Updated: Sep 14, 2021
I'm sitting on my laptop right now, drinking my coffee and thinking to myself, where do I want to travel to next? Ever since I can remember, I've always had this constant dream of traveling the world. My number one goal has always been to visit every state in the United States. Once I'm complete with the United States, other countries, Ireland, Australia, Italy, Brazil are next on my bucket list. There's a county in Ireland called Kerry - I need to see it. Cultures and the different ways people live their lives amaze me, and I want to see it all. The thought that there's a whole world out there that I haven't seen yet makes me want to see it all even more.
Growing up, my mom would always get me things that would remind me of how much I wanted to travel - posters, travel journals, kits, suitcases, etc. - you name it (anything that symbolized traveling, honestly). I still think it's the cutest thing that she did that. It gave me hope and kept me excited for the day I'm on a plane and get to see the world. Once I turned 18, that's when she handed me a book called 'Ultimate Travel.' It's a book that shows different countries and places that we need to see and why. Every once in a while, I'll flip past each page in anticipation for the day I can see everything. When I first flipped over the cover, I found this note from my mom:
"March 11, 2016
My Dearest Kerry,
My greatest wish for you is that you live a life of adventure. Fall in love with everything! May God bless you and guide you as you fulfill your dream of seeing the world. May all your angels stand beside you always as you take the steps on your journey. At the end of your very long and happy life I hope you'll be able to say there wasn't anything left on your list of things you wanted to do <3 With all my love as always, Momma."
How sweet was that? When I think about the places I've already been to (which is slim to none really), I think my favorite so far was when I went to California. August of 2019 is when I went with my sister and her family. Being the nanny for the week in exchange for a trip to California - how can you turn that one down? I've always wanted to go to California!
It was with my sister Brianna, my brother-in-law Ryan, my beautiful niece Ryan, and my niece and nephew, Lucy and Noah. At that time, Ryan was thirteen, Lucy was only two months old, and Noah was two. It's a handful having both a newborn and a two-year-old on vacation, but don't worry - that's where aunt Kiki came to the rescue.
I loved every second of the trip. We stayed in Hermosa Beach at a cute Airbnb right down the street from Brianna and Ryan's friend who played for the LA Kings. He has two little kids around the same age as my nephew; we hung out with his family throughout the week. Hermosa Beach is so beautiful. The views blew me away. The entire ambiance of Hermosa makes you never want to leave.
From the beautiful beach houses, the beach, the local shops, and dine-in stops, the atmosphere was incredible. Everyone was so friendly in Hermosa. It got to a point where I had to stop and think, "uh, is this normal? It is, right?" I walked into a Starbucks down the street, and people were opening the door for us with huge smiles on their faces. One person even gave me a genuine "I hope you have a great day!" Excuse me? I think I love it here? Everywhere we looked, there were smiles. I laughed because if the same thing happened in Philly, you might get a"who do you think you are looking at?"
Other than staying in Hermosa and shopping in all of the trendy stores, we got to see Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, went to restaurants that had crazy beautiful views, an aquarium, and the zoo. Besides Ryan and Brianna going on The Price Is Right, Ryan got chosen to do a game on stage (which was both hilarious and so cool). They also got to attend a party in Malibu with Hollywood actors later in the week. They walked into Jonah Hill, greeting them. How cool is that?
Brianna also had conversations with actors Jamie Fox, Haylie Duff, Kevin Connolly, etc. Can you imagine? Now, you're probably thinking, "wait...you didn't go?" No, okay. But listen, I was babysitting the cutest kids in the world in California. I think I was okay. But, I was thinking of every possible scenario of that party the entire night. What could they possibly be doing, and what actors are they meeting? From the stories that they told me, it sounded like a party from Entourage. The next time we go to California again, they promised that I could go to the next one (fingers crossed, you guys).
It was such a fun time, and I'm so grateful I got to go with them. The entire week we were there, I think I took about 1,000 pictures. I couldn't help myself). I posted some of them below! I can't wait until I can go back. If you're thinking of going somewhere for vacation - this is it!
We got to see Los Angela's "pink wall." Basic or not, It was fun taking pictures.
Our view from a restaurant in Laguna Beach
We went to the store, Glossier in LA. It was so cute inside. I didn't end up getting anything, but I left way glossier (trying out all the samples, of course).
The aquarium in Cali was so much fun. It was also huge. It makes you wonder what's at the bottom of the deep sea. I don't want to know, honestly.
Little Ryan and I took bike rides from Hermosa beach into Manhattan Beach. We got used to calling her "little Ryan" because she and her dad have the same name - Isn't that cool? I love the name Ryan for a girl. Anyway, the views during the bike rides were amazing.
Laguna Beach cast - where are you at? There's banana smoothie all over my shirt - but that's a story for another time. Just kidding, we went to the aquarium, and Ryan dropped a smoothie, and it went everywhere. It was hilarious.
Look at this view. I could stand there all day and stare at the water - it was so relaxing.
It was my first time trying In-N-Out and I was In love, to say the least. The things I'd do for a burger from there right now ...
We went to a smaller thrift store in LA. I've been to a lot in Philadelphia, but this one was by far the coolest. My sister is huge on thrifting. She's been sharing her tips and tricks with me on how to catch your eye on good finds. I found a jean jacket from the '70s. I also got a pair of booties, a purse, and an old Penn State t-shirt from the '90s.
We went to the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes for a day. We sat by the pool and walked down by the water. It was insanely beautiful. It's actually where Brianna and Ryan got their wedding pictures taken too! It was pretty cool to see the spot.
I met Clay from ABC's Bachelorette in Paradise at LAX airport (it was airing at the time). My brother-in-law Ryan spotted him while I was walking out of Starbucks (we aren't surprised, are we?), and I said, "Sorry to bother, but can I get a picture? We love you this season." He started laughing and said, "Aw, thanks. Of course! The show gets interesting from here, so get ready." Looking back on it now, it sure did.
I ran a mile with the two babies in the stroller along the strip in Hermosa almost every day. It was so relaxing running by the beach - it being beautiful out the entire week was a plus. After our run, I would get a protein smoothie and an immune booster shot. The shot tasted like hot sauce. Imagine drinking that after a run. I oddly liked it, though? I don't know. I'm a hot sauce kinda-gal.
Lucy was a little bean at the time (and such a little snuggle bug)! She was such a good baby. She'd only cry when she was hungry or needed a diaper change.
Meet Lucy Jean now. How cute is she? She's a fierce little one, and we can already tell that her persona is confident. I'm also her God-mama 😇
Thanks for sticking around! I'd live in California in a heartbeat if my family and I were not as close as we are. But, you never know. Maybe I will go someday.
Here are the states that I've been to so far:
Pennsylvania (obviously ha-ha)
...40 more to go guys!
When it comes to countries other than the United States, I've been to Mexico. I went for spring break my sophomore year of college, and the entire week was so much fun with my girlfriends. We went outside of the resort for a night to go to a club. At this time, I just finished an intensive Spanish course at Penn State and had some fun practicing speaking with the locals there. One goal of mine is to become bilingual in Spanish - I know the basics, but I want to become fluent.
I have a lot more to see, and I want to share it all with you along the way!