Halloween on Bourbon Street

Halloween on the famous Bourbon Street.. what can I say, it was wild and an experience I will never forget! Bourbon Street is so much more than Mardi Gras parades, balconies and beads. Walking around you will find all kinds of food, souvenir shops and adult fun. On Halloween, you will find all sorts of debauchery.

It’s October 30, 2019, after we got settled in at the hotel, we headed to downtown NOLA to eat at Coterie, a recommendation from Trace’s sister. This restaurant had that cajun spice that we were looking for. Started out with some gator bites, our first time trying them and they did not disappoint! Next, we got jambalaya, crawfish & a gumbo combination to share. Seriously, so damn good. Our tummies were satisfied so we cruised back to the hotel to end the night and chill with the pups.

We got up pretty early on Halloween and hit up Congregation Coffee Roasters, a mighty delicious cup of joe. We came to the conclusion that we should dress up as skeletons, a simple and cheap costume while on the road. Driving around the swampy area of New Orleans, we found a Walmart, got the goods for our costumes then snagged some lunch at Chubbies Fried Chicken. This joint had excellent reviews online so it was a must try. Our choices were the buffalo chicken po boy & some bomb chicken fingers – nom nom nom! The crisp texture of the fried chicken was perfection.

Back to the hotel, took the pups for a walk on a chilly breezy day with the sun peeking out occasionally. Lucky for us, we were able to watch part of Halloween H2O, The Purge & Hocus Pocus to get us in that Halloween spirit. Background noise while getting ready for our evening out in the french quarter.

Time to order a Lyft and head downtown, not a chance in hell would we be driving! Our Lyft driver was hilarious, she was not digging our costumes. From the second we got in, she was like, “Oh hell no! Y’all look so scary!” She even moved the rearview mirror upward so she wouldn’t have to see me in the back seat hahaha so I naturally moved my head wherever she moved the mirror to tease her. She was not having that and happily dropped us off on Bourbon Street.

First things first, we were hungry again and made our way into Oceana Grill to try some charbroiled oysters & cajun chicken alfredo. Oh my gosh.. both were incredibly delicious. Not only was the food amazing, but the restaurant had a cool vibe to it. Much larger on the inside than what I was picturing from the outside.

Now for the fun part, strolling the cobblestone road with neon lights and a large crowd of people (normalcy for pre-covid times). There were nightclubs, balconies filled with people and beads, unique and creative costumes galore, bars, and all the souvenir shops you can imagine. We saw a few bead-worthy moments, and not just from the ladies, if you catch my drift. Catching glimpses of all kinds of goodies, even a gentleman clicky-clacking his heels and performing a scene from “Cats”. Continuing our evening of fun, we ordered some drinks, made some new friends and memories. Our skeleton makeup slowly getting rubbed away from all the fun.

On our way out the next afternoon, we of course had to make a stop at Cafe Du Monde to get our hands on some beignets. They are native to the area (since 1862) and a must try while visiting! I’m talking dough, all fried up and covered in powdered sugar.. mmmmm! Bourbon Street was one for the books and a place that every person should have on their bucket list.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

A short and sweet stop in Gulf Shores, Alabama still has us longing to return to the cute beach town. From putting our toes in the soft white sand to watching the waves crash, it felt like a dream.

This touristy town is known for Hangout Music Festival. Live music from bands you love while enjoying the beach? Yes, please! We didn’t get to experience it, but hope to in the future. They manage to land a wide variety of artists from many different genres to perform. Here’s to hoping things get somewhat back to normal.. for live music’s sake!

October 29, 2019, we arrived and had 24 hours to spend in Gulf Shores. Pet-friendly hotels were very limited so we spent the night in a classy motel. We got up early and started the morning off right with Beach Girl Coffee. A cute, yummy local coffee shack with that sweet southern hospitality. The coffee was delish and definitely lived up to the shop’s high ratings online.

