2015 – A Year in Review

You know, one day you’re road tripping down to Florida and you cannot believe that you have 4.5 months ahead of you of pure Disney bliss.

Then in the blink of an eye, it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re about to road trip to Arizona in 2 days to head to school.

Time is funny that way. It drags on the slowest when things are bumpy, but then when things are going wonderfully, it goes by so fast you can’t keep up.

In the spirit of New Year’s Eve,  and the unbelievable shock that I’m going through that this fall semester is over already, I think it’s time to do a recap of 2015! What a crazy and beautiful year it has been.

January 2015

I remember specifically saying as soon as the clock struck 12, “I cannot wait for this year to be over.” (A bit overdramatic in hindsight, I admit) 2014 was the best year of my life and in my mind, nothing would (and probably ever will) top it. Uncertainty was at an all time high starting off this year. I finished up my Disneyland College Program and had no idea what I wanted to do next. I was leaving a job that I loved and friends that I loved. I had to go live on the opposite side of the country from a boy I had just gotten to know and love. I was all-around emotionally unstable.

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I went back to my school in Florida and realized that I could not see myself finishing my degree there. I applied to Disney World and there were no openings because the holiday season had just ended. Things were falling apart.

I’m so glad pushed through though because things got so much better!

February 2015 –

I was school-less and job-less and all of my people were all over the country. While I was in Florida, I tried to keep myself busy by seeing old friends, I went to a Brett Eldridge concert, and got to visit WDW a couple times. Eventually, I went home to visit my family and I also went to Arizona to visit Noah and Krista, who coincidentally (and thankfully) go to the same school.

My first visit to Arizona was a very busy one! We all went to Disneyland together, (and I bawled my eyes out on Main Street after leaving on such an emotional note) we went to San Diego, and Noah and I got to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day together. We got to go on one of our all-time favorite dates at a restaurant called House of Tricks.

This was also a very exciting trip because I found out I had gotten accepted for a Disneyland Summer Alumni College Program!

March 2015 – 

March was an incredibly special month because the Skips (minus Chris) came all the way to Walt Disney World! It was our first time on the opposite coast all together, and Noah’s first time at WDW ever!

We went to all four parks and crammed in absolutely everything we could. I have never been as tired in my entire life as I was after that last night after Magic Kingdom. This was one of my favorite weeks of the entire year and I still can’t believe we pulled it off!

April 2015 –

IMG_0975After the skips left, I packed up all of my stuff from Florida and it was time to move it home. I said goodbye to Florida friends for the time being and kept pushing forward!

I redecorated my room this month too which was the most satisfying feeling. Even though I don’t live at home anymore, just knowing that everything is safe and in it’s place gives me peace of mind.

I ended up making a surprise trip out to Arizona – Krista had no idea I was coming! We made it to Disneyland again and meeting all of the Easter characters in Big Thunder Ranch was a huge highlight for us. (RIP)

On top of that, we had lots of adventures in Tempe! We got to see live-action Cinderella at a movie theater that had reclinable chairs, and we got to explore the Biltmore. On that night, Noah got a life-changing call offering him an Industrial Engineering Internship at Walt Disney World for the fall semester! This was particularly exciting because we finally had a date for when we would no longer have to do long-distance! I was so beyond proud of him.

May 2015 – 

This was another jam-packed month! I started off in Arizona again and was there until the end of their semester. I got hit by a bike when I was trying to cross the street one time. Noah and I played lots of Zoo Tycoon and then celebrated my birthday early by going to the Phoenix Zoo where we fed giraffes and pet sting rays!

Then on my birthday (May 8th) Krista and I flew Aulani and had the most amazing trip! We got to explore the resort and relax in paradise for a few days before our summer adventure!

Our next stop was Disneyland where we both were doing a Disneyland Summer Alumni Program! I got accepted for Attractions again and found out my summer home would be Soarin’ Over California. Everyone was gearing up for the 60th Anniversary Celebration!

