Hello there! I'm sitting in my bed in Prague, getting some much needed R&R. We have been going non-stop since arriving in Berlin. Prague is a wonderful change to the big city feel of Berlin. We are staying in a cute loft right by the Old Town. There is something about being able to get up and walk out your front door into a picturesque square that makes this feel like a real vacation.
A few weeks ago we flew to Canada to soak up the great outdoors in Banff, spend some time camping and go to Shambhala Music Festival. Since we were getting all outdoorsy I really didn't care what I wore, how often I wore it (within reason) and had no need for anything fancy. This is possibly my favorite type of trip to pack for - just throw in a few basics in my bag and go. Here are my go to essentials for an out of town weekend festival.
Flowy Maxi Dress.
Double-duty pieces like the maxi skirt or this long flowy dress are my go to for base layers for every season. A long maxi skirt can double as a strapless dress in a pinch and is one of my favorite ways to cover a swim suit. And vice versa - take that flowy dress and tie the straps around your waist at the back, throw on a breezy tank and you have a maxi skirt. Boom. Weekend bottoms, tops and dresses packed.
Perfect for layering, impromptu yoga sessions in the AM or sleeping in with a pair of undies. Throw one over a dress and you have a maxi skirt and top. An all around good basic to pack for any type of trip. I usually go grey, black and white but you could get adventurous and bust out some colors.
A long sleeve.
Something versatile that is lightweight enough to cram in a super tiny pouch or tie to the straps of your festival hip pack and warm enough to keep the chill away until you get back to your tent. I like a big drapey one if I'm heading somewhere colder. It also doubles as a second bedding layer on cold nights or a blanket if you want to sit on something other than the ground.
any other sandal-that-can-get-wet-of-choice. These are a must. You have to have at least one pair of shoes that you don't care about when camping. Get them wet, muddy, whatever. Plus you can shower in them. If you go to any festivals, than you know the pair I'm talking about. All of the shoes I bring on festival weekends are ones I don't care about. Really most of my belongings are that way nowadays....
French Top Swimsuit.
This style bathing suit top is perfect for festivals. Throw it on to shower at the public bathrooms or at the campground bathhouse and wear it under your flowy dress as a bra during the day. Doesn't matter how sweaty you get - the thing was made to be wet! I like this cute one with little stars on it, because it makes me happy. A bandeau style would work perfectly as well.
Forget the hairdryer. If you don't know when the next time you might shower will be, I like to throw the powder kind in my bag. My hair does NOT do well without washing. So this is helpful for those long weekends sans-suds. I've tried several kinds and so far this one by Verb has been my favorite. I like the dry powder ones personally, but have had luck with even the cheap Garnier spray.
Nars multi stick in Laos and Nars eyeshadow in gold are my go-to pieces. I usually pair them with basic black mascara and a tinted mineral sunscreen (I love this one). The multi stick can be used on cheeks and lips, the eyeshadow can be applied with your finger and used as a highlighter in a pinch and the tinted sunscreen is both a light cover up and sun protection. Perfect for when you are short on space! But who am I kidding - this is actually all I wear, ever, not just when we are camping....
Before I leave for a camping or festival weekend I like to shower, shave my legs and let my hair air dry with some sea salt spray in the ends - you want a good (clean!) base to do all of the layering throughout the weekend. Plus - then you don't have to pack your razor or the spray! Somehow we managed to only bring two suitcase and a carry on to fit all our camping, hiking and festival gear. Pretty much packing pros at this point ( say that 10 times, fast ).
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Have any tips for packing for an out of town festival? Let me know in the comments!
A little something to get you through this humpday. ilan Bluestone & Jerome Isma-Ae – Tension (Original Mix) from Anjunabeats. #nowplaying
Never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her...
...let her go.
A film by David Joseph Falossi II, adapted from this story by Adi Zarsadias.
Happy Thursday, y'all.
Have you seen Tiny Atlas Quarterly? I love how they are showcasing awesome destinations around the world through their beautiful photography. One of my photos from the Blue Lagoon made the cut on their Instagram this morning. Yay! If you haven't seen their instagram account yet, go there now! See my other featured instagrams from the Parthenon and Mykonos.
PS. I'm @tygovaars on Instagram. Follow my adventures around the world there!
A few weekends ago we had a wedding party to attend in San Antonio so we packed up the car and headed out on Friday for a quick getaway. San Antonio is only a 1 1/2 hour drive away from Austin, making it perfect for a weekend trip.
