January: Wanderlust Weekend

January: Wanderlust Weekend

Yup, this is the picture of a typical January day in Los Angeles. The other day, one of my work colleagues and I were lamenting about L.A.’s weather and how it’s just always so sunny and bright, and how we always feel cheated during Christmas when temperatures are usually in the 70s. We agreed that sometimes it would be nice to celebrate the holidays in colder weather that would give us the perfect excuse to stay indoors by the fire and eat ourselves into oblivion. Instead, we’re faced with eternal sunshine. Poor us – huh?

On MLK Day, Jave and I took a little day trip within L.A. about thirty minutes from home. One of Jave’s Christmas gifts from me was a certificate to play the 9-hole course at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, and knowing that we’d both be off on MLK Day, I scheduled an afternoon tee time and Jave got decked out in his golf gear. Ever since our first golf getaway to Palm Desert last May, Jave has been hooked on the sport. I’m officially a golf widow. Well, I’m exaggerating, but Jave does make a point of playing at least once a week.

Jave is such a perfectionist when it comes to golf (and cooking), so he was disappointed with his game at Terranea that day what with adjusting to a new course and all. I, on the other hand, was just happy that my ball actually got airborne a few times! But we both absolutely loved the views at Terranea. It didn’t even feel like we were in L.A. anymore. We’ve promised to treat ourselves to a staycation there sometime soon.

After our game, we enjoyed a delicious late lunch with uninterrupted views of the ocean at Nelson’s, one of the resort’s many restaurants. It was such a perfect day! Looking back at these pictures, I think about people in other parts of the country who are suffering in snowstorms and bad weather. And then I’m reminded that L.A. really isn’t so bad after all.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been getting into around the web this month:


I’ve recently started building my Pinterest following, and man, it’s addictive! In addition to several travel-related boards, I’ve been finding inspiration for our dream house right down to our kitchen and bathroom, and our vacation home. I’ve also been salivating over all of the delicious foods that I want to stuff my face in. Are you on Pinterest? Follow my boards and I’ll follow you back! Then, we can be Pinterest addicts together. Yes?


  • I’m constantly on the lookout for cheap airfares and get several email alerts each day from some of my favorite airfare search sites. Check out these pointers on how to choose an air travel search site.
  • Do you guys travel with a journal? I definitely do. It’s the only way I’m able to keep up with all of the things I learn during a trip, the people I encounter, what I ate and how much it cost, and how I felt on a particular day when encountering a new destination. Here are some tips on how to write the perfect travel journal.
  • Headed to New Jersey for the Super Bowl and need suggestions on things to do in NYC nearby? Here’s a list of 48 things to do to occupy your time.

Fun Quiz

This Buzz Feed quiz helps you to determine where in the world you should live. The questions are a lot of fun. Apparently, Cape Town is calling my name. Jave, on the other hand, is destined to live in Portland, Oregon. Go figure. Which city are you matched with?


  • I’m in a book club here locally in L.A., and I’m behind on my reading. This month’s book is Divergent by Veronica Roth, and I’m hoping to find the time to finish it before tomorrow (yikes!). I was an English major in college and I used to read several books within a week. I miss those days. My homework was literally to read and write which are my two favorite things in the world. Lately, it seems that I have less and less time to read as voraciously as I once did, but I want to change that this year. Are you a book lover? Here’s how you can tell.
  • You know, it’s really annoying when travelers think that to be a “real traveler,” you have to travel slowly or live abroad for an extended period. While travel is one of my passions, I have other things going on in my life that are just as, if not more important than my travels. As a result, my current schedule doesn’t lend itself to slow travel, and I don’t believe that my quick getaways are any less authentic than someone else’s slow travels. What do you guys think? Be honest, are you a travel snob?

           *Disclaimer: I’m definitely guilty of #19.

Winter Olympics

Jamaica, Jamaica! Our bobsled team is headed to Sochi, baby! Will you be watching?

Ted Talk

In a recent post, I shared tips about how to be a socially conscious traveler. In the comments, Rachel of Safari 254 shared an amazing tip as well – avoid the danger of a “single story”. To my delight, Rachel shared writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful Ted Talk video with me. It’s well worth watching/listening to. Thanks again, Rachel!

Travel Plans

Still haven’t figured out where you should travel this year? Check out the The NY Times’ list for some inspiration.

I hope you enjoyed this roundup. Please let me know which links moved you, and please let me know if you’ve come across any great travel reads, pictures, or tips this month. 

  • Hi Dana ! Nice article 🙂 I love it so much. WEEKEND means is fun enjoy and entertainment too ! Whenever I make celebrate my WEEKEND I to join Fun, Entertainment and Enjoy too 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      You and me both, Disha! We both love the weekend! 😉

  • You are welcome Dana! Our girl Chimamanda is doing well, glad she featured on Beyonce’s latest album and iv just finished reading Chimamanda’s latest work, Americana – great book!
    Great photos btw, will be checking your Pinterest page.

    • Dana Carmel

      You’re like the third person who’s told me about Americana, so now I have to add it to my list of reads! 😉

  • WoW look at that blue sky, I’m so jealous. I would love to hike around there right now. haha mussels with fries, one of the traditional dishes in my home country (Belgium) 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      We are definitely blessed with our blue skies and sunny days here in L.A.! And mussels and fries are such a great combination. I look forward to eating lots of them during our upcoming travels to Europe.

  • Please feel my heartfelt sentiments for your atrocious, sunny winter weather, Dana! Not! LOL. Those pictures made me smile. I’m with you and being thrilled on just getting the golf ball airborne even if it lands right back at the tee! A used to be a really good golfer when I was younger. Several years back I went out with some buddies.
    I took a mighty swing.
    I asked my friend, “Where did it go?”
    He said, “Wow dude, you knocked the snot out of that one.”
    Me, “Really?”
    Him, “Look down.” The ball was still sitting on the tee.

    Woo hoo for the Jamaican bobsledders! I caught that on the news last week! It’s my fav event in the Olympics 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      Haha – it’s so frustrating to think that you’re getting a good hit when in reality you totally miss the ball! And it actually hurts to swing that hard without connecting (I guess it hurts even more when you don’t have proper form like me). 😉

      I’m really looking forward to the Winter Olympics as well – bobsledding, ski jumping, speed skating, and figure skating. Can’t wait!

  • I love Chimamanda Adichie and that talk! I’m also on Pinterest, but for the moment I don’t find it addictive.

    • Dana Carmel

      Glad you enjoyed the Ted Talk too – she’s so on point! I wasn’t really addicted to Pinterest at first either – I barely used it. But the more and more I work on building my boards and following, the more addictive it is. So I just reserve a few minutes for pinning at night before drifting off to sleep.


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