travel

JLo or Bust? - Day 13 #31DaysOfBlogging

One of the awesome things about the walkabout this year was being able to randomly just decide to go wherever we felt like going. We were over at our friend Betsy’s house one day and somehow started talking about the wonder that is JLo.

Yes, Jenny from the block. Jennifer Lopez.

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Who knows how she came up in our conversation, but one thing led to another and before long, we were on her website checking out her tour dates in Vegas.

Lo” and behold, (get it?) there were only a handful of shows left....we decided we couldn’t miss this, and so we picked a date, bought our tickets, and booked our trips to Vegas for the end of April.

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Now, JLo was what really prompted us to go, and we danced away to Let’s Get Loud and Waiting For Tonight, but we ended up doing so much more. We stayed at an AMAZING hotel called The Palazzo. The hotel is incredible, and really you never even have to leave. There are about a billion restaurants, amazing pools, and of course plenty of gambling. (You WANT to stay at this hotel...book a room at Suiteness.com, the best place to book all kinds of amazing suites!)

Gambling is one of those things that is either super fun or super depressing. See, when you’re winning, it’s the best feeling ever. It’s thrilling. The sound of a slot machine ching-ching-chinging when you hit the jackpot, or the feeling of those chips in your hand when you beat the blackjack dealer. It’s INVIGORATING.

But when you’re losing, it’s the worst. You start to really hate the fact that you got sucked into this to begin with. You see people around you winning, try to lurk near their winning machines (like the lurker in FRIENDS, remember her?), and start to question your whole life.

Life can be like this sometimes. There are ups and downs. There are times when you’re winning and times when you’re losing. There are times when you’re just breaking even and it’s fun just to play. We actually learned a lot from our trip to Vegas, which we talk more about here in this podcast episode, Gambling and Taking Breaks.

A little piece of encouragement for you today:

It’s okay to take a break sometimes. There are times where you get spontaneous and book the JLo tickets, and there are times when you need to just lie on your couch and binge F-R-I-E-N-D-S and eat nachos. Both are fine. Balance is important. So whatever that is for you today, find the balance you need in your life. And if you go to Vegas, put $20 on black 17 for us.

Until tomorrow, best of luck to you…and may you find the balance you need.

J&K

PS. Just in case you were hungry — this will make you more hungry — some of the yummy food we ate while in Vegas! YES PLEASE. Here for it.

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Window or Aisle? - Day 5 #31DaysOfBlogging

Guys…

We have pretty much become the most loyal Southwest Airlines passengers anyone can find. We have added to our work bucket list to play one of their 35,000 feet concerts, and if we ever make it into the Southwest Magazine we might literally die, because OMG — we heart SWA so much.

We have gotten in DEEP y’all. DEEP.

We have the credit card, we are proud holders of drink coupons, and we JUST GOT THE COMPANION PASS. Can we get an Amen? (The companion pass is a loyalty program reward where you get to have someone fly FREE with you for an entire year. It’s like a 2 for 1 deal but on AIRLINE TICKETS. Is there anything better? Chelllllooooooo — NO.

See, on Southwest there are no assigned seats, which means that on a not-totally-full-flight you have the potential of having a seat empty next to you. Soooo…Jill and I have pretty much perfected the art of keeping the middle seat between us free.

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I, Kate am a LOYAL window seat person. (This is actually where I’m sitting right now as I type…it’s my favorite spot to write.)

I love me a good window seat. Jill is a loyal aisle type of girl. She likes her space. So, when we board a plane, I go for the window and Jill takes the aisle, and then we try and keep the middle seat empty.  

We have pretty much become experts on their boarding process and here are our two top techniques for keeping the middle seat empty:

  • Put food in the middle seat. The messier looking food the better. Open a to-go box full of greasy looking fries and a burger and noooooooo one is going to want to sit there. If you can be eating while passengers are boarding it works like a charm.

  • Leave a purse or bag in the seat and lean over it talking to each other. You sort of cover up the fact that there is even a middle seat to be taken. If you let out a good fake cough at this point that’s another sure thing to have people passing you by.

Please do the above at all times while avoiding eye contact with every single person.

If you’re tempted to see who else is walking down the aisle…don’t do it. Avert your eyes. Once people see your compassionate looking eyes while searching for a seatmate, you will be TOAST.

