Lexington, Kentucky

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Another weekend, another road trip! And Lexington, Kentucky was the perfect distance.

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We started in Columbus, Ohio and drove south on I-71 South for exactly 3 hours. Our airbnb wouldn’t let us check in until 5pm, so we drove directly to the city, parked on Jefferson Avenue and started walking across town.

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Coming from Columbus, Ohio (population 860,090), Lexington definitely felt small (population 318,449). It was a nice size for a downtown area, and we walked from one side of the downtown district to the other in about 15 minutes.

While walking down the main street (actually, I believe it was called Main Street), we stumbled upon a hotel with an art exhibit inside. I didn’t take any pictures, but I left with an ache in my heart feeling very aware of social issues facing other around the world (ahh….art….) One that struck me the most was a digital media piece of a young soldier from Columbia who had lost both of his arms.

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One of my favorite parts about taking weekend trips is the lack of planning. We enjoyed looking at the cute houses, buildings, visiting the coffee shops, restaurants, and taking in the art work.

Our first stop was: Corta y Lima (101 W. Short Street, Lexington KY)

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ADORABLE decor, love the interior

 

I heard that downtown Lexington has a reputation for being “not that cool.” Personally, I loved the charm of the town. The town was rich in history (lots of historical  markers everywhere) and beautiful artwork. It had a nice variety of restaurants (albeit lots of chains).

So far, I have been pleasantly pleased with Kentucky, and it’s not too far away from Ohio (making for great weekend getaways). During my weekend, I also stopped by Midway, Kentucky and Frankfort, Kentucky. More on that soon !

-A

Louisville, Kentucky y’all!

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I used to tell myself that I had no business in the South. That is, until I realized I live in Ohio and well, it’s slim pickings! Now, I’ve realized how wrong my perception of the South was. I imagined all of the most terrible stereotypes: hillbillies, racist people, small towns. But the more I travel, the wider my perception of that area of America gets.

This past weekend we drove for about 3 hours from Columbus, Ohio to Louisville, Kentucky.

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During my weekend trip, I’ve decided that Louisville is a.l.l.t.h.a.t. The only downside was that we didn’t have more time to explore!

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Our first stop after dropping our bags off at our Airbnb was Blue Dog Cafe on Frankfort Avenue. All I remember about the name of this dessert was it did not sound the way it spelled (French, probably). It was basically a sweet crescent muffin with sugar glaze in the inside (spoken by a true foodie). I also got a Raspberry tea (not pictured). The cashier gave us some advice on where to go next (keep reading!)

After enjoying our pastries, we walked up Frankfort Avenue and checked out some of the cute shops. Some of them were so picturesque —

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Look closely, it’s not a ghost, it is I

I’m a sucker for DIY looking stores with home decor. I am not a country girl, but I do love the “rusic chic” theme for houses.

As I mentioned above, the cashier told us we HAD to check out two places, which we did. The first one was Cherokee Park, and the second was the Walking Bridge.

Thoughts on Cherokee Park: meh

Thoughts on the Walking Bridge: 1000% recommend to anyone going to Louisville! We got there at about 8:55 pm. The best and sweetest part about this evening was making our way up the bridge, and seeing a group full of people standing in red shirts that read: WILL YOU MARRY ME? (Have you ever seen a proposal IRL? I was about to start crying and I don’t even know these people. Life if precious!) I didn’t get that great of a shot of the proposal, but there they are with their sparklers!

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The bridge and the view was so, so beautiful at night. I still can’t get over how nice that night was.

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This may have been one of the more successful night shots I’ve had (night photography is not my strong suit).

The next morning, we got coffee at Please & Thank You. And seriously, how cute is this place?

We shopped some more. There is nothing really interesting to say about that except for a realization I had. For the past few months I have been living downtown. I have loved every single second of it, although living next to a lot of homeless people has not been the best thing for me. As someone who studied social work and poverty, I take a particular interest in those people. And, well, let’s just say I need to stop running my mouth because they so clearly don’t want to hear advice from a random girl carrying 8 bags. I’ve just heard the same rehearsed story several times now, and I know it’s not true and I want them to get the help they need. Calling their bluff to recommend places to go for help has not been super helpful, but rather, offensive (I have learned my lesson, and will just give them the dollar next time). While shopping, a man approached us and said “Hey, I’m just getting off work. Do you have a dollar to spare?” I gave my last dollar to a man who yelled at me for not believing his story, so I did not, but my travel partner did. He was so thankful, and I was also impressed by his honesty.

Before heading home, we checked out Big Rock Park. This park was SO much cooler than Cherokee Park and I wish we skipped Cherokee Park for this one instead.

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This is the big rock!

