June Lake

Hi sweet friends!

Last week, I made a spontaneous pilgrimage to NorCal to visit June Lake, one of the places where I skied with my dad this spring. It's crazy how time slips by--I can't believe I've been out here for almost six months already! After seeing June Mountain in the winter, I knew I needed to check out the area in the warmth of summertime. 

June Mountain

Even with the five hour drive up there, the day was full and peaceful. I found a musical road in Lancaster, CA on the way, then spent the afternoon hiking around the campground and lounging at the beach. August had made the grounds hot and dry, but the waters of the lake were perfectly cool and refreshing. And I don't think any trip to June would be complete without a stop at the local brewery

June Lake

I drove around the June Lake Loop whilst eating too many hot Cheetos and scoping out some other more scenic campgrounds. I was pretty happy with the one I chose, but could've used more access to the water (like at nearby Silver Lake in the photo below). Anyway, mine was safe, bear-free, and with bathrooms so I really can't complain.

June Lake Loop

The next day including a brief visit through Yosemite, and I think that deserves a post of its own. I hope you're still out seeking summer adventures wherever in the world you are!

Not-So-Dirty New Jersey

It's nice there! And there aren't many better spots to watch fireworks than a rooftop deck with 360 degree views. I've tried Fourth of July in other areas, but this one seems to be the right choice.

LBI Sunset

It isn't too bad for sunset scoping, either.

I enjoyed a week at the beach with my mom. It was full of celebrations, sun, and swimming, with a couple of friendly visitors dropping by. I'm so glad I had the time to visit and that this place can be a special part of each summer.

LBI New Jersey

America's Favorite Playground

Are you looking for a place where you can lose a lot of your money and where waitstaff will assume your uncle is your husband? Well, don't waste another minute, and get your not-too-fancy self down to Atlantic City.

Atlantic City boardwalk

It's important to see your faraway family members whenever you can, even if it's for a one-day meet up in a strange state, so when Uncle Rick and I learned that we would both be in New Jersey at the same time, we quickly made plans to spend time together. I let slip that I had never been to Atlantic City, so he insisted that we drive down together and check it out. I insisted that we should not, because it would be the 3rd of July with possibly scary levels of beach traffic. But eventually he won me over, mostly due to my curiosity and extremely open schedule. 

Atlantic City pier

And it was.. an experience! Some of the casinos were a little empty for a holiday week, but there was much gambling to be had and, of course, the beach. So we enjoyed a day of strolling and sightseeing while catching up. I can't say that gambling is a number one favorite activity of mine, but it was fun to do something new to check off the list.

High Thrills & Hot Dogs

For someone who spent the first 18 years of their life living within 90 minutes of New York City, there are many traditional New York activities that, until recently, I had never done. I'd never (still have never) been to the Empire State Building, I waited until I was 25 to visit the MoMA, and, before last weekend, I hadn't made the trek out to Coney Island.

Coney Island beach

Well, well. Times have changed, and I'm glad they did because my friend Liz and I spent a whole day riding wild roller coasters, strolling the boardwalk, and eating our first Nathan's Famous dogs. We even ran into some friends at the end of the day, which if you ask me, is a sure sign of belonging in a place. I'm so grateful to loved ones who are always up for sharing their spaces and showing me a new side of this city.

Nice to see you again, NYC!

Nathan's famous hot dog

Home on the Hudson

Sometimes, sadly, it takes going far, far away from a home to make you realize how big a part of you it is. When college time came, I couldn't wait to put some distance between myself and Poughkeepsie. In my search for a school, I allowed a radius of no less than 3 and a half hours outside of my hometown. If I had my wish, I'd end up in New Hampshire or, even farther, North Carolina. I didn't know about Austin yet, and wasn't quite so adventurous as to ponder the West Coast, but there could be nothing like a new state to prove my independence and maturity!

Walkway over the Hudson

Then I got to Delaware where I cried and called my mom or my home friends every day, after walking across an unknown campus of unfamiliar faces. I even started a transfer application to Marist in a desperate moment. Between semesters, I came back for my car, so I could make the trip home whenever possible. Of course, with that ability and a little adjustment, I lost the necessity of going back to my parents' houses and slowly made my way further and further across the country.

