Lindsay Taub

A Personal Year in Review: 2011

2011-12-31 by Lindsay Taub

As we say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012, I am particularly grateful for having had a year full of blessings, joy, good times, a few bad ones, a whole lot of laughter, and of course countless adventures near and far! It was a year in which boundaries were broken, new friendships were made, old friendships were rekindled, new places were explored (literally and figuratively), and new professional heights were reached. It was a year in which a dear loved one lost a battle with ALS, and in which a dear friend successfully overcame cancer.

On this New Year’s Eve, I am particularly grateful for the lessons that 2011 taught, and the reminders it presented — to live life fully, passionately, authentically, and without holding back, for you never know what tomorrow may bring. I wish everyone a new year full of laughter, love, good health, kindness, peace, understanding, awareness, fine food and great wine, and most of all, a curious, adventurous spirit!

Here are just a few of my personal highlights from 2011:

January 2011: Holly


January: Holly found her forever home in mine! It was a rollercoaster ride from the moment I rescued her on the day she was to be euthanized. Intending to foster her and find her a home, she ended up having a life-threatening case of pneumonia and almost didn’t make it. Fortunately, she had a lot of support and people pulling for her, and after a month of nursing her back to health, I couldn’t let her go. She’s now the happiest little munchkin on the planet and completed our pack of three!



February 2011: Maui


February: A family trip to Maui was the first true family vacation we’ve had in years. It was a joy to spend some quality time with my little brother, jeeping around the island, ziplining along the Kaanapali coast, and enjoying the delicious food, sunshine, deep talks, and tropical cocktails with my loved ones.




March 2011: Zuckerberg

March: Meeting and getting a tour of Facebook headquarters from the Facebook CEO himself was certainly a memorable moment. At the time, I was writing for “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan and through some of my personal connections, I got in touch with Mark Zuckerberg’s people to offer Cesar’s help with his new dog, Beast, now the most popular dog on Facebook of course. On a rainy March day in Palo Alto, we met Zuck, his lovely girlfriend Priscilla, and the fluff ball of a dog. I was stunned at how gracious, down-to-earth, and welcoming they were, even Beast, who had a tremendous liking for the pointy toe on my heels! Despite the rumors and negative PR out there since then, I’m not buying it. I found the young man to be honest, kind, and quite impressive.


April 2011: Fashion for Paws


April: Holly and I made our runway debut in Washington D.C.’s Fashion for Paws, the largest fundraising event of the year for the Washington Humane Society. It was such an honor to participate, to wear the clothes, and to have the opportunity to work with such incredible people who give so much of themselves each and every day for the betterment of animals. Looks like we’ll be making a repeat appearance on the runway in 2012, so stay tuned!



May 2011: Triple Taurus Birthday Bash


May: The Triple Taurus Birthday Bash! Birthdays are awesome, but THREE birthdays within days of one another are off-the-charts! It was a pleasure and a rip-roaring good time to host the shindig that brought together my friends, my friends’ friends, and the friends of friends’ friends to laugh, drink, eat, dance, and be merry. Hip Hip Hooray for the Bulls!




June 2011: Alberta, Canada


June: A week in Alberta, Canada, visiting Calgary, Banff, and Lake Louise was stunning, fun, and fortuitous. On the trip, I met two other LA-based journalists, who have now become dear friends and frequent travel buddies. It didn’t matter that it rained almost the entire week; we had a blast. We drank, we ate, we hiked, we rode horses, we had tea in the most sublime alpine tea house, we met some oddballs and a GQ cowboy, and we laughed and laughed and laughed through it all.



July 2011: A Chance Encounter

July: This was a tough month to pick a highlight with so many adventures and good times had, but years from now, what will stand out most is a chance meeting. It was one of those destined-to-happen moments when my mom was sitting at a table at an event where the conversation led to discussion of her Estonian parents, and how she knew little of their refugee journey in the late ’40s, when… sitting across the table was an older lady who not only knew my grandparents then, but was also on the same boat with them as they stopped in Ireland before planting new roots in Canada. Since that fateful day, our new friend has shared countless stories that have made an unknown part of my late grandparents’ lives known, or at the very least, better understood.


August 2011: Saguenay Fjord

August: Let’s call this the month of one of the greatest physical challenges of the year — it was an “Amazing Race” themed contest for journalists, where we competed against one another in one challenge after another…after another…after another… It was non-stop action that took us from one end of the Saguenay Fjord in Quebec to the other, from 6 in the morning to 10 at night. We pushed our bodies and minds to the limits, experienced utter exhaustion and exhilaration, but along the way, had just the most incredible time in a stunningly gorgeous place. Oh, and by the way, I happened to WIN the whole kit and kaboodle. My prize? A fantastic spa treatment, and all the glory of winning!


September 2011: Wales


September: The adventures continued in Wales, in a week of pure excitement, thrills and chills, charades and escapades, and good ‘ol fun with bloggers from around the globe. The country was just gorgeous and we lucked out with a week of perfect weather. The pubs were joyous, the whisky delicious, and the castles magical. From mountain biking, rock hopping in kayaks, and coasteering (jumping off cliffs into the sea) to riding on Europe’s oldest steam train and sleeping in yurts one night and a lighthouse tower the next, it was quite simply one of my favorite weeks of the year.


October 2011: Spokane


October: Whenever I get the chance to feel and experience life with the curiosity of a child, it’s a good day. And for a few days in Spokane, it was filled with opportunities to be a kid-at-heart, running through hay mazes, shooting corn ears out of air guns, chucking pumpkins out of canons, and sliding into pits of dried peas. It was the fall harvest in Spokane, where the farm fun also included apple picking, pie tasting, farm-to-table cuisine, drinking wine from the barrel, and visiting with the local Kalispel tribe on their ancestral lands.


November 2011: Necker Island


November: I’d like to say the highlight was meeting Sir Richard Branson, which I did, but truth be told, it was visiting his private paradise, Necker Island. One of the most exclusive resorts in the British Virgin Islands, and maybe the world, the Island is magnificent. The water was warm and a perfect turquoise, the Balinese abodes were dreamy, and the views were some of the most serene I’ve seen in all my life. There on a work gig shooting a special for the Travel Channel that airs tomorrow (check it out, 9PM!), the visit was all too short.



December 2011: Israel

December: Closing the year was quite possibly the most interesting trip of the year — to Israel. While much of the trip was spent exploring all the adventurous activities to do there — swimming with dolphins in the Red Sea, parasailing with views of four Middle Eastern countries, hiking Masada, exploring the oasis of Ein Gedi, floating in the Dead Sea, rappelling Makhatesh Ramon, biking and camel riding in the Negev desert, and more — it was Jerusalem that was so striking to me. I will return for the falaffel and the schwarma, and the historical importance, but not for the Kosher wine or religious extremism. It was a country full of history, polar opposites, and rich with passion in every regard. I left with joy and appreciation for Israel not only being a place to pray, but also a place to play.


To a prosperous, exhilarating, adventurous, hilarious, fulfilling, and joyous year ahead! Cheers!

Tags: 2011, Alberta, banff, Birthday, dogs, Fashion for Paws, featured, Israel, lake louise, Lindsay Taub, Maui, Necker Island, New Year's Eve, Quebec, Saguenay Fjord, Spokane, Travel, Wales, Year in Review

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