I’m a senior at Georgetown University, or at least, I was. I guess, I still am for a little under a month more, but somehow, it feels like the chapter has already been closed. It’s currently the last full week of class and I always imagined that this would one of my most bittersweet moments. I imagined being a little scared that 18 years of education was finally ending, a little sad about leaving the place that I am so proud to call home, and really excited about everything that was to come. As you can imagine, that’s not how things actually look.
Just over a month ago, I would have thought my current mind state unimaginable. I sobbed as my car pulled away from Georgetown’s front gates and I took one last look at the place that I love with my entire being. I knew I’d be back, but I also knew it would never be the same again. Never again would my entire life be contained within those gates, though it would always be home. When I arrived home, I broke down again as I saw my graduation robe hanging on my closet door, a painful reminder of the finale I felt was snatched from me. For days, I found myself staring at walls and breaking down into tears over the parts of my life that I would never have and never get back. Then, I started to put myself back together– I started to do hobbies, I started to make weekly Zoom and FaceTime plans, I tried to make the best of what I had.
Then, April 4 hit. For the last 14 months, I had been the outreach chair for a gala that was supposed to be on April 4, but had now been postponed to an unannounced date. My work with this gala is one of my proudest achievements in college, but this pride only made its absence hurt more. I spent the day feeling like I was drowning in my own sadness. I was angry at myself for my own sadness– here in my home state, people are grieving daily for their lost loved ones and I was crying over not being able to put on a pretty dress and go to a fancy party. Yet, some part of me did believe my grief was valid– I had worked hard and now, while I would be able to eventually see the event come to life, it would no longer be an event in which I had ownership over. It would not be mine.
That’s when it hit me. The grief I had been experiencing over college ending and every missed event came down to that: it would not be mine anymore. College wouldn’t be my life anymore. Georgetown wouldn’t be my place anymore. The Tombs wouldn’t be my neighborhood bar. My campus house wouldn’t be mine anymore. In a split second, it was all gone and in this crazy time we are living in, I felt like I never knew what the world around me would look like when I woke up. I felt like I was losing the very things I held onto for stability: the things I knew that were mine. Without the institutions and places and physical events to grab onto, life was disorienting, especially in the midst of a pandemic where I fear even going to the grocery store. Yet this night when I cried and the world felt like it was spinning too fast, I realized I still had so much I was holding onto as my own: I have my amazing and caring family, I have my friends from all parts of my life that lift me up, I have my years of education, I have my memories that could last me a lifetime, I have my faith, and I am blessed to say I have so many communities coming together right now.
Gratitude carried me out of the dark. And in the light, I could finally truly see the world around me, the world that I used my own sadness to hide from. I was afraid that if I stopped thinking about myself, I would see a world so decimated by this virus that hope was gone and light was rapidly fading. It was easy to believe this fear in this time of isolation: we cannot see anyone outside of our households, we must cover our faces now with masks when we go outside, and it feels like people have been reduced to numbers in the statistics given during daily briefings. Fear is fair in this time, but when I looked out, I saw so much hope. I saw so many good people doing great, extraordinary acts everywhere I looked from people organizing fundraisers to aid those in need to my neighbors coming together for a drive-by thank you salute daily at our local hospital to those using whatever talents, skills, or abilities they had to try to bring joy into people’s lives. I even think to the small act of receiving a simple text from a friend saying hello and staying connected during this time and I see hope and grace in them.
I have found that when you allow yourself to see hope, you don’t end up brought back in by the sadness. The sadness tricks you, it makes you think that everything is lost, but when you look up, you realize the sadness was lying to you the whole time. Things are so so far from perfect right now, but there is still good to be found. And while I may still wish I got to have all the milestone events that accompany the end of one’s college career, I’m just grateful that I got to be part of so much good and that I get to walk away from this university having gained so much. I’m grateful that my family, my friends, and myself continue to be healthy and that we are blessed with wonderful people all around us.
