4 days in washington, d.c.

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Hello friends!

How is everyone’s week going? I can’t believe we’re already halfway through August – this summer is flying by! My co-intern is going back to school this week and I’m CRYING. I’ll be so lonely at work from now on 😭 I’m cherishing every hour I have with her left!

Last week, I left pretty early in the week to go to D.C. for a conference with a student organization (in fact, I’m Madam President 😉). I’ll be skipping over the conference stuff obviously, but I was in D.C. for four days and we had plenty of time to explore the city.

We left bright and early on Wednesday and got there around 5pm. It was so humid, y’all. I have a good friend from high school who goes to Georgetown so I made plans with her the day before to meet up for dinner. We went to Curry and Pie since she knows I’m a die-hard fan of Indian cuisine! I loved it: paneer pizza? I’m all in.

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After, we walked to the beautiful waterfront of Potomac River, where we could see the financial district in Virginia across the water. Then we walked around the Georgetown campus, which was stunning, but smaller than I imagined.

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We said our goodbyes and then I headed back to the hotel to hang out with the ladies who came with me for the conference. We went out to explore the nightlife and ended up at Rebellion; heads up, Wednesday nights are pretty dead in D.C. We learned that there are noise ordinances so they had to close their rooftop bar at 11:30pm.

The next day, my group had scheduled a White House tour super early. I was pretty excited, but we ended up going through security for longer than we were actually in the White House, and we only saw the East Wing. It was a little underwhelming, not going to lie. Most of the rest of Thursday was spent at the conference, really.

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The first half of Friday was also spent at the conference, but around 5pm, we had time to explore. We went out to dinner as a group at Provision 14, which was an awesome spot for drinks. I got a Moscow Mule and the shrimp linguini.

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Then we headed to the monuments! First stop? The Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool. We spent quite a long time taking photos there, haha. The lighting was prime! We walked through the Vietnam Veterans Memorial too. We headed back pretty early to get ready to go out, since it was a Friday night. We spent our night at Mad Hatter, which I highly recommend if you’re in the mood for some dancing!

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The first half of Saturday was spent at the conference as well, and then after it concluded, we got Shake Shack for lunch and then headed for the Holocaust Museum. I love reading stories about WWII (my favorite book of all time is All the Light We Cannot See), so I really enjoyed spending hours in there.

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That was pretty much the end of our trip – overall, I really cool city. We never tried public transportation, but the Ubers weren’t expensive either. I got a few mosquito bites (will they NEVER END?!) and it’s super humid; we even got caught in the rain once (it literally came out of nowhere). I loved the architecture in the city; a lot of the buildings had French-influenced windows and it felt very Paris-y at times. There’s so much I didn’t get to see, but I have a feeling I’ll be returning to D.C. some day. I bonded with my team, which was the goal all along.

As of right now, I have no idea where I’m headed this weekend – guess we’ll both find out later!

Thanks for reading, as always!

Jen x

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24 hours in boston

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Hello hello!

How’s everyone been? As you’re reading this, I’m probably already on my way to Washington, D.C. for a conference! I’m pretty nervous since I’m presenting/competing, but I know it’s pretty low pressure. It’ll be a much longer trip than my short, 24 hour trips though!

This week, I’m so excited to be recapping my trip to Boston with y’all. I truly had a wonderful time! I left Friday night after work to layover in Portland first since the timing was better for a red-eye. Luckily, I got onto first class, it was amazing! I slept so well.

I arrived to BOS at around 7:30am and promptly took an Uber to my friend’s place. My good friend from high school goes to school in Boston and is interning there so it was the perfect situation. I hadn’t seen her in two years so it was so so nice catching up! I showered quickly and then we set out for breakfast. I had given her a list of places I wanted to go and depending on what was close by/convenient, we would try to cross it off my list. First stop? Tatte Bakery and Cafe. Y’all, this place is a must. They have tons of locations all over Boston so there’s no way you’ll miss it. My friend had called it an “upscale Panera“, but I think it’s so much better than that! I went to the Tatte next to the Boston Public Library, and it was beautiful. Think marble, wooden tables, gold accents, and tiled floors. Yep, a stunner.

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And need I mention the food? I got an avocado & zucchini fritter and an iced latte, and it was so delicious. Highly, highly recommend!

After breakfast was when I felt the first couple drops of rain. It had already gotten pretty humid on our way to Tatte, and don’t even ask me about the T-station. *shudders* HUMID.

We walked over to the Boston Public Library next; ever since I saw photos online, I knew it was the dream library I had to visit. It honestly felt more like a museum than anything. The main reading room was to die for; what I would give to make that my study spot for CPA studying next year!

