Tag Archives: travel

things that make me so happy i could vomit;


oh! hey there. is anybody home? my bad, ya’ll.
it’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks and i’m lucky if i even remember deodorant most days.
now let’s cut the crap.

ever see that one episode of 30 rock? the one where jack watches a home video of one of his childhood birthdays and sees that he once vomited from a birthday present, that launches his quest to find out what could make him so happy he could vomit?

{no? that’s sad. you’re missing out on weeks of yelling “apollllooooo apollllooooo” to no one in particular.}


30 rock moments aside, as you can tell, i’m of a weird breed. i get homesick while i’m in neat cities. i make playlists themed to fall-times when it’s the dead of summer {and had stared at my bathing suit all winter in longing}. i miss my dogs when my hand-holding cat is on my lap. all these things should make me vomit from happiness.

i suffer from grass-is-always-greener disorder.
sometime i just glaze over all of the really small and remarkable moments in my week.
like the following:

*reading hillary clinton’s twitter bio: “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…”
{and just her twitter in general. SHE TAKES SELFIES, YA’LL.}

*this list of thrilling, happy things to do this summer 

*this stevie nicks interview !! (she is woman hear her roar &etc.)

*the ice cream i had last night at ample hills creamery (peppermint pattie + cookies au lait. all the happy tears)

*the book i’m currently reading. i think it’s required reading for all who are  little girls at heart.

*i got to work a movie premiere last night{!!!!}{i didn’t see anyone famous from my will-call table, but i saw sandy bullock’s arm muscles and got cecily strong’s tickets for her publicist #littlevictories}

*my weekly fort tryon hikes. and seeing the stuart little boats. and all things, everything outside ever.

*$4 chinatown toads in buckets. plain and simple.

*rowing in central park.
{and how when we saw james taylor perform, we thought he was a wiggle. woops.}

*babysitting the coolest 9-year-old at a carnival.
{sno-cones! swings! magic shows! shout out @ veronica}

*swing dancing outside.
{dancing with strangers will never stop giving me that nice little happy jolt.}

{how about you?}

{ta-da! list} that time we walked the brooklyn bridge;


that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge was the day we wore our feet down to little feet sausages with poor shoe-choices.{brogues and bright green pointy flats with rainbow sequins can do that to you.}

that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge was also the night we realized cash-only ice cream places are for-real.{and they are heartbreakers.}

that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge was when i realized that homesickness for boston and florida doesn’t have to make me feel sad, but more so lucky to have two homes i miss that much. {and also puppies. oh, and boloco. let’s be honest}

that time we walked across the bridge was the night we realized $1 vanilla cones at mcdonald’s can be bought with dimes, too. as long as you don’t have shame.{and as long as you have your regular mcdonald’s guys being heavy handed with their swirling.}

that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge was when i realized strapless bras aren’t for fancy balls and proms.{that ish is for everyday. no straps= no problems.}

that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge i realized i am blind as a bat. big glasses forever*~ sally jesse rafael-style, ya’ll.

#classicbrooklyn outfit rounded out by a manfriend shirt. where’s my owl-embroidered tote bag? my straight bangs? feather extensions? it’s like i thought it was halloween or something.

seeing things clearly and un-blobby is underrated.
…especially bridges at night like this beaut.


i want to go to there, a reading list;

{old orchard beach, maine}

basically, ya’ll, my wanderlust is going crazy enough to make me want to say “ya’ll”. luckily, a one bedroom in manhattan is my destiny this summer, so thankfully i have some place to walk my new mom-ish shoes around {baby girl loves sensible shoes, even if they age me ten years}.  never have i been more excited to kiss my little floridian weiner dog, or buy mass amounts of mangoes in crates on a street corner in new york. these books are helping homegirl in the meanwhile.

