• Travel,  United States

    Skyline Drive in the Fall

    One of my favorite fall activities is to visit Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park! Skyline Drive is a scenic route atop the Blue Ridge Mountains, stretching 105 miles long. This is the only public road through the park. Not only does Skyline Drive boast stunning views from Front Royal to Waynesboro, it also offers access to hiking trails, camp sites, picnic areas, and cabins. There are four entrances to Skyline Drive: Front Royal Entrance (off of 66 in Front Royal, VA) Thornton Gap Entrance (off of 211 near Sperryville, VA) Swift Run Gap Entrance (off of 33 near Harrisonburg, VA) Rockfish Gap Entrance (off of 64/250 near Waynesboro,…

  • Life,  United States

    Virginia Horseback Trail Ride

    For my fiance’s birthday, I surprised him with a horseback trail ride in Front Royal, Virginia!  There are a lot of stables in the DC area, but I decided to book with a stable in Front Royal so we could enjoy the mountain views without driving all the way to the Shenandoah area.   I looked at several different places before deciding on Double H Stables.  There are a lot of great options and each have pretty affordable prices for hour or 90 minute rides.  I mainly chose Double H for the convenient location off the highway and I thought the trails would offer great views.   I was nervous that the…

  • Travel,  United States

    Bienvenidos a Miami

    The reputation of Miami definitely precedes itself.  While I was a Teaching Assistant in France, all of my students wanted to know if I had been to Miami or LA. They were very disappointed to hear that I had not!  Last month, I finally took my first trip to Miami with my fiance. I can now understand why Miami is so popular!  It is an expensive destination, but it is well worth the trip.  Between the cuban influence and the glamour, this city is definitely one-of-a-kind! We spent every day relaxing on South Beach, dancing to latin music, and people watching on Ocean Drive. Before leaving, we spent an afternoon…

  • Life,  United States

    Getting Around DC: E-Scooters

    E-Scooters can be found all over Washington, DC (as well as many other urban areas). There are several companies available now throughout the city – so which are the best to use?  DC offers a myriad of public transportation, so it may be surprising for some that e-scooters have become so popular. Some rent them for convenience while some rent them for the fun of it (they are surprisingly fast!).  E-scooters can be great, but also dangerous if not ridden with caution.   I started renting scooters on my way to work when I discovered that I could get to the office in half the time it took me to metro…

  • Travel,  United States

    Cherry Blossom Festival

    It’s that time of year folks! It’s Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC! Every year around this time, people from all over come to DC to see the coveted cherry trees blooming around the tidal basin and other areas. This also sparks a festival with various events in the city. The trees were planted beginning in 1912, but new trees have been planted regularly since then. Peak bloom was Monday, April 1st! This was no April Fool’s joke, because I brought my puppy and walked around the basin on Monday and indeed the trees are blooming! Peak bloom is supposed to be when at least 70% of the trees are…

  • Travel,  United States

    Richmond French Film Festival 2018

    Every winter, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond partner to host the French Film Festival at the historic Byrd Theatre.  They select feature films and short films from the previous calendar year to show for one weekend.  It’s unfortunately pretty rare to have access to foreign films in the states, so this is a great opportunity to see some recent french movies.  The festival always features a variety of film genres and people come from all over to attend. Nearly each film at the French Film Festival is also presented by either the director, actor, screenwriter, or costume designer.  The movie airs with subtitles and after the film…

  • Travel,  United States

    Firefly Festival 2018

    Firefly Music Festival was the first camping festival I attended, in 2016.  I went with a handful of friends and we camped on a 30-person lot.  I had so much fun at this festival, I’d been dying to go back!  Last summer I was still broke from living in France, but this summer I was committed to going again! I paid for a 6-person camping site, because I thought some friends would be joining.  Note to self, you probably should not spend money on a shared camping site unless your “fellow campers” actually buy their festival tickets as well.  As we got closer and closer to the festival weekend, it…

  • Travel,  United States

    Washington, DC Bucket List

    National Mall Having grown up in the area, I didn’t fully appreciate DC until the past few years.  I usually associated the city with my 5 consecutive field trips to the SAME Smithsonian Museum snoozefest.  After I went off to school, and began traveling more, I started looking at DC completely differently.  I am finding myself weeks from leaving the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia), with a bucket list that is way too long! Working in DC the past year or so has definitely pushed me to take more advantage of the area.  However, I kept finding time was passing and I wasn’t doing half of what I wanted to!  So now…

  • Travel,  United States

    San Diego | April 2016

     This past April, my mother and I did a little mommy-daughter trip to the West Coast!  While eating breakfast at our hotel in San Diego, I had my little tablet out to write a couple of emails for my then-new Stella & Dot business, when I saw the email with my acceptance to TAPIF for the fall!!  I was so shocked I couldn’t form words!  This trip will always be extra memorable due to the big news arriving during the vacation, but it was also a really special trip for me in other ways.  For the first time in my life, I got to see the Pacific Ocean! San Diego is one of…