Eating Around the World at the 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Hey all! Today I want to take a break from writing about my recent trip to Paris and Rome, and share a peek of what I’ve been up to since returning stateside. Blog-wise, it looks like I’ll be in Europe through the end of the year, and I’m in no hurry to stop writing about my favorite place in the world!

That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped adventuring around my adopted hometown of Orlando, however! September was a very busy, very exciting month, both in my blogging and in my personal life. It started off with the wedding of a good friend, quickly followed by Dan’s birthday weekend, and finally a visit from my younger brother Jared. September also marked the beginning of two of my favorite seasonal theme park events: Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World! Because these events have a limited run, I wanted to jump right in and share them while they are still going strong. First up is the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Continue reading “Eating Around the World at the 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival”

Bavarian Charm in Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth is one of those cities which, despite growing up in Washington, I never visited before moving to the other side of the country. I’ll be honest, in high school I thought Leavenworth was a small town with plenty of cows and not a whole lot of nightlife. One of those blips on the map that we passed by when making the long drive to visit family in Spokane.

How wrong I was. Continue reading “Bavarian Charm in Leavenworth, WA”

The Embassy Inn: Casual Comfort in the Heart of Downtown Victoria, B.C.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared my weekend adventures to British Columbia with my childhood friend Nadya. Having never visited Victoria before (no, a forgotten childhood visit does not count), I was anxious to see as much as possible. That meant doing a little research beforehand, traveling with reputable companies, and basing ourselves in a central but affordable location. Continue reading “The Embassy Inn: Casual Comfort in the Heart of Downtown Victoria, B.C.”

Beauty in Bloom at the Butchart Gardens

I feel like I’ve been leading up to this post for weeks now. I got to visit the Butchart Gardens with my friend Nadya back in April, and absolutely loved it! It’s hard now to believe that we ever considered skipping it altogether  – read more about that lapse in sanity here.

In the end, we did choose to visit the Butchart Gardens, and we arrived hoping to be wowed. As we paid the $30 entry fee, I couldn’t help but think of all the other things I could buy with that money. 1/3 of a one day ticket to Disney World. Dinner for two at Kobe. A one-way ticket to visit my sister in Utah. Surely no garden could be worth all that?

How happy I was to be proven wrong. Continue reading “Beauty in Bloom at the Butchart Gardens”

A Snapshot in Time: Craigdarroch Castle

I don’t know about you, but when I hear about castles, I immediately think of far off places and fairy tales. Castles are the stuff of fantasy, places that exist only in the pages of a book, or in countries far, far away from the one I live in.

So when I read that Victoria, B.C. boasts not one, but two castles, the only question was which one to visit first. Continue reading “A Snapshot in Time: Craigdarroch Castle”

Girls Weekend in Victoria: Part Two

Nadya and I awoke early on our last day in Victoria. We’d slept soundly, exhausted by the previous day’s adventures in British Columbia. As we sat down to breakfast in the hotel lounge, the only thing we had planned for the day, we weighed the pros and cons of a visit to Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens. Continue reading “Girls Weekend in Victoria: Part Two”

Girls Weekend in Victoria: Part One

We all have that one friend. The one who is constantly jetting off, having adventures, and just living the life. For me, that person is Nadya, one of my closest friends since middle school. In the years I’ve known her, Nadya has taken school trips to Europe, taught English in France and traveled all over the continent, and practically lived in Ireland, given how frequently she visits. Continue reading “Girls Weekend in Victoria: Part One”

A Rainy Day Visit to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Washington. Family. Bright, gorgeous flowers. A hint of rain. These are a few of my favorite things, and I got to experience all of them at the same time at Washington State’s Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April. Continue reading “A Rainy Day Visit to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival”

An Early Morning Hike to Wallace Falls, WA

The chilly mountain air swept over us as the car doors slammed shut, making the hairs on my arms stand on end. I was home. There’s a certain smell that accompanies the woods on an early morning, the sun obscured by towering mountains and dense layers of trees. It always brings me right back to the years spent camping as a kid, eyes shut as I lay in my sleeping bag, taking in the chirping of birds, the hissing of camp sausages, and that fresh, damp air hanging over the campsite. There’s nothing like being in nature, experiencing it rather than reading about it in a textbook, and letting it sweep over you and take you in. Continue reading “An Early Morning Hike to Wallace Falls, WA”

The Best of Both Worlds is in Washington State

In April, I traveled home to see my family in Washington State. It’s a trip I’ve made many times, and I still don’t get bored. I may have grown up there, but the Seattle area feels more like a vacation destination every time I visit. I love hanging out with my family, going shopping with my mom, and just enjoying the downtime and fresh, cool air. Continue reading “The Best of Both Worlds is in Washington State”