{berlin} berlin stories by robert walser

{berlin + france + boston}  my berlin kitchen by luisa weiss
{the happiest places} the geography of bliss by eric weiner
{britain + america}  i’m a stranger here myself by bill bryson
{ireland}  irish journal by heinrich boll
{europe} neither here nor there by bill bryson
{actually, just read all of the bill bryson: appalachia, britain, australia, small town america}
{paris} the dud avocado by elaine dundy
{italy} la bella figura by beppe severgnini


a montreal itinerary;

{this past valentines day weekend i got myself on a greyhound and traveled all the way to montreal. for other itineraries, click here.}img_4083

get to south station at 7am after a valentine’s date of romantic egg sandwiches eaten under the glow of subway lights and alfred hitchcock, which is to say i was under a pretty hefty bagel coma.

promptly down the largest mcdonald’s coffee and delight in all of the artificial sweetener, fake cream, and ambiance. then, take two melatonins.

but actually don’t, because that’s like a big LOL to your body. if you feel the need to shake your right leg in place and scratch your head, but also fall asleep, you’re doing it right.

allow seven hours of talking to patchouli-scented busmates and buying $9 maple syrup at a sunoco in white river junction, vermont to pass. this is very important. do not question me.

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gallivant the city of montreal solo hell-bent on trying new things like poutine and maybe use some high school french (french club president 08-09, hollaaaaaa), but end up speaking english and ordering a fast food tofu green curry on styrofoam plates almost immediately. it happens.
extra points if you accidentally shout “I’D VOUDRAIS A  VERT TOFU CARI S’IL VOUS PLAIT?” when you get nervous.

that also happens.
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delight in the dreamboatiness of josh ritter and fantasize about him noticing your glance across the room, prompting him to say “you want to pull on my suspenders, don’t you? come on over. don’t be shy.”

what actually happens:
1. you forget to get cash out for coat check and the canadian bouncer is really not jiving with you holding your puffer coat the whole concert, but your card shuts down before you can because you’ve only just crossed the canadian border abruptly and are buying erratic things like ear plugs, sketchy hostel reservations, and $9 bottles of maple syrup. you are essentially a terrorist.
2. also, get a nose bleed in the middle of the concert.
3. get one of those delightful chronic uti’s is also a plus (tmi, but i need you all to really understand the gravitas of this comedic display of sad). go to the bathroom eight times, strategically placing the bathroom door cracked so you can still sing along to “bright smile”.
4. forget to pull your skirt down when you return from the bathroom for the sixth time. don’t notice that everyone can see the butt flap on your sweater tights until you go back for time #7.

even so, fun was had.
home girl doesn’t play around. she plays for keeps.

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spend the next morning prancing around mont royal imagining how on earth montreal hospitals and public parks can be sexy. they’ve taken it to an art form, ya’ll.

eat a burrito-sized crepe filled with nutella and raspberries on a stoop near mcgill because you really don’t feel like tipping anyone.

pretend to your instagram followers that you went into museums, because you truly can’t afford it. but pretty pictures outsides and selfies in gift shops count for something.

realize that your southern accent is coming back the more you go north on this continent. it’s probably been at least 11 hours since you’ve spoken to someone, so you spend two hours laughing about “montre-ya’ll” as a pun. this will help in hiking up mont royal, somehow.
this is how you solo travel, ya’ll.


if you’re ever in the market for a porn version of “dude, where’s my car?” or some disney channel original movie (i’d be all for a “luck of the irish” version personally), fear not; montreal has already done it and it’s playing right around the corner.



meet up with lovely blog soul-sister, emily. and delight in all things kitschy and dairy-filled (foreshadowing*~).

suddenly your mind is filled with all kinds of exclamation points: accordion players! french things! kitschy thrift stops with clear coffins with a dead jesus inside of it (really, this happened. it was right below the cash register)!!

bike baskets outside of erotic movie theatres! erotic bookstores! erotic lingerie stores! i was significantly disappointed on not finding an erotic bakery, but you win some you lose some.


and then the inevitable happened. seeing as emily and were those types of girls: the kinds who ordered virtually ordered all the same things at all the restaurants we went to, we got lactose-sick off of a plateful of omelet du fromage, sadly enough.

we hobbled from shop to shop, through creepy jesus-sarcophagus-filled thrift stores to  shop-dog-filled shops, but realized a nap in our hostel bunk bed was what the doctor ordered.


