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Dec 31, 2012

Team Cote's Top 20 of 2012

I realize I could have made this obligatory New Year's Eve year in review countdown a bit shorter...like just a Top 10 or a Top 12 to match the year we're sending off...but honestly, there were just too darn many fun and amazing things that happened to us in 2012 that a tiny countdown just couldn't cover. Heck, it was even hard for me to narrow down this epic year into just 20 noteworthy things (because, let's face it, 2012 kind of rocked our socks off). But, for the sake of not boring each of you to tears or delaying any of your NYE festivities (we're taking it easy this NYE, jet lag is one saucy minx), I kept it to only the most awesome of events. So, without further adieu, here's Team Coté's Top 20 of 2012! Cheers to an exciting 2013! May it be your most fabulous year yet, friends!

Our first time skiing in the European Alps was simply magical. No one died, so it was super productive as well. Don't we look cute in our ski gear? I'm still trying to get in contact with Colombia to start our ad campaign. They just don't know what they're missing.

Zandvoort/Amsterdam/Lisse, Holland
Our time in The Netherlands was spent in two different extremes. Half the time we were surrounded by a cloud of smoke in Amsterdam, while the rest of the trip was spent submersed in God's beautiful tulip-filled landscapes of Lisse. It was a wacky (yet memorable) Easter weekend to say the least.

My Big Fat European Family Vacation-Germany/Austria/Italy
D and I took 10 of my favorite family members on a whirlwind 2 week adventure through 3 different European countries. We galavanted around Bavaria, climbing mountains, paddle boating on crystal blue lakes, and exploring some pretty famous castles. After taking a quick pit stop on the Rhine, we then made our way to a dream-like villa in Tuscany to spend a week enjoying Italian cities like Florence, Rome (part 2//part 3), Carmignano, and Cinque Terre. I have to say, it's been one of my favorite vacations yet! And also my favorite travel recap series. A trip of a lifetime to say the VERY least! 

Hello, sexy silver bars!!
After 4 years of serving our country, moving from place to place, deploying for 6 month stents, and working late nights and longs shifts, D was promoted to the rank of Captain in May! It was a huge day for him and a super proud moment for this Air Force wifey right here. :) He continues to amaze me with how much he excels at his job and in his military career. 20 years or bust, right babe?! This was also just about the time we hit the 1 year mark of living in Germany. It was a big summer!

Memorial Day Weekend in Prague
Team Tempia and Team Coté got together and spent a long weekend taking Prague by storm! This beautiful city was such a surprise...so much to do and gobs of history to take in. Not to mention, the food and accommodations were out of this world. Who knew Bohemia would blow our minds?

Rhine Falls, Switzerland & Lake Constance, Germany
To celebrate our 5th year of wedded bliss, D and I packed our bags and made our way down to one of the most gorgeous lakes in Bavaria, Lake Constance! We spent 5 days in our comfy lake-side apartment soaking up the sun and reconnecting over spectacular views and some pretty yummy home cooked dinners. We also did a little bit of sight-seeing, but mostly drinking wine and getting sunburned. This trip was also memorable for another unfortunate reason. Gotta love Europe!

J'adore Paris!-August 2012
Two of our best friends and 4 days in the "city of love?" What more could you want?! We had a blast and a half wandering the streets of Paris and taking in all the sights and sounds of one of the most beautiful and iconic cities on Earth. Eating macarons along the Champs Elysées, dining on Croque Madames, and enjoying nights spent laying on the lawn of the Champs de Mars just staring up at the Eiffel Tower was almost more than my little expat heart could take! We feel so fortunate to have been able to share an experience like that with such dear friends! {More Paris recap posts to come!}

Wiesbaden Rheingau Festival 2012
I never did get around to blogging this...or half of our summer vacations for that matter (I promise, they'll get done)...but this wine festival held in downtown Wiesbaden each August is one for the record books. 10 days and 100 stalls of delicious Rhine Valley wines make this wine festival one of the largest (and most fun) in Germany. It also makes me a very happy Casey! With just a walk down the hill from our apartment, we could spend hours sampling wine and dancing the night away with all of our German buddies. I'm happy to report, D and I made it downtown 6 out of the 10 nights the festival was held. Next year, we're going for all 10!

