At BPR, we focus on providing strategic communication services to the travel and food & beverage industries, because we’re extremely passionate about both. We live for exploring new destinations, and are proud to be the first people our friends call for restaurant recommendations, wine pairings or tips on where to find the best brews in town. We were lucky to have had some amazing travel and culinary adventures this year, and we’re already planning ways to top them in 2018. As we gear up for the new year, we’re sharing our most epic adventures from 2017, and what we’re aiming to check off our bucket lists as we make another trip around the sun.
Jordan, Principal Partner
Biggest adventure(s) this year: 2017 was a good year! BrieAnn and I checked becoming Level II Certified Sommeliers off the list in May (and later in the year, I FINALLY got to stomp grapes!), and I met my goal to visit three new countries – Italy, Germany and Spain. On my most recent trip, I had paella for Thanksgiving, and enjoyed some of the best food I’ve ever eaten at London’s oldest Indian restaurant (which just received its first Michelin Star!).
Goals for 2018: I’m a big believer in the notion that one of the best ways to explore a destination is through food – so I always seek out the dishes and drinks that are unique to a region or country when I visit (hello, Steak Florentine, fideuà, Jamon Iberico de Bellota, etc.!). Since I can’t travel 24/7, I’m doing the next best thing: I just purchased Mark Bittman’s “The Best Recipes in the World” cookbook, which includes more than 1,000 International recipes. I’m aiming to make a new one each week in 2018, but if I knock out even a couple each month, I’ll still feel accomplished. In regard to actual travel, I’d like to check at least three new countries off the list again – right now, I’m already making plans for Greece and Croatia, but number three is still up in the air, although Thailand, Scotland and Argentina are all strong contenders.
Catie, Account Executive
Biggest adventure(s) this year: 2017 was my favorite year of travel yet! I visited Europe for the first time, and I celebrated my birthday in Paris with my mom. My biggest and best adventure was definitely traveling to Bali solo, however. Bali was the top destination on my bucket list, and it was also the first time I had traveled alone. It’s an experience I will always hold close to my heart, and I would love to return to explore different parts of Indonesia.
Goals for 2018: More travel, please! Italian wine country would be a home run, but I’m also considering a few European destinations for another solo adventure – probably London or Spain. Other goals include expanding my wine knowledge and pursuing my Level I Sommelier Certification, and hiking my first 14er (I’m a Colorado native, so I’m ashamed to not have done this yet!).
Merideth, Social & Digital Media Director
Biggest adventure(s) this year: In addition to surviving 12 flights with our daughter, Jake and I also survived our first year of parenting (while starting house renovations). We enjoyed a belated honeymoon in Mazatlan, Mexico, followed by our first vacation as a family of three in Bald Head Island, NC, and numerous weekend trips to see family and friends. Now the adventures have really begun – Sloane is nearly running and we’re just trying to keep up!
Goals for 2018: I’d love to expand upon my passion for wine with a Sommelier Certification, and continue exploring the West Coast’s celebrated AVAs. On the travel side, I’m still working toward my goal of visiting all 50 states (I’ve crossed off 31 to-date, while driving across the country four times), and Ireland is at the top of my international bucket list.
Halle, Social & Digital Media Assistant Manager
Biggest adventure(s) this year: Choosing my biggest adventure in 2017 was hard because once I started to look back on my year, I realized that I spent a majority of my weekends somewhere other than my home. Between countless trips to the mountains for skiing and camping, flights home to South Dakota, weekends spent in Arizona with my family, road trips to Utah, out-of-town friends visiting and rescuing a pup, it was not a boring year. If I had to choose what I would consider the “biggest,” it would be our road trip to Glacier National Park in Montana. I crossed the most beautiful place in America (at least that I’ve been to so far) off of my bucket list, and successfully camped in the middle of bear country for a week straight without dying. Win-win.
Goals for 2018: 2018 has a lot to live up to after this last year! After a trip to Park City in January (where I hope to finally learn to ski without fearing for my life), we’re working on a backpacking trip through the Grand Canyon and a trip across the pond – most likely Sweden and Norway, but other stops are still up for debate!
