On the Horizon: Upcoming Trips

Transitioning back to the workweek after a family staycation and a fun birthday weekend is a challenge- as Nutritionella pointed out, ever feel like you need a vacation to recover from vacation?

I thought it would help to remind myself of the fun trips I have on the horizon for the rest of summer and the beginning of fall.

Back to Hollymead

Work & fun trip to DC

Bachelorette party at undisclosed location

First time in Nashville

First time in San Francisco

Thank goodness I have generous family, friends, family friends, and friend’s family in cool places! We’ll be driving to most of these places, so the gas split between multiple people won’t be too expensive. For the other places, I/we have managed to find great deals by browsing Southwest’s fall sales and planning trips around the cheapest dates {hooray for workplace flexibility!}.

Where are you headed this summer/fall? What tips do you have for affordable travel? 

P.S. For more travel inspiration, check out Linnie’s Summer Travel Series!


see you in a few hours, dc!

Photo credit

This morning I read one of Kaileen Elise’s Creative Weekend To Do Lists and felt inspired to write my own!

I’m headed up to DC around lunchtime today. Here’s what’s in store {subject to change based on the whims of three twenty-something girls!}:

  • Solo road trip with Boyfriend, Give Your Heart a Break, and Back in Time. And probably Ridin’ Solo, since it’s fitting
  • Pit stops for coffee and bubble gum {gotta have bubble gum on road trips!}
  • Jazz in the Garden with sangria
  • A night out at the Bottom Line, one of our favorite college bars
  • Brunch, most likely with bottomless mimosas
  • Tons of picture taking- with my SLR and Instagram
  • Dressing up in my city clothes 🙂
  • Wandering through different DC neighborhoods
  • Nostalgic reminiscing about our amazing DC college days
  • Catching up for hours with two of my best friends

hollymead memories

Photo credit: Sue
  • Playing a G rated Never Have I Ever during lunch on the patio
  • Larry jokingly saying “How many hussies does it take to load a dishwasher?” when we all insisted on helping out in the kitchen
  • Learning the expression “Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back?” (it’s like “Is the Queen English?”)
  • I coyly commented that it was rare for a group of twenty-somethings to befriend a group of thirty-somethings. Larry replied “We have a phrase in the business world. Don’t bullshit a bullshitter!”
  • Singing “Sue and Larry had a farm” with multiple verses
  • Seeing the wine making room
  • Joking about hiding their special bottle of wine and pretending like we drank it!
  • Naming our group The Real Hussies of Hollymead
  • Teaching current lingo like #winning, legitimately, literally, and epic 
Also, this is what Larry’s status said after we left: 

Just had a great weekend with the “four hussies” we met on the Bahamas cruise this past February. Wonderful young women with wit, wisdom and big hearts. Look forward to having them back after [our foreign exchange student] arrives so she can see the art of the possible in America’s youth.

part of day two at hollymead farm

On Saturday morning, we slept in and padded downstairs to find fresh baked zucchini and banana bread waiting for us! We all popped K Cups into the coffee machine and ate a long, luxurious breakfast outside on the patio overlooking the pool.

Then Larry took us through the hilly trails by the house on the Kabota, which is a kind of ATV/tractor. He went super fast, which resulted in tons of screaming from the girls! We dubbed it the Taylorsville Safari, but it felt more like a rollercoaster. Here I am driving the Kabota like a champ:

We then went to Walmart to stock up on supplies for the pool party later in the day. The best part of the trip: a little chihuahua was running around Walmart with no leash or owner in sight! We planned to start a website called DogsOfWalmart.com (don’t steal it!).

Larry then took Colette and I down to the horse stable to turn manure (it has to be flipped periodically so that it decomposes properly). Good house guests always help with chores! But I didn’t think of it as a chore because I had a BLAST on the John Deere Tractor. They could barely get me off it! Larry made fun of me because I would raise the bucket and then accidentally flip it the wrong way so the manure dumped toward me instead of away! Luckily, I didn’t get any on me…

The stable is at the bottom of the hill and you can look past the horse pastures to the house. Such a shabby view, right? (Kidding!).

While Colette had her turn on the tractor, I snapped a few pictures:

This was the largest red hickory tree in North Carolina and the second largest in the country before a tornado hit it
Sue has a horse cart under there!
Horse stable
There were gorgeous flowers everywhere

This used to be a house but now it’s a little storage shed for the horse trailer. It’s over 100 years old, if I remember correctly

Stay tuned for the rest of Day #2 and all of Day #3!

recap: day one at hollymead farm

Good morning! I’m sitting in the office with a soy misto rehashing the weekend in my head. We all agreed that magical is the first word that comes to mind.

In case you don’t remember, I traveled with the cruise girls {my sister and our friends Colette and Erica} to western North Carolina to visit our Rotary Club cruise friends. We all agreed that no one will truly understand what an incredible trip it was, so this post is partly commemorative, partly important inspirational, and partly to provoke jealousy (kidding!).

