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Meet Renee – Baltimore Blogger Shares How She Makes Travel a Priority

Baltimore, Destinations, Photography, Portraits, Travel By April 24, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

As many of us know, travel doesn’t just happen. It costs money and takes time, but it is so incredibly worth it. I recently met up with a friend and local blogger, Renee Beck, who seems to have perfected how to consciously make travel a priority in her life. I asked her to share how she plans travel to make the most of her trips, time, and money. I’ll also share some of her go-to travel resources and how she finds inspiration. I’ll leave you with some of Renee’s favorite travel spots, what destinations are next on her list, and what should be added to your travel bucket list. She also let me capture a few portraits of her at one of her favorite neighborhood coffee shops, Order & Chaos Coffee

Baltimore Travel Blog Portrait Photographer

Renee at Order & Chaos, Baltimore MD

Baltimore Blogger, PR Maven, and My Unofficial Life Coach

Renee and I met when I first interviewed for OrderUp, turns out we already followed each other on Instagram, so naturally our friendship budded from there. We often worked side by side, collaborating where our roles met on social media, launches, and other marketing strategies, all while eating Kinderhook cookies and encouraging each other on our workout plans. It’s all about balance, people.

She now works at Terra’s Kitchen, an amazing meal delivery service that makes eating healthy food easy and delicious. Beyond work, I feel like Renee is always going to the coolest events and destinations in Baltimore and beyond. When she isn’t sharing her travel adventures and fun around Baltimore, her Instagram account is often showing her husband’s hilarious notes and her cat’s silly antics. While Renee and I share a lot in common when it comes to traveling, it dawned on me at a dinner with our friends that our tactics are a little different than others and thought that might be good to share.

Renee and Steve in Arizona

6 Actual Ways to Make Travel a Priority

Despite what some may think it, travel doesn’t just happen seamlessly like it may appear on Instagram and it often requires planning, unless you are truly a go with the flow kind of person (spoiler alert: not me, not Renee). Planning trips can require attention to detail, lots of decision-making, and figuring out a budget – some things that a lot of people like to avoid doing. That being said, even though it costs money, Renee and I both agree that should never be a hindering factor as there are ways around that.

Renee didn’t travel much when she was growing up, but quickly got the travel bug in her early 20s. More recently, Renee was lucky enough to work at a job where she got to travel a lot domestically. (Shoutout to OrderUp!) We both had the benefit of unlimited PTO, which for Renee, “even though I didn’t actually take any more time than usual, it made travel feel more accessible.” Many of Renee’s friends also love to travel and after hearing about their adventures, she decided to stop seeing barriers to travel and started to say, “This is important to me. I’ll make it happen.” More tactically, here is some advice from Renee to help make travel a priority:

  • Create a separate savings account: Renee and her husband, Steve, have one account that they use only for travel. They agree on a certain amount to put in each month. It started very small — maybe $25-50/pp each month — but as they’ve made travel more of a priority, they have amped up their monthly savings significantly.
  • Use tax refunds for travel: Not everyone gets refunds or likes to, but Renee and Steve always designate any amount they get back directly to their travel savings.
  • Get a travel rewards credit card: Renee got the Southwest credit card for the 50K bonus points and had 136K by the end of her first year. She pays for EVERYTHING (including some bills) on the card. She recently switched to the Chase Sapphire to take advantage of another 50K sign up and double points in dining and travel. It takes control because it’s easy to lose track of your spending, so you do have to monitor yourself. Also, this is only recommended if you have strong credit.
  • Budget the rest of your life: Renee has kept a really, really detailed spreadsheet of her spending money since 2010. It sounds crazy, but she can look at it each month and note where she is spending too much and where she can cut back to put money toward the travel fund. Renee is not guessing where her money goes.
  • Keep an eye out: Renee subscribes to emails from sites like Travelzoo and occasionally checks out deals. You can go to Paris from Baltimore this spring/fall for $400 roundtrip!
  • Look for work travel opportunities: Renee has been able to take advantage of work travel; when her husband is sent to London for work, she joins (free flight and hotel for him) and they extend the trips after his work week. When she’s traveled for work domestically, they have done the same. She’s even had day trips to NYC on Amtrak and stopped over in Philly on the way to have dinner with a friend. As long as prices are the same, employers usually have no problem with you tacking on personal travel.
Renee Beck Baltimore Travel Blog Portraits

