Tag Archives: fun

2 trips to St. George, UT with a baby child

23 Apr

Okay, so remember that one time when I said I was going to travel all of the time with a baby. Turns out it’s a tiny bit harder to get up and go than one would expect. Don’t get me wrong. We travel. For instance, we have made some serious trips to the following amazing places:

  • Thanksgiving Point
  • Living Planet Aquarium
  • The Library
  • Grandma & Grandpa’s House

You know, the essentials. While that may seem super lame to some of you, I submit that it’s a gigantic task for a new mom. In short, I rock at life.

Anyway, I have managed to make a couple sweet trips to Saint George, UT.

Here are my main takeaways for road tripping with a baby:

  1. Travel at night just before the baby goes to bed — There is nothing like a sleeping baby on a 4 hour car ride. Seriously. There is also nothing quite like a crying baby in a car, especially when you’ve committed to drive longer than…say…10 minutes. Our baby goes to sleep at 7, so we packed up at 6:45, gave the sweet thang a bottle, and she slept like…well…a baby. It was awesome. I’m dreading the day when something goes wrong and she fails to fall asleep for the entire way there and the way back.
  2. Bring someone with you to help (preferably that likes your kid) — We lucked out, because my 15-year old baby whisperer of a SIL came with us on the trip. Any time the baby got bored, someone besides me was there to save the day.
  3. Pack extra baby clothes — Something about traveling makes kids poop. A lot. All over. Seriously. One day my baby pooped all over everything, and there was more poop than clothes, so I had to throw her outfit away (sad), and tote her around in a diaper like a homeless child, until I was able to buy her a new onesie. Luckily, we were at the outlets, we only had to look like a white trash family for like 5 minutes. Okay, I think I’ve used the word poop enough for one article. Moving on.
  4. Get travel clothes right — Okay, this has nothing to do with traveling with a baby, but I think I’m onto something that could be big. Travel outfits. That’s right…something cute on the top, and something either pant-less, or practically pant-less on the bottom. It could be like the mullet of travel outfits. Business up top, party on the bottom. Hmmm…not sure that analogy actually works, but you get my drift. Nothing like lookin’ good and being comfy all at once.

Well, here are some fun pics from our trip. We have the baby in a disguise (this is the only pic I have from our first trip to Saint George), and then some pics of us hiking in Zion National Park. Best. Place. Ever.

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Who is this? I can’t even tell with the disguise on. How did she get on my blog?

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First family hike in Zion National Park.

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Zion National Park in Utah rocks. Go there.

 

Author

ashley r cummings

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley R. Cummings is an avid traveler, writer, and business owner. Connect on Google+, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

Provo, Utah is Getting Cool!

24 Oct

I know this might sound crazy, but Provo, UT is actually starting to get cool. I know this, because A) I’m extremely cool, duh, and B) I’ve lived here a long time, and it didn’t used to be cool. Before you think I’m crazy, let me elaborate.

Rockin’ Music Scene — In case you didn’t notice, some pretty popular bands are coming out of Provo these days. Some Utah musicians have hit it hugely huge including the Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, Kaskade, and Lindsey Stirling, to name a few. Others are on the up and up like Ryan Innes, Polytype, and Scott & Brendo. With all the great music coming out of Provo, UT, it feels a bit like a mini Nashville, and it’s fun and cool. On top of all the great musicians, there are a bundle of fun places to attend a concert including Velour, Muse, and the Rooftop Concert Series. Music here is fun.

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Food — Once upon a time, Provo was confined to such boring restaurants as Applebee’s and Chilies. Nowadays, there are a bunch of hip places that are nomnomnommy. Check out Mountain West Burrito, the Tortilla Bar, Community, and be on the lookout for food trucks like Rocco’s, Sweet Burrito, and Waffle Love.

Google Fiber — If I have to explain to you why Google is cool, then we’re in big trouble. Provo is all hooked up and ready to go for Google Fiber and that is rad.

Not only is the music in Provo awesome, the food delicious, and not only are we capturing the attention of Google, but apparently, we have the hottest people here. Come to Utah for a weekend, and put Provo on your list of places to go. Go hiking, skiing, and find a pretty girl/guy to take on a date to a great concert. You won’t regret it.

Where have you been, Ashley?

7 Oct

So, I haven’t posted an adventure in quite some time. Why, you ask? Well, I was busy growing and birthing this little darling:

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Yes, she IS the cutest thing you’ve ever seen!

Anyway, this does not put an end to my traveling. This just means I will be blogging about what travel is like for both of us. Well, all three of us (mom, dad and baby girl).

In fact, this 2 month old already had a trip up to the Wasatch Mountains to learn about Fall.

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Anyway, we’re never too young, too old, too poor, or too rich to travel! Let’s do this!

I Reek of Russia and I Love it!

12 Mar

Time for a little throwback travel post. I found this journal post about my 3rd visit to Russia, and it gave me the giggles. This was back in 2009.

Highlights from Russia so far:

1. Told everyone in Tula I was coming to visit them on Saturday…Jeni and I BOTH thought it was Friday (freaking time change), so I managed to accidentally ditch the Russian friends I haven’t seen since 2007, while having a nice gulyat’ (stroll) in Moscow.

2. Saw Faberzhe egg special collection at the Pushkin Museum. AWESOME. I want one for my birthday.

3. Asked someone to take my picture on Red Square and it turned out to be Alice Cooper’s band. They got flirty with us and asked us to come to their concert. Alice Cooper is a bit scary, so we’ll have to see about that.

Jeni and Ashley on Red Square

Most people take pics of Alice Cooper’s Band. No, Jeni and I ask them to take pics of us.

