A Mini-Vacation || Alex & Cherry

Alex tossed his bag in his backseat and hopped in the driver seat. He started his car and pulled out of the garage. He went to the front of the tower and put his car in park to wait for Cherry. Going over a mental list of things he made sure to pack he knew he was ready to get away with her. 

He was more than happy to be out of his brace and told himself he would stay on solid ground for a long time. Alex took out his cell phone and sent a quick text to Pamela, telling her he was about to leave the city. Alex wasn’t completely sure who was going to be up there besides Pamela and her husband, Charles, and him and Cherry. But he was excited nonetheless. Looking at the entrance of the tower, he saw a mane of red hair come strolling out the front doors. Putting his hazard lights on, he honked his horn once and got out to help her with her bags. 

“It took you long enough. Got everything?” he teased, leaning in to give her a small kiss when she approached his car. 

W14D5: easy 6

Bryon and I had so much fun at Kings Island yesterday. We mostly rode wooden roller coaster and tried every water slide possible. For some reason, I ended up backwards on every inner tube slide. Bryon even convinced me to go down the giant cone slide.

We didn’t even take our phones into the park, which was much needed. The pure time together was great.

We also collectively learned the lesson that we are old. The sun and all the activity took a toll on us. We took naps yesterday and today.

Today we ran in the evening. I got about .75 mile when I realized the pain in my foot wasn’t just from walking around barefoot at the water park. I had a terrible splinter. We ran back to Bryon’s and he removed it for me. I may have been a baby about it.

Anyway, we continued on and I got in my easy 6. It was hot. We are both tackling SOS workouts in the morning.

These last 2 days have been such a good break from work for me. It was much needed.


here are a few more pictures from our little trip yesterday!

· at a rest stop along the Salt Flats, walking carefully on the frozen salt covering the sidewalks

· obligatory historic landmark pic ;)

· a close up of the salt

· selfie taken during a “time-out” sitting in the car on my heating pad

· rolling between casinos in the sky-walk

Overall it was a really good day :) D won $50 playing blackjack, so it ended up only costing us about $10! It was a lovely, much-needed getaway.

The Perfect Mini-Vacation: Washington, DC

When it comes to ‘awesome things you can do with your money,’ few things leap to mind more easily than travel. And we’re often told – and not without reason – that it’s better in life to spend on experiences rather than things. But airfare is often expensive, in addition to being logistically complicated, so many of us end up writing off the idea of travel as something that can only happen rarely, and only with huge amounts of prior planning and saving. But what about car travel, which is much more affordable and, for most of us, super convenient? We’ve already extolled the virtues of day tripping and road trips here on TFD, but we haven’t yet planned our perfect mini-vacations that fit into our budgets, and don’t require any costly airfare – and can easily be tacked onto a work trip.

So to do just that, we’ve partnered with National Car Rental for their One Two Free program to imagine our perfect 24-hour trips in some of our favorite cities. They’re fun and special to us, and more importantly, super savvy: we’ll be hitting affordable spots we love with National’s free day for every 600 points earned, So let’s hit the road and discover TFD’s perfect mini-vacations!

Although it’s been five years since I left DC, it’s a city I still think about on a near-daily basis, and visit whenever possible. For me, it’s the perfect combination of “architecturally manageable” because of its lack of skyscrapers and “just big enough,” with its sprawling neighborhoods and million things I’ve still not discovered. I could spend days just walking around the city, soaking in the beautiful buildings and imagining which townhouse I’d buy if I suddenly woke up a millionaire. But the great thing about the city – particularly because I got to know it at first as a broke student – is that you don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy it. With so many museums, gardens, parks, and galleries to check out, you could basically spend the whole day enjoying yourself without breaking out your wallet once. But since I’m now a fancy 20-something professional, I thought I’d use my One Two Free day from National Car Rental to have an in-between day: soaking up DC and enjoying my favorite places, without breaking the bank. And this is how I’d do it.

