11 Best Airports

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As someone who’s job is hanging out in airports, I consider myself an expert when it comes to airports. Additionally, I’ve slept on a few airport floors (this was pre-flight attendant life) and I’ve gone through many different international airports. All of this makes me (in my opinion) fully knowledgeable on what makes a good airport. However I’m only ranking the airports I’ve been to, so this excludes all of Asian and South American’s airports.  I’m basing my criteria on a few things:

  • Food options
  • Seating availability
  • Charging availability
  • Varity of shopping options

Delays, cancellations and other issues that may arise when traveling are not a factor in my decision as these are not the airports fault. My rankings are below and I explain why I gave each airport the ranking I did.

  1. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
    • This is by far the best international airport that I have experienced. I’ve flown through Amsterdam three times, once going through Europe and twice flying back to the United States. Each time, it has been such a breeze. Customs going into Amsterdam is easy and fast. Once you’re at the main terminal, the signage is easy to understand. Additionally, if you are like me and you’re not using cell data, they have free WiFi available and free computers to use (I believe there is a time limit on computer use). Lots of food options and duty free shopping as well. Give yourself extra time to get through security flying out of Amsterdam as they have an extra layer of screenings flying out of Amsterdam.
  2. London Heathrow
    • London Heathrow’s airport is a experience. Especially if you fly out of British Airway’s terminal 5 this is an experience. I’ve flown out of Terminal 5 twice, once in 2016 and earlier this year. The terminal is a newer terminal for Heathrow and it shows. I forget I’m in an airport as the terminal is more of a shopping and food destination then a waiting area. If you forget any last minute gifts to bring home, never fear, you’ll be able to get them here and plenty more. Seating was not an issue, surprisingly, neither were finding charging outlets. If it wasn’t so expensive to fly out of, I would fly out of Heathrow more often.
  3. Dublin Airport
    • The reason why I love the Dublin Airport is because you can now go through U.S. Customs while in Dublin. This makes traveling back to the U.S. so seamless and faster that this puts Dublin at #3 on the list for me. The airport itself is really nice and easy to navigate. The signage is good and the employees are friendly. If flying into Dublin Airport, there are various different ways to get into the city without needing to take an expensive taxi. There’s also plenty of shops and food options available in the airport.
  4. Portland (OR) International Airport
    • I love, love, love Portland’s airport. The airport is relatively small, but has all the amenities you want in an airport. If you are flying out of the airport, I recommend you stop at the Elephant Deli before security and get something to eat there. Another reason why I love Portland’s airport is their food and prices are reasonable. The City of Portland passed legislation which prevented the airport from imposing exorbitant airport taxes and all the prices had to reflect the same price of everything you could purchase in the city. Thus, the food and other items you purchase in the airport aren’t ridiculously expensive.
  5. Denver Airport
    • While I still think the Illuminati are headquartered in the Denver Airport, I’ve never actually found any evidence this might be the case. Regardless, I think the Denver airport is a really nice airport. The airport is actually really big, but the signage is really well done that it’s hard to get lost. They offer lots of great food options (hello Caribou coffee), but are a little lacking on the shopping options. However, they do have a direct train from the airport to downtown Denver which I think is an important amenity to highlight.
  6. Seattle-Tacoma Airport
    • I have to disclaimer here, I am based in Seattle which means this is the airport I fly out of every time I go to work. However, I do think it’s a really great airport (when it’s not under construction like it is right now). The airport is pretty seamless and easy to navigate. The signage is clear and the airport has stepped up their food game in order to compete with other airports. Also I’m biased so I had to throw this airport in. Also there’s some great shopping there, you can go to the SubPop Records Store in the airport and get some really cool unique things from there.
  7. Minneapolis- St.Paul Airport
    • I spent three years in Minneapolis/St. Paul so I’ve flown out of this airport quite a bit. Earlier this year I got stranded in the airport flying home from England and I ended up spending 6 hours hanging out. I know this airport pretty well now and I still think it’s one of the best airports I’ve been to. Actually bigger than it seems (I’ve run through the airport many times, I’m always winded by the time I get to the E gates from the A gates. They have some great food options and the ability to play games on iPads that are located at some of the restaurants. They also have two terminals so make sure you’re at the right terminal or meeting someone at the right terminal. My mom flew into one terminal and I flew into a different one and we spent a good twenty minutes trying to find each other before we realized we were at two different terminals (#rookiemistake). They also have a rail system that can take you into Minneapolis from the airport.
  8. D.C. Airport
    • I like this airport a lot. For a major hub airport, it is seamless and pretty easy to navigate. It doesn’t feel overwhelming or too big. I think they have really good food options as well. Going through security is easy and pretty fast. I honestly thought it was a fluke how simple and easy the D.C. airport is. I would gladly fly out of D.C. more often. My only complaint is they don’t have as much seating available as I think they could.
  9. Salzburg Airport
    • This is a really small airport which is why I liked it. It’s really easy to get to and from downtown Salzburg to the airport, it’s just a simple bus ride away. Salzburg is a really great city to visit, so if you get a chance I highly recommend it. The airport is small but it still has all the amenities that you want in an airport. The food is reasonably priced and there is plenty of seating. I ended up being at the airport for a few hours longer than anticipated because I thought it would take me longer to get to the airport than it actually did. I was able to kill plenty of time wandering through the few shops it had and it was easy to get through security.
  10. Chicago-O’Hare Airport
    • I love this airport because during the holidays I have major Home Alone nostalgia walking through the airport. Also it’s a very big airport which means there are plenty of food and shopping options. Seating near the gates can be limited which is a drawback. Signage is pretty good and it’s easy to navigate. I enjoy walking through the airport as there is a lot just to take in and they always decorate it.
  11. Keflavik Airport
    • Iceland’s Airport is a destination. With Icelandair making more of a splash in the U.S. I was excited to experience their airport. I know a lot of people don’t like the airport, but I’ve never had any issues. However, I do acknowledge that seating can be an issue in the airport if you have a long layover. All of Icelandair’s flights have a layover in the airport, and if you choose not to do the stopover, then you could be in the airport for significant periods of times. I was only in the airport two and half hours prior to my flight to England and thought the airport was fine and offered all the amenities that I would want in an airport.