We scored a last minute hotel on Hotwire.com right by the Alamo, which worked because it was a central location and we could easily walk around. Last year we snagged a room at Hotel Havana at the friends and family rate for our anniversary and turned it into a full on vacation. Exploring the river walk by foot, stopping in for a drink at the oldest bar in San Antonio, The Esquire Tavern.
If you haven't been to Hotel Havana, I recommend checking it out. It is one of four of Liz Lambert's character-filled hotels in Texas (Austin based Hotel St. Cecilia, Hotel San Jose and the Marfa teepee and trailer compound, El Cosmico). They serve a great brunch at Ocho, the hotel's Cuban inspired restaurant and it is worth stopping in just to check out the awesome decor. The entire place is an indoor/outdoor sunroom lined with lush green trees and filled with blue and gold velvet couches, red oriental rugs, turquoise fiesta ware and a whole lot of charm.
On Saturday before the wedding party we stopped at Ocho for breakfast and a strong cup of coffee before setting off to explore the old missions of San Antonio by bike. We started at the Blue Star brewing company and followed the long and hilly mission bike trail all the way down to the oldest and most preserved one of the lot, Mission Concepcion.
It was fun to get on a bike (I don't think I've ridden one in at least a year!) and just ride. And, it gave us the freedom to explore the muggy city with a little bit of wind in our hair.
We had dinner one night at La Fonda on Main which didn't disappoint (LOVED the spanish style courtyard with colorful tiles and trees). We are saving the Japanese Gardens and Pearl Brewery area for our next trip down there.
Where are your favorite places to visit in San Antonio?
Photos by me / I'm @tygovaars on Instagram
Hello summer! It is like we woke up in the tropics the last couple of days here in Austin. I guess it is really here. These goals lists are always fun to read over at Bleubird (hat tip to you, James). I'm following her lead this month and filling out one of my own.
drinking / brooklyn lager and shiner ruby redbird
practicing / my patience. must find more.
learning / spanish. again (still?). it will come back, i'm sure.
trying / to institute a "digital sundown", putting away all electronics by 10 pm. it has happened once this month so far...
playing / like a kid until i'm so tired I can't stay awake at night. also in a sand volleyball in a league on monday nights.
finishing / all the things on my to-do list for the summer. including replanting my herb garden (am i too late?) and fixing up my festival bike. yes, that is just a crappy bike that I keep tied to a fence with the sole purpose of getting me to sxsw and acl.
reading / #girlboss. i'm still up in the air about it. what did you think?
remembering / to live within my means and be thankful for what I have.
cooking / chicken souvlaki with homemade tzatziki. I cannot get enough greek food after our recent trip.
working / on things that matter. less fluff more focus.
traveling / to berlin and prague in september.
wanting / more vacation time. and a nespresso coffee maker.
What are your goals for this summer?
photo by me / i'm @tygovaars on instagram
This July Mitch and I will have been together for 8 years (yikes!). I can hardly believe it has been that long. One of the things I've learned from having a partner in crime for so long, is that it is extremely important to set aside time to do things together, purposefully. Just being in the same room does not mean you are getting to know the person sitting next to you on the couch. As a couple, I have come to cherish the time we get to spend together on while on vacation. Without the distractions of everyday life, emails, texts, phones, TVs, Ipads (screens really get to me, can you tell...
When we are away we spend more time observing our surroundings and actually talking while looking at each other. Watching the sunset, sipping a cold beer at a local tavern, walking aimlessly through the town with no plan other than to just walk. Not only does travel shake up the senses, but it also shakes up our relationship. We take time to eat breakfast together, talk to each other while looking, not over our screens, but actually AT each other, or spend a few extra minutes in be bed in the morning drifting in and out of sleep instead of checking our phones.
Seems nearly impossible while at home, but at the core of things, all we have really done is turn off our electronics and simply be present. I believe the same mentality and practice can be applied to your own city and day to day life. Take the time to discover things around you as if it were your first time together.
So in the spirit of this revelation and summertime – longer daylight hours means more time, yay! – I'm kicking off a new series here on the blog called "Explored" where a few times a month we go on a new adventure, take up a new activity, host a dinner, go out to breakfast somewhere new and focus on discovering things in our day to day life as if we are traveling.
I'm hoping that after we get a few under our belt, we might even want to leave our electronics behind. Check them at the door, turn them to silent - whatever needs to happen so that we are really there, and not distracted.
Have an idea for a fun daytime date or activity? So far we have been paddle boarding, played sand volleyball, walked to dinner from our house for a Friday night date here. At the end of this I'm expecting to have quite the stockpile of city guide/date night/ to do recommendations around Austin. Here's to exploring!
Images by me via iphone/instagram (I'm @tygovaars)