Posts Tagged ‘traveling’

Sleepless in Seattle

….I MEAN, I had to. ūüėČIMG_6507

Anyways – HELLO! I’m back from Seattle, and facing¬†serious cheese withdrawal. My April Whole30/Paleo challenge has officially begun, although I admit I totally flopped yesterday and accidentally ate a veggie burger that contained¬†oat bran and corn. Somehow I totally missed that little fact til I had finished eating…… oops. We’ll blame my nonexistent jet lag. Today, though, it’s on like donkey kong. If you want to follow along on Instagram/Twitter, I’ll be using the hashtag #springpaleo for all my Whole30-related photo sharing.

Now, how’s about a photo recap of my trip to Seattle? I am now completely smitten with the Emerald City, and it has been officially added to my list of places to eventually live…. because yes, that is a thing, and I definitely have one. Wanderlust is real (even within your own country). I cannot wait to visit Seattle again, and eat all the carbs.

IMG_6500 IMG_6499IMG_6490IMG_6492IMG_6495photo 3^Just a gal and her city. ūüėČ My fearless tour guide and local, Val, made Alki Beach¬†+ west Seattle our first stop Friday morning…. It’s where Seattle was first settled! There’s even a mini Statue of Liberty. So random, and also so awesome.¬†


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Pike Place Market! OMG. This was one of the few must-sees on my list going into this trip, and it didn’t disappoint. And yes, we did a wine tasting at noon on Friday. Vacay, right?IMG_6533IMG_6534IMG_6535

The original Starbucks! I got that delicious pour-over as a part of my usual soy misto, and you could definitely taste a distinction. The taste was superior to their usual suspects at their shops around the country, in my opinion. photo 1 (1)IMG_6542

Beecher’s Cheese Shop! Oh maaaaaaaaan… my grilled cheese (the original, starring their Flagship cheddar) was fan-freakin-tastic, and we watched the cheesemongers in the shop physically separate curds and whey through a viewing window.¬†IMG_6543IMG_6545IMG_6547IMG_6555IMG_6518We went strolling around downtown Seattle from the market. Soooo lovely! And yes, it was raining, which I was sort of expecting.

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IMG_6556 IMG_6561 IMG_6567Friday night was pizza from Tutta Bella and wandering around Columbia City neighborhood… followed by, obviously, wine + popcorn + an awesome movie. Also, Seattle has the best street signs I’ve ever seen. The end.

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Brunch at Portage Bay Cafe by Union Lake, aka home of some of the best pancakes in Seattle (at least according to my research). I got the classic stack and they were pretty good… and the topping bar? Please. Val easily ate our check’s worth of whipped cream. Oh, and the friendly host (might have been the owner) gave me that mug with their awesome logo (which was not for sale) for free, just because. #Winning.IMG_6593 IMG_6589 IMG_6639 IMG_6591

Lake Union, aka where my future houseboat shall live. And the duck who jumped out of the water and wanted to come home with us. 

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¬†We took the ferry (!!) to Whidbey Island to spend a few hours hanging out there, where Val grew up. I had a total Grey’s moment on the ferry, and it was wonderful.


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In a nutshell, Saturday night for ya. Special shout-out to our new fav restaurant, Machiavelli’s, for its delicious Italian food and cheap house wine.IMG_6627….and my final adios to Seattle: Beecher’s Mariachi mac and cheese, purchased at the convenient Beecher’s airport stand, and eaten while waiting to take off on the plane back to Cali. It was worth every single cheesey calorie, let me tell you.¬†


How’s your week going? Do YOU have a list of places you want to eventually live or visit?

Long Weekend Travel Tips For Busy Gals

Hey guys!

Let’s talk travel, shall we?


I adore traveling of all kinds – long and short trips. As of late, though, I’ve become accustomed to quality time in my car and long weekends away on a pretty regular basis, because my boyfriend currently lives an hour and change away…. apparently I have a knack for finding myself in long distance-ish relationships. Now this all means lots of¬†driving for moi, plus plenty of time in another person’s apartment.¬†And since I am, that means I’m also always packing and unpacking…I’m basically a pro.

Well, a pro packer who {still}¬†hates packing…. and unpacking.