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After we stepped back outside, our hearts dropped. It was simply monsooning outside! The rain was coming down hard, and sideways. There was no way we were going back out there; I had brought my rain jacket and my friend had brought her umbrella, but since the rain was sideways, we would both be drenched in seconds (not to mention I was wearing ballet flats). We took cover under a church awning and it was honestly hilarious how bad the storm was.

We decided to take an Uber to a coffee shop to wait out the storm. We ended up at Ogawa Coffee, a cute little shop that made ADORABLE latte art! I couldn’t say no to the whale – plus, I needed more caffeine. It was so relaxing to catch up on the two years my friend and I had missed out on together.

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The rain did stop a little, so we headed to Beacon Hill next. Beacon Hill turned out to be so adorable (and apparently any Instagram model’s dream), with its narrow, windy streets and brick sidewalks/townhouses. I could totally see myself living there someday, or at least something like it. There were little boutiques lined up near the area, and I loved just strolling around, occasionally pulling my raincoat back out for the sporadic drizzle.

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Around 2pm, we headed to By Chloe, a vegan chain that I have been dying to try but never got to in NYC. We found a good spot and I ordered the classic burger and sweet potato fries; y’all, definitely worth the hype.

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After, I had pretty much seen all that I wanted to see in Boston. We headed to Newbury St, eight blocks of shops and eats. I loved it! I went into my first Lilly Pulitzer store and then we stopped by Thinking Cup Coffee for yep – you guessed it – another iced latte. I was losing steam there and new we were going to be up late that night.

For dinner, we made reservations at Barcelona Wine Bar and sat outside. Y’all, this place was fantastic. We ordered sangria and then three tapas to split: the grilled hangar steak, patatas bravas, and the spinach chickpea. All three were mouth-watering and delicious. I couldn’t have asked for a better food experience in Boston!

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As much as I wanted to head back to the apartment and head to bed early, we only went back briefly to change clothes and get ready for our night out. We went to Royale for a good time, dancing the night away.

I slept a mere two hours before having to get up to go to the airport! I loved Boston the first time I went three years ago, and I definitely still love it just as much, now. The one thing I can’t deal with? The WEATHER. Oh man. In all, my 24 hour trip to Boston was fantastic. One day, I’ll make it to Nantucket 😏

Thanks for reading, as always!

Jen

24 hours in atlanta, georgia

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Happy first day of August!

Another Wednesday, another travel post! This past weekend I headed to Atlanta, Georgia, aka my first time in the South! I had originally wanted to go to Atlanta with my twin sister but she’s still abroad, so when I found out that a few other interns wanted to go, I agreed.

I flew out of Seattle on Friday night with the redeye, sleeping for about four hours before arriving in Atlanta at 5am. Once the other intern got to the airport an hour later, we headed straight to downtown to drop off our stuff at the The Westin. Our room ended up being on 60th floor (and there’s only 73 floors, the tallest building in Atlanta!) so the view was amazing.

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Nothing’s really open on a Saturday at 7am, but we managed to grab some coffee at Cafe Lucia and just stroll the streets of downtown Atlanta. It actually really reminded me of downtown Seattle, except maybe even cleaner. We came upon a few blocked-off streets because there’s always something being filmed in Atlanta; this time, it’s for the Superintelligence movie coming out next year! Then we went back to the hotel to grab breakfast really quick.

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Me and the other intern decided to then stop into the World of Coca-Cola, a must-see when in Atlanta. We got there at around 10am right when it opened (which was a good move since it got so crowded later in the day!). We enjoyed a lot of free Coca-Cola and even waited in line to take the most cringe-worthy photo with the polar bear (SO. SPOOKY). This was one of my favorite memories from the trip though, to be honest!

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After that, we were kind of unsure of where to head to next. The intern was pretty ambivalent and flexible about what we did, and there was the other intern we could meet up with. We took an Uber to Underground Atlanta and then didn’t end up going under. Our Uber driver was rude but basically told us that the Underground is just like Penn Station in NYC with little markets and such. It wasn’t worth it – so we went to go find the other intern. The CNN Studio Tours are also in downtown Atlanta, so we went to the food court there and I succumbed to Arby’s curly fries 😂. I wasn’t particularly interested in going on CNN‘s tour, so me and the intern headed to Buckhead up north to see if we could find a place for drinks.

We ended up going to Lenox Square mall and window shopped for a bit before hopping over to the W Hotel‘s bar. It was nice chatting with the bartenders because I feel like I got a sense of what locals are like in Atlanta; apparently, everyone works hard and has a side-hustle. Around 5pm, we went upstairs to the rooftop bar, Blue Whiskey where we met up with the other intern once again and had a happy hour.

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Thanks to Yelp, we settled on a dinner place in Buckhead: South City Kitchen. I know I wanted genuine southern food, and we heard South City is a modern rendition. I ordered shrimp & grits and it was to die for – the flavors were awesome and it was a really filling meal for sure. The service was also top-notch!