I want to end this with some of Kate Tempest’s words, for I think she describes my feelings and this moment best:
“Even when I’m weak and I’m breaking,
I’ll stand weeping at the train station
‘Cause I can see your faces
There is so much peace to be found in people’s faces.”
All I’ve got to say has already been said
I mean, you heard it from yourself
When you were lying in your bed and couldn’t sleep
Summer took a long time to say its goodbyes this year, as the high heats continued for all of September. This weekend, the temperatures have finally started to drop and I am so happy to trade in my sundresses for my sweaters. I’m home in New York this weekend and am able to celebrate the beginning of fall in my favorite way: picking pumpkins and eating apple cider donuts. No matter where I buy my apple cider donut from, the first bite brings me back to being a kid apple picking with my family on an orchard. We would spend hours picking four huge bags of apples, and before we could head home, we would always stop at the orchard store to each get a warm apple cider donut. It was always the perfect ending to some of my favorite days.
This year, it looks like I won’t be able to go apple picking in New England like usual, but that doesn’t mean I am looking any less forward to fall. I thought it would be fun to put together a bucket list of activities for me to do this fall and I thought I would make it as a fun graphic so everyone can join in on the fun!
At the end of May, I visited Disneyland for the first time in almost ten years. As someone who proudly calls Magic Kingdom her home park, I knew that I would spend much of my time in Disneyland comparing it to WDW. I’ve spent a lot of time since coming home trying to give the most objective comparison possible between Disneyland and WDW and my determination of which is the better resort/park. I’ve decided to break this comparison down to a few categories: rides, shows/parades, food, hotels, fastpass experience, and aesthetic/appearance. Let’s dive right in!
Rides: To do this category justice, I have to break it down into two categories: rides that the two parks share and original rides.
Shared Rides: Disneyland and Disneyworld basically share most of their e-tickets including the three mountains (Space, Big Thunder, and Splash), Pirates of the Carribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Jungle Cruise, along with some smaller rides, such as the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Some of these experiences are significantly different– Pirates of the Carribbean is significantly longer in Disneyland and much, much creepier. Other rides, like the mountains, are slightly different experiences but if you’ve ridden them a few times, you’ll be sure to notice. Space Mountain, for example, uses different rider cars on the two coastlines and while many enjoy the more traditional car used in Disneyland, I think the experience is far more intense on the bobsled style car at Disneyworld. Other rides, like Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion, definitely show which one is the original, with Disneyworld’s versions having the little improvements to make a big splash. There were a few similar rides I didn’t try out, knowing the Disneyland version would make me miss my version at Disneyworld, such as the DL version of astro-orbiter (after riding these with a view of Happily Ever After, I don’t think a smaller and shorter version could ever compare) and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which lacks the theming of Storybook Circus I love so dearly.
Winner: On the shared rides, I have to give it to Walt Disney World. As they say, second is the best, and Disneyworld definitely benefits from being second to receive most of these rides.
Original Rides: While two parks have so much in common, they also have a lot of original rides. I fell in love with California Adventure and the many original rides the park has to offer, including Mission Breakout and Radiator Springs Racers. Disneyworld also has a plethora of original rides, such as all of its Animal Kingdom offerings and many of its Epcot rides. I have to say I have never been a big Animal Kingdom fan and could easily skip this park when visiting Disneyworld and while I love Epcot, it is not for its ride offerings but rather its ambience in World Showcase. And while I will always say that Magic Kingdom is definitively the world’s best theme park, the many dark rides that Disneyland’s Fantasyland have to offer, such as Alice in Wonderland, do make this land stand out and pop much more than some of Disneyworld’s rides like Seven Dwarves Mine Train.
Winner: In this subcategory, I have to give it to Disneyland. Their exclusive rides are e-ticket attractions that are immersive, creative, and original.
