Phoenix + Sedona, Arizona

Ever fall in love with so many places, you aren't sure where you would live even if you had the choice?!  I swear that is my life!  (Luckily for me, it won't be our choice where to live for a while - thanks USMC!)  This was my first trip to Arizona and while my expectations weren't very high, I ended up totally loving it!  The mountains, the cactus, the views - it was all so different and so amazing.
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My parents planned a trip out to visit my brother in Tempe for ASU Parents Weekend.  Never one to pass up an excuse to travel, I jumped at the invite to tag along.  I was especially excited because Sean got engaged over Labor Day weekend and I couldn't wait to finally meet my future sister in law!
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We explored Papago Park in Phoenix, went to Sean's fraternity tailgate for the ASU game, and spent some time in Sedona.  I couldn't get enough of all of the incredible hiking opportunities and am already thinking about what I want to see the next time I visit.  I wish my pictures could do Sedona justice because it was simply breathtaking in every single direction.
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Oh, and my future sis, Tori?  She is even more wonderful than I could have hoped for!


After 29 years, my parents finally moved back to Pittsburgh this spring and it couldn't have come at a better time.  I think I have spent more time there in the last month than I have in the last few years combined!  While it feels a little weird not to have a "home" in Virginia anymore (and makes for a confusing answer to the "Are you headed home?" question on the airplane!), I have to say I love having my parents in Pittsburgh.
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My cousin Krystal got married over Labor Day weekend so the first trip was for her bridal shower and bachelorette party and the second trip, just a few weeks later, was for her wedding.  I extended both trips to spend some time with my family and get to actually do some of the our favorite Pittsburgh things we usually don't have time for.
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Tropical Storm Hermine looked like it might keep Rob from flying in but he made it just in time for the reception.  We squeezed as much as possible into that weekend - celebrating the wedding with my family, going to a Pirates game, riding all of our old favorite rides at Kennywood, and of course eating tons of delicious food and pierogies at every meal! ;)
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Getaway to Atlantic Beach

There is part of me that is so excited for all things fall and another part of me that is desperate to soak up every last bit of summer.  It's so hard to believe that October is right around the corner!  In an effort to stay focused on the present, we decided it was time for a last summer getaway.  My requirements were poolside cocktails, comfy robes in the room, and lots of unplugging.  Somehow we lucked into a weekend that was above and beyond.
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one ocean resort atlantic beach
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Atlantic Beach is nestled between Amelia Island and Jacksonville Beach, on the coast of Florida.  It is a quick 2.5 hour drive from Beaufort but feels like a world away.  Unfortunately on our drive down, we watched the storm clouds build and build.  By the time we checked in, the rain was coming down in sheets.  Not an ideal start but the doorman was sweet enough to give us umbrella and a recommendation for The Flying Iguana right across the street.   Luckily storms blow in and out fast in Florida so tacos + a round of margaritas bought us just enough time for the sun to start shining.  We ended up with gorgeous weather the rest of the weekend, perfect for lounging by the pool most of the trip ;)
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flying iguana Jacksonville fl
flying iguana Jacksonville fl
complimenary snacks at one ocean resort
complimenary snacks at one ocean resort
I am usually not particular (at all!) about hotels but we really lucked out staying at One Ocean.  The staff were SO friendly and helpful, the pool walked directly out onto the beach, and the hotel is conveniently located near tons of restaurants and shops.  The sweet people at One Ocean go as far as to steam your clothes for dinner, wake up calls each morning with hot coffee, and even stock your room with complimentary drinks and snacks of your preference (including delicious gluten-free cookies!)  All the little details made the weekend feel that much more luxurious.
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interior of one ocean resort
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Weekends like these make me want summer to last forever!

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