Being there during the off season meant a few more clouds and not a lot of people. Luckily, the temps still felt great outside. That also meant no lines at the souvenir shops. While on the road, we enjoyed collecting a sticker and magnet from each state and a coffee sleeve from each coffee shop. There were many shops to choose from and just outside of Gulf Shores, in Foley is the Tanger Outlets. We spent a little time here and I got a steal on some hiking boots from Columbia Sportswear.

Wishing we could have taken our dogs with us to the beach, Gulf Shores beach was not pet-friendly. The two of us spent a short time walking the gorgeous beach and taking in the views of the ocean and the birds. Since the dogs couldn’t come with us to the beach, we took them through Gulf State Park to the Dog Park off Shelby Lakes. Gulf State Park isn’t only for dogs, there are hiking trails, fishing and you can even tie the knot there. Have you ever seen a speed limit sign for 26 MPH? You can even find that in Gulf State Park. There weren’t many pups at the dog park and the grass was a bit mushy, but Riley & Brutus were as happy as could be!

Feeling hungry, we did some research on Google and Pinterest and decided to try Hog Wild BBQ. Another spot with that sweet southern hospitality! We had to go with the beef brisket, fries and mac & cheese. They have a variety of tasty sauces for dipping. Yum, Yum, Yum!! The pups approved of the fries. We approved of everything! This was by far, the best BBQ we had encountered on our trip! I am a sucker for some good macaroni, that’s why they call me Devaroni.

Fed and happy, we cozied up in the Subie and began our drive to New Orleans to spend Halloween on Bourbon Street. Our boys are seriously, the best travelers.

Florida Part 2

3 words. Harry. Potter. World. Growing up on the west coast, it isn’t exactly simple to plan a trip to Florida to experience all the amusement parks and entertainment that Orlando has to offer. We were finally there! To say that we were excited, was an understatement. My childhood dream of being a wizard (Trace’s adult dream) was finally happening!

We got up early on October 27, 2019 and made the drive to Orlando. The 4 of us got settled into our cute, cottage-like Airbnb. We took the day to walk and play with our pups (Riley & Brutus) and get a breather before embarking on our hot, sticky journey to Hogwarts.

Pass out, sweat, wake up, sweat, head shot, sweat, breathe, sweat. That was my Florida themed remix of Kendrick Lamar’s song, Swimming Pools. Waking up at 6 AM and not being able to see out the windows from all the moisture was a new experience for us! Taking a shower and never feeling dry? That’s Florida.

On a happier note, we made our way to Universal Studios and the fun began. If I have any advice, when purchasing tickets, I highly recommend to treat yourself and upgrade to an express pass. Especially if you are only spending 1 day at the park, being able to get in the express line for rides saved us a TON of time. We were hesitant to purchase them, but so glad that we did! We were able to go on all the rides we wanted in roughly 10 hours. Also, if you plan on going to Platform 9 3/4 and taking the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley to Hogwarts, you want to get the 2-park pass.

Strolling through Universal Studios, searching for Diagon Alley, we were stopped by a driver who asked us if we knew how to get there. The gentleman waved us in and pointed us in the right direction, through the brick wall. “It’s gonna be a bumpy ride”.

Walking through that wall, onto the cobblestone road, we weren’t prepared for the immaculate detail and feeling of being on Diagon Alley. Giddy, for sure and just in time for our wand ceremony at Ollivanders! This experience is something that you do not want to miss. The gentleman conducting the wand ceremony selected a young boy out of the crowd to get matched with his perfect wand. The young boy flung the first wand and the wand boxes on the wall began to shake, another wand and flick of the wrist and bells began to ring. Finally, the young boy flung his wrist and nothing but perfect harmony, he had found his match.

Off into Ollivander’s shop, with wands stacked to the ceiling, you can find the perfect wand for yourself. There are custom wands that are designed to fit with your personality or if you would prefer a wand from one of the more famous wizards, those are available as well. We got the interactive hazel wand, which included a map that marks all the locations throughout the park where you can cast spells and watch the magic happen.

Around the corner, we grabbed some butter beer to accompany us while casting spells around the alley. This fluffy butterscotch beverage was surprisingly delicious! We needed to cash out some moolah so what better way than visiting the local bank, Gringotts. I cannot express enough how incredible the detail in the bank was, it felt like we were in a scene out of the movies. You can’t actually get money out, but it does have a rad 3D ride.

