26 Best Moments of the Past Year (To Celebrate my 26th Birthday!)

Happy Birthday too meeeee. Happy Birthday tooo meeeeee. Happy Birthday dear mee-eeeeee… you get the idea. But if you haven’t guessed yet, I’ve had a birthday recently! I have spent the past week sunning myself in Lisbon on a week’s holiday with my lovely boyfriend, and rather than reading my ever-growing to-read list, I had a little scroll through Grundy Travels Instagram, and it got me thinking about how many incredible moments I’ve had over the past year.

Whilst going through my feed I picked out my favourite 26 photos since last April and have put them all together here as a little trip down memory lane. So please find below a collection of travel shots, and lots and lots of food…

It’s quite a long read, so if I still have you here maybe put the kettle on and grab a few snacks. Let’s go…

  1. Walking to the Brooklyn Bridge at dawn

This goes without saying really, as I’ve banged on about it enough. But I think one of my favourite moments of the past year was the walk to Brooklyn Bridge – down the centre of Manhattan – whilst the sun went up so we could get to Brooklyn Bridge for sunrise, and had it practically to ourselves. This view was one of my favourites – and ranked top in my view of the NYC skyline post here.

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2. Hiring our own boat in Zakynthos

Another moment I have certainly banged on about enough on this blog and over on my Instagram, but hiring a boat of our own for the day in Zakynthos was one of my favourite moments of that trip – and generally throughout the past year. I’m so glad we even had the idea to do it, and that it turned out to be even better than we had imagined it would be. The pictures from that day are really special, and it’s something we definitely want to do again when we’re on a beach holiday sometime soon!


3. Matching fashion with the Statue of Liberty

Is there anything better than getting to re-wear an item of Tourist tat? I actually bought this Statue of Liberty crown the first time I came to New York, so it was great to have a chance to get it out again. And I had absolutely no shame, what’s better than visiting Lady Liberty herself without dressing like her too

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4. Finally trying Burgermeister in Berlin

When you go to Berlin the only thing people suggest you eat at is either Currywurst or Burgermeister, and fair to say we had both. but the Burgermeister was really good, it just makes me wish they could actually get a restaurant where you can sit down indoors…

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5. Watching the ice skaters at Central Park

It was great to finally see something in real life that I feel I’ve seen on so many opening Friends episodes and romcoms before. It’s such a gorgeous site watch the ice skating figures in front of the New York skyline.

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6. Paris

It’s hard to pick one of my favourite pictures from Paris, but one of them would have to be the below shot, taken in Montmarte just as the sun was setting. It took a long time to whittle down where we were goign to stay in Paris, but I’m so glad we ended up where we did.

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7. Finding a random rooftop bar with incredible views in New York

Okay this wasn’t really a random find, but it wasn’t high up on our list to visit when in New York – it was just on our list of bars and we were in the area and wanted to stop somewhere for a drink. I am so so glad we found Mr Purple, as the view from the rooftop bar is extraordinary, especially on a good day. And imagine how amazing it would be to swim in that infinity pool? Either way it made for a great last day in New York with a big glass of wine to enjoy the view.

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8. Glastonbury

I actually can’t write too much about this right now as the thought of not having a Glastonbury festival this year makes me too sad. But last year was my 5th year at Glastonbury and officially my favourite.

9. An empty Times Square at 5am

Another spontaneous moment in New York when I was in search of a cup of tea and was too cheap to fork out $10 for a cup of tea from room service. It was 5am (thanks jetlag/hangover) and I was in desperate need of a cuppa, so I pulled on a random assortment of clothes, a free umbrella from the lobby and went in search of somewhere I could buy tea (even Starbucks wasn’t open yet). In my quest I found a Dunkin Donuts – which proved to have better tea, at half the price – it was HUGE as well – and some extra baby doughnuts as well because, well, when in New York. I turned to my left and there was Times Square, completely empty and slightly drizzly so I stopped to take in the view on my own and snap some pics.

