Sunday, April 11, 2010

Embarrassing but True

This is incredibly embarrassing, but after being married on 11/24/2007, I just ordered a wedding album last week. Yea, that is awful.

Truthfully, I’ve had it made since we got our photos back, but I was a) procrastinating and b) it sort of felt incomplete, but I wasn't really sure why.

I used MyPublisher, and back when I originally compiled it, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea that I couldn’t use color in my album. I am, after all, a person who loves a lot of color (as you’ll notice when you see our location). Finally, about a year ago, MyPublisher came out with a version in which I could add color. Perfect! So, I changed the album to my liking, and then….well, just sat on it some more.

Last week, I got an email from the folks at MyPublisher saying they were offering an incredible deal. They launched a new album cover type (photo finish), and you could have your very own (wedding) album for $20 with unlimited pages! This was a savings for me of $75 per album! With one for me, and one for my parents, that was a total savings of $150; definitely not chump change!

So, I finally ordered the album, and let me tell you—it was worth the wait! The new cover type is my favorite of the cover options (it has a very professional look), and the bold color came out beautifully (and true to what I expected it to be)! (FYI: this deal is on for one more day (ends tomorrow), so you have time to make your own! Use the coupon code “PHOTO20”. )

And, since I was a horrible blogger, and never got around to showing off more of my wedding pictures, here’s the link to my album instead. Enjoy!

Location: The beautiful Compass Point Beach Resort
Arriving via: The super fun Carnival Fascination (no longer docked in Miami)
Photographer: The absolutely incomparable (seriously) Kristyn Hogan Photography

Sunday, March 28, 2010


It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I’ve written. Truthfully, due to my lack of involvement, and mostly by default, I had just decided I was going to retire this blog. However, on this rainy morning in Georgia, I felt the need to write, so here I am.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year lately, and decided that I missed having the log of my life that this blog represented, and missed all of you. But, should I just come back here? Start something new? Find another way to log my life?

I started thinking about it, and I decided to come back here, but I would expect this blog is going to manifest itself in a slightly different way. When I titled this blog “Life, Love, and the Pursuit of the Next Great Vacation”, I had intended to make this a mix of a blog of my life and, of course, travel. Truthfully, though, I’m not sure my life was quite exciting enough living in small-town upper Midwest, while going to school. School, work, school, work, the occasional vacation. :)

Life has changed a lot, though, in the past year. I graduated with my MBA, and for the first time in my life, wasn’t in school anymore. I moved across the country, leaving behind that small town upper Midwest life, and moving to a former confederate state (talk about a culture shock!) and into a big city. I started a new job, for which I lived out of a hotel for four months, and have been having a lot of fun doing it (the job that is. Not the commuting). I have watched my sister find out she was pregnant, suffer through a BRUTAL pregnancy, and then give us the greatest gift my family has ever received—my sweet little niece. Then, I stood beside her as the matron of honor in her wedding. We’ve visited several countries, cities, and states, and have flown over 32,000 miles in the past three months alone. We’ve met new friends, and set up a little life in this city (well, as much of a life as airline employees set up in any particular city, that is).

This has been a year of change, so I think it’s time for this blog to change a little too. While before my focus was on pretty hotel photos, I rarely search for pretty hotels anymore. Non Rev (non revenue=free travel=employees and their associated family members) travel means booking whichever hotel is available when you find out you’re getting on the airplane at the airport via your IPhone (don’t worry—I haven’t forgone my standards! It’s just that the research is now very last minute). And while I would previously spend months (maybe even years!) researching a big vacation, it’s now “Hmmmm…which flights are open this weekend?”, and then reading a few pages in a guidebook on the flight over.

So, how will this blog change? First of all, it’s going to more of a blog of my life. If you’re thinking “Well, Ashley, what about the travel?” Don’t worry, my friends. Travel is not only a huge part of my life, it’s a part of who I am. Instead of the pretty hotel photos I previously mentioned, you’ll be my seeing trip photos and real life reviews and tips. Additionally, I’ll be posting favorites from my new city (in case you ever visit!), writing about friends, family, every day life, maybe throwing up some decorating photos (another thing I’m pretty interested in), and just generally trying to get back to loving blogging.

If you’re still out there (I’d be shocked if you were!), I hope you’ll stick around to follow things around here. Hopefully you’ll find these changes to your liking, and I’ll be much more active.

I’ve missed you, after all.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

::Waving hi::

A new year a new start. Well, that was kind of true. I said I was going to write when I felt inspired, and, truthfully, the inspiration was lacking. Between job hunting in this economy (depressing!), work, school, etc, inspiration was hiding, and quite cleverly, too!

But, what a difference a few months makes! How about, “A new life, a new start”?
It’s hard to believe that I’m saying this, but I’ve landed my dream job! Literally and truly my dream job.

And, to top that off, without going into too many of the details, my husband and will be making a major relocation and starting over in a new city (yes, city!).

What does this have to do with this blog, you ask? Well…..

