Rock you like a hurricane

One year ago, I went on an impromptu trip with my best friend Shannon to New Orleans. The two of us had never gone on a trip together and it was nice to plan a last minute trip to see her and see a new town at the same time. Shannon and I decided we would take a trip every year, or every other year (this year has gotten CRAZY for me with weddings).

I don’t think either of us knew how much fun we would have together or the stories that would come out of our trip to NOLA. I think New Orleans is the Southern Vegas, so some of our stories will stay between the two of us. But the food and PG adventures can be shared with all you strangers!

We encountered the nicest people during our time in New Orleans. Everyone went above and beyond to make our trip so fun and carefree. We got in Thursday night – around 9pm and took the nicest Uber to our AirBnb. Our driver took us on a mini tour of the area pointing out areas we should steer clear of and the areas that we should go. She told us where to go if we wanted to see sites that were still trying to recover from Katrina 12 years later. She was basically our taxi tour guide, she was fantastic. We then met our AirBnb host who was equally fantastic, we stayed in the Arts District – which was cheaper than the French Quarter and a short walk each day. He was a school teacher nearby and lived above the apartment we were staying in. He was also our resident palmetto bug killer because Shannon and I do not mess with that.

And just like the races, we were off and running in NOLA! The night we landed we went to a few bars near our AirBnb, Hi-Ho Lounge and Siberia – both had live music and food which was needed after a day of work/travel. Siberia’s polish menu is weird – but somehow it works and you fall in love with every bite.

The next morning we were off to Café Du Monde, but first we needed to cut through the French Market to take in the sites and to avoid the quick downpour that struck during our walk! But all was forgiven once we ate those delicious beignets, had a heaping coffee and started window shopping (you know, once the rain stopped).

Window shopping lead to day drinking at Pat O’Brien’s and somehow we wandered home to shower and get ready for a night out on Bourbon Street! But first, dinner. We dined at Royal House out on the ricketiest patio eating oysters that were the size of our heads and some nice southern meals. We then made our way to Bourbon Street where we started the night at Tickler’s Piano Bar – every night should start at a piano bar that knows the perfect moment to play Hang On Sloopy (I also spent $20 to keep it going because there were some rowdy MSU fans in the house that wanted it off). One thing led to another and we found ourselves part of a bachelor’s party.

If you’ve been to Bourbon Street, this is not hard to do – the entire road is made up on bachelors and bachelorettes. Shannon and I were the freaks for being there on a “girls trip,” and not having 16 other women with us. We mystified people. Well, we mystified men.

We could have fun in a cardboard box. But put us on a dance floor and we will turn it up. Bourbon Street was a rowdy time. From Tickler’s Piano Bar we headed to Razzoo’s at Razzoo’s we ditched Bachelor Party #1 for Bachelor Party #2, then it was on to the Bourbon Bandstand. After the Bourbon Bandstand, we decided to go back to Razzoo’s and we ran into Bachelor Party #1 and it was here that we irish exited Bachelor Party #2 and joined back up with Bachelor party #1 (I don’t understand us either but we were dancing machines and we came to party).

The next morning we were somehow alive and functioning enough to eat lunch and then head to the Garden District to walk around and look at gorgeous homes and check out graves at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.

On to party night number 2! Surprisingly, this night did not involve any bachelor parties… just a group we will call “The Dads” and Rugby Players. In true fashion we started the night with dinner at Adolfo’s on Frenchman Street (this street is so much fun) and the restaurant is cash only, a fact that I’m glad we knew about before we went! Then it was back to Bourbon Street! Once again at our tried and true Tickler’s… where we met the dad’s and on to Razzoo’s we went where this time we got the VIP treatment because Shannon became besties with a bartender the night before. In true Meg and Shan fashion, we ghosted the dad’s at Razzoo’s and were on to the next bar! This one was called the Bourbon Cowboy and it was here that we ran into a herd of Rugby Players from Dallas. These gents were a hoot and a half and could make even 5’8” me feel like a shrimp, they were skyscrapers! And boy, did they love to dance!

We danced the night away with them from bar to bar and then bailed when it got to be really late…

The next morning we were off to brunch at Brennan’s and then a trip to the plantations! Shannon and I went to Oak Alley Plantation to see the rich history of this area, and it was fascinating to learn the stories of these homes. We also had a weird trick of constantly running into Bachelor Parties that we encountered from the nights before… We had our final (amazing) dinner at Café Amelie sitting outside sharing stories from the weekend and laughing too much.

