Friday Five: 5 Travel Experiences

Friyayyyyy! thank the good Lord.

this week’s Friday Five link-up, hosted by Mar, Cynthia & Courtney, revolves around one of my favorite things ever: TRAVEL. each one of those blogger chicks interpreted it differently, so i’m going to put my own spin on it and talk about different types of trips i’ve taken and what i’ve loved (or, um, what hasn’t worked so well for me) about each.

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ONE: the family vaca. never will i ever grow too old to drop everything at the mere thought of a trip with my amazing, awesomely fun family. i’m so fortunate that my parents started this tradition when we were super young, and we’ve travelled often together (although not overseas yet — hint hint, mom and dad, let’s get on the Italy bandwagon please??). i have so many incredible memories of family trips — snorkeling & learning the luau in Hawaii, drinking Sangria on the River Walk in San Antonio, driving cross country for a full month to go on a white water rafting excursion on the Salmon River in Idaho, winding up the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park and watching snow fall in August, dozens of baseball games in various stadiums and my dad insisting i try to speak to people in French in Montreal — the list is endless. i’m so blessed that we actually like each other so much. 🙂

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and thankfully, we have two family trips back-to-back in just a few weeks: Vegas, the weekend of the Pacquiao fight (woot!), followed directly by my cousin’s wedding in Amelia Island the following week. so stoked for alllllll the fam time in those fun places.

TWO: the party-with-your-girlfriends trip. i mean, this really should be at least a yearly event. i didn’t do a lot of these when i was younger — not much of a Spring-breaker, even in college — but between Boca/Miami and Montauk the past few years, i’m making up for it. Image-1they’re a whirlwind of alllll the fun, laughter, silliness, girliness, memory-making, shenanigan-loving, wine-riddled, bikini-clad, exhausted-mess of a time, and i wouldn’t trade a second of these trips for the world. especially because my friends are the best. 🙂

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THREE: the travel-with-a-boy trip. i think these can go either way. for me, they’ve been much more on the “fail” side than the “this is fun” side, with some exceptions (usually in the form of, like, one day or a few hours) sprinkled into the mess mix. i’d say these have been my least enjoyable trips, which could be due to a number of factors (like, um, maybe the boys with whom i’ve travelled?!). needless to say, i will certainly think twice before traipsing off with a boy, and make sure i 1)really know him, 2)actually like him, and 3)am sure he’d be fun to travel with. doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but you’d be surprised at my track record. 🙂

FOUR: the just-you-and-your-bff trip. if i could go on one of these trips every month for the rest of my life, i’d be monumentally happier. one hour spent with my bff turns my whole week around; a few days spent entirely with her reminds me of how life is supposed to be (and does wonders for my abs — alllll the laughing!).

FullSizeRenderwe’ve had some hilarious travel experiences (most of which entail delirious road trips and a serious collective anxiety attack over leaving me living in smallest of small town, Colorado), but my most cherished of our trips was our time in San Fran and wine country the year we both turned 30. it was the perfect trip.

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i am so, SO thankful for our friendship and wish i could travel with this girl all the time!

FIVE: the travel-with-completely-randoms trip. okay, so i’ve really only done this once (with a second time with almost-strangers whom i only marginally knew), but that one trip ended up being pretty darn amazing (minus one girl who was a huge life fail). i went to Paris (my dream city) in 2010 with three girls i’d never met — and ended up having the time of my life with two of them, one of whom i’ve since gone to visit in Dallas. (so far, Texas has been all good things for me!)

girlsi had no clue what to expect when going to a foreign country with girls i’d never met — literally, i was trying to figure out who they were in an airport — and minus the one killjoy girl, i couldn’t have asked for anything better from this trip. i got to see an incredible city with two awesome girls and ended up with a wonderful, lovely friend who i still talk to regularly. we salsa danced and drank champagne and met cute boys and shopped and ate and just had an all-around fantastic week in Paris, that i will cherish forever.

laughand funnily enough, i met one of my close friends here in NYC on that trip as well! we sat next to each other on the red-eye from Philly to Paris, and although we didn’t hang out on the trip, we stayed in touch, and she moved to NYC a year later…and the rest is history. we love telling that “how did you guys meet” story and maintain that it’s basically the best.

happy birthday to my Southern belle, Carrie <3

i loved this week’s theme, and it’s totally making me reminisce over my travel experiences and wish i could just travel my life away!! because you know wanderlust is the name of this little heart’s game.

hope you have a great Friday and fabulous weekend, loves.