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One of the main things I had wanted to do in Atlanta was explore Midtown and the Ponce City Market, but we didn’t really get around to doing it, unfortunately. We strolled through Midtown all the way back down to downtown and our hotel after dinner. We went up to the top to the Sundial (in the same building as the Westin) and got another round of drinks and just chatted. It was a solid way to end the night.

I had a great time in Atlanta; I feel like I could have more fully immersed myself in the city’s culture by getting out of downtown, so I’ll definitely have to make a trip back soon. For now, I’m exhausted but still so excited for my next trip this coming weekend! Hint: it’ll be on the East Coast again!!

Thanks for reading,

Jen

24 hours in orange county

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Hello hi!

How is everyone’s week going? Mine is flying by; my mosquito bites are slowly healing (anyone have tips for scarring? I’ve been putting on coconut oil since that’s what my boss suggested 😂). I was pretty lonely at work since my co-intern took PTO to travel earlier this week, but she’s finally back!! Crossing my fingers I’ll get to travel with her this coming weekend!

This past weekend, I decided to take it easy on my wallet and body by taking a chill trip to Orange County, where a close friend of mine is living in the summer. I studied abroad in London with this girl Jo, and we’re so close now! I’ve always only visited LA if I’m going to Southern California and haven’t actually spent time in the beaches in Orange County, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to catch up with Jo and just relax.

I flew out Saturday morning since I was at a Mariner’s game the night before. I flew into John Wayne (SNA) and it was so freaking clean – one of the nicest airports I’ve been to! Jo picked me up and we headed straight for brunch at Urth Caffe. I’ve had it in LA before and loved it, so luckily we got seats pretty quickly. The meal was actually a little disappointing and not as good as the LA location, but we had fun catching up nonetheless! (Also, can I say how proud I am of Jo? She’s doing AMAZING things!!).

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After, we changed in the car and drove straight to Laguna Beach. I’ve only ever known about Laguna and Newport Beach from the middle-school Hollister shirts, so it was cool to me to finally be setting foot on these beaches. I was ready to get my tan on! We lay down by the water for two hours and definitely got some sun (unfortunately, I don’t believe in sunscreen so I burned a little bit, but it’s mostly a nice golden crisp now!!).

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After the beach, we stayed in the area to get banzai bowls. It was pretty hot out, so these tasted amazing. Then we went to Fashion Island, where we mostly window shopped, but I couldn’t help but pick up a new pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses from Express.

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After Fashion Island, we went to BCD Tofu House since we both love Korean food – and ate like kings. We were stuffed after but it was so worth it. Needing to walk it off, we hopped over to the Anaheim Packing District, a cool food-court like area. We tried to get into the speakeasy but since we weren’t planning on getting drinks, we decided to stay out. We did get some ice cream though!

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Since Downtown Disney is free and was close by, we decided to stop by and see the fireworks at 9:30pm. It made me want to visit the park so badly!! Another time – soon, hopefully. We pretty much just strolled around until we got tired and drove back to her house to call it a night. I knocked out: between waking up at 5am that morning, getting a ton of sun and lots of walking, I was beat.

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It was so nice to sleep in until 9:30 the next day! There’s an Orange County hot air balloon ride that’s only $10 so we figured we’d try it out; unfortunately when we got there, the line ended being a long wait and I needed to catch my flight, so that was the end of that trip 😭 Turns out, the flight got delayed and then cancelled, so I ended up having to take a layover in SFO before getting back to Seattle, TEN HOURS LATER. What a wild ride.

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Orange County is so relaxing – the beach towns, the carefree breeze, everything. My favorite part of the trip was honestly driving from place to place with Jo and jamming out to our favorite bops, catching up, the wind (or most of the time, AC) blasting our faces. I left OC feeling so content, even if the flight back was long. I’ve already made plans with Jo to try to visit her in LA for a quick dinner during the week – let’s see if I can make it happen!

Thanks for reading as always – look out for another trip post next week!

Jen

24 hours in nyc

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Hey pals!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend – as I’m writing this on the Sunday after this recap, it’s a sweltering 85 degrees in Seattle and I’m resisting the urge to scratch my 30+ mosquito bites (more on that in a bit 😂).

And you read that title correctly!! I made it to New York City this past weekend, so here goes a LONG recap!

Prior to this weekend, I wasn’t too sure where I wanted to go. The flights to JFK were looking pretty good but there’s always the chance that I wouldn’t get on board. Nevertheless, I texted my friend Hannah and she agreed to take two on getting to New York. On Friday the 13th (I’m really not superstitious, thank goodness), I headed to the airport right after work and sat at the gate for a few hours while eating my Beecher’s dinner 😍 At 10pm, we got on!! It truly felt like a lucky Friday the 13th; I even got a window seat… until I saw that my seat was surrounded by not only babies, but crying, wailing babies. Oh boy, I was not sleeping on this red-eye (I was right, I barely did).

