Sunday, April 8, 2018

Camping needs and nice to haves

Wow it's been awhile! So much has happened between now and the last post; and there's so many travel tips I'd like to share!

And one of those tips is along the lines of camping. Yes - I'll admit... I grew up camping in a motorized vehicle and did my first legit, in a tent, sleeping on the ground camping about two years ago. From that, here are the items I feel are necessary.

Check out my camping adventures below!

Monday, April 10, 2017

How to survive 36 hours in Chicago

So this is the story of how I spent 36 hours in Chicago. Definitely one of the most stressful and exciting time of my life. It started with an overnight/red eye flight departing around 11 pm and landed 5-6AM with 5 hours of sleep. Mind you, I spent the earlier part of the day stuffing myself at a Brazilian  steakhouse so I'm over stuffed with meat and made it to the airport with less than 20 min til boarding. Yes, I live my life on the edge (I hope you recognize my sarcasm there ;)) 

Now I don't want you to think, this is a pity party. With the circumstances, this is how it rolled. My time was miserable cause of the minimal sleep. I started my period, throwing my equilibrium off. And the mixture of lack of sleep and over stuffness ruined my appetite for the half the weekend. Meat sounded disgusting, so although I was looking forward to our Korean chicken wings, I probably only ate two.

Although I hail from Los Angeles, Chicago seemed so much bigger and grander than any city I've been too. (Also my first venture eastward, so this is also where my naivety may come in.) The skyscrapers were massive and I felt like a tiny human in this concrete jungle. The only time I felt at ease was when I was by the lake where things felt open. I'm sure Chicago has tons to offer, however, thus far, it is my least favorite place I've been to. -insert scornful remarks here- yeah I get it. I must have missed something and looking back on it is like holy geezus how did we accomplish all those things in such a short time? NO SLEEP AND CONSTANT VIGILANCE! I almost missed my flight back to home because of our poor planning and thank goodness Frontier is notoriously late that I didn't have to stay overnight in Chicago. Two of the major things I've learned from this trip is:

1) No more red eye flights - and if I do take a red eye, I will force myself to sleep or spend and extra day there
    • After getting off the plane, we immediately got our rental and took it over to North Beach (which was amazingly beautiful at sunrise), but me with less than 7 hours of sleep is a nightmare to my travel companions.
2) Staying in the city and take a damn Uber/Lyft - several reasons why I'd recommend this
    •  I ended up staying closer towards the airport, which of course was ideal since it was cheaper, HOWEVER, trying to find parking in the city took up majority of the time and we could have accomplished even more things if we didn't spend so much time looking for parking
    • In addition to looking for parking, the drivers will drive you up to the location you're looking for so you won't go wandering around shady places to find your destination
    • Secondly, I would have spent the same amount taking Uber/Lyft as renting a car and parking, cause their parking prices are EXPENSIVE. I literally spent $30 to see the Bean. ya, i know. It killed my wallet.
    • Avoid parking tickets. I haven't gotten a ticket in my travels yet. Having that as one less stress would definitely make my traveling more enjoyable.
    • Frequently, places would "validate" parking. However, they're SUPER specific about which places take the validation. So unless you're knowledgeable about where each parking structure is designated, expect to pay the highest price.
    • The parking meters typically only allow 2 hours, meaning you have to constantly keep track of the time you put on your meters and take that extra time to stop what you're currently doing to pay the meters and resume what you're up to.
I think I've made a solid case for taking Uber/Lyft. Nonetheless, here's the list of places I've visited.

✈︎ o'hare airport
✈︎ north beach
✈︎ art institute
✈︎ crisps
✈︎ wendella boat tour
✈︎ jeni's splendid ice cream
✈︎ bobby's bike hike
✈︎ lou malnati's
✈︎ rj grunt's
✈︎ molly's cupcake
✈︎ murphy's red hots
✈︎ murphy's bleachers
✈︎ The Bean/Millenium Park
✈︎ the office

Highlights: North Beach at Sunrise, Bobby's Bike Tour and the Office - highly recommend doing these

If you found any of these tips helpful, please subscribe to my blog to Youtube Channel for more travel tips. xx

S U B S C R I B E //
Y E L P //
B L O G G E R //
I N S T A G R A M // @brittnissx3
T W I T T E R // @brittnissx3
L O O K B O O K //


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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What I Ate in Portland

Here is a breakdown of the places that I visited in case you don't want the wordy explanations of why you should visit these places:


  • 1 location (Downtown Portland)
  • Mexican Food
  • Must try: Desebrada Chimichanga
  • FYI: Open late (til 2 am)


  • 1 location (off Burnside Street)
  • Creole/Cajun Food
  • Must try: Hot Dark Chocolate 
  • FYI: Get there early! Most days this place is super busy, but I was fortunate enough to only wait 30 minutes


  • 1 location (off Burnside Street, right next to Screen Door)
  • Southeast Asian Coffee
  • Must try: Thai Tea
  • FYI: This is definitely something you might need to get accustomed to


  • 1 location + 2 food carts
  • Thai Food
  • Must try: Khao Man Gai
  • FYI: DO NOT ORDER THEIR THAI TEA. You'll definitely regret this purchase.


  • 2 locations
  • Donuts
  • Must try: Didn't sample too many things, but I liked their glazed donut
  • FYI: Voodoo Too (the second location) has better rating on yelp


  • 1 location in Vancouver, WA
  • Coffee, bear and wine
  • Must try: Kumbacha
  • FYI: Once a month they have comedy nights!!


