Travel Diary: Sedona, Arizona

I swear time moves faster when you’re on vacation! My time in Sedona, Arizona has already come & gone & I am super sad that it is already over. Continue reading to check out my trip!

A bit of holiday traffic slowed us down from getting into Sedona; but once we arrived into town we were sure to stop in to one of my families frequent pizza stops. Pisa Lisa is a great spot in town & luckily for me they have gluten-free crust. The food was incredible & it was nice to get a drink in after the long flight! After filling up on pizza we stopped at the groceries to get supplies for the week, then back out to a local winery, Vino Di Sedona, for a bit more wine & cheese. We sat outside as the sun started to lower & enjoyed live music while we snacked on some cheeses; it was a perfect ending for the first night.

As Sunday came along, we decided to keep it relaxing & explore more of our favorite spots in Sedona. We grabbed breakfast at the Pump House Station Urban Eatery; my mom & I ordered the smashed avocado toast & the salmon toast & split it between us. Both meals were so delicious, something I would definitely order again! After exploring more a bit in Sedona we stopped by the Mariposa, which is a Latin grill. They have amazing views of the red rocks surrounding the area. My family & I sat outside (I had my mom take part in a mini-photo shoot) & enjoyed the views with a glass of wine. We stopped for dinner in the Tlaquepaque shopping area, which is beautiful by itself. There are so many different boutiques & many cute places to take some pictures! We had dinner at El Rincon which is a Mexican restaurant with some amazing guacamole; if you go there you have to order it, as well as the Prickly Pear Margarita, that I became obsessed with over the trip.

Monday or Memorial Day, was another day spent relaxing. My mother, Aunt, & I spent the morning getting massages at the Page Springs Winery. That massage was much needed, my shoulders were so tense even the masseuse noted on it! After the massage, we stayed for some wine, I mean we were already there! Just down the road was another winery called Javelina Leap Vineyard. We decided that we would spend the day Winery hopping & it was the perfect way to spend Memorial day! For the evening we stopped by the Airport Mesa in Sedona to check out the amazing sunset. It was absolutely gorgeous over the red rocks.

Tuesday was the day that we decided to start our hikes. We started the day at the Coffee Pot Restaurant, named after the rock formation that is located behind it. Every time I have eaten there it is always good & they are known for their many omelettes. After a protein filled breakfast we hiked the Devil’s Bridge Trail. We started the hike a little later in the day so it became very hot very quick. Other than the heat, the hike was very enjoyable & the view at the end was incredible! Once we came back from the hike we visited a town nearby Sedona called Jermone. Jermone is located up on a hill & the views are so cool. We stopped by a restaurant called The Haunted Hamburger known for their amazing Bloody Mary’s. My mom ordered one & said it was incredible, I of course, stuck with my Prickly Pear Margarita. The food was amazing as well, & to my luck they had these delicious gluten-free buns!

Wednesday was a full day! One of the hottest days of our trip we decided to visit a popular spot known as Slide Rock. Slide rock is a natural water slide located in one of the  parks & it was so much fun! I took my Go-Pro down & looking over the videos is just so cool! After sliding down the rocks in freezing cold water we decided to grab some drinks at the Indian Gardens Cafe & Market. We had some wine & sat outside & we even saw a snake in the garden! All the water sliding tired us out, so after a nap we decided to walk around the shops on Sedona’s main street. I bought a cute touristy shirt & we stopped by a Mexican restaurant downtown called Oaxaca. Again, they have amazing guacamole & Prickly Pear Margaritas, also an amazing view of my favorite rock formation, Snoopy Rock.

Thursday started off with another one of our favorite hikes, Cathedral Rock. Though it does have one portion that is a little tricky, those parts are always my favorite. One part of the climb is a little tight & I always say that I feel like Spider-man when I am climbing up. The top has amazing views of the valley below & it feels so relaxing once you’re finally at the top. Once we made our round trip we stopped by the Enchantment Resort for more views & Prickly Pear margaritas! I have become so obsessed with Prickly Pear I had to buy some prickly pear candy! The night was completed with our trip to the Blazin’ M Ranch. The ranch has a little town built where guests can learn to lasso, shoot, ride a tractor, & buy some drinks. Dinner is involved, which included these amazing ribs & baked potato. After dinner there was a show that featured some comedy & country music. It was very family friendly & a lot of fun as well!

Friday was our last day in Sedona so we had to make it a good one! Another day meant another hike & this time we were trying a new one. We went on the Soldier’s Pass Trail, which features the Seven Sacred Pools. The hike did not feature any high climbs which was nice in the heat. Once again the hike parched us, which meant it was time for another drink! We stopped at the SaltRock Southwest Kitchen for a relaxing lunch. Everywhere you go in Sedona has amazing views & outdoor seating is always the way to go.  We ending the night eating all of our collective left overs & having a talk on the patio.

