Jack and I had been wanting to visit Seattle together for some time, and we finally made it happen last month. Jack has gotten to know this city fairly well over the past couple of years, as he travels there for work frequently, and he wanted to show me around. I also have some really close friends who have settled in Seattle, and I was eager to catch up with them in person. So when my dear friend (and Seattle resident) Nicole notified me that U2 was planning a tour of The Joshua Tree album with a stop in Seattle, Jack and I quickly seized the opportunity to see this epic tour, as well as explore the Emerald City together over a long weekend in May.
We arrived in Seattle early Friday and left in the evening on Monday, giving us plenty of time to explore the city. We stayed at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel downtown, which was reasonably priced and centrally located, and allowed us to earn Starwood points (pro tip: pay to stay at Starwood properties to earn SPG points, then redeem the points at Marriott or Ritz Carlton for a 1:3 conversion). The view was pretty great too!
Last year I had the good fortune of spending over a month in Europe. This trip consisted of ten days of solo travel through Madrid and Salamanca, a week with a girlfriend in Barcelona, and two weeks in Italy with my husband Jack. As this epic journey drew closer, one of my coworkers (who is originally from Austria) asked me what type of travel bag I planned to bring. I told her that I assumed I would have to bring a large suitcase since I was going to be gone for so long, visiting a variety of locations and climates. However, as an experienced solo traveler, she strongly advised me to pack light: “The last thing you want is to be struggling alone with a heavy bag on a crowded European train.” This terrifying image stayed with me and I was determined to find a way to pack for a month in a carry-on.
I did a ton of research and decided to purchase the Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack from Osprey, offered for $150 on Amazon. I ordered it in S/M (it also comes in M/L) – this was the perfect size for me (I’m 5’4″). Its volume is 55L (3,400 cubic inches), which complies with carry-on standards. The straps are adjustable, so it was easy to get a perfect fit on my body. It also comes with a removable day pack, which was great for hiking and various day trips. I easily fastened a small combination luggage lock to the main compartment zipper so that I could wear it on my back and not stress about getting robbed. I was incredibly pleased with this bag and will continue to use it on my travels.
I’m deeply saddened by the news coming out of Paris tonight. Anyone who has ever visited Paris knows that it is a special place. The history, architecture, FOOD, art, and culture in general are unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been, and the city has an almost magical quality to it. It is also the most romantic city I’ve ever been to, and I look forward to returning one day with my husband, Jack.
In 2009 Jack and I attended his sister’s wedding in Lyon, France, followed by a trip to the City of Light. Here are some of my favorite photos from that trip: