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.

1VSCO Cam-6DSC_9863DSC_9819

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.

DSC_9805Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

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

4

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.

DSC_9954

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.

DSC_0005DSC_0020

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 preset

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

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

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

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset2

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.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

photo diary | San Francisco (& a video)

photo diary | foodies take NYC (& a video)

Processed with VSCO with g3 presetAhh, yes. Another visit to the ever-so-magical New York City. I was given the opportunity to go with my friend and business partner, NateDoesFood. We spent four days scouting the city for the finest food spots and coffee shops. This was a unique experience for me, as I’m particularly used to Starbucks and corner hot dog stands.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetThe snow-covered scenery practically took my breath away. CollageWe started off our trip with a 5-course lunch at Bouley. The first room you entered was filled with beautiful flowers and a wall stacked with fresh apples- the smell was indescribable. Processed with VSCO with g3 presetThis is the main dining room. It immediately transported me to a castle in France- from the smells, to the architecture, to the paintings on the walls. The men were required to wear suit jackets and I felt disrespectful if my pinky WASN’T in the air every time I sipped my beverage. Needless to say, it was a very classy place.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetFresh green apple sorbetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetLater on that day, we had reservations for a 15 course private Chefs Table at Empellón Cocina. Processed with VSCO with g3 presetInverse Taco al PastorProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetIce Cream TacosProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetThe following morning, we beat the sun rise and ran to the hotels roof top to catch some spectacular views. I was sleepy, but completely in awe of the golden morning views of the city skyline.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetThe first stop of the day was at Devoción Coffee Shop in Brooklyn. The vibes were inspiring, from the brick walls to the giant plant walls. I definitely felt at ease here as I sipped my beautiful Latte. Processed with VSCO with g3 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetThe next stop was a small hole-in-the-wall place called Sweatshop. We filled our bellies with yummy Avocado Toast and Acai Bowls. Processed with VSCO with g3 presetThis was easily the coolest plant shop I’ve ever been in. We came in here simply to warm up from the frigid temperatures outside and found ourselves inspired by the aesthetics.Processed with VSCO with c1 presetRoberta’s Pizza in BrooklynProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetvsco-photo-5Mountain Province Espresso Bar in Brooklyn. I was a happy gal sipping on a warm Chai Tea Latte. Nate ordered a Taro Latte, which had beautiful purple tones.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetD.U.M.B.O, Brooklyn; The transition from day to night absolutely blew my mind. What was once a pastel orange sky, quickly faded into deep, dark tones, illuminated by sparkling city lights. I will forever be in awe of this view; this view is what keeps me going.Processed with VSCO with g3 presetvsco-photo-4 2Ludlow Coffee SupplyProcessed with VSCO with g3 presetStopped at the Chelsea Market for some tacos! It was my first time here, and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re in the neighborhood and looking to try new foods.CollageeThe Solomon R. Guggenheim museum. Another first for me! I enjoyed walking around this spiral museum and being delighted by the some of the worlds most famous pieces. I was particularly taken back by this letter written by Vincent Van Gogh. While museums are typically filled with artwork, it’s not every day you see handwritten letters from the artist.  Processed with VSCO with c1 presetA Beet Juice Latte from Bluestone Lane Coffee. I was a bit nervous to try this, but new it would be extremely photogenic. To my surprise it was actually delicious!Processed with VSCO with g3 presetWe spent the last day meeting up with Jae NYC eats- Janice de Castro who is a Queens-based pastry chef and creator of ‘Cakies’. She took us to New Territories- an ice cream place known for their monstrous creations.

Overall, I had an overwhelming, but wonderful experience. My taste buds were enlightened; I will forever have a newfound appreciation for food.

photo diary | foodies take NYC (& 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.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

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.

DSC_0059

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.

DSC_0174

Turtleneck gal (me) in a subway station

DSC_0071DSC_0087Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

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

DSC_0137DSC_0150DSC_0152

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)

dsc_0100dsc_0105

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.

img_2965

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 | 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.

DSC_0147DSC_0158DSC_0179DSC_0160

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

photo diary | there’s a first time for everything