Travel

cosmic hand dyed prints | a treehouse shoot

greetings!

we are at that time of year in florida where you try to embrace the return of college football season, the endless supply of pumpkin beers and the cinnamon spice / fall decor all around you...but then you walk outside and realize, oh yeah! it is still reading 'feels like 90 degrees' on my weather app and it will be this way until thanksgiving.

it's okay though because, today, i have a little shoot for you from a recent visit to california where the mornings were brisk and the air was dry and we wore sweaters at night and all was lovely!

my very talented friend, jen (who i have mentioned before - a trained parsons graduate and print designer currently at aerie (go check out their prints, they are seriously great) created some hand dyed scarves and dyed dresses surrounding a lunar / cosmic theme. naturally, we decided to dress up our babe of a friend and have her model the prints in the treehouse we were living in for the weekend. below are some photos from our fun shoot.

take a look and enjoy!

pacific coast highway

trip of my dreams. up the california coast. here is the recap - along with some visiting tips!

this adventure was a lot of fun with the husband, best friend + her husband. the spots we hit up along the way were san diego, los angeles (more specifically venice), santa barbara, morro bay, big sur, a drive through carmel/pebble beach/monterey, santa cruz and on through to san francisco...more on that part of the trip later!

first stop: san diego

we had a list a mile long of places to eat so we did our best to hit up the recommended spots. we stayed in pacific beach - a very college-y part of san diego. hence the oversized pacificos and unintended nightclub we found ourselves in the first night out. oops!

cheers! (where are we?!)

cheers! (where are we?!)

our first full day out we decided to hike torrey pines. i would highly recommend this activity - the terrain is beautiful and unexpected with its sandy cliffs, beautiful pacific views and cacti galore. it is $15 for parking, and you can either park straight away and walk up or drive up to another point where you can do some additional hiking at the top and make your way down to the water. this is what we opted for!

post hiking, we worked up an appetite, so we made our way to board and brew in del mar - the original location of the famous sandwich shop. this was one of the most recommended stops, so we made sure to grab some delish sammies and head to la jolla to enjoy them while overlooking the water. (order the turkado with extra sweet & sour on the side!)

post lunch, we decided to head to downtown san diego - more specifically the gaslamp district. this seemed to be a bit more touristy but plenty of restaurants, bars and shopping can be found here - good for walking and exploring! we ended up at a rooftop cocktail bar for a sunset drink and headed to get our mexi fix at the blind burro afterwards. get the cheesy corn if you go here - a must!

for a nightcap, we made our way to the speakeasy craft cocktail bar, noble experiment. note - this little spot is tiny! tucked away inside of a bar, you enter through a door made of beer kegs. no joke...be sure to call ahead to make a reservation.

sunday in san diego called for brunch...you may be getting the hint that we like to eat on vacation! snooze is great - located in hillcrest, you can fuel up at this brunch spot. afterwards, we took to ocean beach to walk around, take in the surfers and salty air. there is plenty of beachside up and down san diego...below we are on the pier in pacific beach. later that evening we enjoyed some tacos...seriously tasty tacos! if you make your way to oscars, go with the fish taco.

the next leg of our trip took us to los angeles. we hit up hipsterville, silver lake, for some delish vietnamese food and walked around the area taking in the coffee shops, boutiques and overall vibe of the area. pretty sure we spotted kate bosworth too...one must have a celebrity sighting in the city of angels, no? we stopped at the lacma to get a glance at the huge boulder placed atop a walkway. "levitated mass" by michael heizer is open to the public.

next up: venice beach. we loved walking the boardwalk and seeing the skaters and street performers. venice beach is so alive and just a world of its own. i had fun snapping pics at the skate park.

we made our way to abbott kinney for some shopping. the street is full of great stores and boutiques as well as restaurants. it was bustling even for a monday. we stopped for a quick drink at the otherroom - a sister to the nyc establishment.

for dinner we made the very wise decision to check out scopa. i will say this was the best dinner of the whole trip. the italian food was amazing and the drinks were well made cocktails that satisfied. loved this spot and would go again! here we are eating donuts for dessert. we were already stuffed but couldn't resist...

next up! santa barbara. beautiful - full of colorful blooms, mediterranean architecture and gorgeous weather. i can't give too much info on this spot since we just went for the afternoon, but i will say i would love to go back for more exploring. i have heard only good things about the vineyards there and can say it lives up to the coined nickname of 'america's riviera'.

we continued the drive north in order to get closer to big sur for our big hike the following day. we decided to spend the night in morro bay - an unexpected cute fishing town on the coast. we saw a beautiful sunset and had an easy evening. the small town reminded me of a place you would come across on the coast of the northeast.

next up was big sur. the beautiful national park situated right on the coast of the pacific. we hiked through the redwoods alongside some creeks and really got our work out in. the reward was at the end when we made our way to mcway falls where the high waterfall meets the sandy beach and edge of the cliff overlooking the pacific. what a view.