Renee at Order & Chaos, Baltimore MD

Go-To Travel Resources

Can you imagine planning a vacation or trip back before internet existed or even just 5-10 years ago before so many websites and apps existed? Lucky for us, that is no longer the case, but now it can sometimes feel like there is too much out there. Where do you start? For inspiration and planning, Renee would highly recommend the following:

  • TripAdvisor – Renee is a big fan of this site for reviews and traveler photos.
  • Hipmunk – Renee loves Hipmunk for flight searches; you can search by typical things like price and time, but also “agony.” She finds the user experience to be much more pleasant than other flight search sites.
  • Hotels.com or RocketMiles – Renee uses Hotels.com (for free nights) or RocketMiles (for Southwest points) when booking hotels and Airbnb when she wants to stay in a home.
  • Visit A City – Renee’s favorite planning site and app is Visit A City, which offers adjustable itineraries based on your pace, what you want to see, etc. It will help you figure out what’s closest and when things are closed. She has found this super helpful when traveling in Europe.
  • Instagram – Renee spends a lot of time searching Instagram before trips and follows people who are posting from where she is planning on going. She finds it’s one of the best ways to get local info, especially about food. There are also particular things that she always looks for when traveling, so she’ll use Instagram to seek those, like markets, food halls, and architecture. It’s even easier with Instagram’s new Collections feature!
Florence Italy Travel Blog

Renee’s Photos from Florence, Italy

Favorite Places You Should Add to Your Bucketlist

  • Florence – Hands down, Renee’s favorite place. The people are friendly, the city is walkable, and the food is amazing. She said it felt like every turn was another Instagram-worthy pic. Not to mention, the best pasta of her life and amazing wine for only $4/glass. Read more about her trip on her blog.
  • Barbados – A very, very different and a very, very close second. The beaches are white sand, the people are so warm, and the views are truly jaw-dropping. It’s also further south and east, so not as many Americans go there, which gave it a less touristy feel for them.
  • Boulder – Renee went to Boulder years ago for work and had only a few hours to check out Pearl Street, the downtown mall. It was so charming and she loved the juxtaposition of the mountains in the background. Renee is not an outdoorsy person, but she knew that her husband, Steve, would totally love it. When she was in Denver two years ago for another work trip that coincided with Steve’s birthday, she extended her time there and he flew out to join her. They spent a day in Denver and 3 days in Boulder and Renee fell IN LOVE. Learn more about their trip, split into Hiking & Running and Eating & Sleeping. (Remember, it’s all about balance!

What Destination is Next?

Renee and Steve just booked a week in Tulum, Mexico. A few friends have gone and she kept seeing pics on Instagram. It’s a smaller beach town south of Cancun that hasn’t become as developed as other areas of Riveria Maya. Also, those Hotels.com points are getting them a free night, they’re using Sapphire points to rent a car, and Southwest points are covering the flights!

Light City Festival Baltimore Maryland

Renee’s Photos from Light City 2017

Why Baltimore Should Be On Your Bucket List

Last but definitely not least, I wanted to hear Renee’s perspective about the city we both call home, Baltimore, and why she thinks you should make Baltimore a destination for your travels in 2017. I couldn’t agree more with Renee when she said so much is happening here in Baltimore! Here are a few of the top reasons that came to her mind:

  • The food scene is extraordinary; we have James Beard award-winning chefs and teams that are taking some really cool risks to make Baltimore a hot dining destination. Some of Renee’s favorites are Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen and La Cuchara (she fell in love with Basque food after visiting Spain).
  • There are so many charming neighborhoods, some of her favorites being Federal Hill, Fells Point, Hampden, and the up-and-coming Remington.
  • We also just wrapped up the second annual Light City, an amazing light installation show and conference, which is the first of its kind in the US. Mark your calendars for April 2018!
  • Since Renee is an architecture geek, she had to mention that Baltimore is known for its adaptive reuse projects and all of it’s historic buildings. She recommends checking out Silo Point, a former grain silo; the new Pendry Hotel, a historic recreation pier; and Bar Vasquez, once an operating train depot.
  • Plus, Baltimore is affordable! You’re not going to break the bank while having an awesome experience.
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Renee at Order & Chaos, Baltimore MD