BUT, I now have special party trick –¬†packing in mere minutes! ūüėČ

A certain someone I know uses an Excel spreadsheet to track what to pack for every weekend trip, but I’ve got it burned into my memory and rarely ever look at a packing list anymore. I’ve also picked up some easy to adapt habits/hacks that make packing for a long weekend away basically a no brainer. And since¬†I recently got an email from¬†RelayRides talking about travel, I was inspired to write this post and share them with you guys!¬†(Note: Relay Rides¬†is a peer-to-peer car rental service that strives¬†to make traveling easier +¬†more affordable¬†[they even have¬†airport rentals],¬†but¬†I’ve never used their¬†services ¬†so I don’t have an opinion or recommendation to share.)¬†

Here are some quick and dirty tips for becoming a swift packer and travel pro for long weekends!

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1. Keep your phone charger in your purse/car.

Cell phones die so quickly, especially if you’re depending on them for GPS assistance.

2. Snacks! {Pack lots, and make sure they’re tough¬†enough to sustain jostling during travel.}

Some ideas include protein/snack bars (like Kind bars or Larabars), mini bags of trail mix, or sturdy fruits like apples or oranges.

3. Buy duplicates of some of your daily toiletries and keep them in your travel bag.

Think items like face lotion, face wash, a comb, contact solution….. put them in your suitcase and just forget ’em. Otherwise it’s so easy to leave behind¬†some of your essential toiletry items!

4. Choose mainly neutral, reusable clothing pieces.

You know, like black leggings (ahem, yoga pants), and shoes that can do double duty. You don’t really need two pairs of boots plus flats for one weekend, do you?

5. Bring extras of your important daily medications or vitamins.

Delays happen. Traffic happens. Bad weather happens. Be prepared in case you’re stuck somewhere a little bit longer than you originally anticipated.

6. Wear contacts? Bring one extra pair than you think you’ll need and store¬†it in your travel bag.

In my experience, contacts rip when you least want them to…. like enroute¬†to the airport.

7.  Bring an oversized scarf.

This may sound like a weird suggestion, but they can double as a versatile fashion piece to spice up outfits, as well as keep you warmer.

8. Pre-load your iPod or smart phone with podcasts, audio books, and music.

Great for keeping you entertained while traveling by car or plane of course, but it’s easier to take care of this before you’re crunched for time or already on the road.

9. Your…..unmentionables: take enough for the amount of days you’ll be gone, plus two.

So if you’ll be out of town for four¬†days, bring six pairs of undies. Things happen, people.




Share some of your best tips! What am I missing?

OMG Maui! {Vacation Recap}

Hello! IMG_5461

I’m back from Maui after five amazing days, feeling relaxed and seriously stoked about the new year…. And not a lick tanner. (WTF?)

I made the trip¬†with my boyfriend – you know, that elusive man I post photos of and never name? – as¬†we’d both never been to Hawaii. We basically ignored 99% of the advice that was given to us upon traveling to Maui, and ended up laying on the beach/near the water the majority of our vacay.

We stayed on¬†Kaanapali Beach, near the Lahaina area¬†of Maui (on the western coast) in a condo rental. I scoured travel websites reading review after¬†review, trying to find the best (aka cleanest) hotel/condo that wouldn’t cost us a lung, and got super lucky with a great deal on Expedia. I thought I’d miss staying at an all-inclusive hotel resort, but staying at a condo was great because we had a fully equipped kitchen and so could make some of our own meals (cheaper!), plus TONS of space and easy access to the ocean. This rental was also incredibly clean, had a wraparound porch, and provided us beach towels and beach chairs to rent, as well as a little beach bungalow to store drinks and food while we were at the beach each day. I wanted to move in.

The goal for this¬†trip was to have a for reals vacation, which neither of us had actually had in……ages/ever? And to be unplugged, aka no laptops, no work emailing, limited time on our cell phones and the internet (though I was guilty of Instagramming some of our sights and eats… it’s an addiction), that sort of thing. Overall, we used this time to just kick back, relax, and spend ¬†time in the sunshiney paradise together. We did whatever we wanted, when we wanted, and sort of made up our own “must do’s” in Maui. We also only ran one time (oops, half marathon training), but did walk a lot.

