Travel Tales // Austin, Texas Tips & Tricks

Hi all! I just got back from a four-day trip to Austin, Texas, and I thought I’d share some highlights and travel tips with you all (y’all?) here! It was my first time in Texas, and I’ve heard that Austin is a lot different from the rest of Texas—a little younger, a little more artsy, more like up north than down south. I really enjoyed my time and here’s what I’ve learned about what to do and how to get around, just in case you’re planning your own trip there soon!

There’s no Uber—they have “Fasten” and “Fare” for ride sharing

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Snapshots // The first signs of fall

This year, the end of summer and beginning of fall have been perfect. I feel like I’m so immersed in fall activities and have been really active with my friends and family, planning seasonal events that always mark the changing of the seasons and the beginning of autumn. I’d thought I’d share some snapshots of my fall so far, and show you guys what I’ve been up to lately!

Cruisin’ around NYC

I went on a booze cruise around New York City for a friend’s birthday. I always love this route around the city and never get tired of these views!

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Snapshots // Sun & summer days

Hey all! I’ve been having a swell summer so far and I thought I’d share some snapshots of my extended vacation, and share some travel tips as well. My time off this year has been more of a stay-cation, because I can’t truly afford a trip anywhere. Instead, when my family and I took time off, we made day trips to places around Manhattan and Brooklyn, and it was a great opportunity for me to be a tourist in my own city. Here are a few photos of what I’ve been up to lately!

Smorgasburg

My sister and I went to Smorgasburg this past month, a food festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with dozens of local food places setting up booths. It’s an incredible place to try so many new kinds of food, and this particular festival was right near the water, with amazing views of the Manhattan skyline. I would absolutely recommend visiting Smorgasburg, although on the day I went, the heat of the day made it a little more difficult to eat my weight in food. I’d recommend going on a cooler day in September. Still—that view!

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Snapshots // The beginning of summer

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

My stress levels have been down lately thanks to the magical weekend getaway. For the past two weekends I’ve been away, upstate in the Catskills, first at a place called Glen Brook with friends and family, and then again for the music festival Mountain Jam at Hunter Mountain. Both weekends were amazing—fun, relaxing, full of friends and family and good music and karaoke shenanigans. Here are some photos:

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Travel Diaries // Mini road trip to Mystic, Conn.

I love to travel, but unfortunately, I work. But since I tend to like money and not starving, it’s not so bad. But that’s why weekend trips, often spontaneous ones, are so important. My cousins recently invited me to tag along on their mini road trip to Mystic, Connecticut, and I was jazzed since I love pizza and Julia Roberts! I went with my cousins, my sister, and my brother-in-law, and we lucked out with a gorgeous spring day. Here are some photos.img_5615
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Travel in style with Vera Bradley

For the past couple years, since my college graduation, I’ve been trying very hard to travel as much as possible. Ever since I was young, all I’ve wanted to do was travel everywhere and see the world, and now that I’m working full time at a real office job, those possibilities have become fewer, but my determination to travel hasn’t abated.

Since 2013, I’ve been on about three semi-big trips a year, sometimes by road trip, sometimes by plane, and sometimes just weekend trips with my friends. I’ve been to Portland, Maine, San Francisco, Alaska, London, and I’m hoping to go somewhere this spring (New Orleans, probably!).

All that travel means I’ve become a master packer. (Seriously—I’m so good at it. Space bags, lists on lists, and all the tiny shampoos you could ever want.) So that’s why I’m excited to try these Vera Bradley products, meant to make packing even easier for me.

I’ve always liked Vera Bradley products because they’re useful, whimsical, well-made, and really pretty. So for my upcoming spring vacation, here is my travel/packing guide, with highlights from Vera Bradley. I received two products to review, and I’ve incorporated them into what I think are great tips for smart and fun packing (yes, I think packing is fun—I’m weird).
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7 Travel tips for a holiday in London

London is my favorite city (that I’ve visited). Aside from New York, which is home, London has my heart. I spent this past New Year’s Eve there, the second time I’d visited since studying abroad in college, and I didn’t want to leave. I decided to share some travel tips in case you’re also planning a visit to the city!

Frequent your local pubs. //

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Wherever you’re staying will have probably a dozen good local pubs within walking distance. Get to know them, as they will each probably have a great history, story, and special brews on tap. Seat yourself anywhere, and order both food and drinks at the bar. Pro tip: always drench your chips in vinegar. It’s the only way.

When pub food gets old, check out the diverse multinational cuisine in London, especially Brick Lane if you love curry (I do)!
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Snapshots of London, my New Year’s vacation

Over New Year’s, I visited London for the second time, and I’m so happy I was able to go back to one of my absolute favorite places in the world. I thought I’d share some photos and highlights of my trip here, and later on this week, I’m going to share some travel tips for visiting this amazing metropolis.

Last time I was in London (in college), I took upwards of 5,000 photos, I’m sure. This time, I had basically seen all the “big sights” so I let myself relax in terms of photos. But here are some of my favorite moments:

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Bookstore Hopping | Booksmith in San Francisco, CA

On my recent trip to SF, of course I wanted to visit a local indie bookstore. I had a couple in mind but didn’t get to visit either (they were too far north). Instead, I found one very serendipitously while I was exploring the Haight-Ashbury section of the city. It was called Booksmith and it was very, very cool.

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I always feel too conspicuous taking actual photos inside a busy store so I apologize for these rather blurry iPhone photos!
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What I loved about Booksmith was how quirky and also browser-friendly it was. Almost every single book on display came with a personalized, handwritten staff recommendation card, to the point where more little handwritten slips were visible hanging from the shelves than books! It’s not a bad thing, though. It’s a very good thing, because back covers, inside flaps and of course, the cover don’t always give you that in-depth why-you-should-actually-read-this kind of rec.

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I also loved the hand-drawn chalkboard titles for each section! They were so creative and beautifully rendered. For a bookstore in the heart of the Haight, it was also very kid-friendly. The Children’s Section was huge, but I only missed some good San Francisco/California/Haight-Ashbury history books. I would have loved to bring one home with me to learn more about this section of the city.

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I also loved the floors. They were a wreck, and beautiful.

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Deets: 1644 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117. Go check it out 😉

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Travel Tales of San Francisco

I just got back from my very first trip to California/the West Coast. My cousin and I went to San Francisco for a few days to visit a friend, and spent many, many hours walking up and down crazy hills, being totally amazed by the Victorian architecture, going on spooky Alcatraz tours, and in my case, completely biting it while biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco’s beauty frequently took my breath away, and I loved every minute of exploring this great American city. Here are some photo highlights of my trip.

Warning: many pretty photos ahead:

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view from the top of Lombard Street. My feet and legs took the brunt of the pain! 😉

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view from our awesome seafood dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf

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Alcatraz Island from Pier 44

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CHOCOLATE

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Snapchat selfie while hanging onto a cable car 😉

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Alcatraz cell—so tiny!

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view of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island—unbelievable.

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The Bay

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Janis Joplin’s house

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The Grateful Dead’s house

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view of SF from the Golden Gate Park observation deck

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Chinatown was beautiful. (Food was awesome, too!)

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<3

My favorite kinds of vacations are the ones that I get to do a mix of relaxation, exploration, sight-seeing, some museums/history stuff, and a lot of eating! We did a whole lot of touristy things this trip which I loved, but if and when I ever make it back to SF, I’d love to take more time to do the local things. For the first time, it was pretty perfect.

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