photo diary | San Francisco (& a video)

My mother and I were very blessed to get out of the house for the weekend and experience the wonders of San Francisco. With the keys to a rental car and a list of must-see places, we were on a mission.

We started our journey with the very famous Golden Gate Bridge. We drove over it and ended up hiking up some mountains to obtain views that took our breath away. Literally.

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Amid our adventures, we stumbled upon several tiny gardens. The flowers were so vibrant it made our hearts dance with joy. My mom is featured in the photograph above feelings the grass between her toes. We were simply living.

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This is the famous Lombard Street: a one-way street in the heart of San Francisco that literally resembles the curves of a snake. Did I force my mom to drive us down it? Yes. Yes I did. She may or may not have screamed the whole time.

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The Painted Ladies- featured on the intro of Full House!

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Day two: We headed to the Piers/Fisherman’s Wharf by the Bay. The sunshine was in full force and the sunflowers danced in the wind. The energy alone gave me life.

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We decided to take a spur of the moment boat ride under the Golden Gate Bridge. IT WAS GRAND. We saw dolphins, a humpback whale, cruised next to pelicans and took a ride around Alcatraz island.

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A wonderful addition to the Piers is the happy guests who have made themselves at home. Most of them were either sleeping and sunbathing, or competing to see who was the better Alpha-male. These guys were hilarious. My mom and I took a solid 15-20 minutes to just observe them.

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Ghirardelli Square; home of the original Ghirardelli Chocolate factory. It also had cute shops and nice views- you can’t beat that.

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Baker Beach around golden hour. Charming, but absolutely freezing.

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Twin Peaks; daytime and at night. Appreciating San Fran from that high up was the best way we could’ve possibly ended our trip. We made beautiful memories together and I’m more than blessed that I was able to do so with my best friend.

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photo diary | San Francisco (& a video)

photo diary | adventures in nyc

Prior to this trip, I sat down on my bed with a pen in one hand and my journal in the other. I wanted this trip to be unique- an adventure. I wanted to see and experience New York like I never have before. So, I did some research. I jotted down events and locations that caught my eye, and made a tiny checkbox next to each one. It was my mission to check off every single box.

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DUMBO, Brooklyn; this was my very first time visiting this part of town and let me tell you- I was utterly and completely in love. It was an artistic community filled with gorgeous buildings and lovely coffee shops. If I could pack up my things and move there tomorrow, I most definitely would.

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Here is a photograph of me in a state of complete happiness, complimented by the ever-so-glorious Manhattan skyline. The photo is a bit overexposed and the shadows on my face are weird, but my smile is so genuine that I just fall in love with this photograph every time.

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Turtleneck gal (me) in a subway station

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Another first: visiting Chelsea! If you ever find yourself in this part of the city, check out The High Line. (It actually runs through multiple parts of town: Lower¬†West Side, Meatpacking District, etc). Anyway, The High Line is an abandoned railway that was eventually repurposed into an elevated public park. It’s filled with so many lovely plants and flowers and you get to walk through and above the city. HOW AMAZING IS THAT

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Washington Square Park; finally got a chance to walk under the Washington Square Arc and take in the gorgeous scenery of this park. (didn’t intend to make that rhyme)

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Lastly, I took a ride on the top of an incredibly touristy sightseeing bus. Whether you’ve lived in NYC or not, I highly recommend spending the money to take this tour. My parents and I learned so many interesting facts about the city, like how the Oreo was invented in Chelsea. On top of that, I got amazing photographs of the city that wouldn’t be achievable from walking around on the streets.

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Overall, I managed to complete my checklist and experience one of the most incredibly unique trips to New York I’ve taken thus far. This city never fails to inspire me and keep me coming back for more. You have my heart, New York.

photo diary | adventures in nyc

photo diary | favorite local getaways (1/5): riverside

Riverside (5 points) is a neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida located along the St. Johns river. I find myself coming here as a place to get away. Flowering with art and beauty, this part of town never fails to inspire me. Below, I featured pictures from my most visited and beloved places in Riverside. Whether it be the grand trees in Memorial Park, the dusty antiques and vintage records inside the shops, the rich smell of coffee at Bold Bean Coffee Roasters or the breathtaking views from the Cummer Art Museum- Riverside always has me coming back for more.

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photo diary | favorite local getaways (1/5): riverside

photo diary | there’s a first time for everything

This past weekend was filled with many exciting, new adventures. Something I have never done in my life is gone strawberry picking- or any kind of fruit, at that. My parents did a little research and were able to find this adorable little strawberry farm (Brown’s Farm; Hawthorne, FL) just a few hours away from where we live! We arrived and my mind was absolutely spinning from all of the beautiful colors and smells.

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We were able to bring home several GIANT buckets of strawberries. I think we ended up paying around $20 for it all, which, in my opinion, is completely worth it. Store bought strawberries can cost around $4 and are picked, selected and often times gassed by someone else. These were straight off of the vine and picked with my own two hands! There was something so relieving about picking my own food- this experience has inspired me to hand pick fruits more often. Plus, it was seriously one of the funnest, most unique things I’ve done in a while.

The other adventure that I experienced for the first time, was visiting the fair! I’ve been to a few smaller fairs before, but never the annual Clay County Fair. I’ve lived in Jacksonville, Florida for quite some time now, and everyone is always incredibly surprised when they find out that I’ve never been to the fair. This year I was determined to change that. I went at night with Joshua, Jenaya and Steven and had an absolute blast. We went on every ride until our stomachs were turning. The food was also notably interesting: FRIED BUBBLEGUM. I didn’t try it, but I’m sure it’s… delicious. Anyway, I had an amazing time and 10/10 did not die on the rides.

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photo diary | there’s a first time for everything