Part 2 of our trip to Tennessee & Georgia! These photos are from the wedding we attended in Bell Buckle Tennessee. As you can tell by most* of the photos William had a blast. We got to spend some great time with family, we all stayed at a B&B together & were just a few blocks from the rehearsal & wedding.
When it comes to traveling, especially abroad, I always pack a few musts to both prevent & treat the unexpected! As a ER nurse I know the worst way to spend your vacation is in an ER so this blog is meant to give you a list of some simple over the counter items you can pack on your next trip to keep you feeling your best.
Hand sanitizer – the number one way to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands. Sometimes that’s not always an option so having hand sanitizer easily available before you put your hands on a delicious sandwich or tapas is one of the easiest & most effective things you can do. I like taking a hand sanitizer with a mist spray that way the first thing I can do when I board a flight is to spray down my tray table, seatbelt, armrests etcetera. I know this may sound crazy OCD but those planes A: don’t get cleaned after each flight & B: sick people fly all the time. So if the person before you had a nasty head cold you’ll be picking up all those germs.
Emergen-C – These little individual powder packets are a great way to also keep your immune system up. Pour one into that little airline cup of water they bring you & you’ll thank yourself. Side note: they also make for great hangover prevention if you drink one or two the before you crawl into bed (tried & true)!
Visine / Eye Drops – Nothing dries your eyes out more than recycled airplane air. I usually opt for glasses over contacts, especially for long flights, but putting a few drops of Visine in your eyes intermittently or before you pop your contacts in can make you feel like a new person!
Ibuprofen – The cure-all. I never go anywhere without it. Headache / back ache / hangover you name it. 600mg & you’ll feel right as rain.
Tea – I was never a huge tea drinker until a few years ago & now this is something that I pack with me when I travel. I pack a handful of different teas, they’re small and compact so even if I don’t drink them all it’s no big deal. Not to mention airplanes are typically freezing so drinking something nice & warm that isn’t coffee can be really nice. Air travel can make your body hold onto excess water so I like to pack Weightless Tea which helps relieve excess water. Along those lines a nice Detox Tea is good to have on hand. Often when we travel we’re eating & drinking things that we may not normally which can then in turn impede on our normal routine so Smooth Move Tea can help if you find yourself struggling to adjust to new cuisine.
Medicine Kit – What kind of nurse would I be if I didn’t have a little mary poppins-esque medicine kit for all the ailments. In here I put individually enclosed doses of: DayQuil / NiQuil, Benadryl, Non-Drowsy Allergy medicine (loratidine), Zantac for heartburn, & Sudafed. I don’t pack tons of these meds but enough for 1 or 2 doses. And someone non medical might read this & think it’s excessive, but I will say that I usually use something out of this box per trip & it’s cheaper / easier to just bring it ahead of time. As an aside (in most states it’s illegal to have unidentified pills, so make sure they’re individually wrapped & marked with what medication it is, otherwise you may find yourself having to do some explaining to a TSA perosn). I found the little medicine box in the Dollar Spot at Target & just grabbed a couple.
Fem Wipes – These are great to have on hand just in case. You never know when you might find yourself in a restroom that’s out of toilet paper or when you may need a quick refresh. These are small & easy to stoy in a little pouch. Like most things on this list it’s easily packable & better to have than to be frantically trying to find an alternative.
A must that I take with me on all trips but I didn’t include on this list because a prescirption is needed is a small course of antibiotics. I’ve found myself across the country with a UTI trying to find a pharmacy while in terrible pain & discomfort. Definitely a less than ideal situation. Most doctors are willing to write a prescription for this just in case scenario. I just talk to my doctor before I leave on a trip. Again, it’s far easier to reach in your bag & have what you need then be scrambling & feeling terrible.
San Francisco in the springtime is so beautiful. I love wandering around the city & taking in all the views. Even though I’ve lived here for nine years San Francisco ceases to amaze me, I feel like I’m still finding new sweet spots in the city. Some of these pictures are from earlier this week when a few friends & I did a little urban hiking around nob hill / pac heights. The rest of the pictures are from this past Saturday when Chris & I took Juno out to Crissy Beach to meet up with some friends for a little dog date! Don’t let the sunshine fool you, it was freezing by the water, barely breaking 50 degrees! Despite the cool weather it was a great weekend hanging out at home & just enjoying this wonderful city. Saturday night we snuck away for dinner at favorite spot of ours in the mission. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We’re just a couple weeks away from trip to Spain & Portugal! Can’t wait!
