Category Archives: Travel

Savannah Eats: Where + What

As promised, today I thought I’d tell ya about some of the food we ate on our recent trip to Savannah, GA. We were in town for the wedding of our dear friends so we were completely spoiled by meals at the restaurants selected by the bride & groom. Savannah has some pretty delicious offerings (and many restaurants boast beautiful views of the river or are located in gorgeously historic buildings) so if you’re planning a trip you’re in for a treat! But even if you don’t have a trip to Savannah on the horizon, I couldn’t help but include some budget-friendly meals that will work for general travel as well.

Savannah Specific — 

Lizzy’s Tequila Bar & Grill – We kicked off the weekend by enjoying dinner with the soon-to-be newlyweds. This restaurant is right along the river and had the perfect festive atmosphere to get celebrations started. Afterwards, we nabbed a drink at O’Connell’s Irish Pub which we were pretty convinced was haunted but the bartender would not play along.

HITCH – Before a night at the bars for the bachelor/bachelorette party, we fueled up with dishes that took a modern twist on Southern favorites. I had the chicken pancakes — thin and crispy peppered pancakes with fried chicken, chili aoli, and strawberry salsa. 2 thumbs up!

B. Matthew’s – After rehearsing the ceremony we scampered over to B. Matthew’s for the rehearsal dinner. This place had such a cool, historic vibe — exposed brick & beams, fireplaces, and a bar that looked straight out of the turn of the century. We dined in an upstairs room (with a private bar) that felt equal parts intimate and grand. Perfect for a gathering of the couple’s closest family and friends!

Vic’s on the River – And finally, the wedding reception itself was at a beautiful venue overlooking the river. The light from the setting sun pouring in the huge windows cast such a warm and romantic glow on the newlyweds. We dined on pork tacos, crawfish beignets, and a shrimp and grits bar (!). And topped it all off with two types of cupcakes baked by my mother especially for the occasion. My mom is a pro at baking wedding cupcakes. (She’s made cupcakes for my brother’s wedding and mine!) But this was the first time they got a “feed each other a bite and smash it in the face” MOMENT.

General Travel —

I wouldn’t be me without offering you some insight into how I keep travel affordable.

AirBNB Cuisine – One of my favorite benefits of staying in an AirBNB is that they come equipped with a kitchen. Why not take advantage of this and bring along food for at least some meals? I’m totally the girl who brings oatmeal and nut butter with me wherever I go so I was set on breakfast every morning. We also had sandwich fixin’s, baby carrots & hummus, chips, and cookies for quick lunches in between wedding-related errands and late night munchies.

Whole Foods – If you’re looking for a place to stock up on necessities, I’m a big fan of seeking out a Whole Foods. It’s a great place to double down and nab that soap you forgot to pack, a 12 pack of La Croix (because hydration), and ALSO treat yourself to a fairly inexpensive lunch. When you know you’re gonna indulge at dinnertime, Whole Foods comes through in the clutch with tons of healthy options for brekky, brunch, or lunch. Balance, people!

Have you ever been to Savannah, GA? What were your favorite dining experiences while there? Do you have any tips for cost-effective eating when on the road? Share below!! 

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What’s in my Tom Bihn Synapse 19 + Side Effect

Hi guys! Last week was a lesson in rolling with it when plans change unexpectedly. Chet and I were planning on spending a few days in his hometown in Louisiana (I could almost taste the poboys and frozen daiquiris) before he presented at a conference at the local university. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans.

We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare (and even bought new books at the airport bookstore for our journey!) But after delays at the gate, delays on the tarmac, and delays on the phone as we tried to figure out if there was any possible way we could get to Louisiana…we ended up in a Lyft headed back to our apartment. *DOH!*

Even though we didn’t make it to our destination, I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into my travel bags anyways. I felt like my one-bag packing mojo was pretty spot-on this time around and I’d kinda like to have a post to reference the next time I’m traveling for 2-3 days by plane. And maybe it will be useful to you as well!

[CLICK HERE TO HAVE MY ONE BAG TRAVEL CHEAT SHEET SENT TO YOUR INBOX!!]