The Body Art Barn

I'm thankful for that tear-filled first semester, since it somehow enabled me to live with all sorts of strangers in all sorts of locations over the years. California's got the goods for now, but every time I come back to the Hudson Valley, I find that it holds a real seat for my soul.

During this visit, I got to spend time with family and friends, visit my new favorite yoga studio with the same favorite teacher, and delight in the green, rolling scenery that always reminds me there's no place like home.

Millbrook Winery

Love New York

It's a rainy day at the beach, so I can finally tell you about all the bagels, ballgames, and ballpark-sized hot dogs I've been indulging in around the New York area. Since I'm partial to a life of leisure, I got to come home for an extended stay to visit my sister in her new Queens-Long Island apartment, my dad in Poughkeepsie, my mom in New Jersey, and many gracious friends along the way.

Fort Totten Park

The first half of the trip started and ended in NYC and was supported by a few train rides along the Hudson plus dad's financial contributions to us attending the Yankee game. 

Yankee stadium

And there was an epic quest for ice cream that, thankfully, ended with this:

Grand Slam Shake

I miss sweet cacti and air that doesn't feel so much like a sticky swamp, but nowhere else smells like summer to me quite like it does around here. I hope you're making time in this sunny season for your favorite people and places.

In the Trees

Hi friends! There's a new moon on the horizon, and this week is delivering the excitement of renewed energy and possibilities. How could it not, when it started out like this? (For me, at least!)

Joshua Tree camping

The weekend took me back to Joshua Tree National Park where I camped with a new friend and got to see one of my favorite bands in funky little Pioneertown

Yo La Tengo at Pappy & Harriet's

Yo La Tengo at Pappy & Harriet's

I have a picture of Georgia, the drummer, on my 2018 vision board and, while I will say that my intention was to play the drums like her, I will accept the universe's offering of getting to see her play the drums in person.

I can tell you that Pappy & Harriet's is a magical venue that is well-worth checking out, and if you happen to be doing so, why not stay at the Black Rock Canyon Campground in Joshua Tree?  It just might be the thing for you.

Hi View Nature Trail Joshua Tree

Life in Laguna

Once regret that I will never leave behind (mostly because my dad and uncle will never let me live it down), is that when I was some-age-around-middle-school, my sister and I had the chance to visit Australia and we didn't want to go. I remember being at a party or a picnic where we met some of my dad's IBM colleagues who were living in Australia, and they invited us to come for a visit. Just like a few years earlier when I'd cried about being stuck visiting my uncle in Bermuda and missing the first day of our 5th grade sleep-away field trip, I was not having it. I didn't want to miss school or any chance to be cool around my cool friends, and so I was not about to hop on a 24-hour plane ride to hang out with kangaroos and my dad's work associates. No thank you.


I am proud to say that my priorities have changed drastically since then. My dad's work associates have given me numerous tips on what to do while traveling the world, and they've taken us skiing or joined us on other adventures. Since I'm a nepotistic girl living in a nepotistic world, I was eventually able to make some global IBM colleagues of my own and visit them in cool places, too. April took me to Laguna Beach to visit my friend Steph, who I met while working in Austin and who was wonderfully hospitable to welcome me into her beautiful beach life.


We enjoyed some much needed seaside walking and happy hour time as I got to explore another part of this new state. I'm glad I've become much more of a travel "Yes" woman, and I'm grateful for kind coworkers and friendly faces everywhere that have a way of making the whole world feel like home.


Mammoth Lakes

Last weekend was about as good as it gets up in Mammoth Lakes, CA. On Thursday, my dad picked me up and we drove to Mammoth for a ski weekend and my early 30th birthday celebration. What a dad! He left home in NY at 5am, drove down to NYC, flew across the country, then scooped me up in a rental SUV with 4WD to take us 5 hours to Northern California. We weren’t sure if we’d need the 4WD, but were glad to have it as we drove into Mammoth in a snowstorm. I probably should’ve driven the California leg of the trip, but my dad is very strict about rules and my name wasn’t registered with the rental company. Who knows what could have happened. So I just stared out the window as we went from rain to sun and back again. I saw a bunch of rainbows, Joshua trees, and interesting rock formations. 