Any airports you think I missed? Or you disagree with me?

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12 Places I Want to Travel To

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I’m the typical millennial that just wants to travel and discover myself. I’ve got the traveling on lock down, but I’m still trying to figure out who I am. While I keep working on myself, I’m going full steam ahead on my travel plans. Next year I want to go to at least two new countries. I’ve already got plans to go to Argentina and Portugal next year (plus France and Spain, but I’ve already been there so I can’t cross those off my list). Here’s a list of the 12 places I want to travel to.

  1. Croatia
  2. Morocco
  3. Peru
  4. Russia
  5. Australia
  6. New Zealand
  7.  Sweden
  8. Finland
  9. Maine
  10. Vermont
  11. Rhode Island
  12. Italy

What are some countries or States that you want to visit? Have you been to any of the places I listed? If so, any advice on what I should see? Let me know!

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13 Books That Are Worth Reading Again

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As much as I try and read new books and try and make my to-read pile smaller, sometimes I just want to pick up a book that I am familiar with. I often describe rereading a book like reuniting with an old friend. You forget how great it is when you’re together, and you always have a good time. That’s what rereading a book is to me. I often reread books if I’m in a book slump, or I’m transitioning genres. I’ve been trying to read more nonfiction this year, but I do love a good young adult book. These are the books that I am always eager to reread.

  1. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  2. All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
  3. The Children by David Halberstam
  4. Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
  5. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  6. Cheating at Solitaire by Ally Carter
  7. Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  9. Definitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia London
  10. Holes by Louis Sachar
  11. A Room With A View by E.M. Forster
  12. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  13. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

What are some books you could reread?

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14 Books on My To – Read List

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I always look forward to new books that are coming out, but this always reminds me that I have a huge to-read pile that is endless and continues to grow every month. My goal was to read at least four books off my to-read list this year, while this happened, I ended up adding a bazillion more. Here are some of my books I want to read next year.

