What qualifies as “Best of” anyways? The Instagram Best of 2017 does a roundup of the top nine photos with the most liked/loved posts. To be frank, I was not all that impressed with what was chosen for me. Which lead to this Best of 2017 post. My best of will have to be at least a mixed dozen, nine will not do Instagram.

Winter Blues

I will be honest, there were not a lot of highlights from early 2017. Winter came and with it a brand new skin condition that turned my life upside down. I did write about here with the long and short of it being that I spent most of the first three months longing for summer to come.

April Showers

By the time my birthday month rolled around I was ready for the funny farm. My birthday wish of being moved up the list to see a dermatologist came true but that still meant waiting until May for my first appointment. All the same, my best of 2017 began with three big highlights taking place in April. Speaking of highlights…

I was the lucky winner of a Trade Secrets gift certificate which allowed me the opportunity to meet Hailey. Needless to say, I was feeling beyond blah upon arriving in Toronto for the Bconnected Bloggers Conference (April highlight #2). My skin issues were still not under control but I did not want to miss the conference. My Trade Secrets makeover helped me put my best face forward before arriving at the event.

Blogger Babes

Attending BConnected with these two blogger babes made my best of 2017 memorable in 101 different ways. Both Kerra and Krista were a big part of my year, with more to share as I near BlogJam 2017 later in November.

Family is Everything

The added bonus of attending a conference in Toronto was being able to surprise my youngest kid by allowing him to tag along. My mom, brother, SIL, nephews, and cousins were on my list to see while visiting the big smoke. It was a birthday surprise he soon will not forget.

May Flowers

What bloomed in May was an opportunity that set me on a course of self-discovery. Who knew there was a travel writer inside me waiting to be unleashed. My first published piece on a site other than my own was a big deal, for me at least. It also opened the door to many new adventures.

From sleeping in a dome on Prince Edward Island to clam digging in Clam Harbour my family and I discovered places we would have never gone otherwise. And the food, oh my! I tasted the best seafood chowder of my life at By The Roadside Gallery and Cafe.

Best Summer Ever

By the time July came around the summer sun and frequent phototherapy sessions had my skin glowing again. That was worth celebrating which I did in the form of a Parisian dinner under the stars. My first ever Le Dîner en Blanc had me wearing white and I did not have to say I do. More to follow on this with an upcoming post in spring 2018.

My Soul Travels

Two more of my upcoming posts for 2018 was inspired by my August 2017 travels. The first being to Mersey River, Nova Scotia. I was sent on assignment by Travel Maritimes to explore Kejimkujik National Park and sleep under the stars in a Tipi. Something magical happened while I was there that did not get captured in the magazine article. Which is why my very post of 2018 will tell this story. Stay tuned.

Fresh off my journey to Mercy River I packed for a brief trip to Newfoundland. A visit back home is always a highlight because I never do it enough. The food, my family, a quick roadside visit with a childhood friend and of course being surrounded by the ocean fueled my soul a big way.

24 Hours in Cape Breton

Once the kids were back to school my September heated up with a whirlwind trip to Cape Breton. In just 24 hours I went zip lining (first time ever), ate amazing food at Danena’s Bakery and Bistro, hiked White Point, dined in style at The Markland Restaurant, let the ocean kiss my toes then hit the road again for home. Expanded post on this mini-adventure is also set for 2018.

Between October Pages

Between BlogJam Atlantic and The Giller Light Bash planning, there was a lot to do in October. One of the perks of planning the Giller Bash, however, was being invited to the Scotiabank Between the Pages event. Not only did I go home with all five of the shortlisted Giller prize nominee autographed books, I met the authors as well. The book geek inside me was giddy.

Remembering November

I could write an entire post about all the wonderful moments that happened at BlogJam Atlantic 2017. Oh wait a minute, I did. Check out the highlights here. Big thanks going out once again to Michelle Doucette Photography for allowing me to share some of my favourite moments with you.

December Dreams

It may be the end of the year but there were still a couple more moments that helped make 2017 memorable. One of which was a visit from my mom. We have not spent Christmas together in a long time. You can check out our adventures in cooking quail here. We worked with Chef Ben Kelly from Kitchen Door Catering, which also was a big highlight for me this year.

The icing on my Christmas cake came when given the opportunity to interview Chef Gail Simmons. Celebrity interviews? Really? Me? I would never have dreamt it to be or did I? Working with Travel Maritimes, now North American Traveller really made my year. The best part is, I want more of it. I look forward to what comes next. I hope you will join me as I continue to grow Gettin’ Fresh with R.H. Downs in 2018.

Happy New Year