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we then made our way through carmel by the sea, monterey and pebble beach. we took the 17 mile drive continuing our trip up the coast. what beautiful scenery this was. also, if you are a golf fan, it is basically heaven on earth for you...drew was loving this area! we spent our last night in santa cruz before making our way to san francisco.

california, all i have to say is, you are beautiful.

camp orenda

life at camp orenda equals:

/ fireside chats / hoola hoops in the woods / five hour road trip from the city / endless amounts of s'mores / hiking amongst sky high trees / fancy camping / girl time or girl scouts for grown ups / hot cocoa in june / making new friends / wood burning stoves / flannels / a tribe called lagla / garnet lake canoe paddling while listening to your friends sing at the top of their lungs / gold tattoos / waterfall captures / outdoor showers / caterpillars / tasty homemade meals / wine, wine, wine / GORP / crafting on a wellness stage / dream catchers / relaxation / hammocks / and love. lots of love. /

lost in angeles

california dreamin'.

back at the start of 2015, me + drew + bro, took a trip to the city of angels to cheer on the seminoles in the rose bowl. tacked on to the trip were bike rides through santa monica & venice, drives to malibu and through the hills, and about as much cali-mex as we could muster while we were there. the ongoing joke throughout the trip was "where is los angeles?". we couldn't 'find it'. we asked everyone.

coming from living in new york city where the neighborhoods are all within walking distance and the high rises scream downtown versus uptown and the taxis whooshing by you are any indication that you are in the midst of the 'city' - los angeles is so different and harder to grasp. it has layers like new york, but instead of using our subway transit to get around - everything is by car. and the downtown of la is not what lays at the heart of the city.

we visited the griffith park and spotted the hollywood sign. we grabbed some in n' out and made our way to point dume in malibu. we rented beach cruisers and went until our legs tired and we needed to stop for beers. we ate some delish grub at gjelina in venice and took in the salty air.

something about it - the sunsets, the palm trees, the perfect weather...has me dreamin' for some more.


spring break

one of my besties, a talented textile designer, works for the company - aerie - making really cool shiz. she has a knack for print and patterns and all things fashion-y. so when she emailed looking for some beach scene photos that she could work with for a design, i jumped. i sent over about a dozen different options and one of them was chosen to become a beautiful scarf for the spring line. with a little added rainbow effect, the backdrop of the scarf features a blue sky and ocean taken from an image i snapped while vacationing in the florida keys. i may order a dozen of these pretty little scarves! here is the photo inspiration and the final product. happy spring breakin'!

   photo on right courtesy of aerie.com

 

photo on right courtesy of aerie.com

a visit to san francisco, part 2

some monuments / structures / streets / eateries / even accents are inherent to a city. for example, miami wouldn't be miami without south beach or cuban sandwiches. nyc wouldn't be the concrete jungle it is without the empire state building, madison avenue or its native 'move it or lose it' attitude. so with san fran, you must take notice of the iconic golden gate bridge. and you must visit the crookedest street in existence while you are in the area...it doesn't make the entire city but it is a part of it. so on thursday we did just that.

our first stop was walking along fisherman's wharf. now, this is tourist central and i tend to steer clear of these areas when traveling. but to be fair, it was a gorgeous day for walking around and we caught some beautiful views of the city by the bay. 

after grabbing a quick late breakfast, we climbed some hills. it was a tough climb but we made it to lombard street. it was high traffic at around noon and a bit ridiculous with the amount of people going up and down the winding street but worth the expansive view of the city. i couldn't get over the gorgeous bougainvillea everywhere. so dreamy.

after fighting through a few crowds we decided to make a stop for a quick drink before heading to the golden gate. through uber, we found a lovely driver who agreed to chauffuer us around for a set price for the remainder of the afternoon, making our next stops nice and easy to get to. our first stop was the big red bridge. many people ride bikes or walk the golden gate...we took the less strenuous option of driving to both sides for equally pretty views. once we satisfied our cameras, we took the 1/2 hour or so drive to muir woods. this impressive national park is home to acres of redwoods preserved by the national park service. this was a highlight of the trip for me. walking through the trails dominated by these giant trees was both comforting and overwhelming. it is a beautiful place so near the city - something which makes san francisco stand out as a diverse city in my mind.

next up was a trip to the pacific side and the cliff house. i would say this was a nice detour simply because coming from the east coast, it is always interesting to see the pacific ocean. it is just so very different from growing up on the atlantic. we watched some brave surfers take the waves in wetsuits - really don't know how they were able to keep warm enough to do this but i suppose they are used to it.

later that evening we decided to have dinner in the mission district at a little spot called beretta on valencia street. go here for yummy pizzas and tasty cocktails. we were exhausted by the end of the day but also so happy we were able to hit as many spots as we did. i hope it won't be long before i return to the hilly streets of san francisco!