I have approximately a million photos to share (worse than my NYC trip!), because you can never take too many snapshots of the ocean and clouds, right? Right. So, here’s a recap in photo form, plus some links to some¬†favs from the trip. Skip to the bottom of this post if you just want the deets. ūüôā


{first thing we did when we arrived was head straight to a luau РPERFECT way to start the trip!}IMG_5457



{traditional mai tai — little too sweet for me!}IMG_5463



 {banana macadamia nut pancake}








{humpback whale sightings during a boat tour}


{Molokini Crater}



{the moon through special spectrum reflecting glasses}IMG_5529


{Maui Brewing Company – pineapple infused wheat ale!}IMG_5525





{view from our room Рoverlooked the Kaanapali Golf Course}IMG_5552

{known for its burgers…. I had one and it was¬†NBD.. but¬†amazing pina coladas}



-Hotel: Outrigger Maui Eldorado Condos


  • Old Lahaina Luau – delcious buffet, great show, and open bar; worth the $$$ price tag // MAKE A RESERVATION!
  • Snorkel tour of Molokini Crater – a bunch of companies offer something similar, but we used the company Four Winds,¬†and they were very friendly and accommodating (especially for newbies and kids!), and lunch was provided
  • Hyatt Hotel’s Tour of the Stars – a fun 1-hour rooftop astronomy tour (Maui has very clear skies without a lot of light pollution)
  • Walk around Front Street in old Lahaina

-Restaurants [all were in the Old Lahaina area of Maui]:

  • Koa’s Seaside Grill – BEST pancakes in Maui (also available at their sister restaurant, which is much tougher to get a table)
  • Umalu – casual, poolside spot for dinner at the Hyatt Hotel
  • Sala Pepe¬†–¬†amazing Italian food (get the meatballs!)
  • Kimo’s – great view, good burgers, and fab strawberry pina coladas

-Other tips: No high heels, go to Costco near the airport for snacks (we bought fruit and water), and rent a car! The latter is SO necessary, although we did take Uber (which is brand new in Maui) to some dinner restaurants.


Ever been to Hawaii? What was your fav thing to do?

NYC Recap

Hi friends! I’m back from a quick trip to NYC, with a full tummy, ¬†a thousand photos, and a new nephew (!).

My lifelong friend Christina, whose wedding I was in a couple years ago, just had her first little baby, and he’s the cutest muffin in the world. I was in town specifically to meet him, and he made it into the world a few days past his due date, and just in time for me to snuggle him for a few hours before boarding my flight back home. I didn’t smuggle him back to California, but believe me, I wanted to. ūüėČ While waiting for baby, we also ate a lot… I mean, A LOT. Now might be a good time to start thinking about Hawaii bikinis……………

I’m still catching up having not been home in weeks – like since before Thanksgiving! – so here’s a photo recap. Frighteningly enough, these aren’t even all of them. I got a little (lot) camera happy. NYC is really my happy place, though, and I loved every moment being there and soaking in the energy. Enjoy!




{above two photos: Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn}




{The Chocolate Room, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Рget the half coffee/half hot chocolate!}





{Denino’s Pizza}




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{John’s Deli in Brooklyn – famous for their Italian subs and roast beef sandwiches}

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{pumpernickel bagel – NYC bagels = the best}

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{my muffin… I adore him}



What’s your fav city? And what have you been up to?? Catch me up!

An iPhone View of What To Do in Buffalo

SO, as you know, I spent¬†six whole days visiting¬†upstate New York (my first time)¬†and tried to mostly ignore my cell phone/take a for real, disconnected vacay. But of course I still took a good number of photos, because that’s what I do.

Here’s a glimpse of¬†the sights, as seen through my iPhone, minus the wedding we were actually in town for, because wine. And p.s. Niagra Falls – spectacular!



(farm fresh tomatoes – I could not stop eating these)


(the famous BUFFALO Buffalo wings, from a bar whose name I can’t remember)






(hiking in Hobuck Flats)


(lunch spot on Lake Erie Рsolid garlic truffle fries)





(must do if in the Buffalo area: Maid of the Mist boat tour in Niagra Falls….you can almost see Pam and Jim saying “I do,” can’t you?)





IMG_3818(pizza on the Canada side of Niagra Falls – it was surprisingly delicious!)


(yes, there’s a toll to re-enter America from the Canada side)IMG_3830

IMG_3832(breakfast from Panos on Elmwood before flying back to California Рomg those pancakes)


And somehow I still managed to fit in all my scheduled training runs – hooray!

Now¬†I’m off to a¬†wedding in LA, because who doesn’t love back to back wedding weekends?! Happy Friday!


Ever been to Niagra Falls? And are you going to a million weddings this year like I seem to be?


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