Nashvillagers

 

30221306_10111451091722270_188651475224424738_n

This past March was my dad’s 70th birthday, and my sisters and I celebrated by taking him to Nashville (similar to the Charleston trip we made with our mom back in October). My father has gotten pretty deep into genealogy research and discovering distant relatives, so he was stoked on heading to Nashville as his ancestors hailed from Tennessee. #TheOnlyTenISee πŸ˜‰

30226436_10111451090489740_3423548267176655152_n

We started off at the Ryman Auditorium, the ORIGINAL Grand Ole Opry, with a show from the Gatlin Brothers! It was really neat to sit in the original auditorium pews where many others enjoyed their favorite country and western singers from so long ago. We even did a backstage tour and hungout in Johnny Cash’s old room. My dad was so excited!

30222221_10111451093503700_4163321834030639112_nBEYOND cool.

30127866_10111452764554900_71447669290416080_n

The main thing my dad wanted to do was genealogy research, so we headed to the Tennessee state archives for a deep dive into the history of Blount County, on a search for Cindarella Davis. We made memories that I’ll cherish forever ❀ …and if you’ve never been to a state archive, I highly suggest!

29793408_10111452764599810_4298802639117308642_n

 

30412045_10111453743802480_1856716018262726428_n

One thing we weren’t expecting was the absurdly cold weather in April (it snowed one day!) so we opted for a tour of the Belle Meade Plantation to take advantage of being indoors. We learned that they bred horses, including the famous Bonnie Scotland, descendant of the majority of Derby winning horses! (What a crazy horse family tree that would be… πŸ˜‰ ) Also the Derby used to be in Tennessee and only moved to Kentucky because of a law that outlawed horse betting in TN in the early 1900s. Oh and they made terrible wine and decent spirits, but the wine pourer HATED us…. HA ha ha.

30226283_10111453745329420_1086338342209381367_n

 

30264434_10111456613182220_2676356596180759759_n

I LOVED our AirBnb house in East Nashville! It’s the sort of Bungalow meets Victorian style home of my dreams and I can’t wait to buy something similar someday. Our neighborhood was ADORABLE and we were even in walking distance (3 blocks) to the gayest, diviest bar around Nashville and had a phenomenal karaoke night out at Lipstick Lounge.

30222160_10111456613581420_4782410963631319442_nSisters on a porch swing.

30261749_10111456860815960_8188239268095272485_n

30265233_10111456871614320_8722148852702711736_n

It was so nice to have some quality time with dad as we stuffed ourselves with artisan donuts, southern fried chicken, BEER, and all the fixins! Eating out at The Flipside (must order the bloody mary) and The Mockingbird (cough cough GET THE COCKTAIL IN A BAG – you won’t regret it) were the most memorable and delish!

30264885_10111456270618720_1905284592492374545_n

 

30443476_10111458028959990_264687107353568205_n

Drinking in honkytonks were a BLAST and made me really question whether or not Austin was really the live music capital of the world….I really felt like I saw so many talented singers and groups all over town, on every floor of every available bar. Bachelorette and bachelor parties EVERYWHERE though, heads up.

30412461_10111461121277960_7694919266809033072_n

It was cold but these boots kept me fashionable AND warm πŸ™‚

30443566_10111461121272970_2439971550993175762_n

I had a great time, TN! I hope to come back someday in the WARM WEATHER and swim in some water holes, hike, and also head towards Memphis to Dollywood…. SOME DAY.

TN.JPG

City By The Bay

IMG_0848.JPG

It’s well known that San Francisco is gorgeous AF. We really are spoiled here, between the rolling mountains, wine country, ocean and bay, amazing Victorian architecture and more, it’s no wonder SF is one of the most sought out places to live in the world and why I thank my lucky stars that I have rent control.

IMG_0847

IMG_0836.JPG

But if you aren’t a local there are many other unique and interesting things that make SF eclectic….like:

  • Hanging out “in the park” is what everyone does – there are parks EVERYWHERE, and it’s a perfectly logical thing to get together at one of them (Golden Gate, Alamo Square, Dolores, Crissy Field – many more!) and picnic ALL DAY, day drink, play games, or even smoke on the weekends.
  • There are more costumed events here than in any other city! Bay to breakers, the binge drinking event built around wearing costumes and walking a running race route, is the biggest costumed event in the Bay all year.Β  Of course there is also Halloween, but there are many themed bar crawls and events that require costumes at all times of the year (Victorian ball, anyone?!), no one bats an eyelash when seeing many people dressed up (or even nude, as we are the biggest nude town in America as well).
  • It’s perfectly acceptable for vendors to walk around parks, selling edibles and their baked good treats like brownies and truffles, for consumption in public.
  • Apparently, as I learned on a documentary show on Vice called Slutever (omg great name BTW) that there are weed oriented sex products and parties on the reg in the Bay. I’ve lived here 10 years and never knew that, but now I do and am not surprised one bit!

