This week I’m jetting off to San Francisco for a quick work trip. I can’t wait to go meet with co-workers that I hardly ever see, and will be heading straight from the airport to the office as a result. I am super into the idea of bringing only a carry on (or two), in order to decrease the amount of time I have to spend at the airport both before and after my flight. I really don’t have the time to get to the airport early just to check a bag – this time around I’ll have to leave my house at like 5am to drop the pup off at boarding, prior to making my way over to the airport for a 7am flight. Morning struggle, I’ll see you on Thursday.

 

The Bags

I am in. love. with my AWAY carry on and my Lo. & Sons OG weekender. The combination of the two bags allows me to pack for well over a long weekend, and provides plenty of room for me to tote all my work stuff along with me.

 

The OG

This would be considered my personal item, though I could probably pack for a three day trip in this bag alone. While it has Mary Poppins like qualities, it is small enough to fit under the seat on the plane and still allows for plenty of room for my feet to stretch out. I like to keep all the things I’ll need during the flight in this bag, which may or may not include my computer if I’m planning on getting WiFi or not. If not, then I’d rather keep it overhead. Other things that I’ll keep in this bag include: wallet, phone, keys, headphones, kindle, a sweater or scarf, and my toiletries/makeup bag.

I just got the Bose QC30 in ear bluetooth headphones and can’t wait to see how they do on a flight. As I’m writing this, they are canceling out the noise of Brodie chewing on his bone, so I’ll give them a thumbs up already.

I also love to travel with my Kindle. Most of the time, trying to use my laptop on the plane results in me feeling like I’m invading my neighbors’ space with my elbows as I type. Thus, a Kindle is a perfect way to pass the time in the sky. I devour books, often like potato chips, so Kindle Unlimited is a lifesaver. I love that I can read as many books as I want, and don’t feel like I’m breaking the bank. Quite a few best sellers and popular books aren’t included, but that’s okay.

In my toiletries bag I always keep makeup wipes, face lotion and lip balm. I don’t really like flying with makeup on – the plane air turns my skin into a dry and flaky, yet greasy and shiny mess – so keeping my face clean and hydrated is a must, even on short flights. Before landing, I’ll wipe down my face, moisturize, and then go about putting on some makeup. This is especially important on early morning flights like the one I’m taking this week, where I’ll need to go straight from the plane to the office.

I love that this bag easily transitions from a carry on to a work/laptop bag. I never know what my seating situation will be as I arrive in new offices, so it’s good to have all the essentials for the day in one place.

 

The Away Carry On – 

What I keep in my carry on suitcase is pretty self explanatory – clothes and odds and ends I won’t need in flight. Since I’m bringing everything along with me, I also don’t feel nervous about keeping some of my valuables in my suitcase. I will likely put my jewelry, camera, and lenses in this bag, tucked snug in some sweaters, as the hard sides and built in lock of the suitcase will keep it protected. I also won’t need to use the camera in flight, either, so there’s no need for it in my other bag.

As far as clothes go, I am a big fan of rolling clothes and packing cubes. I’ll roll up outfits and place each in a packing cube to keep things organized. My favorite feature of the Away Carry On is the compression panel on the right hand side. Unlike my previous suitcases, the compression panel actually compresses your clothes. I can fit an entire week and a half’s worth of clothes in just the one side of the case thanks to that panel! Earlier today my colleagues balked at the news that I would not be checking a bag on an upcoming 5 day trip, but I know that it’s easily doable in this bag.

I’ll also keep my cords and chargers in this bag (with exception of my iPhone cord). Even though the Away carry on features its own battery for charing small electronics, I always pack an external battery for while I’m out and about on my trips… You never want to find yourself in a photo op but without phone battery to post on Instagram or Snapchat! Other cords I’ll need are my camera charger and of course, my laptop charger as this is a business trip.

This bag also includes some seriously heavy duty spinner wheels that can take bumpy walkways, but most importantly have withstood even a few collie nibbles. While it can pack quite a lot inside, it’s sadly still too small for Brodie to stow away in (though he tries)!

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please, please, please pay attention to that fabulous sea lion in the back. 

I know that most people don’t find work travel to be all that exciting or glamorous, but I just came back home to Seattle from SUCH a fun trip to San Francisco. I was sent there for two days for work with a few of my good friends, and tacked on an extra day for sight seeing, and loved just about every minute of it. I just wish I had more time to spend there!

I have a bit of a history with quick trips to San Francisco – as my only other time visiting the city lasted less than 48 hours in 2012 for a job interview. Even with such brevity as 48 hours then, and 72 hours now, it is totally possible to have an amazing time in this city. Here are a few things from each of my quick trips to SF…

On a semi unrelated note – comparing photos from two different trips, two years apart from each other, is really interesting. It is so cool to see how much I have grown as far as my camera skills are concerned. I hesitate to say “photography” because I can’t take myself that seriously…

2012:

After spending most of the day having brunch and generally bopping around with one of my friends in the city, I took one of the famous trolleys up to Lombard Street. This was not without a fair bit of hill climbing on my own, though. I knew I had to check out the world’s most crooked street, as my Great Aunt said that is was one of her favorite things in SF when she had visited more than 20 years ago. I would love to live along side such a crazy street, especially since it is filled with Hydrangeas.