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10. The South of France, and homemade Mussels

Visiting my parents in France was a highlight of last year, as – and I know I’m lucky to say this – they have a house in France and visiting to see their home and the work they’ve done was such a lovely weekend. My mum is a great cook, and her homemade mussels were an absolute treat, as pictured below.

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I’ve only just returned from Lisbon, and whereas I have plenty of posts brewing in my head, it certainly was a great place to take some great shots. The city is so colourful, even when it was slightly cloudy, so there were plenty of opportunities to take some incredible photos!

12. Watching the Knicks at Madison Square Garden

Another highlight from New York that I’m so glad we did. Admittedly I’m not the biggest sports fan, and I’m not really in the know of the basketball rules, but I enjoyed our night at the Knicks game SO much. It involves advance planning and expensive tickets, but I’m grateful we did it, and the frozen margaritas were an excellent addition.

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13. Going to the Shipwreck Cove

I mentioned in my Peaks and Troughs of 2017 post that travelling to the Shipwreck Cove wasn’t the best part of our trip, but I’m glad we did it. If I could do it again I’d hire a private boat again, but I can’t deny that we had a great time, and it was a really nice beach to have a little lay in the sun.


14-18. Upping my Brunch game

This past year has been packed full of holidays, and my holiday food routine is as follows: Brunch, Dinner, and snacks in between. Therefore I feel I’ve massively upped my brunch game, as the following pics can attest to…

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Bouji Pancakes in Berlin
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Brunch with French toast on the side, a brunch breakfast if you will
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Scrambled egg ‘biscuit’ (read scone) at Egg Shop in NYC!
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Waffles with bacon jam at Redroaster in Brighton

19. Riding an old fashion Lisbon tram

One of the most iconic symbols of Lisbon – the yellow trams can be found all over the city, and we were lucky to catch an almost empty one – the 15E, to experience a ride in an old fashioned Lisbon tram.

20. Going back to Norwich for a Long Weekend

I will always have a soft spot for Norwich, as it’s where I spent my time at university. I would definitely recommend it for a staycation, or to visit if you’re coming to the UK. It’s full of gorgeous little cafes and chilled bars, and the best part about it is it’s so cheap. My visit last year was at the peak of Summer, and the good weather and good friends made the trip a gorgeous weekend.

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21. Experimenting with Film in Paris

Experimenting with film is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I finally bit the bullet this year and ordered a cheap and cheerful second hand 35mm film camera, and experimented in Paris. The pictures are by no means brilliant, but I love how they’ve turned out no matter how slightly fuzzy they may seem!

22. Doughnuts – need I say anymore?

Dough Doughnuts is a place I’ve been to twice now in NYC and would definitely recommend again. The cinnamon sugar flavour was incredible, and they’re nearly impossible to eat in one sitting because they’re just so big.

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23. Visiting Brighton for our 6th anniversary

There’s genuinely nothing I love more than being by the seaside, especially when it’s sunny weather like we had in Brighton. To celebrate our 6th year anniversary my boyfriend and I spent it in Brighton and it was the perfect weekend! It’s safe to say Brighton is a close second as my favourite UK city (close behind Norwich of course!)

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24. Business Lounge at Eurostar

A first for me, but travelling via Business Class lounge on the Eurostar was an absolute treat. I’m always fan of free breakfast & drinks, but I absolutely loved the feel of the place. With velvet sofas and art deco style drinks, it was somewhere I wouldn’t mind hanging out in for a delayed train…


25. Sintra

Since I saw Sintra recommended on the web, I knew we had to pay it a visit. No-one quite mentioned that if you chose to walk to the castle it would be entirely up hill, but it was 100% worth it to explore the brightly coloured castle and take some snaps, before finding somewhere to rest with a glass of sangria or two…

26. Celebrating my birthday in Lisbon

And finally, my latest picture of Lisbon – celebrating my birthday there was such a treat, and I have plenty of Lisbon-based posts to come, including where to eat and what to do. I had the best week celebrating here, and it’s firmly on the list of places to visit again.


Thanks to all who’ve made it this far through the post! More posts on what to do and eat in Lisbon will be coming shortly!

Thanks for reading x

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