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I don’t know where we first heard this, because it definitely wasn’t our genius idea, but we heard someone once say that they got a fake book jacket cover that read “How to Share Your Faith On A plane” and held it up so people would see that and just pass him by. That’s some funny stuff right there.


But let us just be clear on why we have left all other airlines behind. You can change your flight 10 minutes before take-off without losing your money. Ummm helllooooo? For two traveling “walkabouters” this provides the perfect amount of flexibility for us. Plus, you always get 2 checked bags for FREE. That’s ZERO dolla dolla bills you guys. Say what? Plus they send you drink coupons for free drinks and what is better than a free cocktail or glass of wine while you are looking out of that window??

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We tell you more about our tips and tricks of keeping the middle seat empty and about the SWA flight that took us to NYC to a fun party where we danced the night away with Cindy Crawford. Yeah, you read that correctlyyou can listen here.

Tomorrow we are going to tell you some of the behind the scenes moments from our biggest podcast guests of the season.

What did we buy before our interview with Lauren Graham? What did we bring to Ben Higgins for our interview? We dish on all of this and more tomorrow.

Xoxo Gossip Girl

(JUST KIDDING, had to.)

Bucket List Travel Places

Since yesterday we told you about some of our favorites things about NYC...a city that we've visited a bunch of times...today we thought we'd tell you about some places we've never been. We are in another airport today. YAY travel! So, we thought we’d tell you our top 3 destinations of where we want to travel and also show you some of the places on our must-go-travel-and-see-soon list (all images taken from Pinterest):

Iceland

Mainly to see the Northern Lights, but recently we’ve been seeing pics from other people’s trips and it just looks magical. The colors, the landscape and ICELAND people. Iceland. It just sounds so freakin’ bad ass.

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Bora Bora

Any destination that is named twice is good enough for us? AMIRIGHT? One of those little huts over the water will do just fine. Snorkeling is one of our most favorite activities and so the thought of being able to snorkel right from you “door-step” just sounds incredible. The color of the water looks insane. Beach + book + fruity drink = hello perfection.

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Santori, Greece

We blame Pinterest with this fascination. The sunsets, the food, the architecture...yes...it all looks so dreamy so it’s now on the must-see list.

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Where are your top places to travel to or visit?

We wanna know.

J&K


 

Bouncing Around Boston

A few Fridays ago we decided to take a day trip to Boston. We both went to college just outside of Boston on the North Shore so we are quasi-familiar with the city, but decided to really get lost in the city--no plans, just to enjoy the day and see what happens.

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And let’s just say that it was one of the most spontaneously magical days we’ve ever had... and it included multiple people bringing us free booze. No lie. But we’ll get to that.

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We parked at around 10am and decided the first stop needed to be brunch. We found a tiny little spot that boasted great reviews and so not shockingly it was JAM PACKED when we arrived. There were 2 seats open at the bar so we jumped on them. We both got a version of eggs benedict--which was sort of weird for both of us to order such similar things but...we’re glad we did! It was so delicious.

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We left full and happy and decided to hit the streets. We walked and walked...and it was perfect weather. We stopped in some stores to do some shopping--thank you Nordstrom Rack for always being there for us in a time of need. Haha. We're trying to keep it simple seeing that we just sold almost everything we own...but the season is changing and we realized we don't have all the proper attire! 

The only thing that we did have planned for the day was to meet up with a guy named Will who had reached out to us about doing an interview for his college paper. We met up at a coffee shop and chatted with him about our new adventures, the podcast, and our new music we’ve just finished recording. Will was super sweet and you can read his interview with us here.

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After wrapping up with Will, we decided to wander around some more and shop/see whatever we could. There is just something about seeing a city by foot--it’s such a wonderful way to discover a place...even if you’ve been there a bunch of times...seeing things from that vantage point will open your eyes to new things.

At around 4pm we were a little tired of walking and decided it was the perfect time for a margarita. We used Yelp to help lead us to the best little Mexican place, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, where we grabbed some seats at the bar and rested our weary feet. Since it was only 4 o’clock-ish, the place was relatively empty but that changed quickly. We got some margaritas and chips & guac. This is basically all you need in life, are we right?

