I can’t believe I forgot my blog’s two-year anniversary last month!!  It was only two weeks ago, so it isn’t too late to celebrate I guess.  Today is also my 700th post… so a double whammy!  I realize that I didn’t post yesterday, and I was supposed to…but I was so exhausted from my quick trip to New Orleans and I knew that this post needed to be special.  I’m glad I waited until this morning to write with a fresh mind.

New Orleans was amazing, as usual.  I drove down and back with my dear friend Micah Manor, who I’ve known for many years.  She brings a special energy and view to things that never cross my mind, which I really enjoy about her.  She also makes me laugh.  We listened to great music in the car, talked about everything under the sun, ate cajun food, explored, and even shared an air mattress.  🙂  It was a great quick trip.

What’s so wonderful about New Orleans?  Everything.  It’s mysterious, spooky, beautiful, old, alive and full of a special vibe that you just can’t find anywhere else.  There is an element of survival there that I appreciate, as well as a magic that consumes you from the second you drive in to the city.  It’s also a walking/bike city and you can get almost anywhere by trolley.  It’s just perfect in every way.

When I look back over my last two years of writing this blog, immense change has happened to me across the board.  I won’t recount those memories, because a lot of you lived through it with me and already know of what I speak.  Now that I’m on the other side of some of those experiences, I have a greater perspective of why they happened.  I feel so grateful to be where I am right at this very moment…lessons and all.  If nothing bad/difficult ever happened to us, we wouldn’t know how wonderful the good things are.  I’m in a place now where I feel grateful for almost everything in my life.  🙂

As you know by now, I am super goal oriented.  I love a timeline in which to make something happen.  I mentioned a few weeks back that growing up I never made goals for myself past the age of 34 (which I will be next year)…so it is about time that I start visualizing what I want for my future.  As each year passes I realize how much individual experiences mean to me.  Memories are what it’s all about.  When I look back at 2011 some of my happiest moments were when I was totally present.  Bonnaroo is a great example of a high point.  I let myself just be there, no expectations and no schedule.  Thinking about that weekend brings so much joy to me, and I hope to repeat that experience again at this year’s festival.

This Sunday I find out if I made the Hawaii Ironman World Championship Lottery or not! This Sunday is also the Half Ironman in New Orleans, and this will be the first time in 3 years that I haven’t participated.  That is actually fine by me because after seeing Lake Pontchartrain during our ride home yesterday that was the last place I wanted to be swimming.  It looked extra choppy, so I hope it calms down for the participants before the event.  That lake is a bitch to swim in, no other way of describing it.  It’s by far the hardest element that race.

This weekend I will be doing a toast to The Jen West Quest for making it through 2 years and 700 entries.  Cheers and happy weekend!

Quick road trip to New Orleans with my friend Micah! 🙂

Live Oaks at Audobon Park in NOLA.

House of Voodoo, and mandatory stop.

Street music in New Orleans

Cemetery #2

Abandoned theme park after Katrina in New Orleans.

Old Ferris Wheel

Broken down roller coaster.