All posts tagged: travel

My Year in Review: 2016

With 2016 coming to a close, I thought I’d share another recap (like in 2015). It was way easier last time because I blogged so much last year, so at the very least, writing this post was a good reminder that I’d like to document my life more. Good thing I’m starting a Bullet Journal right now. 😉 And I solemnly swear to post here at least 48 times in 2017. (Can you tell I’m watching Harry Potter?) Read on for my monthly recap and a list of the places I visited this year. Here’s a month-by-month recap of what I was up to (as far as I can remember): January: I visited Phoenix for a work team meetup, plus spent a few days of roadtripping around the state, including to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, with two teammates. Cold afternoon at the Grand Canyon. A post shared by Sarah Blackstock (@sarahblackstock) on Jan 15, 2016 at 6:07pm PST   February: We kicked off our master bathroom remodel. It got demolished (down to the studs and subfloor!), then …

A Visit to Ghent, Belgium

A Visit to Ghent, Belgium

Last year when we went to The Netherlands to visit family, we took a road trip down to Ghent, Belgium for a night and strolled around the city for two days. It reminded me of a miniature Amsterdam, without the modern touches the Dutch are so great at weaving into their charming, old cities. It was quite lovely, as you can see: Gravensteen Castle was built in 1180, and is right in the city center. At the time of my visit (last August) it was one of the oldest standing structure I’d ever visited. (However, I went to Rome shortly after my night in Ghent. America is such a young baby, yall.) Also, while in the castle, I saw a guillotine that had actually chopped off heads before. (Ahh!) I was working on organizing my photo archive tonight and these reminded me how thankful I am to have these experiences and not even need these photos to know what it’s like to stand in a place so old and fantastic. Life is good.

My Year in Review: 2015

If I were to describe my 2015 in only three words, I’d go with: happy, progress, and best. It was a year with way more positives than negatives personally, with the only real hardship coming hearing about bad things happening around the world which tends to wear on my heart. (I think news stories, one month’s extra-strong bout of PMS, and commercials with sad dogs in them were the only things to make me cry in 2015. And I’m a crier, so that means the year was basically fantastic.) I took a peek through the archives to remember my year, and I must point out that the months before I started this blog (January, February, March) were the most difficult to recall details for because I didn’t really have any! Blogging saves memories, y’all. Here’s a month-by-month recap of what I was up to: January: I binge watched The Fall and developed an awkward crush on the Jamie Dornan serial killer character (and Gillian Anderson’s Stella a bit too, because OMG she’s so awesome). February: I made …

Carry-on only?

When I visited my BFF in Austin last weekend, I did carry-on only (backpack + tote bag) and I still had more stuff than I actually ended up needing for the trip which lasted from Saturday until Tuesday. And when I went to Europe for 2.5 weeks earlier in the month, I did check a bag but it had space leftover and it was the best packing job I’ve ever done for a long trip. So now that’s got me thinking about my next bit of travel… Next month I’m heading to Seattle for Geek Girl Con on a Friday the 9th, then that Monday I’ll fly to Utah for the annual meetup for my job and stay until the following Monday, when I’ll fly back home to Dallas. That’s 11 days. I wonder if I can go carry-on only for a trip that long? And if so, other than my backpack (which will carry my laptop, headphones, plane snacks/entertainment, and purse items), what bag should I take for the rest of my stuff? Hmm. I feel like …

Rome, too.

While away recently, in addition to The Netherlands and Ghent, Belgium, we also spent a few days in Rome. We even went to the Vatican Museum, which I suppose may be an odd place for two atheists spend their time. We were in it for the old stuff. 😉 Within the Vatican Musuem, I particularly enjoyed The Gallery of Maps. It’s a long, narrow room that’s lined with huge, old maps. It was interesting to see how the land masses changed over time, as people discovered more and more of the world. The Vatican Museum has some fancy ceilings, y'all. This one is in my favorite spot, The Gallery of Maps. A post shared by Sarah Blackstock (@sarahblackstock) on Sep 13, 2015 at 6:18pm PDT More soon!

Ghent, Belgium

While away in Europe for 2.5 weeks, we drove to Belgium and spent one day and night exploring Ghent (a small city that’s quite large by Belgian standards). The majority of my time in Europe has been spent in The Netherlands (since I lived there before & it’s my husband’s home country), so I’ve logged a lot of Amsterdam hours. Ghent was less like Amsterdam than I would’ve guessed before visiting. The city has lots of old buildings, like Amsterdam, but doesn’t seem to have the same mix of modern that Amsterdam embraces and does so well. Ghent feels like a step back in time, or at least a modern, restored version of long ago, and is much smaller, so the pace felt more leisurely and relaxed. Honestly, I could stroll around any place that looks like this for a while: Especially if I get to go in a super old castle: And if walking back to the hotel after dinner looks like this: And this: It was like spending the day in a postcard. More soon! I’m …

Packing Pro

As I mentioned yesterday, I just returned from 2.5 weeks in Europe. While there, I spent the majority of my time in The Netherlands, plus a night in Ghent, Belgium, and few nights in Rome, Italy. I packed everything I needed in one suitcase, plus carried on a backpack (mainly for my MacBook, Nintendo 3DS, and plane snacks). A few trips ago, I started using packing cubes for two reasons: (1) if my suitcase were to pop open, hardly anything would spill out and everything would be easy to pop right back in, and (2) I can arrange them like puzzle pieces to get the right fit without having to do a bunch of re-packing of squishing when it’s time to close my suitcase. I highly recommend them! I’ve got a multi-size 3-pack (which hold my clothes) and another set of longer, slimmer ones (great for filling random spots and corralling smaller items). See: My suitcase is the Delsey Helium Colours 26″ 4 Wheel Trolley and the striped toiletry tote is Kate Spade.