Lenin's tomb

By 2009, I had been to Red Square DOZENS of times and had not seen Lenin. I finally saw him in 2011 when I returned with my sweetie, Brandon. It was both creepy and cool.

4. Sloshed through barf on the metro. I feel asleep for like one station and I got up in a panic and as it turns out…someone else had a panic and managed to barf right on my standing place, and I literally had slippery throw up feet. Was wearing flip flops. Had to pay 39 rubles for “gas water” that Jeni poured on my feet while I winced in grossed-out-edness.

5. Meet up with my friend, Larisa, and some grossies tried to pick up on us. One of them pinched Jeni’s butt. I punched him in the shin.

6. Missed the last bus to Rosinka (a place no one in Russia knows about)–missed it NOT because we weren’t there on time, but probably because we were not on the correct side of the street. Yeah, then we sat and twirled our hair and smiled at boys who naturally asked us if we wanted a ride. Turns out they were from Georgia (country, not state) and their dads were in another car giving us the mafia/creepster look. We didn’t know the address (totally RUSSIAN SELO type of place where it’s just Rosinka and a house number…no address), so we call the emergency number and find out it’s close to a place called Mitino. We pray in our hearts. God sends Russian guardian angel driver, who doesn’t know where Rosinka is either, but finds it and doesn’t charge us anything for the ride, because it was so “priyatno” (nice) for him to be with us. Wow! I love being cute.

7. I smell like chimney just from being here. No really…I do.

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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Oh Berlin, I’ll see you again soon!

20 Aug

I can clearly remember my first urge to travel abroad. For whatever reason, I’ve been obsessed with Germany since I was a little kid. It may have to do with the fact that I had two German Au Pairs when I was a kid. Maybe it has to do with my candy obsession and a secret desire to be Gretel, and shove the witch in the oven and eat her delicious candy house all up. I’m not sure exactly why I was obsessed with Germany, but it prompted me to take German all throughout Junior high, high school and college (only to move to Russia and learn Russian instead), and to dream of going there some day.

Well, I finally got the chance to go on the European trip of a lifetime and to see the city I’d been waiting for so long to see–Berlin. Oh yeah. Berlin. My Au Pairs would be so proud. Frau Bills (Jr. High German teacher, and favorite teach of life, consequently) would be so proud. Ashley was living her perfect dream of seeing Berlin. And this is how it went.

First things first. I was really hoping to whip out my German skills and solidify years and years of book study with impressive dialogue. Basically, this is what happened.

Attempt One

Me: “Wo ist…wo ist…die Bushaltestelle?”

German Lady: Blank stare. “I speak English. If you get off at this stop and turn right, you’ll see the bus station.”

Attempt Two

Me (best German accent I can produce): Ich mochte Bratwurst, bitte.

Waiter: Great! I’ll bring it out to you, and what would your friend like to eat?

Friend: I’ll have one too.

Unfortunately, I realized that everyone pretty much speaks English, and that my attempts to speak German only prompted people to speak back to me in English. Well, except for the people who work at the hospital…

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By day .5 of being in Berlin, I got uber (high five self for using a German word) sick. I’m talking stuck in the hostel for 2 days straight sick, busy thinking of ways to put myself out of my misery sick, instead of waltzing around Berlin getting my passport stamped at Checkpoint Charlie, and taking pictures by the Berlin wall. Finally, my friend, Jeni, made me go to the hospital which is where I learned socialized medicine is actually kind of a bummer, especially when you’re a foreigner, and I also learned that my German isn’t all that good.

I went to the ER and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited (insert the word waited for about 2 hours more of reading) for someone to help me. Once I FINALLY got someone to help me, I realized that unlike everyone I had encountered before, the hospital Germans didn’t speak English. Turns out that playing “Ich spreche Deutsch ” is not as fun when you’re bleeding out your ears (side note: that was a drastic over exaggeration…I do that when I’m sick, and I’ll continue to do it till I have the right blanket, the right amount of attention, and chicken noodle soup, okay? I’m a bit of a diva when I’m sick).

Anway, try two went like this:

Me: Ich bin krank…

Dr.: Germangerman german krank?

Me: Ich habe Halsschmerzen. Ich fühle mich nicht gut…Um, do you speak English? Does anyone speak English? I don’t know how to explain what is wrong with me, other than Ich bin krank.

Dr.: Germangermangerman Warten Sie hier, bitte. Germangermangerrmangerman…Wir haben einen Arzt, der Englisch spricht. Warten Sie hier. germangerman. blahhhhhh. ?!?!?!!?????????!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I paid 150 Euros and waited for 6 hours to finally get a doctor that spoke English, only to find out I had a viral infection that was only treatable by Root Beer medicine. Now I get why Germans don’t like Root Beer.

The unsweetened Root Beer they gave me made me feel good enough to go wander the streets for a day, or two and I got to see some amazing things including: The Berlin Wall, East Germany, Check Point Charlie, Potsdamer Platz, Brandenburg Gate, and I saw some really cool underground art. I’ll have to blog about that separately.

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I’m sick and happy. And, I don’t know what I’m wearing either.

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Berlin Wall, sick Ashley, nasty outfit, happy girl!

Needless to say, as sick as I was, Berlin was still a dream, especially because I was walking around in a daze most of the time. I’m excited to return and will drink all the Root Beer in the world to prepare immune system for German diseases, so I don’t get sick.

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Outfit was better and I was feeling better too.

For real, though, when you travel, make sure you bring some familiar medicine from home and make sure not to get in the way of anyone else’s germs!

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.