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June 2015 –

Work was in full swing, and so were those summer crowds. I spent a good portion of time at Disneyland. However, I also got to make some off-site trips: one to Laguna Beach with Izabelle and another to Huntington Beach with Krista.

 I also was lucky enough to go to Portland, Oregon to visit Noah in his hometown. This was one of the coolest weeks of my summer by far. We ate tacos at Por Que No, went on a hike through freezing water at Oneonta, I got an Acai Bowl named “the Uncle Jessie,” Kari came down to visit, we went to the ever-famous Voodoo Doughnut, Noah took me on an incredible date to Portland City Grill, we explored one of the biggest bookstores of all time called Powell’s Bookstore, I tried a Vegan chicken burger, we went to the Portland Zoo, and also the Rose Garden. I loved every second of it!

 July 2015 –

July started off with me managing to get a Main Street GSO shift back with my Ad/Frnt family. Skipper Chris worked with me that night! It was like being back home and I was so happy!

The 60th anniversary happened, which was great. Sara and I just went to Denny’s and then went to go work in DCA so it wasn’t too, too crazy for us.

Bobby, James, and Megan came to visit, as well as half of Walt Disney World. So did Kari, and it was great to have so many people back in one place all at the same time!

Noah was coming to visit too! But he had a master plan and had letters set up all around Disneyland themed for 3 different lands for me to go find. Once I completed the scavenger hunt in Tomorrowland, he surprised me and showed up a day early for his trip. (since he was supposed to show up tomorrow and he was in Tomorrowland. Get it?) It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me!

We all got to go to Blue Bayou for Kari’s birthday dinner. Krista, Noah, and I went to Universal for a day, and then Chris joined us another day and we went to Malibu!

August 2015 –

Then things got all wrapped up at Soarin’. I had to say goodbye to some wonderful friends I had made there and I graduated from my Summer program!

Then it was back home for a few days and Noah met me there. Long distance was finally over!! We did a few classic Buffalo things like the Zoo and Niagara falls. Then we drove all the way down to Florida! We stopped in Pittsburg for Chipotle, South Carolina for a Ghost Tour, Sticky Fingers, and Poogan’s Porch, and before we knew it, we made it to Disney World!

Within the next few weeks I found out my work location would be the Spooky House and online classes started up! Things were finally piecing together and it felt so good.

September 2015 –

In September we got to celebrate Noah’s 21st Birthday and we spent it by Drinking Around the World at Epcot and then staying at the Yacht Club that night. Our best move was ordering room service pizza before bed.

Krista and my parents came down to visit and we got to stay in a Polynesian Bungalow for a few nights which was a dream. We also went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dressed as Pirates!

My parents stayed at Old Key West after the Poly. I got to work one of the coolest shifts of my life which was Haunted Mansion during a MNSSHP.

Then at the end of the month, we went to one more Halloween Party but this time we went with Bobby. He and I were ballroom dancers and Noah was the gravedigger from Haunted Mansion!

October 2015 –

In October, Bobby, Noah and I got to celebrate Dapper Day at Hollywood Studios.

One of my oldest friends from home, Vickie, came to visit with her family and we got to experience Epcot’s Food and Wine festival among many other things together!

I also went to two pumpkin patches – one with Noah and one with Taylor.

I worked a Halloween PAC shift, we carved pumpkins on the 30th and went to a Halloween Party at Taylor’s.

Then on actual Halloween Bobby and I went to Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour in Tampa, which was the last stop on her US tour!

November 2015 –

Two of my really good friends, Michaela and Lia, came down to visit Florida at the same time. We got to stay at the Boardwalk Club level and then we got to Contemporary and Chill. We also went to a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party together and it was magical beyond belief!

Noah’s little sister Isa was also visiting WDW at this time for her first time ever! I got to spend some time with them in Animal Kingdom and Epcot and we had a blast!

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Noah and I escaped for a weekend and got to stay in Sarasota, FL! We went out to wonderful restaurants and also got to explore Siesta Key, a place I frequently visited during my childhood. Then when we came back and we saw the Osborne Lights. I am so unbelievably sad that this is their last year!

