Oct 30, 2014

New York, New York


For as long as I can remember I have been traveling to the state of New York. I think I've been to New York more than any other state, outside of the area where I live (D.C., Maryland & Virginia). My first memorable trip was in middle school. My mom let me ride the bus, by myself, to New York to meet my god sister and god mother. I was so excited to go and ever since then I have been in love with visiting New York.

My two most recent trips to New York were amazing. As a birthday trip to me (April 10) and my brother (from another) Darnzell, a.k.a. Dip, (April 11) my god sister, Talore, took us to NY and showed us a great time. The other trip was a day trip to the Barclays Center to attend a boxing event.

April, 2013

 On our first day in NY we literally did it ALL. We drove there (about a 3 1/2 hour drive - we left from Baltimore), checked into our hotel, got in touch with Talore's uncles, caught the train to Brooklyn and Times Square, did a little shopping, went to Dave & Buster's AND went clubbing. To date, it is the best and longest day I've ever had on a vacation. 


I honestly thought taking the train in NY would be similar to taking the train here in Maryland/D.C., WRONG. There are so many different routes you can take to get somewhere and if you don't pay attention you can get on the wrong train. Since I am already used to the train system we have here it was very difficult for me to grasp the concept of the train system there. We had a little trouble at first but the New Yorker in Talore (born in New York but raised in Maryland) came out and she ended up getting us on the right track. 

First we stopped in Brooklyn to visit one of Talore's uncles at his job. He works at a boutique called Bedstuy Fly. If you are ever in NY I highly recommend you check it out. They have great stuff in there. We hung around there for a little and Uncle Tye showed us around the neighborhood after he got off work. After hanging out for a little we took the train to Times Square.

I remember looking at the clock and saying, "Y'all its midnight do you think the stores will be open?" Talore assured me that they would be open and not to worry. To my surprise, she was absolutely right! The stores were indeed open and were scheduled to be open for another 2 hours. Of course NYC is the city that never sleeps but I didn't expect retail stores to be open after midnight. We went to H&M and Forever 21. All three of us found some really nice clothes for the then coming summer.

After shopping we met Talore's uncles and some friends at Dave & Buster's. We grabbed some food and we convinced them to take us out to a club. I had never been to a club in NY and I wasn't going to pass down that opportunity especially since I recently celebrated a birthday. The best part about going was that I didn't have to change my clothes. We weren't required to go all the way back to the hotel just to change into something more acceptable for the nightlife. That's always a thumbs up for me!

Dip and I.

They took us to Club Amnesia. The entire night I didn't realize that we were in the club that Jay Z referenced in I Just Wanna Love U. It honestly took me a few days to figure it out. Even though I wasn't aware of the significance of this club, at the time, I still had fun. We had a table and bottle service, which I totally wasn't expecting. We had a great time partying the night away with Talore's uncles and their friends. They were gentlemen and showed us a great time in their city. We didn't leave the club until 5AM. None of us had ever partied that long.

The next day we attended a sneaker convention. That was another major part of our weekend trip. Talore and Dip are true sneaker heads, I am not so much of a sneaker head but I do love a good sneaker. We all looked around and found some pretty dope shoes. We also went to a deli and got some authentic NY deli sandwiches. Nothing better than that. This was our last day in NY and after the convention we decided to walk down to the Barclay's Center. It was a nice walk. I really enjoy walking and exploring a new place. 

After taking some pictures outside of Barclays we headed back to the hotel for the trip home. We had such an eventful night the day before that having a chill day on Sunday really didn't bother any of us. It was such a great trip for us all, especially Dip because it was his first time in NY. I always love experiencing a person going to a place for the first time with them. You have the ability to help them fall in love with the city. Dip loved every bit of our trip, which Talore and I were really glad about.

August, 2014

For all my faithful readers you know that I love boxing so it shouldn't come as a shock to you all that I went on a day trip to Brookyln for a professional boxing event. I honestly wasn't planning on going but my mom had some extra tickets to the fight so my aunt and I decided to tag along. We went to support local professionals Anthony and Lamont Peterson. This was not my first bus trip to NY, I have taken many over the years for shopping days.

View from the top before the fights started.

My aunt and I didn't get to sit next to my mom and god mother because our tickets were different from theirs but we had a great time goofing off and enjoying the fights. Anthony and Lamont both won their fights. A bonus, for me, was that my dad and younger brother were also there so I got to spend a little family time with them as well. 

Aunt Cookie and I. She's such a goofy person, hence the goofy faces.

The main event was Danny Garcia vs. Rod Salka. Going into it I knew that Danny would win but I did not expect the fight to be as short as it was. The fight only lasted 2 rounds, as a true boxing fan that was disappointing. Of course I wanted to a see a fight go the distance, but things happen.

