travel

A Resolution to Travel?

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

This weekend, I was in Orlando for a super-fun (and successful!) work event that my group put on. While chatting with one of my colleagues there, I learned of a very cool, year-long resolution she made: Last August, she decided that she would travel at least one time each month, for an entire year.

I thought that was a brilliant idea—and actually wondered why I hadn’t thought of it, myself! She told me she came up with it, last summer, when she realized she’d gone out of town every month for the past few. She decided that she’d keep the streak going for a full year. In the last several months, she’d been everywhere from NYC and Boston to Europe. (She’s based in Orlando.) As she spoke about the places she’d visited, it was clear how much she’s enjoying keeping this resolution!

I try to get out of town every few weeks—I get antsy, if I don’t! But I’d never thought about making that a goal that I’d have to stick to. I love the idea. In my book, any excuse to get away is a good one. And it would mean I’d always have something great to look forward to, every few weeks!

What do you think? Would you ever make a travel resolution?

(Photo: The Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Orlando—I managed to snag an hour in the sun, the day after the event, before heading back to chilly NYC!)

Which Cat Island Would You Prefer?

Even though it’s kind of last-minute, Mal, Peter and I are planning a quick getaway for mid-May. Since we’re only going for 4-5 days, we’re thinking of somewhere pretty close—like the Caribbean. While researching destinations, I stumbled upon Cat Island, one of the Bahamas’ Out Islands. Besides its appealing name, it’s also home to gorgeous, white sand beaches. Like this:

cat island beach

But this discovery also led me to another Cat Island—which is appealing in a very different way!

Tashirojima is a tinyВ Japanese island that’s better known as Cat Island. It reputedly only has about 100 human residents—but hundreds of feline dwellers. Apparently, in the 1800s, the fishermen who lived on the island believed the cats would bring them good luck and fortune, and cared for them accordingly. Hence their population!

Today, the island has a number of cat-shaped buildings…

cat building

cat building

…in addition to their many real cats!

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cat island 5
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cat island 7

For me, a trip to that Cat Island would be an allergy attack waiting to happen…but I’d still want to go, if only for a few hours!

Which Cat Island would you prefer?

(Top photo via My Out Islands, middle photos via Tofugu; bottom photos by Fubirai via Buzzfeed)

Wanderlust

Maybe it’s because life has beenВ pretty insaneВ for the past few months, or because my last long trip—to Guatemala—was seven months ago. But I have a serious case of wanderlust.

That’s why I’m coveting this necklace from Mary Beth Heishman, the Las Vegas-based artist behind the jewelry lineВ I Adorn U. I love its simplicity and the retro-vibe of the propellor plane—and, of course, the vision it conjures up in my mind, of taking a little prop plane to a sparsely populated island for a week or two!

wanderlust

Do you have any trips planned soon? I’d love to hear about them!

(Image from I Adorn You via Scoutmob)

A Weekend in Boston: Old and New Favorites

Two weekends ago, I spent a whirlwind few days in Boston. Every trip up, I feel like I never have enough time there. Nevertheless,В I managed to catch up with a few friends and check out my dad’s booth at the New England Flower Show. I also went to a few places that were new to me, as well as some old favorites from when I lived there. The highlights:

Area 4

Area 4_coffeehouse

Area 4 pizzas
Kind of crazy to say, but I wish we had more places like this in NYC. For whatever reason, NYC has a lack of good cafes/restaurants/communal spaces to do work, in my opinion—and I say that as a blogger and former freelance writer! That’s why I was wishing I could somehow transport Area 4В from Cambridge to Manhattan. This bakery/coffeehouse/bar is located in tech-centric Kendall Square and looks the part. It’s bright, glassy and airy and has a sweet front area for laptoppers—I could see myself happily pecking away at my keyboard for hours there. It also has a back area for sit-down diners. We went for a late lunch and split a few of their delicious wood-fired pizzas. (I was especially excited about topping off our Carbonara pie with an extra egg—my fave pizza topping!)

Legal Sea Foods Harborside

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Sure, it’s cliche to go to Legals. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! I’ve ended up at various Legals during the years I lived in Boston, and the ones after, and enjoyed every experience. In fact, I look forward to eating there, each trip! This time around, we had dinner at Legal Harborside, which is right on the South Boston waterfront (conveniently close to the flower show). The restaurant has a great view of the city skyline, which, I’m sure, is even nicer in summer, when you can eat outside. And my lobster was pretty awesome.