seeing as we had been calling out things as “so0oo0o instagrammable” (you know what i’m talking about: lattes, cats, flowers, clouds, anything fluffy/sparkly/alcohol-induced) all around the city, we decided to strike the most instagrammable poses; that of us crouching in pain inside a metro station. we tried to make a statement and i think it worked.


that time i cried at the library of congress;

i’m not a very emotional person. no, really. i only cry in animal movies that require animals to perform feats of strength and courage. don’t ever ask me to watch “homeward bound”  with you. and  all fifty-six “land before time” movies caused major trauma for me as a child. so you can imagine my surprise when something besides a brave pterodactyl/ golden retriever brought me to lady-tears the last time i was in d.c.

it was innocent enough. for months i had had friends tell me i wouldn’t be able to see the fabled reading room portion of the library of congress. you’d need a pass. or to be a genius. any non-geniuses who strolled in would be met by a guard who would escort you out and deport you from the country after measuring the size of your brain. okay, so maybe not the last part, but my friends were being major buzz kills, for sure.

so i stumbled into the library of congress innocently enough. i thought i’d buy a tame, little water bottle to note my visit and maybe see a rotunda or two. no hyperventilating between stacks of book would happen. i could be just a normal person for the day, not a girl who has visited 20+ ornate libraries over the course of three years. a simple goal, if you will.

and if you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that what i expect to happen almost never does (in the best ways possible).

i saw a huge swarm of people gather together like a cattle call up a nondescript flight of stairs. i assumed there was free food involved, mostly because i was shocked any large group of people was bum-rushing any part of a library, in general.

i followed them. and then i saw it. the reading room. and i cried. i actually cried. i wondered for a split second whether or not i had watched “air bud” in my dreams the night before and it was just playing out of my subconscious. but no, it was a bunch of hustling scholars and a fiiiiiiiine rotunda (if i do say so myself, homegirl has a lovely rotunda) that brought me to animal-movie-level tears.

to save face, i decided to silently back out of the observation room (it was a silencing, glass box that overlooked the reading room) and went to one of the exhibits that looked tame enough. 100+ books that changed america. it only took a whiff of the room to realize that these books were all first editions (have i lost you yet?) catcher in the rye. a tree grows in brooklyn. goodnight moon. all in their old, musty glory. the tears started again. i just couldn’t handle the fact that i was seeing all these books in exactly the state that the authors had decided they would look. and how they’d sound. and how they would be perceived by the books’ first readers. no movie-edition covers. no abridged versions. it was almost as if i could see all those famous authors’ hand-prints on each copy i passed by.

pure magic, guys. absolutely magical.

mackenzie takes dc;

…and i’m back!
mackenzie takes d.c. part two, guys.
…which meant a lot of sassy boot-wearing through security.
a lot of sad weenie-dog kisses.
and loving how much the d.c. metro stations look like space mountain.

what shall the city hold for me this time? another embassy-crashing? perhaps argentina this time? only the shadow knows, ya’ll.

til then! xo

{berets and bongos} 80;

Pinned Image

“by the first of august
the invisible beetles began
to snore and the grass was
as tough as hemp and was
no color—no more than
the sand was a color and
we had worn our bare feet
bare since the twentieth
of june and there were times
we forgot to wind up your
alarm clock and some nights
we took our gin warm and neat
from old jelly glasses while
the sun blew out of sight
like a red picture hat and
one day i tied my hair back
with a ribbon and you said
that i looked almost like
a puritan lady and what
i remember best is that
the door to your room was
the door to mine.”

-anne sexton, i remember.

a washington, d.c. itinerary;

be greeted by the lovely maya at union station. regret not having a baby wipe handy because you are sweating like a sinner in church, as it is hotter than a witch’s teat (approximately) outside in d.c.

try to forget the heat because there is a hopeful plateful of fried vegetable dumplings coming your way. priorities, guys.

watch some twilight zone marathon with some of maya’s bros. because for some reason the universe is smiling on you.

be the lucky guest star of maya’s radio show, where you play the tunes that were the theme of your friendship and amurrica, for it was the day of the birth of our great nation. which naturally means a lot of songs like these. have a police officer break you into the radio station because you don’t have keys. have said police officer tell you to “shout out to the po-po!” on his way out.