When I go to NY I always have such a great time whether its for a weekend or just a day. I hope to return for a longer trip so that I can see more of what NY has to offer. I have a lot of family in NY and I have been talking about going to visit for a very long time now. I definitely think its time to stop talking and take action. Check out some more pictures from my trips.

There's nothing like a picture of your J's on a NY train.

My favorite sneaker that I own.

We were so obsessed with taking pictures of our shoes. 

Someone was tired from all that partying the night before, she slept the whole way home.


For those who may, or may not, have noticed I tend to post every Thursday because of the hashtag #TravelThursday on Instagram and Twittter. Unfortunately this may be my last post, for a little while. But as my frequent readers know I will be going out of the country in a few weeks and I am very excited to share my travels there with you all. I will be gone for a week (Nov 30 - Dec 7) but I will be taking my laptop with me and I promise to post while I am there (permitting that there is no issues with wifi, etc.) If I find anything interesting from some past travels before my trip I'll share them with you all. Thanks for being so patient with me especially when I didn't post for a few weeks after posting about my best friend. And thanks for being patient with me now leading up to my exciting trip abroad. :)


Oct 21, 2014

Home. . .

Have you ever visited a place and just knew that it was where you were meant to be? I have! For me that place is Dallas, Texas. I first visited a friend during July of 2013 and fell in love. 

I believe that I am a Southern girl stuck in the middle of the East Coast. All of my roots come from the South. Both of my parents were born in Washington, D.C. but their parents come from the South. Minus my maternal grandfather, he was born in D.C. as well. My maternal grandmother was born in South Carolina and her family later relocated to D.C. Both my paternal grandparents are from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, they moved here in the late 60s. So, I have a lot of Southern values, beliefs and depending on who you ask I may even have a slight Southern accent.

July, 2013, my mother was going to Dallas for a Mary Kay convention. She told me about it some months prior and I knew that I wanted to go. I asked my god sister, Talore, to go with me so that I wouldn't be alone. We both were excited to go there and visit our friend Sammie. Sammie is a good friend and a Dallas native. She met up with us on our first day there and showed us a good time.

 My beautiful god sister Talore.

Sammie made us a home cooked meal, stuffed peppers and jalapenos. Then took us out to a club that night. We had so much fun. It's always fun meeting your friends that you met online in person and seeing that they are exactly who they are on social media, but better. It also felt great knowing that we did not get catfished. HA! 

 Sammie, Talore and I.

Stuffed Peppers.

We went to Beamers night club and we danced the night away. It was so much fun to experience the club atmosphere in Dallas. They literally had a line dance to EVERY song. This really nice guy taught us three different line dances but we could only master one. The atmosphere of Beamers that night was very chill. We dressed casually and none of us wore heels, which was perfect for me.

The Three Amigos.

Because this trip happened SOOO long ago, at least it seems so long ago to me, I can't remember every little detail about my trip and everywhere we ate but I do remember the way being in Dallas made me feel. I remember feeling so much comfort and warmth while exploring. The warmth I felt may have had something to do with the 100 degree plus weather but I wasn't complaining! I felt safe, I felt love and I felt at home. 

I have never traveled anywhere else and felt this way. I love my home state of Maryland but I was (and still am) a little bored and I was exploring the option of moving to the South. I fell head over heels in love with Dallas and I really wasn't expecting to. I have been to a lot of cities and I think they are all nice to visit but I didn't see myself living in them. Not until Dallas.

For those who don't know, my favorite football team is the Dallas Cowboys!(Who by the way have the best record in the NFL right now! #CowboysNation)  My god sister's college roommate, Sara, relocated to Texas with her family and we got a chance to hang out with her. She took us to AT&T Stadium in Arlington. I was AMAZED to say the least. It was the most beautiful football stadium I have ever seen. It was raining but we went inside and I was able to buy some cool paraphernalia.

AT&T Stadium

Since my trip in July of 2013 I visited Dallas one more time. At the beginning of this year I  went to the FCS National Championship game in Frisco (what I would consider to be on the outskirts of Dallas) with my mom. We went because my alma mater, Towson University,  was playing in the game.

Unfortunately, Towson didn't win that game but it was very fun to attend and be in that atmosphere. A guy in my church family, Eric, was playing in the game and because his mother couldn't make it she gave my mother his jersey to wear so he would know that he had supporters there. 

My mother wearing Eric's jersey

 Being able to visit in both the summer and the winter really showed me that I love the area. It was pretty cold in January but it wasn't as cold as it was in my hometown, which I was thankful for. I plan on going to visit again next January to be apart of a special day in my friend Sammie's life. I absolutely cannot wait to go back there. I've been missing it. Not to mention the food there is amazing. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of any of my food. But when I return in January I will take lots of pictures of everything for you all to see. Here are some more pictures from my trips to Dallas.

Eric, my mom and myself.

My good friend Tamika and I.


