Homeward Bound…

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Before I even begin talking about my recent vacation (of which I’m still recovering now that I’m back in slightly chillier/rainy temperatures on the East Coast)– there’s a couple of things that happened in the past week that I would like to address. While I was having the time of my life in Las Vegas and San Diego these past few days- I know there was some really dark, heavy stuff happening in the world and it doesn’t feel right just jumping into something super upbeat without acknowledging those things, first.

As I write this, I’m revisiting some Audioslave tracks I enjoyed a lot when I was in my teens and truly reflecting on the magnitude of the loss of one of the most incredible voices in rock- Chris Cornell. To lose someone with so much talent and whose music holds such a special spot in so many people’s lives and memories (especially us 90s kids) is tragic enough- but to know his death was the result of suicide makes it hurt just that much more. It cannot be said enough- but mental illness and depression are serious business and are nothing to be ashamed of- nor should they be dealt with or tackled alone. If you or someone you know is suffering and need help- I urge you to reach out. You’re not alone in this and there are people who are always available to help and who want to see you well and feeling better.

And in equally stunning and horrible music news- there are no words to describe my emotions when I heard about what happened in Manchester. I had been grabbing my phone charger from my hotel room when the news alerts started coming in- and every breaking news segment just became worse and worse as the situation played out in real time. It’s unfathomable and inconceivable and thoughts and prayers can only go so far when so many precious, young lives have been lost and so many families have been irreversibly changed for the worse.

Shows and concerts are a magical experience- completely unique to each fan in attendance- for so many reasons. I’ve gone to many and have gotten emotional more than once when a band played my favorite song or struck a certain chord that just hit me the right way. Shows are a place of love, and acceptance, and being able to lose yourself in music with friends and strangers alike for a night- and to see something so wonderful and precious destroyed by senseless violence is heartbreaking and terrifying and every part of me aches for those who have been affected by this- but I implore you not to be afraid. Do not let the hateful ideology behind what happened in Manchester keep you from enjoying live music and stop you from being present in the world for one another.

This was truly an ugly moment in the world- but I promise you all that there’s more good than bad out there. You just have to be fearless enough to go and seek it out and fight against any evil you may encounter along the way with nothing but love.

And now, to hopefully lift the mood of this post a bit- let me share some bits and pieces from my vacation.

I did not win big. At all.

I didn’t spend a lot of time in Vegas- just over 24 hours, really- but during that time I managed to lose $5 on a “Walking Dead” slot machine, grab In-N-Out Burger (and a couple of cocktails, naturally)– get plenty of steps in as I went from casino to casino- and look at a couple of houses in the area off of the strip that are on the market since I’m still very much intending on making an eventual move out West and wanted to compare Nevada real estate to California’s (spoiler alert: it’s infinitely cheaper to live in Nevada!)

I stayed at Caesar’s Palace in a suite overlooking a portion of the strip, and when my feet eventually started to hurt- I retreated back to my room and to the gigantic Jacuzzi (with a LUSH bath bomb in tow) for some much-needed post-day in the desert rest & relaxation.

Remind me to add “Jacuzzi” to my must-have “House Hunting” list, by the way!

Following Vegas, I headed to San Diego for a few days specifically to visit friends and do absolutely nothing apart from sunbathe and sip cold drinks under palm trees. I was there for a vacation, damn it- which means no itinerary- and did I ever have fun! I actually think this most recent trip, as short as it was- might be one of the best I’ve ever had in Southern California in recent memory. It was so wonderful spending time with some familiar faces (and meeting new ones!) and the weather remained consistently gorgeous throughout my stay- no sign of “May Gray” anywhere!

And although it’s always so hard to leave San Diego and return to the East Coast every time I’m out that way- this time was a little easier- not because I was particularly eager to get back home, but because I have a feeling I’ll be out there again real soon- and might even make a great stride towards a permanent residency after being on the fence and indecisive about it for so long while I attempted to climb the career ladder so I’d have one less thing to worry about. Now that I’ve reached the top of that aforementioned ladder- my options and possibilities are looking a whole lot more bright and attainable!