  1. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy
  2. Artemis by Andy Weir
  3. White Houses by Amy Bloom
  4. The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck
  5. Airport, Exes and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff
  6. The Kennedy Debutant by Kari Maher
  7. All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
  8. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
  9. Philomena: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty-Year Search by Martin Sixsmith
  10. The Night Manager by John Le Carré
  11. The Wright Brothers by David McCollough
  12. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  13. The Brethren by Bob Woodward
  14. Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Any books on your to-read list that you want to try and tackle? Let me know! I want to add more books to my list…

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Christmas Blog Tag

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I got tagged! First, thanks to Bill at Bill’s Writing Place for tagging me. I’m so excited to do a Christmas tag. Also go check out his blog when you get the chance.

Rules for the tag:

  1. Thank the blogger who tagged you and link to their blog.
  2. List the rules in the post
  3. Answer all questions asked by the blogger
  4. Nominate other bloggers and provide them with 12 questions!

Here are my answers to the question’s Bill asked me.

1. What’s one Christmas tradition from your childhood that you still wish you did today, even though you’ve long since outgrown it?

We used to go to my mom’s friend’s house for a Christmas party and every year we’d watch Christmas movies and I’d play the piano and we would all sing carols. Unfortunately we’ve all grown and aren’t able to always attend the Christmas party.

2. Do you prefer Christmas lights on people’s houses to be understated or extra?

I prefer Christmas lights to be extra because I go pretty extra with mine and I’d like to not be the only house on the block that has Christmas lights up.

3. Memory from a previous Christmas that to this day makes you laugh your head off?

My mom mixed up my sister and I’s Christmas presents because she wrapped them all with the same paper and forgot who’s was who’s. We didn’t want to be rude but we definitely knew they were wrong but we pretended we enjoyed the gifts until she realized (later that day) what had happened and asked us why we hadn’t just said anything right away.

4. Church or no church?

We usually go to Christmas Eve mass but hangout with the family on Christmas Day.

5. “Love Actually” — great Christmas movie, or greatest Christmas movie? (If you read to this point, you know what the answer better be.)

Greatest great Christmas movies.

6. Stockings for your pets, or no?

If you don’t have stockings for your pet you are doing it wrong.

7. Has anyone ever actually brought you figgy pudding?

No, what is figgy pudding?

8. What exactly is figgy pudding?

See answer above 😉

9. Have you ever gone Christmas caroling?

No, I can’t sing and I’m pretty sure I’d get figgy pudding thrown at my face if I tried to sing to anyone.

10. Completely unexpectedly, a celebrity knocks on your door Christmas Day with presents for you and yours. Who would you want it to be?

Idris Elba or Henry Golding. If either of you are reading this, you’re my hall pass (just kidding!)

11. If you could fly away to some foreign country for Christmas, where would you go?

Germany, the Christmas markets there are amazing and such a heartwarming and great place to go to. I recommend everyone go to Germany during Christmas time at least once if you get the chance!

12. If money were no object, what gift would you want for Christmas? What gift would you want to give?

Nothing, I prefer giving gifts then receiving gifts.

I’m tagging The Adventuring EmilyKay at Home, BeckieWrites, CultureBean, and lastly Foodadventures.

And my questions for you are:

  1. What’s your favorite Christmas song?
  2. Do you prefer a fake Christmas tree or a real Christmas tree?
  3. How do you think Mistletoe ever came to exist?
  4. What is your favorite Christmas memory?
  5. If you could have anyone at your Christmas party, former friend or celebrity, who would it be and why?
  6. What’s your favorite Christmas movie?
  7. Is Eggnog as good as you think it is? Or is it overhyped?
  8. Spiced Apple Cider or Spiced Hot Chocolate?
  9. What’s your favorite Christmas dessert?
  10. Have you ever regifted a gift you received?
  11. What is your favorite Christmas memory?
  12. What does Christmas day normally look like in your household?

Can’t wait to read your answers!

15 Movies In 2019

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2018 was a really hard year for me for many different reasons that I’ll get into later this month, in my end of year reflection post. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to 2019! Out with the old, in with the new! Here are a list of 15 movies that are coming out next year that I’m excited to see.