…awkwardly find out that your face has been on maya’s photography business cards for many moons.

almost bike vomit on your ten mile bike ride into d.c. it wasn’t pretty. there was a lot of swamp-butt involved. and a lot of missing boston’s lack of hills.

remark to yourself “man, all of this construction on the mall is really going to get in the way of my instagram pics.”

air out in the air and space museum and feel nostalgic for your floridian upbringing (i.e. eating space ice cream, trips to cape canaveral, watching rockets shoot off in the middle of third period, always. god bless the swampland.)

pose in front of statues and the like at various smithsonian museums (my nerd heart couldn’t believe the price tag for all of them: free! my favorite price!).

nearly get thrown out as maya gets hit on by a guard. such is life.

as per your dear friend and former neighbor naomi’s request, go off to the venezuelan embassy for a free concert and some pure,innocent fun.

pillage the open bar of drinks and foodstuffs. realize there aren’t any vegan foodstuffs, so scraping the pork off of a sandwich (and into the nearby bushes) and eating the bread will have to do. sorry, venezuela. the bread was really good, though.

notice a  really cute boy off to the side of the main room. think nothing of it.

dance with strangers to some venezuelan tunes. wonder why you haven’t immigrated to venezuela, because good bread and tunes are basically all i need in this world.

pose in front of a picture of hugo chavez. of course. when in venezuela. YOVO (you only venezuela once). and so on and so forth.

somehow begin talking to aforementioned cute boy. somehow get boy’s number. somehow have plans to go on date with boy the next day.

such is life.

pre-game said date by doing the obvious (?): learn to dance “the wobble“, see the aids quilt and go to the holocaust museum! i mean, right? that was bad planning on my little heart.

most girls like to actually spend an hour getting ready, but this is me we are talking about. a quick swipe of a baby wipe over your face and airing off at an au bon pain (it was at least 102 degrees outside) and off you go to an ethiopian restaurant…for a “punk dance party”. of course.

stroll around d.c. with said boy ’til midnight and end up eating at ben’s chili bowl and wondering if a bowl of beans could change your life and the final verdict says yes, yes it can.

let your inner history-dork flag fly proudly (and blink in front of the crazy-small white house).

guys, america is really neat. like really, really neat.


spend the day berry picking in maryland. secretly pretend you live in a quaint provincial town like you’re belle from beauty and the beast

….because you are about to see a beast of a library….

at georgetown’s riggs library. um. i had to stifle happy tears.

(i wanna give a shout out to the caterers inside the riggs library that let me gawk at the gloriously smelly books for ten minutes.
it made my world complete. in so many ways.)

spend the rest of your last day in d.c. biking around with the dear maya. sangria and ethiopian food and facebook chatting and giggling from across the room included.

resolve to go back to d.c. very soon. as in like, two weeks.

because you are. (true story. see you soon, d.c.!)

cross country, a playlist;

{click for playlist!}

two bags are your constant companions. minus that leather backpack you picked up for free from a stoop sale in brooklyn, that you then stuffed with free books. yes, we can forget that one. and the subsequent back pain and chiropractor appointment.

the beauty of traveling by yourself is that you can listen to the same songs over and over and no one can even say anything. you can also watch “like crazy” over and over and no one can say anything. except the old women on the train that snicker loudly when they peer over your shoulder when the, uh, rather saucy scenes come on.

sure, mastering the art of asking nice-seeming couples to take your picture in front of the washington monument comes with practice (and noticing their desperation to get a new facebook profile picture-worthy picture from other strangers in the 102 degree weather). and yes, cupcakes are best eaten with company.

but you can eat the same salad every day. and you can go to duke chapel over and over again. and eat the salad again. and almond cookies when no one is looking don’t count. and hey, james mercer and george harrison are totally, definitely, actually singing to just you. just you.

an audience of one is pretty nice sometimes, you’d say.