Travel

Girl, you tripin’

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Every summer there is a near constant flood of vacation photos that appear in my social media feeds. Everyone has these really cool adventures, and I get super bored with my current surroundings. Whether it’s entirely brought on by jealous/trip envy or just the wish I could be anywhere else in the world, I just want to have an adventure. The ones so memorable they become the subject of dinner party conversation years later. The ones that are sometimes so embarrassing to recall in front of another human being. So, it got me thinking, if I just picked up this weekend and took an entirely spontaneous roadtrip, what would I bring with me? But also where would I go? Then I realized I was missing the point of being entirely spontaneous and filling my type-a mold once again.

Truth be told, I am a bit excited for a trip that is coming up so soon so I suppose that also factors into this post. Either way, these are the things I would bring with me on a little jaunt to somewhere random on the map. Just the thought of pointing to a random place on the map makes me so, so anxious. 

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One: Ashish x Topshop Hi My Name Is Tee  / Topshop Black faux leather shorts  / PLAY by Comme des Garçons Chuck Taylor low tops / Oliver Peoples’ Gregory Peck sunglasses  / Honeydew Intimates x Madewell Lace Bralette  / Baggu canvas backpack

Two: Sephora color reveal lip balm / Philosophy vanilla coconut body lotion / St. Tropez self tan bronzing mousse / MANGO wristlet cosmetics bag / Fudge Urban sea salt spray / Bobbi Brown Beach rollerball

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Introducing Noteworthy a little segment where I’m just going to ramble about things I find are intriguing to me right now. It really serves no purpose other than for me to share things I’ve come across that I find particularly cool in the hopes you, my trusty reader, may also find them cool. Sounds pretty interesting, yeah? Maybe not, but it’s happening so enjoy, haha.

Coveting: Somehow I constantly find myself furniture shopping. I’m not in need of a new sofa at the moment, but if I was, I would certainly choose this one from Design Within Reach. Well if it ever fit my furniture budget. A girl can dream, right?

Food: First there was the cronut (which I still refuse to try) and then the waffle taco (I’d try 17 cronuts before I ever try a waffle taco) and now the churro ice cream sandwich. There’s something to be said about zany food combinations lately, but I can’t quite determine what that could be. All I know is, I might really be on board to try a churro ice cream sandwich.

Music: I mentioned previously my excitement over hearing the new Lana Del Rey album, and Ultraviolence did not disappoint. This album is much grittier and melancholy than her previous release Born to Die. It contains themes of loneliness and longing, and contains many nods to musical trademarks of the past. It’s a beautiful album but definitely not to be listened to if maintaining happiness is ones goal. On the other hand, French Exit by TV Girl is certainly a more upbeat choice for blissful listening. TV Girl’s albums never seem to disappoint me. There’s some serious summery vibes to this album and I just want to lay around all day listening to it whenever possible (with a cocktail would be even better)

Travel: I don’t have to mention my wanderlust. Everyone knows it exists by this point, but what else can be expected in summer? And I love this Kate Spade travel wallet which is now unfortunately sold out.

Sports: The World Cup, am I right? Every four years the world is united to celebrate football. (or at least pretend, as Americans, we like it as more than part of a physical education class curriculum) I quite like football sometimes so finding the time to watch games is pretty enjoyable. Unfortunately, England is out of the running for the cup, but I still really love this Elizabeth and James England tee. No shame in supporting my team of choice, right?

Fashion: I’m obsessed with playsuits this summer. They are comfy and cool. Unfortunately my new favorite one (pictured here on Lou Teasdale) is leather and doesn’t agree with Arizona heat. I guess there’s always winter right? Not to mention it’s not entirely budget friendly.

Books: One of my all time favorite classes I’ve taken has been about the history of rock music. So, I’m really excited to read Bob Stanley’s book on pop music when it is released next month. Mr. Stanley is a music critic who, in the book, breaks down genres, bands, and specific songs to recall the good and the bad in the evolution of pop music. I can’t wait to read it.