With Memorial Day this weekend, I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday. I’ll be sharing my favorites from this past month before packing up some beachwear (weather permitting!) to kick off the start of the Summer season- and then it’s onward into June where I’ll finally be able to share my blogging news! I’m so excited!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Pre-Vacay Haul!

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Good Morning and greetings from Chicago! I’m currently sitting in the airport terminal waiting for boarding to begin for my layover to Las Vegas, Nevada- and I. Am. So. Tired. I know once I’m in Sin City I’ll have a boost of energy that should keep me going all night and well into tomorrow- but right now I just want to curl up with my coffee and take a long and much-needed nap. If only these seats weren’t so uncomfortable!

Anyway, after a long night of packing and being way too excited to get a proper amount of sleep (every. single. time. I. travel)– I think I remembered to bring everything I need- including some new additions to my wardrobe and makeup bag courtesy of Sephora and Primark.

I warned y’all there was going to be a haul post- and here it is!

I have been down to the bare minimum of makeup lately- having traded in elaborate cat-eyes for a more natural look so I could sleep a little later in the mornings before work during the week- so I thought I’d treat myself by picking up replacement foundation, concealer, and powder- but also throwing in some new waterproof mascara, a lipstick (“Stark Naked” by Urban Decay- a lovely nude matte!) and some spa-level face and eye masks to get myself looking alive and awake before I hit the Vegas strip tonight.

I’m a young, single gal on vacation, after all- and I gotta’ look like one!

In terms of clothing- I just wanted to pick up a few things I know I’d get plenty of use out of instead of just wearing it once and forgetting about it for months at a time. First things first- I needed light, cool pajamas to sleep in while I’m resting in the desert since all I currently own are thermals from this past Winter.

I snagged these two pajama sets- one with cute little lemons printed all over them and one with bright fringe/tassels- at $6 per set!

Once I laid eyes on these holographic sneakers- I knew I had to have them for long walks through the airport or from casino to casino on the strip. They’re cushy and comfortable- and definitely eye-catching.

The silver flip flops, for when I finally head poolside or want to dig my toes in the sand when I finally hit California- may not be as attention-grabbing as the sneakers- but they’re sparkly and don’t hurt my feet the way other sandals can- so I love them, too!

I have accepted my pale-ness and no longer attempt to cover it up in embarrassment. I’m as white as a ghost. That’s who I am- and it’s too hot to not be wearing shorts or trying to hide my legs- so I made sure to stock up on a bunch of these low-priced denim and/or crochet style shorts to keep cool and chic wherever I go- as well as a couple of loose-fitting cotton shirts to mix and match them with.

I’m all about going casual for this trip. It’s long overdue!

Of course, there are going to be one or two instances where I may need to dress up a little while I’m away- so I made sure to grab this metallic pleated skirt (one of my favorite trends right now!) to give me a little sparkle if I’m wining and dining anywhere on the West Coast.

A nice top and a little jewelry and I can go from dressed-down to glamour girl in a few minutes. It’s all in the details!

I also don’t intend to walk around with a big purse the entire time I’m on vacation- so I grabbed this little zip-up faux-leather pouch to hold the essentials like my I.D., my hotel room key and some lipstick while simultaneously displaying some hometown love. Cutest $3.50 I’ve ever spent!

And for one last dressy item- I was absolutely smitten with this thin, bell-sleeved floral dress that fit me perfectly when I tried it on. I bought this not only for my trip, but for when I come home and head back to work- too! It’s completely office-appropriate! How lovely is that design?

Overall- I spent just over $200. The Sephora stuff was actually what cost the most (no surprise there) but I think I made out pretty good considering all of the things that I got!

And with that being said- my flight is boarding in a few minutes. Time to try and get some last minute shut-eye on the plane!

For updates from my trip, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting a LOT, I’m sure.

See you all when I get back!


September 2016: In a Nutshell.

