I’ve been to many places in the states, and San Diego continues to be one of my favorites. The relaxed vibes, beautiful weather (most of the time), and delicious food always draw me in. It helps that Leo’s close friend lives there and that I have family there as well – a free place to stay is definitely a selling point!
Though it’s a smaller city, San Diego surprisingly has more variety than you’d think. You can get the college town feel in Pacific Beach, hippie vibes in Ocean Beach, partake in the hipster scene in North Park, feel like you’re on a weekend getaway in La Jolla…the list goes on! After our many trips there, we typically hit up our favorite spots in terms of shopping & restaurants, and pepper in a few new places as well. Below are my highlights in regards to restaurants & bars, shopping & exploring!
Given I have a good amount of family in LA, it was always a place I visited frequently growing up. I realized in recent years the sheer size of the city and how much I hadn’t yet explored, despite my many visits. I’ve been itching to go back to check out the hot spots…but since Leo travels to LA often for work, it’s been a tough sell to get him to go for pleasure. We finally booked a trip for post-Christmas, and brought in the New Year very LA style at a house party in Hollywood Hills. It was a much needed break from our crazy lives lately, particularly the gorg weather (we did have a few days of rain – but hey, still 40+ degrees warmer than Chicago)!
We did plenty of exploring, eating, shopping across this beautiful city. Below are my recommended places to eat/drink/shop/explore based on my recent experience!
It’s hard to believe it’s only been about 6 weeks since we came back from our Greece/Dubai trip. I’ve found as things have become more stressful at home, I’ve been dreaming more and more about traveling again…just bouncing from place to place, solely with the intention of indulging on new experiences & soaking in every moment of life. I try not to live for the weekend, but it seems like that has been the trend as of late, and I need to break out of it! There is so much more to life than wishing for the time to pass more quickly. I’m sure in years to come I will regret doing so.
I’ve already posted some tidbits from my beautiful trip on the blog (here and here), but I found there are a handful of photos that I never shared. They’re just too beautiful to keep to stored away in my hard drive, so I’m sharing these with you today. These photos are a mix of shots that were taken in Rhodes & Chania, Crete back in September.
I’ve done a fair amount of international travel the last few years. I LOVE traveling, but we can all agree that the worst part of it is having to sit on an airplane for extended periods of time. Everything about the experience is less than ideal – the seats, food, the fact that it’s always COLD, the dry air…the list goes on. Bottom line is, it kind of sucks. Luckily, there are products out there that make flying more bearable. You’d be surprised how much small changes can improve your overall travel experience! Shop the products I can’t travel without below.
A couple of weeks ago, my obsession with flea markets reached an all time high. After years of failing to go, I FINALLY made it to Vintage Garage Chicago, and it was glorious. For all of you flea market lovers, please take a seat as I explain.
Vintage Garage is essentially a massive garage takeover. On a normal day, this is your typical city parking garage. On the 3rd Sunday of every month from April-October, it turns into a magical place. You’ll find 75 vendors swarming the garage, and it’s filled to the brim with everything vintage. Furniture, clothing, jewelry, decor, art and more. Let’s just say this is my flea market dream come true.
During my Greece trip a few weeks back, we spent a few days in Dubai. I know, it’s not like it’s just around the corner from Greece…we went for a reason. Leo’s best friend got married in Athens, and both the bride & groom wanted to share a few special days with their closest friends in a place none of us had been before. Dubai just happened to be that place.
After nearly one week of being on vacation, I’ve finally let go of everything going on at home. I’m a big believer of long vacations – I’m not able to decompress over a long weekend, and to me a successful holiday is one where you release every stress of daily life and enjoy the little things. Let’s just say I’ve been indulging on the “little things” lately and am loving every moment of it!
The last few days, we’ve been in Rhodes. This is both Leo and I’s first time on the island, and despite it’s large size, it’s actually quite charming. As with most Greek islands, you have the option to dress up or down depending on your mood and planned activities. The other night, we planned a low-key dinner, so I decided this was the perfect moment to wear these funky linen pants I picked up in Athens last weekend.
Over Memorial Day weekend, my mom and I decided we needed a quick getaway from the city. Leo was away in Greece at a bachelor party (MAJOR #envy ) so I thought, why not? I’d never properly seen Michigan, and my mom has been talking it up for years now. I was also overdue on my annual Mom trip.
Mom put together a super aggressive schedule for us…I wasn’t too psyched about driving for ~14 hours there and back, but it actually turned out to be a nice little road trip. I popped in some of my favorite podcasts, and enjoyed driving sans Chicago traffic (although we did get our taste of it coming back to the city – a nice welcome back to reality!).
Our first stop was Empire, Michigan, home of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful this place was. I’d never seen Lake Michigan like this before – it was so clean and a stunning bright blue. Surrounding the lake were these massive sand dunes, conveniently lined with trails that lead straight to the beach.
I find myself spending more and more time in Logan Square. What used to seem so far away is now only just a few stops away on the Blue Line. This happens to be the “in” neighborhood at the moment in terms of where the coolest new bars and restaurants are popping up, and of course I follow the food wherever it goes (shocker). I will say that the dining & bar scene in Logan is unique to the rest of the city – the owners are taking more risks and don’t succumb to what’s currently mainstream. It’s also unbelievably pretty. The charm of the beautiful, historical houses on Logan Blvd and all of the greenery is truly hard to come by in Chicago. Clearly, I’m a big fan. Anyway, I can go on and on…so let’s get down to business. Here is my latest Chicago neighborhood guide – my top spots to eat, drink, shop & explore in Logan Square (I’ll keep adding to it as I discover new places!).
Part of the reason I was MIA last week (and you may have caught this on Instagram) was because I took a long weekend & visited friends in New York City. After four days of eating, drinking, shopping, & exploring – I was EXHAUSTED. I love love love NYC, but I can understand why it’s not for everyone. Just being in such a crowded & congested environment can really take a toll on you! I will say, however, that one thing I find fascinating about New York City is that even amongst the craziness, I feel at home. I get the sense that a lot of people share the same sentiment. Perhaps it’s the diversity of the city – it’s welcoming & comforting in a way. All in all, our trip was a success, so I wanted to share some spots we checked out while we were there (only ones I’d go back to..obvs)!