Travel meals + sights: San Diego.

Yesterday was the longest day I’ve had in quite a while. Time changes will do that to ya! My day started dark & early at 3:55. I jumped in the shower, threw on the clothes (already laid out, praise the Lord) and was out the door by 4:35.

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One sleepy flight later, and I made it to Chicago for my layover. Hungry & caffeine deprived, I wandered around the airport for a while before grabbing a coffee and enjoying the breakfast I had packed. It was a mix of all the leftovers in my fridge: carrots, cucumbers, eggs, salsa, and avocado. It was a random combination but ended up being pretty tasty! Followed by a banana + almond butter I had stashed in my backpack.

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Next up: A second flight (4:30 hours this time) where I tried to sleep but mostly listened to music and worked on my medical school applications– it’s almost time to submit them!

By the time I made it out to San Diego, I had been awake for 11 hours, but it was only 11 am CA time, so there was a lot of day ahead of me!

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^^can’t beat yoga pants for travel^^

I met up with my research partner– that’s why I’m in San Diego! For the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, to present research I did over the past year. We checked into our hotel and then headed out in search of food ASAP. It was way past ‘normal’ lunch time for us east coasters but unfortunately it was right in the lunch time rush for all the Californians, so every where we went was crowded with a huge wait.

We ended up at a cool Mexican place Don Chido, with lots of paleo/gluten free options. I got carne asada and pollo asado tacos served in lettuce wraps with a side salad. I was so hungry I grabbed a few corn chips and salsa as well (but only after learning that they cook them in house and there is not cross contamination with gluten!). I don’t normally eat chips, but I am  on vacation, plus I definitely needed the calories!

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^^carne asada, I think I love you^^

After registering at the conference and checking it out a little, we stumbled back to the hotel, exhausted and shocked that it was still only 2:30 pm! I rested for a little before doing an hour walk, just to stretch the legs.

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^showered and ready to explore some more. But also, I was half asleep as I got ready for dinner^

We hung out in the hotel lobby for a little, enjoying the free food + drinks at the ‘evening reception’. There are so many people here for the conference, it was fun to scope out the scene. Around 7 I was really fading (too many hours awake!) so we headed out for a quick dinner.

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Wedge salad (no cheese) for me + grilled chicken. I didn’t want anything to heavy because I knew I was going to fall asleep as soon as we made it back to our room– which I did. Bed by 8:55? Don’t mind if I do.

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A Whirlwind of Travel: WIAW

This past week I have been in South Carolina, North Carolina, back to SC, up to Maryland, and finally home to New York. I have been at a bridal shower, a christmas light parade, and a wedding. Not to mention staying in a little cabin in the middle-of-nowhere South Carolina and stopping in Baltimore for family time!

check out Peas and Crayons for more WIAW posts!

Thursday: walk, breakfast, driving, shopping/exploring, dinner, bridal shower.

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^^breakfast at our local crepe place before the travel. coffee was also copiously consumed.^^

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^^when we arrived in Winston Salem, we explored the beautiful original settlement of Old Salem. I loved the old houses, and lots of quirky little stores.^^

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^^Lunch, eaten at a new cafe Harpsichord in Old Salem.

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^^finally– dinner at the Diamondback Grille. It’s a farm to table restaurant in Winston Salem, and I loved it. Best grilled chicken I’ve had in a really long time!^^

Friday: drive, eat, shop, drive, eat, sleep.

Friday we arrived in Neeses, SC for my friend’s wedding the following night. I am being completely honest when I say I have never been so out in the middle of nowhere in my life.  We stayed at the reception location, in a tiny little cabin, and it was deserted. 20 minutes to the nearest restaurant (that wasn’t a fast food place) and basically nothing closer than the 45 minutes to Columbia (the capital of SC). It was quite the experience, and we tucked in to our cabins pretty early to paint nails and watch TV.

Saturday: eat, shop, craft, wedding.

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^^we drove 20 minutes Saturday mooring to go to a Southern classic– Cracker Barrel.^^

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^^Cutting the cake! It was a beautiful wedding and I am so glad that I was able to attend. I felt bad for my mom & friend though… there wasn’t much to do while I was at the reception.^^

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^^my plates. Mashed sweet potatoes with buttah <3, and a stuffed cucumber with goat cheese & tomatoes. second plate: some cheese, spinach and artichoke dip, bruschetta, and regular mashed potatoes with bacon and cheese. there weren’t a ton of gluten free options, but I was satisfied and my taste buds were pretty happy too ;)^^

Sunday: drive eat, drive drive drive, eat sleep. 

