Island Fun

My family is not all that big on traditions.  I remember as a grade-schooler we would have to write down all of our family traditions and share them with the class.  I was always left making something up or just sounding really lame.

Ummm, we eat a turkey on Thanksgiving. 

OR, equally obvious,

We watch fireworks on the 4th of July.  

Gee, thanks for sharing, Allison.


Snapshot Sunday: Along the Mackinac Shoreline

Hello?  Is anybody out there?  What year is it? 

Just kidding, it hasn't been thattttt long since I've posted, just, um, 2.5 months . . . 


Snapshot Sunday: Conversations in Grand Rapids

Thought of the day:  Have you ever realized that millions and millions of words are created just out of 26 letters?

Well, if you're Spanish or Mexican, then it's 27.  And if you're Finnish, 29.  If you're Chinese . . . well, let's not even go there.

You get the point.  It's a little mind-boggling to think about.


Snapshot Sunday: La Villita Love

I know, I know.  You're reading yet another post about La Villita in San Antonio.  But it was just so stinking cute, I can't resist!  

Going in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday led to places being nearly deserted.  Which didn't bother me in the least bit. 


Snapshot Sunday: Ombré - Bloomfield Hills Style

So you guys know that gorgeous ombré-ish flower that I spotted in San Antonio a few weeks back?  (Still looking for a name on that baby by the way.  C'mon, know a flower lover? Hook me up!) Well, wonder upon wonder, I found a replica replacement flower that's also slightly ombré-ish right here in Michigan!


Greek Island Hopping: Mykonos {link-up}

Guys, this is a milestone.  My very first link-up.  I know, I know, my blog is growing up so fast!  I can barely believe it myself!

Anyways, keep moving those eyes for my take on Wanderlust Wednesday: Europe.

So far in my #Europe2014 adventures (see what I just did there?), we've covered how excited I am to go and how excited I am to eat gelato.

Yep, that's it.

So I figured that it was time for another dive into my future European adventures.  Since Italy got the spotlight last time, it's Greece's turn.  But even more specifically, Greek islands.  And even more specifically than that, Mykonos, Crete, and Santorini.

After exploring Athens for a few days day and a half (aka not nearly enough time), I'll hop onto a cruise ship and set sail for these Mediterranean beauties through the Aegean Sea.

To give each of those islands the credit that they deserve, I'll split them up into three separate posts.  First comes Mykonos.


Snapshot Sunday: Riverwalkin'

When I look at this picture, I can't help but flash my Disney side just for a moment.  You have to admit, "Just Around the Riverbend" totally applies. 

C'mon, you know you want to.  Here, I'll help. 


Treetop Hotels - That's a Thing?

Growing up, I was a pretty typical child.  I ate Kraft mac & cheese by the box, hated bedtime and played outside all day long.
Don't mind me, just being a typical child here. 
Oh, and I wanted a treehouse.  What kid doesn't want a magical castle, rickety pirate ship and super secret spy fort all high up in the trees?

I'll wait while you try to find one.

No one?  Okay, I'll go on.


Snapshot Sunday: Mackinac Bridge

Labor Day.  The time of year where the tans begin to start fading, school supplies fly off the shelves and white pants are a big no-no according to my mom.  This holiday really has nothing going for it.  Who wants to trudge back to classes and blend in with their favorite white bottoms that they are no longer allowed to wear? 

Not me.  


If You Give a Girl a Greek Salad . . .

. . . she's going to ask for a glass of milk.

Just kidding.  It would be water.

But if you didn't catch the reference, I had a "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" type of experience yesterday that all started with my Greek salad.
This is not my Greek salad.  I got it off the Jet's Pizza Website. I know, I shouldn't even be called a blogger. 


Holy Guacamole!

Have you ever been so in love with a food that you jumped onto the table and screamed "I LOVE THIS FOOD!" to everyone in the entire restaurant? 

Yeah, me neither.

But believe me, I was on the edge of my seat, ready to spring onto the table top and announce my passionate and undying love for the guacamole and chicken fajitas that graced my tastebuds to all the other patrons in Guadalajara Grill.


Snapshot Sunday: Ombré - San Antonio Style

Hello out there!  Are there any flower experts that happened to stumble upon this particular post?  If so, you are in the place you need to be!   I have been dying to find out the name of these gorgeous blooms so I can cover my house, car, neighbor's house and cousin's girlfriend's uncle's sister's dog with them. 


Happy Fourth! (Two Days Late . . .)

