Tag Archive | travel

WO: Weekly Obsessions

My watch says it’s 7:45pm, which I fully believe after a pre-dawn wake-up in California and a nonstop flight to Florida. It’s been another whirlwind of a week, but it’s all been leading up to tomorrow, when I’ll join my dear friend Jess and her family for a four-day cruise to Cozumel.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria have changed our itinerary, but they’re not stopping us from celebrating Jess’s birthday and cancer-free diagnosis. I’ve always known Jess to be strong, funny and full of perspective, but the last year has only further proven to me how remarkable she is.

I can’t put into words how grateful I am for her friendship and being able to celebrate with her this weekend. It’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I can’t wait to share how much fun we had when I return!

Advertisements

WO: Weekly Obsessions

MILD GOT SPOILER AHEAD. If you didn’t watch this week’s S7 premiere, scroll on down. Allow me to complain, for just a moment, about Ed Sheeran’s appearance in Sunday’s episode. I know I juuust said I liked the guy, but that doesn’t mean I want him showing up in Westeros. What were they thinking? Grrrr…

Image Credits Listed Beloq

  1. Sacramento: In more important news, I traveled to California’s capital city Sunday to prepare for orientation at my new company’s HQ. It was 105 degrees when I arrived, so my first impression was not the best. It turned out to be an interesting city, though, with decent food options and some incredibly nice people. I look forward to return visits in the near future, too!
  2. Volcano Candle: I don’t recall ever receiving a candle for my birthday before, but this year I was gifted with THREE. All of them smell amazing, but I chose to burn this scent first and it didn’t disappoint. You know how that feeling when you walk into a room and are instantly calmed, just from the smell? Yeah, that’s what this little guy does. It’s sheer perfection.
  3. Purging: Before moving into my new apartment, I had the help of some friends who were supportive of me purging the heck out of my space. While those efforts were super successful — I donated 10+ bags of goodies — I still find I need to cleanse my stock of stuff. I started diving in this past weekend and have the ultimate goal of finishing on Saturday. Who says being a grown-up isn’t fun? This is thrilling stuff, you guys!
  4. “Ruby Tuesday” – The Rolling Stones: Naturally, I always think of this song when saying goodbyes. It’s a gimme for that, but it’s also one of those songs that always transports me back in time and puts a smile on my face. I simply can’t hear it without getting a little misty-eyed and reminiscent of fond memories. Take that, Ed Sheeran.

Images courtesy of: Sactown Magazine, Zanadia, Life’s Next Chapter Coaching, Discogs

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Courtesy of ThingLink.com

It’s the longest day of the year today, and it sure does feel like it! Not that it’s a bad thing — I am quite amazed at how we’re already well into June and don’t mind a day off feeling a bit longer.

Why am I off, you ask? Well, my HS bestie is in town for a visit and we’re taking on San Francisco like never before. We have tickets to a comedy show, a comedy drag show, wine country and more… a jam-packed 72 hours is in our future.

She even brought a little southern sunshine with her, as our temps climb into the 80s and SF residents freak the F out over the heat. I’m not immune to freakouts myself — life without central A/C is no joke.

So although it’s been a few weeks of less-than-stellar obsessions, I promise to be back at it again like Damn, Daniel next Wednesday.

In the meantime, please enjoy…

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should have…
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

Ayana Byrd began this week’s chapter describing her affinity for staying safe in the middle, never veering too far from the center to make waves.

I didn’t immediately relate. I’ve often considered myself somewhat of a rebel — or at least the black sheep — of my family. After all, I’m the only one who has a facial piercing (my nose, but it counts)! I’m the only one of my generation (until very recently) to get a tattoo — and at that, I have multiple. The horror! I’m the only one who left Florida to pursue a life beyond the Sunshine State.

This is where Ayana and I connect. She detailed her many adventures abroad, feeling limitless as she ventured far beyond the comfort zone of the middle.

It’s always surprised me when someone compliments me on my own big moves. I haven’t given them all that much thought, until now.

New York and San Francisco are largely made up of transplants. Sure, you have your lifers, the people who are quick to remind you they were born and raised there, and will call you out for any embarrassing transplant behavior. But by and large, there are tons of people in both places who’ve moved into these cities for the pursuit of something more. And probably because of that, I haven’t felt like my leaving Florida was all that big a deal. Plenty of people do it. Heck, lots of my colleagues have traveled much further — and risked much more — to come here.

But I shouldn’t lessen its importance, or how much those moves have changed me. Compared to my colleagues and friends, and yes, Ayana Byrd, I’ve done a paltry amount of traveling abroad. But aside from family who served in the Armed Forces, I’ve got the most stamps on my passport.

And without even leaving my zip code, I can see the world in a much more diverse way — challenging the status quo constantly — because I live and breathe in a city that pushes for progress and change.

