Maui, HI | Here Comes the Sun

I’m no stranger to *staying* up until 3 am, but I am definitely not used to *waking* up at 3 am. But when you travel, you’re supposed to do things that you normally don’t do, and I don’t normally get to say, “Good Morning,” to the sun while standing on top of a volcano.

Kauai, Hawaii | An Attempt at Athleticism: Hiking the Na Pali Coast

I like to say that I’m outdoorsy. I’d definitely rather be outside than inside, at least between the months of March and November. With that said, my activities while outside are not necessarily what others might consider outdoorsy. As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of a someecards from a number of years ago:

Newport, RI | Blinded by the Lighthouses

Recently, I spent a beautiful weekend in Newport, Rhode Island for one of my dear friend’s bachelorette parties. If you haven’t been or if you wish to revisit, we should go together. It’s an adorable little boating town and I got a good taste of it, but I want more. One of my favorite items on the weekend’s agenda was a Lighthouses and Mimosas Tour with Classic Cruises of Newport.

Kauai, HI | A Dolphin-itely Fun Experience

The desire to be “one with the dolphins” runs in my family – my dad races out to the ocean with his kayak whenever we see them from the shore and comes back with stories as if they were best buds. I was super excited that on our morning boat tour in Kauai, Hawaii with Na Pali Experience, it was almost guaranteed that we’d see dolphins.

Washington DC | Secret Agent Woman

I walked into the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, and immediately had to assume a false identity. No longer was I ErFer, a 29-year-old trying to figure life out in NYC – now I was Angelena Falcone, a 21-year-old travel agent from Italy. It was in this first room where the recent film Argo was highlighted, based on the real-life Iranian hostage crisis in 1979.

Kauai, HI | Up, Up, and Away

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you may be familiar with my love/hate relationship with heights. Of course I appreciate the views that come with being high up in the air (like of Florence, New York City, or Bruges), but I also have some concerns when I think I could fall and hurt myself (like off of elephants, boats, or trapeze platforms).

Philadelphia | Show Me Your Mussels

Earlier this year when Katie, Jess, and I met in Philly and went with our parents to the Pompeii exhibit at the Franklin Institute, we also enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Monk’s Cafe. Monk’s is a “Belgian Beer Emporium & Restaurant” famous for its mussels. It’s not a big place and we were very lucky to get their only table that would fit our group of seven. Here’s how to have a successful lunch at Monk’s:

New Orleans, LA | What I Miss Most {The Chargrilled Oysters!}

By now you may be tired of me still writing about my trip to New Orleans earlier this year, but I really felt one with the city. I’ve already written about all the amazing sandwiches we ate, the incredible bars we spent time in, and the fantastic cemetery tour we went on. And I enjoyed even more of the city than what I’ve written about – the beignets, the blue skies, and the bands in the streets. But what I’ve missed the absolute most is chargrilled (also called charbroiled) oysters. Two months later, I cannot stop thinking about them.

Philadelphia | How am I Gonna be an Optimist about This?

Pompeii is having a moment. There was of course, my family’s visit to Pompeii, Italy this past summer. There is the amazing Bastille song that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for months (not a complaint). There is a Pompeii movie in theaters now and one available on NetFlix. And, there is an exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia with relics on loan from the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy.

Philadelphia | Go Nuts at Federal Donuts

Katie and I found ourselves in Philly this weekend visiting our third almost-sister, Jess. Both sets of our parents came up on Saturday morning and the first thing on *my* to-do list was to do a Federal Donuts taste test. Federal Donuts was recommended to me on my autumn trip to Philly, but we didn’t have enough time that morning to check it out. I was determined to not miss out again this time around. Federal Donuts is known not only for their donuts, but also for their fried chicken. I *love* me some fried chicken, but 9 am seemed a little too early for that on Saturday when I went to go pick up a sampling for our parents (okay, definitely mostly for me).