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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Before the end of 2012, I was lucky enough to have a work trip in New York City. This time in the city was almost exactly 12 years after my first trip there, December 2000. Getting to see the city again in December 2012 was a nice treat. But it’s a city that can speak for itself, so here you go…

A little hot chocolate explorin' at some cafes

A little hot chocolate explorin’ at some cafes

Some were fancier than others - but just as yummy

Some were fancier than others – but just as yummy

Loved sightseeing and landmark enjoying...

Loved sightseeing and landmark enjoying…

Empire State Building and original Shake Shack (with most amazing burgers)

Empire State Building and original Shake Shack (with most amazing burgers)!

Times Square and the ball that will ring in the New Year

Times Square and the ball that will ring in the New Year

The Wall Street bull

The Wall Street bull

The one and only Statue of Liberty

The one and only Statue of Liberty

The Freedom Tower

The Freedom Tower

9/11 Memorial Site

9/11 Memorial Site

Enjoying a Gingerbread cupcake from Magnolia Bakery

Enjoying a Gingerbread cupcake from Magnolia Bakery

One of the best parts about NYC are the store window displays...out of this world!

One of the best parts about NYC are the store window displays…out of this world!

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

Some call it Union Station, apparently it's now called Union Center. Either way, it's beautiful and makes public transportation quite the experience.

Some call it Union Station, apparently it’s now called Union Center. Either way, it’s beautiful and makes public transportation quite the experience.

To finish off the trip, milk and cookies in honor of St. Nick. May the Christmas spirit stay with us all year round!

To finish off the trip, milk and cookies in honor of St. Nick. May the Christmas spirit stay with us all year round!

Do you have any favorite memories visiting New York City? Anything I should be sure to do for my next visit, whenever that is?

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20-12 wasn’t the year for my blog. Clearly, the year had huge time gaps where I posted nothing at all. But I’d like to think it was because I focused more on LIVING. I did miss the writing though. Capturing the moments through the year that inspired me, drove me, or were just plain cool.

 

So here’s my attempt to do 20-12 right and quickly share the top 12 moments for this year. 12 moments, for 12 months, for the year ’12. It’s never too late, so I’m taking charge and getting it done just under the wire 🙂

Cheers and Happy New Year! See you next year.

 

Annual College Girls Reunion in Memphis!

Annual College Girls Reunion in Memphis!

Hiking up the tallest dune in the Great Sand Dune National Park.

Hiking up the tallest dune in the Great Sand Dune National Park.

My friend Jen and I having brunch in the Space Needle with 360-degree views of Seattle! Unbelievable.

My friend Jen and I having brunch in the Space Needle with 360-degree views of Seattle! Unbelievable.

Best shrimp truck in all of Oahu... Giovanni's.

Best shrimp truck in all of Oahu… Giovanni’s.

Trying something for the first time - sea kayaking. Harder than I thought and a great team building exercise for a relationship :)

Trying something for the first time – sea kayaking. Harder than I thought and a great team building exercise for a relationship 🙂

Meeting Jaws at Universal Studios. Duh-Nuh...

Meeting Jaws at Universal Studios. Duh-Nuh…

Best theme park ever! It really is the most magical place on Earth. Disneyland!!!

Best theme park ever! It really is the most magical place on Earth. Disneyland!!!

Another first... letting the Sea World flamingos  nibble my hair! Apparently it's their way of helping me groom myself. They were gentle and quietly 'honked' while doing it. Classic.

Another first… letting the Sea World flamingos nibble my hair! Apparently it’s their way of helping me groom myself. They were gentle and quietly ‘honked’ while doing it. Classic.

My Laguna Beach sunset. Chased down and well worth it.

My Laguna Beach sunset. Chased down and well worth it.

Stomping grapes and touring Napa Valley wineries to ring in the big 3-0. Couldn't have asked for more for my special day celebrated with family!

Stomping grapes and touring Napa Valley wineries to ring in the big 3-0. Couldn’t have asked for more for my special day celebrated with family!

New York City at Christmas time was incredible. A 5-day work trip mixed with classic NYC moments...a great ending.

New York City at Christmas time was incredible. A 5-day work trip mixed with classic NYC moments…a great ending.