We skied an amazing day at Mammoth Mountain on Friday, and another at the well kept secret June Mountain on Saturday. Sunday had us back at Mammoth in a morning blizzard, but it all cleared up by lunchtime to return us to these beautiful views. 

Mammoth Mountain
June Lake

My head has been pretty clear, and I realize how lucky I am to be on this life vacation where I don’t really have anything to worry about back at “home”. It feels strange calling it home since I’ve only lived there for two weeks, but I'm definitely enjoying the transition. I can't think of a better way to explore my new state and celebrate the onset of a new decade of life!

Woolly the Mammoth

Notes from the Road (Pt. III)

Just kidding; there's not really a Part Three since the last day of the drive only took 4 hours. I just passed through a bunch of Star Wars desert, then there were some mountains where it started raining, and then I was in Los Angeles. 


California Cori. That’s me now. I suppose I’ve read enough about spirituality to know that the place in which you live doesn’t have much to do with who you actually are, but I would like to think that I’m made up mostly of sun and sea. I hope I could be a little bit of succulents and fruit trees. And I’ll be damned if I’m not at least partly avocados and In-N-Out Burger.

I live here, and it feels like I’m wandering in a dream. It's been raining-- it rains here, who knew-- which was not ideal for unpacking a fully loaded car, but which could be symbolic of my renewal and rebirth. I'll take it.

The house is a testament to putting full faith in Craigslist findings. I had only seen it and met the roommates via FaceTime before driving out here, but so far everything seems to be surpassing my expectations. I had wished for down-to-earth people, in-home laundry, and an included parking spot. I arrived to find that the room is bigger than it looked in the photos. The whole house is brighter. Outside there is a patio, a garden box, and a lemon tree. The backsplash in the bathroom makes it look like a hotel and makes me feel like my toiletries aren’t nice enough to be there. The roommates have a friendly dog and cat that kept me company while I hung up clothes and shifted boxes.

On the first full day, I went out for breakfast with my new roommates. There was vegan cheese, avocado toast, and $7 lattes, and it felt like I had officially woken up here. Later, I ran to the park, past a man screaming at the top of his lungs in the street.

Notes From the Road (Pt. II)


It’s 24 degrees when I start the car. I tiptoed around the ski cabin, careful not to wake anyone since we started drinking yesterday around 2pm when the ski area handed out free PBR’s after the races. Most of us didn’t stop until about 10pm.

Hour 1- I’m tired. Possibly too tired for an 11 hour drive. At least the visions of mountains are enough to entertain my mind.

Hour 2- The sun rises over the mountains. I breathe deeply. Everything’s going to be fine.

Hour 3- I stop at Chick fil A for breakfast. Starbucks and Panera are right next door, but Chick fil A is my road trip food and I think this is the only one I will see.

Hour 4- Why have I done this to myself?

Hour 5- I call my dad to tell him how we went skiing one day and hiking the next. He says maybe I should be moving to New Mexico instead. I tell him New Mexico might be too weird for me. He says Austin is weird, California is weird. I say Yeah, but New Mexico is weird in a trailer park with meth head neighbors way. He has been here. He agrees.


Hour 6- Two of my best friends now live in NM. They’re from Texas and Tennessee, and I think they are reconnecting with their southern roots. Everyone I met was from Texas or Oklahoma and I said I was from New York, but not in the proud way like I sometimes say it. I said it in the way where I quickly follow up with, “Upstate, not the city” like when I want the listener to know that I’ve gone fishing and ridden four wheelers through the woods.

Hour 7- 468 miles of I-40. Dear God.

Hour 8- I call my grandma. She is excited that I’m going to stay with her brother tonight. I haven’t seen him in about 20 years. She asks what if I have so much fun that I want to stay another night and postpone my drive to LA. We’ll see.

