Bring it on, 2018.

It’s FINALLY time to say goodbye to 2017, and although at points during the year, it felt like time was flying, I think we’re all collectively looking forward to January 1st. Changes are already set in motion for a lot of us, and I’m definitely ready to welcome 2018 and see what it has in store.


upper antelope canyon, arizona

With the end of each year comes the inevitable reflection of the past 12 months.  And what a year it has been, to put it mildly.


nashville, tennessee

Craziness of the world in general withstanding, our little group of pals has had personal blessings and boons along with challenges and headaches.  There’s been new beginnings, job changes, graduations, marriage, professional struggles, multiple cross country moves, and a baby added to the already hectic mix of our lives.


nyhavn, copenhagen, denmark

Despite all of this, we’ve still found time to follow our passions and remain connected through our common interests in career and life.  Individually and collectively, we’ve traveled countless miles across the world, from Bali to Denmark, Dubai to Paris, and all over the United States, our own backyard.  Bucket list items were checked off, amazing places and spaces were explored and experienced.


bali, indonesia

And all through the madness and harried lives we live was the birth of this little blog. Through friendship and shared travel and life experience, an idea that was discussed in passing came to fruition.  It is amazing that people who are so different (SO different) can be bound together by the common threads of life they share and that those relationships can flourish and grow over time despite distance and schedules.


paris, france

As we stay on the course of this journey, we hope you’ll continue to follow along and share your stories as well.  So here’s to the new year, a year in which we hope to continue to hit the pavement, rack up those flyer miles and continue the pursuit of adventure and wanderlust.  Let’s get it, two thousand and GREATeen.


kona, hawaii

know before you go: Los Angeles (LAX)


I have often called LAX the eighth portal of hell, and I mean it.  There is no worse pain than landing at LAX on a Friday afternoon/night.  Well, maybe there is if you’re Chrissy Teigen and John Legend.  Y’all need to stop what you’re doing right now and read about their 8 hour flight from LAX to LAX due to a passenger snafu last night.  I would die.

Anyway, if you’re flying into LA, hope you didn’t make any plans because you’ll be stuck for an hour before you can even reach Century or Sepulveda Blvds.  It has one of the worst traffic flow designs of any place that is allegedly supposed to serve that many people.  Like the architect deliberately thought, how can we purposely make it so there’s only one route out that bottlenecks like crazy?

Even though it one of the worse places on this planet (you think I’m exaggerating.  I am not), it’s a necessary evil that has to be dealt with because you can fly almost anywhere from there.  One of the busiest airports by volume, if you’ve flown internationally from SoCal, you’ve likely flown out of LAX.  It is the second busiest airport in the US by passenger load, and maybe for this week it is a little better than the busier ATL (at least there’s power).

There are 8 numbered terminals separate from the Tom Bradley International terminal.  1= Southwest; 2 = Delta and SkyTeam members: Aer Lingus, WestJet, Virgin, Aeromexico.  3 = Delta, Copa, Avianca, Interjet; 4 = American 5 = American, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit, Sun Country. 6 = Alaska, Virgin America, Air Canada, Mokulele, Great Lakes. 7 and 8 = United.  There are random exceptions in terms of check in counters for some of the international carriers of the codeshare alliances, but all international flights return to Tom Bradley (TBIT).

I will give it one thing though, there’s some good shopping there, particularly duty free.  And if you’re uber wealthy, there are separate luxury lounges that are not connected to the terminals where you can get checked in and taken to your plane by SUV.  There could be more restaurants, as the selection is dispersed sparingly amongst the terminals.