I know, I know.  I nominated myself for "worst blogger of the week" award and I won by a devastating landslide.  The last time I posted was nearly an entire week ago (a.k.a. wayyy too long).  However, in my defense, my schedule was absolutely and completely packed and I had no access to a computer, so you can forgive me, right?  Right?

Anyway, happy Fourth of July!  (Let's just pretend that I wrote this 48 hours ago, alright?) I hope your day was filled with relaxation, beaches, parties, BBQs, fireworks, and most importantly, American pride.

I was fortunate enough to watch two amazing displays of fireworks this year, each very different from the other, but both very beautiful.

The first show took place the night before I left for San Antonio.  (Note to self: late night fireworks & bonfire + early flight in the morning = incoherently tired).  A laid-back get together with family friends, food, a fire and fireworks over a lake was perfect to get into the Fourth of July mood.


Snapshot Sunday: Capitol Hill

Sorry for the crappy image quality.  You have no idea how far back I had to dig to find this memory.  I'll tell you though: all the way back to 7th grade.  That's right, major flashback here.  Should we call this #SnapbackSunday?  I think yes.


Top Ten: Ways to NOT be a Light Packer

Looking for tips on how to pack light?  You have come to the wrong place, my friend.  Here, I don't skimp, skip or forget anything.  Well, that's a lie.  I forget lots of things; but usually not when it comes to packing.
Overpacking runs in my genes.  Christmas road trip! 


Snapshot Sunday: Navy Pier

A Chi-town classic: Navy Pier.  Being able to see the lights from our hotel room tempted us, and we decided to go out and experience the sights, sounds and smells of the pier.  It was a beautiful night on Lake Michigan and it would have been a crime to miss it and take a taxi.  So we walked.  My dad, "Sacagawea" as we later lovingly dubbed him, wanted to find the shortest way possible - which turned a nice half hour stroll into a seriously sketchy walking-so-fast-you're-almost-running type of walk (during which I'm pretty sure we witnessed a drug deal).



I'm sorry for screaming at you in the title.  I really am, but I am just so incredibly excited.  ONE YEAR (there I go screaming again) from today, I will be boarding a plane.  And I will sit on that plane for about 13ish hours.  But I won't mind, because I will be so pumped for what the next 18 days will hold in store for me.


A Summer Night in Petoskey

Sometimes I wish that I could be in multiple places at once.  But this isn't unique - I mean, who else wants to be at home sleeping at the same time that they have to be at school.  Or, be at a party when they have to work?

I certainly do!  The reason that I brought this up is because I have a problem.  Anyone who has been to Petoskey, Michigan during the summer (or really, anytime) will understand me.  Although they might not have the same feelings as me, they would understand me.

The problem is that I have fallen head-over-heels in love with Petoskey.  The views of the bay, the quaint downtown, and the historic-ness of it only add to my obsession.  But I live four hours away.  In a town without gorgeous views of a bay, a less quaint downtown and no where near the amount of historical coolness that Petoskey has.  I mean c'mon, Ernest Hemingway didn't hang out in my town!

Railroad tracks running behind the town. 


Snapshot Sunday: The Lights of St. Kitts

Light and dark.  One of the most popular contrasts for kids learning about opposites.  This statement is most likely true because of the glaringly obvious difference between the two. 


One Day in San Fran

San Francisco, California is one of those places that I have always dreamed of visiting.  Even if I had only a day there, I would make the most of it and see all that I could see, eat all that I could eat and live all that I could live.  It's just one of those classic American cities - a must-visit.

Before starting this post, get in the San Fran mood by listening to this (not-so-classic) song by Train honoring the City by the Bay


Screams, Snapshots, Sun & Snakes: Cedar Point

It's been over 48 hours.  I'm still tired.

Spending an entire day at America's largest amusement park has left me absolutely drained.  Even after two nights of (almost) sound sleep and over four hours of naps, I'm still finding myself dreaming of my bed.

Yet, here I am at midnight, fighting sleep, just so I can write this well-overdue post. So ready or not, here are the stories of my adventures at Cedar Point!

It started with a road trip.  And following typical road trip style, I was the last one out the door.  And we also had to go back for something we had forgotten.  What we had forgot, I now forget.  Blame the lack of sleep.   Anyway, after two and a half hours in the car, singing High School Musical 2 with anticipation building, we finally caught a glimpse of the unmistakeable skyline.  Sorry, no picture.  I'm a bad blogger, I know.


Snapshot Sunday: Mackinac Island Beauty

A picture's worth a thousand words, they say.  So what words are this picture worth?


