Category Archives: Travel

Chicago visit!

At the very end of October, I flew to Chicago for my friend Julie’s wedding. Chicago is so fun to visit because so many Notre Dame friends live there, and in a weird way, the abundance of familiar faces make the city feel like home.

It was a whirlwind weekend, as wedding weekends tend to be, but I tried to squeeze as much catching up and city life into 36-hours as I possibly could.

I arrived Friday evening and went to a vinyasa class at Yoga Loft (relaxing!), followed by dinner with friends at Hubbard Inn (I ate my weight in bacon-wrapped figs, delish!).

On Saturday morning, I woke up early and squeezed in a 9-mile run along Chicago’s Lakefront.

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I met up with an ND friend for coffee at Beatrix (adorable!), followed by brunch with a few others at 25 Degrees. Then, to tame my wild hair, I even snuck in a blowout at Blowtique.

The wedding was beautiful, and it was such a treat to catch up with so many Notre Dame friends, many whom I’ve known since freshman year of college. My college days would have not had nearly as much laughter if these girls hadn’t been there to share the experience with me.

Thanks for the photo, Beth!

Thanks for the photo, Beth!

 

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Filed under Celebrations, Travel

Girls’ Weekend in Nashville

The month of September ended on a high note when my sister and a few of our friends met up together in Nashville, Tennessee for a girls’ weekend and a half marathon race.

Pre-race dinner!

Pre-race dinner!

We ran the Women’s Running Series Half Marathon and it was the first race I’ve ever run where serious thought was put into what runners really want during and after running 13.1 miles.

Free running skirt stations in addition to water stops? Check.

Champagne and chocolate chip cookies at the finish line? Check, check!

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The race started and ended at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the weather was perfect. It was so great to catch up and we agreed that weekends like this are so important and absolutely necessary, especially since everyone’s lives are becoming more and more full as we get married and start families. We’ve already started scheming for the next trip.

Oh, and here’s the obligatory, pre-best-pulled-pork-sandwich-of-my-life-and-I-don’t-even-eat-pork photo of us in the Nashville unofficial uniform: sundresses and cowgirl boots (I have no idea why it’s so small. Sorry!).

Outside Puck's Grocery. Seriously delicious BBQ.

Outside Puck’s Grocery. Seriously delicious BBQ.

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Filed under Road Trips, Running, Southern Living, Travel

Road Trip: Fort Worth, Texas

Last month we celebrated Rich’s first full weekend off in two months, by taking a road trip to Fort Worth. We had never been, and we were curious to check out the sister city to Dallas.

Fort Worth has such an adorable downtown, and the shops offer a lot of unique gifts without being overly cheesy and tourist-driven. Since there are almost no chain stores, the downtown has a truly authentic feel.

We stayed at The Ashton Hotel, and it’s one of the city’s oldest historic landmarks.

IMG_0907The hotel has been fully restored, but there are still fun little elements that remind you of its historic charm. The room key, for example, is an actual key. (We had a heightened sense of anxiety the entire weekend that we would lose it.)

IMG_0908The fun thing about Fort Worth is that there is definitely an outdoorsy, cowboy element that permeates the area. We spent Saturday on the river, kayaking alongside the city’s borders.  We rented a tandem kayak (from Backwoods Kayak & Canoe Rentals). I don’t have any pictures of this, but Rich did most of the paddling while I made feeble attempts to match his swift strokes.

That night we were complete nerds, and went to see 1964: The Tribute at the Bass Performance Hall in town. We brought the average age down about 30 years, but the band had great energy and it’s hard to beat classics from The Beatles.

Bass Performance Hall

Bass Performance Hall

On the balcony right before the show!

On the balcony right before the show!

Inside Bass Performance Hall

Inside Bass Performance Hall

1964: The Tribute

1964: The Tribute

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Filed under Road Trips, Southern Living, Summer 2013, Travel

Seaside, Florida

The summer travels continued, and this time Rich was able to join!

We ventured down to Florida’s panhandle, where we spent a week in Seaside, a little beach town best known for being the movie set of The Truman Show. Located right on the Gulf, it was a true slice of paradise.