As fun as it is to look back, it's more exciting to look forward! From my family to yours, have a safe New Year.

As fun as it is to look back, it’s more exciting to look forward! From my family to yours, have a safe New Year.

 

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Let’s start at the very beginning…

In December, I was lucky enough to visit Australia for three weeks. I got to visit a great friend who moved there, experience her life, and do a bit of exploring on my own. Was it scary going so far away by myself? Yes. Did I learn about who I am, what I want, and what makes me feel alive? You know it.

Landed down in Sydney, Australia after a 16 hour flight. Made it!

We have pigeons in the U.S. They have parrots in the wild. Amazing!

Jayme and I visited Melbourne (a first for both of us), explored the city, and did our own mini pub crawl.

Then got on the road, stopping in St. Kilda, chatting with the locals.

Starting our journey on The (famous) Great Ocean Road

Best photo bomb ever on The Great Ocean Road, can you find Jayme?

The glorious and disappearing Twelve Apostles

They think of kangaroos like we think about seeing deer… they’re everywhere. I can’t get over that.

A little town called Meredith.

The first week of my three week Down Under adventure was spent in Sydney for a couple days, then Jayme and I visited Melbourne and created our own road trip on The Great Ocean Road for a few days. It was the beginning of a life changing trip and one I look forward to sharing more of.

By the way, tell me if you’ve been to Australia. I would love to hear where you went, what you’ll never forget or the funny stories you always find when traveling 🙂

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L.A. and lovin’ it

If you’ve read this blog, even a little, you know I enjoy taking pictures of the places I’ve traveled to. Well, it was no exception when I visited Los Angeles for work to film two advertising videos and bonus…got to spend the weekend with my brother and sister-in-law.

I’m in Hollywood!

Downtown L.A.

L.A. at sunset

Love my brother

Blessed with the most amazing sister-in-law

If you can’t have fun with your brother, then, well, that’s just sad.

P.S. – I realize this year has flown by, six months since my last post, couldn’t be?!?! I’m coming back folks. Get ready for an explosion of updates cause I have some catching up to do.

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For work, I get to travel to Chicago a few times a year. And on those trips, my eyes are always open.

Chicago at sunset

Right on the water…

Oh, how I love sunsets!

In the heart of the city

Walking along the lake

Hanging out on the pier

View from the top of the ferris wheel

When you travel, are you open to your surroundings? I hope so because just think what you could be missing.

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I’ve never been afraid to be dorky, laugh at myself, and be silly. It’s one of the things I like the most about myself. I don’t have to be mature or “act my age.” People often forget to be silly, use our imaginations and to just PLAY!

Something I’ll always remember from my childhood… Dr. Seuss.

When I was in Orlando this summer, I took a moment to appreciate the great Dr. Seuss area of the park. It brought back so many memories. My grandparents giving my brother and I a Dr. Seuss book to learn to read and enjoy. Loving the rhymes and characters. Even graduating high school, where many of us 18-year-olds got “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” and we believed it. Not even fully comprehending the meaning of that book until much later in our lives.

So don’t forget to play, and have fun, and to not be afraid to just be a kid at heart! Your soul will thank you too.

Green Eggs and Ham

The Cat in the Hat

That crazy cat

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Dr. Seuss books, most likely lead to my love of reading as a young child to an adult

What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book? My vote is for “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”

 

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If you know anything about me, you know I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter series. Non-traditional though it may be, I saw the movies first and only after seeing the film would read the book. I’m a little behind, having only begun reading the fifth book, but I’ll get there. Best part, I love the films, then love the books more.

Movies, check. Books, three to go. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter amusement park in Orlando, oh yeah! If you’re thinking about going, do it. I highly recommend it. The detail, creativity and realistic nature of the park was truly amazing. It honestly felt as if what my imagination and the movies created was brought to life. Get just a taste of it with these pictures.

Has anyone else gone? What did you think?

Hogwarts Express

It’s HOGWARTS!!!

The Sorting Hat

Entrance to Dumbledore’s Office

The Book of Monsters

Sampling the local brew – Butterbeer, delicious

The magical car

The students from the other magical schools

Hagrid’s cabin

Singing choir – a cappella group, very talented

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