vacations days

It’s been a busy few weeks with family visiting, and this girl is happy but tired! First up, was my cousin Carolyn’s Bachelorette Weekend. Dinner, karaoke, and fun times ensued!

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I am fairly certain that had American Idol not been cancelled last year, I would have won this past season. And there’s no way to prove otherwise.

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This also meant that my mom was here!!!!!

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We broke off from the group and had ourselves an extended vacation that meant two days at Disneyland, which we took by storm. No one was safe as we navigated our way through crowds, utilized our Fast Passes to the best of our abilities, and had a blast. Even in the rain, stuck on a giant ferris wheel that swung side-to-side.

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The next day was spent on the beach- Venice, Santa Monica, and Malibu.

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We caught the sunset.

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It was not easy saying goodbye (until April!), but things were made slightly easier by the arrival of my brother Jimmy and his girlfriend Cait!

Our first stop was the WB Tour, one of my favorite tourist attractions. Jimmy realized his life long dream to drive a bat-vehicle.

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And we chatted on the Friends couch. I don’t know why my go-to move was to lean backwards, but I think it works for the scene.

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The next day included a long, difficult, and sweaty hike to the top of the Hollywood Sign. I understand it’s rude to complain about the heat to my East Coast readers, but it was hot! And we all got sunburned. Whoops.

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We took a paddle boat out on Echo Park, which was not my favorite activity once I was stewing out in the sun. If you look closely enough, you can spot the sweat behind my glasses.

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They were amazed by the views at Griffith Observatory, another one of my favorite places.

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I had to take this picture and post on social media- the day back home was hit by a bunch of snow and I was being a beach bum.

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The snow actually postponed their flight home and extended their vacation. While I headed back to work, they enjoyed a few days of explorations on their own.

It was so nice to see everyone and to act like a tourist again in my new city. Before I knew it, six months has passed! Six months, crazy!

long weekend adventures

Shoutout to my friend Katie for visiting me this weekend! The adventure started late Thursday night when Katie landed at LAX and I picked her up. We promptly fell asleep because we had a big day planned for Friday…fifteen and a half hours at Disneyland!

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Disney really is the most magical place on earth. Lines actually weren’t that long, so we were able to go on every ride more than once. I ended up buying a season pass for myself because it’s something everyone seems to want to go to when they visit. To commemorate the occasion, I bought myself a pair of Mickey Ears. Princess-themed, of course.

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There was a pair of bright pink ears with a tiara that I almost exchanged these ones for, but they had Aurora’s face on it, and I was not about that. I also can’t help but laugh at this picture below as we realized that you get a lot wetter in the front few seats of Splash Mountain than you’d expect.

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After Disney, we were ready for a more relaxed, but still fun-filled Saturday. First up, Santa Monica.

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Shameless selfie.

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Next, we hit up Venice.

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That afternoon, we ended up watching the Patriots game at a bar (football is not my sport). In and Out called for dinner and then it was a fairly early night as we watched some Friends reruns and fell asleep.

On Sunday, we were up early again to head over to WB Studios to take the tour. Friends!

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One day maybe I’ll be holding an Oscar of my own.

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The rest of the day, we headed into Hollywood to see the Chinese Theater, Walk of Fame, and Hollywood Sign. We also drove through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, then headed over to the Grove for a bit. More Friends reruns finished off the night.

On Monday, I dropped Katie off early at the airport and promptly went back to sleep. Boy, do the days fly! Once I woke up, I made myself breakfast and finished some chores around the apartment before heading out for a bike ride.

Can we please talk about this view?

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And the sunset before grocery shopping.

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The rest of the night, I meal prepped for the week, dyed my hair, and did some laundry. A great weekend, but still had to prepare for the week!

Shake It Off

After a few weeks’ hiatus, I’m back! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was busy as I hopped on a plane Tuesday night 9pm LA time, flew into New York City for a two hour delay, then made the final leg of my trip to Boston, arriving around 9am Boston time. I flew back to LA on Friday morning, so it was a whirlwind, but wonderful trip home. Though it was more of a teaser for Christmas break, I’m so happy to have been able to spend time with my family, eat delicious food, and relax.

I believe this picture was taken as my mom told me my head was too big.

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I have enjoyed my time in LA thus far, but I’ve felt out of sorts and overwhelmed these past few weeks, as I believe I’ve mentioned, but I decided I’m shaking myself out of it. Part of that is getting back into my writing routine. Life is busy and it’s hard to get into a routine after a long day of work, but writing is important to me and it’s why I moved out here, so I have to do it! Doing it!

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Upon my arrival back to LA, my Lyft driver gave me a gallon of some strange water she was promoting. Apparently, I am supposed to drink it within three days or the live cultures will die. I’m not drinking water that has living beings in it thank you very much. What a welcome back though!