IMG_0831.JPG

IMG_0846

I love this goober’s smile ❀ R E S P E C T

Whether or not you want to partake in any of those things, the Bay is a CHILL place to be, where you can be a mermaid any day of the week and no one would think that is strange. I love this big weirdo of a town! ❀

Jumpin’ Jack Flash – It’s (almost) SPRING!

IMG_1527.jpg

We made it! Daylight savings has come and and now we have extra light outside! I am so glad because having darkness after work for a good 4-5 months straight up SUCKS. We live pretty close to Golden Gate Park and I enjoy a good jogging jaunt after work most of the time, so when it’s annoyingly dark outside for months on end – I need to get creative on how to hit my steps. I’ve resorted to running before work (if I can) which is a struggle because I’m not a morning person! GAHHH.

But alas…SPRING!

IMG_1531.jpg

Pink and purple pastels! ICE CREAM! Cherry blossoms! BEING ABLE TO WATCH THE SUNSET AT 8-9pm! It’s all happening y’all … ❀

BTW – I’ve been loving this designer Hayley Elsaesser from Toronto. I found her through Instagram and bought this bold sweater dress late last year; I LOVE her funky style. Finding new designers and small business owners through Instagram is something that I thoroughly enjoy, and if it’s run by a woman – DOPE! Support small business owners!

IMG_1535-1

We have some spring travel plans coming up including a weekend in Carmel, a wedding weekend in the Santa Cruz mountains, and a trip to Nashville. Gotta get some rest in to catch up on my lost hour of sleep.

K bye!

Dat Big Apple

Hello again, world! I have been so lame with blogging the last several months…my bad! I really have been meaning to post but have been unusually busy – so much so that this post has sat in my drafts for months! EEeeeee!

With that said, who is down to read about John and I’s NYC trip from 4 months ago?! Saddle up…

18620252_10109669024045180_6427724151037627436_n

I have been to NYC about 8 times in the last decade, mostly for work. My first job in SF was for an agency that was based out of NYC that handled Broadway musicals, and I had the Wicked account. That office was in the same building where TRL was filmed for MTV back in the 90’s/early 00’s! I have definitely had my fair share of the NYC tourist experience, although not for a long time. John had never been to NYC or the East Coast, so when my boss suggested that I visit again for some clients, we decided to make a jam-packed trip out of it.

I told John that I knew the best rooftop bar with super secret, private views. He was all about it! Andddd that’s how I tricked him into visiting the Empire State Building <cry laugh emoji>.

18767414_10109694409622280_4922511118948928500_n

❀ viva l’empire state building!

Later that night we spent a whopping $5 for tickets to COLIN QUINN at the Comedy Cellar! Anyone who knows me knows that I always wanted to be on SNL, so when the opportunity to see an SNL alumni and comedy legend struck, for ONLY $5, I crossed my t’s and dotted the i immediately. HE WAS SO FUNNY! At the end of the show we got a picture together and I drunkenly told him he was hot?? NO CLUE where that came from, because I have never once thought of CQ as “hot” per se, but I was so star struck it was like the first thing that came out of my mouth….and once I realized what I said, it became the last thing out of my mouth. #stillfunnytho

18582293_10109670258241840_4625696000914177868_n

We also had a blast hanging out in the East Village, going to art galleries, shopping at quirky boutiques, checking out happy hours at various bars, and also THE FOOD. I can finally say I’ve made it to Veselka! And as a lady of Eastern European descent, I can proudly say that I approve.

18700173_10109694412915680_7639453215377758663_n

Then we did more basic AF things, like strolling through Central Park and checking out the Googenheim, which surprisingly I had never seen prior!

18700110_10109680488714890_710969051288972541_n

18622393_10109680290067980_6476587065229189709_n

18622458_10109680283481180_8197049627718758473_n

Kandinsky – my FAV! ❀

18622617_10109680285896340_5069004387830015084_n

Luckily we had amazing weather on our trip so we were able to check out many rooftop bars. My favorites were The Roof NY (much more bougie) and Roof at Park SouthΒ (more relaxed and down to earth). NOTE: Not all rooftop bars have “roof” in the title…not to confuse you but these two are both great in completely different ways!