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Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Peppermill, LV. 9/29/16

Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Peppermill, LV. 9/29/16

Good Morning from Fabulous Las Vegas! The sun hasn’t even started to rise yet, but I’m wide awake in my penthouse suite at The Palms (helllooo, unexpected upgrade!) while my body tries to rest from a day of travel, check-ins, temperature changes and a few celebratory drinks with friends now that I’m here and ready to start my vacation.

Tonight I’ll be heading down to Sam’s Town Casino to catch a gig by some of my favorite Las Vegas-ians, The Killers- and getting ready to dive head-first into my favorite month of them all- but I wanted to talk about September, first. Although much of this month felt like it was the lead-up to where I am now with all my packing and preparing- other important things happened that shaped the beginning of Autumn, as well.

I think one of the biggest things that went down, and that I did for myself in September 2016 was finally open up about everything that was going on in my love-life and with my now-ex. It wasn’t an easy thing to do- especially since some of those wounds were still pretty fresh at the time- but afterwards it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I was free of all the stress that had been building up in me by not talking about it openly and so candidly.

Following my post on the subject, I had so many messages/Tweets/e-mails waiting for me showing love and support. More than one person had contacted me to reveal they, too- had gone through something similar- which also helped with the healing process. It’s easier to move forward into uncertainty when you find out you’re not the only one who has done it and come out on the other side unharmed. I spent hours writing back to those who reached out- both offering and receiving advice- and I’ve never been more ready and excited to see what lays ahead for me in the world of dating and romance.

After I take some much-needed “me” time, of course- which is part of the reason why I’m here on the West Coast for a while.

I continued to grow and thrive within my career in September- which will hopefully open more doors and opportunities for me to broaden my horizons while building my resume/portfolio and generating more income by year’s end. I have so many things I want to do and accomplish- and I’ve been working so hard to ensure that I’m able to do so. It feels like it’s finally starting to pay off in a big way.

Football came back (and how about them Patriots, huh?) this past month, politics were both hard and terrifying to watch as my country creeps closer and closer to Election Day- and back home the leaves are starting to change and fall with Halloween swiftly approaching- which is the only consistent thing this season, really. I can always count on the leaves turning colors and breaking off the trees even though so much else in my life has changed this past month and year.

People sometimes say that Spring is the season of re-birth or rejuvenation- but for me, that feeling has always been represented by Fall. I’m essentially shedding old things and old ways in my life to make room fo newer and fresher experiences and changes (even if that means they come/happen during the dreaded Winter!)

For October, I’m really looking forward to participating in more Fall-activities with my friends, wrapping up the 2016 Comic-Con circuit as it begins to die down over the course of next month and through November- and preparing for Halloween and the subsequent holiday season (and yikes, I can’t believe I’m writing that. How are we this close to the end of 2016?)

I’m also half-excited to start up my much beloved/dreaded “Horrors of Netflix” series again throughout the course of the month, as well as put together my Halloween-themed giveaway. I had wanted more than anything to have a special giveaway during the Summer- but my break-up put a hold on a lot of things in my life while I dealt with it as best as I could. I fully intend to channel that effort and ambition into picking out some really great, 2spoopy4u items to include in this upcoming collection.

And now, the sun is starting to rise here in the desert- and I feel a big breakfast and a long, hot bath calling my name.

Thanks for being eye-opening, empowering and kind to me, September. Here’s to October being just as wonderful.


State of the Union

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The last time I was in Virginia, and stopped by Washington D.C.- I was on a week-long vacation with my parents during a break in my Summer college classes. We had driven down, which felt like it took 15 hours (when in reality it had only taken a little over six) and stayed at a resort that was- no exaggeration- in the middle of the woods in West Virginia. The closest civilization and WiFi connection was at a rest stop approximately several miles away.