Links: Bantam Sofa / Churro Ice Cream Sandwich / (On Spotify) Ultraviolence – Lana Del Rey & French Exit – TV Girl / Kate Spade Travel Wallet / Elizabeth and James Tee / One Teaspoon Johnny Ringo Leather Playsuit / Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! by Bob Stanley

Currently…

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Summer is (unofficially) here and that means many television shows are on their summer hiatus, but thank goodness for teen shows and ABC Family. Without them I wouldn’t have my new summer addiction: Pretty Little Liars. I can hear the annoyed groans of my brother from across town, but trust me, Pretty Little Liars is so much better than I thought. The twists and turns are endless and just when I think I’ve solved the mystery of A, the rug is pulled out from underneath me. Not only that, all season long I’ll be writing about it over at Screen Spy! Find out what I thought of this week’s season 5 premiere: EscApe from Manhattan

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Continuing with this, “Nicole, do you realize how old you are?” theme, I’m currently reading The Fault In Our Stars. When I first heard of this book (and it’s film adaptation, which ultimately brought along this decision), I very quietly nodded my head and allowed everyone to talk about their cryfests. Last weekend, I bought my ticket to the movie thinking “why not?” I’ve heard enough about it and saw my fair share of posts on Tumblr regarding metaphors and the like. I was pleasantly surprised how well done the film is and how happy fans of the book were that it stayed fairly close. Being adapted by two of my favorite screenwriters certainly didn’t hurt either. But long story short: I ended up crying far more than I’d ever like to admit in real life let alone on this blog, so just know it happened and move on. (Watch the trailer and buy the novel)

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Music is kind of a big deal, and this cone speaker by Aether is rather amazing. The Cone learns what kind of music you like, when you like it, and pretty much every other detail of your music experience in order to serve you better. It’s beautiful looking not to mention fairly technologically advanced. Like if Smart Houses were real, I wish every room of mine would have one of these included. Hell, I would love to have one right now.

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Speaking of music, nearly every time I do a currently I always mention some songs I’m loving. I suppose this time should be no exception? I’m a little bit more than excited to hear Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey. These songs being released every few days have been so good. I just don’t want to stop playing them. My current favorite is Brooklyn Baby. On the other end of the spectrum I’m listening to a lot of Salute by Little Mix. They recently released an EP for the single featuring some remixes, and this remix Troyboi just happens to be one of them. It’s slowed down and really has this 90s pop mixed with an electronic twist vibe to it. Kinda makes me feel like someone mashed up Pony and Salute at times. I won’t pretend I’m not obsessed with it.

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Earlier, I mentioned The Fault In Our Stars and it goes without saying that a book/film about that type of subject matter (not to mention the countless references to her favorite book that ends mid sentence and what that means about life) can’t help but make me think of all the things I want to do in life. That combined with these two photos Jac Vanek posted of her travels to Santorini on Instagram made my wanderlust grow exponentially. Adding Santorini to my list of places to visit immediately.

Mix: Los Angeles, California

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Now that everyone has seen pictures of my adventure, how about some tunes? There’s not a whole lot I hate about Los Angeles. I even love the smog and the traffic. So, instead of sharing some actual tunes that provided the soundtrack to our trip, I chose 18 songs I enjoy about or remind me of California + Los Angeles in general.

Tracklist:

  1. Let Me Back In – Rilo Kiley
  2. California English – Vampire Weekend
  3. Blue Jay Way – The Beatles
  4. California Dreamin’ – the Mamas & the Papas
  5. L.A. – Elliott Smith
  6. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings – Father John Misty
  7. Surfin’ U.S.A – the Beach Boys
  8. California Girls – the Magnetic Fields
  9. Why You’d Want to Live Here – Death Cab for Cutie
  10. California Sunset – Poolside
  11. Going to California – Led Zeppelin
  12. The Only Place – Best Coast
  13. California – Delta Spirit
  14. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
  15. Temecula Sunrise – Dirty Projectors
  16. California – Phantom Planet
  17. California Love – 2Pac
  18. Love Like a Sunset, Part II – Phoenix

  Check it out on 8Tracks

C+W Road Trip: Los Angeles, California

Remember way back in the 1960s when people used to invite guests over for a totally non-chalant dinner party and then sneak attack everyone with vacation slides? No of course not because it’s 2013 and (nearly) everyone has at least one social media force feeding that to everyone on a daily basis. If you have no idea what I’m talking about watch an episode of Mad Men. You’re bound to find it happen there at least once. Here’s where I’m taking an opportunity to share the 21st century version of vacation slides: vacation Instagrams. Sure, Kodak slides in the 1960s were cooler and the host probably offered beverages of the alcohol variety, but this is all I’ve got. Sadly, my trusty point and shoot camera was locked away and for this road trip all I had was my trusty phone camera. Deal with itttt. It’s actually not that bad of a camera. (I’d still prefer an SLR though). Technically I ventured to other cities, but for the sake of time and word count, just go with it. 