Winner for rides: The two resorts end up in a tie in this category, each winning one subcategory so I will give them each .5
Score: Disneyland .5, Disneyworld .5
Shows/Parades: Both Disneyworld and Disneyland offer many parades and shows throughout the day and night. It is important to note here: Disneyworld has a HUGE advantage. There are four parks– WDW can have one meh parade/show (example: the First Order in Hollywood Studios) and make up for it with another amazing one in another park (like Festival of Fantasy). When I visited Disneyland, the Red Car Trolleys were under renovation so I didn’t get to see them perform (and apparently, the show is permanently closing now) and I missed having a light-hearted show like on Main Street in Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. I loved Disneyland’s parade, but I am a bit partial because I LOVE Mary Poppins and loved seeing her featured. I also want to give Disneyland some points in advance, because the Main Street Electrical Parade (aka my favorite parade of ALL time) is running for a limited time there this summer and I am VERY jealous that the west coast gets this beautiful parade again. Disneyland also wow’ed me with their performance of Frozen, which was truly Broadway levels of good. Frozen was definitely the best show I have ever seen in a Disney park, but Disneyworld offers some great options, with Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo the Musical. What loses Disneyland major points was is its nighttime shows in comparison to Disneyworld. World of Color is a beautiful and moving show and I can see how it greatly inspired Happily Ever After, but it didn’t have the full effect that Happily Ever After gives. Also, I found myself wishing they had set the show up in a space more similar to Rivers of Light– if you weren’t in the front for World of Color, you weren’t seeing much. Further, Disneyland’s nighttime offerings had me wanting to fly to Florida immediately. Mickey’s Mix Magic was playing while I was at Disneyland and this firework show did not hold at all when compared to ANY of Disneyworld’s offerings. The show felt like it was pandering to a youthful audience and it lacked true heart to it.
Winner: Disneyworld. While Disneyland shone with its theatrical show of Frozen and its parade offerings, its nighttime offerings really did not their own.
Score: Disneyworld 1.5, Disneyland 0.5
Food: To judge this category fairly, I also will be breaking it up into three subcategories: table service, quick service, and snacks. Table service is worth 0.4 points, quick service is worth 0.3 points, and snacks are worth 0.3 points.
Table Service: Growing up with trips to Disneyworld, there is nothing I love more than a good character meal. With diverse offerings in Florida from 1900 Park Fare to Bon Voyage to Tusker House, there is no shortage of character offerings with great food and a great interactive experience. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said across the country. While at Disneyland, we went to Plaza Inn at Disneyland for breakfast and Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel for dinner. Plaza Inn was a complete flop– the characters ignored us for the first thirty minutes we were there, the food was bland (the french toast tasted like someone threw a bottle of cinnamon on it and called it a day), and the service was WAY below Disney standards, with it taking thirty minutes before we could get any information about gluten free options for the allergy in our party. Goofy’s Kitchen had much better character interaction but the food was not great. The best things there were the mac and cheese and the chicken fingers. For non-character table service meals, we ate at Carnation Cafe and Lamplight Lounge. While both of these restaurants were good, they lacked a spark that makes restaurants such as Coral Reef, Hacienda San Angel, and Skipper Canteen so special.
Winner:Without a doubt, Disneyworld.
Quick Service: While Disneyland flopped with its sit-down offerings, it shone with its quick service. My first quick service experience here was Tangaroa Terrace, where I got nachos and dumplings. They both were amazing and I returned here for breakfast, where the french toast blew me away. I also stopped at Flo’s in DCA and had their french toast (I REALLY like French Toast, I’m not even sorry for how much french toast I eat) and loved it. I also loved the complete theming at Flo’s. I also had to get Mickey Beignets for an early breakfast and while these tasted more like regular donuts mixed with funnel cake than traditional Beignets, I still thoroughly enjoyed them and very much would get again. My one quick service let-down happened in DCA at the Pacific Wharf, where I ordered potstickers and an orange chicken rice bowl. While the potstickers were delicious (though a small order of only three), the orange chicken rice bowl was far too spicy for my liking and did not have enough orange taste to it. While Disneyworld does have some stand out quick service locations like Satuli in Animal Kingdom and its offerings throughout World Showcase, it typically does not shine in its quick service. If is festival season in Epcot, I may take back that statement but generally, I would stand by it. And though I may have a soft spot for Peco’s, I’m not sure the average tourist would fully agree.
