Winter in Big Bear & Mammoth (+ San Diego)

January (and February) brought some new adventures – snowboarding, skiing, and lifting (“training”). I’m enamored by all the newness and I’m so proud of myself for saying ‘yes’ to going on the intermediate slope while snowboarding and ski lessons. February has slowed things down a bit and I’m a tad concerned about keeping up the momentum, mostly at work, but I know I’ll get through … Continue reading Winter in Big Bear & Mammoth (+ San Diego)

2019: Best in Travel

In 2019, I finished my 5th year teaching and started my 6th year. I spent 49 days out of town, which is actually less than last year! I traveled to 6 countries (Mexico, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, France, & Switzerland) I explored 4 states (Washington, Nevada, Utah, Arizona). In February, I experienced San Diego at its finest. Of course, I’ve been to San Diego before, but … Continue reading 2019: Best in Travel

Phoenix (and Scottsdale) City Guide

Before you read ahead, here are the highlights: nami tsyonami, Harumi Sushi, Valley Bar, and Camelback Mountain via Cholla Trail. If you do nothing else, go to/eat/do those. Where I Stayed I stayed in a casita, a transformed garage, in a home and street that was very much Beverly Hills. It’s a 1920s Tudor style home owned by Fawn, a photographer, whom I spoke to … Continue reading Phoenix (and Scottsdale) City Guide

Kicking off November in the Desert (Idyllwild, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree)

It’s November and thank goodness. I don’t put a hex on October because it’s notoriously challenging, it’s a fact – it’s a busy month without any days off! March is the other challenging month. It was a festive week and a short week too! Friday was student-free. Red Ribbon/Spirit Week My co-workers and I dressed up all week. I got in the spirit with my … Continue reading Kicking off November in the Desert (Idyllwild, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree)

3rd Annual BFF Birthday Trip: Vancouver

In my last post, I recapped the first half of Liz & Julie’s Annual Birthday Trip. We met up in Seattle and hung around for 3 days before taking a train to Vancouver, BC. Where We Stayed Like Seattle, Vancouver was expensive. We ended up staying in an AirBnb outside of downtown. We had our own large suite and light use of the kitchen. The … Continue reading 3rd Annual BFF Birthday Trip: Vancouver

3rd Annual BFF Birthday Trip: Seattle

I met Liz my first year in college and we were inseparable. She was my first female BFF and continues to be one of my BFFs. We’ve celebrated 13 birthdays together and for our 14th birthday together, Liz picked Seattle and I tacked on Vancouver. Our annual birthday trip (my birthday is in July and hers is in August) began in 2017. We flew in … Continue reading 3rd Annual BFF Birthday Trip: Seattle

Rhine Getaway: Black Forest & Trip Recap

The Rhine We chose the Rhine Getaway this year with my aunt and cousin. We started in Amsterdam (extended our trip 2 days), Kinderdijk & Cologne, Marksburg, Rüdesheim, & Heidelberg, Strasbourg, the Black Forest, and Basel… but only for the morning. This was a big bummer for us as we hoped to see more of Switzerland; however, I expect it would’ve been expensive. Last year’s … Continue reading Rhine Getaway: Black Forest & Trip Recap

Rhine Getaway: Strasbourg, France

We arrived in France after Amsterdam, Cologne, and a slew of German cities. Actually France was on one side of the river and Germany on the other. We drove into Strasbourg for our tour, which began with views of storks and their nests atop every tree by Parc de l’Orangerie. Then, we made it into the city proper. Strasbourg Cathedral Another day, another cathedral. Like … Continue reading Rhine Getaway: Strasbourg, France

Rhine Getaway: Marksburg, Rüdesheim, & Heidelberg

Today’s post is part of a set of posts from my river cruise, which includes Amsterdam and Kinderdijk/Cologne. Marksburg Castle We left the big city (of Cologne) behind and toured some of Germany’s picturesque and historic towns. First stop, Marksburg Castle, another UNESCO site. We toured the medieval fortress and had a bit of time to walk along the water with its luscious rose gardens. … Continue reading Rhine Getaway: Marksburg, Rüdesheim, & Heidelberg

Rhine Getaway: Kinderdijk & Cologne, Germany

Day 2: Kinderdijk, Netherlands We woke up to our first full day on the ship. It was almost exactly how I remembered it: early morning buffet breakfast with the most careful service and fellow travelers bustling around ship. Our first stop in the morning was in Rotterdam, where I stepped outside to check out the city before we left for Kinderdijk and the 19 famous … Continue reading Rhine Getaway: Kinderdijk & Cologne, Germany