Hour 9- There is another Chick fil A in Flagstaff. Soon I will be moving in with two vegetarian girls and will probably become a vegetarian, so what’s one last chicken sandwich? I ask my great aunt for their address and discover that they live another hour past Vegas.

Hours 10 & 11- @#*/>!

Hour 12- My car climbs the mountains over Las Vegas. My grandma calls again and tells me about her visit here and says I have to visit Death Valley. Later, her brother tells me that they ran out of time to take her to Death Valley. I’m not sure who to believe.

I’m in Pahrump, NV. It’s 74 degrees.

New Mexico True

After the 12-14 hour first day road trip, I woke up in Red River, NM. It was a ski day where the sun was shining and the tickets were half priced for me, since I was there to visit my friend who is working as a ski instructor. I was thrilled to have ski friends because I hadn't had any of those since at least early college. I was on my own on that first morning while everyone else clocked in for work. The chairlift was slow and quiet. The trails were uncrowded and groomed. My headphones were back at the apartment, so it was just me and my thoughts.

Skiing in Red River, NM

I got a satisfied feeling like when you gaze around and life looks the way you used to dream of it looking. Here I was skiing at an almost-empty mountain on a warm day, my friend is working at the resort and she knows all of the ski crew and bartenders in town. 16 year old Cori would be proud.

Notes From the Road (Pt. I)


Today is the day where I leave Austin and I don’t come back. I don’t have plans to come back. I drew the Cloak of Christ card from my roommate’s Rumi deck. I held my hands up to the barely lit sky asking for universal protection on this journey. It’s the longest I’ve ever driven on my own.

Hour 1- I listen to 102.3 The Beat radio station to see how far it goes. I cry, not in a heaving, debilitating way, but in a gentle, nostalgic way that comes with an accepted goodbye. Austin deserves a good cry.

Hour 2- 102.3 The Beat makes it farther than I was expecting-- all the way north of Austin where there’s nothing left but churches and cattle fields, and probably much less interest in urban hip-hop radio stations.

Hour 3- I have to pee already, but can’t let myself since it’s only been two hours. My friend Brianne calls me from Argentina. We’ve lived far apart for 8 years but she continues to get me.

Hour 4- I stop to pee and get coffee. I try to leave it black like a healthy person who is bothered by all the nasty stuff in Coffee-Mate, but I see they have pumpkin spice and I pump away.

Hour 5- I listen to Radiohead and the new Khruangbin. I’m dance-driving.

Hour 6- I stop at Torchy’s Tacos in Lubbock, TX and the line from the counter out the door takes my breath away. It’s my last Torchy’s though, so I have to stay. I sit at the bar, but it takes a while for anyone to come for my order. I go back to the line. It moves quickly and soon my tacos and I are back at the wheel.

Hours 7 & 8- Lots of windmills. Very flat. I decide to definitely go to see the Cadillac Ranch art installation outside of Amarillo.

Hour 9- The terrain gets more exciting. The dirt turns red and starts forming into mounds and swirls. I see the car art.

Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX
Cadillac Ranch Amarillo TX

Hour 10- The terrain turns back to flat nothingness.

Hour 11- I call my grandma. She tells me she went to her first chair yoga class so she would feel connected to me. She asks if I will get together with my aunt and cousin when they’re in LA next month. I say yes. She asks me again ten minutes later.

Hour 12- I make it out of Texas. The time changes. I call my dad, my mom, my sister. The Torchy’s and the Cadillacs and the peeing have set me back 2 hours. I don’t mind.

Hour 13- I listen to mp3s from my life coaching course. I see that the sunset is putting on a show for me right as mountains appear on the horizon. Perfect timing. I am thankful.


Hour 14- It’s dark and the road is winding through the mountains. I discover that I can make a cool buzzing sound if I bend my tongue in a certain way and hum behind my teeth.

I arrive in Red River at 7:20pm. That wasn’t so bad.