On Sunday, our 10 hour journey took us from SC up to Baltimore, MD– where my sister, brother, aunt, uncle, and cousin were all waiting for a delicious dinner and hang time together.

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^^not too shabby for a hotel view.^^

Monday: coffee with mom, workout, pack, breakfast, drive, HOME, dinner, sleep.

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^^I finally got a workout in Monday morning (after 4 days off– travel is hectic!) and it felt so good. I did sprints, a little circuit triaging and some straight strength work.^^

Now I am back home and off to enjoy Christmas Eve (just waiting for the siblings to wake up now…)

Questions of the day:

What are you celebrating this holiday season?

Do you workout every day when you travel, or take more time off?

wedding weekend in LA!

Hey guys! It’s been a while. School has been crazy, and right in the midst of applying to medical schools, submitting a research abstract (hello days and night s spent in the lab) and multiple tests… my cousin got married. It was an amazing trip out to Los Angeles to visit my family and see the wedding. I was exhausted last week, after getting back and having 3 tests the next day, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

The wedding was in a house overlooking the valley of Los Angeles, and the view was spectacular. I thought it was beautiful during the ceremony, but it was even more spectacular when the sun went down. The wedding was very DIY and basically the exact wedding you see on Pinterest and think you want to recreate but never could.

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^The beginning… #ryanandgenie^

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^my date for the night was this stunner. AMT, my big sister!^

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^what a family.^

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^sass runs in our blood.^

The ceremony was about 20 minutes, and their heartfelt vows had at least half (more like 90%) of us in tears. After that, it was drinks and appetizers in the front of the house, then back out to the yard for food, dancing, and great company! I was definitely running on the energy around me- I had only barely been in Los Angeles for 24 hours at this point!

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^the first dance. it was perfect, and completely un-choreographed (much to my surprise!)^

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^a night time view over the valley.^

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^we love each other!!!!^

The next morning, we all re-gathered for a family brunch. I was basically starving at this point between the exhaustion + dancing the night away + the vegetarian wedding (which was delicious, i just didn’t eat much. soy chorizo, not my thing!). The brunch hit the spot, and it was great to see everyone again before we all headed home.

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^old cousins, new cousins^

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^the last picture I snagged with the married couple!^

It was an amazing weekend, and the first cousin to get married. How exciting! I have at least 2 wedding to go to in the next year, and after this wonderful weekend, I can’t wait for the festivities to continue! 

Thinking Out Loud: Repeats.

I had so much fun sharing my Pinterest loves last week, that I decided to do it again this week as I Think Out Loud. Enjoy y’all!

1. This amazing gluten free marbled chocolate banana bread– from Robyn at The Real Life RD (awesome blog y’all should check out!). I will be making this on Day 31 of my whole30 😍.

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2. Tonight my Bible Study is getting together to watch Frozen. Yep. 10 women, all over 21, having a Frozen movie night. No shame. If y’all remember, this is also what I did the night of my last birthday. I’m pretty excited!

3. I am a traveling girl at heart. Give me a road trip, a day trip, an adventure, somewhere to explore and I am in. This chart seems like something I need to do in my lifetime.mc-random-2812

 

4. Or this. The boy and I have it in our plans to go hiking/camping sometime this summer but with all our DAT + MCAT studying//research//jobs//applications we haven’t quite found the time yet..sigh.. a girl can dream.

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5. I am taking one of my friends to workout for the first time today. In her words she wants to work “Butt and Abs”, aka what every girl wants. I’m excited to help someone new get into fitness. I hope I can show her how fun it is!

I think I’ll take her through something similar to this “Burnin’ Legs and Abs Circuit” from Julie @ PB Fingers.

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Questions of the day:

What’s on your mind this week?

Do you ever workout with friends?

Thinking Out Loud: Current Wants.

I am pretty much addicted to Pinterest. I don’t pin as much as I used to, but there aren’t many days that go by where I don’t spend at least 5-10 minutes checking out the Pinterest scene. So today, I’m sharing my Thinking Out Loud pin style, enjoy.

1. Summer fashion! I want all the clothes. Except most of my time now is spent in a research lab or working in my apartment.. guess I don’t need all the clothes, sigh, but I can still look.

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2. I am lusting after so many travel destinations. Especially parks. I am ready for some camping/hiking. Luckily I am leading two camping trips at the end of the summer, so I have that to look forward to!

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Wayag Islands, Papua, Raja Ampat Indonesia

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Calabria, Italy

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Glacier National Park

3. Decorating for my fall apartment is in full swing. At least in my imagination. It’s all beach themed, and I love it. There are so many crafts to be done!

