After a two hour drive, running one red light and nearly hitting a pedestrian my colleagues and I arrived in San Francisco for a work convention. Standard operations, if you ask me. The hotel was one of those older hotel where the rooms are a quarter of the size you expect. The Marriott in New Orleans is like this. It had two twin beds, no gym, no frig and a toilet that never fully stopped running despite the, “We save water and are eco friendly” signs littered everywhere. Of course, there was a time I wouldn’t of even noticed any of this.
When you are young, everything is magical and new. The city of San Francisco has always had its hooks in this small town girl. For my first trip to S.F. I was only 18 years old….
Turning 30 made me acutely more aware of my skincare practices. As a single lady who is dating, it takes one late night of indulgences to wake-up looking like the crypt keeper. I recently found myself investing in facial creams and finally getting around to washing my face at night (no more dirty pillows).
A couple days into our trip Sarah and I decided to head to Hammam. The look on our hostess and her sister’s face should have indicated what a vulnerable experience it would be
Traveling from LA on a business trip I had a run-in with my very first Match.com date. AWKWARD. Dating Tip of the week: Never vape on the first date! We all have our vices but it’s terrible idea to lead with them. So, vape master, and I got to talking. He was on his way back from South America which prompted me to share about my impending trip to Morocco. It was a typical traveling pissing contest between two people that never actually dated.
Out of nowhere, this model like creature, floats across the airport at the mention of Marrakech. She was an entrepreneur from Portland who travels there frequently. Her and I quickly became Facebook friends before boarding our respective flights.....
Traveling with another person is hard especially when you aren't sleeping with them! However, like in any relationship you have to compromise, forgive quickly and do what Sarah does best; just laugh the madness off. I wanted to invite Sarah to write for the blog and share some of her fears, anxieties and experiences as a first time traveller. It's weird, writing about someone and not handing over the mic.....
I stupidly read all of, The Lonely Plant’s Guide to Marrakech, fear mongering warnings in the back of the book outloud to Sarah, my travel buddy, as we landed in Marrakech. The plane rumbled hitting the ground, and after 24 hours of travelling, delusion and anxiety began to set-in.
In January I went to the opening of Untitled, an art fair that’s new to the Bay Area. As they did in Miami, the fair wildly excited me. It’s more than just an art fair. It’s exclusively contemporary art (which is my jam) and, it’s undoubtedly well curated. The space, Pier 70 sits along the water in San Francisco down the street from the Giants stadium. The flow was almost ethereal. I had never been to the space before but I heard when tech conferences happen there they are dry, filled with crowded booths and not a curated experience.
Growing up in California lends itself to driving. In one day you can go from snowboarding in Tahoe to catching the sunset over the Golden Gate bridge. Road-tripping from one end of the state to the other isn’t uncommon and this weekend I headed up to Bass Lake for a wedding. After three hours of driving I realized that while I wrote about road trip essentials before I left on my cross country trip last winter, I never put together a collection of all the cool places I explored.
Have you made your summer plans yet? If not, head over to Inn Town Campground in Nevada City! As of Monday, they have opened their site reservations starting in July.
I first discovered the project shortly after my exodus from Pittsburgh to Northern California. The leaders of Inn Town Campground also own the The Outside Inn, a quaint motel that sits at the top of the hill in historic Nevada City, deep in the mountains of gold country. The Outside Inn has been run by Erin Thiem and her family for years. Her blog is an incredibly comprehensive and easy-to-read guide to the area, highlighting the eclectic, creative businesses that make it one of the most unique places in the country.
A couple months ago, Dominic and I jumped in the car and headed to Portland, OR. I hadn't been to the city since my my move to Pittsburgh, PA three years prior. Portland is such an amazing city, not only are there unique fun restaurants, bars, arcades and the usual meanderings of any great city, there is also amazing North Western scenery and nature to be had.
Here's a little video we put together and I hope there will be a lot more to come in the new year!
One of the wonderful things about growing up in my rinky dink home town of Northern California is the strong and beautiful sense of community. It is an unique and eclectic region, one I’m proud to be from. It is also where I met Thira Gilbert, photographer, digital connoisseur, author of Thirmisu and co-creater of The Daily Dorothy.
My travel log is finally coming to an end. Last week, I found myself dragging my feet, hesitant to post the last of my travel photos --- as if posting them was going to end the trip. Fear is such a funny thing.
Closing out the trip allows the blog to shift in focus towards lifestyle. As a high school dropout, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to travel. As I look back, I'm glad I took my time on this road trip. It wasn't the cheapest venture... and Miami was quite possibly the furthest out-of-the-way I could have travelled when heading west but I learned a lot and that is what matters.
You know those romantic things people say about the South West? How the color palette is so wonderful, the sunsets so pink and dry air is wildly inviting.....
It's all true.
I now understand why so many people retire to Arizona.
On travel days I wake up at sunrise, pack the night before and check-out in a flurry to get on the road. As I get older, I don't like driving at night and try avoid it the best I can. Plus it's nice to have extra day-time once you have arrived at your destination.