A big thanks to Renee for taking some time to chat through her favorite spots, travel tips, and next adventures. You can follow along on her journey at @reneelbeck or on her blog. Hope you were able to take a few travel tips away from this post and it helps to inspire your next adventure!

 

Until Next Time,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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A Look Back on 2016 in Photos

Art, At Home, Baltimore, City Adventures, Destinations, Engagements, Food & Drink, Lifestyle, On The Road, Outdoor Adventures, Photography, Travel, Weddings By January 23, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

It may have taken me a little longer to put this post together for many reasons, but mainly because I got a little lost in reminiscing through it all. 2016 was a big year. It was filled with travels, decisions, friends, milestones, and lots of memories. I’ve heard that the only time to look back is to see how far you’ve come and before I fully kick it into 2017 (yes, I know it is already the 22nd of January), let’s take a look back on 2016 together.

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The year kicked off with a trip to Austin, Texas – where I immediately felt at home with all of the delicious food and funky street art. Ironically, I took a picture of the weather sign while there was nearly 2 ft of snow falling at home in Maryland.

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Despite the snowstorm threat, my brother and sister-in-law had their second child once it all calmed down. Needless to say, we all fell in love.

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I had the opportunity to join my husband in Nashville, which is basically his second home with work travels. I was cool with Nashville becoming my second home for a bit too.

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Especially with all of the cool murals and delicious food in East Nashville. My mouth is now watering for some Hot Chicken and biscuits.

Key-West

We headed to the southernmost city in the US to celebrate a good friend’s 30th birthday. Not much can compare to a friendship that has lasted for over 20 years. Something like that deserves a trip to Key West! Pineapple drinks for all. Even the roosters in the streets were ready to celebrate.

Puerto-Rico

We had the chance to go to Puerto Rico to visit our friend’s amazing home in Vieques with a quick stop in Old San Juan. I. Need. To. Go. Back. If you want in on the good times and laid back vibes, look up the Oreanda!

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2016 was the first year of Light City, a festival of light, music & innovation in Baltimore. From the light installations to the energy on the streets to the official Light City cocktail, it was a very special time for this city. I am honored to be involved with making 2017 bigger, bolder & brighter.

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Our endless adventure then took us to Denver, Colorado – the mile high city. The food, the music, the beer, everything, Denver rocks, especially the Red Rocks. (hey oh)

Chitown

A good friend recently moved to Chicago, Illinois and she gave us the best tour of all the best spots in just under 48 hours. Must return for more deep dish.

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What better way to celebrate a friend getting married than to discover a new city together? Savannah was full of beautiful sights, ghosts, and coffee. Thanks for having us, Georgia!

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Then said friend had a perfectly intimate and loved filled wedding in Rehoboth Beach, which I had the honor of capturing. I can’t wait to capture more intimate weddings in 2017.

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As the maid-of-honor AND engagement photographer, I was super excited when my good friend and her fiance had no issue taking an adventure into the woods of Loch Raven Reservoir and then to the piers of Fells Point. Can’t wait for June 2017!

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When I visited Austin earlier in the year, I knew I had to come back. At the very least, for the tacos. Torchy’s Tacos does not mess around.

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I also wanted some of my closest ladies to experience Austin with me. From kayaking to mural hunting to getting down on Rainey Street, a huge thanks to them and the city of Austin for making my 30th birthday one that I will not forget.

San-Diego

We couldn’t forget to celebrate Chris and his birthday. San Diego seemed like a good choice. While the sunshine, beers, and tacos were amazing, it was even more wonderful to catch up with high school and college friends. Thanks for living in paradise so we can visit often.