As cut-off as we were- I had a great time. I spent my days hiking, lounging by the pool, playing mini-golf, and watching syndicated ‘Criminal Minds’ episodes on the REALLY old TV I had in my room at the resort- which in hindsight- is not an appropriate program to watch when you’re in a VERY rural, wooded area and no one can hear you scream…

… Anyway! Last week I once again made the trip to Virginia- solo this time (and in a very nice rental car because I didn’t want to put the mileage on my poor little KIA. It’s been through enough!) to stay in tiny- but very pretty- Alexandria. The trip wasn’t solely to enjoy a nice long drive or satisfy my ‘Walking Dead’ fanatic side, of course- but to attend a wedding with my BFF from San Diego, Duncan! His long-time friend Linda, who lives in the Alexandria area- was getting hitched to her now-husband, Arash- and Duncan was flying in for the ceremony.

On Friday, after a few traffic jams (thanks, New Jersey Turnpike)– I arrived in Alexandria just a couple of hours after Duncan’s flight had landed and he had gotten situated. My accommodations were MUCH different than my last stay in Virginia, by the way. I stayed at the Westin Alexandria, where the view was a little less woodsy and a little more populated- and I didn’t have to drive twenty minutes to find places to eat, shop, or check my e-mails.

The view from my hotel room. The Westin, Alexandria.

The view from my hotel room. The Westin, Alexandria.

No sooner had I checked into my room and dropped off my bag when I had to turn right back around and hurry over to Shamshiry in nearby Vienna to meet up with Duncan and introduce myself to the then soon-to-be-newlyweds for the first time at their rehearsal dinner. Arash is from what I quickly discovered is a very big and VERY fun Persian family- so Shamshiry seemed like the ideal place to get everyone together pre-nuptials to eat and toast the couple. I was so happy to see Duncan again (it’s been months) and meet some of he and Linda’s friends.

Also? I’ve never tried Persian food/dishes before- and it was really, really good!

While Friday night had been sunny but cool outside- Saturday morning was a snowy, sleeting, mess. I had opened the curtains to my hotel room, saw what was going on outside- and pretty much just closed them back up immediately and tried to forget about what was happening. THANKFULLY, the snow gradually turned to rain, and then the rain gradually turned into sunshine- and even though it was pretty cold outside for the remainder of the day- the conditions were much better for Linda and Arash’s wedding in the afternoon.

The ceremony was beautiful. I loved Linda’s dress (and the bridesmaids all looked stunning in their matching deep red colors!)  and by the time the actual ceremony had finished- we still had enough time to get over and get approved by security for the reception at Fort Belvoir. Up until now, I’d never been on an actual military base- and I wasn’t sure what to expect- but WOW that place was huge. I didn’t realize bases were pretty much isolated towns- but there was a gas station, a pizza place, a hospital, schools- and a Starbucks (granted, it was closed, but still.)

Reception Hall

Reception Hall

The only thing Fort Belvoir didn’t have was power. The electricity around a section of the base had been unexpectedly cut out by a fallen tree- and part of that section included the Officers Hall where Linda and Arash’s reception was going to take place. Despite a potential disaster- spirits remained high. The Officers Hall was gorgeous, and I think everyone was too busy admiring the scenery (and enjoying the open bar) to really notice that the lights were out. When it started to get darker and darker in the room- and candles seemed to be in high demand- the lights magically turned back on. Just in time.

Duncan and I agreed the snow/sleet and then the power outage would be a memorable (and admittedly pretty funny) story for Linda and Arash to tell years and years from now when talking about their special day.

With the lights back on and the DJs able to play some music- it didn’t take long for the party to kick off. I had SO. MUCH. FUN. dancing with Duncan, his friends, the bridesmaids, and even some of Linda and Arash’s family. The speeches from the best man, the Maid of Honor, and the proud fathers of the bride and groom were really emotional and moving- and even though I didn’t participate in the bouquet toss- I thought one of the little girls walking away with the flowers was a really sweet touch.


I absolutely love this beautiful glass wine stopper that was wrapped at my seat at the reception. So lovely!

I absolutely love this beautiful glass wine stopper that was wrapped at my seat at the reception. So lovely!

Duncan and I stayed late into the night, but we had a few things to do the following day- and we had to bid farewell to everyone so we could head off base and back into town.





I was scheduled to drive home on Sunday afternoon, but Duncan and I had wanted to grab brunch with a friend of his who was also in town for the weekend and do a little sight-seeing, first. It’s not every day we get to spend time together- or time in D.C. for that matter- so we wanted to make the most of it.