We stayed in a beachfront cottage, and it was the cutest little place, ever.

Our cottage and our view.

Our adorable cottage and the Gulf view.

More of the view.

More of the view.

While in Seaside, we played a round of golf (the single most humiliating four hours of my life, having never played 18 holes previously), rode bikes, lounged on the beach, and even went fishing, where I nearly died from seasickness, but that’s another story for another blog post. The good thing is that Shorty’s Surfside & Topside Grill was able to cook up the fish for us, and we absolutely feasted like royalty. It was amazing.

Four! (And that water you see in the photo is home to the  many, many balls that I lost).

Four! (And that water you see in the photo is now home to the many, many balls that I lost).

A post-yoga treat.

A post-yoga treat. That this existed in Seaside made me so happy.

r & r. Doctor's orders.

r & r. Doctor’s orders.

No need for a car! We biked to dinner. (Hence, the heels rode in the basket).

No need for a car! We biked to dinner. (Hence, the heels rode in the basket).

Fresh catch! All the red snapper you can eat.

Fresh catch! All the red snapper you can eat.

This made my seasickness worth it. I think.

This made my seasickness worth it. I think.

Yep. Worth it. The most delicious red snapper I have ever eaten. Fresh off the boat.

Yep. Worth it. The most delicious red snapper I have ever eaten. Fresh off the boat.

Seaside, and the surrounding area, has now become one of our absolute favorite destinations.

On the way home, we made a pitstop in Destin, Florida to visit one of Rich’s college friends. It was a great way to break up the drive home, and we loved the opportunity to spend time with friends.

I think this photo pretty much sums up the visit for the reunited college buds.

These two... there are no words.

These two… there are no words.

Now, how can the remainder of my summer vacation top all of this?

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Filed under Road Trips, Southern Living, Summer 2013, Travel

California, here we come – Part 1 of 2

A few days after returning from Jersey, I set out to San Diego for a half-marathon with some friends from college. Two of us ran the half, one of us ran the full (total champ), and we had two of the best cheerleaders along the course encouraging us every step of the way (thanks, Jax and Laura!).

Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego

Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego

We stayed in the Gaslamp Quarter, and it was so perfect. I ate my weight in cupcakes, went to a local yoga class (twice!), and oh yeah, ran a half marathon.

Finished!

Finished!

It was wonderful to reconnect with everyone, and we agreed that we should plan trips like this more often. Races, optional.

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Why can’t every city be this beautiful on the water?

 

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Filed under Summer 2013, Travel

Belated birthday post

So far it seems that 28 is going to be fabulous. It’s hard to believe that a month has flown by already!

I happened to be home in Jersey for my birthday weekend (Memorial Day Weekend), and despite the fact that we were all ready for summer, mother nature was not. It was 40°. I wish I was making this up. Having traveled from Shreveport where temps were already soaring into the 90s, it felt like it was the arctic.

Even in the frigid temps, we still managed to complete the Spring Lake 5 race, an unofficial Memorial Day Weekend family tradition.

Rosalie, Dad, and me, after completing the Spring Lake 5.

Rosalie, Dad, and me, after completing the Spring Lake 5.

Best friends, post-race.

Best friends, post-race.

 

Sisters!

Sisters!

Later that night, all of my friends and I got together for dinner for a mini-birthday celebration. The only person missing was Rich, who had to stay in Shreveport for work. Womp. Womp.

The gang.

The gang.

These girls are the absolute best.

Jersey girls.

Jersey girls.

It was a wonderful start to the new year.

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Filed under Celebrations, Holidays, Jersey Shore, Summer 2013, Travel

The Graduate

The weekend after our NOLA trip, I headed to Dayton, Ohio, for my younger sister’s graduation from the University of Dayton.

It was a great weekend to spend with my family, and I only wish Rich’s call schedule was more flexible so he could have joined us.

Celebratory brunch! (Complete with my brother's handlebar mustache from his trip to the Kentucky Derby)

Celebratory brunch! (Complete with my brother’s handlebar mustache from his trip to the Kentucky Derby.)

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Watch out, world!

Watch out, world!

Congratulations, Rosalie! 🙂

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Filed under Celebrations, Travel