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Row 1: Madame Tussaud’s wax museum.

  • I love to pretend I’m too cool for touristy activities, but get me in front of a wax figure of George Clooney (not pictured) or Iron Man and I’m as excited as a small child seeing Santa Claus. It’s still hands down the creepiest place I have ever been to. It’s so hard to tell who is real and who is fake. It’s interactive as long as you don’t touch the wax figures themselves. The most curious part to me is why Madame Tussaud thought this would be an AWESOME idea in the first place.

Row 2: Walk of Fame

  • Yes, I’ve been to the Hollywood Walk of Fame about a half a million times in my life. Since my last visit a few years ago, some new stars have been added including my favorite Beatle, Mr. George Harrison, and everyone’s favorite national treasure, Tom Hanks. Also, the Capitol Records building is my favorite building of all time. What? It’s totally normal to have a favorite building. 

Row 3: MISC

  • Check out that view of Hollywood. I drank wine from a portable coffee cup in the shower and visited the famous Farmers Market (best almond butter around).

Row 4: Beverly Hills (what a thrill) + Burbank

  • My family hails from Burbank, so it’s always fun to visit Bob’s Big Boy (Sorry Dad, I know it’s technically in Teluca Lake). Pictured is Kevin Arnold’s house from the Wonder Years. I’m a huge Wonder Years fan, and I’ve been here before but I love it. (Please sell it to me, fine owners. I will treat it well) 

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Row 1: Santa Monica

  • The beach is pretty exciting isn’t it? Except there’s sand in every orifice. I even took the plunge and road the Paradise Wheel. My first ferris wheel ride in over 16 years. Nothing like contemplating falling out of the sky while high above the ocean, right? 

Row 2: Arts District + Angel’s Knoll

  • Never been to the Arts District before, but it’s my new favorite. I finally made it to Tom Hansen’s bench from 500 Days of Summer. It’s one of my all time favorite movies, and this bench is “world famous” according to the man talking to me about it. The plaque has since been stolen, so that’s a bummer. For being a wold famous bench, not a lot of people wanted it during the hour or so I sat there. Then again it was midday on a Tuesday. Grand Central Public Market has some great unidentifiable Chinese food.

Row 3: Dodger Stadium

  • FINALLY made it to a a game at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers won. I got a foam finger and it was cap night. Still not a giant fan of Dodger Dogs though. I gave it my best shot.

Row 4: MISC

  • Lifeguard tower, pretty purple flowers, and WINDMILLS. I’m never unpacking.

There it is. All in all it was a pretty fantastic road trip. I can’t wait to go back. It’s also 110 in Arizona right now, so a visit to the beach would be amazing right now.

Ten for Tuesday: Bucket List

As I mentioned before I became obsessed with the Perfect Bucket List Tumblr. I thought it might make a great post to share some of my favorites that happen to be additions to my real life bucket list. I attempted not to chose too many cheesy dreams, but soon found out I mostly picked places to travel, hummm. I’m slightly confused about some of the dreams posted on the Tumblr, but who am I to judge them.

This one is totally dorky. I just love how the ukulele sounds when it’s played. How could I want to constantly play it terribly?

This one seems more obtainable than all the others. A few other cities are also on my radar.

I feel like this one just steps right out of a movie. Possibly from a romantic comedy?

Uh yes, please, I want this. I also want to tie this one in with becoming fluent in French. I know they really seem to dislike Americans but I would love to blend in with them.

Living in Arizona really deprives me of a white Christmas. It would be fun to experience one where it’s a heavy snow for once.

Being Italian brings a family full of delicious recipes. We could fill up at least 3 with the amount of passed down recipes we have laying around.

This has been on my list of ideas for a few years now after talking to my cousin who lives in Rome. Well, that and seeing the Lizzie McGuire movie.

This one is my favorite one of the bunch I picked. Midnight in Paris was one of my favorite movies of last year, and I would love to just take a stroll around. It’s a shame I won’t get to meet many of the great minds he met in the movie. I guess this one goes along with living in France.

It’s a shame I live in the city and seeing stars is an opportunity that is few and far between. City living is great for everything for everything except stargazing.

This exists? I must go to it.

And lastly an eleventh, novelty, unrealistic, holy grail of bucket list ideas…drum roll please….

KABLAM!

Well this has been fun. There were so many more I wish I could have chosen. I’ll just save them for my real bucket list!

Until next time,

Nicole!

All images pictured here were made and borrowed from the lovely, brilliant people at Perfect Bucketlist on Tumblr.