What I Did in NYC

New York is one of my favorite places on earth. It also helps that one of my favorite people is now living there. That’s sort of what happens when everyone graduates college and figures out adulthood. Friends move, things change, and I plan weekend road trips to visit. My ideal adulthood would consist of me earning a living by visiting friends, but I guess law school will have to do for now.

Anyways! I was in NYC! And boy did I do a lot. Especially considering that I went during the heat wave. It was in the 90’s for most of my trip, which for me living in Georgia I found quite normal, but I think New Yorkers felt like they were living in the Devil’s armpit…the subways were a sweaty b.o. disaster most days.

As I usually do, I visited an art museum. This time it wasn’t just any art museum, it was the art museum. My friend Mira, her girlfriend C, and I wound up at the Met my first day in town. Thankfully they let me do my nerd girl thing and listened as I chatterboxed my way through a bajillion exhibits on Greek, Roman, and Egyptian art. It also helped that C fenced growing up so she knew everything about the swords and armor!

The Camp exhibit was ah-mazing, too. And the Apollo 11 inspired art was my favorite but I was so enamored that I forgot to take pictures! Lol!

I spent around four hours in the Met, wandered around Central Park in search of Halal food (my favorite NYC eat is a food truck falafel wrap with hot sauce and white sauce), and then headed back into Manhattan to meet up with the girls. The cherry on top? We spent the rest of the day at The Strand and eating good food.

It was my first time eating pirogies! And of course I forgot to snap a pic 😦 But here’s a cute set of me eating Big Gay Ice Cream!

Mira and I went out to Stonewall and a few other places before getting 99 cent pizza and wandering through Time’s Square, because no trip to NYC is complete without one dazzling moment under all those lights!

What I Did in Charlotte

I visited a close friend (hey, Emma!) in Charlotte, NC this month. We had such a fun time exploring the city!

Emma moved to Charlotte after graduating from UGA the same time I did. She got a full time job in the city and is living in the up-and-coming South End. It’s super ~trendy~ with all of its murals, Bird scooters, breweries, and outdoor dining options (more on that in a hot sec). While I’m more of a house gal, all of the apartments we walked past looked spacious and welcoming, especially those near the bike path.

My favorite part about South End? WALKING! I am a total sucker for walking everywhere. Emma and I walked to dinner my first night in town, walked about to explore, walked into Uptown Charlotte, walked to lunch…we walked pretty much everywhere. Driving in the city (any city) drives me bonkers, so having a very walkable living situation is my absolute dream.

Another favorite part would have to be the food (told ya I’d get there). I introduced Emma to Tupelo Honey, and Asheville staple. I’m head over heels for their breakfast bowl, which the foundation of is stone ground goat cheese grits!!! Ahhh!! Amazing. Iconic. Truly revolutionary. If you’ve never been, GO. Tupelo Honey now has locations in Asheville, Charlotte, and Durham.

We also met up with family friends at the Flying Biscuit, a chain that originated in Atlanta, GA. It was a little slice of Georgia (where Emma’s from and where we’ve been in school for four years) in the “north” part of the South. Again, I had a breakfast bowl. Shocker!

Even though I love my Tupelo Honey to death, the place I fell for is a little bakery called Amelie’s. The pictures below don’t capture the charm as well as visiting in person. The croissant…let’s just say it’s the best croissant I’ve ever had, and I ate croissants every day when I visited Paris in the 8th grade.

Being the total art nerd I am, the Mint Museum just had to be crossed off my bucket list while I was in town. Their exhibit on collage and contemporary art blew my mind away. I’ve never been a huge fan of modern art (mostly because I’d seen a bunch of weird plastic things like neon pink sharks or walls full of Rothko’s) but the Mint exhibit truly changed my preconceptions. Art as political commentary has been a fun topic for me to explore in my studies, and the Mint did not disappoint in that regard. They also had so much more to offer than just painting. The woodworking and glass art on display was, in my opinion, one of the best non-traditional exhibits I’d walked through.

Emma and I also walked through the Uptown Charlotte area doing the Liberty Walk, which is a historical tour of the Revolutionary War happenings in Charlotte. Not only is it free, you walk through some of the best parts of the city!

Also, I love North Carolinian’s sense of humor. Gets me every time.

My Beach Essentials

Since I’m at Topsail Island, NC with my family this week I figured that I should go ahead and share my beach essentials. I don’t pack a whole lot for the beach, but what I do pack I can’t live without!

Beach Tote: My family has always used a Lands End tote bag to cart all our stuff out to the beach. The monogram helps us know it’s ours! Right now Lands End is having a promotion on these – You can get yours for $25!

Sun Bum Sunscreen: I’m allergic to most sunblocks (don’t ask me why, my skin just sort of did this to me after I started using prescription medication to treat my acne…it’s weird!) but this one seems to work well. I love using the stick for my face and any part of my swimsuit that rubs (hello any suit that ties around my neck). The best part – they’re free of chemicals that bleach coral reefs!

Beach Towel: I’ve collected an interesting menagerie of towels over the years. As long as I can easily spot it from the ocean I don’t care where it’s from or what brand it is. Sometimes the beach grocery stores have the best ones!

Books: I never go to the beach without a good book. This week I’ve packed more than I can handle (what can I say, I have high hopes). The Nightingale, Emergency Contact, Fates and Furies, Prozac Nation, Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea

Water Bottle: I carry a metal insulated water bottle with me almost everywhere now. While I love my Nalgene, Hydro Flasks and their assorted knockoffs are perfect for summer because they keep everything super cold. There’s nothing worse than being thirty on a hot beach and only having lukewarm water!

