My week in Instagrams: Los Angeles Edition

I’m back from another fab vacation! This time I jumped on a westbound plane and spent five days with friends and family in Los Angeles, California. It was, I believe, my eighth trip to LA – but my first in nearly two years!


Upon arrival, I dumped my bags and jumped in an Uber to the beach, because obviously.


On Day 2, I spent some time with my mom’s brother. We always have such a blast! He took me to lunch at The Grove farmers market, shopping on Melrose Ave, and strolling along Rodeo Drive to the Beverly Wilshire hotel.IMG_4969

OF COURSE I wasn’t about to visit LA without tacos and margs at Don Antonio’s. Best tacos in America!


On Thursday nights there are free concerts at the Santa Monica Pier! Such a great excuse to picnic on the beach. Check out that sunset view.

The one and only thing I especially wanted to do on this trip was visit the Venice Canals! They were built in 1905 and are absolutely gorgeous. Many more photos to come!


After the canals, we hopped on beach cruisers and rode to Malibu and back. I’m not much of a biker, but it’s always a good time once I get rolling (last time I rode was in the Netherlands over a year ago!)

On Saturday we ventured to Brentwood to visit the Getty Museum with my aunt and uncle. Check out those views!


Probably my favorite activity on this trip was picnicking and watching Willy Wonka at Hollywood Forever Cemetery! There are movies in the parks in NYC, but this was truly a unique experience.

Thanks to my college bestie Kathleen for letting me crash with her, and for driving me all around and buying me brunch! Can’t wait to see you in NYC sometime soon.


NYC summer bucket list: Complete!

Several months ago, I was sitting in a froyo shop with the ladies of my summer church community group. We went around and each listed three things we wanted to accomplish over the coming months – What were the quintessentially summer things that we couldn’t imagine our season without?

I rattled off the first three things that came to mind, giving no thought to how realistic they were or whether I would do all (or any!) of them. But I’m pleased to report that as of last weekend, I’ve checked everything off! And just in time for fall no less.

Here’s a glimpse of my first summer in the Big Apple:

Rockaway Beach, July 2014

Rockaway Beach, July 2014

1. Go to the beach

Over the past six years living in Phoenix, I became something of a beach bum. My default vacation spot was Los Angeles, and by the time I left the Southwest I was spending two to three weekends a year in Malibu and Santa Monica. So when I decided to move to New York, I was excited at the prospect of beaches close enough for day trips!

One day in July, when I had a random Monday off from work, I loaded up my tote bag, hopped on the A train and made my way to the Rockaways. It’s no Malibu, but with sand and sun only an hour away – who am I to complain? I had an incredibly relaxing day reading in the sand, and the best part was grabbing fish tacos at Rockaway Taco.

Yankee Stadium, July 2014

Yankee Stadium, July 2014

2. Go to a Major League Baseball game

Baseball is in my blood. My grandparents are huge fans, my parents are huge fans, and the obsession was passed right along to my generation as well. I’m a fan of the Rangers, the Indians and the Diamondbacks, but I’ll gladly go to any game – whether it’s at the end of the regular season or during spring training. With two teams right here in NYC, I knew I had no excuse!

I actually made it to two MLB games this summer – I saw my Rangers play (and beat!) the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and then I saw the Yankees again in Toronto last weekend against the Blue Jays. The Yankees lost both of those games, and as a girl raised with a Boston allegiance (I’ve never been, but my grandfather is from there!), that’s pretty much an ideal outcome. Paired with great friends, perfect weather and a beer – that’s my ideal summer day.

Scenes from the drive to Toronto, August 2014

Scenes from the drive to Toronto, August 2014

3. Take a road trip

This is the item I wasn’t sure I’d be able to check off, having sold my car when I moved to the city in March. But lo and behold, after returning from Europe in May, friends from that trip immediately started planning a reunion in Toronto. And a group from NYC was driving up and it was over a weekend I had off from work! So last Saturday I jumped in a car with my friends Taylor and AJ and drove 10 hours each way for a chance to spend a day and a half with wonderful friends in a new city. It was totally worth it. To me there’s nothing better than eating junk food, blasting the music and cruising through the countryside.


Knowing that I accomplished these things has made me less reluctant to see summer end and more excited to welcome fall! This will be my first true fall since I was about 11 – so you tell me, what are the things I can’t just need to do?