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As the bar filled up, we noticed some people waiting behind us and noticed that a few of their party would be able to sit if we scooched down a seat. We offered and they were super thankful. So thankful in fact that they were like, we want to buy your next drink since you were so nice to scooch. {small fun fact...who doesn’t love the word scooch?} We declined, but they insisted. HOW NICE ARE PEOPLE? We made new friends from Wisconsin, drank our drinks, took a selfie with our newfound friends and gave up our coveted bar stools.

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We started walking and asked our friend Meghan who works in Cambridge if she could meet us for dinner and she said yes. Why was this day just so perfect? Spontaneous plans are the best plans. So we walked across the Harvard Bridge and met her...then walked to an Italian Place called Sulmona.

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The place was awesome and our server was the sweetest. Then somehow, when we thought the day was pretty perfect and couldn’t really get much better...the manager/owner brings us a free bottle of bubbly. Not sure if he thought we were someone else (haha) but he said it looked like we were having a fun girl's night & that we needed a bottle of bubbly. What was happening?

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Anyway, it was awesome. But the point of the day was not about free alcohol...it was about enjoying every moment. What we’re learning on our walkabout is that gratitude can be found in every single second of the day--you just have to choose it. And you have that choice to choose joy and gratitude in every moment--it’s up to you.

We loved our adventures in Boston. What a great city. Can’t wait to return and play a show next time. So many dear ones that we’d love to see at a show.

Love you all,

J&K

Vermont, I love you.

First off. Thanks to everyone who has sent us sweet messages, emails and tweets after that last blog. It really means so much hearing from you as we go venture out into the unknown...it feels like you are here with us and that makes us feel less alone. So, thank you. It’s like you’re in our pockets with us and so you get to adventure with us.

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Last week, right after posting that blog, we left for a weekend adventure in Vermont with two friends to celebrate both of their birthdays! YOU GUYS. I’m officially in love with Vermont. How is this magical place still a secret? I feel like Vermont doesn’t have nearly the street cred it should because...it’s quaint, lovely and everyone is kind. And the food. You know my love for food and cocktails and Vermont did not let me down.

Just as a preface, things that are important to me in life, but especially on a vacation are: beautiful aesthetics and surroundings, great food, great cocktails/wine & some sort of physical activity. There will be a lot of the aboveforementioned things in this blog. 

We drove about 2.5 hours from New Hampshire and arrived in the dark so we didn’t have much context for the town, but arrived in Killington where we’d be spending the weekend. I (Kate) got super excited and giggly when I found the town name and proceeded to say: “we’re gonna be killing-it in Killington” and it was probably just as annoying as you think it would sound cause I said it any chance I could. All the other girls are from New England so they’re familiar with the town because it’s where people go ski, but I was new and LOVED my new catchphrase. #killingitinkillington

We arrived and got all checked in. We’d found this adorable mountain lodge online that’s nestled right in town. It had big leather chairs and over-sized couches surrounding multiple fireplaces, a giant hot tub, fire pits and a little cozy bar. We were either on a mountain vacation or on set for a new Hallmark Christmas movie (my literal dream.)

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Obviously, we hit the bar first where I ordered an old fashioned (I know I’m an 85 year old man) but the bartender asked if I’d rather have a Manhattan. I’ve never had anyone ask me that and she proceeded to tell me that it would be the best Manhattan I will have ever had in my whole life. How was I supposed to say no to that?

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She poured our drinks from their pretty fancy glasses into plastic ones so we could go sit out by the fire pit/hot tub area. It was a tad chilly outside but the fire (and whiskey) kept us warm.

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Here’s the first thing that I loved about this place that I want to take with me. Fire pit culture. It’s a thing. People come and sit around the fire and they want to talk. We weren’t sitting there 10 minutes before we made our first new friends and it was awesome. It’s like when you come to the fire pit and pull up a chair you are expected to be kind, cool, and talkative. Everyone making small talk about where they’re from, what they’re doing in the mountains for the weekend...it is really quite lovely. It’s like there's an unwritten rule that you are not allowed to be an asshole if you take a chair around fire pit. People come and go as they please and it’s just casual but personable. Ya know? It was funny because a group of 4 women who were a little older than us came and sat down...they had us ROLLING in laughter. Sort of fun to see the 4 of them and the 4 of us. Anyway, we talked about Nashville, the adventure we’re on and when we told them that we were a duo they didn’t believe us and forced us to sing a line of a song to see if we were telling the truth. Bahaha.