Remember: ✈️ = welcome to the jungle to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = i love LA (we love it)

Convenience to the city: ✈️  (theoretically it is, practically it is not; may the odds be ever in your favor if you’re flying in during peak hours, rideshares help but it takes awhile)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️  (you’re at the mercy of shuttle buses on the tarmac that wind passengers around planes from terminal to terminal)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️ ✈️ (fairly efficient for its size)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️ (three planes because the eateries are good, but limited in each terminal, so there’s not that many given options.  But…you should look for Ink.sack by Michael Voltaggio in TBIT, La Brea Bakery in Terminal 1, lots of Coffee Beans and Starbucks as well as local coffee shops around; Pinkberry locations, Panda Expresses, Shake Shack in terminal 3, Wolfgang Puck eateries in 6, the Habit and Wahoo’s fish tacos in 6; LA’s hipcute cafeteria Lemonade in 5, Umami Burger, 800 Degrees Pizza, SlapFish, etc)

Bathrooms: ✈️  (don’t expect them to be that clean unless you’re in a recently renovated terminal)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️  (no free wifi, which makes complete sense)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️ (every lounge ever (including a luxe Qantas), retail from bliss spa, Spanx to Burberry, Gucci, Hermes, Harley Davidson — wish there were more options per terminal, but hey real estate is a premium here.  I took one plane off because the Sanrio store closed.  Also, don’t forget to check out the spacey Theme Building on arrival, home of the former Encounters restaurant (wasn’t actually that bad food wise) but now is a viewing deck on the weekends)





know before you go: Long Beach (LGB)


As we start traveling for the holidays, I have to shout out to one of my home airports.  Ah Long Beach, a lovely little secret.  I like flying into this tiny regional airport.  It’s no frills, quick, easy and it makes you feel like you’re in the 60s or something because you go out directly onto the tarmac when you come and go.

LGB is a hub for JetBlue, but now Southwest even has some flights out of here. There a couple of regional Delta and American flights as well. It’s one small terminal split into North and South concourses with 11 gates for the whole airport.  JetBlue has gates 1-5. There’s not much food, but what are you doing eating at the airport? You’re likely coming from LA/OC anyway.

Overall it’s a nice airport to get from point A to point B quickly.  The fact that you can skip LAX to get to NY and Boston from this no fuss airport is awesome and worth giving up on amenities and dining.

Remember: ✈️ = so much drama in the LBC to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = sublime

Convenience to the city: ✈️ (it’s in Long Beach, off the 405, may the odds be ever in your favor)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️✈️  (I think it takes 5 minutes from one end to the other)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (not a lot of traffic = fast lines)

Dining: ✈️ (bring your own food)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️ (not that many of them)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️ (free wifi available)

Amenities: ✈️ (what are amenities?)




5 days on the Big Island, Hawaii


One of the best things about living on the West Coast is that you’re pretty close to Hawaii, only about 5 hours away.  It almost makes up for being spoiled on every major TV event (don’t even start me on avoiding the internet Sunday nights for GoT).

The Big Island of Hawaii lives up to its name.  It is vast.  You need to get a rental car while you are here, if you’re planning on seeing the sites.  Otherwise, you can veg out in your resort, if that’s your dig.  Whatever you like, soak in the tropics and enjoy the natural beauty of the Rainbow state.


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4 tres magnifique days in Paris


There are not enough adjectives to describe the wonder of Paris.  No one needs a guide to this city, there are a million ways to enjoy it, and the little discoveries down every alleyway are what makes this place special.  You don’t need a ton of money, you don’t even need to see any of the popular tourist attractions.  You could walk around for days and not spend one cent and be content.  It’s all splendor.  The air is different when you arrive in this city of light and magic.  You feel different, you get a new lease on life– nouvelle joie de vivre.

I’ve been all over the world, and there is no city that causes my heart to take flight like Paris.  No city that comes close in terms of architecture and art and food.  It’s the ultimate muse for any travel fantasy, it puts the lust in wanderlust.  There’s a romanticism that cannot be recreated anywhere else; it’s no wonder that Paris salons attracted the best in art and literature to a bohemian lifestyle in the capital city.

To get a true sense of the city, you have to at least spend 4-5 days here.  My first visit more than a decade ago lasted for almost two weeks.  I saw the entire city as a 16 year old, and even though we did not have smart phones back in the dark ages (le horreur), I’ll never forget the moments during that trip.  It started my love affair with France and gets reignited every time I come back. C’est magnifique.

la vie en rose

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know before you go: Dallas (DFW)


The Big D is so big, it has two major airports serving it, Love Field and the larger Dallas-Fort Worth.  Because I am a Southwest frequent flier, I’ve been through Love Field several times, but recently I had a very quick layover at DFW (like just barely made it).

