Lake Michigan with mom and Linley

Yesterday I decided to take my dog, Linley, up north to hang out on the beach and do some hiking. Luckily my mom was able to join us and we had a fun, all-day adventure!

Linley and I picked my mom up early and we headed north around 7:00am. Before we headed toward the beach, we found a unique cafe where everything was gluten, dairy and soy free. We had to sip some iced coffee, indulge in morning pastries and take some photos on the butterfly bench!

Once we replenished, we ventured toward Empire Beach. This took as longer than we’d thought, however, because our GPS didn’t take us to the dog-friendly area like I’d hoped. We may have lost an hour of time, but we made up for it elsewhere.

I may be a prepared dog mom, but my mom is the prepared human mom! She brought us so many snacks and even some matching hats. I would’ve traveled north with Linley myself, but it’s always better when she’s around, too!

Linley had so much fun in the sand! We found a cool place where he had plenty of shade and could dig to make himself even cooler. We were on the beach for about an hour or so; we even put Linley’s life jacket on so he could swim a little!

After my mom and I had enough of the heat, we headed toward Empire Trail where we could all experience some shade. The trail is tucked back in the woods and once you reach the end, you’re in the midst of pristine sand dunes. My mom was intrigued by markings in the trees, where as Linley was busy leaving his mark on all the trees!

I didn’t capture many photos from yesterday; simply being with my mom and pup meant the world to me. Thankfully my mom took a sweet photo of Linley napping under our bench…

After we rested on the bluffs, we headed back down the trail, enjoyed a nice dinner in downtown Traverse City, and were back on the road again. Linley was fantastic in the car, on the beach and during our hikes; I can’t imagine going on these adventures without him (or without my mom for that matter)!

Llama Superpowers?

Let’s face facts: I’ve always known that llamas had superpowers.

But I NEVER thought I’d see the day that American and Belgian scientists found that llamas may have the antibodies we need to fight COVID-19.

It sure is an interesting world we live in these days…

Missing Marseille (2014)

I miss strolling along the Vieux-Port, people watching and sipping espresso without a care in the world at one of the many cafes, and – of course – enjoying some gelato in the breeze…

Reasons we loved Lyon (2014)

Lyon, France was a must-see weekend destination for Carolyn and me because my husband actually studied there before we met. He had nothing but good things to say about it and we knew we had to explore!

Obligatory photo when we first arrived

Vieux Lyon

One can be adult get consumed by Old Lyon’s charm! Wandering the streets is a great way to spend an afternoon.

A couple in love

Lyon Cathédral

I believe it’s obligatory to visit cathedrals when visiting Europe, and this one certainly delivered on beauty and history.

Parc de la Tête d’Or

This park is another great way to spend an afternoon. It provides you with ample people-watching and photography opportunities!

The food!

I saved the best for last! There’s no shortage of good food here in Lyon. With tons of bakeries, candy shops and markets, you won’t leave the city hungry.

Carolyn LOVED this pirate-themed candy shop!
Raspberry-mango-lemon gelato

Perusing the streets (and past memories) of Paris

With the COVID-19 chaos among us, all I can think of is traveling. Last Monday I was supposed to venture off to Banff National Park for some solo adventuring, yet here I am soaking up some sun on my couch…

While I may not be educating myself on wolf-dogs, tubing down mountains or glacier hiking, I am currently lost in past travels. I recently spoke with one of my best friends who I met while we studied in France, so I’ll continue my French-inspired posts for now.

One of my favorite photos from the weekend…

Carolyn and I spent one weekend in Paris during over summer abroad; for both good and bad reasons, it was a weekend we’ll never forget. I can only explain our weekend mishaps by sharing a piece of my matron of honor speech from September 2019:

“During our time in France, there was only one moment when I feared that Carolyn wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. We were lost in Paris for a while, wandering the outskirts in the middle of the night. Let’s just say that it brought out the worst in us. Our phones weren’t working and we had no clue how or when we would find our way back.

For once, there were no stories about our significant others, no rants about Veronique and her subpar cooking, and most importantly, no laughter. Thankfully, things went back to normal once we found our hotel, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

In fact, we’ve had a reunion every year since that summer, and in 2015 we were also lost in Chicago late at night. We laughed while we struggled to find our way back to the hotel, and it brought me back to that hectic night in Paris.”

I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy and happy with your loved ones (and favorite TV series!) ❤️

Niagara Falls

My friend Alice, who is visiting during the holidays, has always wanted to see the Niagara Falls. We went to the Canada side over the weekend and we were blessed with some good weather and great views!

The Bay Area with Bae

Two weekends ago, Juan and I flew all the way to Oakland, California for a one-day music festival. One of our favs, Lane 8, performed at an all-day event in the middle of the city (I can’t emphasize how rad this was)! No phones were allowed and it was a truly immersive experience.

The only photos I have from our weekend away aren’t even from Oakland: they’re from San Francisco.

Juan has never been to the Golden Gate Bridge, so obviously we had to take a detour. When I visited two years ago, it was clear and sunny outside (see below):

When we visited two weekends ago, however, that wasn’t the case…

Regardless, we still had a great time and made the most of our foggy day!

Pro tip: do not get the croissants at the visitors center (Juan said they were hella stale).

“Let’s raise our glasses and lower our expectations” – Geoffrey Zakarian – Cate Spader