2018 was an interesting year. It was our first full year living in Italy. Our first year of living with a toddler, not a baby. Marcella’s first year of “school,” as we call daycare. It was a year of career flux, and ultimately, I think growth for both Mike and I. It was a busy, sometimes stressful year, but I think we managed to have a lot of fun as well.

At the end of the year I always like to reflect on the experiences we had, the places we went, and the memories we made. This is even more poignant now that we are a family of three (plus Leo).

So here are all the best things we got up to in 2018:

Where we went in Italy:

Turin, Verona, Venice, Modena, Rome, Vicenza, Ravenna, Various spots in Abruzzo.

Where we went Internationally:

Malta, San Marino, Serbia (just Mike), the US, Mexico, Austria

Most Visited Location

Venice. All the out of town visitors want to see it (understandably). Mike visited Venice three times and I went twice.

Stephanie’s Favorite Trip:

Mexico no question! We had such an amazing time exploring, eating and beaching our way through Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It’s one of my favorite countries and it was so fun to see it through Marcella’s eyes.

Mike’s Favorite Trip

Malta. Our first real international family vacation! He especially liked chancing on Carnival in Valleta.

Marcella’s Favorite Trip

When I asked her she said “Blippi!” But if I had to guess I would say probably Sesame Place. She talks about it all the time still.

Favorite Italian Discoveries

My favorite new place in Italy this year was Verona. I visited twice, once with my Mom and once with my Dad and Stepmom. It’s such a pretty and interesting city that I hope to explore more soon.

Best Meal(s)

Shaved truffle carpaccio from the most amazing set menu meal we had in Turin
Pizza from Berbere in Bologna
Every one of the ten million tacos we ate in Mexico
Delicious wienschnitzel in Vienna

Best Bologna Moments

The Pride parade (biggest in Italy!), sunny summer afternoons at the park, Christmas season festivities.

Least Favorite Time of Year in Bologna:

August where the boredom is only exceeded by the heat. It was so hot and so dead that we’re trying to figure out how to avoid it entirely in 2019.

Biggest Family Milestones

We got to attend two major family weddings this year: my Dad and Stepmom Ginny, and Mike’s Mom and Stepdad Bill. Both were wonderful experiences.

It was also awesome celebrating Marcella’s first “real” Christmas (where she was actually cognizant of what’s going on), in Bologna with my Mom.

2019 Plans:

We know we’re going to Morocco, and Spain, but hopefully we will have lots more exploration ahead of us next year!

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About Me

I’m a girl who can’t sit still. After nearly a decade of flitting around the world as a professional blogger and travel writer, I’ve settled into expat life in Bologna, Italy. I have a handsome husband, a floppy dog, and the best two year old in the world.

I blog professionally at Why Wait To See the World, and unprofessionally right here.