From a distance we saw a waterfall, and got to see it up close:

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I’m also a sucker for water. Any kind. Beach, waterfall, clean showers without giant spiders….

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I still have some catching up to do with travels, but here ya go ❤

-A

 

-A

 

 

Still swooning over Tennessee food

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I never thought I’d find myself in any of the Southern states, but there I was! After a 6ish drive from Central Ohio I found myself in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a four night stay.

We stayed in an airbnb just 10 minutes away from the downtown area. The very first thing we did was walk across the pedestrian bridge (Walnut Street Bridge). Don’t let my picture fool you — it was crowded with people. At the entrance, a 10-year-old girl was singing covers of pop songs, people were walking their dogs, riding their bikes, running, while I was on the hunt for some food.

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I got an Earl Grey Belgian Waffle — SO DELICIOUS, and a salted caramel latte (anyone else obsessed with salted caramel??)IMG_9259

Aside from having great food, Chattanooga also is pretty active. We visited Coolidge Park and walked alongside the water.IMG_9282

There is the same pedestrian bridge, but a different angle.

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And did I mention I loved the food there? For my birthday dinner we dressed up, I got a caprese chicken dish. My FAVORITE part about dinner, though, was these bad boys:

IMG_9320.JPGWe did make a day trip up to Nashville, Tennessee… I’m interested to see what everyone else thinks about Nashville… I’ll update you on mine soon!

-A

Vancouver is for foodies

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I am not ashamed to admit that the majority of the week I spent in Vancouver involved consuming delicious foods and drinks (and the rest of the time involved me being active to find new food and drinks). I don’t regret a second of it.

People in Columbus, Ohio brag about how diverse the food choices here are, and honestly, Columbus pales in comparison to Vancouver. Middle Eastern, Ukrainian, Chilean, Thai, Korean, Italian… and that’s only to name a few.

My favorite quote from my time in Vancouver was:

“I just don’t want to look back and think ‘I could have eaten that.'”

 

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Vancouver, British Columbia — March 30th, 2017

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I haven’t even finished telling my story about Thailand, but I recently visited Vancouver and wanted to share a thought I had.

On our final day in Vancouver, it finally stopped raining. (And when I say raining, I mean… monsoon, torrential downpour nonstop all day, all night but people are still outside anyway rain). It was still pretty chilly, but the sun was out. I wanted to go to Grouse mountain, but my legs were so soar from all of the hiking I had done already so we visited a smaller park: Lynn Canyon.

We came across the suspension bridge and it was so crowded with people. I wanted a shot of the bridge empty, but after waiting for about 5 minutes, I gave up and captured everyone on the bridge. I was originally irritated by this, but then I realized that all of these people were here for the same reason I was. Everyone was taking pictures, enjoying the view from below, and enjoying the rocky walk across.

The more I travel, the more I realize how similar everyone is to each other.

(And it took a suspension bridge for me to realize that!)

I’ll upload more Vancouver pictures soon!

-A

December 22nd, 2016: Ratchaburi, Thailand

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Although Bangfig3kok was our home base, we began a week long adventure south, with the first stop in Ratchaburi. To be completely honest, I am not sure how I stumbled upon this town; however, I do remember why it stuck out to me so much. Ratchaburi has a rich history with pottery. I read someone’s blog about watching artists hand make beautiful works of art, and that was that! We arrived in the town early evening. It was quiet, and we had a hard time finding a restaurant. We checked into our adorable hotel, and then head out (sweat and all from a long train ride) down the street to the nearest restaurant we could find.

I ordered chicken, and french fries. And I dIMG_0641 (2)on’t know what the significance was, but the french fries came inside of an apple! I did not eat the apple, but I DID feel healthier eating my fries! The chicken was honestly kind of Western seeming, but the sauce they put on it was AMAZING. There were peppercorns, it was kind of spicy (typical Thai). One more thing I remember was how out of place we looked. We hadn’t eaten for hours, it was dark out, and we entered this suburban feeling town, with all of these well dressed Thai people and, well… This is how I looked: IMG_8085Messy bun, you can almost see the sweat on my shirt, and just be thankful you can’t see my face. People kept staring at us, which also may have been because we were speaking English, and looked foreign. In the two days that we were here, we honestly didn’t see any other tourists. Later on at a cafe, someone told us that they see most tourists up north in December, and in the Spring they start to see more tourists in Ratchaburi.

The Hotel: Space 59

We honestly loved this hotel. It was so modern. The pictured I took truly don’t do it any justice. The only bad thing was that it was almost TOO modern. The stairs were so sleek and slippery. I was walking down at a fairly quick pace (I was excited!) and I fell to my butt and hit about 15 steps down along the way. The staff came running out, speaking to me quickly in Thai and I kept saying “I’m okay!” EXCEPT that I just wanted to cry on the inside!! I was sore on my leg, butt and arm the next few days, but I lived.

