Since U Been Gone

It has been a bit since my last post. They say “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I’ve filled the last few months with plane tickets and passport stamps. I ended 2014 “the year of travel” by spending an incredible 10 days in London, Paris, and Brussels. As soon as 2015 arrived, I headed up to North Carolina to visit family then on to Las Vegas and sunny Los Angeles. Now that my life has settled down a bit before my next big adventure, I thought it would be the perfect time to play catch up.

IMG_7617^^Colorful blooms at the Columbia Road Flower Market in London.

IMG_7074^^Taking a quick snap inside the photobooth at Giada’s new Vegas eatery!

IMG_8736^^Every single building in Paris is so simply beautiful.

IMG_7011^^A carousel constructed entirely of fresh flowers inside the Wynn Vegas.

DSC_4472^^The incredible Jeff Koons exhibit at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset^^A casual baguette lunch across from The Louvre in the Tuileries Garden.

IMG_8168^^It wouldn’t be a trip to Belgium without a Belgian waffle!

IMG_9517^^A collection of the old Vegas neon signs at the Neon Museum boneyard.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset^^A ridiculously good chocolate hazelnut cookie at Sycamore Kitchen in LA.

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All That Glitters is Gold

I was surprised to find myself so busy after my move back to Florida. I’ve decided after a week of unpacking shoes, purses, and clothes that I should never walk out of a store with another shopping bag again.

One of the coolest things to do on a summer night in my town is to head over to the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks and dine out under the stars at “A Night in the Islands.” The streets are filled with tables, lights are strung along the docks, the sponge boats are lit up, and the sound of Greek music fills the air. Alyse and I had a wonderful time catching up and enjoying one of my favorite Greek meals. Afterwards, we met up with our friends Lindsey and Nicole for some drinks at our favorite local bar, Peggy O’Neills.

I planned the last two weeks of my life around the Summer Olympics. My evening plans were determined by whether there was a big swim meet or if the girl’s gymnastics team was competing. I fell completely in love with the gymnasts (as I do every Olympic games) and felt like a part of the audience cheering along with my TV. It was absolutely amazing seeing these young girls win gold. I don’t know if it’s the good looking guys or getting to see them continuously breaking world records, but swimming is also such a fun sport to follow during the Games.

What better way to close the Olympics then with a Spice Girls reunion performance! I was belting out every word to “Spice Up Your Life” and wishing I had my old Posh Spice Halloween costume and inflatable microphone.

I spent last week in the lovely state of North Carolina. It was a long 11 hour drive but completely worth the trip. We spent the weekend with tons of relatives at our family reunion. It’s always fun when family from all over the country gets together. We spent the weekend telling old stories, swimming long past sunset, filling up on comfort food, and playing with all the younger cousins.

We took a day trip to the quaint little town of Mt. Airy for lunch at Barney’s Cafe and antique shopping. Mt. Airy inspired the town of Mayberry from “The Andy Griffith Show.” The cast of the show used to spend a lot of time in this cute Southern town. All of the shops and restaurants are even named after characters on the show. We stopped at the Andy Griffith Museum which I actually found quite interesting. I remember watching the old black and white episodes as a kid.

On Sunday morning, I got up early and enjoyed the spectacular view from the second story porch. Enjoying a cup of coffee while overlooking the mountains isn’t a bad way to start your day. We spent our final afternoon with my sweet little cousins Jeb and Elizabeth in Downtown Winston-Salem. We had Sunday Brunch in the outdoor garden at the Old Fourth Street Filling Station. I had unbelievable Caramel Apple French toast which might have put me into a sugar coma. After brunch, we explored the historic district of town called Old Salem. The weather was absolutely perfect for strolling through the sunflower-filled gardens, savoring afternoon milkshakes, and popping into the little shops.