A quick trip to Vegas

When we asked my sister-in-law and her friend how they wanted to spend their final weekend of holiday in LA, they responded with a different L-A — Las Vegas!

Vegas 2017

As cheesy as it is, husband and I kinda love Las Vegas. No matter how many times we make the drive, there is something exciting about seeing those lights on the horizon as you drive out of the darkness of the desert. And then, even though we aren’t big gamblers, we love wandering the strip – popping in each of the hotels and taking in the bizarre spectacle that is Vegas.

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“In the Greatest City in the World”

Gidget Goes Hamilton

There is simply no topping my birthday this past December. The Boy took me to New York to see Hamilton and it was nothing short of perfect in every possible way. 

Gidget Goes Hamilton

Since getting back, people have asked me how the show was, and I immediately melt into a puddle of adjectives, trying my best to put the brilliance of what I saw and experienced into words. But what comes out sounds just like the same overhyped rantings of every other theater geek out there. So, I won’t try to describe it, but I will say, it is without question, the best piece of musical theater I’ve ever seen performed (and I’ve seen a lot.) We were also lucky to have amazing seats and see Okieriete Onaodowan perform his penultimate show as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison. Also, Javier Muñoz was absolutely brilliant as Hamilton. I feel incredibly lucky to have seen his portrayal.

In addition to seeing Hamilton, the Boy and I had a whirlwind two days roaming around the city and doing very New York-ish sorts of things. We literally had two nights in the city before our flight home on Christmas Eve at dawn, so we had to move fast and pack a lot in… We’re good like that though. We managed to do everything we wanted –  from ice skating in Bryant Park, to viewing Lady Liberty, to eating at Momofuku Noodle Bar, to having after-show cocktails at Sardi’s. Here’s a look back at the trip according to my iphone…

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Gidget Goes Hamilton

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Gidget Goes Hamilton

Gidget Goes Hamilton

Gidget Goes Hamilton

Gidget Goes Hamilton

Gidget Goes Hamilton

Gidget Goes Hamilton

Gidget Goes Hamilton

#GidgetGoesHamilton 2016! 😉

This American in Paris

As a fitting segue from yesterday’s Dance Movie Monday into sharing a bit of our European trip, here’s a quick recap of our own trip to Paris….

I’ve only been to Paris once before, and that was about 10 years ago.  I was giddy with excitement at the chance to go back, and especially during the Spring, as opposed to the winter when Husband and I usual travel overseas. We basically tacked on a few days in France to our trip to England,  The latter of which was mostly in the vein of visiting family.  An escape to France made this trip a bit more of an adventure (and an excuse to stay longer!)
We took the Euro-Star (also known as the Chunnel) from St. Pancreas train station in the heart of London, to Gare du Nord train station which is in the heart of Paris.  I would recommend this mode of travel to anyone looking to visit both London and Paris.  It’s fast, low-stress, and brings you pretty much door to door in terms of where you want to be in both cities.  Plus, I love traveling by train in Europe.  It makes me feel like Meg Ryan in French Kiss.

Then, after a few Metro stops, we arrived at our Air B&B, just adjacent to one of the cutest streets I’ve ever seen in Paris.  Again, I would totally recommend staying at this particular Air B&B if you want to feel like a real Parisian.  It was at the top of a 6th floor walk up, with views of the Paris rooftops, and a window balcony.  It was snug, tiny in fact – Again just what you want from a Paris apartment!  It was totally reminiscent of Gene Kelly’s place in An American In Paris, so I was pretty much in heaven.  To get to the bedroom, you had to climb up some tight stairs through the ceiling… It was very La Boheme!

The first day we were there we did a bit of walking around and getting our bearings.  We ended the evening at a super cool rum bar called Mabel’s Cocktail Den & Rum Empire (not very parisian, but very trendy and very good.)  It was the kind of place where we could feel like in the know locals, rather than a couple of english-speaking fish out of water!

The second day was full with sight-seeing and brilliant meals, beginning with pastries from Stohrer – The oldest patisserie in Paris – which was literally down the street from our place.  We took our croissants and ate them at the park overlooking the Eiffel Tower.  We then took a tour of the Paris Opera house, which was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.  We even got to look in on a bit of rehearsal from the Paris Opera Ballet.  They were in the midst of a dress rehearsal of Manon, which they were performing that evening.

We hurried over to Le Marais to visit the Carna Valet museum, which was filled with beautiful paintings, antiques, and gorgeous decor from the Napoleonic era.  We then wandered around Montmartre, near the Sac du Coeur, working our way up the bevy of steps and strolling down the charming streets.