18739799_10109694419178130_4219003022569958002_n

Me, standing by the ledge trying not to look down.

IMG_6711.jpg

We loved the Roof at Park South SO MUCH! Located in a great spot in the East Village. The East Village might be our favorite neighborhood in Manhattan.

18700058_10109694420171140_3818330619925537066_n

Getting around NYC is so quick and mostly easy (WAY more efficient than getting around SF!) – we made it to 4 of the 5 Burroughs in a few days.Β  YES, we went to a BOMB DOT COM Mediterranean restaurant in QUEENS, called Taverna Kyclades and sat right next to skinny JONAH HILL!!! We also made it a Yankees game in the Bronx, as we found $10 tickets against the Oakland A’s (which was kinda like second to seeing The Giants play since they are from the same bay I GUESS). Now all we have left to see is Staten Island…(and I’m pretty sure John is set on that)!

John.png

John outside of our home away from home.

Because I had some work to do we stayed in Manhattan the first two nights, and opted to get an Airbnb through the weekend in my favorite neighborhood in Brooklyn, Park Slope. I love the fun vibe because it’s a perfect mix of exciting bars, restaurants, and boutiques spread throughout a chill neighborhood that doesn’t get too touristy. And I’m so happy John LOVED it too. ❀

18698075_10109692024691700_6439000669146117056_n

NYC had a lot of firsts for John, but one for me as well. I had never walked the famous Brooklyn Bridge, and it was a cute NEW thing for us to do together. It wasn’t too far of a trek from where we stayed and we managed to squeeze it in on our last day, before we made it to the airport where our flight was delayed 3 hours. FUN TIMES!

18739791_10109694416678140_1370323175763952610_n

We packed a lot in and had a blast! John can’t wait to head back to the East Coast and hit up that Staten Island ferry, I tell you what…LMAO. Until next time, NYC! And I’ll also do a better job of not waiting so long to document my travels! xo ❀

18740362_10109694415660180_1208020984121396554_n.jpg

Team Palm Springs

Palm Springs had been on my list of vacation getaways ever since I moved to California. I don’t know how it is that I’ve been living in this beautiful state for 9 years without ever crossing paths with PS, but it finally happened, I loved it, and I can’t wait to go back!

My old roommate (or as we used to joke, wombmate, since we were practically attached at the hip for a good several years) is getting married next month, so she invited a gaggle of girls to celebrate the end of her single-hood in the glamorous desert city. Our AirBnb house was AMAZING, complete with a salt water pool, and I don’t think I would ever stay in a hotel in the future knowing how beautiful and affordable the homes are.

IMG_2942

Some of the only pictures I took from the inside of our retro place.

IMG_3259

18671016_10109650742790960_9064637018384057580_n

FullSizeRender-13

I practically lived in this pool all weekend.

Once I knew we were headed down south, I looked to see if there were any crazy art exhibits close by that we could check out and I found out about the mirage house. A full house art exhibit, completely covered in mirrors in the middle of the desert! IT WAS GORGEOUS!!

18581570_10109650745375780_7797546365605883319_n.jpg

18622424_10109650745710110_5260137302633803959_n

FullSizeRender-14.jpg

IMG_3241.JPG

The only picture of all 11 ladies!

It was fun to be with a good group of women who, even though we are all spread out across the country, we are all from Texas (except Amy I still got you girl!). Just to be silly together and celebrate #Merkelle was exactly what the doctor ordered. Plus, because we are Texan women, we brought our own INFLATABULL float! (This thing is a terror if you aren’t careful! I could NOT mount it at all #fail. Also look how HUGE it is – takes up SO MUCH SPACE and also took forever to inflate, but man was it WORTH it).

IMG_2971.JPG

FullSizeRender-17.jpg

This little PRICK nabbed my hand! We pulled out about 10-15 little needles and it wasn’t too bad, although I still have scars.

We all heard stories about gay bars in Palm Springs not being particularly welcome to bachelorette parties and for us to be cautious. We didn’t dress up in sashes or crowns or penis whistles or anything because that is TACKY AF, but we were pleasantly surprised at how accommodating every place was once they knew we were a bachelorette party. It was the exact opposite of what we heard! RetroRoom Lounge was a complete delight and had some of the best Whitney Houston drag I’ve ever seen! Long story short, Palm Springs is like the Austin of California in the way of many bachelorette parties everywhere. #gonnaseeleythedealy

FullSizeRender-15

Processed with VSCO with e2 preset

A few girls stayed an extra day over at the infamous Saguaro Palm Springs hotel, and I SWEAR it felt like MTV Spring Break 1994. The pool was so intense: people danced on floats, shots galore, there was a full on bathing suit photoshoot, and an EDM DJ at like 9am. It was so lit! I am glad I went because I got to see the hotel without having to stay there, PLUS there was thee cutest Barbie doll shadowbox exhibit in the lobby and I almost DIED. It’s no secret that I love Barbie art…

IMG_3255.JPG

It was a great time! We LOVED celebrating Raquel, and hope it was everything she dreamed of ❀

Baiiiii Palm Springs, let’s not let another NINE YEARS go by without saying hi.

