Where do I even begin? I never initially felt drawn to go to EDC for some reason, but after taking a day trip down for one day in 2018, I fell in LOVE with this production of a music festival.
2019 was the first year EDC spanned 3 days instead of just 2, and I was in countdown mode for weeks!
The festival is held at Tinker Field in Orlando, Florida yearly. The vibe at EDC truly is PLUR. There are people young and old raging face and making friends at every stage…rocking the craziest, most elaborate wild outfits ever! It’s a festival experience like none other and I regret waiting as long as I did to go.
I’m going to share with you my outfits for all three days!
It rained out and was actually freezing day 1, so I spent a lot of time hiding out under the canopy tent where the sound is amplified like crazy and the stage lights pierce the darkness. I don’t have any professional photos from day 1, so here’s some straight from the gram for your viewing pleasure.
What does exhausted even mean?! I never know how I make it out of these things alive, but I’m assuming it’s because my adrenaline levels are 10/10 the whole weekend! Lol. No complaints here though!!
PS- This outfit may have been my allllll time favorite festival curation. 🥰 HUGE thank you to Claudia Pink for custom making this beautiful hand-pieced chain skirt. It was everything I wished for and more!
I’d never placed it too high on my bucket list, but I absolutely wouldn’t turn down the chance to catch a flight with my boyfriend + best friends. So here we are.
Our trip starts and finishes in Rome. Over 12 days we’d take TrenItalia (the amazing railway system in Italy) to Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence and Saturnia.
Our first stop was Venice, the island with more than 170 canals running through it. Of course we hopped right on a Gondola (80 euros) and then explored the city by water boat. We ate way more pizza and pasta carbs than I’m proud to admit. Not much is open late in Venice, but we did manage to find a hole in the wall spot called Time Social Bar, where we drank wine like water while they blasted Queen. One of the best pasta dishes we had was from Dal Moro’s- a to go spot with tons of pasta options and a good sized portion. Also, if you have time, be sure to visit Libreria Acqua Alta, where you’ll find a some very Instagramable spots….and lots of cats.
Cinque Terre was a fascinating site to see. It is comprised of 5 small little towns that are recognized as UNESCO heritage sites among the coast of northwest Italy. The rainbow buildings of Riomaggiore and Vernazza (the two towns we visited) touch the sky in the sweetest way, you can’t help but feel at ease, surrounded by the bright color.
We also spent some time in Porto Venere, which isn’t technically apart of Cinque Terre, but its still worth a visit! You can dine on the coast with views of the clearest blue water you’ve ever seen, and if that’s appealing to you, then you’ll love taking a quick boat tour around for only 12 euros to see the caves.
Saturnia is home to these beautiful thermal baths that are completely open to the public. We actually stayed in Grosetto, a nearby town, and rented a car to get there. It was 49 euros to rent the car from Eurocar, and was relatively easy to navigate the two hour drive from Grosetto to Saturnia. We also stopped in a very small, but stunning cliffside town called Pitigliano. I highly recommend taking advantage of the jaw dropping views this place has to offer on your way to visit the hot springs.
Rome felt a bit like the faster city pace of NYC, except cleaner, everyone seemed friendlier, and it is WAY more rich in culture. It was nice weather, which made walking everywhere really worthwhile. Every corner you turn there is a gelato shop, and I recommend trying as many gelato shops as you can stomach, because they’re all so different from each other! My favorite flavor was a combo of lemon basil + pistachio. This is where you’ll really see EATily come to life.
My top 3 favorite Gelato shops during the trip are:
Gelaterria dell’Angeletto (Rome)
There is so much more to do, see and eat in Italy, and it’s crazy to think we only covered the northern part! I can’t wait to plan a trip through southern Italy and see more crystal blue waters and majestic cliffsides.
Side Note- the best thing I ever did was sign up for the AMEX Delta Skymiles Gold credit card. So many cards have foreign transaction fees, and that’s the last place you want your money to go when traveling. Another reason I love this card is because when you sign up, you get 60,000 bonus miles (which is a FREE fight, equivalent to Hawaii or Europe) as a welcome bonus. So there ya go, your flight to Italy is already paid for! Use my link below to activate this offer! (You must use the link to get the 60,000 miles)
Probably the first question you think to yourself while considering a visit to arguably the most incredible ancient structures of all time- The Pyramids of Giza.
While I had my moments of hesitation, the Aries moon in me refused to be led by fear. Even after some kind Jordanians warned us of the difference in culture, we were determined to go. We flew into Cairo, Egypt from Amman, Jordan, which was a little over an hour of a flight.
One thing to note: I would not recommend any means of transportation other than Uber while in the city. Uber has created thousands of jobs in Cairo and there is an abundance of drivers on every corner. I would not consider renting a car here by any means- traffic is chaotic 24/7 and “rules of the road” are absolutely disregarded. If you think NYC, LA, or MIA is bad- Cairo is 100x crazier! Uber is also extremely affordable…just a couple dollars for a 10-15 minute ride.
