Tag Archives: destination travel

Vegas, Tweeting and Pregnancy!

25 Apr

So my husband and I went to Las Vegas these past two days to celebrate his birthday. We had a great time, but after about 35 hours of Vegas, I tweeted out how I like #Vegas (notice the hashtag) for about 2 days and then I start twitching (true story). Anyway, I got the following tweet back immediately.

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This tweet gives me the giggles times 100. Mostly I am imagining my 30 year old, 6 month pregnant self showing up at the club and telling them I’m on the guest list. Pretty sure he/she would get fired as a promoter if I showed up. See pic below for reference. Not that I’m not a babe of a soon-to-be-mom, but…really, I don’t think a babe of a mom is quite the crowd they want showing up at Surrender Night Club & Encore Beach Club. ha!

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Should I tweet back? What do you think? Any ideas of what I could say? Maybe I’ll even call. “Hi Lazaro@Surrender! I’m totally interested in getting on the guest list for tonight’s dance party, but could you tell me a little bit about the bathrooms? I need quick access to pee whenever I need to, especially if I’m getting my dance on.”

Learn more about Ashley R. Cummings on Google+.

Prague, Prague, Prague: You get what you pay for!

19 Mar

Before posting my next guest post, I thought it only appropriate to introduce how I met the next contributor.

My dear friend, Jeni, and I took an amazing trip to Europe, and visited Prague while we were there. Having recently graduated from graduate school, we were poor as beans. In order to save money, we decided to stay at a hostel that costed $9.00/night.

Bad idea.

It was probably one of the nastiest, and weirdest, places in existence.

Gross hostel in Prague

Seriously, look at it. Ew!

Basically, it was an old school gym with about 60 bed-bug infested, military-style bunk beds all in the open. It was like having a sleep over with 59 random strangers. I also happened to step in a pile of barf, and had to shower in a wide open area for all to see. We also came back to the hostel one night from exploring the town and everyone was having a costume party. In July. Super confusing. Anyway, that’s when we met a lovely fellow traveler–Rachel. She was traveling all by herself and rocking at it. We had a great time getting to know her, and she has since been traveling all over the world. Look for a post about her experiences in the next few days. In the meantime, some pictures from our Prague adventure.

Prague

Prague and Ashley

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Church at the top of the hill

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Bone church near Prague. This place is crazy cool and creepy. Everything is made out of bones.

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Jewish cemetery in Prague

Sundance Film Festival Warning!

22 Feb

In honor of the Sundance Film Festival (and yes, I know I’m a bit late on this topic this year), I thought I would share a personal story with you…you know, to help you prepare better for when you come to the Sundance Film Festival (a very good idea, if you like fun). Holy long sentence. Whatever. Moving on.

Okay, there’s something you should know about Utah in January before getting hyped up about traveling here. It snows here. A lot. And it’s cold. Not only does it snow here, but the air quality gets super-duper gross in January. And, I mean gross as in go ahead and order one of those intense air masks with a filtration system from China to help you breathe. As a result of the January weather monster we refer to as “inversion” (I refer to it as “joy killer”), it’s extremely foggy in January. Legend of Sleepy Hollow foggy. Driving through milk foggy.

Foggy.

One year, my BFF and I decided to see a film (FYI: you have to call it a “film,” instead of a “movie” at the Sundance Film Festival, or people won’t think you’re hip). After the film, we hit up a party and rocked out till about 1:00 am. That’s when we decided to brave JOY KILLER and head home to Provo.

There are two ways to get to Provo from Park City–you can either head through Salt Lake City, or head through Heber. The roads through Heber and the canyon are a bit scary, so SLC is probably a safer idea in January, but it takes less time to go through Heber. Anyway, we decided to go the Heber way, because we were super tired, and a few hours later, we ended up in…

….

…not Provo. In fact, not even Utah. We landed our sorry butts in WYOMING!

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Welcome to Utah! Photographic proof of said event.

Because the fog monster was so thick we managed to completely miss the turn that takes you to Provo and ended up in another state. While Wyoming has its own charms, it was 4:00 in the morning, and we had already had our fun.

Anyway, moral of the story is this. If you’re coming to Utah for the Sundance Film Festival, which you should, plan on snow, cold weather, and fog. Don’t be a dummy and use a GPS if  needs be. Also, pack a few Red Bulls in your car, in case you end up in the same situation.

This fascinating place just got fascinating-er!

10 Jan

After living in Russia for 2 years, and visiting multiple times, Russia has become one of the most fascinating places in the world to me. The language is interesting and complex. The people are kind. The food is great, and the architecture and scenery in Russia is uniquely…well…Russian.

The country is plastered with memorials dedicated to Russia’s greatest leaders and cities. If you are interested in learning about Lenin, Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and heroic WWII generals and cities, all you have to do is take a stroll around any one of Russia’s great cities.

What you don’t see in Russia is memorials dedicated to great Americans. Until yesterday. And, mind you, this is absolutely blowing my mind.