The part we were most excited for was seeing the Hogwarts castle. Going through the brick wall to board the Hogwarts Express was so exciting! The castle was massive and gorgeous on the outside. I was a little bummed to learn that we didn’t actually get to go inside. Other than that, the experience was incredible! Wizarding around definitely gave us that feeling of being a kid again. Both of us had the biggest smiles on our faces all day, our cheeks hurt. The 3D rides were a blast and our dreams of becoming wizards had finally come true.

Wrapping up the day, we Googled the best pizza near our Airbnb and came across a pizza joint called Hourglass Munchies (Google is my best friend when finding places to eat). This spot had a 5 star rating, we had to try it! We called in to place our order when the owner of the place suggested that we try some of their homemade hummus and of course, we did not hesitate. When we went to pick up the food, we thought we were in the wrong place. Ironically, the food was inside of a smoke shop! Pepperoni pizza with a side of pita bread and hummus… Wow, the crust was divine, the pita so soft and the hummus, creamy like no hummus we had ever tried. Nom nom nom. I wish that we had taken a picture, after 20K steps out in the humidity, we were a little busy inhaling the food. Everything was amazing! We cuddled up to our dogs and slipped into a food coma.

Florida Part 1

Traveling on to the lovely state of Florida. How can I describe Florida… hot, like you are drinking the air, grumpy? Ah that’s right, humid! Humidity has a way of bringing out the devil within, even at the most happy of times. When we were planning our across the country road trip, we purposely planned it along with the weather. Exploring Florida in October sounded a lot more pleasant than in the summer. Well, it was still surprisingly hot, hot, hot. Tank and shorts type of weather, unless you prefer having taco pits.

One of my oldest friends lives in Hollywood, FL and she kindly invited us to spend a couple of nights with her and her man. We arrived Friday October 25, 2019. The two of them did not waste any time and got us a Lyft to go grab dinner at Tatts & Tacos. Tattoos not required! We did not get the memo to dress up Halloween style, but it was very entertaining to people watch and see all the creative costumes. If you are looking for a great spot for dinner and drinks, I highly recommend checking this place out.

We cruised back to their place and drank some more while enjoying each others company. In the late hours of the evening, we decided we were hungry again and took another Lyft to get ramen at Go Bistro, a place our friends hyped up. The minute we walked in, it felt like we were V.I.P. Seriously though, the workers knew our friends and were pumped that we were there. I mean, they gave each of us sake shots on the house! Safe to say, Go Bistro lived up to the hype! It was a wild night and the pups held down their fort while we drank and ate the night away.

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We woke up fairly early and cooked up some breakfast tacos and picked up some coffee as a thank you for their hospitality. Our plan for the day was to go visit Everglades National Park. In the majority of the national parks, what pets can do is extremely limited so it is very important to read up on the policies before visiting. We let the pups have a break and hang out at their house while the 4 of us cruised together to the Everglades! We originally considered camping there and were so glad that we didn’t. When we arrived, we could not believe the humidity.. sticky icky and not the good kind. We stopped at the visitor center to learn which trail would be the best for our short time there.

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With our limited time in the park, we were able to do 2 trails – Pahayokee Overlook and Anhinga Trail. Both trails were a short boardwalk loop where you can see different types of wildlife. Walking on the boardwalk through the sawgrass marsh, feeling the humidity of the swamp consume us, we kept our eyes on the thousands of lily pads trying to spot any wildlife. Slowly coursing the water, we saw an alligator creepily peering through the lily pads. Scary and incredible to be so close to a gator. We also saw all kinds of birds, turtles and fish on the Anhinga trail. The Pahayokee Overlook was nice, but uneventful in seeing wildlife. The Everglades were a success and we marked off another park from our bucket list.

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The 4 of us made our way back to their home and our pups, got cleaned up and had an incredible dinner that our hosts made for us. I am talking juicy tender steak, smothered in mushrooms, roasted artichoke and a side salad.