And just like that, our whirlwind adventure in New Orleans came to a close. Not before Shannon got stranded in the NOLA airport due to the flooding in Houston last year… but alas, we all made it out alive and with a few more stories up our sleeves. 🙂

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When’s the last time you went on a whirlwind adventure with your bestie?

The Rosy Basic B
Because when you’re tearing it up in New Orleans with your best friend wrecking havoc on unsuspecting souls, the best thing to wash down the stories with is a gin, rosé and lime juice. So pour yourself one and let the stories flow!

Not where I’m supposed to go

cloudsSometimes, when I’m sitting on a plane about to take off to some far away destination I start to panic. It strikes me the moment our wheels lift off the ground. I fear that I am not on the right plane.

I fear that I have somehow passed through the gate check due to a faulty boarding pass scanner. I fear that I’m not going to where I’m supposed to be headed. I fear that TSA or the FBI will be greeting me when we land. I fear that the last people I will ever see will not be my amazing family or insanely weird and beautiful friends, but instead will be these strangers who aren’t acknowledging the old man in 6C who keeps farting.

I’ve never gotten on the wrong plance. I’ve never been greeting by the TSA or the FBI or Homeland Security upon landing. I have no idea where this irrational fear stems from.

But, I did try to sneak in 16 oz. of water through security today.

It didn’t work.

Meg Meets the Definitive Rankings of Hotel Amenities

A common theme in my blog lately has been travel, mostly because I have been traveling a lot in the past month. I’ve been to Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. April has been a whirlwind, and I am finally home. Because I have been traveling a lot I feel like hotels have become a second home.

I’ve stayed in DoubleTrees, Marriotts, Courtyards, Hiltons, Homewood Suites… I have stayed in hotels with too few pillows, too thin of walls, terrible breakfasts and youths, youths everywhere.

So, now I bring you the definite list of things that make hotels great:

  1. A close parking spot 
  2. Friendly customer service
  3. Free alcohol (Homewood Suites, you and your drink tickets at check-in are a gem)
  4. A conveniently located room (nothing is worse than having to walk down the longest corridor EVER to your room)
  5. A working hotel key the first time I get to my room (you have no idea how frequently I have to return to the front desk because my key doesn’t work the first time they give to me)
  6. Pillows! SO MANY PILLOWS! (I firmly believe that you cannot have too many pillows)
  7. Outlets right by the bed (a lot of hotels have started putting outlets on the bedside lamps, some even put three or four on the nightstand – these hotels are AMAZING. I always start my unpacking process by plugging in my iPad, computer and two phones, if I can find easily accessible outlets for these, I am a happy camper)
  8. A working blowdryer (blowdryers have become more and more unreliable in hotel rooms, I might start packing my own…)
  9. Free breakfast (FREE. It doesn’t have to be the best, but free breakfast is so nice)
  10. Express check-out (while I love the humans at the front desk, I love not having to stop there on my way out in the morning even more)

Now I don’t need these things in order to stay in a certain hotel, they just make the experience a little better. What do you love when you’re staying in a hotel?

+Meggan Fallon

Meg Meets the Beauty of Airports

This guy is NOT feeling the security line.

This guy is NOT feeling the security line.

I have been traveling a lot for business; in fact, by the end of this week I will have been in 10 states in the month of April. For someone who rarely left the state of Ohio in the past four years, this is a lot to get used to…

But I love it.

I love being able to head in to an airport and within a few hours (or minutes… I was running a little late this morning), be whisked away to a new place. I also love the beauty of airports. Most people hate them because they are a giant symbol of order and lines, of waiting and testing patience. I like them because for however long you are in one, you are in the same boat as everyone else.

You are all going somewhere, you are all packing up items you deem important and valuable and hoping on a transportation device that honestly doesn’t seem like it should fly. Every person in an airport is going somewhere, so, for that brief period in time, you are all the same.

It’s kind of amazing isn’t it?

photo 3I mean the beauty of airports gets easily ruined by the imbeciles in the security line and the screaming child three rows behind you on your 5-hour flights, or when you drew the short straw and have to sit middle seat and the assholes on either side of you feel entitled to take both armrests… those moments can ruin anyone’s day. But I still love to look for the beauty in airports.

They are all so different, from Chicago to Cleveland to the gorgeous Zurich airport, everyone of them is completely different and still exactly the same.

They are all an escape… so where are you heading?

Airplane Selfies are my new passion.

Airplane Selfies are my new passion.