Boston Ballet

boston ballet school

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the ”All KyliГЎn” programВ I’d hoped to see. I did manage to take a class at the Boston Ballet School, though. Back when I lived in Boston, I attended a few classes there. At the time, I thought the studios were the prettiest I’d ever seen, but the classes intimidated me! Even the advanced beginning level was daunting. But on trips back, over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed taking the open classes. I still find the studios gorgeous—they’re sunny and spacious and it’s a luxury to be in the space. The instructor, Arthur Leeth, is good—I especially like his lengthy adagios. And now that I’m no longer scared of the classes, it’s fun to just go there and dance. (Which helps offset all the eating I do in Boston!)

Brookline Booksmith

brookline booksmith

brookline booksmith

I spent my first few post-college years in Brookline for one main reason: I wanted to be close to the big Trader Joe’s in Coolidge Corner. Since I could barely afford to eat, that was the only place where I could get a week’s worth of groceries for $25. (For ALL meals—with my entry level newspaper salary, my budget didn’t allow me to eat out or order in!) Luckily, the neighborhood also had a few good restaurants, bars and shops.

During this trip, I met up with my all-time favorite dance buddy, Jackie, who still lives in the ‘hood. We had a nice brunch at Hops N Scotch, one of many places that had opened up since I’d lived there. (The breakfast biscuit sandwich was exactly what I was craving!) Before and after, I went to the Brookline Booksmith, right around the corner. I’d forgotten how much I loved that place. And how great it is to have an awesome book store nearby. The Booksmith has it all going on. It draws fabulous authors for talks and signings; displays new and recommended books in a way that encourages browsing for hours; has a rainbow-ordered wall of Moleskines (!!!); offers amazingly curated tables of.gif"area 4 fb" href="http://www.facebook.com/areafourcambridge/" target="_blank">Area 4’s Facebook page, Legal Sea Foods, Boston Ballet School’s Facebook pageВ and the Brookline Booksmith’s Facebook page)

A Moment to Breathe

Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

Has this month been insane for you? I feel like March is speeding by faster than I can process it! On one hand, I’m thrilled—adiosВ Long Slog! But on the other, I feel like I’ve been going non-stop for several weeks—which, if I’m not careful, could lead to a little burnout. (In the past few days, alone, I’ve had super-late ballet rehearsals and flew to and from Orlando in one day for work meetings. Hence, the lack of recent posts!)

Throughout all the craziness, I’ve been reminding myself to take a few moments to slow down and breathe. I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to do so is to literally take a mental vacation. As in, recalling a moment from a specific trip when I felt completely wonderful and at ease. I usually envision my favorite beaches—those that are wild and green with lots of palm trees, clear water and brilliant, sunny skies. Often, I think about being on Big Corn Island, Nicaragua (pictured above), with my sister, or the southeastern part of Hawaii’s Big Island. Just thinking about those places makes me feel as relaxed and happy as when I was actually there. I can almost feel the warmth of the sunshine and hear waves crashing and wind rustling the palm fronds.

Happy Friday! Hope you have a chillaxin’ weekend. 😉

Off to Boston!

boston back bay

Even though it’s colder in Boston than it is in NYC, I’m excited to be heading there for the weekend. It’s nice to get away, this time of year, no matter where!

My father has a bonsai booth at the New England Flower Show, so Mal, Peter and I will be stopping by to see him, as well as catching up with friends. This is also the final few days ofВ Boston Ballet’s В “All KyliГЎn” program which, as its name states, features three works byВ JiЕ™Г­ KyliГЎn. I’d love to see it—especially since Ailey’s performance ofВ KyliГЎn’s “Petit Mort” В wowed me in December—but am not sure I’ll be able make the Saturday show. I am planning to take class at Boston Ballet, though—a good way to offset some of the eating I’m planning to do!

The image above is an illustration of the Back Bay, by artist Anna See. I love how she captured the historic buildings in one of Boston’s prettiest neighborhoods—where I was lucky enough to dorm, for a few years, as a BU student. Of course, once I had to rent my own apartment, the Back Bay was way out of my price range!

Happy Friday! How are you spending the weekend?

(Image via Anna See’s Etsy shop)

DIY Globe Pillows

I’m not a crafty person. My sewing skills are limited to stitching ribbons onto my pointe shoes—and even then, I’ve had to undo and resew every pair. But I love these DIY globe pillows, from saltlabs, so much that the idea of sewing them together seems really fun. (You know I’m a sucker for globes and maps!В ) I can see myself curling up with them on my sofa and thinking about where I want to go next!

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diy globe pillows

Salt labs also has a number of other DIY pillow kits—I especially like theВ Brazil, Australia and summer constellations. Which one is your fave?

(Images via saltlabs’ Etsy shop)