That’s all from me. What essentials do you pack for a beach trip?

Fun Spring Coffee Cups

Way back in the day (okay so it was only 2016, but it feels like a decade ago) I wrote this post on my favorite sassy sayings coffee cups. While my style has changed a bit since then, my dependence upon my morning cup of joe has not.

With spring right around the corner, I’m sure we’re going to wake up to more drizzle mornings and hopefully a few more flowers. These super cute mugs and cups would make great Easter presents (or a fun gift to put a smile on a friend’s face).

Hello There

Royal Albert Spring Meadow

Corkcicle Tumbler

Pantone Mug

B’WELL Reusable Coffee Cup

Kate Spade Sunny Disposition Tumbler

Jacksonville, FL

I promise I’ll be off my Florida kick after this post. I just miss the warmer weather so much!

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This big blue bridge made me feel like I was back in San Francisco.

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I love all the palm trees.

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Duuuval!

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St. Augustine

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Last weekend my friends and I traveled to St. Augustine for fall break at UGA. The weather was absolutely perfect. I had friends up north talking about how it was snowing early this year while I was basking in the sun in a tank top and shorts. I was living the life.

My friends and I rented a small air bnb in one of the…sketchier…areas of the city. Favorite part? All the abandoned houses really set the scene for Halloween and the feral cats made it feel extra spooky. The homeless people were really a catch. “Y’all seen Cletus?” was the most quotable part of the trip; however, we still don’t know who or what Cletus is. Lol.

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The history buff in me not only loved the aesthetic of the city but also stopped to read each and every historical marker. Needless to say, I was the straggler of the group.

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Seeing as this was a “school trip” for the big game on Saturday, I felt that taking a picture with the U.S.A.’s oldest wooden schoolhouse was obligatory.

While I didn’t get the best pictures, the cafes I visited were super trendy and Instagrammable. My favorites were the Cuban Cafe and Bakery and Dreamboat Coffee. If anyone is in the neighborhood, pick up a sweet cream iced coffee from Dreamboat! The barista is the nicest person, and her bubbly personality left me feeling full of giggles, even after my six hour drive to the city from Athens! I totally forgot her name, but shoutout to her because she rocked my world Friday night.

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The above photo was the view from our porch…Now that I’m back in Athens, I want to return more than anything!

Florida Georgia

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This was my first time going to The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, otherwise known as the Georgia vs. Florida game in Jacksonville. While I didn’t have a single cocktail there (my liver is probably grateful for that haha) I did indulge in way too many sweets and treats. Sometimes you really need some stadium junk food to get you in the mood! Plus the bag checkers let me bring in my Cheerios because, let’s face it, I am truly a soccer mom at heart.

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After a Dawgs win, the weekend couldn’t have ended on a better note!

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The Vatican

My class and I visited the Vatican on our last day in Rome. I loved the experience, even if I didn’t get to meet the Pope (although some of my friends did get to see him the very next day!)img_3566

My favorite part of the Vatican? The ceilings! img_3494img_3498img_3506img_3507

All the other artwork was cool too, but really, the ceilings here are something else entirely. I loved them! img_3531img_3528

The stained glass here wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped. The best stained glass I’ve ever seen was definitely Chartres Cathedral in France. Maybe that’ll be the next stop on the Tour de Bailey? Who knows! You’ll have to wait until this next semester ends to see where I travel too next!

Coffee in Italy

If you haven’t guessed, I love coffee! As something I drink every day, I would say I know what I like and how I like it done. Transitioning from American coffee to Italian coffee was a little weird because I’m so used to a big mug of black coffee in the mornings and in Italy most people drink a shot of espresso instead.

Starting on hour one in the airport, I decided to drink as an Italian would drink – I ordered a cappuccino. Turns out, I actually like them here! In the States I find them too sweet, but here the foam and bitter coffee make the perfect harmonious marriage of flavors.

Truth be told it wasn’t the prettiest coffee I’ve ever had, but it was from an airport so I didn’t have the bar set too high.

Bar Signorelli in Cortona is the UGA kids’ usual haunt. Go there for their cafe lattes, cappuccinos, or iced coffee. Honestly, we all went there for their wifi haha

Gilli’s in Florence is my friend Sherry’s favorite coffee place. While I don’t think it’s the best there is, the coffee was definitely the prettiest I’ve ever had!

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The bar there was also super cute! The whole place had a very British vibe.

I loved the mirror in the background (as you can probably tell by the awkward mirror selfies).

I’m honestly not even sure where I bought this coffee…

Or this one…whoops!

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My favorite coffee shop in Italy has to be Arnold’s. It’s essentially a knock off Starbucks, but with better coffee. Get the American coffee with vanilla! That’s what saved me during my sleep deprived day long tour in Florence, and then again when in Rome. Their cookies are also a hit!

Sienna

Sienna was absolutely beautiful! I loved going through the government buildings (hello, future law student!) and seeing firsthand how art can be a political influence.

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The views were absolutely gorgeousimg_2899

Reading in the plaza is a nice break from walking around all day! I brought a sarong with me to use as a blanket when sitting on the ground. I am always getting things on my white jeans! Bringing something to sit on (and to help my classmates cover up their shoulders or knees when going into churches) really saved me on this trip! img_2887img_2881img_2839img_2840

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Below is the Allegory of Good and Bad Government, a fresco mural in the rooms of the Council of Nine, the government of Sienna in the 1300’s. I love it because of its purpose: it kept the government in line through the depiction of what occurs when a government governs poorly. Below is only the “good government” side, but you should definitely check out the “bad government” side. What a great political implication! If you want to read more about it, click hereIMG_2889IMG_2861