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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Newcastle is Sweet

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a massive sweet tooth! Just about everyday I’m craving something sweet to sink my teeth into. Now that I’m off in college & traveling abroad at the moment, I dabble in the occasional, sweets for breakfast, because I’m an adult now & I can have whatever I want, right?! I’m going to tell you about three of my favourite treats I’ve had in Newcastle so far!

Newcastle has definitely came in clutch with their various sweet treats around town. One of the first treats I’ve tried in town are donuts from a local bakery named Doughheads. First off, walking down the street I could smell the bakery from the top of the road! I wasn’t even initially planning on going in there but the smell was so captivating, I was like one of those cartoon characters floating towards that freshly baked pie on the windowsill.  I choose two donuts for takeaway, & it was one of the biggest challenges not to dig in right on the bus. I bought a Nutella stuffed donut as well as a peanut butter and pretzel donut for my roommate & I to share. The dough was so fluffy & light, & the toppings were just perfect! Just make sure you have a glass of milk ready to wash it down!

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Check out Doughheads website here!

The next stop is to a little cuban restaurant in Charlestown Square named Coco CubanoMy roommate & I were in need of a quick meal before we continued shopping. Something caught our eye, & we just couldn’t resist.  I know this isn’t quite a dessert, but it was totally a treat! We each ordered a Frose, or a frozen rose. Let me just say, it had to be one of the best drinks I’ve had, the alcohol wasn’t too overpowering & it had the perfect amount of sweetness, just get ready for a brain freeze here & there! 

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Check out Coco Cubano’s instagram here!

Last, but definetly not least is the ‘Freakshakes’ from The Depot.  The Depot is located on Darby Street in Newcastle.  They offer these crazy milkshakes, I mean they’re insane! Toppings piled high, you just can’t miss out on them. I suggest making this a meal in itself because you will be rather full after, & you might be thinking, “but Hannah, that’s just sugar”! Well you’re right, it is all sugar, but I never said I was a health blog, & this post isn’t about veggies.  I choose the cookies and cream freakshake, which included a cookie bowl with cookies and cream icecream ontop of the shake itself. While my friend choose the churros freakshake, which included many churros and tons of whipped cream ontop.

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Check out The Depots instagram here!

Also check out my roommate Molly’s instagram to see all of her photos of the sweet treats: @molly.mcqueary 

Hope you’re day is as sweet as all these treats!

Cheers,

Hannah

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Sydney Vivid 2017

Living in Newcastle you get a city setting without all the towering buildings and massive crowds.  Newcastle is also set around 3 beautiful beaches, and easy access to Sydney, just 3 hours by train.  I know 3 hours seems a bit extreme, but trust me with a good playlist it flies by!  This weekend the girls & I decided to travel to Sydney for the day to experience the last day of the Vivid light festival. Sydney takes part in the festival every year, which includes light installations all over the harbors.

With a couple of bumps in the road, we just made the 9:33am train into Sydney getting us there at noon, the perfect time! We enjoyed lunch on Darling Harbor, and decided to visit the aquarium.  If you know anything about me, it should be that I am in love with the ocean, the animals, reefs, just everything about it, so if there is an aquarium near by, you will totally see me there.IMG_3035

After the aquarium, we indulged in a few drinks, it was happy hour we couldn’t resist! Then we took on the lights. The Opera House was lit up with moving pictures of coral and all sorts of other things.  There were interactive installations, such as blowing on the dandelion will cause them to change colors. I could stare at the lights all night, however my stomach was getting the best of me.

I have a strong love for Indian food, but the other girls had never tried it before. I’m an IMG_3085adventurous eater & to be able to introduce others to food I love is one of my favorite things. We found a restaurant called ‘The Spice Rack” in Sydney.  I was very nervous to see what they thought, & they loved it! I had goat curry while my friend tried Chicken Tikka Masala for the first time, it had to be one of the best meals I’ve had!

 

 

try anything, enjoy whats around you