Although the initial brunch plans fell through- we had managed to grab some great lattes at Bourbon Coffee before we went for a long stroll around the Washington Monument, the National Mall and Reflecting Pool, and The White House. The weather was considerably better throughout the afternoon than it had been in the previous days and when it came time for me to say a tearful goodbye to Duncan and head back to my car- I had left my coat in the backseat and cracked the windows down throughout my eight hour drive home.

Overall I had an INCREDIBLE time. I can’t thank Duncan enough for inviting me to be his guest and being such a gentleman throughout our weekend together (he has perfect manners!)– and I also have to thank Linda and Arash for including me in their most magical of days. Should you two ever see this post- I wish you both nothing but the best as you start this new chapter of your lives together. You’re a beautiful and inspiring couple!

I really do love Virginia and D.C.- and I’d like to go back sooner than later and for a longer stay next time!




“Sunsets and Neon Lights…”

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It’s always sort of surreal returning from a vacation on the opposite coast- like I’m re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere for the first time in years. My mind is fuzzy and foggy, my body (usually) aches from long plane rides, and it takes me a couple of days to adjust to the time zone and climate change- especially this time of year where I spend more than a few days in Summer-like temperatures and then return home to Boston where it’s particularly chilly.

I digress- I’m back from a near-week-long trip to fabulous Las Vegas and sunny San Diego! I hit the ground running, having jumped right back into work at my office mere hours after my plane touched down- and I fully admit that I’m way, way behind on my e-mails and messages (but plan to catch up today!) Sometimes it’s just really nice- and healthy- to unplug for a while. I can’t even tell you all how many people I saw during my trip that were so immersed in the screens of their phones/tablets that they were oblivious to everything and everyone else around them (including bumping into so many people/things!) and couldn’t really experience the excitement of Vegas or the beauty of Southern California right there in front of them.

And then there were the planes- where people flat-out REFUSED to stop mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Twitter (much to the aggravation of the poor flight attendants) before and during take-off. On my flight home, a layover from Nashville to Boston- the man sitting to my side was back on Facebook the second the plane touched down- before we’d even come to a full-stop and pulled up to the gate! He was just furiously scrolling like his very existence depended on it!

It was eye-opening, for sure.

And yes- I occasionally updated Instagram and other social media from time to time during my vacation- but I made a point to have face-to-face interactions and dialogue with the people I care about out West, and whom I don’t get to see nearly as often as I’d like. I highly recommend it for those who plan to be traveling soon (or even just sticking around where you live!) Put the phones/tablets away for just a little while. I promise, all those Facebook photos and Tweets will still be there when you get back!

But here I am getting preachy when I don’t mean to. My apologies!


The view from our breakfast table!

The view from our breakfast table!


My main reason for visiting Las Vegas was for my beloved friend Kelsey’s wedding to her very lucky (now) husband, Andrew. I haven’t seen Kelsey since the last time I was in town- roughly 4-5 years ago- but it was so great to be back. I had prepared for endless sunshine and heat stroke- but was pleasantly surprised that there were some clouds during my stay- and even some light rain! I think it followed me from New England.

Kelsey’s wedding took place at the M Resort Spa and Casino, which is also where I stayed with my best friend Sean- who arrived in town a few hours after I did (and who thought I wasn’t coming into Vegas until the day after he got there- which led to a very nice surprise in the lobby when he showed up and I was waiting to help him with his luggage.) The property is beautiful, about 15-20 minutes away from the Las Vegas strip but with an incredible view of the towers and casinos in the distance- so you can actually relax at night without being disturbed by loud music or bright, neon flashing lights in your window.

Sean and I spent a lot of time at the resort, mostly eating- because oh my God the food was amazing- and taking turns swimming in the gigantic bathtub in our room- but he had never been to Vegas before, and I insisted we catch a shuttle to the strip the day before the wedding to do a lengthy casino-to-casino tour so that he could drink in all the fun, tourist-y stuff the city had to offer a couple of geeks like us.







