Posts Tagged With: travel

Wanderlust: Colorado’s Front Range

Just got back from a relaxing weekend in Summit County. It’s about an hour’s drive from our house in Denver, but feels like an entire world away. I love the smell of pine and the gorgeous mountain views. Went on some beautiful hikes, sat on the deck and enjoyed the view, and came back totally recharged.

Cheers, Amy

PS – Image from here


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Wanderlust: Human Nest

How cool is this? Treebones Resort on the California coast has a “human nest” that you can stay in. Imagine ‘camping’ on a pile of blankets, listening to the surf, smelling the tang of salt in the air, and staring up through a mesh of tree branches at the stars.

Might have to add this one to my life list. For full details, check out the resort’s website or read this post by Oh Happy Day.



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Portland Handbag

I’ve got Portland on the brain. If you’re planning to travel there anytime soon, here’s a few essential items I’d suggest packing in your handbag:

The Goods

Ooligan Press’s Red Guide to Portland
Flavigny Violet Pastille
ScarfEtsy shop Zen Threads
Patagonia Hat
Ellington Bella Tote
Wallet from Etsy shop Appetite
Burt’s Bees Lip Color
Solid Perfume from L’Occitane
Coffee Mug from Sister’s Coffee
Moleskine Notebook
Earphones from Skull Candy

You may also like reading:

Wanderlust: NW Portland Morning
Wanderlust: Puget Sound
In Love with Etsy: Appetite
Wordy Type: Wildwood Chronicles

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Portland Pack List

Portland in the spring is a flighty little thing. Sunshine one day; pouring rain the next. It can play havoc with your emotions if you’re a year-round resident. Happily, those of us who are just visiting can plan ahead and enjoy what the city has to offer. Just pack layers and applaud the stoicism of those locals who are nearing the end of a six month grey stint.

Here’s some key items to bring:

Messenger bag: Portland is bicycle city. This is part of the uniform. Plenty of room to hold your rain jacket, water bottle, and other sundries. Shop local and check out this one from Ellington, my favorite Portland store.

Raincoat: Nobody in Portland uses an umbrella. Resist the urge to stick a mini one in your suitcase…instead, bring a lightweight raincoat. You’ll want one that’s fairly lightweight and crushable, so it can fit into your bag in case of sunshine. Marmot makes a good sporty option.

Cadet or Newsboy-style hat: These are practically a uniform in Portland. Snag a lightweight one for spring and you’ll blend right in. I like this one from Outdoor Research. It’s subtle, but the checkered pattern adds a little bit of flair.

Jersey skirt, dress, tops: Build your outfits around jersey layers. They’re comfy and easy to add/subtract as temperatures dictate. I like a base of black and grey pieces, with a few colorful pops.

Leggings: Chic, yet practical layering option. Wear with skirts, dresses, and tunics. You’ll want them for warmth on rainy days.

Scarf: Easy chic, plus helpful when you need a little extra warmth. I found this option here.

Cardigans: Did I mention layers? I’d bring one lightweight and one heavier, almost jacket-like option.

Ballerina flats: You want a full coverage shoe to keep your feet dry. These dress things up nicely.

Toms: The other shoe in your suitcase. Comfortable for around town wear, plus you’ll blend right in. Take a look at their website here.

Jeans: everyone in Portland wears skinny jeans. I personally hate them, but you won’t go wrong if you bring a pair.


You may also like reading:

Austin Packing List
Wanderlust: NW Portland Morning

In Love with Etsy: Appetite
Wordy Type: Wildwood Chronicles

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Austin Pack List

It’s April and, as usual, I find myself a little homesick for Austin. Texas in the spring is a gorgeous thing, with wild flowers galore and relatively moderate temperatures.

This year, Country Living is holding their annual fair in the city…which means I am acutely jealous of those folks lucky enough to attend.

If you’re planning a trip to Austin in the spring, here’s a few items I consider essential:

Flip flops – You won’t look out of place in cowboy boots, but Austin is really more of a laid back college town. Plus, it’s pretty warm and your tootsies will get toasty in anything but sandals. I recommend bringing a pair that you can dress up or down, depending on the occasion. My favorites are these bad boys from Reef.

Sun hat – You’ll want something with a brim, especially if you’re planning any outdoor excursions. I like the option of a crushable straw hat. Easy to pack, vaguely cowboyish, versatile. Here’s one that I like.

Light wrap – What?! But Austin is hot on the spring! Yes, but it gets cooler at night. You’ll want to take advantage of the outdoor patio dining, so come prepared. Something in linen or a *light* wool is heavy enough. Maybe something like this

Summer dress – I figure this one is obvious…I just wanted an excuse to link to my current favorite dress from Kara-Line. Austin is pretty casual, so don’t worry about packing anything more formal than this type of dress.