Winner: Disneyland. While Disneyworld has seasonally good quick service offerings, it falls to offer consistently good quick service options throughout all of its parks like Disneyland does.
Snacks: This is by far the hardest category of all to rank. Disney snacks around the world are the absolute best, with the classics like Mickey pretzels and churros and seasonal specials. I loved all the snacks I tried in Disneyland, from the nom nom cookies to the ice cream treats to the Mickey rice krispie treats. I also though love Disneyworld’s snacks, such as the soft serve at Storybook Treats, the changing milkshake at Auntie Galaxy’s, and the numerous treats found around world showcase.
Winner: Truthfully, the two resorts are almost even in my mind in their snack offerings, but having world showcase pulls Disneyworld right over the edge, as it offers such a huge range of snacks to try.
Winner: Overall, Disneyworld wins in food, with better table service and more snack offerings. Disneyland though shines with its quick service.
Score: Disneyworld 2.3, Disneyland 0.8
Hotels: Disneyland offers a very different hotel experience from Disneyworld, with only three Disney-owned-and-operated hotels, compared to the numerous offerings at Disneyworld. For this trip, we chose to stay at the Disneyland Hotel, which is equivalent to a Disneyworld deluxe hotel. The first reaction to the hotel was a bit of surprise– this hotel does not throw Disney magic at you in the same way as Disneyworld deluxe hotels or even the Grand Califorian do. However, little bits of magic are found around the hotel with notes of history. The rooms were beautifully sized and the castle headboard is definitely the star of the hotel. I can say I truly LOVED staying here, but still, the theming definitely fell behind the theming I love at Disneyworld. It didn’t transport me anywhere and seemed confused, with a monorail pool slide but Trader Sam’s tiki bar next to it. The Grand Californian seemed to have a much more cohesive theme, but because I did not stay there and only walked around it, my experience has to be based solely off the Disneyland Hotel.
Winner: The winner is Disneyworld, but I want to give some points to Disneyland because staying at the original Disney hotel truly was a bucket list experience for a big Disney fan like myself, so I’m giving 0.3 points to Disneyland for that nostalgia factor.
Score: Disneyworld 3, Disneyland 1.1
Fastpass Experience: The fastpass experiences are completely different at Disneyland and Disneyworld. Disneyworld uses the Fastpass+ system, where you make three reservations a day in advance. Disneyland uses the original fastpass system, with the option to buy Maxpass so you can make fastpasses on your phone. While Disneyworld lends itself to the ultra-planner, I found Maxpass a much more effective and efficient system. I was consistently able to get fastpasses for everything I wanted to ride, without being stuck to a stringent schedule. I also was not tied into one park, being able to move from fastpass to fastpass in different parks, compared to having to have three in one park at Disneyworld.
Winner: Disneyland, while Maxpass costs extra, it proved worth it.
Score: Disneyworld 3, Disneyland 2.1
Aesthetic/Appearance: This category is probably the most controversial I will rank, as everyone holds their favorite quite close to heart. I think California Adventure is a completely underrated park. I thought this park was truly gorgeous, with Pixar Pier, Cars Land, and Wine Country standing out to me. The park did an amazing job of grasping different areas and truly transporting guests to them. I can’t say I feel the same about Disneyland. Disneyland felt crowded. Tomorrowland felt cramped and closed, Fantasyland felt overrun with small walkways, and the castle, while in beautiful pink, lacked the grandeur I expected. I will say both New Orleans Square and Toontown shone in my eyes as unique and beautiful areas, and I have not visited Galaxy’s Edge so I can’t say how I would feel about that. I felt the parks lacked the beautiful spots like Cinderella’s wishing well or the Italy pavilion in world showcase or Pandora in Animal Kingdom.