Hanging On

I'm back in Austin, and desperately clinging on where I can to the memories of days that were too hot for sleeves and the only decisions were which attractions to walk to and what flavor of smoothie to order! Not that we are really suffering much on those fronts here in Central Texas, but we surely are driving a lot, talking about jobs, and, maybe for a month or so, wearing sleeves.

It's so easy to fall into the same old routine once we're back on our home turf. And it's usually the little changes that help us slow down and step out of that big familiar picture. I kept the mild weather, maximum relaxation lifestyle alive by making chia pudding that reminded me of Bali and Nicaragua, and green curry that reminded me of Thailand. It could happen with food, music, or souvenir reminders hanging around to bring us back to the sweet memories of those wonderful places, but all it takes is a little effort to make sure the feelings aren't all lost once we step off the plane.

chia pudding

New Traditions

Actually, this should really be called "no traditions" since we are still figuring out all these new things and haven't developed a routine about it at all. Like I told you already, this was the only year that I didn't go home to see my family for Christmas. One reason was because I scored a remarkable yoga teaching job in Nicaragua, and the other was because Christmas for us has changed a bit over the past couple years.


Growing up, my sister and I were lucky that our parents kept living near each other after they split up. We always spent the Eve with our dad's family and the Day at our mom's house, and everything was equal and easy-peasy as far as broken homes go. Then everybody got remarried and changed houses, our mom went to live in the Deep South (I guess I did too?), and my aunt and grandma stopped coming down for the holidays. Travel plans to see the whole family became a little more complicated for my sister and me. There was a little bit of a break that probably happens for us all as we age. Christmas wasn't as much "ours" anymore.

But we still wanted it! We're merry and young, and just trying to come up with a way to reconcile all these new schedules and locations. So, last weekend, Elayne and I came together in Boston to turn on Christmas lights, make Grandma's cinnamon rolls (pretty well, I might add!), and pop bottles to celebrate her passing the veterinary board exams. Space was held for yoga, brunch, pedicures, and all those things some sisters do when together. It was a relief to hang onto some traditions, even when the inevitable winds of change have been sweeping in around us.

Cinnamon rolls

Navigating New England

It takes a true amiga to break from their yearly visit home from Argentina to pick you up from the Boston airport in the middle of January! Brianne and her dad came for me carrying jackets, sweaters, hats, and gloves since I hadn't fully planned for my return trip through the Northeastern states. I didn't even pack pants that came all the way down to my ankles.

Unbelievably, it had been two years since the last time we had seen each other, but, thanks to the technology that lets us communicate all throughout the year, it was like no time had passed at all. I was grateful for the opportunity to catch up-- unplugged and face-to-face. There was snow on the ground, but New England had warmed itself up for my arrival and it felt good to be so close to where I grew up. Your residence can move anywhere around the world, but there is no feeling quite like finding home in the heart of a friend.


On the Zipline

During this trip to Central America, I made the tough and boring decision not to go ziplining. For me, it was one of the more expensive activities, and I had already done it a couple of times before in Mexico and Costa Rica. We took a day tour on Ometepe Island, where our hostel owner drove us around to stop at different sights to see, one of which was a ziplining course because Andrea, my newfound travel companion, had her heart set on soaring through the canopies.

It was hard to resist saddling into the harness once we were at the sign-in booth, but the guides told us we could all hike up to the first platform together to check out the views from the top. Even though we were walking up the steep sides of a volcano, hiking felt so refreshing after a few days of traveling and typical holiday overindulgence. As we climbed higher, I could feel the crisp air invigorating my lungs as my body worked toward a physical goal.

Ometepe zipline

Once we slowed to a stop at the lookout point, my racing heart and the awesome view reminded me that I could enjoy hiking just as much as ziplining. I could find these same sensations while kayaking, jumping off a rope swing at a swimming pool, or simply on a brisk walk through the woods. Our bodies crave movement, and almost any activity can provide an adrenaline rush if your brain is fully attuned to what you're doing. You can even find a sense of awe in the changes of your heartbeat and the rhythm of your breath. Of course, there are some adventure sports that seem unmatched in their sense of excitement, but a lot of the time, our level of attention is what makes the difference.