+Meggan Fallon

Meg Meets Pictures of March

March was a crazy month. I was travelling for half the month, and when I wasn’t travelling my body decided that it was a good time to get sick. We are only a quarter of the way into 2014 and I am positive I have spent a majority of that time fighting off bronchitis, a sore throat and now a nice cold… I’m sure work is very concerned about my (seemingly) non-existent immune system.

I apologize for the brevity of this blog post, but you, my loyal audience, are worthy of a weekly post from me. So, without further ado, I present March through a series of quick snapshots:

Ikea 2

The first weekend of March, I went to Ikea with my mother to (finally) update some of my furniture. I bought a new bed frame, sheets, bedding and a nice new multipurpose gray cart! I then enjoyed a brief week at home, and a Rain Concert with my friend, Lexxi. Rain is a Beatles Tribute Band, and crazy good live. This was a nice break before jet-setting off for vacation.

Rain

Just hanging out with John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Then it was off to Los Angeles to see my good friend Beth! Beth and I went to high school together, and it is always great to be able to pick up a conversation with someone like no time has past! Beth and I went to Venice Beach, got dinner, played in the sun and chatted like old times. It was great to see her and I am so happy for her to be living out her dream in LA!

Venice Beach

From LA, I continued my journey of the West Coast up to San Francisco, where I spent time with Shannon, one of my best friends from college. Much like Beth, she moved to Cali to live out a dream she’s had for awhile. We had a very chill and relaxed week and even had a mini spa/pampering day where we drank wine and did face masks! It was just like a middle school sleepover all over again!

I would make a great Elphaba if anyone is interested in re-casting the musical...

I would make a great Elphaba if anyone is interested in re-casting the musical…

San Francisco was a blast, and I immediately left there to head to NYC for a business trip, talk about CRAZY! Bi-coastal in a week! My sleep schedule was completely wonky… I was heading to NYC in order to attend a giant Biopharm tradeshow and live-tweet the event. Our company’s booth was breathtaking. I am blown away with how quickly they can set these things up!

photo 2 (3)

It was also my first time in NYC since I was a child, and it was nice to see Time Square… that’s really all I saw though. There really isn’t much time for exploring during business trips! But I did manage to trick someone into taking this photo!

NYC

You wouldnt know it from this photo… but someone was barfing on the sidewalk in front of us #StPattysDay

From NYC, it was off to Columbus, Ohio, because I like to push my body to the brink of exhaustion and I also wanted to see my college friends… In Columbus, I got to hang out with friends, relive my youth by going to a Demi Lovato concert and learned the valuable lesson that hangovers hurt more as you get older.

Demi

With my friends Glenna and Nick at the concert.

All the travelling was fun, but now I am paying the price; I am sicker than a dog! But, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. March was fun, and I look forward to April!

Meg Meets Letting Go Of Control, Part Two

BridgeEarlier this week, I jetted from LA to San Francisco for Part 2 of my “traveling without a care in the world” trip.  I landed in San Francisco on Thursday morning and took the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) into the city to meet my friend, Shannon, at work. We grabbed a quick Starbucks and she called me an Uber, and I was off to her gorgeous apartment in Nob Hill to unpack and shower before meeting her for lunch.

I wandered back down the hill to the Ferry Building to grab an amazing salad and have some much needed girl talk with her before sending her back on her way to work and exploring the city alone. I ventured back up to Nob Hill, poked around every street up there, Chinatown and Russian Hill. The views up there are STUNNING and my legs were aching to take a nap by 5pm (I am definitely NOT used to hiking up those steep hills on a daily basis!). I ran to the Trader Joe’s a couple blocks from her apartment and bought some champagne and all the ingredients to make guacamole, talk about a healthy dinner! We then ventured down to the marina on our evening walk before heading home to pop the bubbly and attempt to make guacamole with not quite ripe avocados… we had to use a blender to mash them (Guacamole now sponsored by Magic Bullet).

Hill, 2

On Friday, we headed back down toward the marina for a quick pop into Benefit for a (much overdue) brow wax; and then we snuck into Gap, because when I travel cross-country I like to go into the exact same stores we have in Ohio…

Dolores Park with ViewAfter lunch at this fabulous whiskey bar with the best sliders I have ever had, we rode a cable car, hanging off the sides and all, to Union Square (where I then splurged on a VERY nice pair of sunglasses). After our lovely purchases, we headed over to Dolores Park. The view of the city from the park is stunning and I LOVE soaking up some sun in the middle of March! I also (finally) acquired some Samoas from a very nice girl scout who was selling them in the park, so I was feeling pretty dang happy that afternoon.

