Universal Studios



After months apart and a week on a cruise ship to the Bahamas, I arrived into Orlando… I had the pleasure of reuniting with my best friend and other “rabble rouser”, Natalie! Those of you who remember Natalie’s road trip will recall her first travel companion, Jay, who was also a part of the grand Florida adventure.

Even though we live across the country from each other, whenever we get together it feels like we never were apart. You know those friendships? Where you always just pick up where you left off, no matter how much time has passed? That are met with a squeal, a bear hug, and endless conversation? Those are the best kind of friendships.

Even though there were some travel hiccups (Natalie’s flight getting delayed, my accidental booking of the hotel for the wrong dates)… everything turned out better than initially planned, with an even nicer resort for a slightly lower price. We made quick friends with another small group, and stayed up way too late chatting in the hot tub and drinking sake at a sushi restaurant on the hotel grounds.

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September 21, 2018

True to form, I almost missed very first flight after moving to NYC. I swear it wasn’t my fault, my Uber driver was extremely rude and dropped me off at the wrong terminal! As I’m sprinting through the terminal, I get a text from my co-worker telling me he’s switched flight to be on my flight.

I’m the last one on the plane and, of course, I’m sitting next to my co-worker. Awkward small talk ensued when I really just wanted to sleep.

We separated after the airport because he needed to pick up his luggage and we weren’t staying at the same hotel. I had reserved an Airbnb and this cute little guy was there to greet me!


Can you guess the name of this dog? Answer at the bottom!

Continue reading “Savannah”

Las Vegas

I spent August driving my dog and my belongings from California to New York. This wasn’t the average road trip as I was training for a weightlifting competition in September. This is the culmination of all of my work, enjoy!


September 12, 2018

For those of you that don’t know about USA Weightlifting, it is a national organization for weightlifters to compete in the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk.  You start competing for total in local meets. If your total is good enough, you move on to the American Open Series, then Finals, then Nationals. The very best of the very best of these competitors go on to the Olympics!

Now, now, I’m definitely not that good and I don’t intend to be but I qualified for the American Open Series in 2017 but didn’t compete 😦 so I was super excited for 2018. There are three American Open Series events every year and in 2018 they were in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Las Vegas.  My friends and family are in the Bay Area so I invited my mother, her twin, Grace, my very best friend, Sarah and my good friend Olivia to watch me compete.

Coach Brian and I arrived on Wednesday morning and we went to a buffet at the Cosmopolitan. The interior looked like it was straight out of Alice in Wonderland’s tea party! I had been weighing in at 47kg all week so I splurged a little bit and got some sprinkles with ice cream hehe.

My mother, her sister and Olivia arrived on Saturday night and we took the tram to dinner at a Tequila Taqueria’s in Bally’s. I didn’t eat too much because I knew I had to make weight at 49kg in the morning but I enjoyed (kinda) watching everybody drink their margaritas.



Did I mention that Olivia is an amazing hairstylist and I desperately needed her to do my hair for the competition? I hadn’t seen her since before the road trip and I couldn’t go out on stage with my hair a mess.

Sarah arrived in time for my hair cut and I was so excited to see her, we chatted a little too long, whoooops.

Weigh in was early in the morning so I went to sleep as Olivia bleached and colored my hair.  Yes, I am sleeping in these photos. How did I breathe sleeping like that? Not sure.



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August 22, 2018

Michigan here we come! I definitely thought I would be able to drive along Lake Michigan to Ann Arbor but there were too many trees in the way. Trees along the lake, who woulda thunk! Still, it was a perfect blue sky drive.


When I got to Ann Arbor, it looked like something from a Calvin and Hobbes book. BIG, beautiful houses on wide, clean streets. All the houses have big lawns and I knew Piccolo would be excited to have a yard for a couple days. Happy Picky!

Our Airbnb was very nice, three bedrooms and a finished basement.


