california road trip: a day in yosemite

y7

Where: Yosemite National Park, California

Remember how I said the trees are different in California? Well, that’s especially the case in Yosemite National Park, where some of the largest Sequoia and Redwood trees can be found.

Continue reading “california road trip: a day in yosemite”

california road trip: a weekend in ojai

o1Where: Ojai, California

Since I started taking these NYC getaways, I’ve realized that one of my favorite parts about exploring a new area is visiting the often overlooked (by everyday tourists, at least) towns nearby. So on our recent trip to LA, I wanted to make sure to include a trip to one of the nearby desert towns. I thought about Palm Springs, but after seeing several posts about Ojai on my Instagram feed (yes, that’s really how I make travel decisions!), that sealed the deal. Ojai it was!

Ojai is a tiny town of about 8000 people, located in a valley about an hour and a half drive northwest of Los Angeles.  It’s a sleepy little town, with a small main street area, an emphasis on locally made goods, cute restaurants, health food, and healthy (hippie?) living.

o2

Continue reading “california road trip: a weekend in ojai”

california road trip: los angeles

la1

Where: Los Angeles, California

As you may know, I’m from the west coast. And though the feelings are not quite as intense as they once were, whenever I make my way back there, it feels like returning to the homeland. The second I land, my body just knows…it’s California. The air smells different, it feels different. The sky seems like a different color and all the plants seem to be whispering in a different way than they do in Florida (where, really, they’re screaming–not sure what types of fucking bugs live in there) or New York (where you can’t hear anything they’re saying, anyway). So it never matters what time of day I arrive–the initial high I get from being in California keeps me awake and moving until I’m finally peeled away.

Continue reading “california road trip: los angeles”

secrets to a successful friendcation

Food truck in SoCo, Austin, Texas

When I was feeling antsy this month, it occurred to me that every year for the last several years I’ve taken a vacation in April. Three years ago it was our engagement trip to Paris. Two years ago it was a friend’s birthday trip to New Orleans. Last year, it was a group trip to Austin, Texas.

We called it a friendcation, and it involved 5 couples from across the country. We had friends coming from the west coast, upstate New York, Philadelphia and New York City. Somehow, we coordinated schedules, flights, and even airport rides from our various starting points and ended up in Austin, Texas for a long weekend. It was so. much. fun.

So how did this all come about, and how can you plan your own successful friendcation? Read on for my tips.

Continue reading “secrets to a successful friendcation”

holidays in lisbon — part 3

Jeronimos Monastery, Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

(this is the 3rd post in a series, check out post 1post 2, & post 4!)

By the third day in Lisbon, we’d just about recovered from jetlag and decided to do some of the more quintessential touring activities (to the delight of my dad)! First, we took one of the trams to Belém, which is the most historical neighborhood of Lisbon, a bit removed from the city center.

The first stop was the Jeronimos Monastery. This is a World Heritage monument and the resting place for Portugal’s explorer, Vasco da Gama. The cloisters, following the trend, were unfortunately closed, but apparently worth the visit.

We broke for lunch after that, at a nearby cafe. In the sun, it was warm enough to take off our coats and enjoy rosé at a table outside. We were so, so lucky with that weather!

Continue reading “holidays in lisbon — part 3”