Mid-Year Travel Recap

Though the year has already a fair share of ups and downs, I’ve had the good fortune to be able to do a bit of traveling in 2017. I visited Las Vegas and Mexico for work, and Los Angeles and Ohio for play. I have a few more trips on deck for this year – including my biggest/furthest away trip to date – that I’m really looking forward to as well. Leave it to the one year I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution to travel more that I actually travel more. I digress…

Here are my 2017 travel superlatives to date:

  • Location with the brightest lights: Vegas
  • My favorite trip/city: long weekend in Venice/Santa Monica
  • Most impromptu weekend: home to Ohio
  • Hottest work escapade: 8 days in Cancun
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A Summer in Chicago

So – I guess I get why they say Chicago summers are the best. I moved here at the end of June, life unfolded almost instantly, and here I am, mid-October, feeling perhaps the most settled I’ve felt since my junior year of high school (which was over A DECADE ago, by the way. Where has the time gone?). While saying I don’t miss New York would be a lie, my time in Chicago feels very purposeful on a personal level, and now that I’ve had a chance to get my bearings in this new-to-me city, I’m excited to dive in, do work, and see where I land. All of that, and then also visit New York the first chance I get (see you next weekend, NY pals!).

Since we haven’t caught up in a while (How are YOU? Coffee soon!), here’s a visual peek at some of the things I’ve been up to over the past few months, in my life back in the Midwest.

Where Everybody Knows your Name

A week ago, my friend and I traveled to Boston for a quick weekend getaway. Neither of us being native New Englanders, we had never visited before and were eager to knock the city off of our bucket lists before the real tourist season starts (it apparently ramps up in May). I tried my hand at airbnb-ing for the first time, sipped beers at the bar my favorite TV show is based on, and channeled my Elle Woods alter ego for a few days. As it always goes for me, it was great to spend a few days in a city less chaotic than NYC, and I especially loved the charm of Cambridge. From Harvard to Fenway, I found Boston delightful and would certainly love to visit again someday – especially as it’s only a four-hour bus trip (or super fast plane ride, if you’re the non-poor type) away. Here’s a few pictorial highlights of our visit:

Currently: a Monday evening perspective

HI THERE, HOW ARE THINGS? Life lately = yeeesh. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these (or one of anything on here) so let’s touch base. Regroup. Circle back. Er, I mean catch up. It’s only Monday evening (when I wrote this) and I’m already exhausted. I’d say “what a week!” but it’s been a day. I DIGRESS.

Park pond

Currently, (as I navigate my at Monday evening), I am…

Listening to: A Spotify playlist I made featuring all the songs on Will Arnett’s horrible Netflix original series called Flaked. The show will make you upset with Venice and friendship and humanity (in a totally not worth it way) but the music will make you moody and solemn and deep (in the best way!), so do that instead.

Eating: I just finished an “open-faced grilled cheese sandwich.” AKA I microwaved a slab of brie on an english muffin, and I’m trying to make myself feel okay about it. Other people my age have families of five and I’m still cooking at a junior-high level but THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

Sipping on: A glass of pinot noir. Always. I mean obviously not always, but you know, sometimes. We’re getting into the most uncomfortable time of the year for red-wine connoisseurs, btw – when the rising outside temperatures make ordering a malbec or shiraz socially uncomfortable. But be bold, lovers of the dark-colored grape, and do not let those rosé or *shivers* chardonnay drinkers cramp your style. For if it truly gets too warm out to think about sipping on a red, there’s always our good friend whiskey on the rocks.

Feeling good about: This past weekend. I helped coordinate an alumni happy hour AND I organized a donut crawl, which is exactly what it sounds like (a bar crawl of donut shops). Both were occasions to catch up with people who I’ve spent too long not seeing, and it was so good to socialize and spend some time exploring new places in the city which I too often (literally daily) take for granted.

Reading: Finishing up Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance and starting Pamela Ryckman’s Stiletto Network for book club (#oneNewYearsResolutiondown).

