Hello friends! How are you?! We’re recovering from an extra long vacation over here. As I was hanging up my clothes this morning, it struck me that I haven’t been home in 3 and a half weeks. Thats crazy. Really crazy. I mean, I came home for half a day between Chicago and Massachusetts, but thats it. One sleep in my bed and I was out of there again. It’s nice to be home right now. Returning to the home cooked meals are my favorite thing. For sure. And with all the germs and such on the plane (chicken pox even! — if you were following on Instagram) — well, we’ve been souping it up like crazy around here. Smoothies and greens all day, soup all night. A half way detox party. Gotta kick the extra germs and bad (good) junk food choices out.

But let’s start at the beginning of this 3 and a half week journey. Chicago was good. Really good. It got me exacted for the rest of my city trip for sure. I’ve already shared with you the beautiful photos celia took at the mamby beach festival (so fun!). The festival took up a main chunk of the weekend, but in-between, there was a lot of fun too.  It was so fun traveling with Nick and Celia. You guys already know that Celia is my number one. I love that girl. Nick decided to join the trip too and no one was mad about it. The three of us had a good time exploring the city and enjoying the surprises it had to offer. And it was nice for me to be traveling with people who would take turns grabbing the camera to document their own moments of the trip. I didn’t have to take any photos the entire trip. I could just relax with no concerns– I knew at the end of it, I’d still have great photos to share. (So nice!).

Though I’ll be honest, sometimes I feel pretty lost in a city in terms of photos. I feel like my *photography style* and *editing style* works with more lush and colorful photos, but in a city– well, there’s not a lot of that, you know? But it’s still fun. I just hope you guys still like my photo tidbits of my trips– lushness or cities or whatever else 🙂 Oh and I did buy myself a real camera this month– so I’m slowly teaching myself how to use a real camera (not just an iPhone). Its mostly funny because at the end of the day– I do tend to like more of my iPhone photos better, haha. But I know I’ll appreciate looking back at good quality photos and not just iPhone photos, you know? I’m rambling. Like always. Warning: I sense a lot more rambling coming, haha.  Thanks for being here anyway.

Every time I looked up from my phone Celia or Nick were photographing or videoing me. I joked that it would look like I was the type thats always on my phone. I swear I’m totally not. I mean, there are random days where I’m on my phone a lot, but for the most part, I put my phone down and leave it there for hours. This is another reason why I  wanted to finally invest in a real camera– so I could be on my phone even less. Often times I carry my phone just for the camera aspect of it. But spending money (investing) on a real camera has forced me to actually use the camera more, and leave the phone behind. SO nice. But yeah, on this trip, I was constantly calling ubers, looking for vegan friendly restaurants, or answering emails for my busy lately to do list. I’d say it was 60% looking for restaurants though 🙂 It helped that Nick and Celia are on their phones way more than me though, but you wouldn’t know it from this post 😉

We landed in Chicago pretty early– I want to say 10 or 11 am. And we were really lucky that we could check in to our place early to drop our things. We made our way, dropped our things, and then hit the streets again.

Food often looked like this. I didn’t know that Chicago had so many diner type food options. And most of the time I didn’t even try to go to them– I would just pick a place and we would walk or drive there and then realize it was diner/dive style. I got really lucky though because I was having some stomach problems the week before my trip, but they weren’t so bad while actually in Chicago.

celia: “stand here. I’m getting a photo of both of us”
me: “ooooooohh a ru paul drag queen event!”

Celia also made my pose in the pretty shops. It was awkward (like me). //  Our cute place.

Celia: “hey look, I’m drea!”

We didn’t have any sort of plan for the first day. Celia was impressed (or scared) by this. She doesn’t plan anything when we travel, because I usually do. But I had been so busy this month that I didn’t plan ANYTHING other than where we were sleeping. We ended up in juice bar and asked the owner what we should get into. Thats been my thing lately. I’m always the most indecisive person I know and ask my friends and family for ALL the advice (even what photo to post on Instagram), but now I’ve taken my questions to the streets– asking strangers– haha. Well, luckily the juice bar people told us of a free art festival, so we were like, cool, let’s head that way!

Right across the street from said art festival we found a mezcal bar. It was too cute not to stop at. Honestly, I don’t even mind not drinking anymore. I think the biggest problem I have with the *no drinking lifestyle* is that I do really enjoy the taste of certain alcoholic beverages (like mezcal or red wine). But other than that, I’m totally okay with ordering a hibiscus tea at a mescal bar. I like knowing that I wont be hungover for a week anymore. Ya know?

The weather was perfect at this point. It has been so nice escaping the Florida heat lately. We honestly just enjoyed sitting outside in the sunshine without dying of humidity and heat.

We ended that night with noodles, a gorgeous sunset, and that art festival I mentioned. We had attempted to go to a Motown dance party thing– but it was sort of a bust. I think we all realized that bed sounded much nicer than partying that night, haha. We all headed back to the apartment and crashed hard.

The next day was the mamby beach festival day. The weather was seriously perfect. We got dressed for the day and hit the streets again.

Celia: “stand here.” Me: “am I doing this right?”

This store was so cute! Every building should be pink and filled with balloons, imo.

Chicago had cute details.

That diner looking food again. I’m seriously so grateful that all this food didn’t destroy me. It’s always hit or miss. Sometimes I’ll eat something like this and be fine– but then there are days where I’ll eat a handful of popcorn and become itchy for two days and in pain. This was some sort of tofu hash thing. Not bad. Not good either, haha, but not bad.

Then we hit up a coffee shop (matcha for celia and I) and made the commute to the festival to spend the rest of the beautiful Saturday in the sun 🙂

Good good times! What about you guys? Are you camera people? iPhone people? Do you spend too much time on your phone? Happily? Regretfully? I think I have a good balance, but I am happy to get a camera once again (and attempt to learn how to use it) and stay off the phone more. Honestly, I just need to get better at organizing my photos so that it’s easier to navigate. But whatever, unimportant life details. I hope you guys had/are having a great weekend! I’ve got some travel posts this week, a garden post, I’m hoping to get a recipe done too, but we’ll see. Happy new week, friends! I hope it’s an adventurous one, or a relaxing one, or whatever it is you’re looking for! <3<3

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