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weekend in carmel

11 Feb

A few weekends ago Brian and I road tripped up to Carmel for a few days to celebrate a friend’s wedding. I haven’t been to that area since I was a kid so I loved exploring it for what felt like the first time. We rented a house with some friends through airbnb which was so much better than staying in a hotel. It was in a great neighborhood and walking distance from the main drag of town. I knew Carmel was going to be visually beautiful with the sea as its backdrop but I was surprised to learn it also has some great restaurants and shops. Granted the whole place shuts down around 9pm- definitely not a place to go if you’re looking for a night on the town. But at 6 1/2 months pregnant I’m usually in bed by 9pm so it worked for me! We had such a fun three days. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

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road trip inspiration – big sur

23 Jul

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I’m back in road trip planning mode after a long break. As I’ve mentioned before, we originally planned on doing this trip last spring but life got in the way so we decided to push it to fall. Although, now that we’ve settled on fall I wonder why I ever thought spring was the right time to go? With a chill in the air and the leaves changing fall seems like the better choice. Am I right? At first I thought we’d travel in November to tie it in with our 2nd wedding anniversary but then I thought maybe the weather could become an issue at that time? Could we possibly hit snow as we get further North? Anyway, the fear of sketchy weather made me go with early October instead. Now that we have dates on the calendar I am getting excited. I feel like I am planning a mini version of the cross-country road trip I took a few years ago. I love the planning process- it gives me such a rush researching each city.

The first stop on our itinerary is Big Sur, one of the most magical places on earth, in my opinion. The scenery is breathtaking- rocky cliffs, blue ocean, sandy beaches and tree covered coastal mountains all rolled into one. It also smells incredible there- like fresh pine trees.

Brian and I have been to Big Sur a few times together. The first was when he introduced me to camping (it happened to be one of my ten goals when I started this blog four years ago- an experience you can read about here, here & here) The second trip was on our mini moon after getting married in 2013. As you can probably imagine Big Sur holds a special place in my heart.

Despite having traveled there a few times I still feel like I have so much to explore. I’m dying to visit the Esalen Institute. How have I never been there?

Here are some of my inspiration photos for stop one. Do any of you lovely folks have Big Sur recommendations? Restaurants? Coffee joints? Hikes? Hotels? Drives? Anything!

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images found via pinterest

 

goodbye, sedona

9 Jun

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Oh, Sedona…I’m not ready to leave you today. You definitely delivered on this trip. I fell in love with you and my husband each a little more this weekend…I didn’t think either was possible. It was just a really good five days away. The kind of days where you find yourself filled with so much joy that you wish you could stop time and absorb the feeling a little bit more. Instead, you have to file the moments away in your heart and hope you don’t forget them.

For all the times I have been to Sedona I have never done a travelogue for it, so instead of throwing a few highlights down right now I plan on doing a proper post for it in the next few days. I’ve decided Sedona deserves it.

Now I must go so I can help Brian pack up the car to make the 7+ hour road trip back to LA (podcast time- anybody have any favorites that we should listen to?)…and home to Frank! Man, I missed that little love muffin these last few days. I must have texted the dog sitter…oh, I don’t know…a 1,000 times in five days. She must think I’m insane.

Until next Sedona!

 

hitting the road…

5 Jun

 

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Brian and I are hitting the road this morning en route for one of my favorite places…Sedona, AZ. We go to Sedona at least twice a year (Brian’s parents have a house there) but this will be a weekend of firsts for us…we are staying there a little longer than we usually do (a weekend always seems to go by too quick), driving instead of flying (we decided that we were both in need of a little adventure) and going alone (we usually bring a group of friends with us but this time around we wanted a mellow trip). I’m looking forward to doing a whole lotta nothing for five days.

Below is my Friday happy list- making a list of the little things that bring me joy each week helps me stay present.

20 things that have been making me happy recently…

pink peonies

watching Bloodline on Netflix

my new laptop- it’s love

planning out our summer calendar (so many weddings!)

wandering the streets of Venice on my morning walks with Frankie

lunches with Crystal

lazy Sundays at home with my family and a stack of magazines

the little dragon pandora station

haagen dazs vanilla ice cream

sipping coffee in bed with a view of our blooming garden

saging our home (more on that next week)

beach weather, pool weather & bikini weather is on the horizon

we’re going to Sedona for five days!

this quote…

ego says: once everything falls into place, I will find peace

spirit says: find peace and everything will fall into place 

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What’s been making you guys happy recently?

 

Zihuatanejo, Mexico

2 Mar

On Valentines day weekend Brian and I went to Zihuatanejo, Mexico with his parents to celebrate a family friends 10th wedding anniversary. As I mentioned in a previous post I have been to this part of Mexico before but sadly I never left the resort that trip- how lame, huh? So it was fun to explore more of the area this round. The highlight of the trip was most definitely the day we spent on a boat- complete with a stop on an island for a fresh seafood lunch & a whale sighting. The only unfortunate part of the trip was that it remained overcast most of the time. I have to admit I was a tad bummed because I planned on getting an epic tan. But at this point, I have learned to just go with the flow when traveling and enjoy what is instead of what I thought it should be. Here’s a glimpse of our trip!