As always, I’m a forever devotee of my Tom Bihn Synapse 19. The newest member of my packing accouterments entourage is the Tom Bihn Side Effect, an awesome place to store all the little things you might need access to without having to sling a backpack off your back (See also: purse). It’s a great, little companion for my Synapse. 🙂

So without further ado, here’s what I packed for a 2-day (+travel days) trip to Louisiana by plane…

In my Tom Bihn Side Effect 

Large Compartment

  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Small notebook
  • Headphones
  • Plane Tickets

Front Compartment

  • Keys
  • Pen
  • Chapstick

In my Tom Bihn Synapse 19

* click HERE for a break-down of the Synapse 19 pockets *

Main Compartment

Deep Center Pocket 

  • Liquids bag –
    • body wash
    • perfume
    • face wash
    • toothpaste
    • and BB cream
  • Deodorant

Shallow Center Pocket

  • Lara Bar x2
  • Kindle charger
  • Advil

Bottom Compartment

  • Sandals

Left Pocket

  • A ziploc bag full of trail-mix
  • Phone charger
  • Pen, Sharpie pen, Sharpie

Right Pocket

  • Tom Bihn stuff sack
    • feminine products
    • tweezers
    • razor
    • and hair ties + bobby pins
  • tooth brush
  • and a ziploc bag with 4 face wipes

Now that you know my travel essentials for a weekend away by plane, maybe it’s time for you to start planning a trip of your own!! If you’ve got something in the works, or are just feeling especially wanderlust-y, go ahead and CLICK HERE! I’ll send you a little cheat sheet of the info above (a bit more generalized, of course) so you can keep your bag light without forgetting a thing. Print it off whenever you need to take to the skies, and cross off the items as they get tucked in your pack. Happy travels!

[CLICK HERE TO HAVE MY ONE BAG TRAVEL CHEAT SHEET SENT TO YOUR INBOX!!]

Photo Diary: Miami Seaquarium

As you may remember, item numero uno on my More Delight List was to visit Miami Seaquarium. I wrote about our experience (and the complicated feelings that came along with the visit) yesterday, if you’d like to take a look. However, today I thought I’d share a few pictures.

First up, the reef aquarium…

…then a stroll through the tropical fish aquariums.

The manatees bear a striking resemblance to a cat I know. (And I kept thinking of the British tourists we met on Biscayne Bay who called them floating baked potatoes. Ha!)

The crocodiles and sea turtles were happily sunning themselves…

…with views of downtown Miami right across the bay.

Then we saw Lolita the Killer Whale. [Read more HERE.] (Can you spot the Pacific White Side Dolphins in mid-air 2 pictures down?)

Flamingos just chilling on one leg! Aren’t they prettiest shade of salmony-pink?

“They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than liiiiightning…”  [Side note: The house where the trainers and employees hang out is a replica of the house from Flipper the TV show. I would have snapped a pic but there were a couple of gals in wet-suits eating their lunch on the front porch and I thought it would be a little rude.]

Have you ever been to Miami Seaquarium? Do you have a favorite day trip activity in your city that brings you joy? I’d love to hear about it! 

P.S. More fun photos — Biscayne National Park and Historic Savannah, GA!

3 Ways to Pack Your Tom Bihn Synapse 19

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As you may have guessed from previous posts (like this one and this one), I’m low-key obsessed with my Tom Bihn backpack. I could regale you for hours with info about all it’s features. It is just so. dang. packable. But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding…

So, instead of tell you about all the versatile pockets and roomy compartments, I’m gonna walk you through a few of my favorite ways to pack the Tom Bihn Synapse 19.

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The Pockets:

1. Main Compartment

2. Shallow Center Pocket

3. Deep Center Pocket 

4. Left Pocket

5. Right Pocket

6. Bottom Compartment

For 1 Bag Air Travel:

1. You’ll be amazed at how many clothes will fit in the Tom Bihn Synapse 19 with the help of a packing cube (or two). The double-sided packing cubes are genius if you want to keep your clothes organized (think: tops on one side / bottoms on the other OR day clothes on one side / loungewear on the other) or separate dirty and clean.

Your laptop or tablet will fit comfortably in this compartment as well.

2. This is the perfect space for all the small bits you may need readily available while up in the air. Tuck in your earbuds, your favorite lip balm, and a snack.

3. Slide your toiletry bag down in this front pocket and you’ll have no qualms about pulling it out when you go through TSA. This one from Tom Bihn has clear sides and was designed as a 3-1-1 toiletries bag for air travel. There’s plenty of room inside for all your essentials.

