3 days in Reykjavik

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As we all swelter in the blazing sun today, all I can do is dream of the perpetually cool, crisp air in Reykjavik.  While I dream of my next trip to somewhere more brisk, here’s a little #tbt to cooler weather in Iceland.

Iceland is super trendy.  In the past decade, there’s been a >300% increase in the amount of visitors to Iceland — it’s almost to the point where you barely see any locals.  Because I have the worst FOMO ever, I needed to go here before tourists overrun everything and American chains start moving in.  Everyone in my family had already gone (which is not a reason to travel, but again, FOMO), so off I headed to Reykjavik for an Icelandic adventure.

all is full of love…

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3 days in Toronto feat. Niagara Falls

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Well, the NBA is making moves.  Toronto is a bit cooler than San Antonio, so be like Kawhi and start planning your trip up north.

As far as bucket lists go, Niagara Falls is typically a popular featured destination, for good reason.  It’s one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, and it’s right in our own backyard.  *Whispers: the Canadian side is better. Sore-y, not sore-y.

Oh Canada…

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weekender in LA: the sequel

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Living so close to LA, I feel privileged to be able to enjoy the culture and attractions of la la land without having to actually live there.  I get it, you really have to let the place grow on you and you have to be patient.  Let it in.

My friends from the midwest dislike visiting LA a lot.  Like a lot, a lot.  It’s because it’s so hard to get from point A to point B, and near impossible if you want to cross town to do anything.  But…you can get a ton done if you plan things out well (yes I’m a nerd, but we get the job done).

Here’s another itinerary for an LA weekender

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A ‘beautiful day’ in Dublin

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Kiss me, I’m Irish.  Or at least I was while I was in Ireland.  Everyone becomes a little Irish when you’re in the beating heart that is Dublin.  The city draws you in, makes you a believer in the spirit and magic that makes the Emerald Isle unique. It’s no one tree hill.

It was a real quick trip (through your wires) there on the way to the UK, but it was a blitz of activity, colors, sounds and sights.  From Guinness to U2, the history of the city provides a backbone to a truly intriguing place whose energy pulses at all hours of the day.  As an aside, Irish history is very interesting, and not so distantly in the past were the Troubles, a very turbulent period for the Irish in general, it’s worth researching a little before you go.

I had a great time, to say the least.  In the words of the magnificent Bono, it was a beautiful day…

Hold me, thrill me, kiss me…

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3 days in Reykjavik

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Iceland is super trendy.  In the past decade, there’s been a >300% increase in the amount of visitors to Iceland — it’s almost to the point where you barely see any locals.  Because I have the worst FOMO ever, I needed to go here before tourists overrun everything and American chains start moving in.  Everyone in my family had already gone (which is not a reason to travel, but again, FOMO), so off I headed to Reykjavik for an Icelandic adventure.

all is full of love…

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weekender in Palm Springs (Coachella tips, y’all)

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In two weeks is a weekend that is one of my favorite of the year, first weekend of Coachella, the granddaddy of all music festivals.  Sure, Lolla is great, Governor’s Island is hip and Outside Lands is chill, but Coachella is the one they all aspire to be, for the star power and cool factor alone.  I mean, watching hundreds of musical acts in sunny California is ideal.

In my twenties, I looked forward to actually attending the festival, but now that I’m a little (read: a lot) older, I look forward to the mass exodus of festival goers from LA/OC (less traffic, reservations!).  But, I do have fond memories of attending the festival, so here are some tips to aid in your weekend of revelry.

Hopefully with no Beyonce biting…

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3 days in Chicago

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Chicago is one of the best cities in the country…nay, the world, to visit.  An epicenter of food, culture, art, sport, and architecture–it has it all.  I’ve been to the Windy City at least a dozen times (and I’m heading back there this weekend), and undoubtedly, I’ve had some of the best times of my life there.  This guide is my ideal time in the city, but there’s no humanly way possible you can eat to your heart’s content in such a short period of time.  But no one will hold it against you for trying.

Do you remember when? Fireworks at Lake Michigan, cuz I’m coming home again –‘Ye

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know before you go: Austin (AUS)

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is small, but sweet.  Even though it isn’t huge (only ~ 25 gates), there’s actually quite a few international carriers that fly out of here, including discount European airline, Norwegian.  There’s not a ton to do here, but there’s local flair throughout the airport, and that’s huge if you’re having a layover where you can’t leave the airport.  It showcases the city and makes the visitor want to return for real.

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can’t fight this feeling of wanting an OREO SPEEDWAGON.  I LOVE PUNS.

There’s only two terminals: the Barbara Jordan is the main and then the much smaller South terminal which only has regional flights (so basically you’re going to see one).

✈️ = get me outta here to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = texas hold ’em here forever

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️  (very easy)

Convenience of security lines: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (not that crowded, moves quickly)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (barely any chains, yes! Local legendary eateries: Salt Lick BBQ, Amy’s ice cream, Hill’s Cafe, Austin Java)

Bathrooms:✈️✈️  (could be more)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️ (free wifi available, could have more charging stations)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️ (there’s live music and an ACL record shop, otherwise it’s small, so don’t expect that much to see)

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3 days in Toronto feat. Niagara Falls

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As far as bucket lists go, Niagara Falls is typically a popular featured destination, for good reason.  I can’t believe I’d never been until now!  It’s one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, and it’s right in our own backyard.  *Whispers: the Canadian side is better. Sore-y, not sore-y.

Of all of the places I’ve been in our great neighbor to the north, Canada, I had never made it to the eastern side of the country.  But, with all of my immediate family out of the country for Thanksgiving, no time was better to seize the moment and head across the border to Toronto.  I traded turkey for Tim Hortons, and I regret nothing.

Oh Canada…

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know before you go: Nashville (BNA)

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In honor of the CMA’s happening tonight, there is even more travel in and out of BNA than usual.  Nashville International Airport has got to be one of the most rapidly growing airports in the world.  It is packed every time I come here, and they’re adding routes one after the other.  They will surely have to undertake a large scale addition, which is in the works for the next few years–especially since British Airways is adding flights to London in 2018 via Dreamliner.

It’s about 10 miles from Downtown and traffic usually isn’t too bad.  As it is right now, there’s one main terminal with 47 gates split amongst four concourses (although the fourth is inactive). A is United and Air Canada, B is Alaska, Frontier, JetBlue, Delta and WestJet.  C is Southwest and American.

This is a pretty fun airport in terms of layovers.  There’s not the best food, but there’s live music/entertainment, which makes the time fly, as it were.  There’s an actual branch of Tootsie’s, the famous Honky Tonk from Lower Broad.  There’s large, clean bathrooms, and it’s pretty easy to navigate.

Security can be heavy at times, and a little slow, so plan accordingly.  There’s also always a high chance you’ll see someone famous walking through the crowd, so keep your eyes peeled (flights to NY and LA are most fruitful).

Remember: ✈️ =  achy, breaky, heart to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = like it, love it, want some more of it

Convenience to the city: ✈️✈️ (~20 minute drive)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️  (it’s not very big, but can be a hike to the end of the terminal)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️ (sometimes it can take a very long time to get through this line)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️  (Burger King, O’Charley’s, Starbucks, Familia, Tootsie’s, Whitt’s BBQ)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️ (could have more, but they’re pretty big)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️ (free wifi available, decent amount of charging)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️ (live music that is better than most popular bands, minimal shops, pretty good people watching)

Rental car facility ✈️✈️✈️ (connected to the terminal, hours can be weird)