Move over Betty Crocker!
This year, my kitchen got put to good use. And I have Pinterest to thank for that. It's safe to say my "Good Eats" board is the fullest of any other board I've got going on that time-suck of a website. But, it's given me lots of great ideas for some pretty stellar recipes that I happily shared with you guys over the last year. Remember those Homemade Pop Tarts? Or my Pumpkin Spiced Pancakes? Yeah...you're welcome. Bon appetit! 

Nutritionista's reunited!
Here's another event of 2012 that has yet to be blogged. Man, I kind of suck at this, huh? Anywho, one of my best girlfriends (and fellow foodies) from college and her hubby made a pit stop in Germany to visit us after spending 10 days floating along the Mediterranean with their families. Nice, huh? We hadn't seen the Huffmans in almost 3 years, so this reunion was long overdue...and epic to say the least! So, when ya coming back Huffman's? Huh? Huh?!

Ok, so maybe not 1,000 castles, but it sure as heck felt like it!
What is the one thing everyone wants to do when they come visit us here in Germany? Drink a beer. Duh. But a close second would be seeing a castle. Or two. Or 10. So, that's precisely what we did whenever a new set of visitors rolled into town. Don't get me wrong, we love a good castle (and Germany has got some amazing ones), but please, for the love of all things German, if you come visit us in 2013, let's keep the castle hunting to a minimum. Mmmkay? The final castle count of the year...27. Dear Lord, help us all.

Jolly ol' England & dorking out on Harry Potter
Guys, you know how much I love London. I fell in love with it on our first trip there in October of 2011 and the feeling only gets stronger. This was another one of our spur of the moment trips, planned just after coming back from Paris with only two weekends in between. That just proves how wacky we are for that city. We saw the Jersey Boys at Prince Edward Theatre, marveled at the goodies inside of Harrods, and had high tea at Kensington Palace our first two days there. But probably the greatest part of our London trip was surprising D with a visit to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour! Now, I've yet to blog this amazing trip as well (are you surprised?), but I promise you, you won't want to miss this post! D completely nerded out that day...and subsequently turned me into a pretty adorkable Potter fan myself. Oh, the things you do for love. ;)

500 followers strong!
And growing everyday! Just a few days before my 26th birthday, the blogging world completely surprised and overwhelmed me with the greatest gift a blogger could want. 500 precious blog followers! Since that special day, I've opened up my advertising spots, hosted some pretty fabulous giveaways, and have made some long lasting connections with some pretty amazing bloggers! I've said it before, and I'll say it a million time more, I'm sure, but I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of this blogging community! I'm BEYOND excited to see what 2013 will bring for We Took the Road Less Traveled! I'm ready to knock 1,000 out of the park. Only 39 to go! :) :)
Oh yeah, and in honor of 2013...all ad spots are currently 40% OFF with code NEWYEAR! Get on it!

There's not much to say except Oktoberfest. Was. AWESOME! One of the single greatest weekends of our time here in Germany. We drank, danced, and wore ridiculous costumes...all a German's days work, mind you. I had so much fun recapping our experience there...it's probably one of my favorite posts of the year! Add Oktoberfest to your bucket list, people. It's completely necessary.

Weingut Eugen Wehrheim-Nierstein, Germany
Grape picking along the Rhine River fulfilled my dream of seeing one of my favorite fruits turned into one of my favorite beverages. It also confirmed that grape harvesting by hand is one of the hardest, most back breaking jobs in the history of ever. Thankfully, the reward we reaped was well worth it! Wine for all!

A BLATE of Italian Proportions
For all you non-bloggers, blog+date=BLATE. So, basically a meet up of two or more awesome blogging souls. They're kind of a big deal around blog world. This particular blate took me to Italy to meet up with Jessica of Jessica Lynn Writes, who's been one of my best bloggy friends and fellow military wives for some time now. We had so much fun exploring Venice, Burano, and Murano, as well as shopping for pottery in Nove and laughing till our stomaches hurt watching hours of White Collar and the steamy Matt Bomer (yum). If you're a blogger and haven't been on a blate yet, you're SO missing out!! Bloggers make some of the greatest friends in the world! {Oh, and I'll blog about this someday, too. Promise!}

Get Yo Drink On
And that's basically all we did on our weekend trip to Bruges, Belgium right after Thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure D and I tried every Belgian beer there was to try in that city. No joke. I've got the photos to prove it. Which I guess I'll get around to blogging sometime after I blog all the other things I said I'd blog soon in this post. Please don't unfollow me. I'll be a better blogger in 2013. Scout's honor!