  1. Avengers 4
  2. The Lion King (live action remake)
  3. Dumbo (live action remake)
  4. Star Wars Episode 9
  5. Mulan
  6.  Us (JORDAN PEELE, WINSTON DUKE, LUPITA NYONG’O need I say more?)
  7. Greyhound
  8. Where’d you go Bernadette?
  9. John Wick Chapter 3
  10. Ford vs Ferrari
  11. Artemis Fowl (Judi Dench can do no wrong)
  12. Captain Marvel
  13. Godzilla
  14. The Lego Movie
  15. Rocketman

Any movies you’re looking forward to seeing?

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16 Things to Remember When Traveling

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Traveling is stressful. Traveling during the holidays is extra stressful. I’ve been there, I used to fly home every Christmas when I was away for college. It can be overwhelming, time-consuming and claustrophobic. I can’t prevent things from going wrong, but hopefully this list will help make things less stressful when you’re traveling. This is a long list, but these are all things that I have found make traveling for myself easier.

Here are 16 Things to Remember When You’re Traveling.

  1. Know the weather ahead of time and pack accordingly. If you can pack light and easy, then that’ll make your life easier.
  2. Download movies and books ahead of time because the Airport WiFi might be overloaded with too many people on it.
  3. Don’t leave the house without double checking you have all your important documents (like passports etc).
  4. Download the app for your airline to make traveling easier, and can get notifications for any issues that might arise around your flights.
  5. Give yourself more than 2 hours to get through security lines, even more, if you are at a major airport like LAX, ATL, JFK.
  6. If you are checking your suitcase, make sure it is clearly marked that it is yours. A unique color suitcase or a ribbon to tie around the handle that makes it obvious it is yours.
  7. If you’re traveling with kids (or honestly have it for yourself) bring an extra change of clothes.
  8. Before going through security, put everything into your carry on. This will make going through security easier and you don’t have to worry about forgetting to grab your wallet or watch.
  9. Always double check your gate. Even if you are there early, gates can change.
  10. If something goes wrong (like delays, cancellations etc) please remember to be nice to the Customer Service Agents. They are only people and they are doing their best.
  11. Bring food or snacks because sometimes you might not have time to get food, or the line is too long.
  12. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up past security. Staying hydrated is important when traveling. Did you know the air pressure in a plane cabin is as dry as the Gobi Desert?
  13.  Bring spare portable battery, as there may not be any room to charge your devices at the charging stations.
  14. Bring headphones, no one else needs to hear your music or tv show.
  15. Use the bathroom before you get on the airplane.
  16. For the plane, bringing face wipes and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste will make you feel refreshed after a long flight.

Any tips you think are helpful?

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17 Best Holiday Drinks

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Holidays are for hanging out with friends, winding down the year and lots of drinking. Whether it is alcohol or Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider, lots of drinks are going around. Some of my favorite drinks I can only get around the holiday time. Additionally, since I turned 21, I’ve had the pleasure of being able to have alcoholic drinks (though honestly I just take a few sips and pass them along to someone else, mainly my mother).

Some of the best drinks I’ve had was when I was in Europe that I can’t get in the States so if anyone is reading this from Europe and wants to send me mulled wine, I won’t say no.

Here are 17 of the best holiday drinks I’ve had:

  1. Williams- Sonoma Classic Hot Chocolate (only available during the holidays, and can be purchased here)
  2. Glüwhein – German hot spiced wine
  3. Mulled wine – English hot spiced wine
  4. Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider (non-alcoholic)
  5. Egg Nog (took me a while, but I finally caught on to why everyone likes it)
  6. Peppermint Hot Chocolate
  7. Spiced Apple Cider (warm)
  8. White Christmas Mojito (I got the recipe here)
  9. White Hot Chocolate
  10. Salted Caramel Latte
  11. Caramel Apple Spice
  12. Gingerbread hot chocolate
  13. Hot Buttered Rum (I normally don’t like rum but this wasn’t bad!)
  14. Christmas Sangria
  15. Candy Cane Mint Vodka
  16. Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple-Cranberry Cider (non-alcoholic)
  17. Mexican Cocoa

Any great holiday drinks you’ve had? Let me know! I’d love to try them.