4. This side pocket has a space for your writing implements so you might want to tuck in a little notebook as well. It’s also a great place to stow a small flashlight, your sunglasses, and a collapsible bag.

5. Think of this as your electronics pocket! There’s plenty of room for a camera and there’s an additional pocket along the lining that’s perfectly sized for a phone. Clip a clear organizer pouch to the O-ring inside and fill it with your various chargers. No need to frantically search for cables that have made their way to the bottom of your bag!

6. Finally, the bottom compartment will hold a pair of sandals or flat shoes, a pashmina to keep you cozy when the plane gets cold, and a collapsible poncho if you’re headed to a rainy climate.

For Working On-the-Go:

1. As this is the largest compartment, this is where your bulkiest items will go. If you’re working on-the-go this probably means your laptop as well as any notebooks, folders, and books you may need.

2. Slip in a pair of earbuds that will cancel out any annoying noises you may encounter. You could also keep a stockpile of business cards tucked in a fancy holder.

3. Amazingly enough, this pocket was designed by the folks at Tom Bihn as the perfect place to hold a water bottle. This is great for keeping weight distribution even and totally cuts down on spills. You could go with a classic or class it up.

4. Store your pens, memory cards, and a wireless mouse in this convenient side pocket.

5. The other side is perfect for all your chargers. Again – one of the clear organizer pouches would be perfect for corralling them all. And don’t forget to throw in a snack bar or two! It’s hard to work when  you’re hungry!

6. Finally, the bottom compartment is a convenient location for your wallet. And it’s wide enough that it will accommodate a billfold style design. Don’t need that much space for your wallet? This is a great place to store an umbrella, as well!

For Having Outdoor Adventures:

1. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or just urban exploring; you’ll want to have a few essentials in your Tom Bihn Synapse 19! The main compartment is a great place to store an extra layer of clothing, in case it gets cold, and any equipment you may need to bring along. (Think: camera or video gear, tools, DRONES!)

2. Safety first! Don’t forget to bring a small first aid kit. Buy one or make your own out of an Altoid can. Making your own allows you to really customize the contents for your particular adventure.

3. Again, the Deep Center Pocket is the perfect place for your water bottle. Toss in a bandana, too. They have SO MANY uses. (Here are 25.)

4. This is a great place to keep sunscreen and bug spray close at hand. You might also want to toss in a multi-tool or your eating utensils. Spork? Chopsticks? 3-piece cutlery? Your choice.

5. If you’re venturing away from civilization, it may behoove you to reserve this pocket for “I can pee anywhere!” materials. Think: tissues, wet-wipes, anti-bac, etc. Of course, these could come in handy for other purposes, too!

6. Finally, pack a lunch! This bottom compartment will ensure your sandwich won’t get squished amidst all your other equipment and it’s spacious enough to accommodate an adventurer’s appetite! The menu, of course, is up to you.

Where would you take your Tom Bihn backpack? Do you have a favorite travel accessory you recommend to anyone who will listen? Tell me about it below! 

P.S. A Tom Bihn-accompanied trip — Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette, LA

Our Favorite Music Festival

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Last Saturday and Sunday, Chet and I grabbed our Tom Bihn‘s and a couple of camp chairs and headed out into the sunshine for a healthy dose of Cajun music (and food). Festivals Acadiens is a music, food, and craft festival held each year at Girard Park in Lafayette, and celebrates the rich culture of south Louisiana. It is our favorite festival by far.

There are several stages scattered throughout the park, each featuring a different stomp-your-feet-along-with-the-music Cajun band, and even a jam tent for those musicians flying solo who still want to get in on the fun. Bonus? Admission to the festival is completely free. And better yet? Even the food and (flowing) booze aren’t too high-priced. And can we talk about the food! I mean, HELLO! Crawfish etouffee stuffed potatoes, boudin sliders, beignets, spicy sausage po-boys…the list goes on and on.

As we drooled over our latest food selection and musicians crooned en francais in the background, Chet confessed, “I want to come to this festival every single year for the rest of our lives. We can be one those old couples who wears bucket hats with collectors pins from each year pinned on the side!” Me too, Mr. Breaux. Me too.

While our collectors pin count now only stands at 2…I’m sure it’ll be time to invest in a bucket hat soon enough!

