Fri(yay) Lovin’ #11

Happy, happy Friday!

I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions this week but these emotions have not been brought by This Is Us. I kept hearing that I was going to bawl my eyes out while watching each episode but I’m already on episode 4 and my tear ducts are still intact, tissue box still full. I’m also a robot, so that may be an explanation as to why I haven’t cried.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. We will be going to the Orlando City Pub Crawl on Saturday, which I haven’t been able to be attend in years prior because I’ve been working in Colombia each time. On Sunday, we’ll be heading to church to continue the Tribe series and probably spend the rest of the day lounging around like two lazy house cats.

I hope you enjoy your weekend with your loved ones but for now, as you sit under the fluorescent lighting of your office, make sure you check out the things I’m loving this week!

Duck boots: Remember back in January, when I visited New York and pointed out everyone wearing duck boots and how expensive they were? Well, it turns out that there are more affordable options out there and you can avoid spending an arm and a leg at LL Bean or Sperry – although you may choose to invest in a good sturdy pair if you live up north. I only bought mine to travel to Boston this past month so I felt comfortable shopping on Amazon without trying them on. The pair I bought ran small so I ordered a size up and they fit perfectly (I usually wear a size 10). They kept my feet warm and dry from the snow. The only thing I did not like about the boots was that they made my feet too warm, to the point of sweating (although that may have had to do with my Alaska Knit Target socks). Despite my sweaty toes (I’m really painting a picture here for you, aren’t I?), I totally recommend these shoes if you’re expecting to walk around in snow sometime soon.

I do not have any pictures of myself from the entire time I was in Boston which shows these boots. However, gaze upon the feet of my Bostonian lady friends and see that they too were wearing duck boots.

Asana: This is for the crazy ones. Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams and individuals track their work. I was introduced to it through work and while I personally love scribbling on my notebook and crossing things off of my checklist, I don’t always remember where I’ve left my notebook. However, my computer monitor is always there, therefore, my to-do list is always waiting on Asana.

On the app, you can create tasks for yourself (only visible to you) or for your team (visible to all). You can add sections, columns or sub-tasks, assign projects with due dates, attach documents, discuss projects via chat and there is a built-in Dropbox chooser which allows teams to add files directly to tasks.

I enjoy using it because it feels more organized than just using the Notes app on the iPhone. Plus, I feel amazing when I get something accomplished, I check it off and it just dissapppears.

I can’t share my task list because it has things for my eyes only, so here’s a generic website image. Enjoy.

Airbnb Experiences: I rarely  read Airbnb email blasts but last week I opened one speaking about Airbnb Experiences and I was pleasantly surprised.

 

Through Airbnb Experiences, travelers will have the chance to meet local guides around the world who share their same interests. Whether it be sports, culinary, nature, social impact or entertainment, there is a guide for every area of interest. Experiences can last a few hours (like going on a bike ride around scenic trails or taking a salsa class) or a few days, so travelers have the option of choosing what they’re most comfortable with.

And if you’re looking to make some extra cash on the side, you can sign up to become a local expert in your area.

I’m telling you, had this been an option when I was in Colombia last year, I probably wouldn’t have dragged my driver to go sightseeing with me or had a lonely beer in Argentina (I’m such a loser).

dgh

xx

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Road Trippin’: Flagstaff

Before our road trip even began, Halston and I procrastinated in booking our accommodations. When we finally sat down to book our Airbnb’s, I fell asleep on the dining room table and offered little to no help past the third booking.

Which brings us to the Mod Lodge in Flagstaff, Arizona. The retro-styled, two-story home is actually the oldest running recording studio in Flagstaff, still in action since the 1970’s. It sits at the base of the San Francisco Peaks and is located near numerous trails.

picture c/o Halston
When we booked the home, we thought we had the entire place to ourselves, unaware that we actually only booked a room and would be sharing the house with the owners, their two children, a dog, college students in long-term room rentals and other Airbnb guests. Lesson learned: Always read thoroughly and don’t book things when sleep deprived!

Fortunately, everyone at the house was extremely nice and I don’t think anyone went through our luggage while we were out, although I cannot be quite sure (just kidding).

The first night we stopped by Beaver Street Brewery, a microbrewery offering wood-fired pizza in Historic Downtown Flagstaff. The temperature dropped down to a delightful 55 degrees that night so we went ahead and sat outside. I tried a pint of the Red Rock Raspberry Ale, a fruit ale with soft raspberry notes, and gobbled down some pizza.

The Oak Creek Canyon scenic drive called our names early in the morning. Oak Creek Canyon is a river gorge located between Flagstaff and Sedona, located in the Coconino National Forest. The views from Oak Creek Canyon Vista were breathtaking and we stopped the car a few times just to walk around and explore the area.

The night before, we noticed the bright night sky and the thousands of stars dotting it. In 2001, Flagstaff actually became the “World’s First International Dark Sky” city, the designation awarded by the International Dark Sky Association. It is given to towns and cities “with exceptional commitment to and success in implementing the ideals of dark sky preservation and/or restoration, and their promotion through quality outdoor lighting.” Simply put: there isn’t a lot of light pollution coming from Flagstaff.

We visited the Lowell Observatory that night in order to better enjoy the sky. We didn’t expect to see so many people but it seems to be a popular hangout for locals as well as visitors.

The biggest telescope there, the $53 million Discovery Channel Telescope, has been used to study life on Mars and Pluto and it was the telescope that in the 1920s determined that the universe was bigger than the Milky Way.

I had never touched a telescope before. When I was younger, I asked for one for Christmas and instead I got a microscope. Thanks, Santa.

That night I saw the moon through their fancy telescope. I saw the dark stretches of the moon, clear as day. It felt so near, it was unreal! We spent the rest of the night looking at different stars through smaller telescopes, popping in and out from different lectures and bumping into other stargazers (it was pretty dark at the observatory!). 


Another site we stopped by in Flagstaff was the Wupatki National Monument where ancient pueblos and artifacts dot the landscape, remnants of the people who used to live there.

Not far from there, the extinct Sunset Crater Volcano awaited us. It’s 900-year-old eruption reshaped the surrounding landscape in the area and affected the people and wildlife living there.

Walking around Flagstaff bundled up in a sweater was a highlight for me. Honestly, I could’ve just sat outside for two days and done nothing but look at the stars, sip wine and watch out for elk, all while snuggled up enjoying the weather and it would’ve been fine. Flagstaff’s weather is every basic girl’s dream.

Flagstaff is a huge ski destination, with the Arizona Snowbowl located about 7 miles north of Flagstaff so I feel the need to return in the future, mostly to sit by a fire and ride a chairlift since I have no desire to break all the bones in my body by attempting to ski.

Have you visited Flagstaff before? How about that sweater weather?!

xx