IMG_2909

Bodega Bay With My Bae

IMG_1954.jpg

In case you didn’t know, Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds in Bodega Bay, which is about an hour and a half drive north of the city. We recently re-watched The Birds and since we had an amazing change of weather, decided to make a day trip just to see if could spot any of those crazy birds…

Tippi-Hedren.jpg

While this movie makes no sense to me (the relationship storyline at least, not the bird plot. That makes the most sense of all! What woman meets a man and instantly takes a trip hours away to secretly drop off birds in his house while he is gone?! SOMEONE PSYCHO…) it was still fun to watch and hang around Bodega Bay and find where certain scenes were filmed. We ate at The Tides restaurant which has a scene in the movie too, and the food wasn’t the best and was super touristy, but now I can say that I ate there so I don’t ever have to again… <laugh crying>

IMG_1899.jpg

The California coast truly is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, so the fact that we were able to hike the Kortum Trail right off the coastline was a breathtaking experience.

IMG_1955.jpg

We easily made our way down to Shell Beach, where ironically there were no shells, just a bunch of rocks but still really chill.

IMG_1956.jpg

We hiked about 4 miles total with the loop, and ended up on top of the hill which was super steep but worth it. Driving around the Bay Area will always be something that brings me joy, everything about this part of the world is absolutely beautiful inside and out, from the diverse and open minded people, to the coastal views, to the vineyards, and everything in-between, (northern) Cali is where it’s at. ❀ ❀ ❀

IMG_1953

Spring Cleansing

FullSizeRender-10

Spring has sprung y’all and I am feeling it! I think this last winter was a bit of a roller coaster for me, emotionally and mentally, and I feel like I’m in a good spot at the moment, taking it all in, and working on my “spring cleansing” if you will.

I am an idealist. My Myers-Briggs personality profile is INFP. It’s literally part of the idealist category. I also struggle with perfectionism. I think of grandiose “shoulds” in my mind and get down sometimes at the fact that I’m not even close to my grandiose vision, when in reality, the only person who could even be close to those goals would be a superhuman like Oprah or Elon Musk. And I’m NOT a superhuman, so why do I create superhuman goals??!

We live in a very different world now than our parents and our grandparents. Everything is a lot easier now. We communicate much more quickly. Think about the middle ages and how long it would take to even get a love note!!! And now we live in a world where people can “swipe left” and instantly connect with a love interest. We NEED instant gratification now, and not everything is set up that way. So we get down on ourselves when we don’t lose weight fast enough, or we didn’t save as much money as we thought we would, or the fact that we don’t have a boyfriend just yet. It can make you crazy and it definitely makes me nuts sometimes. And when you toggle a lot of things ongoing like work goals, fitness goals, hobby goals, relationship goals, financial goals, etc – it’s pretty easy to be “goaled out.”

I do this to myself. I am my own worst critic. I give myself way to much to focus on and when I start to feel like I’m stretched thin or that I don’t have the energy for something I get REALLY down on myself, that I didn’t get to where “in my perfect world” I THOUGHT I would be. But one thing I’m trying to focus on this year, is removing this way of thinking from my patterns and be more present. At the end of the day, I want to congratulate myself on what I DID vs. what I DIDN’T accomplish.

FullSizeRender-11.jpg

I’ve also decided to pause my efforts on some things that I didn’t feel I was putting 100% of my energy into, like my radio show. I just got to a point where I had my obligations, work-life balance, social calendar, fitness calendar, etc etc and I wasn’t happy allotting my precious time to hobbies or interests that weren’t making me happy anymore. And you know what, I feel a lot less stressed out! I want to talk about music, how it’s influenced my life, where I am now in a bigger post, but right now I wanted to share that it’s ok to take breaks. It’s ok to feel like you can’t do everything. It’s ok to take time to yourself for a breather and re-focus. Some people call it spring cleaning, and I call it spring cleansingΒ  πŸ™‚

IMG_1852.JPG

You got this! Pause the things that aren’t working for you anymore, reflect, and listen to yourself. Maybe there are new interests waiting for you around the corner!