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San Diego Sites: The Salk Institute For Biological Studies

  San Diego Sites: The Salk Institute For Biological Studies, Modern Architecture in San Diego Coming from New York City to San Diego has been quite the transition. Some days I just miss wandering through the vast city and gazing up at the skyscrapers and seeing the amazing architecture that fills the city. So, when I heard that San Diego had its own little piece of famous architecture, the Salk Institute, I couldn’t wait to go and check it out, plus I went right at sunset, which made the architecture stand out even more.   The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is an architectural dreamboat by Louis Kahn. The building is minimalistic but mesmerizing with its use of cement contrasted with the natural element of water flowing from the front of it, which leads out to the viewpoint, towards the coast. The cement is also complemented with wood throughout the building, which gives an amazing contrast to the stark white, and at the golden hour, when we visited, the bright oranges with the whites and brown wood made for an architectural spectacle.   There’s something enchanting about a building that’s created with few materials and that is a stark contrast to its environment. I used to think cement buildings were ugly, and I do think in certain contexts they are (cough D.C. cough), but since this building is so symmetrical and so steril with flashes of the natural, i.e. the literal stream separating the architecture, visiting this building makes me feel like I’m in a different place than San Diego, and dare I say, even a different country. There’s just... read more

How Jeff and I Have Been Together for Over 8 Years

  How Jeff and I Have Been Together for Over 8 Years: Keeping things light and being patient     Jeff and I have been together for a long time, like a really long time, especially considering we’re still just 27 years old. This November will mark our 9th anniversary, almost a decade of time spent together. I get a lot of questions about how we’ve managed to stay together, while being so young and how we’ve managed to stay happy. I’ve been lucky. I’ve had a companion throughout a huge portion of my life from college until now, I’ve had someone there by my side to join my in my quirky habits of moving all the time, always wanting to travel and see the world, and I’ve been lucky to have someone put up with my nonsense ;). But, in all honesty, the reason why I think we’ve done so well together and how we’ve really grown together is due to 2 reasons: keeping things light and being patient. The number 1 question I get about my relationship is: When are you getting married? My answer always confuses people and always results in more questions. I don’t (nor does Jeff) believe in marriage. I think it’s a great thing for couples who want that, but for the way we live our lives, it’s just not something that we need nor are interested in. I like to think of relationships this way: I’m 1 person on 1 path and Jeff is 1 person on his own path. We happen to kinda like each other, so we go on similar paths,... read more

Our Last Night in New York City

  Our Last Night in New York City: Saying goodbye and watching it move on before us   We left New York City in a whirlwind. Jeff was offered a position and we had 4 weeks to sublet our Bushwick loft, buy a car, quit our jobs, pack the house, ship our stuff, and make the trek from 1 coast to the other. I wrote a post earlier this week for my more personal, self-growth, entrepreneurial blog, Declare Happy, if you’re interested in learning more about my addiction to moving. But writing that post got me thinking about our decision to leave New York and made me reminisce about our last few weeks in the amazing city that is New York. Our last night there was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I find myself missing that city more and more and with the lasting memory of our last night, I’m antsy to head back. Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History, and our Insignificance We started the evening by strolling through Central Park and watched as park goers tossed the frisbees on the amazing spring day that was our last New York City day. We watched as the trees were in bloom, the spring flowers filling the park, and headed over to the American Museum of Natural History for one last visit until shipping out west. Despite having access to nature here in San Diego, there’s nothing quite like Central Park, that oasis in the chaos of the city. I find myself daydreaming about afternoons spent there and sometimes wish I could teleport my way back, but I’m... read more

San Diego Highlight: The La Jolla Cove

  San Diego Highlight: The La Jolla Cove: Dramatic cliffs, sea lions, and beautiful protected waters Jeff, Pickles (our greyhound), Toulouse (our cat), and I moved from bustling New York City in June and landed here, in sunny San Diego, California after making the trek from 1 coast to the other. Jeff was offered a position at a landscape architecture firm and being the opportunity followers that we are decided to ship out and test beach living. We live in a small beach community, Ocean Beach, here in San Diego, and it’s a LOT different from our Bushwick, Brooklyn place! But today’s post isn’t about sleepy, Ocean Beach, today’s post is about ritzy, bougie La Jolla and their breathtaking cove. When you’re done taking in the beauty of the cove, wander around downtown La Jolla and grab a nice bite for lunch and do a little luxury shopping ;). 1. Breathtaking, dramatic views, not your typical beach scene I’m more of a mountain and city type of gal so I get a little tired of the standard beach scene. Don’t get me wrong, being close to the infiniance of the water and that cool ocean breeze is pretty amazing, but sometimes I feel like all there is to the beach is sand and water…which is why I love La Jolla’s Cove so much. The La Jolla Cove sets the scenes for breathtaking cliff views and a nice, relaxing park to boot. You can just stand at the edge of the cliffs and look out into the horizon of the ocean. Seeing the full power of the ocean is humbling and... read more

