California, Pen

Basking in the SoCal Sun

Journal and pen in-hand, sunshades on, sandals by my side, and the sound of splashing water and swaying palm trees while my sisters talk about tonight’s¬†plans.

I began to daydream of basking in the SoCal sun just a few weeks ago when my parents asked my sisters and I if we’d like to join them to visit Joel and Abby(my bro and sis-in-law)¬†to see their new hometown. An immediate yes and anticipation followed. Now, here I am, enjoying¬†every second of my time in¬†Laguna, Niguel. Who knew this place was¬†such a paradise? (Not me, obviously.) Perfectly manicured streets with sun-kissed locals carrying surf-boards, the tropical salty breeze, ideal temperatures, beautiful townhouses, and the Pacific Coast Highway lined with the best shops and food. It reminds me of Oahu, though driving the Pacific Coast Highway is exclusively it’s own California experience. The Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico may have beautiful beaches that are a couple’s dream getaway, but Oahu and California just have this unique way of making you feel at home. Yes, I know they’re both apart of the US…¬†but¬†you don’t have to leave the US to get away!

Bottom line is, in two days Laguna Niguel has already become one of my top fav places to visit, not to mention my new dream place to live (besides Oahu of course).

Yesterday, I¬†took a lovely hour-long sun nap on the beach behind the Ritz. Sandwiched between the surfable waves and the cliff is a long flat beach with some of the softest sand I’ve ever felt. It was about 75 degrees outside – Supposedly, year-round temperatures stay between 50-80, and not many skip the beach when the sun is out, even if it’s a little chilly. For dinner, we ate nearby at the¬†delicious¬†What a Dish, then¬†drove around admiring the sights. The girls stayed the night at our brother’s condo, and we played a never-ending game of Heads Up.¬†This morning,¬†Joel and Abby took us to their new local church, Compass Bible Church. It¬†was absolutely wonderful. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, and Mike Fabarez taught about the significant role Jesus intends¬†for the Church to play in our lives. It was a beautiful sermon that encouraged me to value and appreciate the “Bride¬†of Christ” (the Church) instead of being so quick to criticize it, while being tempted to follow the norm by abandoning the Church¬†all-together,¬†which would do nothing but choke out my relationship¬†with and impact for Christ. Did I mention that Compass has a table of glorious donuts and coffee afterward? This is also solid truth! Haha!

So… now, we are hanging out¬†at Joel and Abby’s neighborhood pool, which is just up the mountain from where my parents are staying. It’s been a wonderful past 2 days, and¬†I’m looking forward to the next few days we get to spend together here in my brother’s new hometown!

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UPDATE:¬†New pictures uploaded to this post from our adventures this week! I was so busy taking videos that I didn’t take hardly any pictures of the trip (thanks to Macey and Claire, we have a few pictures from Laguna, the Ritz, and Disneyland)!

BUT, good news is you can now find the full video of our trip here: SoCal Video

Annnnnd here’s a pic Macey Jane took of me while I was journaling, haha.

More 04.03.2016
France, Germany, London, Netherlands, Pen, Switzerland

Coming Soon… Europe! (5 Countries in 11 Days)

Though I thought it would be long before I’d return, I am currently just 38 days away from embarking on my next adventure to Europe! Just 2 months ago I was staring at an itinerary on my computer for a European river cruise along the Rhine that just seemed too good to be possible. 4 countries in 8 days… Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Further, I would never consider myself the kind of person to book a river cruise. It’s just such an un-millennial thing to look into, right?

One week passed, and a confirmation presented itself before my heart eyes on the same screen. I’m going back to Europe this May!

If all-inclusive resorts are our favorite and so is Europe, then what better way to see Europe than on an all-inclusive floating hotel?¬†And I’m up to the challenge to test my theory:¬†River Cruising should be on everyone’s bucket-list, besides retired couples who are hogging this hidden gem of a vacation all for themselves!

In addition to all the excitement, I’ll also be blogging about my pre stay, 2 nights in London, along with my experience at Highclere Castle. And no, I’m not just going to casually confirm that YES, that is Downton Abbey…!!!

I¬† AM¬† FLIPPING¬† OUT… EVERY¬† DAY!

Well… Here’s to dreaming big and pursuing opportunities! ūüéČ I can’t wait to take you all on the journey with me as I capture every moment on Hourglass Travel’s new DJI Osmo! Until then… ūüėĀ‚̧ԳŹ

photos by AmaWaterways

What’s the¬†DJI OSMO? Click here to check it out.

More 03.24.2016
Life, Oklahoma

A Trip to Route 66

There’s no¬†better way to be woken from sleeping in on a¬†Saturday than by the¬†tornado sirens (for those of you shocked, this an expected drill for sunny Saturdays in Oklahoma).¬†I forced myself out of bed to see what I was missing out on in my usuallybusy household¬†to find an empty downstairs.¬†Mom and Dad in Spain. 4 of 7 siblings in their new homes(‘duh…They all got married in 2015, Emily. Remember?’).¬†2 at work. and last..but not least, Claire. What¬†was she up to? I didn’t¬†have the energy to find out. I only had the energy to open a yogurt and listen to the sound¬†of birds talking while 3 snoozing¬†dogs dreamed of chasing them.

I opened my back door¬†to¬†join the birds.¬†Ahhhh…..

75 degrees and sunny outside…. PAUSE. (rewind) ….outside, it’s sunny and 75 degrees. Adrenaline presents itself.

Me: “CLAIRE!”

Claire: “…………yes?!”

(fastforward 2 hours)

*on our way to Route 66 to visit Pops in Arcadia, OK*

This impulse decision was actually evoked via Snapchat, thanks to our brother and his wife’s Snapchat Story of them¬†enjoying lunch at¬†Pops¬†while we were drooling in our beds. It was only¬†fitting¬†that we did the¬†same exact thing.¬†Especially since we weren’t invited…..totally kidding.¬†Haha

On another note, this is my¬†first¬†official blog post! Strange, I wasn’t even planning on¬†blogging this adventure, but hey, I guess that makes it all the more “authentic,” eh?

 

Anyway, here’s¬†some details and pictures we took from¬†our spontaneous sister date to Pops¬†on¬†Route 66:

 

Drinks chosen out of 700?

  • Ozark Mountain Butter Beer (made in Branson, Missouri)
  • Maine Root Blue Berry Soda (made in Portland, Maine)
  • Wailua Vanilla Cream Soda (made in Wailua, Oahu)
  • Virgil’s Black Cherry Soda (made in LA, California)

My favorite was the Maine Root Blue Berry, and Claire’s favorite was Virgil’s Black Cherry. I didn’t like the Wailua Vanilla¬†too much, but many of their other flavors are on my list of first-choices.¬†

…Food?

  • Onion Rings (great)
  • House Salad (great)
  • Fried Okra (fantastic)

My boyfriend and I would often make a date here for their burgers, but Claire and I resorted for some foods we could share. They have other great sandwiches on their menu, along with a turkey avocado wrap.

TOTAL: $18

click here to see how far Pops is from you

P.S. As I was writing this, I looked up the¬†Pops¬†website to be reminded that they just recently opened up a new location closer to my house. Ha! It’s always wonderful to realize you could’ve saved money on gas.¬†Oh well! Today was fun, and it may even be our last time to drive 45min opposed to 10min to try unique assorted flavored pops!

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More 03.05.2016