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4. It’s rainy this morning for the first time in a while–it usually rains in the afternoon when I’m studying anyway and don’t mind. Now I’m stranded from my morning walk, but on the plus side, I’m getting this post up earlier than usual!

5. I have been craving ice cream for the past 2 weeks, but haven’t been able to convince anyone to go get some with me. Yesterday I finally got some frozen yogurt and it was the bomb. I tried the “Pancakes and Bacon” flavor which sounds really weird but just tasted like maple deliciousness. It was a toppings kind of night.

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6. Two of my best friends will be back in town this weekend and I am super excited. I love hanging with my boys, but I miss having girls around! Girl power.3735b9416400fd128ad719a154d6d433

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Questions of the day:

Do you love pinterest?

What are your wants lately?

Kinky Boots, Matilda, and lots of NYC fun.

On Saturday morning, my mom and I headed into NYC for an overnight stay with my aunt and cousin. We stayed in ‘Le Parker Meridien’ and it was lovely.

First of all- the hotel’s colors were white and orange , so I was already sold (orange is my favorite!). The closet was spacious, and the beds were big & comfortable.

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My favorite part though, was the bathroom. It was all stone, and the shower didn’t have a door, just a long glass wall. The cut out at the end is where the towels were. Everything felt so elegant and I definitely felt pampered.

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Unfortunately, I was sick all Saturday morning. I barely made the car ride. Basically I was nauseous and threw up multiple times. It was out of the blue and no fun at all. After we arrived at our hotel around 10 am, I laid down and drank some ginger ale. A little bit later, I was able to eat a little, and finally felt like a normal person again.

Just in time for us to head out to Matilda! It was so so cute and fun. I was blown away by how talented all the children were. They’re around 9 years old, but they can dance, sing, and act like any other Broadway star. Incredible. And I just left with feeling so happy and uplifted.

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After Matilda, we wandered around for a while before finding a cute place to enjoy dinner. We ate at 44 1/2 in Hell’s Kitchen. It was American cuisine, but I would say it had a modern spin.

I was pretty starving by the time we got here, considering the only things I had kept down were a mini ginger ale and some sourdough toast. My mom and I started off by splitting a spinach salad. It was spinach, blue cheese, prosciutto, marinated pears, and a poached egg. It was delicious. I didn’t go for the poached egg, but it was an interesting spin.

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For my entree, I ordered scalloped with vegetables. The scallops were actually my first, ever. They were fresh, and delicious. The texture wasn’t what I was expecting but I think I can definitely see more scallops in my future. The only downside was that this dish was relatively small, and I could have used more food.

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After dinner, it was time to head over to our second show of the day- Kinky Boots! This musical was so much fun, so energetic. Plus- the first song was “The Most Beautiful Thing in the World, is a Shoe” so I was pretty much sold after the first 5 minutes!

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NYC by night.

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On Sunday morning, my mom and I were both up early, so we decided to take a walk through Central Park. That was the other great thing about Le Parker Meridien- we were less than 2 blocks over from Central Park!

For brunch, we ate at Norma’s a top NYC brunch restaurant, that was right in Le Parker Meridien. The choices were delicious and so creative. Everything from eggs and bacon to french toast to a $100 dollar Caviar Lobster Frittata (with the $1000 dollar option if you want the 10 oz of caviar). I went with the Arepa (a corn pancake-esque thing) and eggs. I didn’t eat the sausage but I did steal some of my mom’s french toast. You should check out Norma’s if you are in NYC!

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My beautiful cousin Taylor and I.

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One last view of Time’s Square as we made our way to the train station for the ride home.

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Another lovely weekend in NYC. I am so fortunate to live so close to this amazing city!

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Another good day in NYC.

On Saturday, my mom and I decided to make an impromptu trip into the city and have a little adventure for ourselves.

Bright and early, we hopped into the car and made our way into the city. The drive was quick and easy- probably because no one besides us is crazy enough to be adventuring at 8 am on a Saturday…just a guess.

To start the morning, we ran by the Chelsea Market. Most of the shops were still closed, but it’s always fun just to window shop.

Next, we headed over the High Line. I’ve always wanted to check it out, but never have. The High Line is the revamped site of a historic freight rail line over the streets of the West side.

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These pictures speak for themselves but…it was gorgeous on the High Line. There are plants everywhere, and some beautiful overlooks.

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This amazing painting was one of the best things we saw. An old classic made new!

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We stopped by Tenth Avenue Cookshop for brunch. I had the Huevos Rancheros- eggs, salsa, beans, and cheese. I couldn’t finish it all, but it was awesome nonetheless.