Winner: Disneyworld. While Disneyland had its beautiful spots, it lacked the smaller spots of beauty that make Disneyworld such a special space.
Final Score: Disneyworld 4, Disneyland 2.1
If you’re thinking about a Disney trip, you’ll never go wrong but in my opinion, if you’re focused on Disney, book a flight to Orlando. There is so much to do in Disneyworld, you could stay forever and never get a month (I stayed for four months and wish I could go back daily). The resort truly transports you to a magical place. The memories and happiness the place brings are definitely worth the splurge.
3 summers ago, I made my first move to Washington, DC and began to call this wonderful city home. Like any major city, there’s plenty of spots everyone tells you that you have to make it to you and I will say, DC’s tourist spots are wonderful, but I think there are so many spots that people miss and overlook when they come to this area and they truly miss some of the wonder that DC has to offer. I’m giving a little insight into my favorite places in the city and some of the places I’m hoping to make it to very soon.
My favorite spots:
The Kennedy Center. I missed out on this spot for far too long and I had NO idea what I was missing. Seeing a show in the opera house transports you back to a time of old Hollywood glamour. The views from this place are also unbeatable. It is a spot that many people skip over, but making time even just to check out the rooftop is so worth it– you can see the monuments, Virginia, and my favorite area, Georgetown.
See the monuments at night. If you’re in DC, you definitely have the monuments on your must-see list but if you’re only seeing them during day, you are missing out on some of DC’s prettiest sights. There’s such a special feeling to the monuments at night and I think it is one of the most calming sights. It is worth checking out.
The Portrait Gallery. The Portrait Gallery is off the path of the National Mall, but it is one of the best Smithsonians DC has to offer. Seeing the portraits of every President throughout the year is an amazing and engaging way to get to see a part of America’s history.
Places I want to visit:
Dumbarton Oaks. Dumbarton Oaks is a historic estate in Georgetown that I have been meaning to visit for years, but haven’t made my way to yet. It is an absolutely gorgeous house and grounds and I really hope to get the chance to explore it this summer.
The Wharf. The wharf is on most people’s list of places to visit in DC, but with its distance from Georgetown, I have never gotten myself down there. It is a spot that I think has so much life and culture (and views) and I really want to see this fun area.
Old Town, Alexandria. Though not DC proper, Alexandria is a spot I really want to check out. Coming from a small town, I always love getting to explore spots that remind me of home. I’m hoping to make a trip to Alexandria this holiday season to join in the festivities there.
DC is such a fun city and there are so many places to check out! These are just a few of my absolute favorite places and the places on my always growing wish list. What are some of your favorite DC spots?
A little known fact about me is that I am a bit of a movie junkie. I absolutely love going to the movies and I basically live for Oscar season. For this reason, I was SO excited to go to LA and have the opportunity to tour the studios where magic happens. I had the opportunity to go on three different studio tours: Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, and Warner Brothers. I enjoyed each of these tours. Here’s the details and differences of each one:
Sony Pictures:This tour definitely takes a more historic approach, which I was very excited about as entertainment history is what I want to specialize in. The tour begins with a video and a stop to the Sony Pictures museum, which includes the Seinfeld set and various costumes and props used in movies like the Spiderman films. We learned about how this lot came to be Sony Pictures and the history of both MGM and Columbia Pictures. The lot is formerly MGM’s but unfortunately, the studio sold off many of its sets, props, and costumes when it hit financial difficulties and it is unknown where these items ended up. The lot does still have many small details that honor this past– the office buildings, which were once apartments for the stars, are named after the stars who lived in the buildings (my favorite to see was the Hepburn Building, named for Katharine Hepburn, who I am named after– my mom is also a huge movie fan). The next stop on the tour was the Jeopardy! Set. The set was much larger than I had ever imagined and I was able to take a picture at one of the previous podiums. Next, we visited the set of The Goldbergs. Seeing this set was so cool, as it is such a unique set and show, with much of the decorations being from the creator’s actual home. Finally, we walked the backlot and saw many of the cars used in films, including the cars from Ghostbusters. This studio felt the most like a working studio and if you’re lucky, you might even get a celebrity sighting! I would definitely recommend this tour, especially if you are interested in entertainment history and the old golden age of Hollywood.