Bergen, Norway: the Funicular, the Views, and the Beauty of Mt. Floyen

Bergen, Norway: the Funicular, the Views, and the Beauty of Mt. Floyen:  A mystical hike above the city on Mt. Floyen The last international trip Jeff and I took was to Norway. We went about 2 years ago and I still find myself reminiscing about it. Norway is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Oslo was an amazing and vibrant city (check out some of the highlights of the city in yesterday’s post), while Bergen, on the other end of the country was the perfect place to spend with Jeff, exploring the small city, while moving slowly through it, at the pace it deserves, a slow, dedicated pace. Bergen is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited and I’ve been looking for a comparison ever since visiting, but haven’t yet found one. I don’t think anything can compare to the fjord and mountain landscape.  One of my favorite Bergen afternoons was when we decided to go hiking above the city via the funicular up to Mt. Floyen to escape into nature, into the mythical landscape of Norway.   1. The charm of the funicular   I don’t know how else to describe a funicular other than charming. It’s one of those forms of transportation that feel as if you’re in a cartoon or story. One of my favorite depictions of a funicular ever is in Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel when they go up the mountain. via GIPHY That’s what I feel like the grand feeling of a funicular is. I feel like that depiction of a funicular is exactly how it feels like... read more

Thinking Back…Oslo Highlights

Thinking Back…Oslo Highlights: Frogner Park (Vigeland Sculpture Garden), Grünerløkka, and the Opera House Today’s blog post, I’m reminiscing again about my trip to Oslo, Norway. Norway isn’t just beautiful for the dramatic fjord landscapes, but Oslo’s architecture and art scene is a city for inspiration on its own. Today’s post will be reminiscing about Frogner Park and the Vigeland Sculpture Garden (and my favorite sculpture of all time), the Grunerlokka district, and the beautiful, sleek, modern Oslo Opera House. I’m a sucker for arts and architecture, so full disclosure, there will be a lot of that in this post ;). 1. Frogner Park aka Vigeland Sculpture Park Frogner Park is actually Oslo’s number 1 tourist attraction, which surprised me, but I can definitely see why. Frogner Park is interesting because it’s a huge city park, that is also a major sculpture garden,  the Vigeland Sculpture Garden mixed in as a permanent installation. The sculptures are refreshing and go through parenthood, being an adult, and great battles as well. My favorite statue is “Angry Boy” or in Norwegian Sinnataggen. We visited Norway in March, so the sun set early and we stumbled into park in the afternoon and were there during the “golden hour,” which made for awesome glimpses of the statues with a dramatic backdrop.   2. Grunerlokka aka “Hipster” Oslo So Gunerlokka is an awesome district/neighborhood within Oslo where there’s a ton of street art, installation pieces, awesome cafes and coffee shops, and all the cool modern shops and even cooler thrift shops for some cheap Norwegian buys. Be sure to make a stop at Indigo, a sleek, unique coffee shop... read more

Colorado’s Best Concert Venue: Red Rocks Amphitheater

Red Rocks Amphitheater is one of those places that mesmerizes as much as any concert you might attend there. Just outside of Denver, Red Rocks has housed some of the world’s most famous bands from the Beatles (yes the Beatles) to smaller more indie bands, like  Of Monsters and Men and Vampire Weekend (the show I saw, which happened to be my first red rocks concert!).     I feel embarrassed being a former Colorado native and having only visited Red Rocks once, but I’m sure that it won’t be the last. Every time I visit Colorado I’ll be checking the concert schedule!  Red rocks is an outdoor amphitheater famous for its music and geology. During the day its a park where people come exercise, play around on the stage, and go for hikes.   During the day its the perfect exercise spot, but at night, when there’s a concert, its unforgettable.   The red rocks are lit up, you can see the stars above, and in the distance you can see the Denver lights and skyline. Most bands take advantage of the lighting and rocks and do light shows with their music against the rocks and it makes for an unforgettable show!     A few tips: 1. Get there early if your show is general admission, the front fills up quickly by people camping out all day. 2. Bring a light jacket or a blanket because sometimes it can be chilly! 3. Bring a poncho, it tends to rain and they don’t cancel shows due to rain very often! 4. Wear appropriate shoes because you might have... read more