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Out on the town for our last night in the Miami area, we went to this unique innovative art museum called ARTECHOUSE. Bringing science and art together to create a rad experience! According to their website, they have 2 other locations in Washington, D.C. and N.Y.C. The museum itself was small and simple, but worth the experience. Greeted at the front door, we were instructed to put on these strange slippers over our shoes and then taken into the museum. The main room hosts a large screen with visuals you won’t want to miss, with bean bag chairs to sit and let your imagination do its thing while watching the artist’s incredible creativity. Definitely a great place for photo ops! We wrapped up the evening with some bar hopping then back to their casa.

We woke up early, said our see you laters and made our way to Orlando for the next part of our adventure…

Savannah, Georgia

It’s October 24, 2019, a gorgeous day with very few clouds scattered through the blue sky, the 4 of us cozied up in the Subie. Cruising down the I-95 South from Congaree National Park to go spend a night in the lovely and historic Savannah, Georgia.

Traveling with dogs is serious business. We turned our back seat into a big bed for both our pups to be able to lay out comfortably. Being in the car for long periods of time, we had to be mindful of making sure the boys stayed hydrated and fed. I kept treats and a water bottle up front along with some poop bags for when the boys had to handle business. Fortunately, they both are amazing in the car and sleep each ride away.

We arrived at our hotel in the early afternoon, checked in and cleaned up from our night of camping in the forest. It comes as no surprise, we were dirty. We took the pups for a walk, got them fed and settled in for the night, then drove over to start our evening at Forsyth Park. Something that I like to do when traveling is look up the location on Pinterest and then ask a local. I have found so many incredible suggestions from other bloggers that helped us narrow down what we wanted to do in each area. Pinterest recommended checking out Forsyth Park so that was where we went!

Wow, this park felt enchanted, filled with live oaks (Quercus virginiana) covered in spanish moss that arched throughout the park. There stands the Forsyth Fountain which I learned is not unique, it was actually ordered from a catalog and over 150 years old. Another fun fact, they put green dye in the water on St. Patrick’s Day. The two of us strolled around the park, taking in the scenery & learning the history (there is a lot). The park hosts concerts, festivals & a weekly farmers market. We went back to the car to head downtown for our next history lesson.

With the help of a local and Pinterest, we were told to check out Savannah’s Squares. There once was 24 squares, now 22 remain. You can stumble across the many historic and educational squares just by walking around, Savannah’s streets are made up of a grid, so it is super easy to get around. We weren’t able to go to all of them, but made our way to quite a few. We learned loads of history at each square and were able to see a few strangers along the way, playing a variety of different instruments. The live music really set the mood for the evening in this hip & quaint town.

Trace and I walked, skipped and danced along the streets of Savannah. This place was another cobblestone dream, so old-fashioned and romantic. Ecstatic from the variety of stores and fun underground souvenir shops. Getting hungry, I looked up a few food places on Pinterest and then as we went through the shops, asked each local a suggestion for food. We went into one last last souvenir shop, right off the water and bought a magnet for our collection. As we were checking out, we asked the storekeeper a suggestion on a good place to eat. We found our match, she suggested Treylor Park, a restaurant that was recommended by a different local and a Pinterest blogger.

Lucky for us, the wait to get a seat wasn’t long. The inside area was small, our seats were out back in their cozy beer garden. We were really diggin’ the ambiance out back, with string lights hung above us and the night sky peeking through. They even had the movie Cocktail playing, a Tom Cruise classic. Our server had excellent customer service and let us know about their great deal of adding a shot to any draft beer for just 2 bucks, bring on the picklebacks! A pickleback is a shot of whiskey chased with pickle juice. Don’t knock it until you try it! It completely takes away the burn of the alcohol. Ready for some food, we ordered up some of their nachos grande and shrimp & grits tacos to share. The park did not lie about the nachos being grande, perfect for sharing. They were both delicious, but the nachos knocked it out of the park for us! The thick creamy cheddar cheese with chive ranch was to die for. Get in my belly! Needless to say, we were in a food/beer coma. I highly recommend eating and grabbing a drink here!