I’ve had the privilege of learning about more cultures and backgrounds in four years away than I had in the 25 years prior. I’ve experimented with foreign (to me) ingredients, entertainment, customs and traditions. I’ve broadened my perspective on what an impact a life well-traveled can mean. I even spent seven weeks of the last year traveling — albeit, all domestic — because I can always find a reason to say “Yes” to a new experience.

Ayana’s story reminds me there’s so much to say “Yes” to, beyond the 50 states and how it’s OK to be a little scared the first (or every) time you venture somewhere new. Of all my wild and crazy antics, I’ll happily share a full passport and broader understanding of our world for years to come.

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should have…
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you aren’t ashamed to be seen carrying.

It wasn’t until I moved to New York that I realized how valuable it is to have at least one quality purse, suitcase and umbrella each in my collection.

Despite the Louis Vuitton resurgence during my high school years, plus plenty of travel and thunderstorms in college and beyond, it hit me the night I landed in New York. Yet another Target purse ripped, my suitcase handle came clean off the rails and a Walgreens umbrella failed me in the falling snow.

In the four years — and one day — since I moved to NYC (and now San Francisco), I’ve invested carefully in some quality pieces.

I waited for a handbag sale at Macy’s and used multiple coupons (plus my corporate discount) to treat myself to this Vince Camuto beauty last year. I don’t use it every day, or even every week; but I always receive compliments and am proud of this stylish, yet practical purchase.

Image Courtesy of My iPhone
The luggage I’ve coveted for years finally became mine after I signed my relocation paperwork for San Francisco. Again, I waited for a Macy’s sale and piled on promos with my discount to save a considerable amount of money. The Samsonite spinner set has served me well over thousands of miles, and it’s always easy to spot at baggage claim. My only regret is not adding on a carry-on size at the time, but I’ve got about 26 weeks to do so before my birthday comes 😉

Image Courtesy of Macy's
Finally, the ubiquitous umbrella… such a seemingly simple item, but a puzzling purchase nonetheless. Get one too big, and it’s a pain to lug around — remember, I don’t have a car anymore. Get one too small, and it’s pointless during a downpour. I eventually ditched the last of my $5 drugstore umbrellas, and went with a not-much-more-expensive Totes option. It opens and closes with the push of a button, and it provides enough coverage without breaking my back to carry to and fro. Bonus: It comes in plenty of colors and patterns, so you’ve got endless options to style your stormy day.

Image Courtesy of A New Technology
So, there you have it: the purse, suitcase and umbrella I’m not ashamed to be seen carrying. Which of these items are you most proud you purchased? Post in the comments so I can scope your styles!

Travel Unraveled

I’m mostly settled from jet-setting across the country and, more recently, across the state. True to form, I realized what I’d forgotten to pack when I was about 80 miles into the drive Friday night. But, that doesn’t even come close to the Hell I went through on my trip to San Fran …

Issue 1: Late take-off on first flight: Because of the notorious South Florida weather, my flight to Miami was delayed by 90 minutes (which we suffered through onboard, at the gate). Why I had to go through Miami to get to San Francisco, I’ll never know.

Issues 2 and 2.5: Missed connection, new connection delayed: The setback for planes leaving MIA didn’t last long enough for me to exit the first flight and make it to my connection on time. I literally watched my connection take off from my OG plane. After re-booking, the new flight was delayed by a little over an hour.

Issue 3: Seat double-booked: After boarding the new connection, a woman was in my assigned seat. She assured me she’d been given that seat assignment, and I asked a flight attendant to reassign mine … I even said I’d sit in the bathroom if it meant I could stay on that flight. Luckily, no lavatory — a window seat opened up for moi.

Issue 4: Luggage left in Miami: Arriving just after 1 a.m. PST, I was exhausted and ready to get into my PJ’s. My luggage was nowhere to be found, though, and baggage control assured me I’d have my stuff by noon the next day (more like 10 p.m., but close enough). The complimentary toiletries totally made up for not having fresh clothes. Or functional deodorant.

Now, I’ve flown internationally and regularly enough to know that by law of averages, not every flight will go off without a hitch. That’s impossible. What I didn’t realize, however, was that so many things could go wrong in one day. What was supposed to be a seven-hour journey turned into a 16-hour adventure.

But, it was all worth it. How could I stay mad, when this is what I got to see all week?:

AT&T Park, home of the Giants.

It looks a little bit like Florida, no?

A local cathedral … apologies for the blurriness (it was windy, natch).

I have a love affair with landmarks like Golden Gate. Just ask my ex, Big Ben.

I could never stay mad at a view like that.

Freezing cold water, but my toes will forgive me.

Using the ShakeIt Photo App: the marina, “Full House” house and Golden Gate.

Greetings from San Fran<3