Baltimore

In between trips, there is always more to explore in Baltimore. 2016 was a big year for @thebmorecreatives. It feels like their event at the National Aquarium was ages ago. Chris and I also fully enjoyed heading back to our old ‘hood to enjoy the lights.

Madiera

As if 2016 didn’t have enough fun packed in, one of my dearest friends, who I have know since I was about… 6 months old, decided to get married on New Year’s Eve in Madeira, a tiny Portuguese island off the coast of Africa. We couldn’t say no.

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It was a truly a magical island and a magical night. I’d like to find other words to describe it, but magical is really nailing it.

Home

But at the end of every trip, there is nothing like snuggling up with my little family at our home in Baltimore. Not pictured: our spotted pup that I was cuddling.

Looking forward to 2017 and all that it will bring.

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Miracle on 34th Street | Hampden Neighborhood Guide

Art, Baltimore, City Adventures, Destinations, Food & Drink By December 5, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , 2 Comments

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You may have heard of the classic Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street, but have you ever been to THE Miracle on 34th Street? Every year, a crazy wonderful amount of homemade and store-bought holiday decorations light up a block of 34th Street in the neighborhood of Hampden, Baltimore. The lights go live the weekend after Thanksgiving and you should definitely take the time to check them out before New Years.

For those coming in from out of the neighborhood, as a past Hampden resident, I must insist that you do not try and drive through. For one, it is nearly impossible. You either end up spending too much time waiting in a long car line or the road might be closed. Also, you must explore the neighborhood! I wanted to pull together a few of my favorite spots to help guide visitors, but picking my favorite spots in Hampden is like picking a favorite child, so I brought in a few local Hampden lovers.

charmcitycookMeet Amy, also known as the @CharmCityCook. Amy is a consultant and blogger, who loves the weirdness of her neighborhood of Hampden.

 

louMeet Lou, who many have dubbed the unofficial mayor of Hampden. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to get a trike ride from him to the lights, synchronized to music of course.

 

alyshaMeet Alysha, who helps to share what’s happening around Baltimore through @DiscoverCharmCity. Alysha suggests that you take your time to look through all that Hampden has to offer.

 

 

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First Things First, Where Do I Park?

If you come earlier in the day, you will have better luck finding some street parking. Otherwise, there is plenty of metered parking along 36th street (fondly known as “The Avenue”) and some down Chestnut Avenue. For easiest parking, check out the parking information here

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‘Tis The Season for Giving, Check Out the Shops for Gifts

I highly recommend to come earlier in the day and do some of your holiday shopping. Amy suggests that your first stop be her favorite shop, Trohv, a home and gift shop. It is my personal favorite for finding the perfect gift for friends and family. Lou recommends checking out the painted crabshells from Razzo for a truly unique gift. Some other great shops to include (but are not limited to):

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My Food Market favorite, the Buffalo Pickles

Before the Hanger Hits, Find Some Dinner

All of that shopping would lead anyone to have quite an appetite and you are in luck, Hampden has many dining options. If Amy had her pick, you would find her at the bar of The Food Market, enjoying a delicious dinner and a martini. I would also recommend reservations if you are looking for a table.

If You Are Looking for a More Casual Dinner

  • Luigi’s Italian Deli is one of my personal favorites. While passing owners throughout the years, it remains a staple in Hampden. I love the Italian Cold Cut, but you will hear many rave about the Scooch or the Chub.
  • You will find one of the largest Royal Farms right on the Avenue. RoFo can be quite family friendly and affordable when you are exploring with kids, especially since there is seating and the fanciest Royal Farms ceiling you’ll ever see. (Update: It wasn’t named the best fast food fried chicken by Food & Wine for no reason.)
  • Lou recommends holding out for the Hot Dog Cart on 34th Street, sponsored by The Food Market and all proceeds go to the GreenMount School. All food and drinks served by the students. 

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Save Some Room for Dessert

Alysha and Lou advise that you grab a Hot Chocolate from the Charmery before walking down to the lights. Get ready for some huge handmade Marshmallows. 