I worked some Very Merry PAC shifts. Then for the first time in three years I got to go home for Thanksgiving!

When I got back, Noah and I celebrated our one year Anniversary and stayed at Port Orleans Riverside for a weekend. It was perfect and wonderful and I was so happy.

And last but not least…

December 2015 –

I went to one more MVMCP with my Sarahs from Boutique. It felt just like it did 2 years ago – nothing had changed!

Later that week we had a photoshoot at the Epcot resorts for old times sake!

My parents had DVC points that were about to expire, so we got to stay at Wilderness Lodge for a night, then Animal Kingdom Lodge for two nights. That weekend we went to Universal and then we got to go to Skipper Canteen on opening day!

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My parents came down for their Christmas trip and started out their stay at the Grand Floridian. We got to go to a Orlando Magic vs. Portland Trail Blazers game at the Amway Center and that was my first NBA game ever!

Noah took me on a Magic Kingdom Christmas date and we got to eat lunch at Be Our Guest, go on all of our favorite rides, watch the parade, eat at Plaza for dinner, and watch the Holiday fireworks.

We had to do Sanaa one more time for lunch because it’s our favorite.

I had my last day at Mansion. It was 11 hours long but everyone I loved was working and it was so much fun! Working there was such a bucket list item and I’m so glad I actually got to do it!

Christmas was wonderful. I got to go to brunch with my family at Captain’s Grille and then Noah and I exchanged Christmas presents at home. It truly felt like Christmas!

Most recently, we headed back home for a super quick trip so we could catch the Bills vs. Cowboys NFL game. (our two favorite teams) I was rooting for both though so I was a very confused football fan. Even though we had to drive all the way to Cleveland to catch a flight back (since ours got cancelled!) it was totally worth it!

Then tonight for New Year’s Eve, I’m spending it in Orlando with Noah, Bobby, and James and it’ll be the perfect way to wrap up an amazing year!

Could you keep up with that? I barely could and I lived it. If you read through that entire thing, YOU ARE AMAZING!

This year was a rollercoaster. I felt like I grew so much and it is unbelievably satisfying to see this progress. As much as I was dreading the uncertainty of 2015, it ended up working out better than I could have ever imagined.

I’m headed into another year of uncertainty (I’ve got it a little bit more put together this time around but not as much as I’d like) and I guess I’m just going to have to trust that whatever’s meant to work out is going to work out again.

Thank you to every incredible person who made my year what it was. To new friends and old, thanks for standing by me through my anxious rants or being there to celebrate through the good times. It means the world to me.

A few resolutions I have for 2016:

Watch more movies and read more books.

Travel.

Keep up with my blog.

Graduate and finally get my degree!

Have a better idea of what I want to do after college.

Don’t let my anxiety ruin perfectly good moments and trust in a greater plan.

And find as much happiness as I possibly can along the way!

So, here’s to 2016 and all of the magic it has to offer. I’m hoping for another beautiful year, let’s see where it takes us next! Happy New Year, everyone! Be safe out there tonight, and may 2016 bring you all of the happiness in the world!

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11 thoughts on “2015 – A Year in Review

  1. It took me ten years to graduate from college. I decision I still don’t regret.

    Never let doors close, or avoid the longer road. There’s more potential growth taking the long road, and memories to last a life time!

    Happy New Year!

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  2. Following your adventures the past 2 years or so has been a pleasure. I have been trying to convince my daughter to do a DCP since I started following your 1st DCP on the Disney Boards! Since she will not be graduating this may and has to stay for an extra semester, I think I convinced her to stay in school an extra semester and apply for the DCP. After our conversation, she actually contacted the DCP Advisor at her college!!! I hope she does it!!!!! Happy New Year Jess!!!! Best of luck with you 2016 adventures!!!!

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  3. I’ve been following you since your first program and always love your pictures! You seriously have had some of the best roles and locations!!!

    Good luck in 2016! Can’t wait to see where you adventure takes you!

    Like

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