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Cheers to a great trip!

travel 2015 : Zihuatanejo

14 Jan

 

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Going into the new year there were not many travel plans on the horizon. Well, other than the road trip I am still manifesting/planning from Los Angeles to Seattle with Brian at some point this year. That was until Brian’s parents invited us on a last-minute trip with them to Zihuatanejo, Mexico (a tiny fishing village on Mexico’s Pacific coast) in February. Clearly, we said yes. Brian has never been to Mexico before! I still can’t believe this- between the surf, margaritas & food…Mexico was made for that boy. I on the other hand have been to Mexico, quite a few times. I’ve visited Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, San Miguel de Allende & Zihuatanejo. The last time I was in Zihuatanejo was many years ago and only for a short period of time. Just enough time to fall in love with the idyllic scenery and crash into a row of palm trees while trying to land on the beach after a parasailing adventure. I blame the wind and the fact that I might have pulled the wrong cord- the jury is still out. I guess it’s not fair to say that I went into the trees because that gives the impression I slammed into the trunks. I instead went through, oh I don’t know, maybe six rows of palm fronds. Let me tell you they are not as soft as they look. Not only was it a physically painful experience but it was also one of the most embarrassing moments of my life considering the row of palm trees happened to line the resort I was staying at. I can still hear the screams of the people below as I made my way through the fronds. When I came out the other side and face planted into the white sand, the screams turned to gasps. I imagine they were all surprised that I made it out the other side. I now find this story funny (it’s also great for parties) but it took me a while to get there. I’m definitely hoping for a better Zihuatanejo experience this time around. I will ensure this by keeping my tush firmly planted on the beach with a book, cocktail & my handsome husband.

Have any of you been to this part of Mexico before? I barely left the resort last time I was there so I would love any tips you may have!

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NYE – Sedona

6 Jan
totally blocking the epic view.

totally blocking the epic view.

It’s been awhile since the idea of hitting the town on New Years Eve sounded appealing to me. It really never ends well- too much pressure! I much prefer quiet dinners and champagne at home with friends. So when Brian’s parents invited us to tag along with them and a friend of theirs to ring in the New Year at their house in Sedona, I jumped at the invitation. I have a big crush on Sedona (as well as his parents and their friend Lynn).

Sedona is an incredibly magical place. Maybe it’s the majestic red rock canyons as far as the eye can see but the energy there can be felt. Considering the last year has been a rather difficult one, I couldn’t think of a better place to say goodbye to 2014….and hello to 2015!

I have been to Sedona many times before but as many times as I have been, I’ve never been there during the winter months. Usually when I go I can be found lounging by the pool in a bathing suit. So when we booked the trip I excitedly asked Brian if there would be snow (us California girls don’t get to see snow that often, you know)! Brian informed me that it was possible but not likely. Snow in Sedona isn’t a normal occurrence. He said he had been there once before when it snowed and it was only a measly foot or so and burned off quickly the next day.

So it’s possible, I thought!

With this news I spent the next two months praying that it would snow during our three night stay there. If I were a mathematician I would have known that the odds were not stacked in my favor. Luckily, I am not. So I kept envisioning myself cuddled up on the couch, with the fireplace crackling, sipping a glass of wine while planning out my 2015 goals…with snow on the ground.

I had a vision people.

Well, somebody heard my prayers (clearly, I have decided this is a good omen for 2015) because it snowed. And I’m not talking a light dusting of snow…I’m talking over a foot of thick powdery snow that did not burn off the next day. It snowed all day on the 31st, from the moment we woke to the moment we went to bed. It snowed so much in fact, that the 5 mile road from the house down to the town was closed, making our fancy dinner plans out a thing of the past.

The next two days were spent playing in the snow, sleeping, eating, reading, drinking, playing cards/dominos, watching TV and dancing (sadly, the dancing was me and me alone…even sadder that it was to Taylor Swifts “shake it off”…I blame cabin fever…ok and maybe the wine.)

It was kinda the best New Years ever.

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thanks Brian

thanks Brian

what Sedona looked like when we first arrived

what Sedona looked like when we first arrived

don't mind if I do

don’t mind if I do

there's really nothing like a husband in the kitchen

there’s really nothing like a husband in the kitchen

we woke up on the 31st to snow!

we woke up on the 31st to snow!

love

love

happy boy

happy boy

happy girl

happy girl

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don’t mind if I do

engrossed in his book

engrossed in his book

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seriously?

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serious game of dominos

 

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YUM

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peaceful

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just had to do it

always shooting pictures

always shooting pictures

winter wonderland

winter wonderland

totally worth the hike

totally worth the hike

totally blocking the epic view.

totally blocking the epic view.

blue skies again

blue skies again

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To see some beyond gorgeous photos (as well as an amazing time lapse) that Brian took during our stay…visit his new photography journal!