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We got up the next day and ate the hotel breakfast because it was FREE and amazing. Can you say homemade cinnamon and sugar donut balls? And 12 different kind of homemade jams to go on your homemade bread? Heaven. Nothing better than sipping pumpkin spice coffee and eating fresh toast in your sweatpants with your friends...am I right? 

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One of the things we all wanted to do was hike, so after breakfast we set out to find a trail. We knew we wanted something that would deliver awesome views but not something that was going to have us re-enacting any part of 127 hours if you know what I mean. The hike we picked was about an hour each way and so we decided to do it. Ok, it also had an Irish pub at the bottom. That is why we picked the trail. Good people, I cannot hide the truth-- that is why we picked this hike because we heard you can get a nice cold beer at the end of you hike. DREAMS PEOPLE, DREAMS. And by beer I mean cider because I don’t drink beer, but that’s a whole other blog.

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The hike was gorgeous. Fall colors swirled all around us. Greens, reds, oranges...the first half of the hike had a serious incline that got our glutes burning but it leveled off after that. We passed other hikers and again, everyone was all talkative and friendly. We got to the top viewpoint and there were these massive boulders you could climb up and sit on. All I could hear in my head was my mother’s voice telling me not to get too close to the edge. Weird how those things come back so clearly.

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We sat and took it all in. We tried not to wig out about how high we were or how one solid gust of wind could derail us completely. We took pictures and I took pictures for other people. Here’s a small side-note which Jill totally makes fun of me for. Anytime I see a couple or group of people struggling to take a selfie or taking solo shots of each other I will 100% offer to take a picture for them. If I pass you and you look like you’re struggling, I will offer to take that pic for you. It’s my contribution to the world :) Ha!

After spending some time at the top (and taking just a fewwwww pics) we hiked back down and passed these two older couples who were hiking down the mountain like BOSSES. It had sprinkled a little so the ground was sort of wet and we weren’t about to let any of these precious pies break a hip on our watch. No way. They were from Illinois and said that this was on their bucket list and they were crossing it off the list today. Whattttt? That’s incredible. Loved their spirit and I hope I’m climbing mountains, crossing things off of my bucket list in 50 years.

We promised to save them some beers at the bottom and did just that. We ate some nachos and drank some ciders--I sort of want all of my hikes to end in this manner from now on. (I took no pics of said cute Irish pub. That means I have to go back.)

The afternoon was spent in the hot tub, playing cards, napping...it was great. While we were playing cards the bartender even brought us a sample of her signature cocktail for us to test out. Again, is this real life guys? It was a Fall Sangria and it had cider, chardonnay, spiced rum, and a few other things in it….it was so good.

For dinner we went to a place that was recommended to us called Casey's Caboose and boasted a complete gin & tonic menu. Like, an entire page of the menu was just devoted to different types of gins and different types of tonics. It was incredible. Also, they had a cheese plate that had “bacon jam” on it...I don’t even know what bacon jam is but I was a total fan. I ordered the mac and cheese for dinner which I’m not sure I’ve ever ordered in my life but it was the dish that was recommended to us and I am so glad I did! The bowl was bigger than my head and sooooo good. We ended the night around the fire pit again and made all new friends. Seriously, fire pit culture needs to extend to other places.

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I got Casey's Special G&T....highly recommend it. 

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The next morning we lounged around playing cards in the lobby and drinking coffee. We heard about a place with the best pancakes in town and Jill’s main request of the weekend was that she has an excuse to use real VERMONT maple syrup. I don’t particularly like pancakes but was willing to give these “best ever” pancakes a tester...when in Rome ya know? All the hype turned out to be true because when we got there it was going to be an hour and fifteen minute wait! We put our names in and headed out on a trail while we waited...how Vermont of us right? The trail we hopped on was actually part of the Appalachian Trail and it made me think of all of the people that have made the journey on that exact path. It made me feel connected to all those people who’ve done that journey and reminded me how we really all walk the same roads don’t we?

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We worked up an appetite and scooted back to Sugar & Spice for what turned out to be one of the best breakfast experiences of our lives. The pancakes. You guys. THE PANCAKES. And I don’t even like pancakes but, really, they were incredible. Plus, can you even see the pancakes under that ice cream scoop of butter? Ahhhh! I got the special cinnamon and sugar ones and I may never eat any other pancakes again. Literally, so delicious. We had a good laugh because on the menu it said there was an extra charge for “fake syrup.” Haha.