Once again another amazing vacation is over way too soon. Sedona is such a relaxing & beautiful area I definitely recommend it; through visiting with my mother it has totally grown on me!

So where are some of your favorite places to visit in the States?

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What’s in my Carry-on?

Hi all!

Sedona, Arizona is now one day away & I couldn’t be more excited! Today I am going to share with you what I normally have in my carry-on for my trips!

1. A Book

Every time I go on a trip I always make sure to have the current book that I am reading. Even though I don’t exactly read on the plane, because I get motion-sick when I do, I have it for when I am waiting around to board the flight. Currently I am reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by. Stieg Larsson. It’s the third book in a very popular series & I couldn’t recommend them more, especially if you’re into crime novels!

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2. Water Bottle

Keeping hydrated is KEY especially when traveling! I always have a water bottle in my carry-on, I empty it before I pack it so I can make it through security with no problem. Once I make it through I buy a bottle of water & fill my water bottle up. I personally like using my own water bottle & I am not a fan of drinking out of plastic bottles!

3. Glasses & Contacts 

If I wear my contacts on a long flight my eyes completely dry out! So I always make sure to pack my glasses case, contact case, & a travel size contact solution so I am able to change into my contacts after the flight!

4. Snacks, Snacks, Snacks 

I am a lover of all snacks. I always make sure to have at least 2 snacks with me on a flight. I usually go for some kind of cracker snack, like cheez-its, goldfish, or even popcorn, & then trail mix is a go-to as well. Trail Mix is super easy to take especially if you are traveling with family because you can buy a large container & split them up into smaller bags among the family!

5. Ginger & Lavender

All of a sudden this turned into a grocery list but hear me out. I bring along these Ginger snacks called Ginger Candy that have become my saving grace. As I said I deal with motion sickness, whether it be in the back of a car, on a boat, or if I am looking around too much on a plane I start to feel nauseous. Ginger is amazing for nausea, so I always make sure I pack 5-6 of these ginger snacks to suck on incase I start to feel a little sick.

We have essential oils all over the house, lavender being one of the favorites. My mom got me into bring a little bottle of lavender essential oil & a wash cloth on the flight. Either on flight you can add a few drops to the wash cloth & breathe it in, it helps you relax; or you can use the lavender for after the flight, by going into the bathroom, wetting the cloth a little & adding a few drops to the cloth. I like to wipe my face with it, the smell of the lavender seems cleansing to me so after a long flight I find it to be rejuvenating. Also, I have this super cute pineapple themed bag that I keep all my beauty stuff in!

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6. My phone/Audible & Podcasts/Headphones 

Bringing my phone along with me seems pretty obvious on a flight, but I use it for more than just my plane ticket & keeping in contact with others. Since I find it very hard to read on a plane I fill my phone up with my favorite Podcasts & Audio books. Audible is such an amazing platform if you enjoy reading but don’t have the time to sit down & read a book. Instead you can do what you need to do but listen to someone read it to you instead! On my Audible account I have Outlander by. Diana Gabaldon downloaded. It’s a book I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time now; since it is a larger book it’s much easier to have it downloaded on my phone. I also have all sorts of episodes from my favorite Podcasts downloaded. I am very into true crime so my all time favorite podcast is Last Podcast on the LeftI am just such a huge fan so I always make sure I have the new episode downloaded as well as my favorite episodes to re-listen to on the flight.

Thanks for stopping by!

What are some of your favorite things to bring on your carry on?

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Pack With Me: Sedona, Arizona

Happy Hump-Day!

In 3 days I’ll be headed off for my first adventure of the summer! Along with my family I am visiting Sedona, Arizona. So I thought I would share what I am packing for the trip!

I have been there twice before, but my Mom & Aunt seem to visit there constantly. There are many things to do in Sedona; most people enjoy all the trails through the rock formations which are open to the public. Since we are going in the spring/summer & Arizona is already hitting high tempuratures packing light was key!

The first outfit that I always start with is what I am going to be wearing for the flight. Since we are flying out of Cleveland in the morning, we will be arriving in Sedona pretty early. The goal for on flight outfits for me is to be comfortable, but not look so much like a bum! I choose my favorite pair of demin shorts, they are super comfortable & they won’t be annoying during the flight; with it I choose a comfortable t-shirt, I sure do love my band t-shirts! This outfit to me is perfect because even if we don’t have time to stop at the hotel before exploring the town I’ll be ready to go! IMG_0076

Once the on-flight outfit is taken care of I focus on grabbing my favorite tops that I have that I can basically pair with anything. The tops also had to be light & airy since the projected forcast for the week goes up to 90 degrees! Since I will be gone for only a little over a week, I really only bring 2-3 pairs of shorts & alternate tops. I choose to bring my jean shorts, a soft pair of maroon shorts, & this super cute new jean skirt that I am obsessed with!

