Blogtober #19: Geneva.

In 2004, I visited dear friends who lived in Pontarlier, France. Since Pontarlier is located close to the Swiss border, my friend Clara advised that I fly to Geneva, Switzerland, and she would pick me up from there. Yes, thoughts of Switzerland danced in my 24 year-old head.

It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen.

A few days after arriving and settling in, we drove back to Geneva and spent the better part of the day there. Here are some photos of that day.

• Those photos (and all the photos from that trip) were taken with a disposable camera, after which I developed the film at our local Walmart. If all those words seem foreign to you, this is how photography happened pre-smartphone.

• Switzerland sparkled. It gleamed. I felt like I was walking inside a jewel.

• I want to go back.

One of the best trips I’ve taken. Do you have memorable places you’ve visited? Pretty sure you do; feel free to share them in the comments.

Blogtober #15: Abbey Road.

Five years ago today.

In London, mid-autumn, travelista-ing, crossing the same road that one of my favorite musical groups walked on and named an album after.

Yes, I squealed.

Thanks to my beloved Daddy for introducing me to a love of traveling, of music, and of the Beatles.

💜

Blogtober #1: And Away We Go…

Blogging all 31 days of my favorite month. Can she do it? We’ve done it before, so hopefully, we shall do it again. (For past Blogtobers, shimmy over to the search feature and read up, if you like.) What Blogtober means for you, my dear reader:

Photo by OVAN on Pexels.com
  • Expect 31 days of content from me
  • Even on the weekends! (😳)
  • That emoji simply means that we’re asking TSP to remember to do anything beyond excessive napping on the weekends, much less blog. But she shall. And she continues to refer to herself in the third person, naturally
  • Discussing a variety of topics, which we do whenever I post, but as in Blogtober past, focusing on autumn-y related topics and ideas. (See my previous post from this week; guess I got started early)
  • The point of it all: to focus on consistency and creativity. I’m all about this blogging life, and events like this allow me to push myself to stay focused. All good things.

Since today is Throwback Thursday, let’s go back to October 2015. I was in Europe for two weeks that month, adventuring in Germany and England, seeing the sights and experiencing the highs and lows of solo traveling. During one of our days of sightseeing, my hostess decided to drive me to Luxembourg! Certainly not on the agenda, but I was super excited to visit the country. There was a philharmonic performance that she wanted to take me to; although the performance was canceled, we got to walk around the beautiful concert area and still drive around. Lovely and picturesque, even despite the rainy day. Photos below.

One thing I love about traveling: some of the lovely surprises that come your way. Anywho, it was one of the best autumns I had in the past, spending the better part of it experiencing new places.

Your favorite place you’ve been? Share in the comments, if you please.

Happy Blogtober. Away we go.

Speaking of Photoshoots…

Facebook reminded me that this was my cover photo four years ago today. Some facts about this shot:

1. It was part of a professional photoshoot we did while on our amazing girls’ trip to Paris.

2. That trip was four years ago in February.

3. It was freezing cold.

4. I’m not exaggerating.

5. I look at our smiles, our mid-struts, and our shiny, effortless melanin and I remember, despite the frigid weather, how much fun we had.

6. I miss my friends, traveling, and just living life the way we lived pre-quarantine.

But, all things considered, staying at home during this time means staying safe and doing my little part in not making life harder for folks like my two friends in that photo above, both of whom are on the frontlines and work in healthcare. So, I can reminisce and gaze at photos and make plans for the future—all while staying within the confines of my home.

If you’re interested in reading more about our Paris trip, start here and keep on reading.

Where would you like travel to after restrictions are lifted? Share in the comments, if you like.

Image: GIPHY

Positivity Post. (#1)

So…when it’s hard to be positive (it’s just in my bones, this struggle to remain positive about this weird life of mine, and this need to look at things as they unflinchingly are), sometimes you have to force the hand. In this case, although 2020 has so far been essentially 2019 squared, I want to share some good stuff. Because in between the opposite of good stuff, there have been some highlights. Let’s go.

Frowth (Fro + Growth). Did I tell you that I was growing out my hair? I didn’t? Well, I’m growing out my hair. After experimenting with cuts and then the full shave-off/Operation Let It Go in the summer of 2018, I decided to enact Operation Let It Grow in early 2019. No cuts since then; just trimming and some shaping. Last month, when my stylist came over to take out my crochets and apply some much-needed moisture, she happily shared the progress of Operation Let It Grow. See the pictorials. (October 2019 trim; February 2020 trim; Frowth)

The Workout Plan. After what turned out to be a major sabbatical from the gym and working out, I started back again last month. You know the story: when you’re down and out, there’s no such thing as exercise. There’s the couch and there are reruns of Family Feud. And I heartily did all of that (and kinda still do, to be honest), but I decided to gym1introduce endorphins back into this game of life. I was already dedicated to doing two miles at work by walking, but I wanted to do more. Enter the office gym, which can be blissfully quiet at certain hours of the day and afforded me a nice span of time on the treadmill. I enjoyed it. Of course, with the entrance of COVID-19 into our atmosphere and my general disbelief that folks are cleaning the machines and rooms and showers as thoroughly as I’d like, I’m suspending my gym visits for now. C’est la vie, right? Back to walking, Airpods in my ear and hand sanitizer in my palm. Hopefully, I can get back to the gym when all of this madness dies down.

