Taking on Chicago

I recently visited the Windy City, and yes, it was indeed windy. Chicago is made up of some of the tallest buildings I have ever been around (other than One World Trade Center in NY), making me feel like the shortest person on earth. Architecture and art seem to have a strong tie to the city’s culture, and I think everyone needs to just walk around, look up, and take it all in.

Places I visited and loved:

The Art Institute of Chicago, where I saw so many beautiful Eames chairs.

The Robey for Breakfast with my good lady Adeline.

High Five Ramen for dinner. The space I have ever ate at making it work the hour and a half wait.

The Allis for breakfast with my long term internet friend Anika and my new pal David.

Cafe Integral for coffee, again with Anika and David.

RSVP Gallery

I know my list is a bit short, but it was a little difficult to document all the places I visited with the wind attacking my soul.

Hopefully I have given someone out there a couple of new places to visit.

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Taking on Richmond, VA and D.C.

A few weekends ago, the universe somehow led me to have absolutely no plans. No deadlines, no stress, and no chores to be done. The busy body that I am was not going to have it. That is how I planned a spontaneous trip to Washington D.C., with a quick stop at Richmond, VA. Seeing friendly faces and visiting one of my favorite retail places, completely remodeled, served as a perfect rest stop of our drive from Charlotte to D.C.

A mandatory stop at Need Supply happened, and my interior design loving heart was happy. The space has been transformed into a modern and minimal merchandising museum. Everything is set in it’s place with single pieces to keep the space clean and classy, but the staff is as friendly as ever.

While in Richmond, I also caught up with a couple of my favorite locals. Marleigh Culver, and her lad, Ethan Hickerson, introduced us to a Cuban breakfast at Kuba Kuba. If you’re ever in the area, Kuba Kuba is definitely worth the stop (try the Huevos Rancheros 10/10). After realizing I hit a food coma, and mentally prepared myself for a nap in the car, we hit the road to continue our D.C. trip. A couple hours later, we arrived at Hotel Hive, one of the most unique boutique hotels I’ve stayed at.

Hotel Hive’s entire atmosphere is so well thought out. From featuring only local beers, to having a glass elevator showcasing the work of local artists, it all contributed to the unique boutique hotel experience. The location was perfect! Everything was within a 5 minute Left ride, including our stop at the United States Botanic Garden.

I enjoy visiting D.C. every time. The architecture and the amazed faces of tourists from around the world are just a couple of the things that make Washington D.C. the great place that it is (regardless of who’s in house).

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Taking on Charleston

mermaid wishing Charleston trip
A couple weeks ago, I took a weekend getaway trip with Branden to Charleston. It seemed kind of odd at first, to travel in the cold December to a "summer getaway" location. After seeing how isolated and solemnly grey everything was, it gave our trip a relaxing stay-in-cation at the most beautiful contemporary inn we've ever stayed at. We first stayed at the Inn at Middleton Place the summer of 2015, so it was great seeing it in a whole new misty relaxing perspective. Although our room had the most relaxing aesthetic, we did hit up a busier downtown for dinner at Coast, then again for biscuits at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit in the morning, Sugar for holiday cookies, and Revelator Coffee Company for afternoon tea and coffee. The Inn at Middleton Place is packed with things to do, so we covered the grounds, hung out with the horses, and explored the gardens during the day. Charleston during the winter becomes a slow moving city, and I am so glad we traveled during that time because 2016 has me exhausted right about now. As sophisticated as this all sounds, I must admit that we did stop at KFC to pick up a bucket of chicken, got into PJs in our fireplace set room, and watched crime drama TV shows until we fell asleep the first night... my adulting is a ride of highs and lows. What can I say?
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Taking on Los Angeles

It's been exactly a week today, that I returned from LA. It's been a very odd week of trying to snap myself out of vacation mood. Is this called jet lag? Can jet lag last a week? If so, I (HELLA) have it!
Growing up in LA makes the returning visit a bittersweet one. I just always feel very 'in-place'. Or maybe it's not jet lag, but a slight off mood of missing the comfort of an old home? Or maybe I just miss In-N-Out? (PROBS!)
Whatever the situation might be, it was so much fun to have returned, even if it was a short return. The images are in no particular order, mainly because it was nonstop activities from the second we landed in LAX! Not all of the moments were permanently captured into a memory disk, but they were memorable moments nonetheless. I mentioned in my last travel post that I wanted to help others traveling easily have an access to some sort of list of places to visit, so here I am doing that once again! I spent want too many hours scrolling through suggestions, so here are the things I checked out and loved:

American Rag
The Row
Sunset Pacific Motel
Venice Beach *
Civil Coffee
The Observatory *
The Broad *
The Huntington Library *
Blue Bottle Coffee *
The LINE Hotel Commissary
Mohawk General Store
Poketo
Individual Medley
Ten Over Six
Rose Bowl Flea Market
Paul Smith (Pink Wall)
Winsome
Matador State Beach
(* = images in post)

I'm probably missing a few places, but this should be a good list to get you started if you happen yourself looking at LA as your next place to visit!

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Taking on Nashville

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This past weekend, I took on a 6.5 hour car ride to Nashville. A few years ago, I made an internet friend (how modern of me) who lives in Calgary, Canada, and his plans landed him in Nashville. So of course I decided to take the trip to meet him, plus visiting a new city is never a bad idea.

After a few hours of listening to Frank Ocean’s new album on repeat (ABOUT DAMN TIME FRANK!) and multiple snack stops, my boyfriend Branden and I arrived to The City of Music to check into our AirBnb. I had never been to Nashville before so here are a few places that we visited and ended up being my favorite.

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Barista Parler – stopped by to get some mochas, they were splendid and the coffee shop was built inside an old mechanic shop. It was rad!

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@davey_gravy and @brollish talking about cameras and stuff while I was pretending I knew what the heck was going on.

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Wilder – was a home/lifestyle shop with lots of nice smelling things. They had Study Case ceramic planters, which are my favorite!

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Evelyn Striped Wall

Suede Slides – Marais USA | Peplum Top – Madewell | Denim – GAP | Bucket Bag – Mansur Gavriel 

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The Frist Center for the Visual Arts had the coolest cars and an even cooler interior, very Art Deco.

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Bartaco – I’ve only been to the Bartaco in Atlanta, and I was delighted to find one in Nashville. Try their chorizo tacos and their corn.. THE BEST!!

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Last but definitely not least, we stopped by Two Son, which is a shop co-owned by Miss James (@bleubird) and it was just as great as I expected it to be. The retail space is large with windows found on every wall pouring natural light into the rooms full of in-house designs as well as popular brands like Baggu.

I’ll probably start positing more of the places I visit, because I’ve been to so many cities this year so far, and I wish I had someone suggesting places to visit. Hopefully my lists will help someone else feel less “touristy”.

 

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