Tank tops and cardigans – if there’s a uniform for Austin, this would be it. Easy to dress up (see wrap option above) or down. Plus, they don’t take up much room in the suitcase. Toss in a cardigan, and you’re covered. (in addition to chilly nights, the air conditioning can get a little out of control)

Bermuda shorts – I prefer either khaki or jean. Either way, easy to pair with the tank tops you brought and perfectly appropriate for anywhere you might want to visit in the city.

Funky jewelry – Austin is a creative town, so have fun with a statement piece. I like this necklace, especially paired with the jean short and tank top combo. Why not? Go a little wild…

And that’s about it. Austin’s pretty casual, so it’s easy to pack light.

Cheers, Amy

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Wanderlust: Austin’s Perfect Dessert

Do you ever associate a specific flavor with a memory? I grew up in Austin and my favorite dessert has always been Texas French Bread’s carrot cake. Perfectly moist and rich, with raisins and shredded carrots bursting out of each piece. We had it at our wedding, so now each bite brings back happy memories for me.

Cheers, Amy

Image from here

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Wanderlust: NW Portland morning

We just got back from a trip to Portland, OR with Griffin…March isn’t the best month to visit, but we did get one *beautiful* day of sunshine.

One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning in Portland is going for a hike and brunching in the NW part of the city. There are miles and miles of hiking trails available in Forest Park. For best access, try heading up Thurman St. You’ll hit the end of the road, then walk up an old stone fire road with trails splitting off to the left. Great views through the trees off to the right of the Willamette River and the Portland Shipyard.

After hiking, I’m usually ravenous. Portland is a foodie’s dream city and there are plenty of places to brunch in NW. My two favorite are Stepping Stone Cafe and Industrial Cafe. There’s usually a humongous line outside of Stepping Stone, so get there early and put your name on the clipboard outside.If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, order the mancakes…they were featured on Man vs Food and are huge!

Industrial Cafe doesn’t draw quite the same crowds, so it’s easier to find a seat. It’s hard to go wrong with an order, but I specifically recommend the cheese grits and the gingerbread pancakes.

After brunch, wander down NW 23rd for some local boutique shopping. My favorite store is Ellington Handbags. Beautifully handcrafted bags that are well-designed and durable. They just moved locations, so stop inside and say hello!

Cheers, Amy

Image Sources:
Forest Park photo found here
SteppingStone photo found here

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Wanderlust: Italian Grotto Hotel

The hotel ‘Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita’ has been bouncing around the blogosphere lately…and oh my goodness, it’s now been added to my bucket list. From the pictures, it looks part monastic retreat, part luxury spa, housed in an old set of cavern/catacombs. I can imagine few things more relaxing than slipping into that soaker tub in a limestone cave, lit only by candlelight.

For a full set of beautiful and inspiring pictures, you’ll want to check out the hotel’s website.

Cheers, Amy

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Wanderlust: Machu Picchu

My husband and I have gotten the travel bug recently. It’s been a while since we took a major trip – moving cross country and having a new baby tends to tie your hands a bit. We won’t be able to do any really big trips until Griffin is a bit bigger, so I’m left contemplating past adventures.

If there’s one place I’d go back to in a heartbeat, it’s Machu Picchu. Even with all the pictures you see of the site, experiencing it in person still takes your breath away. We spent two days at Machu Picchu several years ago…I could easily have spent a week exploring and taking photographs.

What about you? Have you taken a trip that you’d like to repeat? Is there a place that haunts your memory?

Here’s a few of my pics from our trip to Machu Picchu. As I mentioned, they fail to do it justice:

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Wanderlust: Puget Sound

Kind of craving a trip to the Puget Sound… We moved from the Pacific Northwest to Denver last fall, and I’ve been thinking about the beach ever since.

My favorite moment of the last Seattle trip we took was looking over the edge of a pier in Tacoma and spotting three huge, bright orange starfish clinging to the edge of the wooden pilings.

Mercer Island has a fabulous dog park with two beach access points to the water.  Waves. Canine friends. Sticks and tennis balls to go retrieve. Our dog was in heaven!

Last time we visited, we stayed at the Hotel Monaco – possibly the most pet friendly boutique hotel I’ve ever visited.  No extra charge and they drop off a pet welcome package complete with treats. Parking was a pain in downtown Seattle, but that was the only downside.

The seafood is pretty good there, too. Hmmm… May have to plan a trip back sometime soon.

Cheers, Amy

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