Travelista-ing, briefly. I haven’t really gotten away away since I moved to Texas, mainly because I have to parse out my vacation time (really miss working for an international company, tbh) and need to ensure that I won’t be totally absent of time when the year ends. So, there hasn’t been a ton of traveling other than visits back home to see my family. However, last month I was able to visit my dear cuzzo in Arizona and see my awesome niece, who I haven’t seen since January 2019 when she was a baby baby. (She’s now a smart, funny, cute-as-a-button almost 2 year-old.) ‘Twas a wonderful time. Nothing beats being with family that knows you. Arizona is also one of my favorite aesthetically pleasing locales to visit. Here are some shots of the land. (By the way, she and I are the same when it comes to this previous consideration of Arizona.)

Makeup and Fashion Tings. I’m a lady who enjoys dressing up and wearing makeup, so here are some lewks and styling that I’ve had fun with so far in the ’20.

Thanks for reading, party people. Here’s to pursuing positivity, one day at a time. Onwards…

 

Magnolia Marvel.

The Silos. (All images shown in this post are mine.)

If you’ll follow the link here, you’ll see that visiting Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market at the Silos was a definite destination goal of mine. Well, a million years later, a good friend and I made the nearly 2-hour trek to Waco, TX earlier this week. Needless to say, we had a fantastic time.

As soon as we arrived, we saw the line to head into the Bakery. This was fine. Popularity breeds lines. We came with our patience intact. And quite honestly, after parking (you can park for free if you’re visiting the Silos, but since these areas were packed, we headed a bit further down and found a space), we took our time and explored the area while walking toward the Bakery. The rustic charm around us didn’t disappoint.

Once we got to the main area, we snapped some pics and just took in the people, sights, and asked a few questions of the folks working in the area. Then we got right in line for that bakery. (Naturally.) While waiting, a staff member came by with pencils and menus to complete. You choose the baked goods you want to buy; by the time you get inside, a cashier takes the form and fills your order. Pretty seamless, Chip and Joanna. I’m a lover of organization and ingenuity amid a bit of chaos.

After the bakery, we walked around a bit more and decided against getting into another line for the seed store. Especially because I saw a line for a trolley tour and I wanted all parts of that trolley tour. (Trolleys while traveling: an excellent way to learn about a new place and ride all at the same time. I recommend a trolley wherever you go. My favorite trolley tours have been in San Diego, CA, Newport, RI, and basically wherever I’ve been that has one available.)

We learned interesting tidbits about Waco during the tour, for sure. We also learned that reservations are key if you want a table at Magnolia Table, the Gaines’ restaurant. Note to self for the next time. Thankfully, there was a food truck extravaganza right there by the silos so we definitely made use of those amenities. Delish.

We had a marvelous time.

It’s been rough with my job and not having a ton of vacation time to travel. Nevertheless, after three years here in the Lone Star State, I’m still very much a tourist. Taking advantage of the local color was splendid, and I intend on doing more of that.

What are some of your favorite local travel spots?

things i currently need #12

You’ll see a definite theme. (See current needs #11 needs here.)

vacances1

Somewhere in the Maldives.

vacances2

Pretty please, Positano.

vacances3

Oh, hi, Oregon.

You get my drift. My last real, bonafide vacation was in February 2016, when my girls and I went to that lovely trip to Paris. (Plenty of photos of that trip; search “Paris” and swoon.) It’s high time to get somewhere and find relaxation. Self care. It’s necessary. I do plenty of it stateside, taking time for myself, but I need to do it in another land/on a beach/in a hot spring/on a gondola. Hoping that early 2020 gives me that opportunity.

Happy Friyay, y’all. Any planned trips?

Blogtober #12: Flashback Friday to Summer.

No, this post isn’t necessarily about fall, although the last day of my trip occurred in September. But we’re flashbacking today, so it’s all good. Anywho, this past Labor Day weekend, I left on a jet plane to visit a good friend of mine who lives in Orange County, CA. Despite the fact that it was a short trip/brief vacation, it was also the respite I needed and thoroughly welcomed. We haven’t had an in depth discussion of my enduring love of California, have we? Well, if I had all the dollar dollar bills in the world, your Square Peg would hightail it to San Diego faster than you could say high cost of living. (Which is why I chose Texas instead of my beloved blue sky San Diego.) See below for a slide show of my fun trip.

Happy Fall Friday, y’all. See ya on the weekend.

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