LOVE AND STREETWEAR
Who said YoPros don't deserve a Fall Break? Heck in college, what got me through the school week was counting down to our next vacation, but after college what's supposed to get you through the work week? I'll tell you... a trip to Greece. After going abroad for the first time on our honeymoon, my husband and I got addicted to exploring the world. However, we made the decision to go back to an island we discovered the first time due to the low cost and unexplainable beauty of Milos. This past winter we came across a flight from Newark to Athens direct, roundtrip for $495....................................... sorry I had to let that sink in for you all. After paying over double that (EACH) the first time that we flew to Greece, we jumped at the opportunity. Having been to Milos before, I knew I could make this trip cheap and worth the while. The island is beautiful, yet doesn't get the tourism that the more popular islands do, so the prices are dirt cheap. After booking our flights, I posted the deal on Instagram hoping for maybe a couple friends to hop on board, but I was not prepared for the feedback I got. Within one week I had over 20 people book their flights. Let the fun begin...
After taking an international trip with twenty of my friends, I had lots of people ask me how I packed, so I'll give you the same advice I gave them... The key for every international trip is to pack smart. Now I know that sounds obvious, but hear me out. It’s not about having lots of clothing, but more so lots of options. Versatility is key here. Try to pack things that can be dressed up and down. Like for example guys, a solid white V-neck t-shirt can be worn both with a bathing suit to the beach or with dark jeans and some nice shoes to go out. And while you can search near and far on the internet for packing guides and checklists, I figured I would be a little different. I made a list before I left of everything I THOUGHT I needed and despite my own advice, I felt like I packed a little heavy before I left. So because of that I decided to go one step further and thought it would be fun to do a blog on what I packed vs. what I actually used/wore. I've made the mistake two years in a row of bringing way too many "fancy" outfits... we go abroad and fully prepare to dress our best so we can flex on Instagram, but what I hadn't gotten through my brain yet is that as much as I love you guys I'm not going to sacrifice my comfort for a photo and neither should you. Those cute trendy flip flops you bought for the trip are adorable, but how adorable are your blistered and callused feet after the unforgiving terrain of Greece after hiking around in them all day? If I practiced what I preach... I would be focusing on enjoying the moments (although it's my weakness to want to capture them too). 📸
" I knew a girl whose one goal was to visit Rome, then she finally got to Rome
Now most people, when I told them we were going to El Salvador, asked me if I had a death wish... So now that we made it back alive, I think it's time I write about what took me there and some common questions you may have if considering it. My best friend and maid of honor, Matina, got engaged a year ago at a castle in Germany like one of those "love at first sight" stories you read about in fairytales. She met Carlos through work and developed a long distance friendship with him throughout the years, until timing found a way to align their paths last winter and four short months later he proposed. Being from El Salvador, he arranged to have their civil union ceremony there a year to the date of the proposal (April 14) before having their true wedding day in September in Cleveland, where Matina is from and they both now live. I'm not going to lie, traveling to El Salvador took Jake and I out of our comfort zone a little bit... with the travel advisories from the U.S Department of State and ABC News calling it the Murder Capital of the World, we couldn't help but be a little nervous. However, what wouldn't you do to see your best friend say I do for the first time, am I right? In my mind, it wasn't optional and with that we were off!
Ahh New York, the city that never sleeps. Being from Cleveland, I had a whole different idea and definition of a city. One of my best friends from college is from New York, so I had been up to visit her a couple times before. However, previously she had lived in Long Island so when I would come to visit, we stuck around there and didn't get the opportunity to explore the city. Lucky for us, she got a new apartment in the Lower East Side with her friends from home so this reunion weekend would be nothing like we had done before. Up until this point, Chicago was the only "Big City" I had explored and I can still remember how amazed I was driving in looking across the skyline left to right and seeing nothing but skyscrapers... it made Cleveland look like a little toy model. To no surprise, the New York City skyline had my jaw dropping once again! It was like seeing the stairway to heaven, as the sky was so lit up from miles away and as we drove in the energy only grew.
