

Saw the NKOTBSB concert.

Family get together at Suloman’s Ice Cream

Saw Glee Live with Laurie. It was a surprisingly decent concert.

Went to a book signing with YA authors. Got to meet Maureen Johnson, Sarah Mylonowski, and Sara Shepard.

My mom had a milestone birthday, and we went to a Phillies game to celebrate.

July

On the 4th of July my Aunt ate s’mores for the first time

Went to Knoebels with Chris, Devin, Laurie, Dave, & Bobby. It was my first amusement park since I had surgery. I had a great time and I knew that I would be ready for my amusement park trip.

Saw Reduced Shakespeare Company at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC

Went to a discussion about the PUPS bill at MLAR with Senator Gerlach speaking

Used the pool at my apartment complex for the first time in a couple years

Saw Marcy Playground in concert, and met the lead singer and bassist.

TPR Northeast Trip started- Lots of friends, food, awesome rides, and an awesome bus driver made the trip unforgettable.

August

The rest of the TPR Northeast Trip (including a power outage in Montreal and other interesting things)

Another family get together at Suloman’s Ice Cream. This time Kellen made his family debut.

Saw the play Uncle Vanya at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and Laurie and I went to a British Pub. We got to walk through some sketchy parts of DC on the way to the pub. But what’s a trip without a little adventure.

Went down to Virginia to visit my friends Kate and Kelly from college. I helped them set up one of their pampered chef parties (I sliced vegetables, yes this is worth mentioning if you know me), went to the Phillies/Nationals game, and went to the DC Zoo.

First time I ever missed an appointment. I thought it was one day and it was another date.

East Coast felt an earthquake

September

Family picnic over labor day weekend. This time I actually got to hold my cousin Kellen and I played with him and his adorable big sister Kaylin.

I turned 29.

Went to Harvest Fest up in Sharon Springs, New York because of the Beekman Boys. Harvest Fest was everything I expected from a small town, and I had some of the best meals ever, and bought lots of homemade goodies to bring home. There was the Beekman Boys book signing, the Harvest Feast, a walking tour of Sharon Springs, pig roast to benefit flood victims from Hurricane Irene, and Laurie and I ended the weekend with a farm tour of the Beekman mansion where we got to meet Josh’s parents, Farmer John, all the goats, and of course the Diva llama herself Polkaspot.

Went to the Would you Rather TV show taping.

Hung out with my aunt and cousin while my parents went away for a long weekend, we went to Atlantic City, Knoebels (ironically the day it reopened after the devastating floods from Tropical Storm Lee), and the Philadelphia Zoo.

October

Went to Knoebels for the Phoenix Phall Phunfest, got to go on Black Diamond on its opening day.  Met up with my friend John from the TPR trip this summer and met his friends. We had a blast.

Went to Dutch Wonderland. Yes, I’m that type of roller coaster credit whore. I went to a children’s amusement park just to get the two roller coaster credits. It was surprisingly fun, and I got to ride some other rides I normally wouldn’t ride because they are tamer since they are made for children.

Went to Six Flags Great Adventure. For the first time we had off for Columbus Day at work, so the park was open and it was unseasonably warm for October, but it made for a good time. I also bought a season pass for next year.

Went to Knoebels again, this time with Chris, Devin, Joey, Kenny, Laurie, and Bobby. It was colder than expected, but still we had some awesome rides on The Phoenix.

Saw Christian Kane in concert at the Hardware Bar in Bloomsburg. Nice venue, but something in there made my allergies go absolutely insane. So Laurie and I left early. I would love to see him in concert again though.

Met the Beekman Boys for the third time at Terrain. They can keep coming to Terrain, because I want to keep eating at Terrain. 🙂

Went on a business trip to Chicago.

November

Went down to Baltimore to see La Cage Aux Folles at the Hippodrome with Laurie. Afterwards, Laurie and I met our friend Kenny for dinner.

Saw Hugh Jackman back on broadway in New York City with my aunt, cousin, and mom. We hung out at the stage door and met Hugh and got his autograph too. Perfect timing.