For me, any proper day in DC has to start with the perfect cup of coffee. I know that I’m biased here, but I would have to head to my former place of employment and supremely cozy Filter in Dupont, where I would have a flat white and a pastry (and then another shot of espresso, for good measure) while reading something actually printed on paper. (I’d say book, but magazines are just as likely on vacation.) Once I’ve finished my coffee, I’d spend a good 20 minutes agonizing over which of the 2,309,235,809 museums to go to, before settling on my old standby, the Hirshhorn.

Now, there is almost nothing that makes you hungrier than walking around the National Mall and checking out museums, but the food options in the area – in my opinion – leave a bit to be desired. So I’d head over to Georgetown (my favorite area to window shop and stroll around in) for some soup dumplings at Shanghai Lounge (Six for five bucks!). I admit that I have a tendency to look for soup dumplings pretty much as my first order of business in any city I’m visiting, but this spot is definitely worth the trip, both for the delicious little pork buns and the location. I know a lot of DC-ers can’t stand Georgetown, but for me, there’s no better place to walk around after a good meal.

After a walk and some window shopping (and maybe buying just one thing if it’s on sale), I’d head back to Dupont to check out the Phillips Collection. It’s a smaller museum, but one that I’ve always loved, mostly because it’s a bit off the beaten museum path and therefore less clogged with tourists, especially towards the end of the day. For dinner, I’d head over to Bistrot Du Coin, my old spot where the owner paid the fine every month just to be able to smoke at his own bar. (I’d split the mini ravioli gratin as an appetizer and the duck for my main course – or maybe the beef bourguignon, depending on how much I want to go into a food coma.)

To finish off the evening, I’d head up to U Street Music Hall to see what was playing and check out some of the little places in the neighborhood. Pretty much any night, you can guarantee some good music, even if it’s just a couple people playing jazz in the corner of a little restaurant.

In the morning before I dropped off my rental car, I’d pop into Busboys and Poets (the one at 14th and V, where I always used to go for open mic night and tell myself I’d one day work up the courage to read something, but never did). It’s the perfect place to chill out with a coffee and pastry or browse some books, and just generally wake up in a very non-aggressive way, which is essential to ending any vacation (even a mini one). Only after I’d had some espresso and soaked in the literary ambiance could I head home from my perfect DC day.

I admit that my mini-vacation in DC is very much about nostalgia, and hitting all the places I loved. DC has exploded in the past few years in terms of its culinary and cultural scenes, and there are thousands of new places that my Washingtonian friends recommend to me when I visit now. And while I love discovering the new things when I go, there is something about visiting the exact city you left behind that is so special to me. So if I had my perfect 24 hours in the city, I’d want to recreate the perfect day I would have done several years ago, but never took the time to fully enjoy. The world spins madly on, but some things – like really good coffee or the perfect museum trips – can be right where you left them.

Want to start earning free rental days and enjoy your own perfect mini-vacation? Join National’s Emerald Club at and immediately take part in the One Two Free promotion. There are no fees to join – budget friendly! — and members enjoy expedited service at airports and free upgrades in National’s Emerald Aisle, an exclusive section where members can select any vehicle (as long as they reserve a midsize or larger car). Let’s learn how to ride smart, together!

We’re running away today!

We packed up my chair, crutches, snacks and a little cash, and we’re headed to the Nevada border for a mini-vacation.

My mental health is in shambles, and after a month of getting along well D and I have started struggling again- so we decided to call time-out and try a fun little road trip to ease some of the tension.

Here’s hoping I can drink and gamble some of my troubles away ;)

Just purchased an (expensive) early birthday present!

I originally planned on camping with some friends at a sight near the Lake Placid Ironman next weekend but my friends decided to suck donkeyballs. That left me to find other people to join me for a long car ride (filled with a lot of my singing), camping in the wilderness for 4 days, and spending almost 18 hours in Lake Placid on race day, 10 of which would be volunteering.

