Better Late Than Never

I have said time and time again that creating this blog started out as a simple way to be connected with friends and family when I was abroad, but it quickly turned into so much more for me. It has become an outlet for me and a place where I can really be expressive. I embarked on a creative journey this year which leads me to the point of this post. I made a decision with the new year that I wanted to bring this blog back to life, so I have been cataloging my travels throughout the year in the form of vlogs (read: video logs); tonight, I launched my YouTube channel!

I figured that since people have enjoyed my photos on my blog, what could be better than actually taking everyone with me on my trips? Admittedly, the first few vlogs are a bit ‘cringy’ as I am getting used to speaking to a camera in public, and I struggled in some places due to weather conditions, but I have to say that the whole process has been a lot of fun for me so far! People have a lot of ideas and feelings about YouTube, but I am excited to share these videos with you and, I guess, the rest of the world.

As of right now, the vlogs will be uploaded every other Thursday, and they will be posted in chronological order with my first trip of the year to L.A. What I plan to showcase through this channel is not only the travel footage, but other discussions about experiences while traveling, tips for more seamless travel, and featured guests to provide a more well-rounded view rather than just hearing everything from me. My brother, Cameron, will also graciously be producing all of the music for my vlogs.

I will continue updating this blog exactly as I do now because this is the drawing board for me. It is the place where I fully tapped into my writing and what made me realize that it could be part of a larger career. Long story short, no matter what ideas come to fruition, this blog will not go away, but I am so happy to be finally sharing this with everyone just in time for the new year. I cannot wait to start creating more videos and improving on this new skill set.

I would really appreciate any feedback that people have–the only way for me to improve the content that I provide for you all is to know exactly what brings you to my blog (and now my YouTube Channel) and what keeps you here. I hope that these videos will bring you as much joy as I had filming them. For the people who knew about this or were actually a part of this, thank you so much for your support! I would not have felt comfortable continuing this if it hadn’t been for the encouragement I received in the last year.

Again, new videos will be up every other Thursday, but there are already two uploaded for you all to check out. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! ❤

xx, AE

Break in Barcelona

Break in Barcelona

Since my last post, I have been in a desperate need of a break from my mind. I have had this trip to Barcelona planned for almost three months so when the day arrived, I could not wait. Needless to say, it ended up being the best travel experience of my life so far. I was in the heart of the city for five full days with some of my friends and it was equally crazy-packed and relaxing at the same time–the best kind of vacation.

Day One: Hitting the Ground Running
◊ Exploring La Rambla
I arrived in Barcelona after a combined 11 hours of flying and hit the ground running. We mostly walked around and explored the area where our Airbnb was located. By the way, our Airbnb was absolutely fantastic. We were in the El Poble-Sec area near the Para∙lel metro station. It was so centrally-located. We were just killing time before our friend Ksenia arrived later that evening.
IMG_0365IMG_0370

img_1136


After Ksenia arrived and we caught up on life, we headed out to a late Spanish dinner and a flamenco show at Casa Lola! I did not have as much to do with planning this trip as I normally like to do, but I knew I had to at least see a flamenco show. It was a Thursday night so it was not crowded at all. We got front row seating, ordered sangria, and watched the magic happen.

 

img_1103
Spanish dish of potatoes, spicy tomato-based sauce, and garlic aioli 🙂

img_8701
We actually stumbled upon Casa Lola when we were exploring earlier in the day. Normally, they require reservations (likely for the weekend), but when we called, they said it was fine without one. We received a flyer for €5 off for two options of either dinner and a show or drink and a show. We chose drink and a show and opted to get our own dinner (which ended up being at Casa Lola anyway because we left the apartment a little late), but it was a wonderful experience!!
img_1104 Continue reading “Break in Barcelona”

A Day Worth Flying For

A Day Worth Flying For

Recently, I have really been getting into day trips.

One of the downsides of having travel privileges and having a different weekly schedule than the rest of the business world is that I can never really travel with my close friends or people I know I travel well with. So instead of waiting all year to do a couple of big trips, I have started investing time into day trips. This past weekend’s day trip was going back to Chicago!
IMG_0336

If you read about my first visit to Chicago, you will know that it was jam-packed from the time I landed to the time I left. This time, my mom joined me to see her sister and niece (my aunt and cousin), so my cousin decided to do a similar approach since my mom hasn’t been back to Chicago in almost 10 years.

◊ Skydeck Ledge
I am actually glad I did the Skydeck Ledge last year because Saturdays are [as expected] a lot more crowded than Sundays. We got there at 9:00 a.m. and the lines were already crazy. I got some amazing pictures of the city as the day was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, but I did not opt to go back out on the ledge.
IMG_0293IMG_0294 Continue reading “A Day Worth Flying For”

Back in B’more

Had a little time to myself so I decided to head to the east coast and have some much-needed time with great friends. ❤

Last year, I visited Baltimore for the first time and I fell in love with it. It may have been the fact that the whole weekend I was surrounded by some of my favorite people and that the weather was amazing, but I quickly made a note to return sometime soon.

◊ Nando’s
Naturally, the first thing I have to write about is going back to Nando’s. If you have read any of my posts about London, you will know that I absolutely love this restaurant. I cannot tell you what is so good about it, but everyone that I have taken has loved it too. Weirdly, there are several locations throughout the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, so of course I take advantage of this. It does taste different than the U.K. Nando’s–notably their garlic bread–but that will never stop me.
img_0767

◊ Faidley’s Seafood
My mission this time in Baltimore was to get some crab. I had to take a screen grab from a video, but Faidley’s Seafood is a market well-known for their lump crab cakes. It is located within the historic Lexington Market and you cannot miss it because the word “crab” is written everywhere. I opted for the lump crab cake sandwich and while I initially enjoyed it, I think they used mayonnaise in the crab to bind it or on the bread which is one of my most hated tastes. It is also fairly expensive at around $16, but it is filling and good for lunch. Unfortunately, I will not be having that again, but maybe I will just get crab legs next time.
MVI_0219_Moment
img_0768

◊ Mosaic District
After Jane finished classes on Friday, we set out on a short road trip to Reston, Virginia to see our middle/high school friend, Megan. When we got there, it was around dinner time so Megan drove us to the Mosaic District which is a cute shopping and residential area outside of Reston. We stopped for ramen at JINYA Ramen Bar, but the wait was an hour long, so what did I suggest while we wait? Ice cream, of course.
MVI_0240_Moment

We went to 520 Ice Cream and Tea Mosaic which is a rolled ice cream shop. I have never heard of rolled ice cream before, but from what I could see, they basically put the liquid ice cream onto a (presumably) freezing surface that hardens it enough that the ice cream can be rolled into spirals. It reminded me of tamales when he picked up the ice cream rolls with tongs. You can add toppings to be mixed in or just put it on the top at the end at no additional cost. I thought it was delicious and as luck would have it, the second we finished it, we got the notification that our table was ready at JINYA.
img_0789 Continue reading “Back in B’more”