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We landed at around 6am at JFK and grabbed Starbucks for breakfast, and then took the Airtrain and LIRR to the city. We got off and honestly just started walking. We made our way toward the Empire State Building, and decided we didn’t want to pay $37 to see the view (sad, but we were on budget). I grabbed a coffee from Stumptown Coffee within the Amazon Books (lol it’s like I never even left Seattle) because I desperately needed the caffeine.

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We kept walking and made it all the way to Union Square Park, and the Flatiron Building. At 10:30am, Hannah and I met up with a good friend who we met freshman year (now interning at a fashion retailer in NYC in the corporate division!!). It was a relief having someone who knows the city pretty well to show us around.

We took the Metro to Nomo Soho to get brunch! Y’all, this place is truly stunning. It’s part of a hotel and the exterior has the most gorgeous greenery – I’ll let the pictures speak for itself. Numerous groups were stopping by just to do quick photoshoots, including us. Not only was it stunning, but the seating inside was breathtaking as well. We sat under a glass ceiling so there was tons of natural lighting. And the food, oh my goodness. The three of us decided to share all the plates (eggs benedict, salmon scramble, and the lemon ricotta pancakes). I was in heaven.

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After, we strolled around pretty much everywhere. We stopped by Little Italy, Glossier, and Joe and the Juice to re-caffeinate. Our friend showed us a little art gallery, Galeria Melissa that had a really abstract and cool exhibit. It was Paraiso, and I felt like I was in an alternate universe. You can’t visit New York City without seeing some art! We walked by a grand opening for Aerie and they were giving out free ice cream as part of the promotion, so that was pretty cool! I was definitely double-fisting my cone and my coffee at one point. 😂

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I knew that one of the things I needed to visit was Strand Bookstore, one of New York City’s independent bookstores. It was HUGE and amazing!! We spent close to an hour exploring all the floors. Afterward, we went back to our friend’s apartment to cool off, recuperate, and change our clothes for the night. Then we headed out to Joe’s Pizza, a classic. I split a cheese pizza with my friend since I knew I wanted a more filling dinner later. Then we went to Cha Cha Matcha! I had seen this dessert place on Instagram and knew I wanted to pay a visit. We got the soft serve and it was so refreshing!!

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Then, me and my friend headed to Ichiran in Midtown while Hannah took a nap at a hotel. Ichiran is a world-famous ramen restaurant originating from Japan: you sit at these cubicle/booths alone because the whole point is to focus and enjoy the ramen with no distractions, even from the server (it’s a no-tip restaurant because the server barely interacts with you). To be honest, it was quite the spiritual experience. Simply amazing.

After dinner, we went back to wake Hannah up and then headed to the The High Line. On the way there, we strolled through Chelsea Market; I loved it! I wish I was still hungry because everything looked so good there. We walked a good portion of The High Line and tried to find some frosé with no luck 😪

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At around 9pm, we decided we wanted to go grab drinks. On a Saturday night in New York City, most things are packed with long lines. We randomly found The High Line hotel’s dining, The Golden Hour and sat down to get drinks. I got a Negroni and we sat outside and chatted for a few hours. This was when my legs started to itch. I swore I was getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Right when we were leaving, our waitress suggested we go to Bathtub Gin, a hidden speakeasy. It was right around the block, so why not?

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We walked over and came upon a coffee shop instead. Suspicious – there was a line out the door at midnight. This was no coffee shop! We got in and had so much fun.

At around 2am, we decided we needed to go see Times Square since we hadn’t made our way there yet during this trip. It was so crazy and alive, even in the wee hours of the morning. Even the horse carriages were still running! I loved it.

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Since our flight was at 7am, we decided just to pull an all-nighter. We went back to the apartment and cleaned up. That’s when I noticed the 30+ bites on my arms and legs. My limbs are still a war zone, y’all. At 4:30am, we headed out and of course, it was monsooning outside. What happened to the 90-degree weather?! Within seconds, we were drenched. There was no way we were walking to the subway in this rain. We ended up calling an Uber to Penn Station and took the transit from there to JFK. Needless to say, Hannah and I knocked out on the plane ride home.

It was a crazy 24 hours in New York City – I think my body took its toll with the blisters (we walked 30,000 steps that day!), bug bites, and black circles under my eyes. I joke that I didn’t get jet-lagged: just sleep-lagged, period. And it’s not a memorable trip without some lows (unlucky July the 15th?). I had so so much fun though, and cannot wait to make my way back to the city that never sleeps. We didn’t even get to The Met, Central Park, Brooklyn, or Dumbo! Another time, for sure.

Thanks for reading!! I think I’ll be taking it easy this weekend and staying on the West Coast, probably somewhere in CA. Talk soon!

Jen x