Red lip, straw hat, window seat. A true #wanderingwednesday! Off to #StThomas for my #birthday #getaway. Never fear blog followers a new post will be up each day I’m gone, pre-written for your reading pleasure. Check back each afternoon, starting today #shamelessplug #uptowngal #writer #wordpress #wanderer #travel #CynthiaandMelInStThomas
For today’s “Flashback Friday” I’m taking a look back at April-June. There was a whole lot of traveling in this little chunk of 2014: Philly, Richmond, Washington DC, San Diego, plus I did a show (Messiah Complex), saw a show (Bullets on Broadway) and started rehearsals for another show (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). I celebrated my Aunt Cynthia’s new position as Deputy Attorney General of Virginia, went to a sonogram appointment with Jassmine, supported my friend Jenna on her new web series, treated my cousin to brunch to toast her first PR job in the city, had an amazing reunion with Mississippi folks in town, went to the opera, enjoyed the sun and sand of San Diego, had a Mother/Daughter weekend in DC, and spent quality time with my friends as I rang in my 25th birthday. Enjoy the pictures below, some are old and some have never been published, and of course you can click the month’s in the menu on the left and relive these moments with me!
A new month! A new week! A Monday recap of all things fun from the weekend. Since I’m still catching up on blogs that went un-seen last month, this edition of #AboutLastNight features photos not only from Halloween fun, but birthday celebrations for Jason the week before.
Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel
As we get older, our friend circles become more scattered. We grow and move from childhood homes, graduate and go to points unknown post graduation, embarking on new adventures sprinkled with spouses and children. Geez, we’re only 25 and some of us have actually gotten to the “start a family” space in this game of Life! But, I digress.
My best friend, Cynthia P. is celebrating her 25th birthday today! And while I may not be with her in St. Thomas, her new home, on this important day, I shall have a French 75 this evening in her honor. As I’ve written in posts past, Cynthia is the epitome of the free spirit to me. She is smart, courageous, and funny with a heart of gold. As with all friendships, we have had some ups and downs, but the ups definitely are too numerous to keep us down for long. Having lived with her for two years and known her for seven, we have definitely grown up together and become some pretty fierce females.
I cannot wait to see her in January, fingers crossed on the beach in the Virgin Islands. But until then, Cynthia I wish you nothing but happiness and fun today! Out do your AC weekend last year, I know you’ve got it in you!
The travel diary continues…
Since I went to sleep at seven the night before, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30am on the dot. Meh. I just kept telling myself “if you were home, technically, you just slept in.” Whatever works right? Well, the advantage to waking up early is that I was able to open the window and watch the sunrise from my bed, and decide what I would get myself into for the day. Before arriving in San Diego, I bought a ticket to “Dog and Pony” a new musical playing at the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park, so I knew that a nice dinner and a show were definitely on my itinerary. But what to do with my day? Considering I was unable to make it out to Coronado the night before and my friend Collin sent me great recommendations for eateries on the island, breakfast in Coronado was the natural place to begin!
I went a little selfie crazy at the start of the day, but I was in a great mood! 🙂
As soon as I found parking, I skidaddled over to Clayton’s Coffee Shop for a diner style breakfast. It was a blast from the past with the waitresses wearing large flowers in their hair, tabletop jukeboxes, huge portions and a laid back California style, it was like Happy Days and Camellia Grill in New Orleans rolled into one. I don’t believe I should tell you that I ate well, haha. French toast, if you must know.
With a full belly and time on my hands, I began to wander a bit, knowing in the back of my head that I should make my way to the Hotel Del Coronado. Collin had actually suggested I get a delicious cocktail over at the hotel, which was my original plan, but now that I had the chance to see it in the light of day I decided the hotel could fill my morning. Before heading over, I decided to look into some of the shops that had just opened for the day and walked away with this great souvenir for a great price. (And it went with my outfit, added bonus!)
The Hotel! Gosh it was absolutely breathtaking! When I got out of my car, I knew instantaneously that this was the hotel used for one of my favorite movies Some Like It Hot! The Victorian architecture, the beaches, the flags, the pools, the air of sophistication and a bygone era were breathtaking! I, timidly walked inside and asked the concierge about a tour and just my luck the Historical Society was holding one that morning! I was pretty early for the tour, so I decided to do a little exploring before and toured the grounds and beach.
Next up was the tour, led by a California transplant, who told our tour group the history of the island, how the Hotel basically was the reason why the island became populated and go-to spot for the nouveau-riche regime at the turn of the 20th century. Oh, to spend the season in California! Arriving by private train car and partaking in the luxe accommodations and planned activities and sports. How utterly fantastic!