We ended up spending a LOT of time at Rattanakosin, the pottery company. It took us about 14 minutes on a Tuk Tuk to get there… which is actually pretty far! The Tuk Tuk drivers in Ratchaburi don’t rip you off as much as the ones in Bangkok do. It was HUGE inside. We watched aIMG_8164rtists at work with their dogs sitting next to them. We posed next to the beautiful scraps like hipsters. We bought pottery that would fit inside my backpack (and I carried for the remainder of our stay in Thailand D: so heavy).
<– I bought a vase that looked like one of these, except it was red.

When it was time to leave, we started to walk before realizing it would probably take hours before getting back to town. We asked the staff the best way to get back, and she called a ride for us and helped us get the Thai discount! She had someone finagle the price and ensure that we would pay 50 Baht total for the both of us (the cheaFullSizeRender (3)pest we had ever paid!)

It was so uncomfortable sitting on the motorcycle like this, but this is how
all the girls in Thailand do it!!

DISCLAIMER: I really did like Ratchaburi. It was cute, the people were so nice. There was one thing I really DID NOT like about it though… the wild dogs!!!! We were chased several times by packs of dogs. Every time we turned a corner, a group of dogs were barking at us, with their blood shot eyes. They got close, they growled at us…. my heart pounded in my chest until I could feel it in my throat. I closed my eyes and listened as my travel buddy said “don’t run. They’ll chase us.” I tried my best to keep my calm, but this really upset me for several hours. When we were alone, the dogs chased us up and down the streets. When a native was around, they left us alone. They must have known we were foreign.

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We spent 2 nights in Ratchaburi before hopping back on the train for a new city! Stay tuned!

❤ A

December 18-20th, 2017– Cha Am, Thailand

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I find that the more time I spend back home, the more I miss Thailand. On ocountry_map_thailandur fourth day in Thailand, we traveled down from Bangkok to Cha-Am. All in all, the train ride took us about 4 hours. 4 sweaty hours. We originally only wanted to stay for 1 night, but liked it so much we stayed an extra night! Maybe not my favorite city in Thailand, but definitely gave me some special memories.

The intent on the entire vacation was to avidly avoid all touristy locations as much as possible. All google searches led me to Hua Hin, Pattaya, Pranburi, etc. In a lengthy google search aka desperate attempt at a unique vacation, I stumbled upon Cha-Am: a sleepy beach town overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, only 30 minutes away from Hua Hin (evidently a local favorite!)

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After getting off the train, we immediately found this adorable cafe called Cup Sea Cafe. I ordered caramel toast, some kind of chicken (sorry guys, I don’t remember what it was called) and a delicious Mango smoothie. My travel partner/ real life partner ordered Green Curry (as he did multiple other occasions). All this cost about 200 baht!

We walked for about 30 minutes in peak of the day 90 degree heat, passing sad looking dogs and a caged bird and almost nobody else. There were not many cars, and it didn’t take long to find our beach front hotel… and check out the view!

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Mountains + palm trees are now officially my favorite combination. Everything about this town was quiet, peaceful, cute and sleepy. On our first day, we visited a lovely coffee shop (which we visited the next morning, and the following morning after that — see pictures below), and took an evening stroll on the beach. The beach was rocky, and the board walk honestly hurt to walk on and I didn’t bring shoes!

The beach was admittedly not the best for swimming. One interesting thing I noticed about the beaches in Thailand was that the natives don’t necessarily wear swim suits like we do in Western societies. Many people even wear long pants on days that were 90 degrees…. Americans on the other hand walk around near naked at that temperature (exaggeration, but you know what I mean). I saw some people go in with jeans on, etc.  Actually, many people just stayed in the shade under the umbrellas and watched the water.

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As we said our goodbyes to Cha-Am, we said goodbye to the cute bright colored shops near our hotel and the rocky beach. We decided to travel south for 30 minutes, and get off and check out Hua Hin, the popular touristy beach. Needless to say …. it WAS touristy!

We only stayed for a whopping 2 hours.

 

 

Truly, I didn’t snap too many pictures because there were people ALL over the place, sunbathing in skimpy two pieces or speedos. Seeing this was kind of shocking… just 30 minutes north I didn’t see one person in a swim suit in the 2 days I was there! This made me wonder… do those people venture outside of Hua Hin? Or did their entire vacation consist of this beach? I’ll admit it… it was perhaps prettier than the Cha-Am beach, but the vibes were all wrong. We got right back on the train, and headed back to Bangkok for a day of relaxation and shopping!

Stay tuned for more…..