Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Travel Tyro: Spring Break in Naples

As the familiar aquamarine ocean flickered outside my window seat, I drew a deep sigh of contentment. It had only been about 80 days since my last visit home, but after some frigid snow days and sleep-deprived study nights, I was ready to shed my midterm fatigue and bask in the familiar comforts of home— aka sun, salt, and sand. 

While I'm always keen for a new adventure, being home was just the laid back change of pace I needed as I start the inevitable rapid transition to post-grad life. Even though I now have a large sunburn that has finally faded from fire engine red to peony pink, a fresh dose of vitamin sea was truly some much needed soul soothing medicine. As I currently write this a mere four days post-spring break, snow pellets the outside of my bedroom window as yet another blizzard has uninvitingly showed up in Boston. 
How many days until summer?

ootd 1: shirt + shorts: j.crew 
ootd 2: dress: gap
featured places to go & things to do: naples pier | baker museum

Friday, March 10, 2017

Saying Goodbye to the Winter Blues with Schwinn Bikes

After spending a week of Spring Break basking in Florida's warm weather and sunny skies, I'm ready to shed any of those winter blues and welcome in spring with new adventures out in the city with my new Schwinn Sivica. A bold and colorful new take on a traditional cruiser, the Sivica's relaxed geometry position design makes braking a bit easier so you can put your feet on the ground for added balance when stopped. For recreational bikers who frequently hop on and off their bike, this feature is perfect for city explorations (and fellow Instagramers!). 

Last year, my biking adventures led to more discoveries of Boston's hidden gems, but with college graduation around the corner, I'm thrilled to see what new places I will be exploring this year as I continue my journey as a Schwinn Bikes Ambassador. Be sure to also check out the Schwinn Red Blog to follow along on my rides and the other ambassadors across the country as we share our adventures for 2017. It's sure to be a wild ride!

ootd: vest: Ralph Lauren | shirt: J.Crew | jeans: Lucky Brand | boots: SOREL
bike: Schwinn Sivica | helmet: Schwinn

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Travel Tyro: Hiking in Maine

As soon as the first whiff of spring weather swept through New England, my friends and I set out on a spontaneous hiking trip to Maine to shed some winter blues. Even though we shlepped through a snowy three mile trail better equipped for snowshoeing, the warmth of the sun on our faces and the smell of burgeoning trees in the air was just the refreshing dose of nature we had craved. The views from the top of Douglas Mountain made the fruits of our endeavor even more worth the earning as a picturesque winter landscape of snowcapped mountains laid before us; a scene that would probably have even inspired the likes of Robert Frost. 

With our spirits energized, but our stomachs now empty, we headed south to the city of Portland in search of lunch. It took us several tries to find a restaurant without an hour long wait, but the delay actually ended up working in our favor. After we finished, we decided to prolong our spontaneity and drove to a beach near Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse to watch the sunset over the ocean. Nature treated us to a wonderful show that evening as we watched the cool-toned sky ignite with golden hues as the fiery red sun slowly began to dip below the horizon.  

On another note, hiking in New England marks another check off my college bucket list… graduation is less than 90 days away! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Senior Snow Days

Every winter, college students across the Boston area fervently hope they will be gifted with the arrival of a snow day sometime during the spring semester. This year our wish blew through on a Thursday, giving many an extended weekend and free day to play. While most settled right into Netflix and chill, I decided to brave the arctic temperatures and spend my senior snow day venturing out into the city for what could be one of the last blizzards in Boston. Although piles of dirty ice still line the streets two weeks later, seeing the city in a winter whiteout always leaves me wonder-struck. This year, my Peruvian friend even turned the fun up a notch with an inflatable llama that became the biggest joke on east campus and one of those crazy college memories I'll probably be retelling well into my eighties (an even sweeter memory: she gifted it to one of the inquiring men shoveling our dorm's sidewalks whose autistic son happens to love llamas). To all those west coast college students, I see your Instagrams by the pool with your giant inflatable swans and seventy degree weather, but I raise you an inflatable llama on a snow day, any day!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Travel Tyro: Ice Castles of New Hampshire

Four years ago I started a bucket list dedicated to my college years and slowly but surely I've crossed off quite a few things and added more along the way. Some were as simple as running along the Charles River Esplanade while others were big dreams like interning in New York City. With less than 100 days until graduation, the pressure is definitely on to knock out a few more things on my list!

This winter, I finally visited the annual Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire, a Narnia-esque wonderland full of frozen man-made ice "castles" that weigh upwards of 25,000,000 pounds. Built and continuously maintained during the coldest winter months, the turquoise icicle-covered structures are truly a spectacular testament to the beauty of winter.

What: A winter wonderland of icicle structures castles
When: Winter— Typically January to Early March or whenever the weather becomes too warm
Even if you don't live in New England, they have locations in Wisconsin, Utah, and Canada!
Wear: I regret not wearing snow boots with good traction as I naively underestimated how slippery the ice would be.
Tyro Tip: While the walking under dagger-like icicles seems dangerous, read this explanation about the structures' safe framework.