  • 1 location
  • Coffee & Chocolate
  • Must try: Con Panna
  • FYI: SUPER bike friendly. You can bring your bikes into the shop and mount them onto the wall


  • 3 locations in Portland + 1 in L.A. + 1 in Tokyo
  • Donuts
  • Must try: The O.G. Glazed, hands down
  • FYI: These donuts are on the pricier side but they are so high quality it's worth every penny


  • 1 location (Hawthorne Blvd)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly styled sandwiches
  • Must try: Smoking Goat
  • FYI: Share with friends so you can try multiple food carts!

  • 1 location (Hawthorne Blvd)
  • Poutine
  • Must try: Satay Poutine
  • FYI: Order the smallest size because it's very filling

  • 1 location
  • Chai and Donuts
  • Must try: Ginger Rodgers
  • FYI: Do not visit if you've already eaten donuts today

  • 3 locations in Portland + 2 in L.A.
  • Homemade Ice Cream
  • Must try: Stumptown Coffee and Burnside Bourbon
  • FYI: There's not an actual age restriction on the 'Kids Cone' :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Travel Tips for First Time Travelers

Going to Portland was my first adventure where I did very 'adult' things. I bought my first plane ticket and rented my first car. So I've compiled a list of tips for first time travelers.


I had booked Spirit Airlines with reluctance. I had saw so many videos saying how terrible it is in terms of service and having to pay for everything. I had wanted to bring my Jansport backpack which went over their height limit by .75 inches. I called their customer service and they stressed as long as my bag fit in the seat in front me, I will not be charged the "Carry-on fee". Okay great. I went to pack my bag and had a freak out moment because I thought I had over packed since my bag was started to bulge. This was a blessing in disguise because unloading my bag of unnecessary things made my trip easier to travel light. I had also preplanned my outfits and toiletries so I wouldn't have a lot of unnecessary items to carry and everything I brought I used. I had also reserved my rental car online prior to arriving to ensure I would have a car and prepaid for gas for when I returned the car (not sure if that was the best option but let me know what you have done).


With my first tip, I called the airline customer service to verify the carry-on rule. I had also called my hotel to let them know I will be arriving at a really late time. Not sure if that would have affected anything, but I'd imagine that them knowing I was showing up really late would alleviate their stress of wondering where I am. I'd like to believe that right? Anyway, during this call (I had read on their website they charge for overnight parking in their garage) I had asked if they include free parking. Unfortunately, they charge $30 a night but because I had told her that I was coming in so late, she had suggested to park on the street overnight for FREE because the parking meters typically run from 8am to 8pm, and then wake up in the morning to pay by the hour for parking. Thank you to the front desk lady who had given me this information. I had saved $52 from NOT parking in their garage ($60 minus the $8 I had put in the meters in the morning). Personal WIN!


I had less than 48 hours to be in Portland. I had arrived around 10pm Thursday night and I had left around 8pm Saturday night. Realistically, I had about 26 hours accounting for sleeping. So I had written down everything I wanted to do/see and organized them in a way that would allow for them to all fit. Multnomah Falls was a must, so this drove my reason to rent a car versus taking Uber. I figured I wouldn't be back in Portland for awhile so this is a must see. Screen Door, Voodoo Doughnuts, Powell's Bookstore, Nong's Khao Man Gai, Pip's Doughnuts, Salt & Straw and PDX Bike Tour were necessary on our itinerary. So assuming each meal would take an hour long and bike tour would take approx 2.5 hours and mapping out each destination, I organized the events as such:

- Arrive around 10:30 pm
- Get car @ 11 pm
- Check-in Hotel around 11:30 pm
- Multnomah Falls
- Powell's Bookstore/Voodoo Doughnuts  (because they were within a block of each other)
- Bike Tour @ 9 am
- Pip's Doughnuts
- Dinner ?? @ 4:30 pm
- Return Car by 6 pm

Which leads me to my next tip


With having everything laid out, I knew where I would and would not have time to do things. Clearly Friday was the day to fit most things in because there weren't any restrictions on arrival or departing. I was hungry when I arrived in Portland, so I yelped restaurants open at 12 am and found Santeria; after eating at Screen Door we stumbled upon Kopi Coffee; after seeing the Falls we made a view stop at the the Columbia River and stopped at the outlet stores; and made an impromptu trip to Vancouver, WA after eating dinner. Each of these little finds made my trip memorable and I'm so glad I got to experience each stop and food I ate.

With that being said, I wish you first time travelers the best of luck on your trip and hope you have a great time. Please ask questions if there is anything specific you would like to know about traveling or what I did in Portland.

Have fun!

Monday, February 29, 2016


When you're traveling a place
with so little time
finding ways to be fashionable
is such a crime

But never fear
when there's a will there's a way
and thank goodness
it was sunny all day

When you go to a place
that rains most of the time
you'll be glad
you spent that dime

Rainwear is important
When you live in Portland
So don't be a fool
And play it cool

Find a way
to sneak your favorite outfit
Under the layers
And you'll still look legit

They won't see
You're a tourist in disguise

RAIN JACKET // The North Face
SWEATER // Forever 21
DENIM // Levi's
BOOTS // Alice + Whittles