If you’re new to Uber, you can use my sign up code: “kristenm9353ue”
Islam is the predominate religion in Egypt for over 90% of the population, and the main language spoken is Arabic. Islam is fully endorsed by the government and many laws are built around the religion. You’ll hear the prayer call echoing through the city multiple times a day. I would recommend searching the daily times so you know when to expect them! The first usually starts early in the AM, before the sun rises.
Also, it’s common for many Egyptians to speak/read little to no english, so having a translator app helped a bit. Be mindful of using slang terms or lingo- the translations are quite literal.
Visiting the pyramids was first on our itinerary. First we wanted to find the best view of all 3 big pyramids, which led us right to Pizza Hut across the street from the tiny, informal entrance building.
After we had a bite to eat + snapped some photos, we headed across the road and were quickly ushered around by an Arabic man who spoke fluent english + he directed us to the ticket office to purchase a ticket for less than $10.
While waiting at the front of a “line” (which was actually just a bunch of people crowding around the ticket booth waiving money at the man), I was skipped at least 5 times by men, until the usher stepped in and spoke on my behalf. The ticket booth man proceeded to tear off my ticket and hand it back to the usher instead of me.
The feminist in me was fuming, but I knew it was essentially pointless to express my aversion to the disrespect.
It immediately dawned on me that regardless of how independent and self-reliant I am, it didn’t matter here. I was a woman. I wasn’t taken seriously- I wasn’t meant to operate on my own & without a man dictating my every move, I was helpless. *CRINGE*
As much as I find joy in learning about other cultures and diving into them for an experience of my own, I found this to be really, really hard. The culture is much more aggressive than most of us are comfortable with, and they definitely take advantage monetarily if they know you’re American, UK or Australian. When asked where I’m from, I stopped saying America and started responding with “I’m Lebanese” and leaving it at that.
Ironically, I didn’t feel as strongly while I was actually visiting the country. I felt safe. I felt capable. I didn’t feel like any decisions we made while visiting were made out of fear. It was fun exploring and seeing the pyramids in person was as breathtaking as you can imagine.
These feelings came after a lot of reflection once I returned home. Being in such a confined environment, and feeling the pressure to conform or be treated differently was a lot for my psych to handle. I’m a rebel at heart, and after feeling the oppression of women firsthand, so blatantly, on a country wide scale made me compassionate towards the women there.
From what I understand, freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution, but Islam is the official religion and there is no “separation of church and state” as we experience to some degree in the USA. As I was in Cairo, I tried to open a webpage on “Christianity and Astrology” and was entirely blocked from viewing the post.
It makes me sad and a bit uneasy to know how sheltered many people are living, yet simultaneously grateful for the unlimited resources we have in America to make discoveries on our own and find an identity for ourselves.
Connecting in an unfamiliar world can be done, as difficult to understand as it may be. At the end of the day we are all living and loving and doing our best. I definitely encourage traveling to these areas (ideally with a male, guide, or someone fluent in Arabic) to prevent isolation, educate, and ultimately create connections.
Lollapalooza is a huge festival held in various countries around the world. It was created in America 1991, running yearly until 1997, and then later on revived in 2003. The tickets sell out extremely fast- the festival hosts almost half a million people over the span of 4 days. We attended this year where it was held at Grant Park in Chicago.
The venue is large and beautiful, CLEAN, and relatively easy to navigate once you memorize the rectangular layout.
Lollapalooza- Lolla for short- is known for being a multi-genre fest. With everything from alternative rock + heavy metal, to hip-hop and EDM, there’s truly something for everyone. Here’s the 2018 lineup:
Lolla is an ALL age event. This is something to be noted for people who are used to raving or are regular festival attendees. Although it’s jam-packed with college kids and at times felt like a massive frat party, I’d still say it maintained a PG13 vibe. If your college days are over, consider upgrading to VIP to stay away from the younger crowd.
Think less boho than Coachella and less ravey than EDC. 95% of people kept simple and comfy in a crop top with denim shorts. Don’t forget festival safe footwear (i.e. boots so your toes don’t get stepped on, broken in converse you don’t mind getting dirty) and a hat. Cute but practical. Chicago is surprisingly hot during the day. It didn’t get too cool at night, so I wasn’t worried about carrying a jacket. Regardless, be sure to check the weather in advance. Camelbacks + Vibedration bags are welcome- I highly recommend carrying one at any festival!