^^ Early morning flights = sunrises from window seat!^^ Jumping for Joy we made it to Blum, Texas…
^^Rooftop bars with live music & all these fine friends ❤^^ Weddings with this man will always be my favorite. ^What do you do when you’re locked out of your hotel room at 1am waiting for maintenance to drill the door open? Take random photos in the hallway, duh.
This past weekend we went to a wedding in Blum Texas, which is outside of Cleburne Tx. Never heard of it? Yeah, neither had I! Chris is from Austin originally & so over the past four years we traveled quite a bit to Texas, visiting family & friends. I’ve also spent small amounts of time in both Houston & Dallas. But this was my first time really going deep into Texas. Albeit a stark comparison to our day to day life in San Francisco, there’s something so nice about being out on country roads, windows down, country music playing. I grew up in a small town in northern California so I can appreciate large parcels of land in towns that maybe have one stop light. And I can certainly appreciate big sky country, especially for the beautiful photos it helps produce. Chris has a large group of friends from college & it was so nice to see everyone all in one place again & just spend the weekend together! Not to mention that going to weddings now having already been married for over a year makes us nostalgic about our day. Weddings are just the best & this one was no exception! The first night there we went to the beautiful rehearsal dinner held at Lost Oak Winery. After the rehearsal we headed to downtown Burleson to continue the night & meet up with all our friends. We went Old Texas Brewing Co which had an awesome rooftop bar with live music. The next morning I was lucky enough to randomly wake up around 7am & catch this absolutely breathtaking sunrise from our hotel room. None of the sunrise photos have been edited whatsoever. It was so beautiful!! The wedding itself took place on this gorgeous estate surrounded with trees. Chris always talks about how special Texas is & how there’s no where quite like it. I don’t know if this born & raised Cali girl will ever truly understand what he means but I can attest that there’s definitely something spectacular about it & it’s home to some of the best people we know & miss! We got back late Sunday night & woke up to San Francisco rain, so I guess it’s time to wash the jean shorts, pull out the rainboots & get ready for fall in the Bay Area!
PS. One of the best perks of having a husband is convincing him to take cheesy jump on the bed photos so we can test out the new remote for the camera! yay!
There are just some weekends you never want to end, and this past weekend was one of them. San Francisco is finally welcoming the start of our Indian summer, it has been such a lonnnnnng Fogust, everyone’s dying for some sunshine. This was the first weekend in a long while that Chris & I weren’t travelling / working or just having a jam packed weekend. It was so nice to just be in the city & enjoy SF. We spent Saturday in Golden Gate Park walking around with Juno, enjoying the sunshine. Sunday morning I took Juno to the Farmer’s Market a few blocks from our apartment, while Chris finished up some work at home. As soon as I saw the flower stand had made to order bouquets of dahlias I couldn’t help myself, especially after last weekend at the Dahlia Dells!! Then we headed over to the ball park to watch the Giants play the Braves! It was such a good game, the giants scored 13 runs!! We rounded out the afternoon by enjoying some cocktails & appetizers at one of my favorite spots in SF. In the words of Walt Whitman – “we were together, I forget the rest” this weekend was just a perfect weekend enjoying one another’s company and all our beautiful city has to offer. Hope everyone had a great weekend.
Americana – So nice we went twice. Located in Capitol Hill, known for their ever-changing short stack, this restaurant is sure to give you something to write home about. This was actually our first eating stop in Seattle. Tired, hungry and unable to check in to our Airbnb we hauled ourselves to Americana only to be blown away by the delicious creative comfort food menus in front of us. Their menu is filled with unique breakfast items like Glazed Pork Belly with scrambled eggs, pancakes that change daily & decadent Benedict’s. We went back for Easter Brunch on Sunday & I must say the food was just as delicious as the first day. This is my top recommendation for brunch, you can check out their awesome menu here.
