Posts tagged #vacation

Travel and design, reunited!

Hello, strangers! Long time, no see!

Before we know it, it's already December, it almost feels like it's fall in Houston (ahem, rainy and below 75F :) and we have arrived at a great spot to share an update of all of our recent trips and the few updates we made to our home!

If you have been following Instagram, you may have noticed it has been a busy few months. In this short timeframe, we managed to travel to Gulf Shores (hello, pretty beaches), Miami (hello, posh beaches), Portland (green, green, green!), Seattle (rain...) and Vancouver (even more rain...)! And, in doing so, we have been experimenting with different ways of commemorating the places we visit... Because it seems we are rather nostalgic and sentimental when it comes to travel memories and pretty pictures just don't cut it :).

So, while browsing one of the many museum gift shops we visited (yup, we love these... sometimes better than the museums themselves!), we came across the above incredible novelty... A kind-of-a-globe! But so much better!

So... we started a thing:

This concoction of organic paper, fun watercolor markers (to shade the countries we have visited) and white calligraphy (to showcase the cities in each country we visited) seems to be just the perfect fit for chronicling our adventures! 

Some of our favorite spots for each city are shown below... And, with all good intentions, I do hope to be able to take you on a quick tour of each... In due time!




And just because I really can't help but wanting to share... Other favorite outtakes from the trip! But, more on that later! :)

And... to finish off, there is one more, rather more indulgent and logistically challenging way of keeping up with our travels... Starbucks mugs!! Yes, we haul these from all over! In fact, I can recall carrying at least two of these beauties in my backpack on our way back from Vancouver! 

And, I have a suspicion we may be adding one more of these before year-end!! Let's hope we don't freeze in the process...

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Posted on December 4, 2016 and filed under Design + DIY, Travel Diaries.

Ok, Italia... I can no longer keep you to myself...

Hello, sensory overload!

How hard it is to organize you into coherent thoughts! For three weeks in vain I have struggled to find a clever way to tell you the story of this trip (as evidenced by the complete and utter silence on here...). Oops! Well, it is time we gave it a try. So, here we go...

I thought I would break this down by city visited and spend some time telling you about each separately. That should keep us all busy for a little while, right?

Let's start with...

...the city that gave us this thing called PIZZA. Oh, and the city where you should always keep your eyesight at a good 6-8 feet above ground... Because the waste management company there is always on strike (at least that's what the locals would say lovingly/jokingly)!

What should you do in Napoli, you ask?

Eat gelato. And lots of it. Don't hold back at all! They have the most charming gelato stores I have ever seen, each with its own flavor and decor; each within a walking distance of each other. You can go on and sample for days!  

Visit Pompeii. Because it's impeccably preserved and absolutely stunning. It overlooks Vesuvius and has incredibly luscious gardens that you can walk through for days. Then eat pizza Neapolitana right outside the exit thus effectively avoiding paying for parking. In for the win! 

Stay at a local villa. We used Airbnb to find our villa that happens to be from the 17th century... Of course, with that come certain challenges, such as about a thousand steps to get to your room and very spotty wi-fi. But, hey, you do get the quintessential Italian experience! Oh, and they park your car for you. Which is where you hold you breath and pray that that scratch won't get noticed when you return your rental :-/.  

Eat at C&D in Portici. First taste of Italian food happened there. And it was glorious. I think I'll always remember that place for so many good reasons but mainly, for their seafood risotto.. Yum. And their welcome prosecco treat (Monday nights are rather slow in Portici, as it turns out :). 

Up next on our itinerary... Sorrento, or, the land of the lemons! But not until next week :) 

Happy Saturday and enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Posted on June 18, 2016 and filed under Travel Diaries.

Off we go...

Ciao, America! 

I am going off to celebrate my dad's 61st birthday. Oh, and I published my first book. Well, not exactly but close enough. I'l tell you all about this little gift I put together for my family when I get back.

Until then... stay warm, Houston!

Posted on May 21, 2016 and filed under Travel Diaries.

Work hard, play hard(er)

Well, hello there! Long time no see! Has it really been three weeks? Time flies when you're having fun...

So this last month has been a bit of a whirlwind (hence the slight silence around here). Just to paint a picture, I have already clocked a good 40 hours this week and it's barely Wednesday! New projects, smaller team and a ridiculous amount of pressure to perform seem to have defined work lately. Which is why I was determined to work hard on the life part of the infamous work-life balance equation. And I surely am aware of the irony of this statement :).

Enter, dream-come-true ski trip to Vail, CO!

Words cannot describe how amazing this place is! Especially if you care about ski runs that have incredible scenery, perfect snow and NO OTHER SKIERS. Thank goodness I brought company ;). 

This place is so beautiful that it's a shame I had to try to squeeze some of the images into square thumbnails... So I figured I'd share a few more full-sized ones!

And below is the view from my favorite run - a blue/black combo that was way too much fun (so much so that I did it a good 4-5 times in a row - I think I earned a few "gold" stars on my Vail app for being a "creature of habit", hehe). 

The only word of advice I wish I had given myself prior to leaving for my trip there... Make sure you arrive in broad daylight, and preferably not during a snow storm. I did neither... Let me tell you, there's nothing like driving in the middle of the night through a canyon you don't know, with practically zero visibility and on snow. My heart rate must have been 120 for a good three hours straight :). 

BUT, I am not complaining too much... A little pain for a lot of gain! Evidence above... the best snow I have ever skied on!

Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week! I, for one, cannot wait for the weekend already :).

Posted on April 6, 2016 and filed under Travel Diaries.

Celebrating Life (or at least my first 30 years of it) in Istanbul!

When I was planning my escapade from any sort of mention of my birthday in the US (I love attention, said no INTJ ever), I had one thing in mind: going home and doing absolutely nothing which (as usual) I awesomely failed at. Case in point? While at it, I figured I'd take advantage of one of the best things about Europe (its tiny size) and take a quick 4-hour drive to one of the greatest cities in the world.... Istanbul. So here is how I got to spend my (30th) birthday:

- I walked 22,000+ steps throughout Istanbul in one day, visiting Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi, the Grand Bazaar and everything and anything in between. 

- Yet I still somehow managed to gain a good 5 pounds in that one day because the food is just that good there.

- I took the longest possible taxi ride anyone would ever willingly sign up for (3.5 hrs) to get to dinner. Well, scratch that, it was not willingly. Istanbul traffic is intense!

- But, I got to experience the most amazing birthday dinner I could ever imagine (chef's choice for every bite and sip is a sure way of getting the finest (and, ahem, priciest) items on the menu).

- And most importantly, I got to spend my birthday with the people I love the most in this world. 

While there, I also got to capture some of my favorite things about Istanbul (and sadly, no, I still haven't found a way to digitally capture aromas and tastes): the city's gorgeous and awe-inspiring textures, colors, and shapes... 

I'd say this is one heck of a way to close out the first 30 years of one's life! Now I am just hoping the next 30-40-50-60 years are just as fun! And... there is so much more to share from this amazing trip (e.g. the 1,987,267,473,864 pictures I took). Coming soon!

Posted on June 21, 2015 and filed under Travel Diaries.