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take me away

Office/Oasis

By at the office, lists, take me away, tropical islands One Comment

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Being stressed at the office hardly ever results in increased productivity. Some days call for kicking back and settling in for some serious post-lunch relaxation while you work. An afternoon at your desk is this close to feeling like a tropical oasis.

1. Get the look. An island-inspired button-down, white linen pants, metallic leather sandals and beachy waves. Polished enough for the workplace, but easy-going enough for a vacation. (Men’s version of this outfit here…maybe just dress like Kiel James Patrick.)

2. Radio Margaritaville. If you can’t stream it for free through the website on your work computer, plug your speakers into the headphone jack on your phone, and pull it up in the TuneIn Radio app. Sounds like a tiki bar, doesn’t it?

3. Pineapple juice on the rocks. It’s a tad disappointing you can’t mix it up with some coconut rum, but it’s arguably healthier than an afternoon chocolate bar, and nothing’s stopping you from adding a cocktail umbrella.

4. A breath of fresh air. If the scent of someone’s burnt popcorn in the microwave keeps wafting its way over to your area, that’s nothing a little Glade Plug-Ins can’t fix. Currently sniffing: Hawaiian Breeze.

5. Special effects. Drape your favorite beach towel over your chair, wear your bikini top under your shirt, and dab some sunblock on your wrists. Sure, you might get a few off-kilter stares, but if you can’t go to the beach, you may as well bring the beach to your cube.

Back Bay

By catch a wave, life's a beach, ruling at life, take me away, the places you'll go, virginia beach 5 Comments

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Living at the beach has many perks that I often take for granted. In the almost eight years I’ve been living in Virginia Beach, I’ve never ventured down to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge or False Cape State Park, which is why I made it one of my 2012 resolutions to get my bike down there and go for a ride.

For those of you not from around here, Back Bay is a 9,250-acre wildlife refuge situated on a narrow spit of land bordered on either side by the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound. False Cape State Park — accessible only on foot, by bicycle or via boat — borders Back Bay to the south and forms the adjoining border of Virginia with North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

It was a gorgeous day — perfect for breaking in my new Electra cruiser and spending some quality time with my parents while they were in town. We spent hours pedaling along the gravel road, taking in the sights, and snapping photos. When gravel turned to sand, we hiked up and over a gigantic sand dune, landing ourselves on a breathtaking beach, where wild waves and a sandy shore stretched for miles and miles with nary a soul in sight.

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Long Lost Scenes of Summer

By memories, new jersey, ruling at life, take me away, the coastal chicster, travel One Comment

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These long lost photos of my annual back-to-back Jersey trips this past summer bring back memories of steamy city days, breezy evenings on the water, night swimming with my best friend, a sunny afternoon on the boardwalk with J, shopping with my mom, and my grandma finally making it home from the hospital. It took me a little too long to go through the hundreds of photos I took, but I’m glad I finally got around to it. =)

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Time Out

By books, employment, food, music, pineapples and palm trees, take me away, weather No Comments

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I always used to say, “If I’m not working, I’m on vacation.” On a 29-degree workday, the closest I could come to a tropical getaway on my lunch break was to munch on a Cuban guava pastry (pastelito de guyaba compliments of a co-worker who just returned from Key West), bundle up in a winter coat, and trudge out to my car, where I enjoyed the sounds of Caribbean music while catching some rays through the sunroof and immersing myself in Treasure Island on my Kindle for an hour. That counts, right?

Hello, Chicago.

By holiday fun, navy, ruling at life, take me away, travel 2 Comments

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If you ever get the chance to visit Chicago, I say go for it. There’s lots to see and do — museums, architecture, shopping, and about a million restaurants and bars. Around Christmastime, Michigan Avenue seems like the laid back little cousin of NYC — chilly, festive, and lit up with the occasional flurry, but with wider sidewalks, less traffic, and much less risk of getting run down by a taxicab. Chicago seems a bit less expensive than most other big cities I’ve been to, and I’d be willing to bet there’s a ton of fun things to do there when the weather’s a bit warmer, too. The pizza’s excellent, and there’s not a bad steak within 60 miles. Oh, and that shiny bean sculpture at Millennium Park is pretty awesome, too. =)

I’ve been dying for a relaxing vacation, and while this wasn’t quite relaxing, it was certainly a fun, action-packed week full of some of my favorite things — hot coffee, taking pictures, long walks around the city, layers upon layers of plaid, cozy sweaters, sailors wearing those awesome white hats, and lots of shopping. The real reason for our trip was my brother’s Navy Boot Camp graduation, so congrats to Stephen, whose next stop is Pensacola for a year. Looks like I’ve got at least one excuse to get myself down to the Margaritaville Beach Hotel this spring..and I can finally squeeze in that relaxing vacation I’ve been waiting for. =)

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