travel blogging

#HandsDownExcited - Day 15 #31DaysofBlogging

In honor of Kate’s birthday coming up tomorrow, we would like to present to you this very special edition of #31DaysofBlogging featuring Kate doing handstands in all the places we’ve visited this past year.

Okay, maybe not ALL the places, but she has really gotten great at these handstands, and it’s been so fun documenting them all across the country/world. It has become sort of a weird J&K tradition to do these. You already know we love jumping pics, but the Kate handstand might be our next favorite!

Also, props to Jill for snapping these shots. We really try to be a team in every way, you guys. HAHA! Check it out!

Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica, CA

Carlton Landing, OK

Carlton Landing, OK

Basalt, CO

Basalt, CO

Aspen, CO

Aspen, CO

Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada

Rye, NH

Rye, NH

Reyjkavik, Iceland

Reyjkavik, Iceland

Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth, NH

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

Iceland

Iceland

Marco Island, FL

Marco Island, FL

Rosemary Beach, FL

Rosemary Beach, FL

Rosemary Beach, FL

Rosemary Beach, FL

Rosemary Beach, FL (with a little help from my friend!)

Rosemary Beach, FL (with a little help from my friend!)

Rosemary Beach, FL (nailed it)

Rosemary Beach, FL (nailed it)

Iceland

Iceland

Pretty cool, right? Thanks for coming along on this 31 Days of Blogging journey with us….we are just about halfway through! More fun stories and thoughts to come this month, and tomorrow we’ll be celebrating Kate with a special birthday edition!

J&K

PS. Our friend Jess came up with the hashtag #handsdownexcited and we need to start using it!

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.)

Man Weeps On A Plane

I am on a plane. I’m on Southwest, so I can’t reference my seat number like classy writers do, but I’m on the left hand side of the plane about 5 rows behind the exist row.

I am sitting next to a man. It’s crowded. I’m in the window seat and he’s the unlucky one who got the middle seat. It’s a 5 hour flight. Boston to Denver. The sun is reflecting the prettiest color of orange out my window. A thick layer of clouds beneath me and ahead on the horizon. But then, this fire orange and red—it’s thick. Above it, it’s a bit lighter, then breaking into yellow and a big expanse of blue.

I’ve been working on some ideas on my computer. Lots of work. Me: typing, typing, typing. Spreadsheets and to-do lists. Drinking my wine (thanks SWA drink coupon) and I notice my neighbor reading something. He’s reading something in a different language, so I can’t spy to see what the title is or the words on a page. But, about 10 minutes ago, I noticed something. He started wiping tears from his eyes. At first, I thought maybe he was sick or he was just tired and rubbing his eyes. But, I think he is legit crying. I think those are tears. He keeps wiping his tears. 

It looks like a book he’s reading—a kindle edition on his phone…but something is moving him to tears. And as I sit here, dying to intrude and ask him a million questions, I’m reminded that words and stories move us. They change us. He is probably in his 40s, of some sort of Asian descent (also the writing is in some sort of Asian) and he has been staring at his phone for the last 2 hours...and now he is weeping. 

He keeps wiping his tears. 

As I sit here, I wonder who wrote the story he’s reading? What part of the story is so moving to him? What part of his own story is resonating so much with him that tears stream from his face? Why is he moved to tears? I’m sure he doesn’t want to cry in the middle seat of SWA flight 6387, but he clearly can’t stop. I want to cry with him and hug him…which don’t worry…I know is inappropriate, but still. What is moving him to tears?

I am reminded that our stories matter. Your story matters. No matter how we share them…'cause we all share them in different ways. Some with your kids over meal time, some in songs and on a guitar, some with a neighbor over happy hour, some with millions on a talk show, some with your BFF in high school. It doesn’t matter how, but we need you and your story. 

If you’re writing and think that your story isn’t going to move someone to tears one day, I’d encourage you to rethink that. Or if you’re an artist and you don’t think your art is going to move people, I want to tell you to reconsider. 

I wonder if the person who wrote whatever he’s reading knew it would move a man on a plane to tears. And that by his tears, a (somewhat intrusive neighbor passenger) stranger would also be moved and reminded that words matter. Our perspectives and creativity and lives matter.

Oh gosh, I hope he’s not reading my screen. That would be awkward. Ah heck, what do I know…maybe he’s just got really bad allergies and is reading an email. Haha.

Already in the time it took to write this, the magical shade of fire orange has faded. I’m glad I stopped to study it while it was there. 

I am trying not to miss as much these days.

-Kate

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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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