After a little more strolling around, the two of us made our way to the car and drove back to the hotel. We needed some rest before making our drive to Hollywood, Florida in the morning. I wish we would have planned for more time here. It was incredible, one of my very favorite cities in the country. Until next time!

New Music Friday – Glass Animals

It has been 4 years since the indie-pop band from the U.K., Glass Animals has released an album and I have been anxiously waiting for Dreamland to be released! The day is here! Do you like a psychedelic-pop sound that you can feel through your entire body? We could all use some feel goods during this crazy time. Glass Animals has once again created an album of art, pure gold. With bits from the lead singer Dave Bayley’s old home videos, including a recording of his mum’s voice. A unique and beautiful masterpiece. They are one of my favorite bands of the decade. Check them out A.S.A.P. Rocky.

South Carolina

It’s October 22, 2019 a slightly foggy and misty morning. At this point, we had been on the road for 52 days. We got up early and loaded up the Subie to make the 3 1/2 hour drive from Southern Pines, N.C. to Charleston, South Carolina. Where we would spend the night in an Airbnb before heading to Congaree National Park to camp. The Carolina’s were something special.

The fam pulled into the Airbnb and noticed the street name was the same name as my Grandmother’s maiden name who had recently passed, it made it feel a little like home. We dropped the dogs off and headed to The Battery area of the lovely Charleston. Oh all the wonderful things we had heard about Charleston and we were ready for a history lesson. The drive through Rainbow Row was neat, a row of pastel-colored homes that were built in the 1700’s with ordinary colors and restored in the 1900’s with bright colors. The Battery is known for its historic war memorabilia dated back to the Civil War & beautiful scenery. It is right off the waters of the Ashley & Cooper Rivers that meet and flow into the sea and wow, what a gorgeous view!

Our tummies were grumbling, our queue to go get something to eat. Downtown Charleston had a hip and happening feel to it. Everyone was in their best dressed attire. It felt like all business, not just business in the front, party in the back. Another place that we fell in love with! We strolled around the area window shopping until we decided on some tacos and beer at Beer Works. I would highly recommend checking this place out, a small sports bar with great customer service and a damn good taco. We had our hearts set on Mellow Mushroom for the final course because it is my favorite pizza joint in the south. Each Mellow Mushroom I have been to gives a unique experience, funky hippy-like interior decorating that will make you feel like there was another type of mushroom on the pizza. Their homemade crust is to die for, seriously so good. I was recommended the mighty meaty pizza with a drizzle of BBQ sauce the first time I went there and have gladly stuck with it. We made our way back to the Airbnb to hang with the pups and get some rest.

Rise & shine, we had the idea to walk to the coffee shop down the street, Highfalutin Coffee Roasters and we were not disappointed. Another good find! What else was something local we could try before going camping? You guessed it, doughnuts! Duck Donuts to be exact. They weren’t actually local to South Carolina, but they were to North Carolina so that counts. They had a large variety to choose from and both that we tried were tasty!

Finally, we were off to Congaree National Park in Hopkins, S.C. to spend the night out in nature. We pulled up to Longleaf Campground and to our surprise, there was only 1 other person camping and another in their converted van. This was cool and also a little creepy being in a national park with so little people. A new experience for us. The gentleman camping informed us about banana spiders (Nephila) and to be on the lookout because they sit on their giant webs between trees, right where you could possibly walk through and end up with one all up on your face! They typically won’t bother humans unless they are feeling threatened. He wasn’t wrong though, there were several throughout the park and even one chilling at our campsite. We set up our tent, blew up the air mattress (still intact with flex seal), cozied up our tent-home and then headed to the self-guided boardwalk trail. There were several trails to choose from, we chose this one because it was dog friendly and only 2.6 miles roundtrip, perfect for our little Riley who can’t hike as far as he used to. The pups were loving it! What a beautiful walk it was, crossing through what felt like an enchanted forest/jungle. Full of several species of trees including water tupelos, loblolly pines, oaks, maples & holly. A truly magical place.