Sean and I got an early start, heading into town (by the Wynn) and working our way down the strip until we got to the Luxor and Mandalay Bay later on that night before we backtracked to the resort to sleep off a full day of walking, running, sight-seeing, shopping, and riding the roller coaster at New York, New York. Sean got to see his very first fountain show at the Bellagio, while I got to ooh-and-aaah at the interesting decor in The Cosmopolitan (my favorite hotel/casino!)

We didn’t have the time- or the energy- to catch any of the shows taking place at any of the casinos, but I made a mental note to come back as soon as possible to see Britney Spears perform at Planet Hollywood and take a peek at the ‘Absinthe’ show at Caesar’s Palace because if you’re going to go to Vegas, you HAVE to see a show- right?




Since Kelsey’s wedding took place in the evening, and we had more than enough time to get ready- on Friday morning/afternoon, Sean and I once again headed into town so that he could see a couple more locations we didn’t get the chance to hit the day before- namely The Stratosphere and historic Fremont Street. During our brisk walk, we passed more than one drive-through wedding chapel (and sent our friends and loved ones a photo of the exterior of one particular Elvis-themed church asking them if we should take the plunge and get hitched for fun. The responses were golden.) and plenty of gift shops.

Sean, who has been terrified of heights during the entire 19 years I’ve known him- surprised me when he willingly took the elevator up to the top of the Stratosphere to get a bird’s eye view of the strip- and watch people who had WAY more courage than either of us free-fall jump from the top of the building (a new attraction that hadn’t been there the last time I was in town.) Maybe next time I can convince him to try it with me. I admit- it looked like fun.

Fremont Street, which has always felt delightfully dirty and sketchy to me- was a treat, too. I picked up a couple of SUPER tacky gifts for a few folks back home and ate a pretty fantastic street taco while we bobbed and weaved through the crowds under old neon signs and through historic casinos like The Golden Nugget and the Four Queens. By the time mid-afternoon rolled around- we knew we had to hightail it back in order to make ourselves presentable for Kelsey’s special day.



The wedding itself was beautiful. Kelsey looked absolutely gorgeous (which isn’t hard for her at all since I consider her to be one of the most stunning girls I know!) and the reception was one of the most fun things I’ve ever attended. It was a pleasure seeing some of our mutual friends (Erica! Beth!) and meeting loads of new people between drinking, dancing, and hijacking the adorable photo booth that was set up to commemorate the occasion. I am truly so, so happy for Kelsey and Andrew- and I wish them a lifetime of happiness, love, and good fortune. I can’t thank them enough for including Sean and I in something so wonderful!

On Saturday, following the wedding reception- Sean headed back to Boston while I continued West to stay in San Diego for a couple of low-key and relaxing days off the grid where I did my usual tour de force of my favorite burger and Mexican food restaurants- and had more than one night of late night drinking with my dear friend, Jimmy. It was the perfect way to unwind and prepare myself for the flight home and subsequent return to work and New England life.

I’m hoping the next time I head out to San Diego, it’ll be to move into a new apartment (fingers crossed!)

But now that I am officially back on the East Coast for the time being- it’s time to catch up on those e-mails, review the subscription boxes that arrived at my door in my absence, prepare to select a winner for my Halloween Giveaway, and get ready to watch a few more awful horror movies on Netflix!

‘Til next time!


With Love to San Diego…

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Whenever I write a post related to my leaving San Diego (and it happens frequently, since I’m here a lot!) the tone always feels- to me- like I’m writing a eulogy for a dearly departed friend or family member or something. I just feel so sad whenever I have to pack up my bag and head back home to Massachusetts- no matter how long the initial trip out here was.

That feeling is especially poignant today since most of Massachusetts and New England is set to be slammed with a pretty serious blizzard shortly after my plane is scheduled to touch down in Boston. Going from Summertime temperatures and being able to run around the beach in a sundress these past couple of days- only to return home to snow, slush, and frigid temperatures- is like a kick to the stomach. Yuck!