Not exactly an excursion that most people I know would do.

So I decided I’d camp alone. Sure, it’d be lonely, but there’s plenty of awesome in the Adirondacks. I was pretty pumped for it until I started to figure out logistics. Getting back and forth to placid would be tough with road closures and the massive amount of people in town for the weekend. I figured my bike would be a good option but I really didn’t want to leave it anywhere in town while I was walking about (I never let Catalina out of my sights when she’s out of the house). The icing on the cake was checking the 10-Day forecast today. It’s projected to rain Friday and possibly Saturday.


I’ve already been camping during a rainstorm once this year, and it was only bearable because I had a ton of beer and my friends. This time I’d have less beer and no one to pass the time with.


So I started to look for hotels close to placid. HA! Places OUTSIDE of placid were charging 450 PER NIGHT! WTF! I started looking farther away to no avail. There’s nothing in upstate NY except for mountains, trees, and bears. I checked a spot that a friend suggested and actually found a reasonable room (for the proximity to the venue and date; the price was still ridiculous for the amenities). Instead of jumping on it I decided to check other sites for the same hotel. I typed in saranac lake in trivago and it came up with a hotel with a similar price that is RIGHT ON MIRROR LAKE IN LAKE PLACID!!!! THE RACE STARTS IN MIRROR LAKE! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME! YESSSSS!!

So yea, I jumped on it. I’m so pumped right now! I’ll actually get to swim in mirror lake, possibly ride Catalina on course (on saturday, of course) and definitely do some running!

It also doesn’t hurt that the Lake Placid Brewery is 8/10ths of a mile from the hotel… WOOO!

Happy early birthday to me!

I’m so excited for next Thursday 🙊💜 ~ bae and i are finally going camping 🌿🍄⛺️ but only for three days cause it was hard for me to take time off now that I’m full time, but ugh finallllly 💚🙏🏼 getting butterflies just thinking about it 🙈🌾☀️

Friday List of Awesomeness! (On Thursday)
  • Today is my last day at my current job!!! Kind of crazy. It’s been nice, but it’s time to move onto something else.

  • However, I don’t start my new job until May 1st!!! So I have 2.5 weeks off!!! I’m incredibly excited for that. It’ll be nice having time to workout, cook, get things organized at the apartment, and get a couple projects done :)

  • I’m leaving for NYC in the morning! It’ll be Craig and I’s first mini vacation together. I’m giddy with excitement… so far we have plans to go on a Food Truck tour, meet up with a girl from my sorority that I haven’t seen in forever and Rob for some bar hopping or a brewery tour, go to the Yankees game on Sunday, 9/11 memorial, and try to get tickets to see a Broadway show! 

  • My boss just told me he doesn’t expect me to get much done today since it’s my last day and I can leave early… this feels weird.

  • What am I supposed to be doing now?

  • I don’t even know what else to write in my list of awesomeness because EVERYTHING is awesome. NYC tomorrow with my favorite person on the planet, 2.5 weeks off, have some much needed free time, start new job where I’ll be working less hours and making significantly more money… I feel like the luckiest person ever. I got my current job because my advisor from the Art Institute emailed me asking if I was interested… and within a week I had a job, within a month of graduating. And this job fell in my lap because my new boss saw me on LinkedIn when he was looking at other people who graduated from the Art Institute. I have been SO LUCKY in finding a job so easily. I honestly wouldn’t even know the first step in applying for Graphic Design jobs because I’ve gotten 3 in a row without having to look much. One of these days I’ll actually have to go out searching for my dream job, but for right now I’m pretty damn happy that things have been working out on the job front.

  • So far this year, I’ve moved in with Craig (seriously the best thing that’s happened to me, like, ever), I bought a new car, and I got a new job, among lots of other little amazing things. I haven’t been this happy in awhile… just sayin’. 

  • Ok, that’s all with the giddiness and happiness. 

Happy Thursday!