CrossFit Tree Town was so much fun! They had a large group workout area, a barbell club and an endurance club. They tried to get me to do some cardio (HAH!) but there was no way I was getting on an assault bike. Tree Town felt like a real community away from home and I really loved their vibez.


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August 19, 2018

Tyler and I have been best friends for many years and I was sad we had to part ways after Nashville. But! He was kind enough to drive me to Chicago and show me how to take the L around. I know Tyler and Piccolo were really sad to have to say goodbye. Aw 😦



After being with people for 19, let me say that again, 19 days straight, I was ready for some alone time so I walked around and around and around before heading home to order in delivery. I know Chicago is an amazing food city but, hey, I was exhausted!


Continue reading “Chicago”



August 18, 2018

Tennessee has always seemed like a cool place to visit but Tyler and I didn’t have a lot of time so we planned on lunch in Memphis and dinner in Nashville.

When we got to Memphis, we went straight to Beale St., home of the blues! There were lots of historical statues and loud beer gardens. We found B.B. King’s Blues Club and ate our weight in gumbo and collard greens while listening to live music. So much fun!

The Airbnb in Nashville was sooo cute! Piccolo was happy to explore and stretch his legs after traveling all day. I’m always impressed when I find a fully loaded bookshelf. Had to stick my nose in there for a bit 🙂


If somebody had told me that Nashville was the Vegas of the Midwest, I wouldn’t have believed it. We went down to Broadway and there were so many people: tourist milling the streets in cowboy boots, bachelorette parties singing and dancing on the back of extended tractor beds, and…us. LOL we felt very out of place. But hey I’m all for experiencing new things!



We ended up going down to The Gulch where the scene was a little more tame. Bar patios with games and really great people watching. I’m an old lady haha so we were home and asleep before midnight. BUT it was still a very cool experience and I would love to go back when I have time for more food!


August 10, 2018

Jay and I arrived in Denver to celebrate our last hours as dual travelers.  We went to DOMO for dinner and it was amazing. Everything from the decor to the service to the food was on point!

After dinner, we took it easy and waited for Sarah to arrive. Jay was nice enough to wait up for her while her flight got delayed, and delayed, and delayed.  As the hours went on, I got more and more sad. Tyler arrived around midnight but I slept and slept until Sarah finally arrived around 5 AM. It was frustrating because I only had about 48 hours with my bestest friend to start!! But it was reduced to a measly 24 hours. 😿😿😿

Continue reading “Denver”


August 8, 2018

Moab, UT has been on my bucket list since my best friend drove 9 hours to me straight through Utah to Denver.  But first, a note on travel and self care.

No matter how much I adore my travel companions or how well we get along, by day 7, I will most definitely grump out on them (sorry!!) and need alone time. I bet you’ve felt the same before! I know this and try to recognize the symptoms before taking it out on them. When traveling with people, know your limits and know when you need your down time and save yourself the headache. You do not need to be and probably should not be with people 24/7 when traveling! It’s fun to be alone sometimes 🙂

Now for the road trip from Arizona to Utah.

Jay and I arrived in Utah in the dark after a long, cranky drive. More snacks would have probably helped my mood. Kinda weird but the Airbnb was much too big for two people. It could easily fit a family and a half! Space is nice but then the Wi-Fi was terrible so we lounged around on the big leather furniture before heading to bed.

Have you seen those baby goat videos trending on Facebook lately? Welp I never would have guessed that I was going to wake up with goats in my backyard! They were so cute and friendly! Piccolo was very confused and wanted to play with them. I hope to own a goat of my own someday.

The WiFi was so bad, I couldn’t get any work done so I went down to CrossFit Moab to get a quick workout in. Everybody was so friendly, I hope to visit them again someday!

Weightlifting notes:

Everything felt really good and my coach programmed heavy deadlifts which are my favorite!

