Fall Feels

Autumn is a wonderful time of year; the air is brisk, the colors are vibrant and the clothes are cozy as can be. This weekend truly felt like fall with my loved ones.

Witches Night Out

My parents live where I grew up (Fenton, Michigan) and recently moved into the oldest home downtown. On Friday night, we dressed up as witches and spent the night shopping, drinking and dining in costume!

Pumpkin Patch

My little sister and I went to a giant pumpkin patch in Saginaw. Aniya and I escaped from the corn maze in 40 minutes (our new record!) and had lots of hot cider on such a cold and windy day!

Brunch in Downtown Flint

Say what you want about Flint, but their downtown is booming and better than ever. The Flint Crepe Co. never disappoints, especially when you can order all of the gluten-free goodness your heart desires. The company didn’t hurt either, because my best friend Danielle always has me crying from laughter! There’s even some new murals downtown.

Apple Orchard

Nothing screams fall more than visiting an apple orchard, getting some donuts and strolling around with your mom and pup!

I hope you’re enjoying autumn as much as we are!

Happy Birthday to my Favorite Cousin!

Katy, who is three years younger than me and lives miles away, has been a sister to me for a very long time.

I’m not close with a lot of my extended family members (for reasons I won’t mention here), so having a third-cousin who is more like a sibling means the world to me. Every single time we reunite, we pick up right where we left off.

Words can’t express how much I love this lady! Katy, if you’re reading this, I’m blessed to know you and call you a friend and sister. Happy birthday!

We’ve had many amazing memories over the years, and we’re guaranteed to have many more 🙂

The Bay Area with Bae

Two weekends ago, Juan and I flew all the way to Oakland, California for a one-day music festival. One of our favs, Lane 8, performed at an all-day event in the middle of the city (I can’t emphasize how rad this was)! No phones were allowed and it was a truly immersive experience.

The only photos I have from our weekend away aren’t even from Oakland: they’re from San Francisco.

Juan has never been to the Golden Gate Bridge, so obviously we had to take a detour. When I visited two years ago, it was clear and sunny outside (see below):

When we visited two weekends ago, however, that wasn’t the case…

Regardless, we still had a great time and made the most of our foggy day!

Pro tip: do not get the croissants at the visitors center (Juan said they were hella stale).

“Let’s raise our glasses and lower our expectations” – Geoffrey Zakarian – Cate Spader

MontREAL Fun!

A few weeks ago, I planned the most epic bachelorette weekend ever (and when I say “epic,” I mean something along the lines of a “grandmas who like to drink a lot” kind of vibe)!

The seven of us celebrated Carolyn’s love for Ryan by… eating the classiest brunch in Old Montréal. We all ordered savory dishes, and mine consisted of salmon, cauliflower purée, cranberries and greens.

After the boozy brunch, we wandered the streets of Old Montréal; this immediately reminded Carolyn and me of our time in southern France. All of us were on the same page and ended up at a street festival with tons of food trucks, zip lines and happy people. We even rode the giant ferris wheel, which is comparable to the London Eye.

Even though our night out at the comedy club and bowling were pretty low-key for a bachelorette party, we had a riot! Prior to going out, we played some drinking games in the hotel and were able to get to know each other quite well!

The next day, we visited Ontario Street (aka: where all the hipsters live). It was a different vibe for sure, but I loved it regardless. I felt like I was in a different city or country all together. We had another wonderful brunch and spent the afternoon on a pedal bar tour.

If you haven’t been on a pedal bar tour, you need to! My brother and I did this last summer in Portland, and both times were absolutely awesome! Whether you’re with one person or several, you’re going to have a good time with the others you’re pedaling with 🙂

We had two bachelorette parties on our bike, so we all knew we were in for a fun time!

I can’t wait to see these wonderful ladies at Carolyn’s wedding this month!

Halfway through 2019

2019 has been a year of turbulence and exhaustion as opposed to the year of happiness and fun that I was hoping for. But I’m going to look at my worn-out, busted glass as half-full…

This year has been filled with:

Jazz music

Quality time with the ‘rents

Concerts

Trevor Noah

Quality time with my best friend and my Little Sister

Selfies with the pup

A sick honeymoon

Bark in the Park

Carolyn’s amazing bridal shower

I’m hoping that the rest of 2019 is full of weekend getaways, more quality time with loved ones and music!

And if not…

“Let’s raise our glasses and lower our expectations” – Geoffrey Zakarian – Cate Spader

Tortoise Conservation

As anticipated, I saw some large creatures in the Galápagos; however, I didn’t expect to see tortoises up close. Manolo also took Juan and I to another destination we couldn’t skip, which was filled with these native species.

Interestingly enough, “galapago” meant “saddle” in Spanish, which described the shells on these animals’ backs.

Tortoises can actually live up to 150 years (the average lifespan being 120 on the islands). They can also weigh up to 250 pounds for females and 500 pounds for males! At this facility, the young tortoises between the ages of one and five are separated: fed individually, heavily cared for and combined with the older tortoises at age five.

Although the tortoises have it good on San Cristobal Island now, it wasn’t always this way (it was actually quite tragic). When Darwin visited the islands in 1835, he noticed that these creatures were so large and had lots of meat on them; tens of thousands of tortoises were slaughtered and consumed by himself and others he knew.

Thankfully this isn’t still happening today!