Oct 1, 2014

Left Side, Best Side - For Karis

February 6-10, 2014 was when I visited California for the first time on as a solo trip. My best friend Karis had recently moved there to attend grad school and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to visit and experience her new life on the West Coast. Also, if you all remember in my first post I said that going to Carson was a difficult trip for me, this post will explain why.


Karis attended California State University, Fullerton. She had a very cute, but also very expensive, one bedroom apartment and an on campus job. She always knew that she wanted to live in California and she stopped at nothing to make that happen. She took me to so many fun places while I was there.

Honestly, this trip was spur of the moment. We had been discussing me going out there to visit her since before she moved but she really sparked the fire under me to come sooner. I planned on waiting until the summer but she was really persistent and convincing of me coming in February.

I am SO glad that God put that on her heart for me to insist that I come because had I waited until the summer the trip never would have happened. Unfortunately, a little over a month after my trip Karis passed away. She was home visiting her family and she passed in her sleep. We had plans to hang out while she was home especially because my birthday was in 2 weeks.

While in Fullerton she took me to her favorite restaurants. After she picked me up from the airport, and we sat through a little traffic, we went to her favorite mom and pop place called MexicaZn. It's a place that brings together Mexican and Asian foods. We both got a Korean barbeque avocado burritos. I was following her lead with this one and she led me down the right path. The food was excellent. We tried out an Italian place on my last  night there called Roman Cucina. It was really good, if you are ever in Fullerton I recommend trying it out. We also went to a place called Rutabegorz that had a HUGE shrimp salad.

Shrimp Alfredo 

We ate at a Vietnamese restaurant where the main mission was for us to try pho. But then we decided that only one of us would order it just in case we didn't like it very much. That one brave soul was me, lol and to my surprise, I loved it. Karis has all the videos on her Instagram page but it is private so I can't share them for all to see. But I do have pictures of the food.

My favorite meal while there was probably the homemade burger with cabbage (substitute for lettuce) and wedged potatoes. That meal was the BOMB. I was so glad that she decided to cook for me. I was so jet-lagged that I didn't have the strength to go out anywhere to grab food.

As far as activities we did A LOT, at least to me it seemed like we did. All throughout our friendship we would always say that we loved hanging with one another because we were both always so willing to try new things together. The adventurous side of us led us to Skyzone in Anaheim, CA.

Skyzone was great and I am so glad that my first time going was with my best friend in California. After we posted pics and videos on Instagram of us at Skyzone all our friends were asking about it.Three of my friends, Kristen, Tamika and Brea, who are all currently living in Los Angeles, went the next day!

Fullerton is about a 45 minute drive, with no traffic, so we decided to go on a Hollywood Club Crawl on Saturday night. It was my first time ever going on a club crawl so I had no idea what to expect. Karis told me that she had done it before with some of her friends that she made since moving there and she thought I would love it. 

There's a website Hollywood Club Crawl where you go and buy your $25.00 ticket. You attend four clubs in one night. It was just the two of us but we went with a group of about 25-30 people in this crawl. We got to mix and mingle with a lot of different people and we had a lot of great laughs that night. Unfortunately, I cannot find any of the names of the clubs because the schedules change. But if you are ever in Hollywood and want to have a fun night on a Friday or Saturday try out the club crawl.

Huntington Beach 

Karis and I went to Huntington Beach for the day on that Saturday. It was a little cool so we decided not to walk out on the sand but we did walk on the boardwalk and the pier. The view was beautiful and I really wish I was able to take more pictures. At the time I had an 8gb  iPhone 4, so all the iPhone users know that I was having storage problems. Karis took A LOT of pictures on her phone.

For Brunch we ate at place on the boardwalk called Sugar Shake Shack. We ate at a table outside and enjoyed the views of all the people riding bikes, skateboards and motorcycles. All of this took place in February! For both of us East Coast girls this was so fascinating! 

I would definitely recommend all to try out Sugar Shake Shack because the food was simply amazing. I ordered a ham and cheese omelet with home fries and Karis ordered the Keppler's which she said was great.

After brunch we decided to walk out on the pier. I totally wanted to do that before I went back home to the cold weather and snow. I have such a fascination with water. I love any kind of water from a swimming pool to the ocean. So I literally walked to the end of the pier and just stared out at the water. Looking out into the water and the sky always makes me feel closer to God. Here are some pictures of our view.

One of the hardest I've ever experienced was losing my best friend. She was only 24. We shared so many things together that I will never forget. I cherish all of our memories and I am glad that I was able to honor her and share my trip with my readers at the same time. Thank you Lord for allowing me to know such an angel before she gained her wings.

I urge you all to remain close to the ones you love and cherish. Life is SHORT.

To Karis, I love you, I miss you and I cannot wait to see you again. I hope that I am making you proud by following in your footsteps and stopping at nothing to make my dreams come true. You were and still are such an inspiration to me and all who knew you.

In honor of Karis A. Wade
Forever in our hearts

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