Concrete Jungle | Cincinnati Photo Diary

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Wanted to share a few more photos from my trip to Cincinnati OH last month. I’ve got on more entry to the photo diary to post, but then it’s off to the beach!

Posting has been a little sparse recently and here’s why: things are so crazy that I feel I may be actually going I N S A N E. Between moving, tying up loose ends in Nashville, getting ready for the beach next week and then heading up to Seattle immediately after that–my head is spinning. So much excitement and adventure awaits!

But I’ve got to admit, my week at the beach that’s on the horizon is what’s keeping me going right now.

I’ll get a (late) playlist up just as soon as I get some time.

 

Have a great week!

 

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Findlay Market | Cincinnati OH City Guide

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Top 10 Reasons you should visit the Findlay Market in Cincinnati:

10. Buckeyes. If you’ve been to Ohio before, then it’s probably been recommended to you to try these sweet, ohio-specific, treats. Buckeyes start out with a creamy, peanut butter center that is dipped into chocolate which then hardens into the perfect shell. (It’s better than Reese’s, guys.)  Not only are there buckeyes available, but other sugary surprises like macaroons, homemade fruit tarts, and SO many cookies.
9. Fresh Flowers. One of my favorite parts of any farmer’s market are the buckets of fresh flowers set out for people to admire and purchase. The bright colors are so hard to resist and the temptation to buy some for the table is always too much to fight. The cool thing about the Findlay market was the selection of air plants and unique, decorative plants. I was really taken with this little fellow who had purple chiles growing off of it’s vines and I hope to find another one like it some day.
8. Butchers. You’ll never have more desire to throw a backyard end-of-summer BBQ than you will when you see what these guys have got for you. So many brats and steaks that looked like prime cuts.
7. Produce. There was such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables available at Findlay! I was truly impressed by how many different things each of the venders was offering.
6. Local artisans. On Saturdays at the market the fun spills out the doors of the main building and into an outdoor area that houses artists from all over the city! You’ll be able to find cool mementos, decor and vintage items that you otherwise might be rare to run across.
5. Belgian Waffles. I was specifically told to find “the waffle place” in the market, so you better believe that (after finishing a slice of to-die-for bacon+spinach quiche) that I did. The menu was written on a chalkboard hanging on the wall above the waffle irons: nutella waffles, waffles with fresh fruit on top, crepes…all of it sounded like the best decision. I settled on one with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream. The verdict: delicious. The texture was a marriage of crispy, sugary cinnamon roll and hot, crunchy waffle.
4. You’ll feel like you’ve somehow escaped to Europe. Surrounding Findlay Market are streets lined with houses that are painted in the brightest of hues. Flowers cascade out of window boxes making the buildings, that were once run down, come to life.
3. Cheese. One of the first food counters I saw inside the market was selling fresh cheese. This wasn’t your ordinary cheese display case, though; it was filled with cheeses from all OVER. Through the glass I saw manchegos, bries, mozzerellas, goudas, parmeseans…all sourced locally or from around the world. The selection offered was diverse, the man behind the counter was well-versed and the overall prices were super affordable, just in queso you were wondering.
2. The History. Findlay Market was built in 1852 and has been a running market since 1855. Throughout the market bits of history are inlaid within the mosiaics, the table tops and the walls themselves.
1. People watching. Get yourself out there on a Saturday, grab a coffee and watch the floodgates of Cincy burst wide open with people from all over: parents and kids, out-of-towners, farmers,  old, young, artsy, business, everyone from everywhere. Local musicians performing their sultry saxophone solos on corners and the hum of friendly conversation make up the perfect background noise for such a diverse and bustling place. Sit there all day if you want, not a second of it would be wasted.

One more Cincy recommendation and a full city guide coming to you later this week!

Speak to you soon!

 

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Thursday

Thursday

 
 
What a week it is been. As you may have gathered from my lack of posts–it’s been incredibly busy. Between jobs and packing up my house and preparing for upcoming trips I haven’t had a whole lot of time to take a breather, let alone take my camera out for an adventure.
 
I’m incredibly grateful for these times in my life because they are when magic happens. In the midst of the buzz and the quick conversations and iphone calendar reminders and the meetings that feel like client speed dating…things start to happen. Pieces come together that have been in limbo until now and you start to realize how working hard is going to start paying off.
 
Leaps of faith and dreams and things are more than just the initial jump, but the journey before and after them. Leaps of faith are what keep life exciting, and no matter how scary they may seem at the time–remember that whether succeed or fail they will be worth it in the long run.
 
Hopefully I’ll have some more exciting photos for you all soon! Cincinnati next weekend, the beach next month, europe, and..other things on the horizon. Things are about to get real interesting.
 
 
Speak to you soon!
 
 
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Madrid | Spain Travel Diary

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Exploring a new destination means every day goes by lightning fast; one minute you’ve just touched down at the airport, and the next you’re taking off again. That was definitely the case with Spain. There were a lot fewer free moments than I was anticipating so a break from constant blogging accidentally ensued, but I am excited to share all of the moments with you now!