Friday found me in a vegetative state. Had I known it would be the only warm, sunny day of the weekend, I may have felt more motivated to get up, but it started on a long plane journey and I was tired. Plus, my new bike- because yes, one of the blah things that have happened to me in the past few weeks is that my bike was stolen…out of my gated apartment building…where it was locked up- had loose handlebars and I didn’t have the tool to fix it yet, so really, I didn’t want to fall over them.

Regardless of any activity I should have done, Gilmore Girls dropped on Netflix and nothing else mattered. I watched two of the four-part series, napped, cooked dinner, then watched the other two. I loved it, smiled the entire time, and teared up a few times. As the creator/writer said that she ended it the way she always wanted to end it, I fear those last four words, however cryptic and cliff hanger-y, are it for the show, for real this time. I wouldn’t be opposed to more though, please and thank you!

On Saturday, I was on the metro to meet my friend for a hike in Malibu when the skies opened. Apparently, the only things to do in Malibu are go to the beach and hike, so we drove around for a bit before heading over to Santa Monica.

PSA: Don’t all-you-can-eat sushi. Sushi is not something you should ever overeat. Our reasoning for going to this restaurant was to try different types of sushi, but you had to eat all of what you ordered and would have to pay full price for any leftovers. We ordered two rolls too many and I had a piece in my mouth when my body decided it was too much and I had to spit it out. I was full, but it wasn’t that overly stuffed feeling so much as this is not something you should ever have too much of. The mayo-laden sushi glistened at me menacingly and thankfully the waitress took pity on us and took it away as our little secret and we didn’t have to pay. I am now on a six month hiatus from sushi, if not more.

After we ate ourselves silly, it was time to move around. We ended up doing some window shopping in Santa Monica and took in the sights.

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I should have snapped a picture of the pier all lit up at night, but shoulda coulda woulda and I did-ah not. Ha.

On Sunday, I woke up to more rain, so I cooked an omelet with an english muffin and fruit before heading over to the gym for my first workout in a week. It felt good! Nothing inspires motivation better than a kick ass workout.

In the afternoon, I went back to Santa Monica with my friend Brad where we got some writing done before heading back, making tacos for dinner, and readying for the work week ahead.

I’m in a better place and thinking positive thoughts. Sometimes, it’s good to struggle because it gives you some perspective and forces you to work that much harder. A hug from mom will heal anything. Plus, it doesn’t suck that it’s Christmas spirit time! No better excuse to fit in some shopping.

Happy Monday!

Hello from the weekend!

Look at this peanut buttery, chocolatey waffle from Friday morning!

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Friday after work, I ended up going out with some of my new co-workers before calling it a night and getting some late night sushi. I don’t know if it’s an LA thing or a where-Caitlin-goes-in-LA-thing but I’ve met some terrible customer service as of late. I ended up waiting a long time for my takeout and none of the waiters or waitresses seemed interested in making my experience a positive one. I’ve actually come up agains this quite a bit in my time here and not just directed at me. Hmm.

I ended up falling into a deep sleep on Friday night and slept in nice and late on Saturday. For breakfast, I made some pancakes, which I thought I photographed, but alas did not. They were yummy. It was a sad breakfast, however, thanks to the lack of half n half preventing me from having a cup of coffee to go along with it. Thus, I was goaded into grocery shopping.

Stocked up, it was time to make it official at my new gym and get in my daily dose of exercise. Shoulders, legs, and core were on the menu and I am feeling the effects of it still. It was a good workout, ending with some time on the bike.

After I ran some errands, a friend came over and we ended up talking about conspiracy theories and scaring ourselves. Casual Saturday evening. At least I baked cookies.

Sunday morning breakfast included eggs, an english muffin, and fruit.

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After some pitter-pattering around, it was time for a run. No judgement zone, but I ran to the donut shop and back, which is no small trek, but still, I ate a yummy donut at the end of it so…

Post-run and donut excursion, it was time for the beach! I ended up taking the train over, which was super easy and fast. Yay!

During all my trips to Santa Monica, I’ve never actually been in the water (other than my toes) so it was time for a dip.

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I took some time to dry off and write a bit in my notebook before I headed over to my friend’s house to watch the debate. Frightening. That’s all I can say about it. I said my peace in yesterday’s post, so hopefully, come November, we won’t have to worry about it anymore.

The rest of my Sunday included meal prep for the week, a quick dinner, and some quality writing and Netflix time. Hope all was well for you this weekend.

Happiest of Mondays!

Day One!

It’s in the books, folks! I made it through one day in LA, waking up in my cozy bed in Boston and now about to fall asleep in my new home in LA. It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling. I can’t decide if I’m incredibly brave or stupid, but I’m going with both because it’s good to be versatile.

A little nervous. Kind of excited.

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After an early morning wake-up call and a for-now goodbye, my mom and I headed to the airport (thanks Dad and Mac!) for her conference and my new life. Once through security, it was time for a semi-ish breakfast.