Top Ten: Things Not to Say on a Road Trip

We've all been there.  Stuck in the back seat of a sticky, hot car.  Trying to drone out the sound of your parent's singing.  Scrunching as far away from your angry sister's punches (and maybe dealing out a few of your own, too).  Fast food bags from lunch giving off that appetizing grease smell.  Only six hours left! Only?!?!  Ahh, the joys of road trips. If your family is anything like mine, you know exactly how to push each other's buttons and enjoy doing it too.  No matter how exciting the ultimate destination is (ranging from a week on the beach in North Carolina to the wedding of your fourth cousin twice-removed), you cannot wait to get yourself out of that car and never see it again.  Even if that means you have to face the fact that there is no way that you will be able to avoid the wedding.

Chicago Road Trip


When London Calls. . .

London, England is definitely in my top ten on my travel bucket list.  The sights, history and attractions of that city make it almost irresistible.  Seeing Big Ben and those iconic red telephone booths in pictures doesn't do it for me.  I want to be able to see them for myself, not through a screen.  London has to be one of those places that you could stay for months and not fully discover everything that it has to offer.  Museums, parks, historic landmarks, architecture, and of course, the royalty are just the surface layer of London.

When (because someday, I will!) I go to London, there are a few things on my must-see and do list.  

  • The London Bridge: One of the first things that comes to mind when I think London is the London Bridge.  Yes, I know that the original is in Arizona, but a trip to London cannot be complete without seeing the bridge, even if it isn't the famous one from the nursery rhyme.  


Reason for Return to Grand Rapids

Last summer, my family, two friends, and I went on a weekend trip to the amazing Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The few days that we visited were out of the ordinary as thousands more people than those who usually occupied the city piled in for the same reason we did - The Color Run! If you've never heard of this colorific 5K before, you can check it out here, and definitely be sure to sign up for the next one coming your way! The run was Sunday morning, and since we arrived early in the day on Saturday, we had some time to spare.

The first adventure that we embarked on, was the Frederik Meijer Gardens.  All 132 acres are filled with beautiful and exotic flowers and trees.  Dozens of sculptures, small and huge, are scattered throughout the site.  It was a nice place to wander around for a couple hours and literally, stop and smell the flowers.  A scorching day kept our visit short, however.


Three Decisions from St. Croix

After visiting St. Croix in December of 2011, I decided three things:

1) Every single part of St. Croix is beautiful.  Every part.  The white-sand beaches, the busy streets, the cheap, touristy jewelry, and even the back alleys with graffiti.  Beautiful, all of it.  The fact that those are all normal, everyday parts to a culture so different than mine is what makes it all beautiful in my eyes.  Something new, something fresh, something different. I like that.


St. Thomas - Take Me Back!

St. Thomas, in my opinion, is the most beautiful of the three U.S. Virgin Islands.  Though I was only on each one for a small period of time, St. Thomas left me with the best first impression.  I went over Christmas break of 2011 on a Caribbean cruise.   The day that I spent on St. Thomas seemed to fly as every moment of it was an unforgettable experience.  The first thing we did, once we got our land legs back, was hop into a tour bus and take a short tour on our way to Magen's Bay.  The tropical island was, to sum it up, green and gorgeous.  We got off the bus for a quick photo op above Magen's Bay.  The bay was so many different shades of brilliant blue, it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life.
Magen's Bay from above.  


Two Weekends in Houston

"Houston" and "hot" go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Of course, this is Texas we're talking about here, so why any of you would be surprised, I don't know.

I have been to Houston twice now.  Both times I enjoyed spectacular weather and amazing sights.  However, being a Michigander, it doesn't take too much to impress me weather-wise - anything above 60 degrees works for me!

Weekend #1: October, 2011
The first time I visited was in October of 2011.  Coming from 40 degrees to 80+ degrees was a most welcome change.  The hotel we stayed in, The Houstonian, was also where my cousins' wedding reception was held.   Complete with restaurants, an award-winning spa, beautiful grounds, pools, extensive gyms and luxurious rooms, this was easily the most fantastic place I have ever stayed in my life.  Being surrounded by gorgeous woods made it feel as though you were miles away from the city, not right in the heart of it.

Houstonian Lobby


My name is Allison and I love to travel.  Despite my greeting, I have not actually been to Hawaii.  It's on my bucket list though! Although my travel adventures have been few, my travel bucket list continues to grow day by day.  The places I want to go, things I want to see and people I want to meet keep me wondering and longing to wander.  You could call it an extreme case of wanderlust.  I love reading and many of the places that I want to travel to come from scenarios that I read about in books.  I want to use this blog to share the places that I go and will go in the future.  Exploring, discovering and seeing as many new things as I possibly can is my life goal.  I hope you enjoy following my traveling adventures and welcome to my blog!