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Save Water, Drink Beer

If you are looking for a local brew, head over to Waverly Brewing Company and Union Craft Brewing. Both within walking distance. Amy recommends the Foxy IPA or the Double Duckpin, her personal favorites from Union.

Wine Not?

If grapes are more your thing, head over to 13.5% Wine Bar. You won’t be disappointed by their wall of wine.

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It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Cocktails

If you are looking for a craft cocktail, you must find the Other Corner. It is essentially the back room of the Corner Charcuterie Bar, but with a different vibe that is away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Alysha likes it because it is dark and cozy with great music. If you’re Lou, you always end up at the back corner because “once that door closes, you could be anywhere in the world.”

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What’s New?

New businesses are constantly opening in the quirky neighborhood of Hampden. Try out some of these new spots:

  • Five & Dime Ale House – a new take on a classic neighborhood tavern 
  • Wicked Sisters – restaurant brought to you by the same wonderful people who created Papi’s Tacos, Alexander’s Tavern, and Huck’s 
  • Paulie Gee’s – a delicious pizza joint. Alysha recommends the back bar that has a nostalgic basement feel, complete with trophies.

Make a Night of it

Because after a few drinks, you wouldn’t want to miss a delicious brunch in the AM.

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Happy Holidays!

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

 

 

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Baltimore Mobbies Diamondback Brewery Our Endless Adventure

THANK YOU for Voting for the 2016 Baltimore Sun Mobbies

Baltimore, Photography By December 2, 2016 Tags: , , No Comments

Last night I had the pleasure of mingling with some of Baltimore’s most creative folks at the new Diamondback Brewery in Locust Point, Baltimore. It was a celebration of Baltimore’s online community, originally named “Maryland’s Outstanding Blogs,” but more widely known as “The Mobbies.” I was super excited to have won “Best Use of Photo.” A huge THANK YOU to those who nominated and voted for me!

Baltimore Sun Mobbies Our Endless Adventure 2016

My Emoji Award and Me

I will be the first to admit that while I am not the best photographer on that list, that is the beauty of photography, there is so much room to learn and lots of space to find your own style. Also, as the name of the category hints to, there are so many ways you can use photography. For me, it has always been a goal to use my photography and blog as a way to share new places, awesome local businesses, and the beautiful little details in life. All in hopes that I can inspire others to get out there and create their own adventures.

Also, it has been awesome to watch the creative community grow over the past few years. This is due to many things, but I personally want to shout out to @TheBmoreCreatives, Rising Tide Society, and Creative Mornings. While at times peaceful and empowering, it can be also be lonely and disheartening to be working alone and these groups have truly brought together communities online and IRL.

Baltimore Sun Mobbies Our Endless Adventure 2016

Photograph by Steve Ruark from the Baltimore Sun

In the spirit of community over competition, here are some of my favorites that you should be keeping an eye on, in no particular order (and not even scraping the surface of awesomeness that Baltimore has to offer):

Considering I took a leap of faith a couple months ago and charted a new path for my career, it truly means the world to have the support of my friends, family, and all the creative people I continue to have the pleasure of meeting around Baltimore and on my travels. Thanks again!

Much Love,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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Top Events To Do This November Around Baltimore

Baltimore, City Adventures, Destinations By November 4, 2016 Tags: , , 1 Comment

Happy November, y’all! I feel like I say this every month, but when on earth did it become November?! Life has been pretty hectic recently (a good hectic) and the weather has been a bit warm for this time of year, so I suppose that has thrown me off. Nonetheless, here we are, in the month that yours truly was born, the month that I turn the big 3-0. It should be a good one. I have never been one to want time to stop or to live in the past, I am always excited for what is to come, including my thirties. Plus, I love any excuse to get together and celebrate with friends and family, so celebrate we will. All. Month. Long. Yep, one of those girls.

Since I don’t want to leave you out of the celebrations, I wanted to share a few fun things to do around my hometown, this glorious city of Baltimore. Yes, the weather is cooling, but you don’t have to hibernate quite yet. There is a lot going on around Baltimore in November, from fishies to tapas to plants and bikes. Read on.

