December 31, 2017

Alexa & Macky's Best Moments of 2017

It's coming a little bit later than planned, but we're finally sharing our favorite moments of 2017. It's been such a good year, friends, and we've been so lucky to do so many things and see so many folks and just all-around have all the experiences we've had. We never expected to be the type of people who got the chance to do all these things, yet here we are. Without further ado, here are our top moments from the past year!

Visits from friends and family
Macky says: It's become a tradition that we host family and friends when they come to New York, and quite a few of them managed to grace our living room this year. Parents, siblings, dear friends from all over the world - all of them visited to get a chance to spend time with us and take a bit out of the Big Apple. Hearts are full, and we're looking forward to future visits!
Alexa says: I've been so lucky to have had family and friends coming to visit ever since 2013. It's certainly made life less lonely and so much more fun. I've had some of the best moments with a lot of my best and beloved people, and I feel oh so lucky to be able to say that. Also, I want to specifically shout out the Dumdums. I honestly can't remember how we ended up christening our little group of family besties the Dumdums, but it's certainly stuck. My heart is so, so full from being able to spend quality time with my people for about a month and a half. All the jokes, all the conversations, all the memories - I'll treasure them forever and I'm so glad 2017 gave me that gift.

Going to Walt Disney World not once, not twice, but three times
Macky says: I am a Disney kid through and through - music and soundtrack and movies and shows. That I managed to visit Disney World several times this year is a huge highlight.
Alexa says: If you had told me as a kid that I would grow up to be the sort of adult who got to visit Disney World multiple times in the year, I would have been really excited about it. And as an adult, I still am! There's nothing quite like the magical feeling I get whenever I'm in Disney World. As my friend Hanna puts it, my happy place happens to be the happiest place on earth... and I'm cool with that.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Alexa says: I've never tired of visiting this park, mostly because it allows me to live out my Harry Potter related dreams with a visit to Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. I had so much fun drinking all the Butterbeer, wandering the streets and being there with some of my favorite people in the whole damn universe.

BookExpo America, BookCon, book blogging & YouTube, getting books in the mail
Macky says: I found a Facebook memory with a comment where I'd posted about how I'd considered not just occasionally guest posting on Alexa's blog but becoming a full-time co-blogger. Since BEA, it was all downhill from there and I can't imagine having lived without it for so long.
Alexa says: First of all, I want to say that I think it's the best thing ever that Macky has decided to come on board full time in order to be a part of my blog and channel. It's helped mix up the content a little, and it's also breathed new life into both aspects of my, well, now our online presence. But second, I wanted to mention that BEA and BookCon this year were so fun. I got to spend loads of time with a lot of friends, picked up books I was excited about and also got to meet some of my favorite authors too (plus a bonus Chad Michael Murray).

BookNet Fest + BFest Booktube Panel panelist
Alexa says: I honestly cannot believe that I was invited to be a panelist twice for 2017. I had the privilege of being a part of the inaugural BookNetFest experience as a panelist, and I also got to join a bunch of awesome BookTubers in a panel at BFest at B&N. It was such a honor!

Of Stories and Songs Benefit Concert
Macky says: Some friends back in Manila put a benefit concert together for several causes (one of which is a poverty-stricken area that also happened to have a children's orchestra) and rope-a-doped me into joining the cast while I was home for a visit. It was a success on so many levels and they may want to do one again next year. Gotta renew that passport!

Alexa's Best Friends Get Married
Alexa says: I'm so thrilled I got the chance to attend two weddings this year. In May, I went down to Charleston to see my friends Jaymee and Ephy tie the knot in a beautiful outdoor ceremony. In December, I flew home to the Philippines to see my friends Rachel and Mon get hitched in our hometown of Bacolod. Both celebrations were absolutely wonderful, and I totally felt the love! (I also got to be a part of the wedding party in both, and that was fun too.)

Live Stream Sessions with Joshua & Laura + Musical Collabs (Cassie, Gab)
Macky says: Music has always been more a hobby and sacred space for me. As long as I got to sing as well as I wanted to sing, I would be fine. But this year, I managed to collaborate and make music with some old friends. I never knew how much music was missing from my life until this year.

All the Show Shenanigans
Shows We've Seen: Once on This Island, Jason Robert Brown at Subculture (Kelli O'Hara, Todrick Hall, Stephen Schwartz, Waitress (with Jason Mraz!), The End of Longing, The Play that Goes Wrong, Puffs, Anastasia, Onegin, Giselle, Swan Lake
Macky says: We watched a ton of shows this year. My top two are Once on this Island (a show that I was part of in my college theatre days) and seeing Kelli O'Hara as a guest in a Jason Robert Brown show.
Alexa says: I've been so lucky to see so many shows this year! Of the ones I've seen, my favorites are The Play That Goes Wrong (which is so funny), Anastasia (which brought back childhood memories) and Onegin (which was a total surprise).

Alexa says: I got to catch Coldplay in concert, as it was Mel's birthday gift to me. It was so fun! The bright colors, the special effects, listening to my favorite songs be performed live (especially A Sky Full of Stars) was very special. And I also got to see Ed Sheeran not once, not twice but three times! He's one of my favorite artists ever, and it was a real treat to hear him sing all of the songs that he did.

Escape the Room(s)
Rooms We Did: Resident Evil, John Doe, Runaway Subway Train
Macky says: We kicked butt at these escape rooms!
Alexa says: We're totally on a winning streak right now, as we were successfully able to escape all three of these rooms. The hardest one was John Doe, because there were so many subtle details and it was mega creepy. The most fun one was the Runaway Subway Train, as there was so much tech involved!

Macky says: Persona 5 (on PS4) is my favorite game of 2017, what with me having been a Persona fan since Persona 1 (on PS1). Meanwhile, Tokaido is my board game for the year; it's like the Game of Life but you're a tourist in Japan. Lastly, getting Alexa into new fandoms (Naruto, Bleach and a few new-to-her Miyazaki) is so fun, because misery finds company and if I'm dying of feels, there is no good reason she shouldn't be either.

Sweet Fizzy Wine Trifecta: Moscato d'Asti (White), Brachetto d'Acqui (Red) & Elio Perrone Bigaro (Rose)
Macky says: I am not a party person (which is like most bookworms, I find). No clubs, house parties and outdoorsy type shindigs for me. But I do like to drink, and I've learned to mix cocktails that don't taste like flavored gasoline. But this is the year of fruity fizzy wine! I never liked wine until I discovered these sparkling lovelies. Now I'm a wine drinker and understand why people can manage bottles all on their own.

Celebrities & Authors We Met
Who We Met: Tamora Pierce, Mark Hamill, Billie Piper, Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Chad Michael Murray, Misty Copeland, Lea Salonga, Stephanie Garber, Julie C. Dao, Marie Lu, Sarah J. Maas, Jodi Meadows, Leigh Bardugo, Alexandra Bracken
Macky says: These names speak for themselves.
Alexa says: Once again, I count myself lucky to be in a position to meet all of these awesome folks. How surreal is it that I got to meet another Doctor, a Jedi and Tamora Pierce all in one year?

There you have it, friends, our favorite memories of 2017! It's been such a joyful year (for the most part), and I'm so thankful for all the experiences we've gotten to have this year. I'm still doing a full retrospective (which is going up later today), but looking at these highlights certainly makes me smile. What were your highlights for 2017?


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