Tenganan Village- East Bali

4 Dec

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As I mentioned in my previous post Brian and I ventured away from the grounds of our hotel, Alila Manggis only once during our five-day stay. It was too damn pretty to leave! Our one big cultural outing was a guided tour through Tenganan Village, an isolated community located in East Bali. At one time it was even referred to as one of the most secluded societies of the archipelago.

The people of Tenganan are called Bali Aga— “the original Balinese”. They are descendants from the pre-Majapahit kingdom of Pegeng. They have strict rules as to who is allowed to live in the village- only those born in the village can stay and become full members of the community. There are also strict rules regarding marriage- anyone who marries outside of the village….must leave the community immediately. Ouch! The Bali Aga also speak a dialect of the Balinese language that is entirely their own, dating back from thousands of years- supposedly it varies from village to village.

Tenganan Village is separated both socially and economically from the rest of Bali, shut off by a solid wall that surrounds the entire village- the wall is meant to keep outsiders away. There are four gates that you can access the village from, one facing north, south, east and west. Due to the inclusive nature of the village I was surprised that they were open to having tourists come in. Our guide explained that due to the entrance fee (two dollars per person) as well as the opportunity to sell their art; beautiful wovens, Ikat textiles & wood carvings, they make an exception. Tourists flock to the area due to the fact that the village still holds to the original Balinese traditions, ceremonies and rules.

It’s like walking into another world when you pass through the gates.

Roosters, dogs and even cows roam free in the village, although some of the roosters are also in bamboo-cages, some spray-painted in different colors for cockfights. When I first saw the brightly colored roosters (hot pink!) I was amused….until I learned about the cockfighting. Then I wanted run around and free them all. Our guide explained that cockfighting is over thousand-year-old Balinese tradition in Balinese Hinduism, and part of religious rituals to expel evil spirits. I found learning about the details of cockfights both fascinating and terribly disturbing at the same time.

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The houses of Tenganan are arranged in rows on each side of stone paved avenues. In the central place is the council house where the elders meet. This council house is some seventy feet long, strongly built and very old.

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It was an amazing few hours- there is nothing I love more (other than Brian and Frank) then learning about other cultures.

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All photos by Brian Glodney photography 

east bali

1 Dec

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The last stop on our honeymoon was five nights at the insanely gorgeous Alila Manggis located in East Bali- a quiet section of the island known for its lush forests and the active volcano, Mount Agung. After traveling for almost a month through Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh, Ubud & Nusa Lembongan, we were both pretty exhausted from the non stop movement.

Our vacation was making us tired…take out the tiny violin, right?

Considering neither of us wanted to fly back to Los Angeles without our batteries fully recharged, we allowed ourselves to do the unthinkable for people like us…do absolutely nothing for the last leg of the trip. We fought it the first day, both feeling bad about not scheduling more things during our stay. We spent the first day by the pool sipping fruity cocktails and flipping through the hotels activity brochure in search of something. An afternoon of sailing? A scenic bike ride? A sunrise trek up Mount Agung? Although, I simply couldn’t fathom waking up at 3am to trek to the top of Mount Agung. Since we couldn’t settle on anything, we just kept sipping fruity cocktails by the pool. Normally, this would have been a pool/beach combo but this section of Bali isn’t known for its beaches. Transalation….there really isn’t a beach, especially at high tide. So we pooled it. I wasn’t disappointed though because the pool at Alila Manggis was epic. It begged to be sat by for five days straight. It would have been unfair to it if we didn’t.

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Our daily routine was pretty solid…wake up by 9am…eat breakfast (which happened to be an amazing complimentary feast. It kept me full for most of the day)…go back to our room to change into our bathing suits and proceed to the pool to swim, read (I laughed and sobbed my way through “A Fault In Our Stars”), eat, drink & sleep, usually wrapping it up around five when we would go back to our hotel room to lounge around in bed until we got hungry for dinner.

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We left the hotel grounds once…once!! How crazy is that? On day five we finally put the fruity cocktails down and ventured out for a little culture, a guided tour through Tenganan Village, which is often referred to as the original Bali.

The tour through the village will be up on the blog next!

photos by Brian Glodney Photography

inspiration photos / spring road trip

11 Nov

After our mini road trip to Ojai this past weekend planning our spring road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle is front and center on my mind. I love being on the open road with Brian. We are both at our happiest when exploring- Brian equipped with his camera and me my journal. There is also nothing I love more than planning road trips! I get such a high researching every little detail. Although, I imagine planning this road trip will be far less time consuming than when I drove across the country with One Part Gypsy.

At the moment the itinerary is…Los Angeles, Big Sur, Carmel, San Francisco, Tomales Bay, Ashland, Eugene, Portland, Olympia & Seattle. Thoughts? Has anyone ever done this route? Are there other places you think that we should make a point to stop?

Brian and I have only ever made it as far as Tomales Bay so any tips (hotels, restaurants, things to do/see) are welcome in any of the cities.

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tomales bay menu

tomales bay

wine

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“Once the travel bug bites you there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected for the rest of my life.”

Michael Palin