 

a visit to san francisco, part 1

we touched down in san francisco around noon feeling hungry and excited to have finally made it. the first stop after dropping off luggage at our air bnb rental in the mission district, was zeitgeist; an outdoor beer garden with plenty of local and national brews on tap. it was a perfect day for an afternoon drink with the weather in the mid 60s and sunny as can be.  the crowd here was pretty much 'anything goes' and i was a fan of the grilled bratwurst i took in for lunch. 

we snagged some last minute tickets to the san francisco giants game Tuesday evening at AT&T park. the stadium sits on the bay surrounded by gorgeous views, where exuberant fans go wild for a good game of baseball. the ball park is oozing with personality and there is no mistaking you are in san fran, with the eager paddle boarders in the water seeking fly balls, the ghirardelli stands for hot chocolate and the psychedelic graphics surrounding each player's name as they're announced on the scoreboard. this was a highlight of the trip and a definite must if you are in town during baseball season.

the next day we took our sightseeing to napa valley with the help of my dear friend and our incredible tour guide for the day. prior to leaving the city, we stopped at tartine bakery. i can't go without mentioning this little spot for breakfast - my croissant was that good. even the boys enjoyed it.

the wine country was as beautiful and dreamy as i imagined. with so many wineries available, it can be overwhelming if you do not have prior knowledge to visiting...but luckily we were in good hands. our first stop was stags leap, a beautiful winery. we tried the napa valley collection tasting flight and my favorites were the 2012 sauvignon blanc and the 2011 merlot. all were delicious but i'm certainly not even close to being an expert so i will leave it at that. our next stop was robert sinskey vineyard. this one had a more laid back feel and provided some small nibbles to go with the tasting. a fun side fact is that mr. sinskey enjoys taking photographs and will use his images as the labels on some of his wines each year.

next was lunch, which we headed to downtown napa for. the oxbow market is for those with a hefty appetite. with so many options to choose from, it was hard to narrow down but we went with the freshly made arepas from pica pica. delicious. our last stop was for some delicious sparkling wine at domaine carneros. a good way to end the day with some bubbles on an outdoor terrace.

if you cannot tell already, we love to eat. so for dinner, we had our eye on some cali-mex tacos which a couple of locals had already recommended to us. tacolicious - fondly nicknamed 't-lish' is all about the freshly prepared wide variety of tacos. it was not a disappointment and a spot i will definitely return to one day (i hope!).

austin, texas

i had a premature love affair with the city of austin when i was 17 years young. with one visit to the university of texas, i wanted to be a longhorn and embrace my home state of cowboys, southern drawls and matthew mcconaughey. as fate would have it though, i soon realized the reality of going to an out of state school and the costs that come with it. i carried on with the seminole tradition and went to tallahassee, an experience i wouldn't trade in hindsight.

so on my recent trip to austin and my first time back to the city, i was anxious to see whether those old feelings of excitement would pop up again. visiting my old ny friend, who now lives there, was wonderful. we explored south congress, hopped into vintage stores, devoured some delicious tex-mex (worth moving to austin for that in and of itself in my opinion) and drank our way down rainey street listening to live music everywhere we went. what a lovely place to be!

a few highlights are below if you ever venture to the tech-booming city it now has become. the grunge is balanced by the natural friendliness of texans, the urban downtown is balanced by the greenery found in zilker park and its surrounding walking paths and the "weird" is balanced by the young professionals bee-lining to the city for work all over the country making it not so much weird, as different. and different, is a good thing.

my very brief list of highlights. there is so much more than this of course...

shop:

uncommon objects - a hodge podge of stuff. but in a good way.

sunroom - my friend got a killa jumpsuit here. lots of good finds and owner is a former nyc'er

room service - good for trying on grandma's sunnies and muumuus

mercury design studio - great stop for gifts

eat:


perla's - seafood? in texas? don't your worry. it is tasty.

contigo - located in east austin with an outdoorsy feel / american food / great cocktails

torchy's tacos - queso was a highlight. just so damn good.

drink:

 

rainey street bars - try clive for some live musica while sitting on the outdoor patio. at the end of the street sits plenty of food trucks waiting to feed you.

garage - sip on cocktails in downtown austin. located in a parking garage, this bar takes on an unusual location and experimental concoctions

walk:


zilker park - get your walk on and get lost amongst the foliage - little creeks peep through to reveal locals taking a dip or letting their pups loose in the cold water.