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Now boarded, I kept waiting for that meaningful last moment in Boston, but the plane kept pretending to take off without actually leaving and I ended up kind of falling asleep. Look at this dude trying to judge my moment!

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I was very excited to get off the plane, though it was a smooth ride, so I could stretch these legs! After I collected my bags, my mom and I hitched a ride to our hotel for the next few nights. By the time we put our bags down, I was so hungry (I really wouldn’t last long on a deserted island) so we headed into the city to find something to eat. Sandwiches did the trick, all the way through dinner, and we ate at noon LA time. Damn good though!

Our post-lunch activities included walking around to find a store to buy wine. My mother will not accept tiny refrigerated bottles of wine, but she was pleased that convenience stores sell alcohol in CA. The wine came in handy later.

Back at the hotel, we welcomed my car to its new life too! There was a brief, terrifying moment, when all I saw was a BMW on the truck that was most definitely not mine, but then the guy called out to me from across the street and there she was! Such an easy way to get that car cross-country. I can only imagine what Princess must have seen on her journey. The other things that were reunited were my slippers. Due to circumstances I don’t need to get into, let’s just accept that one slipper made the trek in my car, the other in my suitcase. I found it funny.

Now aided with a car, we headed to one of my favorite places in the world- Santa Monica.

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The ocean immediately put me at ease, reminding me that it’s important to try new things, chase after dreams, and explore this world.

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My mom loved Santa Monica too, from the water to the Pier, where we rode the roller coaster and ferris wheel on a perfect September day.

 

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Some more exploring found us a new friend!

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The afternoon ended with an ice cream cone before we headed out to take a peek at my new apartment. I can’t divulge pictures yet, but I am both excited and relieved for these new developments.

Things that I learned about LA numero uno: No one is lying to you. Traffic sucks. It tooks us about 50 minutes to go 9 miles from my apartment to the hotel. Yikes. This is the thing that will probably be the most challenging for me. But let me tell you, everything else I saw today just makes me excited!

Fun fact: my mom prefers traveling with an actual map over an app. I don’t disagree with her, if I had the time to analyze a map every time I drove!

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Tucked into bed, it was time for a shared glass of wine.

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Now it’s time to give into these heavy-lidded eyes (and yeah, it’s still super early LA time, but give a girl a break!) It sure does help to have my mom here to help transition me through this move!

Part Three: Heaven on Earth

There are a few places that I envision Heaven might look like. For instance, Union Square in New York City, my aunt and uncle’s Cape house, Disney World with my family, and Santa Monica beach. 

  

I have always been drawn to water. I love to swim, especially in the ocean with huge waves crashing over me, the salty air, and endless views. On day three of our trip, Molly and I took a ride to Santa Monica for the day.

 

  

 We started off walking through a Farmer’s Market where I picked up some new shades, then meandered our way through the town. Somehow, when we made it to the water’s edge, we ended up in Venice Beach, which is equally wonderful. 

  
I could not tear myself away from the water, even though I didn’t have on a bathing suit, so we ended up walking along the shore to Santa Monica Pier. The water was so warm and inviting and I would have loved to have dove into the waves, but it was a blessing just to be there. It was here where I had one of those feelings of Heaven on earth.

  

  
After taking the long trek- sprinting the last few steps to the pier due to how hot the sand that wasn’t by the water was!-  Molly and I were ready for something refreshing. We stopped by a stand at the pier for a soft serve ice cream cone. Even though it melted fast, it was just what we needed to cool down and relax, while looking out into the distance.

  
We also stopped into a small but cute aquarium on the pier where I met a creepy new friend, of whom I forgot to snap a picture.

  
As we made our way to the Third Street Promenade, we started to grow hungry. On our way, we had to stop and take a picture of this street sign since it is mentioned in a song we love by Yellowcard.

  
We made a few laps to see what choices were offered until we settled on a fun restaurant. It was nice to be out of the blaring sun for awhile, my currently peeling nose is a testament to that, and we split a delicious pizza and guzzled down waters. After, we made our way to Barnes and Noble to peruse, relax, and read some magazines. 

  
It was on this day that I realized I needed a hat to protect my scalp, so be made one last stop at a stand to buy a bright pink LA hat. I was quite pleased with my purchase, as was my itching, burning noggin. 

  
Upon our return from Santa Monica, we happened to see Mario Lopez in the car next to us, which was hilarious. We made awkward eye contact, awkward in the way that when I saw him, I started screaming and he saw me. For the record, Molly dove across the car to catch a glimpse.

I am struggling to remember what we ended up doing for dinner that night, but I do remember getting some wine and having a dance party while we waited for some old nineties movies of our youth. A little Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer was on the menu with some popcorn and we had quite a blast laughing.

  
It’s quite funny to me that I happen to be recapping the days of our trip exactly a week later from when they happened. I apologize for the delay in the post today, but I had an early wake up call to fit in my workout before working. 

Now I’m with some of my favorite people waiting to get some ice cream. What is everyone looking forward to this week?