Madrid was the first city in Spain we visited. It was a buzzing city whose rich history and ornate architecture mesh with the urban, modern style of today. Cars raced down busy avenues past monuments erected for heroes past, and the smell of tapas and coffee was constantly hanging in the air. Once you’re deep into the heart of the city though, quiet side streets lined with Spanish Bakeries, handmade goods and hidden bodegas give you an escape from the fast paced crowds a few streets over.

One of my favorite things in Madrid was the Mercado de San Miguel. The stalls were filled with fresh produce, jamón, meringues, wine, fish, cheeses, spanish candies and all of the tapas you can imagine. We piled a few pieces of Manchego cheese and some croquettes onto our plate and took a few minutes to soak it all in. Afterwards, we got a local recommendation for a place to grab some churros, and made our way to Chocolatería San Ginés. The smell of chocolate immediately took over my senses, and within five minutes our order of six perfectly sweet churros and chocolate to dip in were delivered to our table outside. Heaven.

We headed to the Prado Musuem after that to peruse to hallways of renowned paintings and sculptures. Definitely worth a visit.

Madrid is an experience I recommend playing by ear. There are a few landmarks you won’t want to miss, but you’ll find the best things when you least expect them.

 

Next stop: Segovia

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

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Toledo | Spain Travel Diary, Day 1

TOLEDOPROMO TOLEDO1 TOLEDO5 TOLEDO7 TOLEDO8 TOLEDO6 TOLEDO4 TOLEDO9 TOLEDO11 TOLEDO3 TOLEDO2Hola! I’ve made it to Spain, and I’ve got to say that so far…it’s beautiful. Although jet lag is holding strong there have been very few still moments since we landed. Today we toured the centuries-old city of Toledo. While most travel blogs I read didn’t so much recommend this sweet little town, I beg to differ. Toledo was very charming and full of history. If you’re an art fan (especially one of El Greco) then this is a stop you’ve got to make.

The architectural influence of the Moors/Muslim’s could be seen from road to roof; my favorite was within the ornate, geometric decoration of the historic synagogue (once possibly planned to be a mosque). Many of the resident’s balconies were dotted with fresh flowers and greenery galore; I could probably have spent all day just meandering around the side streets, inhaling the aromas of cooking paella and stopping to admire the sharp, shiny souvenirs that are specific to Toledo.

My final answer on whether or not you should take the trip? Yes. Just take a couple of hours. I think you’ll be charmed, too.

 

Madrid post coming soon + heading to Segovia/Burgos tomorrow.

 Follow me on instagram for more photos and to follow me on my journey! @lacunningham

Te Hablo luego!

 

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Nashville Guide: 12th Ave. South (Eats & Drinks)

12Smap_2HELPFUL INFOOne thing I can say, with confidence, about Nashville is that there is no shortage of places to get amazing food and drinks (beer, coffee, cocktails–everything). Another thing I can say with confidence is that there are a lot of different neighborhoods; trying to compress all of the them into one city guide would’ve been an overwhelming whirlwind that you never would’ve forgiven me for, so instead I opted to break things down into more digestible bits.

You can take that entire last sentence as a pun, and I won’t be mad about it.

I wasn’t really sure where to start with this tour-de-food, so I opted for my own neighborhood of 12 South. This area is located super near to Belmont University and Vanderbilt, and is about a five minute drive from downtown. I feel like every time I walk down the street there is a new restaurant, coffee shop or food truck parked on a corner that I didn’t notice the day before, and you don’t even need to think twice about if it’s going to be good. It just is.

Something cool about this street in particular is that there is such a wide variety of styles and types of cuisines. From Lebanese to pizza to BBQ–it would take a damn picky eater to not find something that made their stomach grumble. Most of the restaurants around here thrive on being farm-to-table, a lot of the product being sourced locally, and you can definitely taste the difference.

12 South feels a lot like the show Cheers–feeling at home usually only takes about one visit. Don’t be surprised if your second time around people already remember your name.

Unless it’s because you did something shameful. (We’ve all been there.)

 

Speak to you soon

 

 

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LA Photo Diary: All Over the Place

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Sandwich at Mendocino Farms, Authentic French antiques at Vintage Weave, Party put on by Nasty Gal

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”

Roman Payne, Cities and Countries.

Los Angeles embraced me with open arms. I don’t know if it was the sunshine or the never fading smell of donuts and wild ambition, but I definitely felt the energy there.

Investigating the streets around our hotel was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I think that’s the best way to travel sometimes–ignoring the agenda and just wandering. That’s how you discover a city’s secrets, and those secrets will be the parts of the adventure that you remember most vividly. They’ll be your personal opinion of the city, and not someone else’s.

Travel Rules #1: No matter how aimless it may seem, never be afraid to just explore. Be there.

Speak to you soon!

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