• Breweries,  Travel,  US Travel

    Roanoke, VA

    I spent part of Labor Day weekend in Roanoke, VA with my best friends and had an absolute blast. My main interests when visiting a new city are finding cool restaurants and local breweries. I love craft beer. Roanoke did not disappoint in that area! We arrived Friday evening and had dinner at a new Mexican restaurant, Cabo Fish Taco. There are three locations: Charlotte, NC, Blacksburg, VA, and Roanoke. I had the Sweet Blackened Tuna salad and a jalapeno margarita; both were smashing! After dinner, we went to Tuco’s for a few drinks. I have eaten at Tuco’s before and the food is delicious, but since we had just eaten, we stuck with…

  • Reviews,  US Travel

    Sugar Bowl

    I recently went to the Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale, AZ, and smitten doesn’t even begin to cover it. A throwback to a different era (and celebrating their 60th anniversary this year), the Sugar Bowl is a cotton candy colored dream, inside and out. View of the old-school counter: The menu is simple– salads and sandwiches, with an emphasis on ice cream, sundaes, malts, milkshakes–everything good! I had the Elegante salad- turkey, bacon, and avocado on top of a bed of lettuce (healthy)! It came with a couple of small slices of banana bread with cream cheese, which was delicious. To accompany my salad, I had an “extra-luscious shake” made with…

  • Reviews,  Travel,  US Travel

    Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

    I recently stayed at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona, while attending a conference. The conference lasted all week and included a golf event over the weekend. I arrived at the resort on Monday and departed Saturday. The setting was breathtaking. Nestled into the mountains of Tucson, the whole resort gives you a feeling of seclusion. The location and guest room were outstanding. Walking trails around property take you to see some interesting things, including a waterfall, cacti, and maybe even wild animals. From the outdoor walkway to my room, I had a stunning view of the mountains. From my room, I had this gorgeous view of Tucson-or…

  • Reviews,  US Travel,  Work Travel

    Taliesin West

    I’m putting forth an effort to see more and do more on my work trips. This week, I am visiting Scottsdale, AZ, and when I researched things to do, I learned of Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home. A stunning home in Scottsdale, Taliesin West is situated on 620 acres in the desert. It was constructed in 1937 and was famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home until the time of his death in 1959. It now serves as the main campus of the School of Architecture at Taliesin and houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Taliesin West was a quick, 15-minute drive from my hotel. Wright’s touch is everywhere; even…

  • Travel,  US Travel

    Cabin Fever

    I have been home for a few weeks, and I must say, I’m getting cabin fever. Don’t get me wrong. I love being home. I love my house, my family, everything that’s here. But it sure doesn’t beat being on the road! I’m heading to Arizona this weekend and can’t wait!

  • Travel,  Travel Tips,  US Travel

    50 in 30

    I have set a new travel goal for myself: all 50 states in 30 years. I am 28 now, so I have less than two years to finish them up. Unfortunately, a lot of the states I lack are the biiiiig ones out west {ie North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, etc} and not conducive to easy traveling between them, unless you are looking for a very long road trip {and I am not}. I have 21 states yet to go. I know of ~6 I will definitely travel to this year, and will likely add some additional side trips on as time permits. In the graphic above, hot…

  • Travel

    My Recent Absence

    My travel has not slowed lately; actually on the contrary, it has picked up. However, we have recently purchased a new home {hopefully our forever home} and planning/packing/moving/decorating has completely consumed me. Even on the road, I have spent my free time e-signing our contracts and documents, researching movers, browsing Pinterest for home decor inspiration and furniture shopping. I have been on some amazing adventures since the beginning of the year, from the East Coast, to Florida, to Arizona and California, to Mexico, and all over the midwest. I can’t wait to share more details when my life settles down a little. I am traveling to the great white north next…

  • Luggage and Travel Accessories,  Travel Tips

    Kate Spade “Expand Your Horizons” Collection

    I am SO smitten with the “Expand Your Horizons” collection by Kate Spade AND it just so happens to be on sale right now! Love this tote bag. With the zip top, it would make a great carry-on. The dark blue color would hide stains too! They also have a darling coin purse and scarf in the pattern,             as well as some cute earrings, necklace, and a globe keychain.         However, my favorite piece from the collection has to be this watch.  The tan band and navy face looks so classic, so European, and the pink countries just pop against the dark background. I…

  • Travel

    Amtrak Residency Program

    I love my job. I would never leave it. But if I were to quit…it would be for the Amtrak Writer Residency Program. Per the Amtrak blog, “#AmtrakResidency will allow for up to 24 writers to take long-distance trains to work on their projects. Each writer’s round-trip journey will include accommodations on board a sleeper car equipped with a bed, a desk and outlets.” How incredible does that sound? I had already started with my company at the inception of the residency in 2014, but if I had not been working, I would have been all over it. I adore trains. There is something so nostalgic, so romantic about train travel.…

  • Mexico,  Reviews,  Travel

    Occidental Grand Xcaret- Riviera Maya

    While in Mexico last month, we stayed at the Occidental Grand Xcaret in Riviera Maya. It was a great trip from start to finish, thanks to Costco Travel. This was the second all-inclusive getaway we have booked through Costco, and they make everything smooth and easy. We chose to do airfare, ground transportation, and the resort itself as a package deal and got a fantastic deal. We also added a weeklong pass to the Xcaret Eco Park. For my other all-inclusive trip booked through Costco, we even booked excursions through them. We flew into the Cancun airport and the ground transportation was ready outside and only waited a few moments before departing…