The Official Kelly O’Neill Holiday Newsletter!

2019 went down as a year of great adventure! The highlight of this past year was by far my trip to Thailand and Vietnam. I’ve had Vietnam on my bucket list for many years because of hearing over and over about how beautiful it is there and boy, it did not disappoint! I went with one of my best friends and my sister in law and we had a ball! The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful, very lush and green. We visited a wildlife sanctuary in Thailand that rehabilitates animals who have been exploited for tourism and provides them with a comfortable and healthy atmosphere to live out the rest of their days.  

The elephants were majestic and we got to get close and feed one fruit and assist in giving her a shower. As awesome as it was to get so close, it was heartbreaking to hear the stories of abuse and mistreatment most of the animals at the sanctuary had been through. One of the big takeaways was to NEVER ride an elephant! I’m thankful places like this exist in a place that has such an unfortunate history of exploitation- they are truly working hard and with success at changing the way people view and treat animals there. The rest of the trip was filled with nothing but beautiful beaches, wonderful food, interesting architecture and amazingly welcoming hospitality! We visited Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam, and it was fun to kayak in the water amongst all of the beauty.  We also visited a city called Da Nang, which is in central Vietnam. The woman who owns the nail shop we frequent is from there and when she discovered we were going for a visit she arranged for her family to meet us at the airport and take us around the city. They didn’t speak English and we don’t speak Vietnamese but we had no problems with the language barrier thanks to Google Translate. They took us around to all of the touristy spots but also gave us a day in the life of a local. It was absolutely nothing short of fantastic in every single way! I feel so blessed and grateful to have been able to experience such a wonderful trip.

If you don’t already know, I’m the world’s best aunt to my 2 nieces and 2 nephews. The oldest is away in college so I didn’t get to spend as much time with him as I’d like but I’m enjoying watching him find his way as a young adult. I call him the Golden Child and he’s living up to the name, as he is NOTHING like I was in college, lol! I spent lots of time with the others, going to their sporting events and activities, just hanging out or taking them to fun concerts in Chicago and such. With not having kids of my own, I love being able to spoil them all to death.

The rest of my time was pretty much spent being single and always ready to mingle. I had lots of nights out with my friends enjoying cocktails and music. The nights out are always filled with lots of laughs, good stories and usually some nachos or chicken wings. I’m hoping 2020 is really just more of the same but with fewer pounds. I’ve gotten some extra fluff over the last year and a half so it’s time to reel that in and get back into my early 2018 jeans! I’m back on the horse with working out and eating better just in time for the holidays! 

Cheers to the holiday season and I wish you all the very best!

Kelly O’Neill