The Travel Dispatch

Monthly Preview – What I’m Getting Up To In August

This post was born 03 Aug, 2016 2 Comments
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Ok I’m just going to admit it.

You know, just come clean.

Rip off the band-aid.

Beat the world and all their judgments by revealing it before it’s splashed all over the tabloids. Or rather in the comments section because, well, who am I kidding? The tabloids have no interest in a Z-list plebeian like me.

Anyway (deep breath) here goes.

This summer I was a BIG FAT LIAR.

I lied to you. Lied to myself. Lied to the world wide web.

Those promises of new US destinations back in June – ones like South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, the Hudson Valley, and maybe even a mention of one or two flyover states? Yeah, they never happened and they’re never going to happen.

At least not this side of 2016.

I know, I know. Aside from Washington DC, Key West, and L.A, this summer was one massive #Travelfail.

July Recap

July recap? Seriously? That’s a joke right?

Because my July basically consisted of eating cookies for dinner while trolling live twitter updates during The Bachelorette:

monthly preview kristen sarra kristen sarra monthly previewbachelorette

Honestly I was just so tired last month.

I’m human. It happens.

Plus I really wanted to rewatch every single episode of Gilmore Girls before the new revival and there are just not enough hours in a day. So I cancelled my travel plans for the most part and stayed home.

But when that home is New York City, it’s not the worst place to be.

View from living in the Financial District

There was one trip I followed through on this month though.

I went to Los Angeles and scored an invitation to the exclusive Magic Castle with its multi-story maze of rooms and staircases, secret doors and panels, parlors and lounges; enjoying the castle’s never-ending labyrinth of new surprises. Each area possesses its own unique mystical element and the best magicians from all over the world come here to both perform and hangout. Perhaps the most magical surprise of all? None of it feels cheesy. It feels old-wordly. Classy.

I’m not lying when I say it’s one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had while traveling.

You can read about the full experience here and find out more information on how you can visit the members-only Magic Castle.

What’s Coming Up in August?

August is my last month of US-only travel.

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I slow down my travels every June through August; staying stateside to catch-up on rest and avoid traveler burnout. While I know myself well enough to recognize this as a smart move for my sanity, I’m jonesing to get back on the international circuit, my excitement made even more palpable by the tickets to Europe I booked just last week.

While September (and Europe) can’t come soon enough, I’m thrilled with my August travel plans to the West Coast. I promise not to let you down this month as there is no backing out of my upcoming plans.

Take the fact that my flights and hotel are nonrefundable as my personal guarantee!

Camel by the sea

Destination #1 – Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

My favorite storybook town along the Pacific Coast Highway, the adorably named Carmel-by-the-Sea, is a small city (population around 4,000) filled with art galleries, artisan cafes, boutique shops, and bookstores. All of which are a testament to the legacy of the artists’ colony that formed there in the early 1900’s.

Seriously the town is stinking cute. I’m violating every rule in the Travel Writer’s Handbook by throwing around the “C” word so you know I mean business. Every single nook and cranny (more violations of the TWH) looks like the above photo. Sometimes you’ll even see Prince Charming reading a book in the background. Or Hansel and Gretel lingering at the candy shop. And of course Ariel is always sunbathing on the rocks in the “by-the-sea” portion of town.

This will be my third visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea and I don’t really have any concrete plans. It’s the kind of place where you don’t need any. I’ll most likely spend mornings wandering around the beach before popping into Tamara G’s gallery as she houses works from one of my favorite living artists, Andrea Stella. The surrounding Carmel Valley is home to numerous vineyards providing inventory for the many tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea so my psychic abilities tell me copious amounts of wine are also in my future.

I plan on heading up to Pebble Beach at some point for the Concours d’Elegance activities – a week long series of car events leading up to the premiere classic car show in the United States.

I’ll be posting live photos and video stories on Instagram so you can follow along @notouristiswear next week!

napa valley california - monthly preview

Destination #2 – Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

Ah Napa.

California’s famed wine growing region. Land of vineyards, hot air balloon rides, fine dining, and couples spa packages. A destination tailor-made for girls’ weekends, mother-daughter trips, and romantic getaways.

So of course I’m going completely alone.

Drop me by myself into any third-world country, backpacker route, or place with a hostel in a 20 mile radius and I’m as comfortable as can be. But alone in a 5-star destination?

Not so much.

Needless to say, I’m sure I’ll be an awkward Nancy on this trip as I dine at insanely expensive white-tabled cloth restaurants and stare at the couples throughout the room as they make-out over candlelit centerpieces.

This will be my first time in Napa Valley and I’m hoping to stumble (literally because, well, wine) upon some interesting lesser-known gems in one of California’s most iconic regions. I’m venturing up to the northern Napa town of Calistoga and basing myself there for a few days. Honestly, I don’t know much about the area other than its history as a fancy resort town so it’ll be an adventure.

Albeit, a pampered one.


Blog News and Announcements

There’s not too much to report here this month. 

I concluded my annual reader survey and am busy collating the results into a post I hope to publish early next week. The feedback you guys provided was unreal and so so so helpful. Thank you to everyone who filled it out! I’m going to take into account everything you guys said and make a few minor adjustments and create future content that meets some of your requests.

As regular readers already know, I was also involved in a book project for charity earlier this summer. I’m happy to say the book templates in all their various formats have been completed! The next step is to finalize the edits on the hardcopy proof versions before they go into production. I’ll make sure to keep you guys updated but we’re hoping to have the book shipped out to those who ordered them at the end of this month or the beginning of September.

I also have several projects brewing behind the scenes that I’m DYING to divulge but they’re still in the drafting phase so all I can say is watch this space!

What are you getting up to this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Why Suffer From FOMO When You Don’t Have To?

Taking on the classic “round-the-world” route, the next Travel Dispatch journey kicks off Nov 15 as I travel east to west, looping the globe over a period of 12 months with $25,000. Now’s your chance to get in on it from the very beginning!

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2 Comments on "Monthly Preview – What I’m Getting Up To In August"

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Svetoslav Dimitrov

Great itinerary. I have read a lot about Napa Valley and its exquisite wines!

Where are you going to be in Europe? I will be visiting Barcelona in mid-September. If we could meet there, that would be lovely!