Merry Christmas, happy New Year, and all around good cheer! This last year has been a wonderful whirlwind of travel, family, friends, art, food and a few really good books. Since it’s hard to summarize a whole year, present you with 12 short paragraphs, 12 photos of us, 12 pieces of art by me and 12 by Matt – a little glimpse of each month.
But, just in case you’re behind, let’s start with a very quick history.
June 2013 – Ruth and Matt get married – Yay!
November 2013 – Ruth and Matt fly to Portugal – Yay!
We both work as freelance artists, so we can live anywhere with an internet connection.
Now that you have some context, let’s get started:
We spent most of January in Foz do Arelho, Portugal and the surrounding area. Portugal is a stunningly beautiful country. We climbed castle walls and succulent covered cliffs, walked along the beach every day, and met some wonderful people.
February found us in Makarska, Croatia. Makarska is nestled along the coast of the Adriatic sea between the water and the Biokovo mountain range. We lived a couple of blocks from the sea side and watched unbelievable sunsets over the water from our balcony. I’ve never seen such beautiful landscapes before, and the water was clear and bright turquoise.
In March I turned 25. We took a birthday week to hike along the coast and visit Split, Croatia (location of one of Emperor Diocletian’s palaces), where I was incredibly thrilled to see an actual Egyptian sphinx! (Imported by Mr. Diocletian back in the day.)
In April, Matt joined me at the quarter century mark and we celebrated with a trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia (location of the castle where they filmed Game of Thrones) and a move to Athens, Greece!
Spring lasts ages in Europe, and we enjoyed months and months of beautiful blooms. Greece had the biggest bougainvilleas we’ve ever seen, and their blooms covered buildings built before Christ all the way to now. Walking the acropolis was also magical, like being transported back in time.
In June we celebrated our anniversary on the Greek island Aegina. We watched dolphins swim around our ferry, ate amazing food, splashed in the sea, visited an ancient temple and made the huge mistake of biking across the entire hilly island on a 95 degree day. (Just kidding, the bike ride was great. Mostly great. Just block out the heat, the sweat, the burning calves and the need to pee with no bathroom in sight and it was perfect.)
In July we visited Corinth and the rode the tram along the Athens coast. We ate lots more yummy food (Greek food is everything it’s cracked up to be. Plus a little more.), visited friends and stopped in the Istanbul airport before an incredibly long flight back to Texas. We can’t wait to actually leave the airport and visit Istanbul next time – the city called to us from the horizon and the cultural mix of people was fascinating.
In August we got our first car (we love our Prius), visited lots of museums and did a bit of USA travel. I went to Washington state for a gathering of women artists, Matt took his first business trip to Las Vegas and traveled to Atlanta for a good friend’s wedding.
In September we took a week long road trip. We swung by New Orleans and dipped our toes in the gulf, spent a couple of days in Atlanta and Charlotte visiting good friends, stopped at the best brunch place in the world (Matt has high brunch standards, so this is a legit endorsement) to visit another wonderful person, drove through D.C. at sunset (wow!), and paid a jaw-dropping amount of tolls before finally arriving in Delaware.
The family we lived with in Delaware quickly became like our second family. (Third family? Do we count our individual immediate families as two? Or do they share the first spot? Anyways, the point is we love our Delaware family in addition to our Meharg and Miller families.) I loved picking tomatoes for lunch from the garden (the smell of tomato leaves is one of my favorite smells) and Delaware is full of incredible gardens and natural treasures. We also were privileged to visit Philly and NYC, the enchanting Cape May, and many, many art museums.
In November we stopped in Pittsburgh (on the way to Michigan) and savored the international flair of the city. (I found my favorite candy from Poland – candy I couldn’t find in our 9 months in Europe!) We arrived in Grand Rapids right before the snow and spent 3 weeks visiting family and friends and celebrating Thanksgiving before stopping in Missouri for a little more family time.
Hang on, it’s December already? Well, we’re back in Texas spending the Christmas season with my family. We’ve painted lots, cared for a couple rambunctious cats, and visited more museums. (Surprise!) Now that we’ve reached the end of the year, I can happily say that Matt and I don’t know of a single goal we set for 2014 that we did not accomplish. (I don’t remember where I put our list of goals. I also don’t remember our goals. I think it’s safe to say we were totally successful. If you too want to be totally successful this year, don’t be intimidated by our accomplishment. You still have a few more days to lose your goals!)
That’s the end of our 2014 story. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
If you want to keep up with us next year you can follow me on this blog (I promise to start updating again) and Matt on Sunflowerman.com. Or find us on social media: