Instagrams

  • This time last year I took my first road trip up California's 395 through the eastern Sierra mountains. I went on to Mammoth, Truckee and Yosemite.

It was epic.

The highlights for me were Bodie (Check out my highlights for "ghost town"), Mammoth (reminded me of the Canadian Rockies), and seeing the Donner Party Memorial/area.

It's a super hard state to live in, but it sure is beautiful. (PS: I made a Spotify playlist for just the drive: http://bit.ly/mountainroad).
  • I posted this in stories but  got so many comments I had to post it here.

I'd read an article which said how common an electric kettle is in the UK/AU but not in America. 
This was so interesting to me because my kettle is probably my most used appliance. But when I stay in homes here I can never find one.

A lot of Americans told me they use their microwave for hot water or they have a stove top.

And @astridpiepschyk explained it had to do with voltage. "Most Americans don’t own an electric kettle because the electricity voltage is too low to power a kettle effectively. In Australia, UK the voyage is 240, but in America it’s 110, and not very effective in boiling an electric kettle. It works, but takes a long time. This is why stove kettles are much more common." So what started as a post about how I love my half shelf for teacups in my 1930s cupboards turned into a great cultural and scientific conversation.

This is why I love Instagram πŸ˜€
 #hyggehouse
  • Ten years ago I moved to Philadelphia to build Anthropologies first Social Media, Content and Community programs.

It was a dream come true for two reasons. One I loved the company and two I was moving in July which meant I'd have an east coast fall.

It did not disappoint.

I spent every weekend out in nature with rosy cheeks, drinking hot apple cider. All this time later, that fall is still one of my favourite s and I miss it every year.

PS: the last photo is my old garage on my one acre property in Chestnut Hill. I had an 18th century stone home which I loved. I don't think I ever really wrote about this place because i never really settled in. Something I wish I'd done but I was just so consumed with work.
  • I like taking photos at Disneyland that don't look like Disneyland.
  • This is my aunt on my french fathers side. During WWII, she got tuberculosis and was sent to a sanatorium to recover.

To pass time, she and her other young female friends would doll up, take photos and send them plus letters to soldiers to flirt with. Some they knew, some they didn't. Like old-fashioned Bumble. πŸ˜€
She was incredibly smart, witty, and fierce. In this photo she was full of possibilities and hope.

She married soon after to an abusive alcoholic, had four sons and quickly got trapped by circumstance and the era.

She was my favourite family member even though I didn't see her that often. I have one hand written letter from her and this photo which are the few family things I have.

I loved her because she always listened to me - patiently and sincerely. She saw who I really was and was so kind about it and oddly relatable. She gave me direction without advice. She laughed often, was direct when needed and sometimes acted soft. She was the only one who ever called me sweetie (my family nickname at the time was Chuck! and my family never used soft names with each other. So sweetie felt so amazingly special). I had 5 other aunts but I called her just "Aunty" as she defined them all. It was only to her that I felt a connection, unconditional love and a sense of family.

Her situation was always pitiful and dire,  but she never acted like a victim. When I saw her on her deathbed she was so small, weak and wilted from a hard life. But somehow she had always given me courage and strength, as if to say to be the possibilities she couldn't be.

Recently I hung out with my two young adult nieces and they both just called me "Aunty." Not Aunty Alex or Alex. Just Aunty.

It made me feel so special and like we have formed the same bonds that I had with my own Aunty. And that I was now being to them what she was to me. 
But more importantly, they helped me change my idea of her - the one that she never accomplished something. 
Because she did. 
She taught me how to be a good Aunty - one of my favourite things to be. That's her legacy which I think is really beautiful.

Well, that and dressing up when you feel poorly. πŸ˜€
  • The @ojaivalleyinn is one of my favourite places either for a day trip or an overnight. β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €
I always go when I need supreme rest and healing because I really really get that here. β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €
There's something so magic and calming about Ojai and this place taps into it so perfectly. And they have the best massages.

My recs? Avoid weekends and holidays. It's insane and the spa isn't as relaxing because it's just so overcrowded.

For rooms, avoid the ones above Libby's Market/Pub (I think they are the original rooms). They're just louder & smaller. β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €
I've had a suite with a patio, bedroom and fireplace down by the spa that was heaven and I've had a larger room by the main restaurant (I can't remember that buildings name) and both were amazing. This past room was in the Topa building which is their main building and it was really lovely (and had a balcony overlooking the golf course). β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € I've  been here with girlfriends, alone, on retreats with work and loved all the experiences. I know a lot of people who come here with kids (@couldihavethat has a recent post in IG and her blog on why it's great for families) and it's also totally dog friendly (@ScoutStCharming has been). β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β €β € I  paid for my room πŸ˜€ and received zero things for free. So not am ad, just sharing what I love.
  • I found hope in Hope thanks to nature and my nieces.
  • Possibilities.
  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman
  • Spring is always the most alive after the darkest and rainiest of winters. #hyggehouse
  • "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C. S. Lewis. Or, as the Secret Sisters sang, "Tomorrow will be kinder."

Instagrams

Wanderlust

Packing for Summer Travels

August 4, 2013
Catalina Bag by Lo&Sons (Image by Lo&Sons)

Next week I am headed home to Denmark and, as I do with every trip, began planning about a week ago to make sure I have the right gear and clothes for the trip.

My thought process behind deciding what to bring was to ask myself will it:

  1. help me look like a local
  2. work for two weeks (wash easy, not wrinkle, hold up)
  3. be comfortable (especially during a 10hr flight with layovers!)
  4. work for summer (as I’ve almost always only gone back during winter for my birthday)
  5. go from day to night events and casual and fancy ones, too.

If it’s not yes to all those questions, it doesn’t get packed. And this helps me to always pack a carry on and also to make sure I have room for all the gear I own (15″ macbook pro laptop, DSLR camera, phone + its cables/chargers). The one area I overpack? Shoes. If you’re feet aren’t comfortable, no trip can be comfortable! I tend to not worry too much about weight as I fly business class and, on British Airways at least, they’re a lot more generous and forgiving of weight in that class.

I’ve had my tried and true bags that I have travelled with forever but for this trip, I purchased two new ones. One is the ‘Catalina Bag‘ by Lo and Sons which I discovered via SF Girl By Bay’s blog and it looks like it’ll be a fantastic bag -very roomy with still having some good structure. I also purchased a new bag for my camera. I’ve been debating about a ‘Bowery Bag‘ by Ona Bags but I wasn’t sure about the weight of it or having room for my DSLR and wallet/phone (I might change my mind on this… I debate!).

So if you’re curious to see what I’m packing for my trip, click through my individual pins below or visit my Pinterest Board, Packing For Summer In Europe. And if you want to learn about my in-flight beauty routine, read my post on what products I use here.

  • Reply
    In-Flight Beauty Routine for Long-Haul Flights
    August 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    […] Beauty Products” on Pinterest! Want to see what I pack in my carry on? Read my ‘Packing for Summer Travels‘ post on Hygge […]

  • Reply
    KerstinNo Gravatar
    August 7, 2013 at 5:11 AM

    Alex, I haven’t been here in a while, LOVE the new design! Makes me want to go back to the one-column layout (I always end up missing my sidebar, but then I see a site like this and think, hmmm, I like that a lot). I hope we can make our rendezvous work! Wishing you safe travels xo

  • Reply
    Packing for Europe in Winter -
    February 22, 2015 at 7:56 PM

    […] Determined to keep everything to carry-on, I’ve learned to pack really well and here are my some of my tips (I’ve also shared tips previously on how I pack for Europe summer travels). […]

  • Reply
    My favourite suitcase & travel gear »
    November 21, 2016 at 1:29 AM

    […] written before on what I’ve packed for winter and summer travels to Europe but the focus was more on what I wore. And although I have a Pinterest Board […]

Leave a Reply