Use this link to buy my favorite hydration bags! Or use code KRIS at checkout.
top- east n west label purchased from dolls kill
shorts- forever 21
kimono- dolls kill
shoes- converse high tops
top- dolls kill
bottoms- club exx
fanny pack- vibedration
boots- steve madden
top and shorts- club exx
bra- dolls kill
boots- forever 21
boots- steve madden
I hope some of my outfits inspire you to have fun dressing up if you’re a festival goer! Most of my gently used festival items can be found for resale on my Poshmark account here. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!
Shaky Beats is an EDM music festival held yearly in Atlanta, GA. The second I saw Kygo on the lineup I didn’t blink twice before I purchased my ticket. He is my all-time favorite DJ/artist and was doing a tour for his recent album. Lucky for me, he made a stop at Shaky.
This was my first time attending this festival & I was anticipating it for months! The best part for me (ok well other than the experience itself as a whole) is planning outfits and seeing what I can bring together. Hope you enjoy! Xx
I hope some of my outfits inspire you to have fun dressing up if you’re a festival goer! Most of my festival items can be found for resale on my Poshmark account here. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!
Checking off a huge to-do at the top of my bucket list:
play in a sunflower field like the kid at heart I am. 🌻
fun fact: I sat on Kev’s shoulders to get this photo. fun fact: there was a giant spider on this flower and kevin was screaming “DO IT FOR THE GRAM” to make me hold it long enough to align the photo
How to Get to Lopburi from Ayutthaya, Thailand
You have many options as for form of travel such as hiring a van or taxi, but we chose to take the train. It’s the most budget conservative, and honestly it’s the most interesting and like the local experience.
Lopburi is about an hour train ride north from Ayutthaya (including the stops it makes at other stations along the route). There are multiple trains than run back and forth, but I would recommend going early and purchasing your ticket as soon as possible. During high season, the tickets sell out.
There’s 3 types of tickets- first second and third class. The price in US dollars ranges anywhere from 50¢ to $15ish for second-third class. We rode either second/third for all of our train rides; and only once our second class car had A/C. The train has huge open windows though, so the heat definitely isn’t unbearable. Just don’t make the mistake I did by wearing white! By the end of the ride you feel a bit sticky and dirty.
We used this timetable to check when each train departed from Ayutthaya.
Once you’re in Lopburi,
you’ll want to find a driver to take you to the sunflower fields. Don’t worry, there are planets of taxi drivers waiting around, and if you’re gavin trouble it doesn’t hurt to ask the ticket counter for help. They were so kind to us and the man even called us a driver himself. We paid 700 baht for the day. (which was overpriced in my opinion) To my knowledge, there are two main fields, about a 30 minute drive from the train station. The one I was recommended to visit was Khao Jeen Lae, but it was mid January and the driver informed us the flowers were already dying.
Peak season is late November to late January.
We went to another sunflower field to which I didn’t know the name of, but the drivers are used to tourists visiting so I’m sure they know well where to go. Either way, the place was massive, the mountains were visible on the horizon, and the sunflowers were blooming.
The weather was overcast, which was amazing since Thailand is so hot all the time. So we had a full on photo shoot!
There was only a couple other people wandering around the fields. We spent a little over a solid hour here. On a normal hot day I’m sure we maybe only would have lasted 30-45 minutes. There’s no shade whatsoever!
Bring a selfie stick, like the Vicdozia GoPro one I love, some sunscreen like Alba’s, a hat or bandana that alternates as a head wrap, or whatever else you’ll need to stay cool in Lopburi’s hot climate, and enjoy the beautiful majestic flowers!
For my birthday this year, Kevin and I embarked on a road trip. Living on the east coast my entire life has made me completely lust after the Pacific. I figured a road trip is a great, quick way to start checking off spots on my bucket list, as well as revisiting some of the places I wanted to explore more in depth.
First things first. Planning this bad boy was a little disorienting in the beginning. The BEST tool I can recommend for a road trip is the app InRoute. (This is not sponsored) I highly suggest purchasing the full version to further relieve you of stress. The app is identical to Apple Maps and lets you pin multiple locations along the route, THEN it allows you to optimize the list, and organizes the locations in order to give you the most efficient route. This way you’re not doing any backtracking and the places you want to visit are laid out in front of you. This simplifies so much! Especially when you’re taking detours or running around a big unfamiliar city.
So we hopped on a flight to San Francisco, rented a car and got on our way.
We climbed a bunch of stairs to visit Twin Peaks. It was one of the most breathtaking views of the city.
We walked through Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies. The significance of these houses is that the Victorian architectural detail is enhanced by being painted with three or more colors. They are truly beautiful!
Made a point to drop by the Palace of Fine Arts just to admire the structure!
We strolled by the Cliff House to get a panoramic view of the coast and Land’s End, then had to do some serious hiking from there to find this local gem. 100+ stair steps later, we finally walked back to the coast to find the Labyrinth. Eduardo Aguilera created this in 2004, and in spite of it being ruined a couple times since then, he continues to make sure it remains! He dedicated it to “peace, love and enlightenment”.