Do you ever feel like your heart is literally swelling with happiness? Imagine a weekend filled with that feeling. Within approximately 12 seconds of walking through the door, we felt at home and at ease. Any idea that the trip might be filled with any awkwardness vanished almost immediately.

You know the kind of people who are so quick to laugh at anything? Around the right people, that’s how I consider myself. Sue and Larry are undoubtedly cut from the same fabric as us- they have the ability to laugh hysterically one moment but have a meaningful conversation the next. But I’m getting ahead of myself!

We hopped in the car at 5pm and proceeded to sing to “Call Me Maybe” and “Scream” by Usher. We stopped for food within the first 20 minutes and ended up chatting with one of the cashiers. On our way out he shouted across the restaurant, “Have fun at the farm, girls!” We were cracking up knowing that we had already had a mini-adventure and our trip had barely started! The first two hours flew by because we didn’t stop talking at all! The last hour went by even more quickly because we were so excited. As we drove up the driveway of the farm, it was just a repeated chorus of “Oh my gosh!” We were so overwhelmed by the picturesqueness of the farm- imagine huge rolling pastures, white picket fences, a long gravel driveway, a beautiful stable, grape vines planted by the side of the driveway, and huge beds of hydrangeas. And that wasn’t even taking into account the house and the patio!

Sue and Larry met us at the door and welcomed us with huge hugs. Within minutes, we were ushered out to the beautiful patio that overlooked the pastures and most of the county. Giant glasses of wine were forced upon us 🙂 Over wine and later, a delicious meal of chicken salad, we laughed hysterically, talked about our lives, and tried to remember all of the funny quotes…and there may or may not have been a mock wedding toast given by yours truly. Hands down the funniest part of the evening was Larry plomping down four homemade buttons for us. They read “Neither hussy nor bimbo am I,” which is an inside joke since one of the couples on the cruise said that we were hussies {I assure you- we’re not!}.

After many hours, we retired to our quaint guest bedrooms, which had super comfy queen-sized beds and even little bottles of water to keep us hydrated! We tried to get a good night’s sleep to prep for our big day on Saturday!

happy humpday + weekend recap

My mission to make Wednesdays awesome continues tonight- a new “friend” {we haven’t met in person yet!} invited me to a happy hour to celebrate her new job!

I had yet another fun-packed weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s only April, because I feel like I’ve thrown myself full-force into summer activities, like beach day trips and listening to Sublime 🙂

On Friday I enjoyed ate fajitas from Chile Bomba {I don’t recommend it, except for $2 margaritas on Tuesdays!} and homemade margaritas. My roommate moved in, so we spent awhile organizing our apartment and eliminating what we have double of. I have a ton of decorating ideas {read: am picky} and she’s very flexible, so it works out well!

7 different kinds of forks that I found in my silverware drawer!

On Saturday I played a morning game of tennis- though I don’t blog often about tennis, it’s always a highlight of my week. As I was lying in bed recuperating, my friend texted me offering me free tickets to the World Beer Festival! They’re normally cost $40 and I love beer + free stuff, so naturally I jumped on them. I invited Wifey and my sister because I knew the three of us would have a blast.

We sampled a billion beers {my favorite was actually a cider from Crispin}. Indulged in delicious food. Bought a Rocky Mountain Reese’s apple. Drove a demo Harley Davidson. Ran into my roommate, who was there with friends. Wore DTR and PBR buttons with pride. Met the guys from Capacooz {coozie plus a bottle opener} and helped them sell the product to unsuspecting passersby. All in all, we had boatloads of fun! Thank you to Corey and Live Work Play for the tickets!

Yum, Reeese’s apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Co

On Sunday, it was off to the beach again for a day trip with our guy friends. After two hours of rapping to Drake, we met up with some other friends and  spent a long day at the beach. We ate amazing burritos from Tower 7 and may or may not have been forced to take a tequila shot too. We all commented that on the beach, the day goes by so slowly in the best way possible! I love getting home around 7pm and still having time to settle down, prep some food for the week, and unwind before Monday.

Capacooz! {photo credit}

Here’s to reliving your weekend memories on Wednesday!

dc trip recap

Like I said before, my trip up to DC last week was everything I wanted…and more 🙂

We ate a lot of sushi {at Nooshi and Sushi Go Round in Chinatown}

Drank bottomless mimosas and enjoyed the buffet at The Front Page in Dupont Circle

We saw Safe House at the Georgetown Movie Theatre

We spent time at the Dupont farmers’ market

Napa cabbage
Rainbow chard {see my rainbow frittata recipe, which has rainbow chard in it!}

Marinara sauce from one of the farms

And further up in Dupont…

To Dolcezza {where I tried the sea salt gelato- amazing}

And Lou Lou for cheap earrings 🙂

We also watched The Proposal, ate fajitas and drank margaritas at Los Cuates, enjoyed dinner at Clyde’s, and got a cupcake from Baked & Wired {and then forgot to eat it!}.