We dined that night at a simply delicious restaurant called Premices.  It was our “special-night-out-dinner” of the whole trip and it was divine!  I ate foie gras, and frog’s legs and beef confit.  We drank amazing wines, and finished the meal with a yummy coconut dessert.  
As if that wasn’t enough, we grabbed the Metro and raced over to Notre Dame, to visit the famous Shakespeare & Co Book Store before it closed at 11pm.  It was worth the rush.  They don’t allow photos inside, but trust me when I say that the interior of this bookshop (frequented by Ernest Hemingway) is delightful.  The place seems whimsically made of books.  We even came across a large cat sitting at a typewriter when we ventured upstairs.  He seemed like he was in charge!  After closing, we wandered past the cathedral and walked back to our place in the light of the Paris moon.

In addition to all this, we did a bit of shopping and a lot of walking around.  Paris is one of those cities that seems unreal in it’s charm and beauty.  It’s unlike any other place on earth.  The next morning we packed up, checked out and headed to the Louvre to collect our rental car.  The road trip portion of our French adventure was about to begin!  
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Jet Lagging and Coming Down from Wonderful

Husband and I just got back from a two week epic adventure in England and France, (which is why I haven’t blogged one bit in over two weeks) and coming down from the high of this whirlwind trip is rather challenging.  
On the one hand, I’ll admit I kind of like jet lag when I come home because I suddenly become an early riser – waking up at 5am and full on passing out tired by 10pm.  It feels good.  It feels like I can be productive in the early morning.  I always try to maintain this jet-leg schedule when I come home from Europe, but never do.  Eventually I fall back into my old ways of getting to bed around midnight and dragging myself up at 7:30.  Maybe this time will be different.  
On the other hand, getting back to a “normal” routine after rushing all over Europe to see sights, meet up with friends, and hang out with family, all while eating and drinking way too much, well it feels deflating.  How do you just go back to life as usual?  Especially since this was not the kind of vacation where you relax on a beach and come back all dewey and refreshed.  On this trip we literally never stopped moving.  Each day was full of excitement and new people, new places…. I still haven’t even begun to process it all!
So in an effort to hold on the moments a bit longer and begin to process all the amazing things we did and saw, I’ll be sharing my favorite moments from our travels on the blog this week.  Hope you enjoy! 

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5 Hiking Tips for Hipsters in Hawaii

Like how many “H’s” I got into that title?  Yeah, me too!  
So I am not a hiker, nor do I like to label myself a “hipster,” cause, lets face it, I am not very hip.  But I do have certain hipster-tendencies, so I figure that qualifies me to write this post.  
When Husband and I went to Kauai one of the items on our must-do list was hiking the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast.  Only thing is, we don’t hike.  We don’t have the shoes, we don’t have the gear, or the experience.  And yet, we wanted to make this hike happen!
In the weeks leading up to our trip, we read up on that trail – rough terrain, flash floods, and generally unpredictable hiking conditions.  It didn’t sound like something we could actually handle.  But the foolish confidence that comes with being on vacation took its toll and before I knew it, we were setting out on the trail…
Note my hiking ensemble – Converse, skinny jeans and a t-shirt I made myself using the Beautiful Mess app on my iphone.  Clearly ready for adventure! 

Now, for the tips:

#1.  When hiking in Converse the main thing to remember is that you’re a hipster, and you’re a bad-             ass. You CAN hike in these ill-suited, slippery shoes, regardless of the looks you’re given from           the more experienced, athletic, “outdoorsy” types who are passing you on the trail.  Have                     confidence, watch your step and you’ll be fine.  I hiked the first two miles of the Kalalau                     Trail in my chuck taylors and I didn’t slip once!  Endorsement for Converse!  Yay!

#2.   Take plenty of pictures along the trail and Instagram them as you go… It’s like a hipster security         blanket.  As long as there is something to Instagram you’ll feel like you belong.

#3.    Skinny jeans are actually a fantastic piece of clothing when hiking the Na Pali Coast, as they              totally protect your ankles from bug bites and the like.  Plus, you’ll look cool.  Bonus!

#4.    Humming the theme song to Jurassic Park is a sure-fire way to keep your energy up!

#5.    When fording a stream, you may want to just keep your shoes on.  I did not and it was                          unpleasant when trying to put them back on with all the massive ants that dominate the Kalalau          Trail.  

The end of the first two miles of the trail spits you out at a beautiful lagoon, bridging over to a hidden beach with tides too strong for swimming, but just right for watching with a sense of wonder for 10 minutes before heading back up the trail.  
So that’s my hipster hints for any of you who may be thinking of tackling this hike.  I guess the bottom line is if we can do it, I am sure you can too.  Just be sure to wear your skinny jeans!
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