south congress - an abundance of shops, bars, restaurants are here and it's a lively street to walk along



wynwood art

on a recent trip to miami, i went to the art district, wynwood, and discovered a whole other side to miami i did not know existed. bringing together major artists, the warehouse buildings are covered with graffiti and street art - each wall acting as a different canvas for each artist. i immediately was brought back to brooklyn or even graffiti filled areas of queens while walking around - except we were in miami and there were palm trees...and it was february and 78 degrees. what used to be an abandoned, sketchy neighborhood is now bringing loads of people to its streets piquing an interest in artists from around the world. i highly recommend an afternoon in wynwood and hope it only continues to grow.

more on the project here and for additional info, check out wynwood walls

montauk

took a couple of days to head east and visit montauk for the first time. weather was perfectly warm, talks were appropriately girly and wine was efficiently flowing. being a florida girl, i never quite bought into northeast beaches being pretty or sunsets possibly looking as good as the ones i grew up seeing in vero. montauk proved me wrong. it was a much needed couple of days away from the city. with the girls. by the water.

charleston, south carolina

a few weeks ago, drew and i traveled to charleston, south carolina, to get our southern charm on. i visited once before - as little kimmy, so i did not remember much at all - and drew had never been, so it was all new to the two of us. we hopped in a rental car and immediately headed to downtown charleston for some exploring. king street is the main stretch with bars, restaurants, shopping, galleries and more. the further south one goes towards the water, the nicer it becomes. the architecture of southern charleston is gorgeous with its historic buildings and array of styles.

the french quarter is full of art galleries and nice for a quiet stroll.

i found southern charleston to be quite walkable on a nice day. we ventured over to mount pleasant for a bit. though we did not do too much exploring, mount pleasant was very pretty and seemed to be more of a suburb of the city. south of there is sullivan's island where we ate great food at poe's tavern. we took a walk over to the beach and took in the fresh ocean air. unfortunately it was freezing so we didn't stay for long!

a great friend of mine lives in charleston and was such a wonderful host to us. we stayed at her adorable home (more on that later) in james island. the food in charleston was absolutely delicious - highlights being the thai at basil restaurant on king's street, the mexican at zia's and the brunch at rita's on folly beach.

overall i thought it was a really pretty town with friendly people and beautiful views of the marshes and water. i imagine sunsets there are easy to get used to and it was nice to take in a slower pace from the city for a few days. until next time, charlie.

islamorada, part ii

"sitting on the dock of a bay..."

if you find yourself traveling south towards the florida keys, be sure to stop in islamorada...(and maybe just stay). for some happy hour brews, enjoy hog heaven's views of the water at sunset. note, the cocktail shrimp are tasty.

take a trip to robbies to feed the tarpon *careful, those things are vicious* and walk around the various artist tents set up outside of the restaurant and bar.

for a bit of history, take a boat over to indian key - a once inhabited island in the 1840s with a pretty brutal history.

mainly though, just enjoy the sun, water and outdoors. the key's are america's answer to paradise, and you don't even need a passport to get there.

shawangunk wine trail

i've got some friends. some friends who like wine. mix those friends with said grape "juice" and the shawagunk wine trail and a good time will be had. this past weekend, 16 of us loaded into a party bus, threw on some christmas tunes (mariah carey, this is the ONLY time of the year i will listen to you) and made our way up to the hudson valley.

initially, we were scheduled to make our way to six of the wineries and well...we made it to half. not to say they were not delicious, but one may want to allow for more time since they close at 6pm.

especially charming on the tour was a fellow named howard - our guide to the chilean wines we tasted at the first stop, the brotherhood winery. he poured a bit loosely we will say, but that is okay because i learned a thing or two from him. next up was palaia - a hippy atmosphere with a live band and free meatball subs (goes perfectly with that pinot noir, right?). our last stop was warwick - probably a favorite of mine with the hard cider that was offered on tap.

the excursion was a great day trip out of city - something you need every now and then when you live in ny.

a visit to tarrytown / sleepy hollow

a group of us girls try our best to make a fall trip every year. our first was three years ago when we ventured to vermont and discovered a world of pumpkin patches, farmer's markets and plenty of leaves to peep at. we returned to vermont the next year - stowe - to be exact and taste tested at the cabot cheese factory and various other farmer's market samples that always seem to put one in a mood for pumpkin flavored beers and maybe a slice of apple pie. this year, our trip was a bit shorter. a day trip up the hudson river to the quaint towns, tarrytown and sleepy hollow. and though we simply walked around and took in the fresh fall air, it was a great dose of fall and girl time. here a few moments captured as we did what we do best. leaf peep.