 

Now that I had my ‘arount the town’ clothes together I had to start with the hiking clothes. We always try and get out early in the morning to hike or else the heat makes it impossible to take 10 steps (I don’t do too well in the heat!) Most of the hiking clothes have UV protection which is important, you don’t want to burn out in the desert! Along with my fancy hiking pants from Columbia & Eddie Bauer I threw in a few Penn State t-shirts, I mean you never know where you will find some fellow Alumni!

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To end my packing I threw in a few accessories, such as some silk scarfs to tie in my hair or around my neck (it’s my new fav trend), and a couple hats as well! Where I live I don’t wear hats out & about too much even though I love wearing them! I threw in my new hiking hat that will protect my eyes & the back of my neck from the sun. I got it from TJ Maxx & I just loved the funky floral pattern! I also threw in my black pom-pom hat that I got last year from TJ Maxx as well; I thought it would really complete one of my desert outfits!

 

Now that my packing is done the excitment & waiting is just killing me!

Thank you so much for stopping by & packing with me!

Where are you excited to visit this summer!?

 

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Road-Trip Playlist

Hi all!

With my trip to Sedona, Arizona coming up next week I’m starting my planning early (usually I’m last minute with everything)! I love adding music to just about everything I do, I have so many playlists made for the most random things, so of course I made one for this trip!

This playlist has the most random mix of songs that I’ve ever seen together! Songs from all different genre’s, but they all remind me of driving along an open road, with all the windows down, just total summer time vibes! Songs that everyone can belt their heart out to!

So please feel free to follow my new playlist! I’d also love to hear some recommendations from you! What are your favourite open-road jams?

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
Hannah

 

 

 

Spring Break in Chicago

Wow.. first and foremost where does time go. Spring break was in March and I’m a full month late on this post. Final months of college are taking over my life, and truthfully it all slipped my mind.  I was just looking through the photos that I look during the time, as well as it being my lovely friends birthday that I stayed with while I was there I figured it was time to write this up, even if it is a month late!

I came home from school ready to start spring break only to be met by a massive snow storm that was closing down airports all over the east coast. Luckily, my flight was only delayed 30 minutes or so, and I was able to make it to Chicago bright & early on Friday morning. I was met by a friend who I had not seen in 2 years after our amazing adventures in London together. We had made a promise to not lose touch even after we had returned home, and it is a promise that I refuse to break!

Much of Friday was spent catching up, having a few drinks and reminiscing over past travels. Soon a craving of tacos came over us and we spotted the cutest exterior of a restaurant, Su Casa & we couldn’t resist trying it out. It had amazing food & I wouldn’t hesitate to go again. We were also able to take super cute pics in the bathroom so definitely go check it out!

Saturday’s plan was to pretend that we were back in London enjoying our favourite afternoon tea. We had made reservations at The Allis, about 2 weeks before and everything was amazing. We dressed up and of course took a few pictures posing sipping our tea. But when you go be sure to order 2 towers, we easily scarfed down 1 tower ourselves!

Sunday & Monday were jammed packed with everything I wanted to complete during my time there. Of course I visited the Bean 2 times, I couldn’t help myself. We also took on the Lincoln Park Conservatory. It was so beautiful inside with all the amazing flowers. Another photo shoot worthy destination. It was an amazing break from the cool weather outside & even more of a plus it’s FREE! Right next door is the Lincoln Park zoo, which is also free! Even though it was a little cool outside, the sun was shining so we were able to peak at the lions sun bathing. A short walk from my friends apartment took us to Cafe Iberico where we had our fair share of tapas & sangria. Let me just say, the sangria was amazing. Even though the waiter was a bit surprised when we ordered a full pitcher for the two of us he can’t say that we disappointed him by leaving not even a single drop behind.

Monday was a more artsy day, where we stopped by the 3 Arts Club Cafe for breakfast. In my ‘where to go’ search of Chicago on Pinterest I came across this place. First and foremost its beautiful there. When you walk in it’s all brick inside, there are trees and fountains inside with a glass ceiling, and you get to eat in there! I could have stayed there all day, and not only did it just have a pretty face the food was excellent as well. We explored some history at the field museum, even though Sue, the giant T-Rex that normally greets you, was being moved I still got to see her skull was pretty exciting.