Pushing the impending cold out of my mind as best as I could, I spent yesterday- my last full day in SoCal- at Ocean Beach watching gigantic waves crash against the pier, window shopping at different little stores along the main strip near the water’s edge, and snapping photos while trying to get just a hint of sun-kissed color on my skin (it didn’t work. It never works.)

Despite my intensifying sadness at having to leave in just a couple of hours, overall I had an incredible post-birthday weekend. It was nice to see some familiar faces, enjoy the sunshine, surf, and sand- and just relax for a couple of days!

Another thing I always say in my San Diego-related posts is that I have every intention of moving out here but just never actually get around to starting the process. I promised myself that in 2015 I’d at least make an effort to get the ball rolling on re-locating- and once I’m done shoveling myself out of whatever this winter storm throws at me back in Boston- I’m going to start looking at potential condos and houses, both online and through my friends and networks out here.

Until then, it looks like I’ll be seeing everyone back on the East Coast shortly!



Planes, Cakes and Automobiles

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The view from my hotel room! 1.23.15

Hello from my hotel room in Downtown San Diego! I arrived in SoCal late yesterday afternoon for a long weekend of sun, sand, Mexican food, and some rest and relaxation. My 29th birthday was this past Thursday- and since I’ve spent pretty much every celebration of my getting yet another year older bundled up in frigid New England temperatures- I thought a couple of days in warmer weather would be a nice change and do me some good.

So far I’ve spent a little time working out, breaking into even more of a sweat in the sauna, and indulging in a little pampering- and I’m planning on doing some shopping this morning before I head to the beach and then meet up with some local friends for dinner and drinks later on tonight.





Last year for my birthday, my mom surprised me with a small party where she went above and beyond to satisfy my love of all things “The Walking Dead.” This year, knowing how excited I am for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” to be released in the Spring- she decided to stick with a Marvel (and specifically Captain America,) themed party at her house for me with some of my family because even though I’m 29 now- on the cusp of 30- I can still love and appreciate cute toys to add to my growing display of nerd-dom.

I especially loved the chocolate “Hail Ashley” cake, a play on the Marvel baddies, HYDRA- which was so good it was practically evil (see what I did there?) The cake was also huge- so at least I know when I get back to my place from California next week I’ll have more than enough pieces waiting for me!

I can’t wait to see what she does when I turn the big 3-0 next year.

Time to Head Home…

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Ah, yes, the dreaded “last day of vacation” has finally arrived. As much as I would love to stay in San Diego forever, I’m due to fly back to the East Coast early tomorrow morning (arriving just in time to catch the series finale of “Breaking Bad!”)

My last day of vacation usually involves packing, double checking that I packed everything about four to several more times, catching up on my (sigh) e-mails so I’m prepared when I get home and get back to business, double-checking that I packed everything another five times, and shopping. My mom, God bless her, loves souvenirs, so I always have to make a point to bring her back something cheesy to appease her, and even though I bring more than enough clothes and outfits for any and every occasion that should arise (you never know when you’ll need a cocktail dress… or a ball gown) while away from home, I always end up picking up a few more things that catch my eye.

Today, while stretching my legs, I stopped by a little store downtown to take a quick peek at a dress displayed in the front window that I had liked the pattern of. Instead, I ended up leaving with a bunch of fun-printed scarves and a crop-top I couldn’t resist buying:








Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of the day catching some sun and salty ocean air down at the pier at Ocean Beach (O.B.) which is one of my favorite spots in San Diego. The overall environment and the people that frequent there, at least every time I’ve visited, are very laid back surfer, skater, and hippie types. When I wasn’t down at the water, I was walking along the main strip of surf-shops, bars, and food shacks, admiring the spray-painted murals and street art on display on the sides of most of the buildings. The entire look of the beach is like something out of late 60s/early 70s, with more modern cars and clothing, of course. I’m so smitten with the place.


I met up with my longtime San Diegon friend, Duncan, at O.B., where we had a really nice little picnic by ocean before heading back to his beautiful apartment in Hillcrest. I met his three-legged cat (who is ADORABLE) and Duncan surprised me with an absolutely gorgeous Michael Kors watch. I’m still a little stunned by it. Every time I go to look at the time, I can’t help but smile.