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Vermont, I love you. You delivered on so many levels. I even bought the beanie. 

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Oh and on our drive home we stopped at this gorge...you know, just breathtaking gorge’s to stop and ooooh and ahhhh over.

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You know that quote about doing what sets your soul on fire. Travel. Music. Storytelling. Beauty.  Literally sets our souls on fire.

Much love,

Kate

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The End Of An Era #31Days2016

Well guys, my Passport is about to expire. Today I was filling out all of my paperwork so that I can get a new one and it made me a little sad. That little passport has taken me to 6 continents in 10 years...all around the world...more than a few times. This Passport is special because it was my first one. That's right...I didn't have a Passport until I was in my 20's and then I made up for lost time and traveled a LOT with that little guy. I even had to get pages added a few years ago. I have stamps from places like the Maldives, New Zealand, Singapore, Zimbabwe, Brazil, South Korea, China, Ireland, Sweden....I could go on and on...so many places I NEVER dreamed I would ever go. Like in my wildest childhood dreams, I would've never even imagined.

Now I will turn it in and they will hopefully send it back to me...but with a big ol' hole punched through it. It feels like I'm parting with a dear friend. Maybe that's a little weird, but it's true. 

But let me tell you what I'm not sad about: getting a NEW Passport picture. I do not photograph well for these types of things. I look like a scary serial killer who is going to creep into your house at night and stand over you with scissors. Seriously. (You should see my license. Don't even get me started.)

So, anyways...now, they let you TAKE YOUR OWN PASSPORT PHOTO. This is the best and worst news. I mean, great, I can take one until I like it. But honestly, today I got obsessed with it. Like over-analyzing every little part of the picture. I probably took 45 shots. Finally, I just said "screw it" and just picked one. I don't love it and I don't hate it. It's just a picture. I even sort of still look like a serial killer...just a bit milder than the last serial killer picture from 10 years ago. HA. 

Anyway, while I'm sad that it's THE END OF AN ERA...I'm also excited because who knows where I will go with this new Passport? I can't even begin to dream up the places it may take me and that's kind of awesome to think about. Never think that your best days are behind you. There is so much in all of our futures that we don't even know is coming. I love the idea of that. 

Here's to lots of adventures for all of us in the next 10 years! 

Much love, 

Jill

PS: Here are some more sweet pics of you and us. You all rock for sending them in.

Ohhhhhh Canada!

Ohhhhhh Canada!

Victor always brings us the best treats!

Victor always brings us the best treats!

Get those SKINNY JEANS outta my sight!

Get those SKINNY JEANS outta my sight!

Vibey venues for the win.

Vibey venues for the win.

Why Did We Not Invent the HoodiePillow FIRST? (31 Days-Day #3)

So, if you know us at all, you know we are on a plane pretty much ALL the time. Tour life. You learn how to travel like a champ. You learn the tricks...what works, what doesn't. Two things that are very important to have on a plane ride...especially a loooong one...are:

1) A Neck Pillow (for general head/neck comfort){preferably one that snaps onto your purse or backpack}

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2) A hoodie. (So you can strategically pull the hood over your eyes like so:)

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Like I said, we're kind of frequent travelers...so this technique is KEY. I even had the double hoodie on in the above picture. #Professional

So, some GENIUS invented this incredible 'HoodiePillow" which is pretty much like inventing peanut butter and jelly. We are so jealous of whoever invented this before WE did...and also...we NEED these. I mean, COME ON!! It's brilliant.

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How comfy does she look?

Happy traveling! (And you know what to get us for Christmas!) ;)

-j&k-

 

Kruger Park Pictures

On our last day and a half in Africa we went to Kruger Park for a little bit of quality time with nature and the beautiful African animals. It might be one of our favorite spots on the planet. There is something about driving around and seeing these giant animals in their natural habitats. The giant sky. The sunrises and sunsets. Everything about this place is magical. During this time we saw tons of huge elephants...and so many baby elephants...they were adorable.

Anyway, we had a wonderful time and wanted to share some pics with you guys.

xo

j&k

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Early morning sunrise & fog.

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 One of the entrances to the park.

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 A huge group of elephants walked right in front of our car and down the hill into the river. So cool!

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The only place you are allowed to get out of your vehicles is on this huge bridge...photo time!

