I’ve got an incurable case of wanderlust. I started noticing symptoms a few months ago: a serious bout of ADD, the desire to swivel in my desk chair non-stop, the inability to stop looking at travel pins on Pinterest, and the unshakable urge to walk around my office for no apparent reason. So, naturally, when the opportunity to fly to DC for a full 48 hours presented itself, I jumped at the chance. Anything for a cure, right?
I packed my duffle bag, and drove with Fritz and my friend Max to CVG. We left CVG for Dulles and stayed with our friend Tommy’s sister, Annie, in Arlington. Her apartment was adorable, and I have to thank her a million times over for letting us stay for the weekend.
Between the Halloween constuming, bar crawling, site seeing and chili eating, the quick trip was definitely worth every penny (and trust me, drinks in DC aren’t cheap). I’m already planning my next trip back, though next time, I’ll opt for warmer weather.
Here’s more of my weekend trip to DC in photos:
If you were to ask your friends for a list of things they want to accomplish in life, chances are some would say, “go on a cross-country road trip.” It’s a common entry on bucket lists, and for good reason. Cross-country road tripping, like skydiving, makes a person sound instantly cooler. You know what I’m talking about – “That one time, on my cross-country road trip….”
Well, my friend Aline is one of those cool people. She packed her bags, hopped in a car and drove more than 2,000 miles from Cincinnati to L.A. Here’s some of the valuable lessons she learned along the way:
Top 10 Tips for the Cross-Country Traveler:
- Make sure you can tolerate who you’re in the car with. There is nothing worse then being stuck in the middle of the desert, in a tiny car, with no escape route. Make sure that the person you’ll be traveling with for hours on end, is someone you can tolerate. Trust me.
- Map out your trip around landmarks and be aware of their hours of operation. You want to know what’s the worst feeling? Going four hours out of your way only to realize the Four Corners is closed, it’s 1 a.m., and you still have a three hour drive ahead of you. Please don’t let this happen to you.
- Give yourself enough time to enjoy the sights. If you want to make the most out of a cross country trip, give yourself plenty of time to make stops and really experience the country. An 11 a.m. start time for a 12 hour drive day? It’s a waste of a day. “The early bird gets the worm” phrase applies to road trips.
- Come up with car rules before you hit the road. You might assume that car etiquette is commonly known. Although, you know what they say when you assume? Exactly. Establish the rules before the trip begins to avoid unnecessary conflicts. For example, let the driver pick the music. This is America after all.
- Route 66 does still exist, so follow it! There is nothing cooler than driving through a deserted town. What’s even cooler is having the opportunity to take a picture in front of the historic Route 66 sign. Plus, (after days and numerous hours spent in a car) the end of the trail leads you to a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica Pier!
- If you are about to lose it and go off on the person you are traveling with, wait until you get to civilization. There is nothing worse then getting into an argument in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, with no escape. Wait until you get to the hotel where there is at least a bathroom you can hide in until things settle down.
- After a couple of days of eating crappy food, you will crave fresh food. For me, it was fruit. Don’t worry, I was able to find a gas station with fresh grapes in New Mexico. But, just in case you don’t have that luck, pack a cooler with some healthy eats. You won’t regret it.
- Sunscreen is your best friend. You won’t believe it, but after sitting in a car for 12 hours, with the windows up, driving through the desert, without a cloud in the sky, you will find that yes, you still managed to get a sun burn.
- Selfies will become your best friend. Even if you’ve sworn you’d never jump on the selfie bandwagon, you will succumb to the pop culture phenomenon. I now have a selfie in front of the Grand Canyon that I will cherish forever. In all of its tilted, terribly-angled glory.
- Last but not least, do not forget to live in the moment. It’s too easy to focus on the destination. It is after all, the finish line of your trip. However, I encourage you to try and live in the moment. There’s nothing better than the peacefulness of the open road. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime, beautiful experience!
And one last tip, for good measure – Whether you’re planning a four hour drive or a 24 hour drive, be sure to check out Roadtrippers. They’re a super cool Cincinnati start-up (with national recognition). Their site and app allow to you search along a route to find hip restaurants, attractions and other noteworthy destinations.
Have you been on a cross-country road trip before? What are some of your tips?
This past Saturday, my friends and I ventured to historic German Village for a quick bite to eat at The Brown Bag Deli. I instantly fell in love with its cool atmosphere, menu options (that change daily) and food quality. And great food just tastes better when it’s a nice day and you can park yourself at a picnic table.
I decided to take a break from all of the cookouts (and the beer that came with said cookouts), so I went with the Brown Bag’s Mediterranean Salad (delish), while my friends opted for sandwiches. Fritz let me try his, and needless to say, if he didn’t ask for it back I would have eaten it all myself. And then moved on to the next plate. After we ate our lunch in the sun, we walked over to Jeni’s Spledid Ice Creams (born in 2002). Because, I don’t know if you guys know this, but no meal is complete without ice cream. If you haven’t been to Jeni’s, then you really need to go. It’s my sweet, sweet downfall.