Sarah, Assistant Account Executive
Biggest adventure(s) this year: Truthfully, my biggest adventure was starting with BPR in January. It has been a great year professionally, and I’ve really gotten to know the hospitality and tourism landscape – it makes me excited for future culinary and travel adventures. My favorite personal travel adventures include a quick jaunt to Napa Valley for the first time, and I got back into skiing (meaning, I went once this year) after more than 13 years.
Goals for 2018: I haven’t been on an honest-to-goodness vacation in longer than I’d like to admit. Taking a trip is my top priority for 2018, but I don’t yet have anything in the pipeline. Open to any and all suggestions!
BrieAnn, Principal Partner
Biggest Adventure(s) this year: Between eating all of the amazing food I could get my hands on in Paris, and having the opportunity to dine at the famous La Tour Argent (if it’s good enough for Henry IV, it’s good enough for me!); getting my tarot cards read, going on haunted history tours and drinking Vieux Carres in New Orleans; and learning how to sail on an alpine lake, my biggest adventure BY FAR was saying “I Do” to my wonderful husband just hours after we both participated in our first grape stomp!
Goals for 2018: This summer, I’m keen to dive into the world of pickling, using veggies grown in my garden. I cannot wait to have jars and jars of pickled goodies on hand at all times! My friend is getting married in Dubrovnik next year, so I will be flying across the pond to celebrate, and after the wedding will take advantage of being in Europe with a driving – and eating and drinking – tour through Italy! Also high on the list for 2018 travel escapes is tasting Scotch throughout Scotland, and retracing my ancestors’ history in Ireland.
Chelsea, Account Executive
Biggest adventure(s) this year: This year I made my way north to the great state of Montana and I considered never coming back. Ten days on Swan Lake is hard to beat! I crossed all of my favorite activities off the list: hiking in breathtaking Glacier National Park (Going-To-The-Sun Road is a MUST); hitting up a few local breweries (if you haven’t been to Great Northern, go ASAP); fly fishing on the Swan River – I don’t recommend floating it in a paddle boat, but it was fun; and even learning to water ski (pro tip: wear a wetsuit as a beginner; you’re in the water more often than not).
Goals for 2018: I’m looking forward to (hopefully) starting off the year as a Certified Level One Cicerone and potentially conquering a few other Cicerone certifications in 2018. I have some craft breweries to check off my list (Greeley’s Weldwerks – so hot right now!) and a few 14ers to climb. I’m going to focus my energies on spending some good, quality time with the great outdoors, my husband, friends and family and my two crazy Heeler pups, Cash and Carter.
Meg, Account Supervisor
Biggest adventure(s) this year: 2017 has been a year of change for me! My husband and I left the Windy City behind and relocated to Denver in February. We bought a house and traveled to five weddings to watch some of our closest friends and family tie the knot. We explored the beautiful mountains that are now right in our backyard with multiple trips to Steamboat, Vail and Boulder, and ended a year of travel and change with a family vacation in Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende. While in Mexico City, my culinary dreams came true as I was able to finally eat at Pujol – a restaurant known for its more than 1,000 day old molé, and currently listed as the 20th best restaurant in the world.
Goals for 2018: It’s my goal to make 2018 a year of travel and adventure. I want to continue exploring my new hometown, but also want to take a big trip abroad to a city I’ve never been to. My husband and I are currently honing in on options in Argentina and Italy! Going to a Formula One race has also been on my bucket list for quite some time, and I think 2018 is the year it’s going to happen!
Morgan, Influencers and Partnerships Assistant Manager
Biggest adventure(s) this year: I stayed close to home in 2017, revisiting my favorite hikes, like the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument outside of Santa Fe, NM, and exploring Southwestern Colorado, my favorite find being Spud Lake near Durango, Colo. The majority of my weekend travels brought me to Denver, making my move in September a no-brainer and my biggest adventure of 2017.
Goals for 2018: I’m aiming to make 2018 my favorite year yet. I’m planning on New York for my birthday (since I’ve never been, I think it’s time). While I’d ultimately like to venture out of the country, I think I’ll focus my travels stateside this year, and check Portland and Seattle off my travel bucket list.