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The rest of the morning was filled with a long walk downtown –> Times Square, enjoying the sights. After that, we hopped on the TKTs line (discounted broadway tickets) and were able to If/Then– the musical Idina Menzel is currently starring in.

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After grabbing some water, we walked around and then headed to our show. Idina Menzel sang so well- and the rest of the cast was amazing too. The story line wasn’t the most fascinating ever, but the performance was outstanding.

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When we came out of the show, it was pouring rain. My mom and I hopped on the subway to get downtown. We were both pretty hungry- considering we hadn’t eaten since brunch! We ended up back at the Chelsea Market to have a quick bite. I had some salmon from a little market, and my mom grabbed a delicious sandwich.

The drive home went (surprisingly) without much traffic. By the time we got home, however, I was starving again. All the NYC walking + way less food than usual made me a hangry girl!

Snacks to round out the night (while I caught up on some studying at my computer):

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^^Gluten Free Banana Bread, almond butter, and chocolate chips^^

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^^Popcorn. Always a winner^^

It was an amazing day with my mom, and definitely a good mental break from all the time I’ve been spending with my MCAT notes!

Where’s your favorite place for a day trip?

And: check out the Treat Yourself Tuesday for more fun posts!

New Orleans is pretty cool: Days 1 +2

Friday morning, I was up bright and early to head off to New Orleans. Easter 2014- New Orleans with my Dad and brother. My amazing twin is a Marine in the Marine Corps Band of New Orleans (1 of 10 in the country).

That meant an early morning on Friday, I was up and at ’em. I headed over to the gym around 5:30…only to find out they weren’t opening till 8 because of the holiday. No problem though, I headed back and did a circuit workout in my apartment. Quick &sweaty, just what I wanted!

These knees made it a little more challenging. Guess I haven’t quite learned to walk yet. Or I got attacked by a bear. But probably the first one.

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Workout done.
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I had a quick breakfast and then headed off to the airport. IMG_5095My layover was pretty short, but I enjoyed a quick walk around the airport to stretch my legs. Once I arrived in New Orleans, I met up with my Dad, rented a car, and we headed off to explore. The night was simple, catching up with my brother, walking around the park, enjoying each other’s company!

Saturday morning, we were up and moving early, off to see my brother perform at the Crescent City Classic 10K.

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The race went right in front of the St. Louis Catherdral and Jackson Square, two iconic parts of the New Orleans French Quarter.

My dad and I watched for about an hour as the brass band (and my awesome brother) performed. I was lucky enough to be serenaded by the Marines as their “Guest of Honor”- it was so sweet!

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^^Don’t they look snappy? The best!^^

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^^My amazing twin is the one rocking out on his trombone^^

After the race, and the clean up, we picked my brother up from his base and headed back downtown to grab some lunch. I was practically starved by this point and happy for any food at all. We went to a little restaurant in the French Quarter and it was great.

I had blackened chicken on a greek salad, and I braved some of the crawfish appetizer we ordered. We also had some Fried Green Tomatoes, a southern staple!

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The rest of our afternoon was spent exploring New Orleans and just taking in the gorgeous weather, and each other’s company.

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Unfortunately, my brother had to head back to base early evening to pack up a few more instruments for the band’s big trip the next day. My dad and I used the time to go for a long walk around the base (and look at all the big planes) before relaxing in our room a little. I did a circuit workout, and it felt great to move a little.

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For dinner, we just headed to a local place in Belle Chasse and enjoyed some Mexican food. Salad + shrimp- don’t mind if I do!

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To finish off the night, we practiced taking selfies… or just taught my Dad about them. It was a great night, only dimmed by the fact that my twin had to leave the next morning!

Did you travel for Easter?

Tybee Island- Spring Break 2014! The quick version.

Spring Break. A wonderful and crazy week.

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The Overview:

Friday: Hanging out with the friends.

Saturday: Packing, work out, date with the boy, dinner with friends.

Sunday: Brunch, then off to Tybee Island, GA with the gang!

Monday: Beach all day, 3 hour Bachelor Finale (so not a JP fan anymore!) with my girl, hanging the rest of the night.

Tuesday: Beach day, hammocking, playing around the house.

Wednesday: Beach with another house of Furman kids (staying ~30 min from us), dinner out at the Tybee Social Club (amazing).

Thursday: Freezing day around Savannah (ok 55- but thats 15+ degrees colder than the first days we were there!). We went into Savannah, ate at Paula Dean’s restaurant, and did a walking tour.

Friday: Headed back to South Carolina!