7 Common Travel Worries and How to Solve Them

Traveling can be stressful, drive anxiety, worrisome, and just plain complicated sometimes. After talking with many people- big travelers and non travelers and everyone in between I’ve collected 7 common travel worries that I’ve noticed. My goal here is to help you resolve these worries and create a very stress-free and exciting travel experience! You may share these worries or have other worries too, I sure know that I did and I still do at times. But that’s the fun in traveling- It’s an adventure, you might make some mistakes, but you sure learn a lot about yourself and improve your problem solving skills! So here’s to a happy, fun, and rewarding travel experience. 1. I don’t have enough money/time to travel This worry is normally the first excuse or reason why many people don’t travel at all. And to be honest, it’s just flat out not true, even for minimum wage workers. Most full time jobs, if not all, include vacation time. Unfortunately in the United States that vacation time is less than many other countries in the world, but that’s not going to stop us from traveling. I know many people have family obligations and traditions that take up some or most of that vacation time. BUT, you don’t have to use your vacation time to travel! You can have amazing trips and experiences on three day weekends, or even just weekends alone. If you want to go on a longer vacation, then plan that out far in advance to schedule a time with your job that works for your situation. If you have kids and pets,... read more

Spring Hiking In Fort Collins, Colorado

So, as you might be able to tell, I’m not a great blogger. I am a very large slacker when it comes to keeping my blog up to date and that’s not good! I keep repeating to myself…balance. I have been very busy on the other hand. If you follow us on Twitter you might’ve seen that we went to D.C. recently to scope out housing and for my open house for my new grad program. We didn’t do much in the way of touristy things, but we did some exploring, but don’t worry over the next 3 years we’ll become bonafide experts on all of D.C. and NOVA…I promise. I’ve been in the midst of chaos regarding a Kenya archaeological dig and so keep your fingers crossed that all the loose ends become tightened so that I can go (and keep your fingers crossed for cheaper airfare to miraculously appear!). If you didn’t know this about me, I also study paleoanthropology and hope to get my PhD once I’m done with my MFA. So if I get to go and begin doing research in the fall in D.C. you can follow Alex’s Archaeological Adventures (working title) segment of this site (or new site?) I haven’t decided. In other news, I’ve been bumming around outside since winter is officially over (despite May snowstorms!) and we’ve been up to a lot of hiking here in Fort Collins, Colorado. Fort Collins is located at the base of the foothills so hiking is very accessible. One of my favorite spots to hike is Bobcat Ridge in Fort Collins. Nobody is ever there (although it... read more

Montmartre Paris

When I first got into Paris, I was a little disappointed. It could’ve been the jetlag (I didn’t sleep for the entire 12 hour flight), it could’ve been the stress trying to figure out the Charles De Gaulle Airport (that has been ranked the worst airport in the world, a number of times), or it could’ve been all the pouring, cold rain, but when I got there I thought, this isn’t Paris, this is a big cement city. Where are all the artists? Where were the boulangeries? Where were the markets? Where was the Eiffel Tower?! But, after I was well rested and made my way into the city the next day, I was beginning to fall in love. I lived in the 14th district, a, in my opinion, a plainer, maybe “realer” district of Paris, but I fell in love with Paris over a period of time, (about 3 weeks). If you’re looking for that romantic, rose colored buildings, the scenes from the movies, the artsy Paris, then make sure to visit Montmartre! It’s located up North in the 18th district and is home to the famous Moulin Rouge, the Sacre Cour, and lots of art history.   Once home to Picasso, Dali, and the rest of the gang, Montmartre gives you the Paris feel. Stroll the streets where Owen Wilson strolled in Midnight in Paris, or crack crème brulee where Amelie did at the Les Deux Moulins, lift your skirts at the Moulin Rouge, or sit back, relax and sip some cherry brandy at La Lapin Agile, a local, real cabaret experience. Be sure to stroll the... read more