My life changed when I tried Jeni’s Whiskey Pecan a couple years ago (SO GOOD). This time, I went with Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel. And if there’s one thing you should know about Jeni’s, it’s this – their Salted Caramel is out. of. this. world. Seriously, try it.
Jeni, if you’re reading this, I hope you set up shop in Cincinnati real soon.
Have you been to Columbus? What are some of your favorite spots?
As promised, part II of my Cleveland adventure is comin’ atcha. Like I mentioned before, I took way too many pictures for my own good. My iPhone is full, and I’ve resorted to deleting apps to make room for more pictures. It’s bad, guys.
On Sunday, Brian and I walked to Gypsy Beans & Bakery, a coffee shop right down the street from his apartment. I took one look at their Passport Drinks menu, and just had to order “The World” iced coffee with almond milk. It was perfectly sweet and nutty, and just right for a sweltering summer day. We sat outside and waited for my boyfriend Fritz (in town for the Indians game) to meet us. The three of us layered on the sunscreen and headed over to Hingetown for the Sunday Market.
And guys, this market. I loved every minute of it. I stuffed my face with a bagel from The Cleveland Bagel Co. that was slathered with chorizo cream cheese, browsed the items for sale, and picked up another iced tea from Cleveland Tea Revival (it really is addicting). It was my lucky day when I stumbled upon a circa 1970’s colorful jug for my bar cart and a map of Cincinnati from 1972. I scored both for $11.
After the market, Brian and I headed to the beach to soak up some sun and take even more pictures. It was the perfect way to end my weekend in Cleveland. Here are some of the highlights from my Sunday Funday:
This past weekend, I ventured north to Cleveland to visit my friend Brian. We went to college together in Cincinnati, and we used to bicker (lovingly, of course) about whose hometown was best (Cincinnati vs. Cleveland). And while Cincinnati still holds the #1 spot in my heart, Cleveland is a very close second. Its food, hometown spirit and gorgeous lake views were enough to convince me. It’s a pretty awesome place.
Brian is from Cleveland, and is passionate about the city. He’s actively engaged in its LGBTQ community, and he literally knows everyone. It’s always nice to stay with someone who has such love for their city, because you’re guaranteed to eat, shop and explore (without getting lost) like a local.
We perused the shops near his apartment in the Gordon Square Arts District, made a pit stop in Hingetown and then headed to dinner at this adorable little French restaurant called Le Petit Traingle Cafe. It was delicious. I ate so much I almost had to have Brian roll me out the door. Here are some moments from my first night in the CLE:
[Inside Yellowcake Shop, an adorable boutique owned by a Project Runway alum]
[Vintage movie theater chairs outside of Guide to Kulchur, a used bookstore across from Brian’s apartment ]
[Our visit to Cleveland Tea Revival in Hingetown]
[Food on food on wine and good company]
Part II of my adventure in Cleveland is coming at you tomorrow (I took too many pictures for my own good). Happy Monday!
I’m writing this post while staring at Linus, the Peanuts character, whose face is stamped on my right hand. The stubborn, red ink remains from my last trip to Cedar Point, an amusement park in Sandusky, OH that’s situated on the banks of Lake Erie.
If you’ve never been, then I highly suggest you stop reading this, get in your car and make the trek right now. Seriously. It’s a place you don’t want to miss. It’s a prime spot for people watching, and there’s something so nostalgic about theme parks in the summertime (Adventure Land, anyone?). Plus, I love the feeling I get when free-falling down 310-feet of track, with the wind from the lake in my hair.
Make a mad-dash to two of my favorite rides, Millennium Force and Maverick, but be sure to get there when the park opens because the lines fill up quickly (apparently these rides are everyone’s favorites). Take in the beautiful lake views from the top of Wind Seeker. And if you’re really feeling adventurous, walk over to Top Thrill Dragster, a ride that catapults you from zero to 120 miles in just four seconds. Yes, four seconds.
I know I may talk a big game, but I’ll admit, I didn’t always love rollercoasters. I used to get sick to my stomach at the sight of the hills. And yes, I’ve been guilty of crying at the peak of a hill, too (it’s a long story). But peer pressure worked to my advantage one day after my cousins convinced me to ride the Vortex, an intimidating (at the time) steel coaster at Kings Island in Cincinnati. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I bought my Platinum Pass last weekend (I’m basically a VIP, nbd) so I’ll be making many trips to the park this summer. Here’s to 16oz ICEEs, Snoopy sightings, Toft’s ice cream, thrill rides and more adventures at “America’s rockin’ roller coast.”