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Above: The afore-mentioned Tom Bihn backpacks. (Perfect for any adventure.)

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Above: The afore-mentioned crawfish potato. (Which I manage to have for my birthday even when we aren’t in Louisiana.)

Below: The afore-mentioned foot-stomping, Cajun music. (We LOVE Lost Bayou Ramblers and included a few of their tunes on our wedding reception play-list!)

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P.S. Check out our 2014 Festivals Acadiens experience HERE.

Photos From the Edge of the World — Pointe-aux-Chenes, LA

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Part of our trip to Louisiana included a 2.5 hour drive to the boot tip of the state. Chet is working on a project (involving coastal erosion and drones and all sorts of fascinating things!) that required some footage to be gathered from the area. It seriously felt like we were on the edge of world. If you check out this marina on Google maps you can see our route through Pointe-aux-Chenes down to the water. Basically a road with a little strip of land, and water on both sides. On your own two feet (or buzzing down the road in a car) you would never guess how very little land there is in this area. The drone footage Chet shot seriously put this area into perspective. The fact that folks manage to live and work and play on these tiny, slowly eroding peninsulas boggles my mind.

The landscape is breathtaking. And I took about a million pictures.

Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area: Grand Bayou Wetland

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Pointe-aux-Chenes Marina

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A Helpful Tip: 5-4-3-2-1 Packing

A helpful tip-
Chet and I are headed to Louisiana in a little over a week and I couldn’t be more excited to get out of Miami for a few days. (Maybe we’ll encounter some actual Fall weather!) It’s no wonder I have packing on the brain! With our trip on the horizon, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share one of my favorite packing tips with you. The 5-4-3-2-1 Packing Formula is my favorite strategy for carry-on travel. It keeps luggage weight and stress levels low, low, LOW!
Just follow this simple equation … 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = ALL PACKED and ready for FUN!
5-4-3-2-1 PackingAbove, I considered our upcoming trip and followed the formula to map out an idea of the wardrobe I’ll bring. Our trip is one week long and includes; visiting family, an outdoor music festival, and a day-trip to New Orleans. Those 19 pieces will have me dressed and ready for ALL those activities and MORE!
Choose what will suit your suitcase according to your destination. (I like to swap out my outer layers for bathing suits if I’m going somewhere warm and beachy.) Remember to select items that can easily mix and match. The more outfit combinations the better!
Let’s get packing!
Are you going on any trips this Fall? Are you a one carry-on suitcase packer? Have any packing strategies you swear by? Let me know!

Florida Stay-cation!

As I mentioned before, our dear friends Carrie and Ganer recently visited us in Miami. We had an absolute blast! Since Carrie is a professional photographer who travels with camera in tow, I thought I’d share some of her fabulous snaps from their time here. I love all the sweet moments she captured. It was the perfect Florida stay-cation for Chet and I (with the HUGE added bonus of two of our favorite people). Take a look!

We spent a day lounging by the water at our favorite beach…

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beach umbrella

carrie and ganer lifeguard

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explored Pinecrest Gardens with all it’s larger-than-life plants and teeny-tiny lizards…

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lizard

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and took advantage of our apartment’s stones-throw distance from a swimming pool (with cabanas!).

headed to the pool

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carrie pool

ganer pool

After a few days in Miami our pals headed to Delray Beach for Part 2 of their vacay. We couldn’t resist following suit and drove up after work one evening for margaritas and tacos followed by the whole next day spent on the beach (complete with a couples photo-shoot!).

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Thanks for swinging through Florida, Ganer and Carrie. We loved having y’all stay with us and had so much fun in Delray. Can’t wait for our next beach vacay with you two!

All photos courtesy of Sur La Lune Photography

Follow Sur La Lune on Facebook and Instagram for more beautiful shots by Carrie. Her lifestyle wedding and portrait photography is the stuff of dreams!!! 

Travel: 5 ways to float a river this summer.

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Have you ever hopped in a river and made a day of twisting and turning along a watery path? Was it a lazy affair in an inner tube (perhaps with a floating cooler attached by rope)? Or were you going for the gold on some harsh rapids? Just for fun, here are five fantastic ways to float down a river…in case you get the hankering this summer. I’m feeling inspired for a road-trip already! Ready, set, FLOAT…

Above: White water raft the White Salmon River in Portland, Oregon

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Life-jackets in the River of Xcaret in Riviera Maya, Mexico

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Inner tube the Lihue Plantation canals in Kauai, Hawaii

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Canoe the Buffalo River in Ponca, Arkansas

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Man-made currents in the Waterbom Bali Waterpark in Bali, Indonesia

Which would you choose?

