Lavender in Provence: A visit to the Sénanque Abbey

“Oh, the lavender fields. They’re so beautiful this time of year. You can’t tell because they’ve already been cut. Womp womp. This is an iconic site to photograph in the summertime when the lavender fields are in full bloom, usually July. Nestled between two hillsides, it’s a quiet place in the Provençal valley where you can see beautiful tints and shades of purple dancing in the summer fields as the sun sets, leaving their pale shadows hovering in the mists of the morning.”

Ice Skating at the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center

So now at 36 years old, as soon as I stepped on the ice, I felt an instant rush of panic, but only for a few seconds. I knew the only way to get over it was just to skate and see what happens. If you fall, you fall. Do your best to be careful and not injure yourself too badly.

Dinner in Savannah │The Olde Pink House

While planning a trip to Savannah, I had asked around for restaurant recommendations and this was the most talked about place. The house drink, the Pink Lady, would be a great choice for those who don’t drink much and don’t like the taste of alcohol because of how sweet it is. I loved their chili pepper-infused Bloody Mary. It was a delicious drink and since Savannah allows you to walk around with an open container just like in the French Quarter, I ordered one to go!

The Olde Pink House │ Savannah History

Dating back to 1771, the original structure was only a quarter of what it is today. One feature of the house was the white paint slathered over the stucco-plaster exterior. Unfortunately, the hot, humid summers caused the white paint to drip off, exposing the pink stucco underneath. They had to reapply a coat of white paint each year that would subsequently dissipate each year in the summer humidity. After sitting vacant for a number of years, the house was converted in 1812 into what would become Georgia’s first bank, Planter’s Bank.

Drinks at The Collins Quarter in Savannah

I’ve become a Bloody Mary connoisseur lately, but I’m still new to the game. I saw the Thumber’s Bunny Mary on the menu which is vodka mixed with a house-made, fresh-pressed carrot-ginger juice, topped off with a pickled vegetable garnish. It’s not your typical Bloody Mary. She told me you have to like carrot quite a bit to enjoy it. I don’t even like carrot cake, but I figured I’d plunge a little deeper in the Bloody Mary game and try something new.

Moonshine-Runners: Making NASCAR

“Moonshiners put more time, energy, thought, and love into their cars than any racers ever will. Lose on the track, and you go home. Lose with a load of whiskey, and you go to jail.” – Junior Johnson, NASCAR legend.

The Beauregard-Keyes House History in New Orleans

The house gained fame after the family had some local mafia members murdered on the back gallery. After falling into disrepair for a number of years, it was purchased in 1926 by New Orleans architect, General Allison Owen. A group of local women established Beauregard House Inc. to prevent the house from being turned into a macaroni factory and convinced Gen. Owen to preserve the house as a memorial for Gen. Beauregard. How fitting that Owen’s father, William Miler, was one of the founders of the Louisiana Historical Association.

Renting a unique car on vacation

We found a site that is like AirBnB for cars. Car owners can rent out their vehicles for a price and can also rent with insurance and other options. I wanted to use Turo again on my solo trip to Los Angeles in 2019. And again, I chose a new convertible – a 2018 Fiat Spider – and it was the smoothest transaction all around. I just hopped on a bus right outside the baggage claim at LAX, which is free to and from the airport. I rode ten minutes down to the last bus stop, as the owner instructed. He came down and gave me some minor instructions. Off I went to drive the Pacific Coast Highway for 4 days!

The Search for Sea Turtles on the North Shore of O’ahu

As we walk through the trees to the beach, I was growing more sure this was the place. This is where the sea turtles are! We both instinctively sped up our steps and didn’t even stop as we shed our clothes and bags on the beach. We already had our snorkeling gear ready to go and marched straight into the water to swim to the turtles. We swam out separately and began searching the waters for any swimming turtles. We popped our heads up out of the water every now and then to show each other thumbs down, indicating we hadn’t seen anything. Then we’d explore in other spots. We were going farther and farther out and still, nothing. After about 25 minutes, defeated, we gave up and brought it in. Is this the wrong place again? Is it the wrong time of day? Where are the sea turtles?! Show me the sea turtles, man!

Meeting a friend for the first time in Paris on New Year’s Day

On the evening of New Year’s Day in 2018, my sisters and I visited the Jardins des Tuileries, we drank vin chaud (hot wine) at Place de la Concorde, and then we strolled down a rainy Champs-Élysées under the twinkling holiday lights that glistened in the puddles on the sidewalk. The buildings were lit up with lights, everything looked like it was glowing. We reached the Arc de Triomphe at dusk and tried to take photos from across the street despite the hectic traffic in the background. The site itself was closed for the #holiday, so we planned to meet Anthea in the tunnel below.