Missing: My long-distance family and friends. And Whitney Houston, always.

Terrified of: Spiders. Job stuff. Strangers/being followed. Walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you. You know, the normal things to be terrified of.

Excited about: OH I REBRANDED MY WEBSITE. In a time when I actually have 1,000,000+ other things I should be working on in my spare time, I decided to move full speed ahead with the website rebrand I’ve been thinking about for a year on the blog I update maybe once every other month at most. Anyways, it’s still a bit of a work in progress, but I chose the name Uptown Moxie because:

a) I’m no longer the little girl I was when I moved to the big apple five years ago, and even though ‘uptown’ is specific to where I live curently, I like being a little more expansive with my geo-referencing. Just perhaps I won’t live in New York for the rest of my blogging days. Just perhaps.

b) I have always lived Uptown, and I’m basically Christie Brinkley

c) I liked and have used the word Moxie plenty of times before Allison Williams named her dog. But for the record I died a million times when she got/named that adorable pup.

cp

With that, I’m at the end of my feelings and also at the end of my wine glass. I hope you like the rebrand and that you’ll stick around to hear my ramblings, however many months apart I may post them. Xo.

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A DC Independence Day

If your parents aren’t interested in American history, maybe don’t plan a family vacation to Washington DC.

If you hate being amongst huge crowds of humans 24/7, probably don’t travel over the Fourth of July weekend.

If you do not enjoy walking around, sight-seeing AND all of the above things also exist, our nation’s capital over Independence Day is definitely not for you + your family.

But guess what my parents and I did over this year’s holiday weekend!? An expensive monuments cruise which showed us nothing, a three-hour bus tour guided by the world’s least funny non-comedian that was so hot we almost melted, and crowded, expensive brunches filled with annoying tourists (like us) were the highlights. BUT. I did capture a handful of mediocre photos, and, of course, it was nice to spend the holiday with family. Plus: DC, as clean and structured as it is in contrast to NYC, always makes for a nice getaway from the daily grind of a sweaty Manhattan summer. At long last, here are a few photos I managed to shoot during that hot and humid weekend at the beginning of July.

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More Bounce in California

A few weeks back, I had the privilege of visiting the land where the seasons never change – Los Angeles, to be specific. I went out for a good girlfriend’s wedding and stayed to spend time with some friends who left me in New York  permanently migrated out west. The catch phrase of my trip was “I’m moving to LA!” and I haven’t stopped thinking about how differently my life would have unfolded if I moved out there in 2011 as planned.

I unfortunately didn’t take any real photos at my friend Ashley’s Malibu wedding, so a few cell phone pics and my word will have to suffice, but you guys – it was the most gorgeous wedding I’ve attended in my life. The church overlooked the ocean, she had her wedding party photos right on the beach, and even the cake was picture perfect (and tasty!). I won’t even get started on how perfect the bride looked. I am so insanely happy for and proud of my friend; she is hands-down one of the best humans I know and seeing her more often would make my heart smile. And now that I know how much I dig California… we’ll see what I can manage. : )

I spent a few days post-wedding wandering around Venice and Santa Monica, hiking up to the Hollywood sign and falling deep in love with everything “old Hollywood” (my number two catchphrase from the trip). I wanted to find out if they really do have more bounce in California than all y’all combined, and according to my findings, they do (sorry, NY). Here’s a few of my favorite photos I captured from my California adventures. And City of Angels, let’s not go another four years without seeing each other, deal?

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In the Heights

GW Bridge

I haven’t taken out my camera recently, so with Sunday’s gorgeous weather and nothing on my agenda, the timing felt right. My roommate and I took a casual four-hour stroll in our neighborhood, and I photographically documented some of the sites. It was a day filled with leisurely exercise, a guacamole BLT sandwich (aka heaven), and a sunscreen-scented headband reminding me of that season called summer; what more can you ask for? Here’s a few photos of the George Washington Bridge, the little red lighthouse, Hudson View Gardens and Fort Tryon Park — in other words: our backyard.

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