First time in Asheville

les coffee

If there is one place that I could pick-up and impulsively move to, it would be:

Asheville, NC.

Drew and I went there this weekend after our trip to Atlanta to see his cousin marry her beau in the sweetest ceremony/reception. It was lovely, but I realized that I did not take one picture in Atlanta. Not one.

Part of that had to do with the fact that we stayed in Downtown which is sort of like Las Vegas (hear me out) in the sense that the only thing there is major chains and party-goers. Restaurant choices involved Hard Rock Café, Hooters and Chick-fil-A. Night clubs in the area are numerous, according to our hotel concierge when asked what there is to do; Or we could have taken a tour of the Coca-Cola factory. I wish we could have gone with a guide, a local who could show us the neat little restaurants and other places where locals hung out.

So when Drew woke up Sunday morning and said, “What do you think about going to Asheville?” I jumped at the idea and immediately started packing.

We arrived in Asheville around 4PM. (we had our little love-pup, Jade, so traveling always takes just a little longer once we get her walked/fed/potty-ed) Our first stop was Ben’s Tune Up, where we stumbled upon once parking the car and were drawn in by the cute patio. The owner’s dog was wandering around the area off-leash, so we took Jade off her leash and let her roam, too. (Although, Jade’s area of roaming is about a 5 foot radius around our table, she didn’t go far)

After that, we checked into our hotel room at Aloft Downtown Asheville. If you are ever looking for a pet-friendly spot, I highly recommend this chain. There are no additional pet fees, and they will give you a pet bed, two bowls, poop bags, a toy, and a bag of treats for your furry friend. Plus, they have a pet area (Grass where your doggie can do they’re business) and your pet is allowed anywhere in the hotel you are. Also, they work with local shelters and feature an adoptable dog in the lobby of the hotel. Looking for something to remember Asheville? Adopt a pet on your stay!

Since we were only in Asheville for about 24 hours, we didn’t see a whole lot of the city, mostly the downtown area. We drank a lot of beer and coffee, ate some awesome food, and basically just got a preview to the wonders of the city/area. I can’t wait to go back!

When we do go back, I want to visit the breweries and check out the hiking trails. The people there are SO friendly and anyplace that treats Jade like the child I think she is, is high in my book.

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Jade Aloft

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Going Native

First, this is not a sponsored post.

I love AirBnB. And Homeaway. And whatever other vacation rental site I haven’t yet heard of or used.

There is something exciting and thrilling to travel somewhere and stay in a cool neighborhood like a local, experiencing things that most tourists aren’t going to. And whenever I say that, I think about my college Anthropology class where the professor described the term “Going Native” a common experience for anthropologists who are studying cultures and getting lost in them. That’s exactly what I like to do when I travel, get lost in the local culture.

I have stayed in many homes around the world, and honestly must say that all of them were excellent. It’s amazing how the internet has brought us such a great resource to find apartments or treehouses or boats to stay in instead of the ‘normal’ hotel. And to think that Europeans have been doing this for decades… glad we Americans have finally caught on.

To me, nothing is cooler than waking up in a neighborhood, going to a local coffee shop and seeing how life happens in that city outside of the tourist meccas and shopping centers. However, that also means that if you are in a country that doesn’t speak the same language, you are going to find that it will be more difficult to find fellow English speakers. But don’t fret, you’ll forget about the language barrier as you drink the booze that is way cheaper in the neighborhoods (Because it’s not marked up for tourists who don’t know any better, or don’t care)

When we were in Paris, we loved the Airbnb that we rented. It happened to be directly across the street from our friend’s childhood home where his parents still live; and a block or two from another friend’s apartment. Not to mention, it was in Montmarte so just an all-around splendid neighborhood, great food, great nightlife, delicious patisseries and coffee shops. In Mexico, I stayed in Roma Norte, a very trendy “Hipster” area with bike shops and markets on nearly every block, as well as Parque Mexico a short walk away.

If you are going somewhere, definitely check out renting someone’s home in a neat area over a hotel on the main strip. We’re going to Atlanta next week, and I am already looking into some cool rentals down there. Like the famous Treehouse or a cute camper.

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Mexico Holiday

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At the end of April, we went to Mexico.

The whole trip was planned around the union of Drew’s brother, Ben and his love (Now wife) Clau, in a lovely ceremony near her hometown in the mountains outside of Toluca. And it was spectacularly beautiful. We drove from Mexico City through windy roads watching farmers plow fields without the advanced technology we call tractors, and people outside their cinder-block homes playing with their children just to get to the site of the wedding.

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Skyline Drive

I love living in the city.

But I also love to celebrate nature, experience it, and be immersed in it. Especially this time of year when the fall colors are in their prime!

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Since Drew is from this area, he told me that one of the most beautiful places to see the fall colors is in Shenandoah National Park along Skyline Drive. So we had to check it out!

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Anniversary Post – 4 Whole years!

I love Drew. We are so lucky to have found each other at our ripe age of 20 something. The adventures we’ve had, the memories we’ve made, and the fur babies we’ve adopted, have all been life changing events (For the better); I can’t imagine a great life made any other way.

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Top 5 Vacations to take in 2016

As I mentioned in a previous post, we did a lot of traveling in 2015. More than I think I have ever done in my life! It was a lot! Unfortunately, it’s difficult to follow a year like that. But I’m optimistic that we will make this one just as exciting and full of travel. (It will just be closer to home travel)

  1. Ashville, NC

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It seems like everyone is talking about Ashville, NC. Every blog I read, every Instagram post, everyone I talk to,

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How to Travel More

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Last year, around this time, I read a blog post about traveling. In the post, the writer recommended that we should all work hard to travel at least once a month. This post came from a travel blogger, mind you, so when I was reading the post I thought to myself, “yeah, easy for you to say, you travel around the world for a living!” 

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On Resolutions

Sunrise over Paris
Sunrise over Paris

I was talking to a friend the other day about the holiday season, specifically what we did for the new year in celebration of the clock striking 12 on the first day of a brand new number.

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2015 Year in Review #Humblebrag

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I can’t believe we are one day away from 2016! It seems like every year we always say the same thing about the previous year, that it went by so fast. And this one was no different. My mom recently had her second hip-replacement surgery which reminded me that I began this year at her home in Colorado, playing nurse (being really happy that’s not the career path I chose while admiring all those amazing nurses and just WOW; you all are angels, no really, you are.) By the end of last January, I felt like I had a solid direction for my life path, little did I know, I had no idea. However, I returned to California with a plan. I was going to shoot my own stuff, be my own artist and refuse to slow down… Until we went to Paris. And thus, the humble brag begins:

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Merry Christmas!

Jade meets Santa
Jade meets Santa

I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas! This year has FLOWN by and I can’t believe all of the incredible places we got to go, the things we got to do, and the people we were lucky enough to spend time with. It’s been a wonderful year!

So again, Merry Christmas.

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