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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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:

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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New Year’s Non-Resolution Resolutions

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I’ve never really been a person who sticks to her “New Year’s Resolutions.” But, is anyone? I make them, because I’m a follower and everyone else does, but I think it’s kind of a silly tradition. I get the “new year, new you, new beginnings, blah blah whatever” bit that all the gyms bang you over the head with, but if you really wanted to change your eating habits and do 200 crunches a day, wouldn’t you be doing it by now?

I wanted to transform this blog and write more, so I woke up one day and just did. The method of getting off my ass and “doing it” (thanks, Nike!) is kind of my thing and has worked out for me more times than not. Having said that, my type-A self can get on board with setting realistic short and long-term goals. It’s important to have at the very least a loose guideline of those, both professionally and personally. How else do you make sure you’re on the right track? Or measure progress? So in the fashion of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goal-setting (thanks, University of Dayton!), here’s my New Year’s Non-Resolution Resolutions for the year of 2014:

  1. BLOG better. (More reviews, comedic story telling. Less personal BS no one cares about.)
  2. READ more. (52 books in 52 weeks.)
  3. SAVE something. (I.e. Money. Save some money.)
  4. NETWORK a lot. (Because, yes.)
  5. TRAVEL a bit. (Currently on deck: LA, New Orleans, India.)
  6. NO CABS. (Well, maybe not none, but definitely fewer.)

And there you have them. I’m expecting a lot of changes in 2014 and know none of them will happen without the hard work to back them up. Changes aren’t always easy, but they’re usually needed and always worth it. And with that, I wish a happy new year to all, and the best of luck with your resolutions, if that’s your kind of thing. Otherwise, party like it’s 1999, but remember, you still likely have two days left in the workweek.

A Summer in New Rochelle

As I’ve mentioned only a million times prior, I spent the better part of the past four months in Southeast Westchester. I’ve definitely had my ups and downs there (not enough lunch options, I tell you), but overall, I’m glad I was able to spend a significant potion of my summer outside of New York City. From the gorgeous views of the Long Island Sound, to having a coffee shop that knows my name and order when I walk through the door, I’ll definitely miss this weird little city and all of the adventures it brought me. Thanks for an unexpectedly good time, New Rochelle.
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Summer of ’13 Highlights

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It got dark at 7:30pm last night, so I guess that means summer’s officially coming to a close. School’s back in session, Starbucks is actively painting the town pumpkin-spice, and even though the weather was in the 90’s yesterday, that “fall mentality” is starting to kick in. This summer was very challenging for me on a personal level but simultaneously quite rewarding. I spent most of my days (and too many nights) working in Westchester and fled the city at any chance I got. A trip to Siesta Key with my best friends from college, vacations to D.C., Phoenix and Tucson with wonderful people who I met through Nordstrom, and a birthday brunch surrounded by my some of favorite people in all of the five boroughs definitely top my list. The end of summer (and really, the start of football season) are always bittersweet in my book, but I’m beyond ready for all of the exciting adventures I’ll be having in the city this autumn!