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November 6th

It’s Pay What You Want Day at the Aquarium. Yes, you heard me, guests may choose their admission price to access nearly 20,000 animals at the National Aquarium. That’s a lot of animals. Grab the amount of dollars you want to spend and make time to reconnect with all of the world’s aquatic treasures.

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Grilled Cornbread with Pimento Cheese, Photo Taken by Tapas in the City

November 7th & November 9th

There isn’t much that brings people together like food does and Tapas in the City gets that. Every month, they partner with a different Baltimore restaurant to create a new culinary adventure where you can enjoy a multi-course tapas style meal. On Monday, November 7th and Wednesday, November 9th, join Tapas in the City for a six course tapas meal with an optional drink pairing to taste all the delicious food from Chef Rafael at Wayward Southern Bar & Kitchen. You can buy your tickets here using promo code WBK for $5 off.

This month’s menu will include:

  • Grilled Cornbread with Pimento Cheese
  • Pulled Pork Arancini
  • Burrata Salad
  • Smoked Gouda Brisket Mac N’ Cheese
  • Wayward Slider
  • Grilled Biscuit with Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream

Also, because Tapas in the City and I love food AND you all so much, we are giving away 2 tickets to Monday’s dinner adventure at Wayward Southern Bar & Kitchen. Simply follow @ourendlessadventure and @tapasinthecity on Instagram or Facebook, then tag a friend you want to join you in the comments! Head over to Instagram or Facebook to enter to win. No purchase necessary to win. Winner will be drawn at random on Sunday, November 6th at 12PM.

November 8th

Do your patriotic duty and VOTE MOTHATRUCKAS

November 10th

Head over to the Rawlings Conservatory to mingle and enjoy botanically-inspired cocktails, including the signature Palm House Punch. I am super super sad to miss this one because this is where Chris proposed and it would be amazing to have cocktails in this magical place, so please, go do this for me. I will live vicariously.

November 25th

Time to burn off the Thanksgiving food in the most fun way – Baltimore Bike Party! This month is a super cozy PJ theme and ends with an after-party at the Ottobar.

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November 27th

Since Thanksgiving will be over, it will then be appropriate to start thinking about December holidays! Join the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCs) in Harbor East for Pet Photos with Santa! They provide on-site print outs of your pet photo, as well as a link to download the digital file after the event.

Enjoy your November and hope to see you around town!

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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Carolyn & Adam’s Adventure | Loch Raven & Fells Point Engagement

Baltimore, Engagements, Outdoor Adventures, Photography By October 17, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

I recently had the pleasure of capturing engagement photos of two of my good friends, Carolyn and Adam, who are getting married next June. When chatting about spots for photos, they were hoping for a balance of some outdoors and some in the city. I was super excited when they completely trusted me to go wander in the woods to find a reservoir that none of us had ever been to. Loch Raven Reservoir was very gorgeous in early October and we already want to go back for more adventures. We then wrapped up the session with a gorgeous autumn evening in Fells Point, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Baltimore.

I first met Carolyn in middle school, as she was good friends with my sister. In college, I was lucky enough to live with Carolyn, along with a few other amazing ladies, and we have been pretty inseparable ever since. Carolyn is one of the most loyal and incredibly caring friends I have, always willing to put everyone before herself. She is upbeat, friendly, and ridiculous, needless to say time with her is never boring.

Adam and Carolyn met through some mutual friends. After months of Carolyn talking about how rugged and handsome our friend’s friend was, all they needed was a not so coincidental table assignment at a wedding for their romance to truly start. From there, there were many weekend trips back and forth between Maryland and Connecticut, with Adam eventually making Baltimore his new home with Carolyn.

While I did not know Adam previous to their relationship, I can say I’ve never seen Carolyn so happy and in love. I believe they truly complement and balance each other. You can tell they care deeply for each other by all that they do for each other and with each other, all with a great sense of humor about life. Also, I love that they are just as happy to curl up on their couch on a Saturday night with their dog, Winston, as they are up for sailing around the Caribbean (where they also got engaged, not romantic at all, right?). I have so many other details I would love to share about them here, but I need to save some details for my maid-of-honor speech!