NOTE: This is a 2-hour walking tour.
Universal Studios: This tour is located within the theme park Universal Studios: Hollywood and feels much more like a ride than the other two tours. You board a very large tour bus and begin to go through the backlot of Universal. We visited the streets of New York first before going into our first piece of immersion: a 3D King Kong experience meant to demonstrate the power of special effects. I was a bit disappointed here to find that this experience was simply a snippet of the King Kong ride located in Universal Studios in Orlando. We drove by some of the famous cars used in film, before going to Little Mexico where movie rain and flooding was demonstrated to us. We saw a set for Jaws, which was not used for Jaws but rather Murder, She Wrote, before seeing a backlot for a scene of Jurassic Park. We drove down the road where town scenes are filmed and continued to Whoville. The buildings in Whoville are actually made of styrofoam to get the weird shapes! We also saw the sets for Bates Motel and the destroyed plane in War of the Worlds. The ride ends with taking you through another 3D experience: the Fast and Furious ride (it is a replica of the Orlando version). This was the shortest tour we took, being an hour long, and was the most ride-like.
Warner Brothers: This tour is part walking and part driving cart, a combination of the other two we took. We started by seeing a cabin that has been used in True Blood and Hart of Dixie. I am a big Hart of Dixie fan and was amazed at how they transformed this cabin into the beloved Rammer Jammer. Next, we visited the part I was most excited for: Midwest. Midwest is used to represent any town and can famously be recognized as Bluebell in Hart of Dixie, Rosewood in Pretty Little Liars, and my personal favorite, Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls. We got to get off and walk around here, going into the inside of Lorelai Gilmore’s house (spoiler: it’s also Sookie’s house) and seeing how they used these houses to film. We also saw the house used for Fuller House here and the streets used for the Jersey scenes of Jersey Boys. Next, we visited the streets of New York followed by a prop museum. This museum held props from Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harry Potter, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We also got to see the Batmobiles throughout the years. The guided tour ends and you enter an interactive area where you get to learn about filmmaking. Here, you can see costumes from the new A Star is Born, take a picture on the set of Friends, and hold an Oscar. This was the longest tour we took, clocking in at 3 hours. I really enjoyed this tour and would definitely recommend it, especially for younger girls, as many of the sets you see are aimed at this age group.
Overall, I enjoyed each of the tours. I would recommend trying to check them all out but if you are pressed for time, I would definitely do either the Sony or Warner Brothers tour. Both of these give great insight into the behind-the-scenes magic that occurs on the movies.
With the school year finished and my internship not starting until the beginning of June, I had some rare free time. This summer, I am filling this otherwise dead time with a trip to Los Angeles. I am so excited about this trip and to share little snippets of my day both here and on Instagram. I love to travel and I have always wanted to get to know the West Coast better, so I am loving the opportunity to travel and see all that this area has to offer.
Day One: Travel Day!
Call me weird, but I always get SO excited for long flights because I love getting to disconnect and catch up on movies. I am a total movie junkie, so six hours on a plane just watching movies is the best to me. This time, I watched Mary, Queen of Scots, I Feel Pretty, and Smallfoot. Mary, Queen of Scots is one of my favorite historical figures and Saorise Ronan is one of my favorite actresses so I was thrilled to finally get to watch this movie! If you’re a European history lover, I would recommend it, but if not, it might not be your type of movie.
After getting into LAX, we picked up our luggage and rental car and drove a little over an hour to our hotel, Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas. We checked in, dropped off our luggage, and went out for dinner at Sol Mexican Cocina. I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant! We had shrimp taquitos for our appetizer and I got the chicken street tacos as my entree and they were AMAZING. Our waitress was so kind and even gave us a dessert, which was so tasty I never even had time for a photo. We are making plans to get back to this restaurant asap. After dinner, we returned to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.