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I (kate) loved spending quality time with my dad :) He's the best.

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Baboons!

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This is a series of  pics entitled: "Carolyn steals Ryan's camera. Selfies ensue. Ryan's butt makes a cameo."

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Windy with the window open.  14402388458_73ee15da77_z

Breakfast under a tent. SO excited about coffee!

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Trying to take a selfie with an elephant in the background.

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There's the pic!

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Open aired vehicles are the VERY BEST THING.

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Vultures in the tree.

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This was in the elephant museum. We were loopy tired by this point.

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 Philip is the orphan home director in Zimbabwe and a dear friend. He's more like family actually. Love him!

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 So much love. 

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Bill using his camera to take pics on a viewing deck. We saw hippos and heard the crazy noises they make.

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Hyena.

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Cape Buffalo.

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Our last night in the park we enjoyed a dinner under the stars!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trip to Houses of Hope Africa!

 Hi friends! Finally had some time to sit down and write some words about our recent trip to Africa to visit the children living at Houses of Hope Africa. On May 25th we (Ryan & Carolyn & us) took off from Nashville and headed across to the other side of the world...Southern Africa!

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...with a seven hour lay over in London-town. That's always fun right?

photo 3 We found some comfy chairs in the lounge (hallelujah) in the London airport and checked email for the last time since we would be in Zimbabwe with zero cell reception of any kind.

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It was an 11 hour flight from London to Johannesburg and we landed just as the sun was coming up.

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Kate's dad, Bill, met us at the airport with the van. He has more energy than all of us put together :)

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We got settled and headed over to the House of Hope in Temba. We were SO HAPPY to see these faces after two long travel days.

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 We passed out party supplies which included hand clappers and little noise makers--we were a LOUD bunch.

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 Some of the kids in the pictures have been at the house since it opened and some are so new to the home that they'd only been there a few days. 

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 This little guy below is amazing and such a fighter. When he first arrived at the home he needed serious medical attention. Since being at the house for a few years we are happy to report that he is doing SO WELL!

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Bill brought a guitar for the kids and so we got it out and Jill played songs that the kids were familiar with. Music...it's what brings us all together :)

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 We left the kids as the sun was setting and headed back to the hotel. We went to bed early cause we were leaving for Zimbabwe bright and early the next day...

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 Bill was our dedicated driver...he drove sooooo much...it was about 14 hours on the road to Zimbabwe (!!!)

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The open road in Zimbabwe.

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Why yes. Perfect place for a jumping picture. 14490828945_b046274677_z

One more with Carolyn!

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The paved road turned into a dirt road and it was SO bumpy. Almost two hours on a dirt road rock road. Wowza. 14304090338_686a83c3a4_z

Hooray. We finally spot the brand new House of Hope Whunga sign in the bush!14304248037_21275fda8f_z

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We arrive and get to see these faces. These faces. You guys, these are the faces that you help support. You are the ones helping to provide housing, food, and an education for these beautiful souls. The kids are doing really well and we were so happy to spend a few days with them.  14304097610_325de82588_z

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They love playing with balls--so much fun!14304141268_e6ac1c34d2_z

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Life is pretty simple up there. Our van was the only vehicle in the area because their main mode of transportation is donkey cart. The building on the left is the out-house. Let's just say that there is no electricity or running water.  Enough said about that. 14510894533_d24a2b8f9d_z

Group shot!! So many giggles. 14489507382_0b3336f5ed_z

This was one of our favorite parts of the trip. We woke up at the Philip's house (he is the orphan home director & builder of HOH Whunga) where we were staying and walked with his two kids to the orphan home. It's about a 10 minute walk and we left right around 6am--just as the sun was coming up.

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There is literally nothing around. If we look all bundled up it's because it's winter over there right now. Cold in the morning and evenings. Off to the orphan home we went...14510950313_ba91a0316e_z

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 The kids were in their uniforms all ready to go...we did some morning stretches & just general goofing off before we began the 6 kilometer walk to school (that's 3.72 miles.)

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We even ran for a few minutes cause we thought they were going to be late! Look at the smiles as we ran...they LOVE going to school.14467704166_82e79a5385_z

Long walk for this guy but he doesn't complain.

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After an hour walk we arrived at the school grounds. There are about 300 children at the school and some of the other surrounding village children have to walk up to 3 hours to and from school each day.