Without further ado, enjoy some moments with Carolyn and Adam below. Happy Engagement!

Much Love,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

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15 Reasons Why Maryland is Amazing

Baltimore, Lifestyle By March 25, 2014 Tags: , , No Comments

I may not have chosen to grow up in Maryland, but I did decide to continue to live here (and trust me, I have thought about moving away, California always sounds nice). There is just something about Maryland that keeps me here and keeps me happy. On this day, 380 years ago, the first European settlers landed on what is now known as the great state of Maryland. In honor of Maryland day, I bring you 15 reasons why Maryland is amazing (in no particular order and by no means, an all-encompassing list):

seasons

1. Who Loves Seasons?

We have all 4 seasons. Yes, while snow at the end of March is never ideal, it can quickly jump to the 70’s in no time. Maryland, you’re crazy. I like you, but you’re crazy.

maryland-crabs-blue-old-bay-our-endless-adventure

2. Don’t Worry, Be Crabby

Getting crabs in Maryland is not a bad thing. Blue crabs that is.

beachesmountains

3. We Have It All

Beaches, mountains, cities, farmland. You can hike, bike, swim, or boat. Whatever your little heart desires.

national-aquarium-baltimore-maryland

4. Fish Fun

The National Aquarium is in Maryland. No, not the Baltimore Aquarium, not the Maryland Aquarium, it is the National Aquarium. We don’t mess around when it comes to our fishies.

old-bay-seasoning-popcorn

5. Two Words: Old Bay

I grew up putting this on everything… popcorn, pizza, crabs, french fries, chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, potato chips… heck, I’ve even tried Old Bay ice cream. I used to work at McCormick & Company where I got to talk about Old Bay everyday AND it was encouraged. Can you say dream job?

maryland heart

6. Maryland is Really Funny Shape

Which obviously makes for great jewelry.

Route-One-Apparel-Maryland-Clothing

Photo Credit:  @kparkphotography on @routeoneapparel Instagram page

7. The Flag

We have this crazy, yet beautiful flag. It’s yellow. It’s red. It’s in your face. Who came up with this pattern? I like it. Plus it makes for some great clothing and accessories. Thank you Route One Apparel.

historictowns

8. All The Historic Towns

Annapolis, Baltimore, Frederick, Old Ellicott City, and so much more. Some of my favorite times are spent wandering historic main streets exploring the shops and restaurants (and apparently I like to take photos of couples holding hands in these places too).

9. Not North, Not South

We’re not quite “Northern,” we’re not quite “Southern,” which means when we head north or south, we don’t quite fit in, but the silver lining is that no one strongly dislikes us for that reason.

philly-dc-nyc

10. That Being Said… Location, Location, Location

While Maryland is great, variety is the spice of life. We are within close proximity to many other top US cities. Wherever you might be in Maryland, you could wake up one morning and take a day trip to DC, Philadelphia, NYC, and more. No big deal.

flyingdogbeer

11. Maryland Beer

Flying Dog, Heavy Seas, Union Brewery, DuClaw, Brewer’s Alley, and so many other craft brewers. It’s easier to “buy local” when your local beer is top notch.

bergers-cookies-maryland-baltimore

12. Berger Cookies

You can only find them here in Maryland. They are rich and decadent and so worth it.

13. Weird County Pride

I have not met many other people in the US that have quite as much county pride as Maryland residents. I’ve actually met people from other states that have no idea what county they are in. Nonetheless, we rep the counties we grew up or live in like no other (hailing from hocofoshoyo, now with bmore cred).

14. My Wallet is Apathetic

It might not be cheap to reside here, but it sure is cheaper than DC.

bridland

15. This is Birdland

Through thick and through thin, we support our Baltimore Orioles and Ravens.

 

Originally Posted on BSinBMORE on March 25, 2014. For more Maryland pride and other travels, head over to my Instagram.

 

Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O’s,

Becky-Stavely-Our-Endless-Adventure

 

 

 

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