From Lombard Street, I made my descent to the water, and caught an amazing view of Alcatraz at sunset. The fog was beginning to roll in, and was breath taking. Coming from Texas, where everything is dry and flat, it was amazing to see how different this city was from Austin.

I’m not sure why this photo is so washed out – I really don’t remember making that editing decision – but for the sake of posterity and comparison, it stays. I made my way down to Pier 39 to check out the Sea Lions and fell in love. They are the weirdest and most wonderful combination of the mermaid version of cats and puppies, and I cannot say how much I love them.

2015:

This time around, I had a bit more time to spend, so I was able to fit in some more than just a very steep walk. On Thursday, my friends and I walked over 10 miles; usually this would be awesome, but I sprained my ankle last week, so it was a bit of a struggle that ended in a very ugly ankle. It was totally worth it though. We walked through Chinatown, went to the Ferry building and had the most AMAZING ice cream ever, and had a delicious seafood dinner at Scoma’s. Friday was all work, and then some play with friends for dinner and drinks. I met up with the same friend that I hung out with in 2012, and literally ran into a friend from Austin in a bar. For as big as the world is, it sure can be small…

Saturday was the day, though. We woke up, went to brunch, and then set sail on a Catamaran to tour the harbor. This is by far my favorite part of the trip. I found Adventure Cat tours online, and would recommend it to anyone who loves chill, classy times. What is better than Cali wine, Jazz, Sailing, and beautiful views? Nothing, that’s what.

Fun fact: I bought the exact same style of Minnetonka moccasins on my last trip to SF. Both times, I was wearing inappropriate shoes for the amount of walking I’d be doing. I had been waiting to replace my old pair for some reason, and now I know why…. Even with such comfy shoes, kicking my feet up on the cruise was utter bliss. 

We all let everyone else do the hard work.

The weather was perfect for us, but the storm clouds rolling in didn’t bode well for the later cruise…

I would want in on that cuddle, but I cannot unsee the things that these guys were laying in… ew.
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Call me basic, but I love Fall. It’s a season that doesn’t really exist in Texas, which is a shame. However, it’s in full force here in Seattle! I wake up almost every morning to a nice cool fog, but the sun has come out just in time to enjoy the afternoon almost every day this week. With the mornings as grey as they are, I figured I’d treat myself to something bright.

Every Thursday some of the vendors from Pike Place Market venture north a few blocks to set up shop in South Lake Union. I love all the farmers markets in and around Seattle, and this is no exception. I am so glad that I can walk a block away from my office, and find some great local food and flowers. I had promised myself that I would buy myself flowers as soon as I got settled in, buttttt – I hadn’t done that yet. I picked out a sweet little $5.00 bouquet of dahlias, but could have gone with any of the dozens of choices. It’s so hard to pick just one!

I also felt the need for a little dessert, and one of my coworkers suggested Ellenos. OMG, this is the most autumnal yogurt that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Yes, that is actual Pumpkin Pie in there. I may or may not have licked the bowl when I ate this at home…

The farmers market runs for the rest of October, but then sadly takes a break for the winter. I’m definitely going to try to get out there for the next couple of weeks. #treatyoself

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I’ve been busy. My life has been very busy lately. In the best ways. 

I have been in Seattle for one month, and it hardly even feels like it has been half that long. Here’s some of what I’ve been up to since September first…

I cried on a boat (for a wonderful reason)…

I knew it would happen. I told everyone before I went on the tour: “I will cry when I see a whale.” Simple fact. It wasn’t blubbering tears (pun absolutely intended there), but I did shed a poetic tear at just how beautiful they are. Aside from the occasional dolphin dorsal fin at the beach, I have never seen a whale in the wild. No one could have prepared me for their size, speed, or that puff of air that would announce their arrival to the surface. 

The last photo shows J26 “Mike” – whose dorsal fin has to be as tall as I am. I would know this, because he swam under our boat and then reappeared only about fifteen feet away. Sadly, it really caught us all off guard and I couldn’t get a photo in time. I’m sure he had a laugh about it. 


I climbed a mountain (a little one)…

My first day here, Steph and I decided to take a hike up Little Mount Si trail. The “little” part of that title is a total misnomer – if you saw the cliff near the summit, you’d agree. The trail is only about 45 minutes away from my apartment downtown and is an awesome, beautiful way to escape. 
I found a home…


I will need to to a whole other post about how much love one person can have for an apartment. Yes, that is my view; an yes, that is my patio. Mine, all mine! I can’t wait to deck out my deck once I have some fun money to spare. Which brings me to…

I became an Amazonian…


I’ve been working quite a bit over the past few weeks, and I doubt that will change much in the future. I love it! My team is fantastic, and I am so excited for all of the ways that I will get to contribute. In addition to some of the really cool, actual-work related things I’ve seen so far, I really can’t complain about some of the perks like the Fish Bowl series. I’ve already seen two roof top concerts during lunch, and am planning on seeing “Walk the Moon” perform next week!

I’ve generally enjoyed my new city…

One thing that I have made sure to do is to take every opportunity that I can to do something new. There are so many things here that I couldn’t do in Austin. Even though there are several people, things, and places that I miss in Austin – I am so excited to make Seattle my home.



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