The night concluded with a visit to a rooftop bar, where I had the most breathtaking view of the city as the sun was setting, followed by some New York style pizza- which is really the only way to end a perfect day.

And now, as the sun begins to set here again (sadly, I have no pizza this time,) I’m preparing to bid farewell to SoCal, and to what was an entirely and thoroughly enjoyable weekend. It was so, so nice to see some familiar faces- and meet some new ones, over the past few days, and while there were a couple of people I sadly did not get the chance to visit due to distance or time constraints- there’s always next time.

It seems that the only thing left to do before I go is stuff my face with one last heaping amount of In-N-Out Burger. I’m craving animal fries like you wouldn’t believe right now.

See you all back on the East Coast!


“We’ve got the ocean, got the babes, got the sun- we’ve got the waves.”

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Hello from beautiful San Diego, California!

This little four day getaway (I arrived Wednesday) was sort of a spur of the moment decision on my part. October looks as though it’s going to be a month full of fun events- with my time split between being at home in Massachusetts and in NYC- and November and December, as is the workplace tradition- will be very, very busy as the firm wraps up cases for the end of the year and prepares for 2014. It’s a little wild to think about- that in just a few months we’ll be heading into an entirely new year.

But I digress, since talking about time going by so quickly can be awfully depressing. Seeing an opportunity to get away, if only for a few days, before I am indubitably swamped, I flew out to Southern California to do, well, nothing. This is the first time in a long time where I’ve traveled somewhere, not to see any specific sights or participate in any specific activity under any specific schedule, but to just sort of come and go as I please- eat and drink where I want, sleep as late as I’d like (although I was up and moving at 7 A.M. Pacific Standard Time yesterday and this morning, so I guess some things never change, even on vacation,) and roll with the punches as they came at me- and it’s been phenomenal, and also very, very relaxing. I’ve discovered a ton of new places in the area to add to the list of places I already frequent and enjoy.

I’ve already explained my love for San Diego, and my long-term goal to eventually make the permanent move here, so there’s no need to bore anyone reading this with the details of my love affair yet again. This place is the best- and that’s really all that needs to be said.

While Wednesday was pretty quiet, low-key, and uneventful (after a pretty long and horrific flight, the only thing I really wanted to do was grab some food and take a nap in my hotel room,) yesterday was filled with a lot of exercise and exploring. I spent the majority of the morning and afternoon in Balboa Park, stopping by the San Diego Museum of Man (an absolutely massive and gorgeous building I’ve always admired from afar whenever I’m here,) to see an exhibit of Medieval torture devices- because why not? I only got a little queasy just once while reading the description of how one of the devices was used (spoiler alert: it was a device designed specifically for women,) but overall, it was morbidly fascinating. Definitely worth checking out if you’ve got the stomach for it.



As it turns out, my timing for this trip turned out to be perfect, especially last night when I stopped by The Griffin to grab a drink and catch a show put together by SoundDiego that featured Neighbors to the North (awesome,) the first live performance from Saint Diego (my new favorite band,) and my old pals, The Nervous Wreckords. Now, my love for the city of San Diego itself and it’s beautiful weather and lovely scenery is only surpassed by my love for the people I know here. I’ve known Brian, the frontman, since my teens- and Daniel, the keyboardist, for a while now, and I hadn’t had the pleasure of spending time with either one of them in about two years. The show was fantastic, but getting to see them and catch up afterwards was truly the highlight of my night (apart from Saint Diego covering CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising,” of course. That was the coolest thing ever.)

And major kudos to the friendly new faces I met last night who talked Boston sports with me (without ripping on my accent too much) and directed me to different things to check out in the city, either during this trip or the next time I’m in town. Those guys, and gals, made an already wonderful evening even better with their hospitality.

With only a couple of days left on the West Coast, I’m looking forward to visiting a few more friends and hitting the beach. It’s still early-ish here, however- and I think I hear breakfast calling my name.