It probably comes as a surprise that I went from Guatemala to California to New England to Texas. California and New England are not exactly "on the way" from Guatemala to Texas, but they're also not "not on the way". Anywhere can be on the way to anywhere else, it just depends on the way you're going.

Joshua Tree National Park

There's never a bad time of year to visit Southern California (besides when it's on fire or falling in on itself), and it's an unbelievable treat to find yourself camping on a mild night in early January (especially when it's free for Martin Luther King Day). I got to put my indoor bouldering (lack of) skills to the test outdoors when I turned my dreams of Joshua trees into reality. 

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park

You don't even need to leave the country to find wild wonders, but, if the temperature rises above double digits, you should probably go outside.

Hola Antigua

There comes a point in any backpacking trip when the obligatory introductions get really worn out, and you just can't bring yourself to listen very hard to where people live and how they got here and where they were before this and where they're going next since you know it's all going to blend together anyway, and you'll probably forget everything five minutes into the conversation. It was a nice change when, at one hostel in San Juan del Sur, we agreed to skip that stuff and didn't even learn each other's names until two days into the visit. We still shared plenty of stories and joked a lot, and our time together seemed to offer a deeper and more enjoyable connection than when you're talking just to talk and your consciousness feels like a floating alien presence watching your mouth go through the motions of trying to detail how long each bus ride was or how many days you spent in which part of the country.

Antigua, Guatemala

Guatemala has been like that, too. Once I've stopped looking up and tripping over stone streets long enough to go into a place, everyone I've talked to has felt like a familiar friend. I've noticed that here, versus in Granada, the expat community seems to be a bit younger and more in favor of befriending locals. I enjoy seeing this blend, where foreigners have come to fully participate in the culture rather than create their own separate scene. Antigua's parks and plazas make it feel European, but the colors, crafts, and markets remind of the indigenous peoples who were here long before. The air is fresh and crisp, and there's a whole bunch of beauty to breathe in.

Cerro de la Cruz Antigua, Guatemala

Namaste Nicaragua

Getting out of Nicaragua turned out to be a very Nicaraguan experience. It took about 40 minutes to check out of my hostel because it was the receptionist's first day, and she had to do a lot of reconciliation between a paper notebook and the computer system. I didn't mind too much because I was recovering from a multi-day stomach situation, so I was just existing in a fog while waiting until the next time I could sit down again. I lugged my backpacks and yoga mat over to a different hostel to catch the airport shuttle, happy to sink into a new seat for a couple hours. Unfortunately, after leaving on time at 9:30am, we had made the journey out of town and then back again to pick up a new rider, so by 10am we were on exactly the same street as where we had started. There was a man from Toronto sucking on a lollipop while yelling at the bus driver to let him off so he could get a taxi instead and a Spanish couple telling everyone to shut up, "¡Dale gas!", and get a move on. It was all quite a sight to see.

Since the only shared and affordable shuttle left at 9:30 and my flight wasn't until 4:15pm, I had a lot of time in the Managua airport to feel sick and poke at a soggy Subway sandwich. Then there was a flight where i had the whole emergency exit row to myself and I used electronic devices the entire time even though they told me not to and didn't tell anyone I was sick even though the safety pamphlet told me to. Later, a talkative taxi driver rolled me through a new Central American city with more reminders of the comforts of home, like how someone had peeled off the "Mc" letters in the golden sign so that it only said "Donald's" which I thought was funny in an ironic way.

Cobblestone streets told me that we were in Antigua, and I was dropped off in a much nicer hostel than any in which I've ever stayed. One of the very friendly desk employees showed me my capsule bed (in three stories of bunks!) and the bathrooms, including a (hot!) shower. Then he took me up to the rooftop terrace where it was dark, but I found out the next day that it looked like this:

Hostel Cucuruchos, Antigua, Guatemala
Hostel Cucuruchos, Antigua, Guatemala

There was a lot waiting for me here.