Frohe Weihnachten, Freunde!
One of the greatest times of year in Germany is Christmas time. Each city across the country begins opening up their Christmas Markets just after Thanksgiving, filling their Markt squares with Christmas lights, delicious treats, and stalls adorned with ornaments and local handicrafts. If you thought Christmas in the states was a sight to behold, you've not seen anything till you've experienced a Christmas Market in Germany! Feel free to live vicariously through me if you'd like!

The Police Took Timothy!
Ok, so you had to be there. It's almost needless to say, but getting to visit New York City at Christmas time was nothing short of magical. Getting to see it with 5 of your closest (and silliest) family members made the experience heart bursting. From ice skating in Bryant Park to watching the Rockettes high kick at Radio City Music Hall...to say we had THE best time would be a severe understatement! Be looking out for an NYC recap sooner rather than later...so says the procrastinator. :)

Santa Brought Us Home for Christmas!
I want to cry just thinking about the amazing Christmas we just spent back at home with our families in North Carolina. We feel so blessed to have been able to afford two plane tickets home so we could enjoy the holiday season with the one's we hold so dear, yet live so very far away from us most of the year. We did all the traditional Christmassy things we missed out on sharing last year and even added a few new traditions to the mix. We also got in lots of time soaking up America and snuggling up with our sweet baby dog, Tucker. Although the jet lag is beating us up hard this week, the long flights and sleepless nights were so worth it! There's nothing like being home for Christmas. Nothing. Expect a Christmas recap in the very near future!

Well, in the words of my Papaw...that's all she wrote, folks! If you made it to the end of this awesome, albeit long, year in review post...30,000 cool points for you! Believe me, I'm keeping count. ;) Here's wishing you the happiest of New Year's Eve's and a very pleasant and prosperous 2013! See you on the flip side!!


  1. Such a fantastic year for y'all!!! AND I made the Top FIVE :) (I'm sure it was in no particular order, but I'm just going to tell myself that our Blate was so awesome it was top-five worthy!)

    Can't wait to see what Team Cote has up their sleeve for 2013!

  2. What a fantastic 2012 you have had! I love all the pictures. :) Happy 2013!

  3. What an exciting year girl! I'm super jealous of all your traveling. Looks like y'all had a great year! Happy New Year's Eve!

  4. I am sooo glad to have found your sweet blog this year. One of my favorites for sure!!

  5. Like the comment above, I am also so glad I found your blog this year! I love it. Hope 2013 is a fabulous year for you!

  6. what a fantastic year!! hope that 2013 is just as wonderful

  7. I loved this post I have learnt so much about you in just one post

  8. Seems like a pretty amazing year! :)

  9. Soo I just found your blog yesterday thanks to Tamara (at Everything Happens)! I'm obsessed. I live in NC! I just read yalls story & how you two were station in Hampton, VA. My cousin is in the Navy & is stationed there!

  10. Wow look at all the amazing places you visited I'm so jealous looks like you had a wonderful year! Followed via blog hop

    Summer x


  11. looks like such a fabulous year of traveling casey! (slightly jealous :)

    happy new year!

  12. I love this countdown recap. What a blessed year you've had. Thanks for sharing it with us! :)

  13. A close friend of mine, Michelle Burns, pointed me in the direction of your blog when she learned that I was moving to Wiesbaden (well, we actually found a home in Mainz). I've enjoyed reading your posts and happy to say that I've done a few things off of your top 20, but hope to cross a few more off soon!

  14. A close friend of mine, Michelle Burns, pointed me in the direction of your blog when she learned that I was moving to Wiesbaden (well, we actually found a home in Mainz). I've enjoyed reading your posts and happy to say that I've done a few things off of your top 20, but hope to cross a few more off soon!

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