Back to our campground we went. It was time to pull out the camping stove and make some of our famous chili! Not really famous, but those around us know how good it is. Made with ground chicken instead of beef and topped with some chili cheese Fritos, yes please! It was getting late so we moved into the tent to play some Sequence and watch Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist on our laptop. Our go to camping snacks are almond M&M’s and Twin Snakes. Trace was the champ at Sequence this time! During the movie, we started hearing these crazy sounds that sounded like wild animals fighting and chanting out in the jungle. Sounds neither of us had heard in our life. We were spooked, so we decided to sleep with our hatchet. That’s logical, right? The sounds happened one more time in the middle of the night. I cannot express enough the amount of fear that filled every ounce of my body. Somehow we managed to fall asleep and woke up in the morning, not attacked by animals in the jungle. We were just fine! Something to laugh about now haha.

We cooked up some breakfast on the stove, put on some tunes and started packing up the tent. “Work it Out by Jurassic 5 feat. Dave Matthews Band” came on and all of a sudden all these birds above us in the trees, started chirping and singing. It was like a scene out of Cinderella. I wish that I would have recorded it, it was incredible and made our morning. Out of all the songs we played, that was the one that got the birds moving and grooving. It was time to load up the subie again and we were off to Savannah, Georgia…

North Carolina

Trekking the country in a Subaru Forester is no joke. If you want a reliable and spacious vehicle for any and all travels, I highly recommend it! Our subie has been with us on many of our adventures across the country and it has not lead us astray.

Driving through North Carolina was a dream for me! I have a deep love for all the trees in the world. I feel connected to them. There were so many, you constantly felt like you were in a forest.

We were on our way to visit Trace’s brother Josh and his girlfriend Nicholl, who lives in Southern Pines. Josh planned for us to spend the weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. He found a hidden gem Airbnb campground called “Baying Hound Campground” for us to pitch our tents. North Carolina had been on our bucket lists for many moons so we were stoked! It was only $25 a night and pet friendly if you are tent camping. They had these funky truck beds with the shell that they turned into your own private room and even an out house for handling business! The part I loved most about the campground was the community fire pit. We met several rad people throughout the weekend and got some helpful tips and suggestions on places to check out on our trip. All from hanging out around a fire talking to strangers.

We took the pups and hiked to Catawba Falls. A very mild hike and absolutely stunning in the rain. Riley (our 17 year old dog) hiked most of it, slowly and with a little help from mom and dad and he was golden! Brutus (our 8 year old dog) trekked along as happy as could be. We like to call him FOMO because he insists on being by our sides and part of the fun 24/7! FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out.

After our hike, we stopped by Trader Joe’s and picked up some grub to cook on our camping stove back at camp. The night consisted of steaks, rice, peppers & hummus, drinks and memories being made. Morning came, we packed up and headed into town to get a drink and see some street art. Asheville must be a mecca for any and all street artists. The creativity and exquisite detail in the art was incredible! I don’t see graffiti as vandalism when it is so beautifully done. Asheville’s theme/slogan is “stay weird!” So we made sure to do just that. Being weird is much better than being ordinary. We drove over to White Duck Taco Shop – Josh claimed that these tacos were amazing. They weren’t our favorite, but they have many options to choose from so maybe the ones we picked weren’t on par.

We made the drive back to Southern Pines to spend the week in that area. When we got back to Josh’s house, we discovered there was a tiny hole in our air mattress, great. Well lucky for us, we had flex seal! Haha no, but seriously. We sprayed the shit out of that hole and let it dry for several hours and it worked! Our time in Southern Pines consisted of driving around the area, eating local grub, getting quality family time and hitting up 2 bouldering gyms. Triangle Rock Club and The Climbing Place, both in Fayetteville. They weren’t too shabby, but definitely made us miss Momentum from back home in Utah. Got to keep your fitness in check while on the road! Especially with all the tasty local food we were feasting on.