After the workout, we planned to grab some sandwiches and head into the park. For some reason, it took the sandwich dudes like 30 minutes to make to sandwiches. We just couldn’t understand. But hey maybe Jay and I were just tired from being on the road for so long our stomachs skewed our view of time, idk.

The Arches were EPIC. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the size and beauty of these rocks.

I got to climb on HELLA rocks.

I got to rest on some smooth af rocks.


I was slightly disappointed by this small arch.


As we were leaving the park, we decided to make one more detour and it was the best decision ever! There was a double arch and, well, I climbed on it, rested on it and was not in the slightest bit disappointed by this arch. High five for arches!

Have you ever planned a picture and it doesn’t go the way you think it would?


On that note, if you don’t know me personally, I’m going to tell you that I’m extremely graceful and never, ever fall down.

Moral of the story, this was absolutely my favorite part of my road trip.


Grand Canyon

August 6, 2018

In case you didn’t know, since I work from home, I did have to get some work done every morning UGH. I also had to train for AO2!!  While in Arizona, I had the pleasure of working out at Crossfit Can-Do. Everything in the gym looked brand new and the owner, Brandon, was very responsive and accommodating to my needs. If you’re in the area, check it out!

Weightlifting notes:

One good 35 snatch complex, one bad 35 complex. Saw that I was catching forward to cause the drops. Pulls felt great! Dropping at the top is nice and makes me reset before each pull. Squats were easy. Noticing huge difference when I lift with my butt vs quads.

Continue reading “Grand Canyon”

Lake Havasu and Sedona

August 4, 2018

Neither Jay nor I had ever been to Lake Havasu and we figured that since it was on the way, we should stop by. I always pictured it being this crazy place where college kids went to party on boats, lol. But it was a lot more than we had bargained for. Although Lake Havasu was absolutely beautiful, the detour added a couple hours to our drive and it was 120 degrees out so Piccolo was absolutely miserable.

All in all, Lake Havasu was beautiful and I will try to go again when I don’t have a puppy dog in tow.


After Lake Havasu, we drove through Jerome, AZ and it was mesmerizing. It felt like a quaint European town tucked into the side of the mountain.


Our Airbnb in Cottonwood, AZ was soooo adorable. The host was so sweet and full of hugs and love. Imagine that one lady that lives by you that you always smile at, that’s her. You could tell she put a lot of attention to detail in decorating the house too! So cute. Her neighbors event had chickens with fresh eggs for the mornings, yummm.

Since it was Saturday night, Jay wanted to go out on the town but I’m not really a night person so I stayed in with Piccolo and went to bed early. Lame I know but hey, I like my down time! 🙂

August 5, 2018

3:30 AM I woke up to text messages from a lost Jay trying to find his way home. SMH! But I got up and went on a quest to find him. Super Natty to the rescue! He insisted he would be able to wake up in the morning to spend our Sunday in the Grand Canyon.

Spoiler Alert: he didn’t.

Jay finally got up around noon and we decided to go to Sedona instead of the Grand Canypn. It was a fantastic decision. We went to the State Rock Slides but there wasn’t any parking so we ended up walking a half mile down the side of the highway then cutting through the forest. The last time I climbed off of a freeway was on The Road to Hana in Maui and both experiences have yielded great results. You can find these yoga photos on my Insta @sweetnattydee. If you don’t already follow me, do it. You’re missing out 😛

After swimming in the ice cold water, we were hungry and grabbed sandwiches and ice cream back in town then off to see the Vortexes.

Many believe that Sedona spiritual vortexes are powerful and transformational energy centers because they are located are the intersections of natural electromagnetic earth energy, also known as key lines. There is even a church located at one of the vortexes! I was hoping to tour the church at Chapel Vortex but it was already closed- one more reason go back!

I’m not sure if I believe that these vortexes will change by life but I did feel a gravitational and energetic pull at the Shnebly Hill Vortex and I am drawn to Sedona and the desert as a whole so maybe there is something there for me.