Full House HouseWe then popped over to see the Full House house on Broderick Ave, because when you’re in San Francisco this is a MUST SEE, obviously. They painted it a different color because I think the owners must hate people constantly stopping by to take photos, but the fact that the house is now purple and not white is not going to stop me.

Shannon and I then stopped by a small market and picked up a fresh pizza and some lettuce to make for dinner that night, I mean honestly I am the easiest travel companion ever. The goat cheese pizza was the best take-and-bake pizza I have ever had, I am not even kidding. It was another early night because we we’re waking up early the next day to head to Napa!

Napa Hill

Napa was incredible. I now know where I want to retire… if I can ever retire. Amiright?

BreakfastWe headed to the Clos Du Val winery to pick up some wine and have a tasting, where I splurged and bought a bottle. It was incredible, the views in Napa are stunning, it’s so quiet and I just can’t even. I highly suggest heading up to Napa if you ever find yourself in the Northern Cali area, and soaking up the views. Before stopping at the winery we popped into Alexis Baking Company in Downtown Napa for some breakfast and coffee. The service and food was astonishing! I had the Huevos Rancheros and some fresh squeezed OJ, Shan had the French Toast and a latte (which I may or may not have stolen a few sips of); I highly suggest a pit-stop at ABC if you’re ever in the area!

Shan & I, Napa

Me, SF in BKGAfter driving around Napa, we headed to an overlook road/Vista Point on the opposite side of the bay to see the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Downtown San Francisco. It was at this moment during my trip where I was concerned that I wasn’t going to get on my flight home and just stay in SF forever (spoiler alert: I go home, sadly).

From the overlook we headed to the Golden Gate Park to lay out and meet up with some of Shannon’s friends. It was at the moment that I wished I had been wearing my running shoes so I could go for a run through the park, it was so green and lush, and you would never guess that you were in the middle of San Francisco! It was so nice just laying in the grass and enjoy the peace and quiet; I almost forgot where I was it was so peaceful.

Once our tummies were rumbling we packed up and headed back to Nob Hill to an adorable Italian Café right behind Shannon’s apartment for dinner. The food was an amazing and once again made me wish I could stay forever and eat my way through the city! It was the perfect final night in the city. I’ve always been a stay in and chat kind of gal, so I loved every bit of this night.Lombard

The next morning, my final morning in San Francisco, we drove down Lombard and snapped a quick pic.  I highly suggest getting there around 8am on a Sunday, because it was actually pretty dang empty for a tourist location! We then popped over to the Mission for some fancy gourmet coffee before heading to the airport.

San Francisco/Napa in 3.25 days!
It can be done, my friends, with no planning and no itinerary, and I don’t really feel like I missed out on anything! I thoroughly enjoyed not being in charge of plans or the itinerary for my trip! In fact, I enjoyed not feeling like I had to cross off items on a personal must-see checklist that I think this is how I might travel forever… Or maybe not, but it was nice for a week!

Now it’s off to NYC for a work trip, where I HAVE to stick to an itinerary… that’s going to be a tough adjustment!

+Meggan Fallon

Meg Meets Letting Go Of Control, Part One

I recently took a few vacation days, which if you know me is actually quite rare. Throughout college, I worked or intern throughout all of/most of my breaks (I still went home for Christmas), I have even been known to work on NYE; so, it is very uncharacteristically of me to take a few days of “me time”.  So, I booked a trip to see one of my best friends in San Francisco, Shannon, and another one of my friends who lives in LA, Beth.  I didn’t take anything work related, although I did pack my iPhone, which means I have the internet and Twitter, so it’s kind of like I packed my job!

Anyway, I wanted to take a vacation away from Ohio and myself. I have a very strong type-A personality, I love to plan everything, I stick to a strict, meticulous schedule every single day; so, on this vacation I want to escape any sort of schedule and itinerary (besides my flight schedule, that I still had to abide by). So, I let go of control, I checked with my friends that the dates were good and then bought my tickets… and that was the extent of my planning!

photo 1So, off I went to LA on Wednesday, I was only there briefly (less than 24 hours, actually) and I wish I was there longer because it turns out 2 of my cousins and another one of my friends was also in LA this week and I would’ve loved to see them while out here! The flight to LA was actually one of the roughest flights I have ever taken, we snuck out right before another huge cold front/giant winter storm #89473 hit the Midwest and East Coast and therefore we had insane turbulence for the first half of the flight and then we hit more turbulence, unrelated to the storm, for the other half. It was a VERY bumpy ride to say the least. After finally landing in the gorgeous, sunny and warm Los Angeles I was swept off to Venice Beach!