Southern Pines is a cute little town amongst the woods. We walked downtown with the pups (we let Riley stay back and relax his little legs) and hung out at Southern Pines Growler Co. while enjoying some local beer on tap, yum! They had an outdoor patio so the dogs could hang out and enjoy the day with us. The downtown area of Southern Pines is so cute and quaint! The cobblestone gave it that old school vibe that we love. Other days included trying some of the local coffee shops. Started with Pony Espresso then Swank, Java Bean Plantation & Frankie’s Southern Grinds. Frankie’s had the best customer service and some sweet delish coffee! One of our favorite spots for pizza in the area was SoPies, it was so bomb that we had it twice. Nom nom. If I had one weakness, it would be pizza. Without a doubt! I can’t forget these amazing crepes that we had at Betsy’s Crepes. I’m talking nutella and white chocolate melted into a crepe and topped with fluffy marshmallows with a side of coffee in a Hooters mug. It’s the little things.

We played cards, caught up on sleep, laughed, cried, shopped at the Hairy Teets for the next part of our journey. I started calling the Harris Teeter Hairy Teets after hearing Josh call it that several times haha it just kind of stuck. We cleaned Josh’s house, like good guests should do and we were gone. Off to South Carolina we go..

Life – Era 2020

It has been several months. I want to say I have had “writer’s block”, but I am not a writer. What I have experienced, is a complete change to what I have known as life being “normal”. I have been stunned and often times left speechless at what is going on in the world. So this is new life, okay, breathe.

I am an empath and I care about others hardships and really do not enjoy seeing people hurt. My heart has felt extremely heavy. It doesn’t matter if it’s COVID, people discussing politics, black lives matter, masks, plastic straws, or even the way the media portrays what is going on in the world. Someone always has an opinion, which is fine.. but come on people.. Why are we attacking people for a different opinion other than our own? Isn’t what we want is to be able to think for ourselves? And not be forced into thinking a certain way..? Is it really that hard for people to open their minds?

As someone who was born in the United States of America and have lived here all of my life, I have never felt more divided. I don’t feel like we are united at all.

We live in a time where you have to question EVERYTHING. You have to do your own research to determine if a news article is legitimate. Or even a post on social media. People so blindly re-share something that they read without even digging down to find out if it is the truth. And this is a problem.

I don’t know the resolution. I am one person that doesn’t always know how to use my voice. If there is one thing that has been great amongst all the chaos in the world.. it is that I have been educating myself in greater depth on a lot of the issues going on. I have learned a lot. More than I ever even comprehended was out there. It has made me sick to my stomach and I am only scratching at the surface.

Sometimes it has to get worse before it can get better. It isn’t too late. Let’s all be kinder to each other and not forget what simple kindness can do. Acknowledge when a fellow citizen is experiencing pain and injustice. If you don’t know something, educate yourself. Lucky for us, we live in a time where a simple Google search is at our fingertips.

We are all living in this historic time together and now more than ever, we need to come together. Again, it is not too late.

Virginia Beach

Looking for a getaway on the coast? Relax in a cute beach town where you can stick your toes in the soft sand and watch the waves crash. Wake up to the sunrise looking like a fire on the horizon. Virginia Beach is the place to be!

After visiting D.C., Trace & I decided to make way to Virginia Beach since it is only 3 1/2 hours away. If you are looking for a beach front hotel that is pet friendly and serves breakfast, I recommend staying at the Residence Inn by Marriott. You cannot beat the views right from your room! Once we got checked in, we put our pups in the room and headed to the car to grab our belongings. When we got back to the room and tried to get in, our cute German Shepherd Brutus managed to lock the latch on the inside and we were locked out haha. That was a bit stressful, but also impressive! Luckily, the manager had just the tool to pop the door open for us.

Our hotel had a full kitchen so we headed to the Harris Teeter grocery store to make some dinner and watch the Patriots game (Trace is a Pats fan). The next morning, we got up and needed a caffeine boost so we went to Perked Up! Cafe. Their coffee and breakfast sandwiches were so damn good and what a cute place it was! We spent some time walking along the beach and scoping out the local shops for souvenirs. We requested a late check out and then packed up the Subie to make our way to North Carolina.

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