I participated in NaNoWriMo for the 5th year.

Finished a puzzle that was almost two years in the making to be completed. I bought it in Cardiff in January 2010 and finished it in November 2011. Laurie and I worked on it every time she was up visiting, and that puzzle was a bitch to complete and a lot harder than it looked. It is now sitting in a frame waiting to be hung up.

Met up with Chris and went to Jones restaurant in Philly. I’ve never really done dinner in Philly before, and Jones was a really cool place, and had awesome food. (So yes my friends know how to pick good restaurants).

Went to another book signing with YA authors. This time I met: Kathleen McCollough, Alissa Grosso, Charlotte Bernardo, Kristi Cook, and Natalie Zaman. These ladies were awesome, and so easy to talk too and even encouraged me on my NaNo novel even though I didn’t get the 50k words for NaNo.

Saw Gary Hoey in concert.

December

Met up with Chris and Laurie in Delaware and toured the Nemours Mansion and Gardens. Absolutely gorgeous, and I want to go visit in the spring when the gardens would be in bloom. Chris picked out a fabulous little italian place for us to eat after doing the mansion tour.

Went to Q102’s Jingle Ball. For the price of a floor ticket, it was a very good concert, and even though I thought most of those girls at the concert shouldn’t have left the house looking like little tramps, I still had a good time.

My baby cousin Kellen had his first birthday. As a HLHS baby this was a huge milestone for him.

Went to Longwood Gardens on Christmas eve with my parents, aunt, and cousin. (Since my gram died in 2010, we’ve been trying to come up with new Christmas eve traditions, it’s still taking time to adjust to these, but I think we’re getting better at it).

For Christmas Day, we finally cooked the chicken I bought during Harvest Fest that I had in my freezer. Ironically we used a recipe from the Beekman Boys cookbook. It came out quite well. Can’t wait to try and cook it again.

Rang in the New year sitting on my parents bed with the dogs. Very low key.

Now that my year has been reviewed, it’s time to look at the future.

Future

I don’t like New Years resolutions because they are always tied to a date, and not to when you are ready to change. Trying to change because the date says January 1st, usually doesn’t end well for most people.

So I don’t have resolutions, I have goals of things I would like to accomplish in 2012, and if they don’t happen in 2012, I’m not going to beat myself up over them because I know whatever I do accomplish in 2012 will be just as good as the goals I have noted here.

  1. Write 75,000 words. I’ve had this goal for the past 5 years, and it’s never happened. Though every year I do seem a bit closer to it than the year before. But this one is two fold, I also want to keep better track of EVERYTHING I write whether it be blog posts, articles, or actual writings, because I know I write a lot just never have kept track of everything before.
  2. I think in my book post my book goal is to read 65 books. I also want to up this by reading more variety of books, and not just the entire kids section of the Horsham library.
  3. Go to a New To Me state. I don’t know how I can accomplish this, but it’s still early in the new year to work on this.
  4. Go to New York City for fun. I’ve been to NYC many many times, but yet, I’ve never just wandered around the city. I want to be that dorky tourist, and I also want to be that person who knows a couple places that tourists wouldn’t go either. What better way than to just wander around town?
  5. Maybe see more shows/concerts/ maybe a TV show taping?

Lastly, in 2012 I turn 30. Hard to believe that I turn 3o. But I am. Remember a couple entries ago I posted about this blog? Jen did something new everyday from her 29th birthday to her 30th birthday. Since I found her blog in a 3 year old issue of Cosmo I just read over Christmas break, I’m not doing something new everyday, but I want to do something new/random every week or every other week.

I started off by doing the writing of words in cursive with my right hand, and today I am going to make Oobleck. Go google it. I’ve now seen it on Jen’s blog and on an episode of Mythbusters. So it’s got to be fun to make right? Well I’ll find out later today, when I attempt to make it.

If you’ve read this entire thing, I applaud you, and I wish you all the best for a happy healthy 2012. I’m going to leave you with the words of LMFAO “Keep on Shufflin”.

Nicole

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