(White Salmon River photo via Roadtrippers.  River of Xcaret photo via Beach Rove. Lihue Plantation photo via Roadtrippers. Buffalo River photo via Buffalo Outdoor Center. Waterbom Bali photo via Travel with Bender.)

 

Packing for a Weekend Away in the Tom Bihn Synapse 19

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In honor of the looming weekend, I thought it would be fun to show you how I pack for a weekend away in my Tom Bihn Synapse 19. As you may or may not be able to tell from the photo above, this bag is pretty much the size of your run-of-the-mill book-sack. With a volume of just 19 liters, it’s genius lies in the design. It is a carefully calculated, supremely organized backpack. Fully capable of fitting in everything you could need for a weekend jaunt some place fun. Here’s how I pack mine!

Let’s start with the outside pockets…

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First up, I tucked in a deck of cards for classic entertainment, an easy-to-grab snack for the road (this sweet treat from my Graze Box will keep me from the gas station candy aisle), and my jewelry/hair accessories; including…

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two pairs of earrings, a herkimer diamond necklace, hair tie, barrette, and a bobby pin (in case things get hairy, PUN INTENDED!).

The next outside pocket is one of my favorite features of this backpack. It is deep enough to hold a one liter bottle of water and is expertly designed so that the water bottle is perfectly centered amongst the weight of your load. I’m sorry, what?! If you’ve ever carried around a weirdly lopsided bag in the name of hydration before…you’ll get why this is a god-send. Not to mention, it makes your water super accessible, which I find to be a really big plus when traveling.

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Full disclosure: This water bottle is Chet’s and I don’t particularly love it but I couldn’t find the top to the one I would typically use. Whoops!

On to the side pockets!

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Note: I would normally clip my keys (they’re on a carabiner) to the O-ring in this pocket but I forgot to do that.

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Another snack and more writing implements than I would ever need. And in the other side…

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Earbud headphones, ANOTHER snack (notice how many pockets I managed to cram snacks into. Priorities!), and a BAGGU reusable shopping bag. Finally, I threw a pair of strappy sandals into the bottom pocket. I’ve also fit a pair of sneakers into this pocket (For reference: I wear a size 6.) and an umbrella.

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Here’s everything from the outside pockets…

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Now we’ll explore the main pocket!

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To illustrate just how Mary Poppins-like this bag really is, I threw my purse in on top. Truly one bag travel! Here’s everything that was hanging out below my purse in that never-ending pit…

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Two Amazon Basics packing cubes and a library book.

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Inside my brightly colored, thrifted purse is my phone and charger, chapstick, compact, tissues and hand sanitizer (AKA: my “I can pee anywhere” kit), and a coin purse to hold my license, debit card, a Starbucks gift card and a few dollars in quarters (they always seem to come in handy).

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Inside the smaller of the two packing cubes are two pairs of underwear, a pair of socks, a cosmetic bag, and a Tom Bihn travel stuff sack. (Note: there was still plenty enough room in this cube for a bra or a bathing suit, had I wanted to include them.)

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With everything out of the inner bags there’s BB cream, face wash, deodorant, body wash, a comb, moisturizer, perfume, toothbrush, razor, toothpaste, rosebud salve, mascara, and a little pill box for a stash of Advil and Magnesium supplements.

Inside the larger packing cube are all my clothes; including two shirts, jeans, a dress, and pajama top and bottom. All rolled of course! The dress is not needed but it offers a nice option in case I had fun dinner plans upon arrival on Friday and wanted to change out of my travel ensemble. Seems kind of extravagant to have so many outfit options for a one-bag, one-weekend trip, eh? Just another reason to love my Tom Bihn!

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And here’s my whole haul–everything I could possibly need for an awesome weekend trip…

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Time to load this bag back up and set off someplace fabulous! Now, all that’s left is to decide where to go!!! Happy travels!

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If you have any questions about my packing process, this lovely backpack, or want to share a few tips & tricks from your own one-bag travels…LEAVE ‘EM BELOW!