2011 was a big year. I graduated from college. I traveled Europe. I lived out of a suitcase for six months. I'm both sad and glad to see it go.

snow, mountains & sunspots

I relished living alone. I got a new bike, and went for long rides at dawn. I sat by the water and sometimes saw dolphins. I filled jars with flowers and loved my sunny white room every day.

southern flourish photoshoot
white bedroom coziness

I made cakes. Some failed, so I made them into trifles. I discovered the magic in homemade oreos.

half-eaten cake

I felt happy and confused and lost and free. When my heart hurt, lilypads helped.

lily pads at cypress gardens
tennessee home

I made best friends. We went on trips; to a Farm in the foothills of the Ozarks, to my beach house, to D.C, to Nashville. We threw dinner parties, sat on porches, docks, went sailing together. We had picnics at sunrise and went on long walks at sunset.

floating the edisto

We swam in pools, sometimes until five in the morning. Twenty of us floated down a river, tied to each other.

driving to the river

I moved out of my apartment and left Charleston.

empty apartment

I spent a blissful month at the beach with my family. We cooked every night and lived simply. We also danced, a lot.

dad et moi

I drank sangria in Barcelona with my 80-year-old grandmother. I spent my 22nd birthday alone in Madrid.

I lived in France for six weeks. I ate fruit from trees and mastered the art of doing nothing. I embarrassed myself often and felt humbled. I liked being alone, I wanted to stay forever.

I fell for these blue eyes.

I was forever changed by a beautiful little family.

I felt impossibly far away.

I made a friend in Limoges; we rode around on his moped and ate homemade Algerian food. The morning I left, he drove me to the train station and gave me a Serge Gainsbourg album.

I gambled in Monte Carlo. I drank wine at vineyards in Bordeaux. I got to know a boy from Charleston who once made me a rolling pin. We walked to a secret bridge every evening.

I lived among a brilliant, quirky group of artists and chefs in the Loire Valley. My heart felt full.

watercolor by zac

I spent invaluable time with a woman I deeply admire. She taught me how to photograph food and showed me what it means to possess infinite poise.

I ran around Paris with my best friends. For two weeks straight, we sat on our roof to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle and ate bread as an excuse to eat butter.

happiness on the roof

We smiled until our cheeks hurt.

chocolate molten cake

I woke up early. I found comfort in coffee, my computer, and The Radio Dept. I cried watching Blue Valentine on too many train rides to count. I made videos about the places I went.

I ran into Charleston friends in Berlin and realized how small the world is.

I was disenchanted by all things touristy. I felt guilty for being disappointed in Prague.

I saw London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Florence and Rome. I was tired. I ate tiramisu until I felt sick and didn't have an ounce of regret.

I came home, and everything was exactly how I left it.

Sharing photos and words makes me happier than I can say, and I'm infinitely grateful for the many wonderful people I've met through this little page on the internet. Starting this blog is one of the best things I've ever done thanks to you, dear readers. Happiest Happy New Year.

See 2010 and 2009 here.