 

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18 Christmas Books

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I love books and I love Christmas, so these two things combined make me especially happy. When I was younger, I used to have a goal where I was going to try and read every book in the world (obviously my 10-year-old self was extremely unrealistic).

Regardless, I found that in the past two years, I’ve wanted to read more holiday books and so I’ve been borrowing them from the library. First off I found some Christmas books have a sad storyline, or they are romantic books (like Debbie Macomber is the queen of Christmas romantic books) or they are picture books. While I really tried to find non-romantic happy Christmas books, I haven’t been very successful (also I didn’t try that hard so this list is based on my meager attempts).

I’ve read all the books listed and they’re all great and incredibly cheesy . Also really no shame in reading romantic Christmas fiction because it creates the best happy holiday feelings.

  1. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  2. The Gift of the Magi by Lisbeth Zwerger
  3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  4. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Ganor
  5. Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber
  6. The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffman
  7. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  8. Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson
  9. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
  10. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston
  11. Christmas in London by Anita Hughes
  12. A Very Merry Princess by Susan Mallery
  13. A Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz
  16. Let it Snow by John Green and Lauren Myracle
  17. My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins
  18. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Know of any good Christmas books? I would love some recommendations!

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19 Christmas Romantic Comedies

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Who loves cheesy Christmas romantic comedies (rom-com)? I LOVE THEM. Hallmark, Netflix – you name them, I’ve seen them! There is something so wonderful and cheesy about watching terrible movie plots, fake snow and two people falling in love within two days of meeting each other. It’s exactly how I would want to fall in love with someone during Christmas (just kidding). But in all seriousness, Christmas rom-com are some of my favorite movies and I love that this is something that other people are jumping on the bandwagon. Thank you Netflix and Hallmark for taking on this momentous task and doing a superb job.

Let’s start with Netflix’s greatest release this year: The Princess Switch starring Vanessa Hudgens. If you didn’t this was rom-com gold, get out of here. Buzzfeed did a quiz about which guy from A Princess Switch you should marry and I got Hot Baker Dad Kevin and I was ecstatic (you can take the test here). You should also watch their movie The Holiday Calendar, also released this year because it is magical gold.

Netflix released a total gem last year called A Christmas Prince and this changed my life. It made me realize that journalism is a viable career path if it means meeting a prince (currently looking into journalism schools that have internships in countries with royal families, so far – there are none). Netflix is releasing a sequel A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding and frankly, I think it’s a bit cheeky of them to use The Royal Wedding. As if to completely ignore the fact that THE ROYAL WEDDING already happened earlier this year (cc Harry and Meghan Markle).  Anyways, at the time that I am writing this post, the sequel hasn’t been released so I can’t give you my opinion, but rest assured I am sure I will love it.

There were also some great holiday rom-com blockbusters such as The Holiday – which I recently discovered Hans Zimmer wrote the score for. Hans Zimmer, the composer who wrote the score for Inception, The Lion King, Driving Miss Daisy, Pearl Harbor, Pirates of the Carribean, the list goes on and on, wrote the score for The Holiday. It kills me. I digress.

Anyways here’s list of my favorite holiday rom-com (in no particular order because I honestly couldn’t rank them so please don’t ask me).

  1. The Princess Switch (hello KEVIN)
  2. A Prince for Christmas
  3. The Holiday Calendar
  4. A Princess for Christmas (Hi Sam Heughan)
  5. The Holiday (I’m just here for Jude Law)
  6. Love Actually
  7. White Christmas
  8. A Christmas Kiss
  9. A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale (I’m just here for the dogs)
  10. Crown for Christmas
  11. A Very Merry Mixup
  12. A Christmas Detour
  13. Christmas Inheritance
  14. Christmas with a view
  15. Christmas in the City (Ashanti is in this, need I say more?)
  16. Christmas Crush (or Holiday High School Reunion starring AARON SAMUELS – who’s real name is Jonathan Bennett but did anyone actually know that?)
  17. Holiday Engagement
  18. My Christmas Dream
  19. The Spirit of Christmas (kind of weird, but kind of love it)

What’s your favorite holiday rom-com? Did I miss any good ones? Let me know in the comments below!

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