For my wedding present to Jake, I paid and planned for our honeymoon in full, saving half of my paychecks and researching for a year and a half and boy, was it worth it. Maybe (in part) that's why I haven't stopped talking about it... I'm kinda proud it turned out? But then again it was the most beautiful and amazing place I've ever seen and I just married the man of my dreams so I think I was going to be giddy either way. Neither one of us had been out of the country before so I tried to squeeze as much as I could into our two week vacation.
Ultimately deciding on: Santorini, Milos, Mykonos, Samos and Athens
For my visual learners out there, scroll down to the bottom to watch my GoPro Vlog of the trip!
I had been to California one time before and ever since dreamed of the day I would make it back. I was amazed at the way the mountains met the ocean shoreline and since then I made it my mission to travel back some day. My family didn't do much travel growing up, aside from when we were able to tag along on some of my dad's work road trips, so at the time it seemed a stretch that I would have the lifestyle I do now where traveling was possible. When I met Jake I shared that vision with him and it was music to my ears to find out it was a dream we shared. Fast forward four years later and the opportunity presented itself... clearly it had taken me this long to get there, so I wasn't going to miss a beat. We needed to see it all and we had three days to do it.
Now before I get my head chopped off by the entire West Coast, let me start this by saying I ultimately loved it… but I had to go back a second time around. I am a burger queen. If I had to play that desert island game, where I had to choose one meal to live on forever, it’s the burger/fry combo all day long (hot dogs coming in a close second though). Judge me all you want, but I had been waiting my whole life to try the infamous In N Out Burger. However, when I had imagined what it would be like I was comparing it to signature burger spots like Five Guys. I think this was my first mistake; it’s really a normal fast food drive-thru like McDonalds (but better). Though this wasn’t my first impression…
Up until meeting Jake, I had never even thought of going on a cruise, which upon hearing this came as a huge shock to him because I love the water; being on a boat is one of my favorite hobbies, but I’ve always had that Titanic-like fear about being stranded on a huge ship in the middle of a large body of water (if something goes wrong). So when we started talking about taking our first vacation alone together I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea, but then again if you follow me you’d know Jake has always taken me out of my comfort zone, encouraging me to try new things. Which is why, six months later I found myself in Florida boarding this huge cruise ship… but for the record Jake, making me watch the Titanic the day before we left for the trip wasn’t the best preparation strategy. As you can see above, once it was time to board I got a drink in my hand and was all smiles, but I have to give Carnival some credit. They’ve done a great job of alleviating some of the stress, kicking off the cruise with a champagne sendoff, they allow each guest to bring on a bottle of bubbly to drink—talk about a vet move.
At the start of our engagement, Jake spent three months in Dalton, Georgia for job training. Unfortunately, that meant doing long distance for a little bit, but looking on the bright side of things… that also meant trips! When I came to visit for the first time, he kicked the weekend off by showing me around the small town where he was staying. We got Zaxby’s, which is this chicken place—similar to Raising Cane’s if you’re familiar—with the most amazing Texas Toast and dipping sauce. I thought I was in heaven, UNTIL we were driving back to his place and saw a Krispy Kreme store with the hot light on. Now I’m not going to lie to you, I was definitely a Dunkin’ girl up until this point. We don’t have a KK location near me so I've never had a fresh one off the line and DAMMMNNN was this life changing. We split an entire dozen, which if you know me this isn’t too surprising, but I was trying to be fit (and not bloated) for this weekend with my boo or else I probably would have taken the box to myself. After some slight GA exploring, we were off on a little road trip to the border to go on a hike through the rocks of Tennessee. I was ready to go, looking like the infamous scene of Meredith Blake in the Parent Trap, I was ready to be adventurous and outdoorsy. Now at this point I thought I had hiked before, Jake and I take our dogs on walks through the Cleveland Metroparks all of the time, but these rocks were unlike anything I've ever seen.
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