Russia just erected a memorial to Steve Jobs by placing a large iPhone statue in the middle of Saint Petersburg. Check it out.

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Memorial to Steve Jobs in Russia

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I wasn’t looking to return to Russia for a few more years, but I may have to amend my plans just to see this. It seems so awesomely out of context, and I can’t wait to check it out with my own eyes.

P.S. I think Steve Jobs is an alien.

Hello Nashville! Hello Music City!

19 Nov

Some highlights of my recent trip to Nashville.

1. CMAs – Woo woo! Country music is a new thing for me, and I mean v. new. I’ve never been big into country music, but I figure if I’m looking to move to music city, and since my husband drums in a country band, I should probably check out the country music scene. Turns out, I like it. Carry Underwood. Miranda Lambert. Little Big Town. Taylor Swift. The Civil Wars. Oh yeah. I can do this.

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A pic of Little Big Town taken from our seats 100 miles away!

2. Country Music Hall of Fame – This was an awesome museum. If you’re into music, you gotta come check out the scene. If you’re poor, consider going after 4:00, because tickets are 1/2 off, and it’s easy to see the whole museum in an hour.

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Country Music Hall of Fame

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Gold and Platinum records. B’s record will be here someday soon!

3. Frist — Into art? Check out the exhibits at the Frist in downtown Nashville. Right now, they are featuring Carrie Mae Weems and Brian Aflred. Not only is the art great, but they have a great center to learn how to produce art. Take your kids, or enjoy it yourself. It’s fun. Brandon and I went crazy learning all about art.

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Frist Museum in Nashville

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Art workshop at the Frist!

4. Grand Ole Opry – So, we happened to go to the Grand Ole Opry on the day it was closed. Yeah, super bummer, but the good news is it’s not closed forever. Mark it down for future fun.

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Playing the guitar at the Grand Ole Opry.

5. Broadway! Check out Broadway for fun local music.

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Brandon playing with a band at the Honky Tonk on Broadway.

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Need a place to stay for free on your trip? Try the awesomeness of couchsurfing.org.

9 Aug

I decided to backpack across Europe right after the movie “Taken” was released. As a result, everyone I knew chastised me and told me to be careful to not get kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. I promised them that I would be smart and safe and reassured them that even if I was captured, my father, who is a very talented and successful graphic designer, would come rescue me for sure. Thanks, Dad. Big card for you on Father’s Day! That being said, I utilized a service that may sound nuts, but happened to be the most awesome thing of life. I urge everyone who likes traveling to give it a whirl.

Instead of paying to stay in hotels and hostels in my favorite destinations, I used couchsurfing.org. Couchsurfing.org is an organization that connects other travels. Basically, you sign up and create a profile, and offer your couch for travelers.  In return, people in cool locations offer their couch to you. I cannot begin to tell you about the awesomeness of this service.

First, it is a great way to meet new friends who also love traveling. I met great people in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and I also met people from other countries who were staying with us at the same time. It was fun to talk about travel and hear about the best places to go from other avid travelers.

Couchsurfing.org is also unique in that you are staying with people who live in the area. That means you have a primary source on where to go, what to do, and what to eat.  I saved a ton of time I would have wasted researching on the internet and looking at maps by just asking my kind host. I also had some great experiences with food, which is sort of my specialty. Get this. One of my Italian hosts invited his chef friend over, and he cooked the most amazing Italian meal. It was the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. Straight up delicious. I also attended a wonderful picnic in France on Bastille Day.  I saw fireworks erupt all over Paris—an experience, I wouldn’t have had if I’d been left to my own devices.

While couchsurfing.org is amazing, there are a few good things to know/do.

  1. Make sure to bring a cool treat for your host. They are offering their house, time and energy to host you, so bring something special and unique to share with them.
  2. Learn how to make something delicious. A great way to bond and to show your appreciation is to cook an amazing meal for them.
  3. Make sure to read recommendations on their profile. Staying with a stranger can be nerve wracking, but couchsurfing.org offers recommendations. This means, people who have stayed there before write a little review on the host. This way you can guarantee a personality fit and your safety. Don’t stay with anyone who has negative reviews, or no reviews. Simple as that.
  4. Travel with a friend if you can. Traveling with a friend is a lot more fun, and also safer.
  5. Make sure to open your house to travelers as well.

If you have plans to stay somewhere else, you can also use couchsurfing.org for recommendations and to just meet cool people. When I was in Berlin, I met up with a couple people from couchsurfing.org, and they showed me a bunch of cool outsider art, graffiti and an underground culture that only Berliner’s typically visit.

Next time you are traveling, consider using couchsurfing.org to met new friends and find a great place to stay.

If you have any cool travel tips, I would love to publish a post about them. Here’s how to submit. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Hawaii shimmies to prove it!

15 May

If you don’t believe any of the words below urging you to go to Hawaii, check out the video.

We had a blast in Hawaii riding ATVs, sailing, zip lining, surfing, and shimmying!

Check out the smiles on our faces. Those are real.