Just a few of the trip highlights! It was fantastic to spend Thursday and Friday hopping from one office to another {we have offices all over Chinatown, as well as near the White House}. I met tons of coworkers who I’ve only gchatted with, so it was great to put names to faces. I also sought out valuable recruiting advice from several of my coworkers {one recommended two books- I’ll highlight those in another post}. And spending time with my amigas is always boatloads of fun 🙂

Photo Credits  1, 23

“dc chillin…floor to the ceiling”

What a fantastic trip to DC- it was filled with two days at the office getting to know my new coworkers and seeing my old team and then two days of traipsing around the city with two of my best friends. We laughed a ton, ate obscene amounts of food {like Nooshi, brunch, and Mexican} and coffee, wandered around DC, and generally had a blast.

More updates to come once I’m done catching up from four days out of The Raleigh Forum office 🙂


P.S. Traipse: Walk or move wearily or reluctantly or walk about casually or needlessly. I mean it in the second way 🙂

P.P.S. Did you get the blog title? It’s from Chillin by Wale!

Source: flickr.com via Aaron on Pinterest

“and i need a beach. and i need a martini. stat”

First picture aboard the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship!

I’ve been on many soul-searching, introspective trips- like last year’s 10 day Birthright trip to Israel and my Alternative Breaks trip to Belize and New Orleans. But I’ll be honest with you- my recent cruise to the Bahamas was not one of them.

I did challenge the girls with several probing questions of the day, but for the most part, my questions were: What should I order for breakfast? What should I order for lunch? What should I order for dinner? Should I drink more? What should I drink? Am I getting tan? What should we do? Does anyone want a name tag? Where are Fatty and Columbus?

Haha, deep, I know.

As it usually goes, our Bahamas cruise feels like a lifetime ago. What a trip it was- and now my body is {still} punishing me haha. There are some parts of the cruise that I’m better off not sharing here if I plan on being employed in the future {partly joking} but I wanted to share some of the highlights.

  • Starting the trip off with a bang with Policeman Carlos
  • Having yet another epic trip with my sister


  • Sampling frog legs for the first time
  • Befriending Sue and Larry, our honorary parents (who invited us to spend the weekend on their farm in NC!)
  • Dressing up in pretty cocktail dresses!

    Formal night!

  • Befriending and nicknaming everyone else on the cruise including: Flo Rida, Anaphylactic Shock, Fatty, Columbus, Blaze, Macintosh, Golden Delicious, Kelly and Constable,  Bling-Bling, Phoebe, Blasov/Silly, Roman/Virgil, Music Man, Spunky Brewster and Twinkle Toes
  • Hearing “Are you guys wearing name tags? Turn the house lights on!” during the show on the first night
  • Being serenaded multiple times by Music Man

Just posing with giant chess pieces. Normal.

  • Spending the day at Atlantis- seeing the amazing aquarium, riding the lazy river, and watching the dolphins!
  • Taking a tequila shot out of a plastic Ziploc bag
  • Asking the man at the front desk to call our new friends…without knowing their room number or last names!
  • Spending the day in Freeport, where we ate lunch at a cute restaurant, befriended Christine, and made up a song about all our cruise friends

    First day at port in Freeport!

  • Having 2 lobster tails each delivered to us by our waiter, Bling Bling…then hearing him yell “Shots, shots, shots” every time he came to our table
  • Enjoying sushi and iced coffee on the deck by myself while watching the sun set over Atlantis
  • Riding a banana boat and hearing “Ohhhhh buddy” behind me..the whole time. Then capsizing not once, but twice haha. We got to see the ship from Pirates of the Carribean AND watch dolphins play 🙂
  • We rode a banana boat to see dolphins and the ship from Pirates of the Carribean!

  • Watching Twinkle Toes get his YMCA on during the first night show
  • Watching Erica kick butt- and do the chicken dance- on stage during Game Show Mania. She won a Ship on a Stick for her win!
  • Looking out over the sparkling and shockingly clear water
  • Hanging out with people for 5 days and still not having them know our real names when we disembarked
  • Having our picture taken in front of the cheesy 90s backdrops…on a beach…and in front of the “cruise ship…and on a veranda…and in Paris…and in a strange abbey thing with glasses of champagne and a grand piano….and my personal favorite: the pillow fight scene

The photographer quite enjoyed coming up with cheesy poses for us

  • And about a million more…..I’m sure this post will be updated as I think of them!
Here are a few photos that encapsulate our trip (more landscape photos to come in a different post):

Love these girls!

P.S. Who knows what movie that quote is from?! 10 points to whoever gets it right 🙂

bahama, come on pretty mama

You know why I don’t mind this icky, cold weather? Because on Wednesday I will be here:


Then on this:

{A Carnival cruise}

En route to here:

{The Bahamas}

P.S. Pinterest is a bad place to find ugly pictures because there’s always a positive spin on things. If you type in “cold weather,” you just get results for cute winter clothing and ways to fend off the winter blues. Boooo haha.

1) Source: Uploaded by user via anslee on Pinterest
2) Source: google.com via Clinton on Pinterest
3) Source: google.com via Samantha on Pinterest
4) Source: classy-in-the-city.tumblr.com via Fred on Pinterest
5) Source: google.com via Heather on Pinterest