Off to another Collin tested and approved restaurant to rest my tootsies and eat some fish tacos. Yummers!
My jam-packed day in Coronado was at an end. Time for a nap. And then off to the theater!
I had been to San Diego, as I stated in my first post at the age of 10, with my group at the Idyllwild Summer Arts Camp. It was a day trip to see Cymbeline at the Old Globe Theater in their outdoor space, (I remember this only because I checked the theater’s archives). I was definitely looking forward to my return and the park it was housed in as well. I arrived at Balboa Park close to dusk. The sunlight and warm air made my surroundings almost magical. It was as if I had been transported to another place without having left the country. The Spanish architecture, the Botanical Building, the gardens, museums, singers who lined the sidewalks, restaurants and ponds, made for a tranquil environment.
A great way to spend my Friday evening sipping on a delicious pear martini with a pre-fixe meal and berry crumble dessert. I had a great conversation with the hostess, who applauded me for taking a solo trip out to the West Coast for fun, and asked me for bar and club suggestions in New York for her 21st birthday trip. Small world.
That delectable meal settled comfortably in my tummy, I was ready for the fun that awaited me at the Old Globe!
Day two was at an end, only one day left and boy did I have even more in store! To be continued…
I’ve finally come down from my California high, no pun intended there folks. This was the first vacation, in a while, where I was a little sad to see the New York skyline again. This vacation was extremely satisfying for many reasons. First of all, it was my first solo trip that I planned for (even though I was able to spend an amazing day with my friend, Michelle, the last day I was in town) where the only person I needed to think about was me, and what I wanted to do. It was my first time on the west coast since I was 10, and it was the first trip where I was able to really relax and enjoy my own company without fear of discomfort or judgement. I truly enjoyed planning my full three days in San Diego and decided to focus on one area each day, so Thursday I decided to stay in La Jolla, where I was staying.
This was the view from my “bungalow”. (really a small guest house, where my friend Melissa stayed while attending the University of Califorina-San Diego [UCSD])
The time difference caught up with me later in the day, but before my power nap turned into a major snooze fest I was out the door at 9am looking for breakfast. Being a member of the theatre world, I was able to reach out friends from apprenticeships and college asking for great places to eat and things to do while visiting San Diego. Lucky for me, my day one meals were planned by my friend Michael, who had just earned his MFA from UCSD, and who I knew from my Williamstown Theatre Festival Apprenticeship five years ago. He suggested I head over to Caroline’s Diner for an al fresco breakfast with gorgeous La Jolla Beach views, so I did 🙂
The views were amazing! The food, delicious! The coffee, bottomless (haha). All in all, it was a great kickoff to my trip and couldn’t wait to head over to the Birch Aquarium, a quick drive away.
Traveling solo, I was able to have conversations more easily with workers and other tourists while exploring the San Diego area, and the aquarium was no exception. I ended up having a great conversation with one of the employees working out by the tide pools and the one thing I remember quite strongly was her order to “breeze through the rest of the aquarium and head on over to the zoo!” The rest of my day was kind of up in the air, and since I hadn’t been to a zoo in a while I decided to take her up on her suggestion. Little did I know, that the San Diego Zoo is a national treasure and a leader in animal and nature conservancy! But before reaching this conclusion it was selfie time at the Aquarium to document that I was, indeed there.
Off to the zoo!
Unfortunately, between Google Maps, remote blog and Instagram updates, phone calls and text messages, oh yeah, and the pictures I was taking, my phone didn’t live long enough to see the zoo (sad day for all). But I did take pictures as I journeyed through the zoo itself. Click over to storipass.com to see me before boarding the tour bus and holding a “baby panda” before I got a chance to see the Pandas (soooo cute, and ferociously hungry haha). The Storipass ID# is SZ1TF259479.
After charging my phone at Guest Services, buying a Koalifornia (love) magnet in the gift shop, and talking with an actor for about 20 minutes about the Nature Conservancy initiatives the Zoo funded, promoted and carried out, I was headed back to La Jolla for a power nap before heading to Coronado. You probably saw this picture on my Instagram feed. Alas, the Coronado trip did not come to pass that evening…
Until Day Two!
Super excited to be heading out to San Diego this afternoon for my 25th birthday vacation extravaganza! Look for photo updates on my Instagram feed, a Short and Sweet post or two, and a Wandering Wednesday post to be added later today. Cannot wait to be on the west coast for a few days, because everyone needs to leave the concrete jungle every now and then to stay sane haha.