The 2,200 Mile Roadtrip

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Over this past summer, I drove with my dad from Joliet, Illinois to San Diego, California, which ended up being about 2,200 miles. It was quite the adventure, just me, my dad, and a rented mini van filled to the brim.
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On our trip, we drove through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and finally, California.FullSizeRender.jpg
After our first day of driving, we stayed the night in Joplin, Missouri and got an early start the next day to make the long drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We stopped in a tiny Texas town called Lucky to eat lunch and thanked our stars we did not live there.
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In Albuquerque, we rewarded ourselves with yummy New Mexican food and margaritas after our long day in the car.
IMG_3286.JPGOn the third day, we drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Flagstaff, Arizona and woke up early the fourth day to drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.IMG_3164.JPGIMG_3305.JPGAfter visiting the Grand Canyon, we headed to Vegas! We stayed one night in Vegas and had a great time trying our hand at the slot machines and wandering around. I spent some time relaxing at the pool as well.IMG_3401.JPG
After Vegas, it was time to continue home to California! This was definitely a long trip, but one I will always remember 🙂

Have you ever taken a cross country road trip?

xoxo,
Jess

*all photos by Jess unless otherwise noted

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5 Things to do in New York City

empirestate9.jpgNew York is such a vibrant, enchanting place. I have visited it on one occasion and it provided me with some of my favorite travel memories to date! I’ve written about my adventures in New York here a few times, but I thought I would share a post of various things to do in this city like I have done with several others.copy-0590-sm.jpg+ Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market is a great place to walk around and get different local foods and items from artisan shops. It is nice to spend an afternoon wandering around here!copy-0695-sm.jpg+ Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
It isn’t too long of a walk, but it is such a nice feeling to walk from Brooklyn into the lights of Manhattan and it is a lovely way to take in the skyline.Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 10.05.52 AM.png
+ Get cheap broadway tickets at TKTS and go to a show
If you go to Times Square in the afternoon and wait in line, you can get majorly discounted tickets to many different shows playing that evening. If you are open to seeing any show, this is a great way  to save some cash and still get to experience NYC broadway.copy-0561-sm.jpg+ Visit Highline Park
This park is definitely best enjoyed in warmer months and is unique because it was built on an old railroad track.copy-0688-sm.jpg+ Eat pizza
This is obvious, isn’t it? We ate pizza pretty much every day of our trip!copy-0670-sm.jpgHave you ever been to New York? What would you recommend doing there? I need to go back again soon!

xoxo
Jess

*all photos by Jess unless otherwise noted

Yosemite

IMG_5936.JPGOne of my favorite places to visit every once in a while is Yosemite National Park. It is just so breathtakingly gorgeous, particularly in fall! I love that it is only a 4 hour drive from the Bay Area, which makes it extremely doable for a weekend trip.IMG_5943.JPGIMG_5899.JPGWe took this particular trip there in November of 2015. I desperately needed to get away for a day and forget about school, so we took off for the mountains! We drove most of the way on a Saturday night, stayed the night at a a small motel, and then drove the last hour to Yosemite early the next morning. My dog came along for the adventure, of course, and he loved every second of it. I think he fits in pretty well in the wilderness, don’t you? 🙂IMG_5783.JPG
I packed us a special picnic and we found a private area to enjoy it along the river. It was so nice sitting in nature and eating yummy food!IMG_5944.JPGIMG_5942.JPGIMG_5938.JPGIMG_6045.JPGMe and my favorite adventure partner 🙂IMG_5939.JPGIMG_5900.JPGI hope you enjoyed this peek into our fall Yosemite adventure! Looking through these photos has me wanting to go back again!

xoxo,
Jess

*all photos by Jess unless otherwise noted

5 Things to do in San Diego

IMG_2535.JPGThough I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am originally from San Diego and my heart is torn between Northern & Southern California. So, since I know quite a bit about the San Diego area, here are 5 things you could do on your next visit there!

+ Go to the beach
This is obvious and definitely my favorite thing to do! I particularly love the beaches in Encinitas and Coronado.

+ Visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields
Every spring time, the flower fields in Carlsbad bloom and they are a gorgeous sight. You can get up close and see them for yourself.IMG_9015.JPG+ Explore Old Town
This is a great place to explore if you want to learn more about the history of San Diego and its beginnings.

+ Go to Balboa Park
If you enjoy museums, this is definitely the place for you! Balboa Park is also just a very pretty, historic area to walk around.

+ Visit the Oceanside Pier
Walking along the pier on a nice day is one of my favorite things to do. There is also a diner at the end that you could reward yourself with a milkshake or burger at too.

+ Bonus: Go to the San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Seaworld, or the Safari Park (formerly the Wild Animal Park). These are obvious, touristy things, but worth mentioning in case you are interested in them 🙂

These are just a handful of things you can do in San Diego! There are definitely plenty more things and places to explore.

xoxo,
Jess

*all photos by Jess unless otherwise noted

The 9/11 Memorial + The Brooklyn Bridge


One of the most memorable things I did on my first trip to New York was visit the 9/11 Memorial. I think we all can remember where we were on the day of that terrible tragedy and to be at the site of it was indescribable.
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This is something every person, especially every American, should see. I didn’t really know how to react to it, but I can say this: it was breathtaking. The monument is beautiful, yes it is, but what impacted me more was the history and meaning of it all.
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This was definitely the coldest day of our trip. My toes and fingers were numb and I had to really persuade myself to keep walking. I wrapped my circle scarf around my neck and head and covered my mouth to keep the heat in. It was quite miserable, frankly, but I was in New York so I wasn’t going to let even that ruin my exploring.
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We continued the freezing evening with a subway ride to Brooklyn for pizza at Juiliana’s Pizza, a spot that a favorite blogger of mine has talked about (unfortunately her blog no longer exists).
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We ordered a Margherita and a No. 3. I definitely recommend this cozy little spot that makes me feel like I’m eating at home. Or down the street from my Brooklyn apartment in my other life.
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After we were warmed up from the yummy pizza, we braved the cold again to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at night, because I have heard it is the thing to do and I wasn’t going to let 25 degree weather stop me.
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And there I am, with my guy, on a freezing bridge. Though you can’t even make out our faces, I rather like this little portrait of us taken by Dai’s friend, Maya.
xoxo
Jess

*all photos by Jess unless otherwise noted

Road Tripping with Dogs

img_4071You may or may not know this about me, but dogs are pretty much my favorite beings on this planet and I am lucky to have a furry friend of my own named Marly. Just like his mama, he loves adventure too and I try to take him with me wherever I can. I’ve taken him on a plane before, though most of our traveling together is done by car. Some dogs don’t do very well on long car rides, but my pup is a great on road trips!

Here are some tips for taking your pup along with you on a long car ride:
+ Keep a water bowl in the car and offer water to them when you stop for gas
+ Bring a bed or blanket for them and make them their own spot that they can feel comfortable in
+ Take them out for a potty break when you stop for gas
+ If your dog is nervous about car rides, putting them in a crate with their bed or letting them sit on your lap or by your feet (if they are small enough!) may make them feel more secure

xoxo,
Jess

*all photos by Jess unless otherwise noted

Camping Video

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As I mentioned, we went camping a few weeks ago! Like I did with our trip to Hawaii, I made a video of this little adventure! I think my favorite part of the video are the little snippets of our dogs. They are just so cute and had a great time camping too! It was fun to put together and I hope you enjoy it 🙂

xoxo,
Jess

*all photos by Jess unless otherwise noted