Now, I may not know about you but cheese is an important thing in my life. So of course, one thing that my family made sure that I did when I went to Chicago was have Giordano’s pizza. WOW. Deep dish pizza is just amazing, I don’t care what any one else has to say. Even though I could eat one piece I wanted to marry that pizza, and that is not an exaggeration.  The night ended in a food coma and we shared a few beers at the closest thing we could find to a English Pub. Unfortunately, I had to go back home on Monday, but we made sure to stop in the Art Institute. Of course I had to see my favorite man, Vincent Van Gogh before I went back home.

Even though I did not get a break from the snow or cold over spring break, I was able to spend time with a friend, which truly was the best thing ever. Though you may not see your friends every day, or live states apart like we do, make sure you take time for the people you care about.

 

 

Chilling in Cairns

At the end of my internship my mother came to spend a little time with me in Australia. We decided to travel around Australia a bit ourselves before we went back home to the States.  One place I think everyone should have on their bucket list is the Great Barrier Reef.  I mean it’s incredible in every photo I’ve seen, and now since I am in Australia I know I have to make the trip up to Cairns to go see it.  So my mom picked me up from my lodging and off we went!

The flight was about 3 hours from Sydney to Cairns, which isn’t bad at all. Since I was there in the winter months the 80 degree weather in Cairns was a BIG difference from the 50-60 degree weather we had in Newcastle.  We spent our first day relaxing in the sun, getting to know the area we were staying in.  We were about a 20 minute walk from the Esplanade, which was so cool! So many restaurants and little places to stop and shop, and so many dogs!

I’m a lover of gardens and flowers so when I saw that there was a botanical gardens close by we had to go! Everything in the gardens were blooming and colorful, it just made you happy to be there.  There was also a greenhouse with butterflies everywhere, some that I had never even seen before! Even though it was a little bit too hot for me it was definitely worth the walk around. They even had their own rainforest and bamboo walk. Totally scenic for lots of photos.  We made it an early night because our boat for the Great Barrier Reef left pretty early in the morning.

I get sea sick very easily, so I had to wear a sea sickness patch that did work for me the most part of the trip.  The trip out to the reef was little over an hour on the boat, we snorkeled in two different locations and it had to have been one of the greatest things I’ve seen in my life! I mean so many colorful fish and coral, I even saw a reef shark! I even saw a little nemo in his home too. It was a great experience and if you ever are in Australia this has to be one of the top things that you do!

One other little trip my mom and I went on while in Cairns is taking a ride to Paronella Park.  The Park houses a so called ‘castle’ built by a man who had been poor his whole life, but had a dream to build himself a castle.  He worked hard, and was able to make his dream a reality.  The park is beautiful, even though some of it is in ruins from a hurricane. We were able to see the park in both day and night, which gave us a lot of different views. By the end of the night we were stargazing and even able to see the milky way! Absolutely incredible!

We also spent a lot of time admiring the trees and drinking beer, I mean we are on vacation right!? The food was excellent everywhere we went, and the outdoor seating couldn’t have gotten better. Cairns was a great experience, relaxing and tropical area.  There’s also so much more to do in the surrounding areas we didn’t even get the chance to see half of what is available. I will definitely be going back whenever I get the chance!

Cheers,

Hannah

Final Days in Newcastle

As the internship was crawling to an end, my anxiety began to take over.  ‘What do you mean it was already time to go home, I just got here!’ I was overwhelmed at the fact that time went so fast and I didn’t get to do everything that I wanted to complete.  The girls and I made the most of our final days, refusing to spending weeknights indoors, and

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going out and exploring the city.  We ate at amazing restaurants on the water, took paths we normally didn’t travel on, and just spent time appreciating where we are.  We found this place that had the most amazing Acai bowls, so much fruit and flavor packed into one little bowl I couldn’t even eat it all it was too good! If you’re in Newcastle and you get the chance, go find this little gem on Darby St. called the W.I.A store, not only do they have acai bowls but cute tee’s as well.  I made the promise to myself as well that I would get a tattoo while I was there. To me tattoo’s don’t need to have a deep meaning all the time, it may just be something you want on your body to express yourself.  The tattoo I got does have a meaning to me, yet I know it will be too hard to explain to so many people, so I’ll let them think what they want about it.

Our last days we were also able to attend a local rugby game for the Newcastle Knights.  Personally I was still a bit shaky on the understanding of the game, but it was still really awesome to be a part of the atmosphere.

Newcastle became my home for 2 months and I was so grateful to have experienced my time there with such amazing people.  I will be going back to visit very soon.  The city is wonderful, the beaches are beautiful, the people are so nice, and there is just so much to explore. I can’t wait to go back.

 

Cheers,

Hannah