Tag Archives: travel

Vegas, Baby!

25 Aug

Confession…I’d never been to Vegas.

I know, I know. I’ve lived in LA for 3 years and still hadn’t ventured over to Vegas.

So color me delighted when my family decided to make our first annual mini reunion a Vegas vaca. Woot!

My parents and siblings and I all live spread throughout the country, so we typically only all get together at Christmas.

Enter Vegas.

I drove, obviously. Road trip. Woot! And it meant I got to stop at Seven Magic Mountains- the cool art sculpture in the middle of the dessert.

Having parents and littles there, plus the bro and sis meant we got to have wholesome days, and scandalous nights 😉

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We also took a road trip within a road trip to Zion National Park in Utah. Yosemite still has my heart, but it was magnificent.

FullSizeRender2IMG_0501You know I also had to sneak away and explore the art district.

Honestly though, after a couple of stressful weeks, just being with the family is precisely what my soul needed.

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Road Trip to Yosemite

29 Jul

 

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Yosemite is one of those places that has been on my bucket list for years, and after seeing it, I’m glad it was.

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It’s very much unlike anything I’ve ever seen. With the massive rocks, big waterfalls, and trees for days, you really can spend days getting lost among its trails.

Yosemite Big Dome Sunset Nikita Turk

Unfortunately, I only really had a day. Still, I managed to pack a lot into my short time there. I saw Half Dome, the falls, El Capitan, and the explored the Valley and its little shops.

El Capitan Yosemite

The toughest thing about the trip was hiking to the upper falls. Its basically like climbing a flight of stairs for 2 and a half hours. Couple that with the fact that it was about 90 . Or the new cupcake shop that opened in Old Town. I’m flexible 😉

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Riding the Rails to Little Tokyo

17 Jun

Sometimes, for kicks, I just hop on the train.

Riding the train in a major metropolitan area is an important cultural experience. Not only do you see the town from an entirely new perspective, but you get the opportunity to truly sit back and take in the city.

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This week’s journey was Little Tokyo. Nestled in downtown LA, Little Tokyo is a microcosm of Japanese culture. The food, the smells, and the shops can keep you engaged for hours.

But you know me, nothing was happening until I fed my belly. With ramen on my mind, I kinda popped into the first place I could find that didn’t have a line. It was My Ramen Bar, and it didn’t disappoint.

I ordered the vegetarian ramen, which was made with spinach noodles. All the other options had pork in some form or another, which I don’t eat.

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After a full and happy belly, I journeyed through the little mall, poking into a few shops and really just taking in the experience.

It was surprisingly busy. The streets were full and most of the shops were difficult to navigate due to the sheer volume of people.

I did manage to happen upon a few gems though. I found a wishing tree. 3

And several stores with fun little doodads.

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The best part was really just exploring the neighborhood. Hanging lanterns and music and all the different smells made for a really unique experience.

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Overall a day very well spent, and I definitely plan to go back. There’s a few galleries and gardens that I didn’t get a chance to see. And you know I’ll be headed back for lunch sooner rather than later.

A Boat Ride

13 Apr

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My little sister is my homie.

We shared a room for the first 10 years of her life and built a bond that’s spanned across the years (and now across the country).

So when her best friend flaked on being her “plus one” for a mutual friend’s wedding cruise, I graciously volunteered.

I know. I’m so generous. Not everyone would be willing to cruise to Mexico, but what can I say, I’m a unique specimen 😉 .

Since sis lives in Pensacola, I had to fly out to Tampa to meet her. Basically I landed, she picked me up, I had a few minutes to buy a pair of sunglasses (yes, I forgot mine -_- ) then we were headed to the ship.

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The first day was spent at sea, and was also the day of the wedding. It was a fun, small, simple ceremony. Then we all did fun cruise things, part of which involved swapping the heals for flats.

And how’s this for in-sync- sis and I both unintentionally brought matching dresses.

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Grand Cayman was our first stop. It was beautiful and, of course, a good time, but I wasn’t blown away. It really reminded me of certain parts of Key West. Essentially it was like every other Caribbean island I’ve been too with tons of touristy shops right on the docks, people pedaling tours and island paraphernalia.

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It did, however, provide sis with the perfect opportunity to trick me into kayaking. She dangled a chill afternoon on the beach in front of me, then hit me with the ol’ okie doke at the last moment. To be clear, I’m not necessarily opposed to tiny little boats. For other people. But, since I can’t swim, I try to avoid taking them into the ocean.

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Well, whatever. We went and I didn’t drown, so the day was chalked up as a win.

I insisted on coconut shrimp and she insisted on some souvenir shopping.

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The rest of the afternoon we sort of killed time and padded around the town with some of the other wedding peeps. There were plenty of little shops to peek in. I ended up finding a color-changing shirt for Little, which I kinda wish I’d gotten for me 😉 .

The next stop was Cozumel. This stop was the one I was most excited about because I’d been wanting to see the Mayan ruins.

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Despite the 6 layers or so of bug repellent (apparently, the mosquitoes there are insane and bugs just love our blood) and the long trek on foot for food, the day was pretty spectacular.

The bus ride to the ruins gave us plenty of opportunity to take in the island and there were tons of great spots to stop for photo ops.

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The food was amazing. We did tacos and margaritas and spending the day in town was a bit more of a unique experience than Grand Cayman. Its heavy to think on how heavily most of the locals rely on tourism. It made me more inclined to buy things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise purchased.

I love that sis is always down for an adventure and, with us living on opposite sides of the country now, its always nice to have an excuse to spend a week together. And I totally forgive her for forcing me into a little plastic tube on water.