Saturday-Sunday: Unpacking, homework, groceries, and movies with the friends.

Workouts:

Being healthy is a priority for me, and honestly it just makes me feel good. I didn’t eat as clean + healthy as I normally do, but working out was one thing I was able to keep up.

I mostly did walks/runs in the mornings before everyone else was up. One day that was 3 miles, one day 6, another day 4… whatever I was feeling.

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I also fit in some circuit workouts when we were just around the house (and when I watched the Bachelor! There’s an awesome Bachelor workout that had me sweating)!

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Fun:

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^^Paula Dean knows butter and sugar. Can’t argue with that.^^

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^^My favorite boy. It was awesome to hang out and not have work to do all week!^^

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^^Beach days = minimal makeup, and the simplest outfits possible^^

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^^So windy in Savannah! This is the only semi-decent picture we took!^^

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^^A walking tour that allows beer? Our boys were in heaven.^^

Eats:

We cooked dinners as a group, which definitely cut down on costs. I tried to keep breakfast and lunch as healthy as possible, but went with whatever I was feeling!

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Savannah:

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River Street Sweets has the most amazing pralines!

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I loved this store and if I was a millionaire, I would have bought everything.

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The City Hall of Savannah. Not too shabby.

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The largest oak in Savannah!

I recommend Savannah to anyone looking for a new vacation spot, or somewhere fun to explore. It’s close to the beach, really historic, and just fun! I hear it’s also pretty haunted if you’re into that (I am 100% not.).

Any fun vacations coming up?

The Happiest Place On Earth

Yesterday morning was the beginning of an exciting weekend for me! I spent the morning packing things up and doing some homework. Before I knew it, it was time to get on my way. A friend drove me to the airport, so I didn’t have to worry about parking or leaving my car there.

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^^I went for comfy on this trip. I wore my favorite GapFit gFlex pants— they are super comfortable + flattering {always a bonus!} with the shirt for my boyfriend’s Semi-Formal this weekend. I am so sad to be missing it 😥 but he is so supportive and happy for me to be running the half marathon. We’ll still have formal!^^

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^^breakfast before getting on the road. I never know how healthy I’ll be able to eat when traveling {and I try not to worry about it so much} so I like to eat a healthy meal before I leave.^^

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After my first flight {to Atlanta} I grabbed some lunch. I had packed a salad, but I ended up checking my bigger bag plane side due to a super full flight. And my salad was in that bag! Oops. But I ended up with a salad that was delicious. Blue cheese, almond slivers, apple, spinach, and salmon. Not shabby for an airport {although it definitely didn’t come cheaply!

My flight was then delayed an hour. Boo! But, I took advantage of that and walked ~2.5 miles around the airport for some good activity! It felt awesome to move around before sitting on another flight.

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Then…. it was Orlando time! I arrived and picked up my bag with no problem. I had booked a shuttle before arriving, so the driver met me outside and we were on our way. My friend Krista was supposed to meet me at the airport but her flight was cancelled due to fog on Long Island. So sad! But she was able to fly in this morning, so it all worked out.

I arrived at my hotel, Shades of Green and checked in. Shades of Green is a Disney hotel {right across the street from the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian Resort} specifically for members and families of the US Military. My dad is a retired Navy officer, so Krista and I are able to stay here. It’s more reasonably priced and it is still a wonderful hotel. I’ll share some pictures of our room and around the hotel!

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Waiting in my room, was an awesome gift basket. My amazing mom, and Krista’s mom, sent us a gift basket with cheese, water, strawberries, bananas, and apples! It was so sweet and thoughtful of them! I brought my own rice cakes as well, so I can’t wait to spread some cheese on those for a snack.

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^^For dinner, I went down to the hotel restaurant for a solo date. I’ve actually never eaten in a restaurant by myself before… it felt so odd! But I texted, read some on my phone, and looked at Instagram. For dinner I went with the grilled salmon. It came with risotto, but I opted for 2x the vegetable sides. The salmon was delicious, especially because I was so starving by that point. The side salad was great too, with balsamic dressing.^^

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^^After dinner, I charged my phone in the room for a while before heading out for a quick workout. I hopped on an elliptical-type thing for 20 minutes and did an incline walk on the treadmill for another 10. I wasn’t really feeling the workout, so I called it a day. Travel makes me tired y’all!^^

Back in my room, I snacked on some of the strawberries and settled in. Early bedtime for me– because I need to be well rested for tomorrow. Not mention we have to leave the hotel before 4:30 am. AH!

Question of the day:

What are your plans this weekend?

What is the earliest you’ve had to get up for a flight/race/event?