Day Two: The Richard Nixon Library & Museum and Exploring the Resort
I am a total history nerd and that is about to show through SO much. One of my biggest bucket list items is I want to visit every Presidential Library in my lifetime. Before this trip, I had visited the libraries of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Franklin Roosevelt. When my dad pointed out that we would be near Richard Nixon’s Presidential Library this trip, I jumped at the chance to go and mark another Presidential Library off my list.
The library was truly fascinating. I’ve studied Richard Nixon numerous times in classes, but I had never taken such an intensive look at him. The library also really dives into Watergate, which I appreciated and found so interesting. My favorite part though was exploring the outdoor grounds. Pat Nixon’s rose gardens are so beautiful, I kept stopping to look at every flower we passed. We also got to tour the house outside that Richard Nixon was born in and spent his early childhood in, which was a really cool and unique experience. While this library was not my favorite of the libraries I’ve toured so far, I truly did enjoy it and loved the opportunity to learn about Richard Nixon from a perspective I haven’t had before.
After we finished the library, we stopped at Blaze Pizza for a quick lunch and then went back to our hotel. It was too beautiful a day to stay inside, so we went out to explore the resort grounds a bit more. This place is so gorgeous, with views of the Pacific everywhere (including our room balcony!). Everywhere on these grounds is stunning and I am truly in love with the resort and with the beauty of California.
Afterwards, we went for a late dinner at Reunion Kitchen + Drink in Laguna Beach. I’ll be honest– I was mostly excited about this spot because I watched every episode of Laguna Beach and the Hills when I was in high school as a guilty pleasure. Getting to go to the town where it all started, even if just for a restaurant, was super exciting. The food also was amazing at this restaurant, which was a wonderful end to a great first full day here in California.
Day 3: The San Diego Zoo
It has been about fifteen years since I last went to San Diego, so you could say my memories of the zoo and the city were pretty murky. I did remember seeing pandas here, so you could say I was slightly disappointed today when I found out that the San Diego Zoo no longer has any giant pandas. Despite this set back, we had a lovely day at the zoo!
Fun Fact: The San Diego Zoo has the largest colony of koalas outside of Australia. I was SO excited to get to see the koalas and they were so adorable. They don’t do much, as they sleep approximately 22 hours a day, but they look like teddy bears when they sleep. I could have spent hours just watching them.
After the zoo, we drove back to Newport Coast and grabbed dinner and called it an earlier night than we have been having. Tomorrow, we are continuing our adventures and heading to Beverly Hills and yes… I will be singing this song the entire day.
I view Instagram and social media as an art form. There is so much time and creativity put into it that often goes unnoticed. And just like with any art, we want to get it perfect. Our feeds should be aesthetically beautiful, our captions should be perfectly palpable, and our writing should be eloquent and swift. And, this work should be appreciated: it does not come without effort and it is desiring of art.
Yet, social media is different than any form of art before. While you can paint a picture and put it up in a room, it is not thought that that picture encompasses you and your life. When you post on social media though, your posts become you. They are your public representation world of who you are and what your life looks like. People assume they know you when they see your profile. And to many, this assumption feels unfair, because it brings with it a new sense of responsibility. We are responsible for showing reality in this art form, as much as beauty and perfection.
I think this responsibility is what is leading to the rise of behind the scenes posts right now. Social media is a curation of moments, but when that’s taken to represent all of reality, it can be pretty harmful. So, all of us, who spend our hours thinking about how we can create the best content possible now have something new to think about: how can we continue to make art we are proud of, while also showing reality for all that is. Behind the Scenes posts do exactly this: they show the art process. They show what the day to day looks like, including the moments of no creativity and struggles. They bring reality into this curation of moments.
My challenge for you is to think about how can you bring reality into your social media presence? How can you make your account a positive space, instead of a negative one?
I’ll be sharing a full blog post of behind the scenes moments from my latest Instagram later this week.