Once we reached Austin Texas we had been driving all day since 5am from New Orleans (part 1). Somewhere along the line, I decided to drink a grape flavored 5 Hour Energy drink and skip lunch. Bad move. Have you ever had this chemical nonsense passing as food?
Our first night out we walked up to Royal House Oyster Bar. Neither of us are seafood eaters which is a crime in a city like New Orleans. Despite my picky tendencies, I am willing to try most things- at least once. When the well-dressed gentleman behind the bar offered to ease me into eating oysters, I had to agree.
Being nomadic requires one tries new things.
Stepping through the doors of the restaurant we entered another world, the world of the Louisiana Creole!
New Orleans touched my heart in a singularly impressive way that it is hard for me to put it into words. The genuine Southern charm knocked my lover and I off our feet. We found ourselves day-dreaming about summer homes and days filled with traditional pots of boiling jambalaya or gumbo...perhaps, we'd even attempt homemade beignets.
A large part of curating your own life is taking care of #1. As I get older, I find taking time for myself is a learned skill. And not one I’m very good at. If I don’t, I become a grouchy, stressed out disorganized mess. As a woman, I think it’s easy for us to lose ourselves in our routines and relationships. I can’t imagine how hard it is to find solitude when you have a family!
Miami is full of Cuban influences. Cuban culture is vibrant in color, design, music and dancing. When I think of Cuba I am reminded of old world films that take place in 40s; the recounted travels of American authors like Hemingway and Gellhorn.
Contemporary art is finally starting to move out of the confusion it has been experiencing the last decade. Young artists are beginning to find their voices alongside more experienced and practiced veterans. Finding raw beginning talent is what makes the satellite shows in Miami so exciting and a requirement of art goers.
I almost forgot to post about Savannah, Georgia! Unfortunately, I was only there for about an hour. I decided to make a quick stop between North Carolina and Florida. Originally, I intended on staying a night there. It's an amazing city. I hope one day to return and explore it properly. I'll make this post short and quick. Just like my visit.
In a perfect world I would spend most of my year indulging my art nomadic tendencies by attending international art fairs and gypseting through life. Life might not be perfect but I strongly believe that when you shoot for the moon you will at least land in the stars.
Being on the road meant I needed a lot of quick fixes and easy going wears. Here are some of my fun travel picks.
I discovered the beauty of disposable face wipes after they showed up in my christmas stocking. Some of them leave behind an extra layer of dew after use. This probably will bother people who have naturally oily skin more so then folks like me. who tend to run on the on dryer end of things. I recommend testing them out. They came in handy when I was staying in hotels or with guy friends. Dudes never have good bathroom products.
At first, I was not into the eos chapstick. I found it kind of awkward and not as effective as traditional chapsticks. However, I'm cheap, so when I'm gifted something, I usually try to use it before buying what I like. In the end they grew on me. They're easy to find in my bag, kind of cute when you whip them out in public and once your lips get use to them the dryer application isn't an issue.
The time had come to leave New York. The next stop on my road trip was Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I was only there for a couple nights but I loved stumbling into Fall. Unlike my previous haunts, Pennsylvania, DC and New York, the South hadn’t committed itself to the wintery snow storms of the North East. In late November, most of the trees were still bursting with vibrant colors.
When I first arrived in New York City, I stepped off the subway and followed the masses up an escalator to Grand Central. Just before reaching the top of the motorized staircase, the bodies halted, the stairs kept going and people started piling up, on top of one another like lemmings (here's a link for those of you who didn't have this fabulous 90's video game). A security guard screamed, “Keep walking” “No stopping." Crammed together like a deli sandwich, the limbs of strangers splayed in wayward directions, the escalator pushed us forward until the crowd eventually broke.
My first week in New York started off on the wrong foot. I had these daydreams of sipping coffee in cafés, writing, working and flipping through pages of self-discovery. Instead, I spent my days schlepping a heaving workbag around, blowing my nose every three minutes while writing proposals for clients.
It is not in my DNA to be a crazy planner but before I hit the road I wanted to be prepared. Here are the road trip essential I managed to scrounge together.
California was technically my first stop on my travels. I wasn’t working and I had already moved out of my apartment. Clare, my best friend, and I went home for the weekend before returning to the Bay Area for a couple days. When you’re nomadic like I am and spending your days sleeping on the couches of friends, said friends tend to have jobs so there is a lot of time spent alone.
Art Basel Miami drives troves of people from across the world to Miami during the course of their art fair this week (Dec. 4th -7th). However, word on the street has always been that the satellite shows are where it is at for contemporary art goers. It doesn’t hurt that they are more affordable, attracting emerging artists, careerist, and young people.
When I first landed in Northern California for my week visit, I was still feeling shell shocked from all the changes that were happening in my life. I expected this feeling would eventually wear off. I planned to take that week to recoup, breath in the misty fresh air of the San Francisco Bay and hit the ground running once in New York. I didn’t have a plan and wasn’t exactly sure what to do with myself.