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Thrillist’s Culinary Roadtrip Brings the Nation’s Regional Specialties to LA

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

~James Beard

Been hankering to eat your way across the country on a coast-to-coast road trip but don’t have the time? Thrillist has the solution for you.

Whenever I visit a new location, I try to experience the local food delicacies. I want to enjoy the foodie spots and items that a local experiences. Well, Thrillist had the same idea. So this weekend it hosted the “Culinary Roadtrip,” which was a smattering of local delicacies at Siren Studios in Hollywood.

All of the delicious food and none of the driving? Let’s dig in.

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Birthday Reflections: Things I Have Learned in Travel and in Life

“A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip.”

~Author Unknown

As another year comes and goes, I am taking some time to reflect on the past year. I wanted to assess all of the things I have learned, in my travels and in my life.  I will admit, I didn’t even have time to reflect (or even realize my birthday was imminent) until the week of my bday. Life has been so hectic lately…

Nonetheless, this is what I came up with.

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On Being a Tourist in Your Hometown… And Facing Fears

“I think fearless is having fears but jumping anyway.”

~Taylor Swift

On my latest trip home, I decided to do something a little different. Wherever I go home, I see family, shop, and have great food and great drinks.  I will sometimes, depending on weather and schedule, make it into the city proper, but usually to meet up with someone or enjoy a good meal.

It has been forever since I did some of the quintessential Chicago things that people coBut I don’t know how I feel about a 45 min cab ride by myself me from far an wide to partake in. It has been forever since I was a tourist in my hometown.

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Dallas Street Style and Street Art

“The great thing about Dallas is there’s no paparazzi.”

~Jessica Simpson

When I first went to Dallas, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know much about the city, other than the fact that it was in Texas and was apparently a fashion location. Oh, and barbeque and Tex-Mex, of course.

Word on the street is that Dallas is quickly becoming an unexpected fashion location, with various top designers deciding to come to Dallas as their first stop in the U.S. So I was curious to observe the city, and the state, since it was my first time in Texas.

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5-Star Dallas Queso Review

“Cheese—milk’s leap towards immortality.”

~Clifton Paul Fadiman

Okay, let me start out by saying I didn’t plan it this way. I promise. Don’t judge me. I didn’t plan to devote a whole post to queso… but it just happened.

Anyone who knows me knows I love cheese. I adore it. But when I came to Dallas, I was going to do one of my usual food roundups with my local favorites. BBQ, soul food, seafood, the works. But at every restaurant my buddy Leah took us to for our “taste of Dallas” tour we ended up having queso. Soon it became the central theme. So I decided to roll with it.

I do wish I had more time to sample more amazing cheese. I got more recommendations while there (people seemed a bit passionate about the subject). But alas, I ran out of time. But here are three 5-star quesos that speak to the Tex-Mex culture in Dallas.

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Blogger 2 Boss Conference Recap

“There is no such thing as fashionably late when fashion is your business.”

~ Lisa Petty, Founder, DFW Style Daily

This past weekend was the inaugural Blogger 2 Boss Conference hosted by Dallas fashion and lifestyle publication DFW Style Daily.

The day-long conference (with Friday night welcome cocktail party) featured numerous speakers on various topics, and was held at the NYLO Hotel Dallas/Las Colinas.

Leah Frazier, Editor of DFW Style Daily and owner of Diamond Icon Image and Styling Consultants, stated that the entire purpose of the conference was “education.” Having been to numerous blogger conferences that amounted to extended networking sessions, she wanted to provide Dallas- (and other) area bloggers with real knowledge to help them grow their blogs and turn them into businesses, hence making them “bosses.”

And education certainly was achieved.

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Who Knew Encinitas Tasted So Good?

“I love to take something ordinary and make it really special.”

~Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa

Everywhere I go, I try to experience the local fare. Food is such an integral part of travel; it allows you to delve into the local experience. Whether it is domestic or international, I always try to sample the local cuisine.

So even though I have been to Encinitas and Carlsbad a number of times, I decided to branch out and try some different dining experiences, outside of Fidel’s Little Mexico, which we always enjoy. Here are some new favorites that stuck out that I just had to share. (And make sure you make it all the way to the end because the last place has changed my dining expectations forever.)

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The Carlsbad Flower Fields… and Global Warming?

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

~Walter Hagen

California is such a vast wonderland. I think I had started to take it for granted. While I am looking for new and exciting places to visit, I forget that people come here for vacation. It’s a wonderful place that I fear I have gotten way too accustomed to.

So I decided to look into cool photography spots in Cali, specifically in the LA area. But while searching the Interwebs, I ran across a little gem: The Carlsbad Flower Fields.

How have I missed this? As many times as I have been down to visit San Diego and Carlsbad I had never heard of the Flower Fields. And to cap it off, it was right across the street from the outlet mall I have visited. #shame

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I Left My Heart in Solana Beach

“Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Every so often, you come across a place that transforms you. Somewhere that changes your very essence.

I had always imagined that I would be struck by places like the Colosseum or the Taj Mahal or the Iguaçu Falls or the Great Barrier Reef. I never imagined I would be altered by somewhere so close to home. And just outside of San Diego, no less.

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