Lifestyle & Travel

Canada/New England Cruise Part 2 ~ ♪ O Canada ♪

*Check out Part 1 ~ Magnificent Maine if you missed it!

So, back to that big ol’ boat of old people. When the husband and I weren’t out exploring various cities, we were hittin’ dem clubz.

Ha. Who am I kidding?

We were reading.. like the nerds we are. Exploring is exhausting, yo.

I think I brought along a Harry Potter book, and the husband navigated the ship’s library through a sea of old people stumbling around and/or napping. Yes, napping. No lie.

Reading a Book On A Big Ol' Boat

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Canada/New England Cruise Part 1 ~ Magnificent Maine

Baltimore

Four years ago, the husband and I hopped on a plane in Cleveland Ohio, landed in Baltimore Maryland, changed clothes in the airport restroom, hailed a taxi, and then got married in Federal Hill Park overlooking the city… all by noon.

Best. Day. Ever.

Filled with pure adrenaline, nerves, and most likely caffeine and sugar.

I have never regretted eloping. Never.

Going to weddings now just reinforces how awesome our decision was for us to essentially “run away and get married”. Continue reading

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Seattle Wander Guide Part 2 ~ Elemental Exploration

Seattle Japanese Garden

After hitting up all the major sights and things to do in Seattle, maybe you have a couple days left to unwind and relax. Or you can do as we did and intersperse some moments of serenity in with all the city-hopping. Get out there and experience the elements of nature… earth, air, water, maybe not fire unless it’s a well-monitored campfire (during a wet season, of course).

If you’re looking to commune with the earth, I recommend visiting the Washington Park Arboretum in Northeast Seattle. Continue reading

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Seattle Wander Guide Part 1 ~ Urban Exploration

Seattle Neighborhoods

Last week, I wrote about our trip to Seattle from the standpoint of searching for our new home. And even though it was a whirlwind of chaotic traveling, it was still a pretty great vacation filled with good food, pretty sights, and interesting history. If you’re thinking of visiting the Emerald city anytime soon, may I offer up some suggestions?

Where To Stay

A few times in the past, the husband and I have stayed in B&Bs when traveling. However, a lot of them are very old, Victorian, and flowery in their decor which is not our cup of tea. So when we ventured to the Pacific Northwest last month, we decided to give Airbnb a try for the first time.

We stayed in a fantastic apartment in the southeast Portland neighborhood of Hosford-Abernethy. As I mentioned before in my Portland Japanese Garden post, you have got to eat at Pine State Biscuits for brunch and Salt & Straw for some yummy ice cream!

In Seattle, we first stayed with friends in Fremont and then opted for this beautiful and cozy Airbnb cottage in Columbia City to get a feel for different neighborhoods. Continue reading

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Finding Serenity At The Portland Oregon Japanese Garden

Portland Oregon Japanese Garden_Tall Trees

During our visit to Seattle last month, the husband and I spared a couple days to visit Portland, Oregon. We traveled by Amtrak which was very easy, relaxing and pretty chill… except for on the way back with two ladies behind us yakking the whole way and a crying baby. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It seemed relatively easy to switch cars if need be as well, and I would definitely travel by train again.

The highlight of our trip (if you don’t count some of the best ice cream at Salt & Straw and the fried chicken and biscuits at Pine State Biscuits — so delicious!!!) was visiting the Portland Japanese Garden. Continue reading

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A Midwesterner’s First Impression Of Seattle

Seattle Spring Skyline

Dearest Seattle ~

It seems so long ago, but it has been only a month since we first met. Hopefully, we both have had some time to cool off and learn some hard lessons. As I ponder what went wrong between us during our first encounter, I thought I’d be honest and lay it all out for you. Maybe, just maybe, we can make it work if we communicate and share our feelings with each other, ya know?

You see, I had heard all about how glorious you are surrounded by water, mountains, and forests of trees… that you are just pure bliss whether rain or shine. It seemed like utopia when I read or heard anyone who lived there describe you. I was so excited to see you, to get to know you, to determine if you would be my citymate forever and ever…
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13 Things You Should Know About Living In Columbus Ohio

Columbus OH

As the husband and I prepare to explore an area of the country in search of a new place to settle down, I’ve been reflecting on the past and present cities I’ve been rooted in as well as the ones I’ve only thought about calling home.

I grew up in southern Ohio, and I then lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for about seven years throughout college and my early to mid 20s. I have since lived in Columbus, Ohio for about 12 1/2 years. And honestly, I didn’t think I would stick around here for that long. So, aside from my early toddler years in Florida and that one year when I was six/seven years old in Houston, Texas,  I’ve always lived in Ohio. And… I’ve always dreamed of living somewhere else other than Ohio.

New York was actually on my list when I was in college for criminology, and I even road-tripped it out there once with a friend to scope out the college I was interested in and get a feel for the city. However, that didn’t pan out… and sometimes I wonder where I would be now if I had made the plunge. Would I be somewhere else completely different professionally? Or would I be working three jobs to make ends meet? Because there is no doubt my creative side would have won out earlier in life if I had lived in the Big Apple. For some reason, I feel like Coyote Ugly would have ended up on my resume. After all, I do love to dance… Continue reading

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Tips On Preparing For Your First Skydiving Jump

I recently wrote and gushed unabashedly about how much I loved my first skydiving experience. Well, I loved it so much that I think everyone should try it at least once. So, here are a few tips if you’re thinking of jumping from a  perfectly good airplane anytime soon.

Ohio Skydiving (2)

Choose Your Skydiving Preference:

For your very first skydive, it’s usually suggested to go tandem where you are harnessed to an instructor. You could choose static line if that’s an option. In static line, your parachute automatically deploys within 5 seconds of exiting the aircraft, but then you don’t experience freefall. I highly recommend doing tandem for your first jump to get the full experience of skydiving. You could then do a static line jump if you want more focus on guiding a parachute by yourself. For tandem, expect to be at your skydiving location of choice for two to three hours… maybe a half day. For static line, it seems you’ll need almost a whole day. Continue reading

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