Tucked away in the woods is also the Spire by Andy Goldsworthy.
We visited the outer edge of Fort Point to watch the sunset fade around the Golden Gate Bridge.
The next morning we stopped at Home for coffee. There are multiple locations around San Fran, and they have not only DELICIOUS coffee but super fun flavors. and they’re aesthetically pleasing. We got red velvet and birthday cake!
+Cypress Tree Tunnel
About an hour north of SF, and totally in the middle of nowhere, is an amazing little spot where cypress trees line up to create a natural tunnel. It literally looks like the entrance to a fairy tale!
+Highway 101 (North California)
Highway 101 follows the coast for the most part and is easily one of the most mesmerizing scenic roads I’ve witnessed. The cliffs are rugged and watching the waves crash against the rocks is so beautiful. There are tons of pull-offs to stop and enjoy the jaw-dropping view.
This small beach area is located near Fort Bragg, California in MacKerricher State Park. The sand is mixed with tons of pieces of soft sea glass that was created from garbage dumping near the coast over the years.
+Redwood National Forest
Visiting the redwoods has always been a dream of mine. First, we stopped at the Chandelier Tree, a 276 ft tall drive-thru tree that just barely let our SUV through. The hole is 6 ft wide and 6’9″ high…and I mean we made it through with about an inch on each side (mirrors tucked in). The next early morning we walked a trail through Lady Bird Johnson Grove, 1000 ft above sea level.
Somewhere on the Cali coast we camped out in Mckinleyville. It was far away from the big cities and the stars were beautifully visible. We could still catch a glimpse of the tail end of the Milky Way!
+Umpqua National Forest
Our first stop in Oregon was Umpqua Hot Springs! Another one checked off my bucket list. We hiked up the mountain and there are multiple pools lined down the cliff. I hopped right in- it was just like being in a jacuzzi. If you look over the edge of the pool you can see a creek rushing through the trees down below. It was such a relaxing moment, and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
We didn’t spend much time in Portland, aside from grabbing a snack from Voodoo Doughnuts and a cup of coffee from two different places: Good Coffee + Deadstock Coffee. Deadstock was awesome for any sneakerhead. They topped the latte’s with different sneaker designs- everything from Retro 1’s to Foamposites.
Right near the Space Needle is a little park that gives you a perfect view.
Molly Moo’s is an infamous ice cream shop located all around Seattle. They have so many fun and unique flavors- aside from the fact the cones are enormous. I got cookie dough and honey lavender with sprinkles.
Seattle Central Public Library is an essential! It’s not only huge, but once you reach the top floor there is a lookout where you can see straight through the streets into the city.
Chihuly Garden and Glass was an amazing art exhibit…so much talent and beauty clearly went into creating these hand-blown glass creations.
Once in twenty years the gum wall had been pressure washed…….two weeks before we visited. Luckily they were nice enough to leave this heart-shaped area that probably contained saliva from all over the world.
Two museums we visited were the Pop Culture Museum and the Seattle Art Museum.
Hiding under the overpass of Troll Ave is the 18 ft Fremont Troll sculpture. He’s holding a VW and his eye is actually made out of a hubcap.
We then caught our flight from Seattle back home. I’m already planning my next road trip adventure!
I can confidently tell you that Okeechobee Music Festival was the best weekend of my life.
Music festivals, in general, are great for being surrounded by close friends while having the opportunity to meet new ones who share so many common interests. Although nothing is as liberating as being completely worry-free from our usual mundane reality, the power of the music comes close.
Jam packed with art exhibits, food trucks, and hidden stages, it’s easy to see that OMF crew knows what they’re doing, and they do it well. Overall, the festival is extremely organized, and there’s never a shortage of things to do. Not to mention, they cater to vegan and vegetarian lifestyles!
There’s a strong sense of humanity and unity at music festivals that seems rare to experience in daily life, but I especially felt it at Okeechobee. It’s a heart warming feeling that really opens your eyes!
If you’re comfortable camping out, then I highly recommend this festival- especially if it’s your first time attending one (it was mine).
Tickets are currently on sale for OMF 2018 – will I see you there?!
Kevin and I, along with my best friend Nina & her boyfriend Ryan took on Washington DC over a long weekend. It was my second time visiting- the first was when I was younger and had minimal understanding or appreciation for the places I was seeing.
We visited (almost) all the memorials, a handful of bars, and numerous DELICIOUS food spots.
Some of my favorite restaurant spots in DC that I recommend are:
Umaya Izakaya OR Daikaya Izakaya (ramen)
Baked and Wired (coffee and cupcakes)
District of Pi (pizza)
Wicked Waffle (breakfast)
Busboys and Poets (dinner)
The trip was fun! Now that we’ve conquered DC….where to next?