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We got to meet the teachers and the head master (principal) of the school.

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We might have been called into the head master's office...ugh oh...we weren't in too much trouble ;)14489514874_b5ff0abf71_z

We left the older kids at school and hung out with Suprise (the littlest guy at HOH) for the morning/afternoon.

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 ...after some playing he decided a nap was in order....right in Kate's arms. Love!

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The older kids got back from school and we played, played and played! We even got to watch some of the kids milk the goats!

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The sun set on the crops and the stars were INCREDIBLE!! Having no electricity has it's perks.

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We brought some glow sticks with us and decided to make our own shooting stars.

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Last couple of pictures on the morning we were leaving... just as the sun was coming up...we were half awake...and cold. 14489485042_d52a9790dd_z

This might be the most attractive picture of Kate you've ever seen. Hahaha.

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Philip's wife made us fried dough...it was sooooo good.14490701625_16c4458015_z

Then we hit the road again back to South Africa...

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But, we had to take one more picture on our way out! You know last year when we were in Zimbabwe and we got stuck cause the bridge was totally flooded? This was the bridge. Woohoo...no water :) Jumping picture had to be taken!14487310921_561107c31e_z

We had such a great trip....we'll post more pics from Kruger Park and of course the rest of our travels that took us over to the UK for the #jkUKtour :)

xoxo

j&k

PS.  Houses of Hope Africa is doing amazing work for the kids over there and we know a lot of you are just as invested in their lives as we are. So for that, thank you. Thank you for caring for these kids. We took all your love with us. If you are unfamiliar with Houses of Hope Africa click here for more info.

Light Outside

Well, it's light outside and I'm in bed already. I guess that's what jet lag will do to you. Currently my body thinks it's 2:58am when really it's only 8:58pm. I did wake up nice and early this morning with the sun...just after 5am (which I actually didn't mind.) See, I'm home. I got to go downstairs and use my own coffeemaker, with my favorite mug and use just the right amount of hazelnut creamer. I didn't mind that the sun was just coming up. Besides that when you are up that early I feel like you are clearly justified to have 2 breakfasts. I had a bowl of cereal around 5:45am and by 9:00am I was ready for breakfast #2 (eggs, toast, beans & bacon....missing the UK obviously.) Haha...breakfast maybe is the best meal of the day so any reason to have it twice works for me.

We had such a great time in Africa & the UK. We promise to post lots of pics & tell lots of stories. Not right this second cause I'm fading fast...but overall...wow...just wow. We got to hang/play with the kids at 2 different Houses of Hope Africa homes and see a lit bit more what their lives are like there. These kids are amazing. They continue to teach us about joy & unconditional love.

On top of that we got to leave Africa & fly to the UK to play shows & have our hearts & minds absolutely overflow with love from the fans over there. We had awesome fan meet ups, made new friends...plus we took in every bit of the English countryside as we traveled from city to city. It was fantastic.

We landed late Friday night and played a #CMAFest show Saturday...we were exhausted but super pumped to be playing our hometown during such an iconic, music driven week. It was a great ending to the crazy travels.

So. Now it's 9:21pm and my body is telling me to sleep. I'll leave you with two pictures. One from Africa & one from the UK (picking just 1 picture from each might as well be torture for me....will definitely be posting way more pics soon!)

xo

-kate

kd

 

My dad & I in South Africa :)

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This was right before we had fantastic burgers & fish n' chips...yummy :)

End of July?

Ahhh...who can believe it is already the middle..okay...really the end of July already?? Time is flying. We have been having such a good time playing shows on the East Coast these past few weeks. It's been amazing to play shows almost every night and meet so many amazing people. Seriously...sometimes when we drive away from a show, we literally can't believe we are lucky enough to be able to do this. It's pretty insane. I am currently sitting in a quaint little New England coffee shop enjoying some iced coffee and the most delicious Coffee Cake Muffin. Yes, I feel like I'm winning...having "cake" for breakfast. Healthy choices people, we've all got to make them. Haha.

We released the last episode of our African Adventures yesterday. Hope you got to check them out here. We had quite an adventure and we were so glad that we got to capture the whole thing and share it with you. Also, if you haven't been over to the Houses of Hope Africa Facebook page...go check it out!

We have a day off today and so that's pretty great. Hope you enjoy your day...whatever you might be doing!

xo

-kate