photo 2

My friend Beth and I had a great time playing in the freezing Pacific, walking around Muscle Beach and looking at all the vendors and playing volleyball. We then went to tour where Beth works, because it’s E! and I really wanted to see E! Then we went to dinner at the Grove, which really reminded me of my family’s trip to Italy in the winter of 2011. The Grove has a bunch of gorgeous lights all throughout the streets and it really reminded me of the way Florence decorates… oh, take me back! 🙂

photo 3

Okay, I get it E!, you have a cool office…

And that was the extent of my LA trip for the most part, I was then whisked off to San Francisco… but you’re going to have to come back for that adventure!

+Meggan Fallon

Meg Meets the Three Month Mark

I don’t know when I’m going to stop counting the months of my time with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics (PPL) (I feel like I am a high-schooler in their first relationship, celebrating every minor anniversary), but today is not that day. This past week, I celebrated (internally) my three-month anniversary with PPL.

25985cbb6975eaa682895e22a0e89834In the past three months, my role as the Social Media Marketing Specialist has met and exceeded my expectations. I have met so many great people and I have been given the opportunity to travel, which I love! I love meeting new people and learning their stories, because I will (soon) be sharing the stories of our company culture, people and products all over the internet! I honestly didn’t expect that I would be travelling so much, especially right away, but I love jumping in. I’ve always been a “two-feet in” kind of person, and travelling to all of our locations and meeting these people is the best way for me to get content, which I need. I need so much content. I am like a content-hungry hyena…

I honestly can’t believe it’s already been three months… More importantly I can’t believe that I have spent over 65-some hours in the car commuting to and from work! I can’t believe that I’ve had the opportunities to go to Florida (twice!), LA and San Diego next week, and next month, NYC! It’s crazy, and as someone who loves to travel… this is like a dream come true. I just need to perfect my packing style, I am HUGE over-packer!

So, if you are currently looking for a job, I highly encourage you to apply for the job that you are unsure of. I was skeptical of this job and me being the right fit when I applied, but after meeting the people and seeing the culture during the interview process I knew it was the right fit. Take a chance on the job post you are unsure of, you never know what it might lead to!

What is your dream entry-level job?

+Meggan Fallon

Meg Meets the Digital Age…

I am writing this via my brand new iPad Air (my first big kid purchase!!), which is constantly baffling me with its abilities. I have always been a self-described Apple Enthusiast, but until recently, I had never owned an iPad or tablet. I bought my iPad on Black Friday (I know, I know – I can’t believe I went out on Black Friday either!) and actually got a decent deal, I mean it was Black Friday after all. It worked out perfectly because I was leaving for my first business trip, ever, a few days after purchasing this beloved device.

photo 1

The view of Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale from my room.

Speaking of my business trip… Work has been a whirlwind! I celebrated my one-month anniversary of employment with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics on the 32nd floor of the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida, taking in the view and thinking about how crazy my life has become. I am now, officially, a young professional (or at least that’s what people keep telling me…)! This past month has been filled with meeting a blur of faces and trying my hardest to remember all of their names! In addition to that, I am launching and looking into new social media platforms for my company, ah, the life as a Social Media Marketing Specialist! 🙂 I was in Hollywood, Florida for a Kick-Off event, and I had to give a quick little introduction presentation to everyone explaining myself and my new role with the company. To say I was scared would be a vast understatement, I was absolutely, knees-shaking, tunnel-vision freaking out before I had to get up on that stage. It also looks like I need to start taking a public speaking class or something…

In addition to jumping both feet first into this job, and investing in new technology in my personal life, I have also started using an Andriod phone. I KNOW. Me, using an Android?! It is truly laughable. Work has given me a Samsung S4. So, now I’m that jerk you see with two computers (a Mac and a PC), two phones (an iPhone and an Android) and an iPad… I have embraced it, mostly because I love technology and I love learning new devices and things.

So November was CRAZY to say the least! I am very excited to settle down a bit in the end of December and play on all my fun tech!!

View of Miami from the Virginia Key (Saint-Gobain did a community event cleaning up the Key during our trip to Florida)!

View of Miami from the Virginia Key (Saint-Gobain did a community event cleaning up the Key during our trip to Florida)!