Any good travel stories for me?
Fave trip you’ve taken?
Ever travel with randoms?
Going anywhere fun soon?

my 48 hours in Austin

if i could find a job that required me to travel to new, fun cities all the time, i would take it in a heartbeat. nothing excites me more than seeing new places; i get that sort of electric buzz of a thrill to walk down streets just aching to be explored and pop into little boutiques and coffee shops and wine bars and drink it all in, literally and figuratively. i have this natural inclination to invent a life for myself in every new city, imagining what it’d be like if these streets were mine to traverse each morning — which restaurants i’d like best, which local haunts would know me as a regular, which routes i’d prefer to run, in what part of town i’d lay down my head.

of course, living in Manhattan, it takes me all of about 3 seconds after my plane lands and i see the NYC skyline to remember that i really have no desire to live anywhere else right now…but that doesn’t mean i’ll stop engaging in these little make-believe lives whenever i go somewhere.

all this wanderlust rambling to segue into this: i got home last night from a whirlwind of a 48-hour trip to Austin, Texas, which i had prematurely decided i was going to love long before i saw it. i’ve heard only rave reviews of this hip town, and from my short stay there, i can definitely see why people love it.

some highlights from my first (and hopefully NOT last) weekend in Austin:

*spending a weekend with my wonderful cousin and lifelong friend, Tara, and celebrating her bachelorette!

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*dinner at Bess Bistro. this restaurant, founded by Sandra Bullock, was a true gem: tucked underground, with a very elemental, cavernous interior, it offers a seasonally-inspired menu with ingredients from their own farm just outside the city. the food, the drinks, the service, the atmosphere — everything was great.

photo from Austin Food Journal

photo from Austin Food Journal

i especially got a kick out of the tin mug in which my drink was served. such a cute touch!

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*wine tour. for our main bachelorette weekend activity, we spent Saturday on a tour of the wineries outside of Austin in Fredericksburg with Texas Winos Tour. this was my first organized wine tasting tour, and it was such a fun thing to do for a bachelorette party.

9 girls, 3 wineries, and alllll the wine = pure silliness, in the best, happiest sort of way. it went smashingly.

photo 1our bus’s theme was a Masquerade, so everyone had to bring/wear a mask. i rather liked mine and am definitely going to be looking for excuses to go to masquerade balls in the future…if that’s, like, a thing outside of Broadway shows. i sorta felt like bursting into song every time i put it on.photo 3photothe first winery was hilariously called Fat Ass Ranch & Winery (because apparently they have a pet donkey, that my cousin was determined to meet), which sounds like an appropriate place to start a day of wine drinking. cheers!

photo 2i didn’t snap as many pix as i’d have liked (huge fail), but i’ll just chalk that up to the fact that we were having oh-so-much-fun that it seemed a shame to distract myself by looking for my phone. i experienced two completely different sides of Austin nightlife, as we did the “hipper,” more relaxed Rainey Steet area on Friday night, where all the bars were old historic houses or bungalows — such a sweet concept, and much more my style than the fratty craziness we ventured into on 6th Street on Saturday night. it was fun to see the totally completely different sections of town, and i’d love to spend more time out on Rainey St. next time i visit.

so, my first Austin experience was a huge, dynamic success of a jam-packed weekend, and my cousin had an amazing bachelorette party, which is all that really matters. i definitely want to go back to Austin and explore more of the city, as i can tell from this small little jaunt that it’s totally my style.

hope you all had wonderful weekends, my loves!

Been to Austin? If so, what do you love about it?

Tell me something fun from your weekend!