Needle & Thread- this isn’t exactly an eating recommendation, it’s more of a sipping recommendation. Nonetheless Needle & thread is home to Seattle’s best cocktails, I’m convinced. There is no drink menu, in fact there’s no sign on the sidewalk, a hard to come by reservation will lead you to a rotary phone that’ll lead you up to this second story bar, that has seating for maybe 20 people. Once inside you’ll experience custom cocktails crafted to your specific tastes. This experience was so worth the splurge! I’ve been to places that make individual specialty drinks before, but none of them have had the quaint, relaxed atmosphere like Needle & Thread. In NYC I went to a bar / speakeasy that would make custom drinks, but I remember being so intimated pushing through the crowd to tell the bartender what ingredients I liked, that I didn’t find the experience as enjoyable. At Needle & Thread our bartender came up to our table & spent the first few minutes just chatting with us about what kind of drinks we like, what aspects turn us off of certain drinks etc. After we chatted & he got a good feel for what our tastes were, then behind the bar he went to concoct delicious our beverages. It was such a cool experience & I would recommend it for anyone who is in the area & can appreciate a well crafted cocktail.
^^ Overlooking the harbor – so gorgeous.
The Harbor Public House – this recommendation isn’t in Seattle proper, but if you find yourself on a ferry to Bainbridge (which I highly recommend here ) then I hope you find yourself sitting down for a meal at The Harbour Public House Overlooking the docks, you can enjoy oyster shooters & some of the freshest seafood you can find on the Puget Sound. Note: this place is 21 & over.
Taylor’s Shellfish – We found ourselves in a caffeinated haze leaving the Starbucks Roastery & we wandered a few blocks away only to find the perfect mid day glass of wine & plate of oysters. Taylor’s Shellfish has been farming shellfish in the Pacific Northwest since 1890, needless to say they know their stuff. They have Oyster bars throughout Seattle each location reflecting the casual laid back vibe of each neighborhood. We visited the Capitol Hill location. Taylor’s Shellfish lets you design your ideal oyster plate & the staff are super knowledgable & can help you pair your choices with the perfect glass of wine. Oysters were certainly a theme this trip. I love them but Chris thinks they’re disgusting so I like to optimize ordering them whenever I’m out with my best friend because she can put down just like me when it comes to shellfish. If you like oysters than I 100% recommend checking out Taylor’s, I’ll certainly be going back next time I find myself in Seattle.
Quinns – this pub doesn’t just serve your standard bar fare, instead they whip delicious combinations of seafood as well as comfort food. Their Poached Washington Halibut is to die for, I ordered it twice! Also located in Capitol Hill, this gastro pub is a must if you’re looking for a delicious casual dinner. You can look at their menu here.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery – for all my coffee lovers, welcome! You can’t go to Seattle & not stop by the Starbucks Roastery & tasting room. Here you can experience caffeinated bliss, with two coffee bars, two roasters, & unimaginable drinks that you can’t find at your Starbucks around the corner. You’re able to try speciality coffees, they offer flights of coffee which we chose to try on our first day. The second time we went back, yes we went back. We tried drinks that are only made at the roastery, to be honest I can’t remember exactly what I ordered in that photo but I know it was creamy & delicious. The Starbucks Roastery is a fun place to visit, enjoy a flight of coffee and maybe stay a while if you catch yourself in some Seattle rain. However I will mention that the roastery itself isn’t very organized, you’re left to wander around and explore yourself, so it’s a good idea to have in mind what you’re looking for that day.
The Public Market Center is a great place for a casual lunch. The middle photo overlooking the Ferris Wheel was our view the day we went for lunch. I honestly have no clue where we ate. We were just walking around the market & in between all the fresh seafood & floral arrangements are little delis & restaurants. We stumbled into one, took one look at the view & were sold. The public market is absolutely a must when visiting Seattle.
Unicorn – we found our way into this unique carnival themed bar our first night out in Seattle. It may sound cheesy but it was definitely worth checking out. And I have to say that their adult root beer float was seriously amazing, that paired with pinball & good people watching made for a fun first night out. It was wasn’t very crowded, we went on Thursday night and there were plenty seats & no lines for drinks. So if you’re looking for a bar that is a little quirky & you enjoy arcade games or carnival food / drinks in the slightest than this spot might find its way on to your itinerary.
