2016 Year-end Wrap-up
2016 has gotten a bad rap just because society had a horrible streak of bad choices and everyone we ever cared about died. Still, I had a pretty good year. Let’s take a look back at my highlights of 2016:
- Big Name Change – Our organization changed its name from the “Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau” to “Visit Sacramento.” This might not seem like a big deal to you, but after 12 years, I’m pretty stoked to have my company name, website and email address all match. Also, no one ever said the old name correctly. We also got a brand new logo which – get this – involved adding the word “Visit” over the old logo. Genius!
- We did our Job – Our little tourism department did great work. We hosted more clients in town than ever before. It turns out, people LOVE Sacramento…especially if you take them to The Merc.
- Ate Two Breakfasts in One Day – I love breakfast and really nailed it on a random Saturday last summer. First, “Frank’s Fried Rice” at Chargin’s followed a few hours later by the “Farmer’s Breakfast” at Devere’s. This is what happens when you wake up at 5am. In 2017, I’m embracing The Quest for Three.
- Increased Social Media Presence – I managed to post approximately 1.5 million photos no one cares about to Instagram. As an added bonus at least two of them were in focus.
- Coincidentally Matched my Outfit to Some Wine – I wore a rose colored sportcoat at a trade show and it happened to be a “Rosé all Day” event in the booth for our friends at Visit Santa Barbara. I parlayed this into an excuse to drink wine at work. I wore a gin colored suit the next day, but that didn’t work out as well.
- New Arena – The Golden 1 Center opened in downtown Sacramento! This beautiful, state-of-the-art arena is the perfect venue to have the painfully mediocre Sacramento Kings break my heart and destroy all my dreams over and over again for the rest of my life. Plus, it could be the last place Kanye ever performs.
- Hit my Head 100 Times – Sacramento’s history is deeply tied to westward expansion and the California Gold Rush which means that I get to spend a lot of time with grizzled prospectors, train engineers, pioneer ladies, Donner partiers, bandits, ghosts, lawmen, blacksmiths, fur trappers and the like. It also means that I hit my head equal to or greater than 100 times when I toured Gold Bug Mine a few months back. All part of the job, I guess. Anyhow, if you want to know what it was like to work in the gold mines, just sit at your desk and hit yourself with hammer all day.
- Solved One of those Puzzle Rooms – Man, I thought we were going to die in there! Turns out, the “Vampire’s Key” was in his coffin the whole time. Not super
- Cooked a Pizza in an Old-Timey Oven – If you know me, you know my two favorite things in the whole world are Murder She Wrote and cookies, but right after those things, my next two favorites are pizza and old-timey stuff. Well, I’m thrilled to say that I got to live the dream and cook pizzas in the beehive oven at Sutter’s Fort with a cool guy in pioneer costume. #bucketlist
- Lied About Having a Bucket List – And if I did have one, cooking pizza with a cool guy in a pioneer costume probably wouldn’t be on it. Still it was fun and the pizza was tasty.
- Met a Bulldog named Mr. Magoo – And he was wearing a bow tie! Failed to get a photo though and that’s absolutely killing me. He was cheering on runners at last weekend’s California International Marathon which is one of my favorite events of the year.
- Lived the “Farm-to-Fork” Lifestyle – Everyone knows that Sacramento is “America’s Farm to Fork Capital,” but what did that really mean for me in 2016? Well, it meant that I grew my own herbs, made gallons of chimichurri sauce, visited like 20 different farmers markets, made an omelette from a chicken who I actually met, helped Sacramento break the Guinness World Record for single-day food bank donations and ate about 3,000 BLTs during Sacratomato/BLT Week. Not a bad way to go.
- Learned “Cluck Old Hen” on the Banjo – This might not be exciting to you or normal people anywhere else in the world, but after eight years of teaching myself the banjo I finally learned my second song! If you love songs about chickens who can’t lay eggs, I’m happy to perform at your next birthday party and/or board retreat.
- Got “Jethro Tull” at Trivia Night – In June, I correctly named Jethro Tull as the English inventor of the “seed drill” who had a band named after him. This helped my team secure third place ($5 off our bill) and totally legitimized the lack of friends I had in high school. Come challenge me on any Thursday night at The Shack.
- Biked Around Sacramento -Cycling in Sacramento is so easy that even I manage to do it with little or no danger, hassle or embarrassment. I mean, I’m pretty sweaty at work even if I don’t ride in and once I figured out I could easily transport pizza by bike, it was game on.
- Went 0 for 2 on the Northern Lights – In theory, I had two good chances to see Aurora Borealis in 2016 because I visited Alaska and Iceland. They said I had like a 50% chance of catching a glimpse, but they failed to factor in how sleepy I get.
- Stayed up past Midnight Twice – Like I said. I get soooo sleepy.
- Took in some Theatre – When our historic Crest Theatre changed hands a couple years ago, we were rightfully concerned that maybe the level of entertainment would decrease. Well, in the past few months, I’ve seen The Jerk, Beetlejuice, Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings and A John Waters Christmas there, so I think it’s safe to say things are going ok. Oh and Muppet Christmas Carol is coming up soon!
- Wrote Tourism He Wrote – Let’s face it, blogging is hard. And it’s especially hard if you have a bad attitude, very little talent and nothing good to say. In the face of all that, I went ahead and fired up this little blog in 2016. So “thank you” to all 10+ subscribers, you’ve motivated me to keep this thing alive for 2017. My goal is to post more-or-less like once a week, but probably more like once a month and then only if I can find the time and inspiration….which, to be honest, probably isn’t very likely. But, seriously, thanks for reading!
See you in 2017!