I’m now an airline employee! (!!!!) Which means free flights to anywhere in the world! Ha! Oh, the dangers of this for my pocketbook. Although, having lived in a small market for my entire life, not having to pay $1500 for an airline ticket (what we paid for our tickets to Greece EACH) frees up a lot of cash for hotels. ;)

Anyway, bottom line--you can expect to hear a lot more from me in the coming months. As we make a valiant attempt to circle the globe, I’ll be trying to post any helpful information I gather along the way here. :)

It’s going to be a bit slow here for a little while, though, as I attempt to finish up my masters degree, have a full time job, a part time job, and commute between cities (and states) for work/school (that was exhausting just typing it!), but in the meantime, I’ll try to post some pics from some recent vacations (we’ve been busy bees!).

Anyway, if you’re still out there, I hope to be much more active around here! :) ::waves hi!::

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year, A New Start

September 25—the last time I wrote. I could give you the typical blogger’s sob story about how busy I’ve been, etc, but I’ll spare you. Mostly, I was beginning to feel like this had become another job for me. The fun had slipped away, and I felt guilty every time I didn’t fulfill my blogger’s duties. So, I decided to take an indefinite break.

However, as time has passed, I’ve begun to miss my modest little blog. I’ve missed the diary of my life that it had become, the log of travel info for my personal use at a later date, the excitement that blogging a trip brought about, and of course, you, my dear readers.

So, we’re back and live. However, this year’s blog is going to be a bit different.

Don’t worry—the travel focus will still be here. However, 2009 is going to be the year that I start blogging for me. And, hopefully, this will result in better results for you.

I’m going to blog when I’m feeling inspired, when I have something exciting to report, of when I’ve come across something fabulous in the world of travel. I’m going to blog a bit more about my life (this year there will be plenty to report), and a bit less out of obligation. I’m going to blog 2009 from the heart, and for my love of travel.

I’m looking forward to it, and if you’re still out there somewhere, I hope you are too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Travel Toy(s)!

For those of us who live in cell phone coverage no-man’s-land, Apple's ridiculous contract with AT&T stinks. :( No iPhone for us. :( (Although, I will say that I did not necessarily miss it until I discovered my new toy. Suddenly, I’m irrationally angry at Apple for this decision).

So, what’s the next best thing? An
iPod Touch.

Oh, how I love thee, so, iPod Touch. ;) Your applications to travel are endless, and that makes for a very happy travel addict. Your WiFi capabilities, your ability to turn into a compact portable DVD player (without, you know the dvd’s), your handy little translation and currency converter applications, your downloadable
Frommer's Guides, your trusty little weather forecaster, your MP3 capabilities, your ability to map my location—oh, how you make me swoon. I do not doubt that your utility will well exceed the $220 I spent on you.

And, since I needed something to protect you from the harsh realities of the outside world (and because every girl needs a fabulous pink dress!), my precious, I have purchased this super adorable case for you (also available for iPhones) from
Etsy seller, Oh My Guiles!...

And so I do not sell your sound capabilities short (and hear the family of bouncing/screaming children that are inevitably seated right in front of, behind me, or right next to me), I’ve purchased these beauties.

I can’t wait until my next trip to utilize you to your full potential.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

That Didn't Take Long

So, yea. As per my previous post, we were feeling a bit of indecision regarding our last day of our trip. Stay in the Plaka and take a cab to the airport at 3:00 am, or stay near the airport and take the metro to the Plaka for the last day?

Based on some advice I got from some fellow travelers, we have canceled our reservation (for the last day only--we can't wait to stay there for the first two nights in Athens!) at the Athens Gate Hotel , and booked at the Sofitel Athens Airport.

The beauty of the Sofitel is that it's literally right next to the airport--as in, you can walk. This will save me precious minutes of sleep (those of you that know me are very aware that I am NOT a morning person).

But, don't be fooled--this is no typical airport hotel. It's luxurious and hip! We've also stayed at a Sofitel before, and it's one of the few chain hotels that I actually really enjoy. :) We had an outstanding experience, and the TripAdvisor reviews seem to support our previous experience.

Ok, now that we've got that out of the way, stand by for some non-greece related posts! I'm sure you're ready! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rounding Out the Trip

As our trip comes to a close, we’ll head back to Athens for a night, awaiting our 4:50 am flight back to the US (sick, right?!). Since we arrive back in Athens at noon that day (plenty of time to spend further exploring the city), but leave at such an obnoxious hour, we struggled a bit with where to stay. We looked at two options near the airport (the Holiday Inn Attica Avenue
and the Sofitel Athens Airport), but decided against both, and ended up back at the Athens Gate(for now…I’m still not 100% positive about this decision. Any feedback out there?).


The upside to this absurd flight time is that we will get an extended layover in Amsterdam—just enough time to peruse the city and get a tiny taste of the city.


Amsterdam was originally on our itinerary as stopover on our trip, but the silly airline seems to be rearranging flight schedules daily (booo!), so we couldn’t get the schedule we wanted a reasonable price. :( So, for now, our short layover will have to do, and we’ll definitely plan on returning sometime very soon to really dive into the city.

And that, my friends, concludes our brief trip outline. :) I cannot wait for May. :)