The Comet Tavern – ALERT: SEATTLE SERVES SHINER BOCK! This casual bar plays great music, has tons of seating & serves SHINER! As a Texas convert I get super excited whenever I can find Shiner outside of the lone star state. I don’t have any photos from Comet Tavern, but I definitely recommend checking it out. We went here before watching a show at Neumo’s & it was a great place to grab a quick drink.
Do you have Seattle Musts that should make it on my list for next time? If so I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Batteries to Bluffs is by far one of my favorite “urban hikes” in San Francisco. I love this hike for so many reasons. The views are incredible, even on a cloudy or slightly foggy day you get beautiful scenes of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a clear day you can easily see the Marin Headlands & the Point Bonita Lighthouse. In the springtime the trail is lined with countless wildflowers that you can see in my photos. Another reason why I love this hike? STAIRS! With more than 500 stairs along this trail you’re guaranteed a good workout & pretty spectacular view for “leg day”. It’s also a sure fire way to tire any puppy out. Not only will you experience phenomenal coastal panoramas but there’s also plenty of history along the hike. These batteries were built in 1900 & designed to protect underwater minefields outside the Golden Gate. By 1943 it was closed & all the guns were scrapped. It’s pretty cool getting to walk literally on top of history where men before our time fought to protect our lives & now I’m hiking with my puppy across the same batteries they stood guard at, crazy! So if you find yourself in San Francisco wanting to try something new & off the beaten path (no pun intended) definitely check out Batteries to Bluffs trail. On the weekends the hike can get a little crowded but most weekdays you may only see a handful a people, another reason why I can’t get enough. Do you have a favorite urban hike? If so I’d love to hear about in the comments below!
That time we realized we’d been married for 11 months exactly.
^ The only actual successful group photo via selfie stick.
Maui, in case you can’t tell, was absolutely breathtaking. This trip was extra special because it was my parents and brother’s first time visiting Hawaii. I knew my parents would love it, they spend most winters in Brazil soaking up the sun and sand so I knew Hawaii would be just there speed. We rented an awesome Airbnb in South Kihei, which is about 20 minutes from the airport. It was directly across from the beach and close to a lot of little shops and restaurants. I’ll be doing a post of all our Maui Musts, but for now I wanted to post some of the pictures from this awesome & memorable family vacation.
^^our adorable airbnb!! Each year my best friend & I make a trip to a place neither of us have been to. Last year we had a blast in kauai. (See it here.) This year, after much deliberation we eventually settled on Seattle. I’ve been to the Seattle area previously but mostly to visit extended family. I had never really spent much time in Seattle proper so I was more than excited to have 5 days to explore this Pacific Northwest treasure. Normally I see my BFF either in the bay area or when I visit her in San Diego. It’s such a nice escape just to be in a new city for a few days exploring . If you have the opportunity to travel with your bestie I highly recommend it, it’s just good for your soul.
We rented an Airbnb in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, which has plenty of bars & restaurants. I posted a few photos of the Airbnb, it was so cute. I felt like I was staying at an Airbnb decorated by Joanna Gaines; hello reclaimed wood & neutral tones! We toyed with the idea of renting a car, but we decided against it. So we ending up walking, a lot. Honestly, walking was so nice, we averaged about 7 miles a day exploring different neighborhoods on our way to whatever we had planned that day. Having both walked through much of San Francisco, the infrequent hills of Seattle were nothing! And then we never felt guilty for treating ourselves to an uber when we didn’t feel like walking to dinner.
I’ll be doing at least two more posts on Seattle because that’s how much of a great time we had there. I’ve never really travelled to a city where I could actually realistically see myself moving, until visiting Seattle. The city itself just feels so much quieter than San Francisco, people are polite and courteous and as our first uber driver told us “it’s a culture built on open mindedness & acceptance” ummm yes please! In a world so chaotic Seattle just feels like a little reprieve.
I could keep rambling on, but I’ll save it for another post! We are off to Maui tomorrow with my family & I am SO excited. If you have any MauiMusts I’d love to hear them!