It is gigantic, the third busiest airport in the US, behind Atlanta and O’Hare by flights.  It is second only to Denver in terms of actual acreage, and in that acreage is a plethora of eateries and shops.  Everything IS bigger in Texas.

There are 165 gates split amongst five terminals A-E, connected by a convenient skylink train.  Each terminal is semi-circular and when you look at the complex from above, it kind of looks like three turtles in a row (there is a future F terminal completing the last oval).

American Airlines has its hub at DFW, so every terminal operates its flights.  United, Frontier, JetBlue, WestJet, Air Canada and Spirit operate out of E and International flights are located in the D terminal.  This airport has the distinction of being one of the few airports that serve more than 200 destinations.

Remember: ✈️ = D-town (Dallas’ worst nickname) to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = jerry’s world

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️ (immense distance, made better by train)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ (Wingstop, Chick-Fila, IHOP, McDs, Starbucks, Peet’s, Caribou, ethnic foods, Cantina Laredo and other airport mainstays.  But it gets a 5 plane rating for Garrett’s popcorn alone)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️✈️  (clean, well spaced)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️ (free wifi available via AT&T)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️✈️  (American and International Lounges, a few luxury shops including Kate Spade, Tumi, Longchamp; XpresSPa, 7-Elevens, Yoga Studio, Animal hotels)


3 days in Boston


I think I’m going to Boston, I think I’ll start a new life.  So are the lyrics of the Augustana hit from the early 2000s that fill my head every time I go here.  It’s a great city for new starts and rejuvenations, being both young and vibrant whilst steeped in history and tradition.

One if by land, two if by sea…

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36 hours in San Antonio


Inexplicably, I’ve been to San Antonio several times for work.  Texas’s second largest city, it’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country.  There’s a huge US armed forces contingent there and is probably best known for being home to the Alamo and previously, Tim Duncan.

Beyond that, the food and drink scene in San Antonio is fantastic.  Not only do you have spectacular Tex Mex regional cuisine, but every restaurant has it’s own unique look and feel.  The decor in some of these restaurants–especially the ones in repurposed spaces is something to behold.  It’s a multicultural city with so many identities, and that’s what makes it a great place to create some memories.

Remember the Alamo…

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know before you go: Newark (EWR)



I hadn’t been to Newark Liberty (EWR) in years, like more than a decade, and it has changed considerably for the better.  One of the airports serving NYC as well as most of the Garden State, it has very heavy traffic.  There were people everywhere.

We’re talking a TON of restaurants, shops and amenities.  It’s still crowded, and the addition of said trendy restaurants in the middle of the concourses narrows the walking path quite a bit. But, at least there’s stuff to see and do.

I was really pleasantly surprised at the amount of food choices and the presence of the Global Food Bazaar, although ramen, pizza and philly cheesesteaks doesn’t quite scream “global” to me…but at least they tried.

There are 121 gates in three terminals A-C, each with three concourses.  A serves JetBlue, Alaska, Virgin, Southwest, Air Canada, American, United Express.  B is international, Delta and Spirit.  C is United and is the terminal I passed through (i.e walked circles in).  If you’re flying in from the north, sit on the left side of the plane.  You’ll catch a great view of Manhattan and will even be able to see the lights of Times Square from very high up (think about all that energy being used!)

Remember: ✈️ = EW-R to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = the Boss

Convenience to the city: ✈️✈️✈️ (airtrain connects to the train/amtrak station which will connect you basically everywhere in the tri-state area)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️ (the hallways are narrow because of restaurants taking up the middle portion)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ (Global Bazaar food market, CBGB, all sorts of chains, upmarket restaurants/bars, fast casual bistro types, Dumpling Bar–I would skip this food is meh, neapolitan pizza, french brasserie, steakhouse, sushi/ramen, oyster bar — like everything you could want at exorbitant prices)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️  (clean but there could be more of them dispersed)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️ (free wifi available, plentiful charging)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️✈️  (the shops are a little weird, America! store? Swatch? There is a Metropolitan Museum of Art store so that’s a plus, CBGB’s, spas–mainly the things to see here are food based and of course, people watching–the best activity on layover)


how bazaar