Local’s Guide to Birmingham, Alabama with Lauren McCurdy

October 19, 2016

local's guide to birmingham | emsontheroad

Photo credit: Lauren McCurdy

I’m from Birmingham originally but my family moved to St. Simons Island when I was about five years old; I like to claim both as hometowns. I returned to the Magic City for college, attending Birmingham Southern College, a small liberal arts college outside the city hub. The city has changed a lot since I left in 2006 so I thought it best to share a local’s perspective on Bham and why you should visit. This brings me to my friend and guest blogger this week, Lauren McCurdy. Lauren and I met a few years ago at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. I noticed her Good People Brewing Co. (Bham brewery) t-shirt and was excited to chat with someone else from the South. We quickly realized that we both attended Birmingham Southern a few years apart. On such a small campus (1200+), it’s hard to believe we never met during our time at BSC but I’m so glad we connected over beer years later. Beer friends really are the best friends. So without further ado…


The Hiking Sandals You Need For Your Next Adventure

October 5, 2016

Before moving to Maui in 2007, I didn’t hike often and certainly didn’t own any appropriate outdoor shoes. After about a month on the island, we planned a full day trip to Hana complete with a hike to Waimoku Falls in the Haleakala National Park and Ryan realized he needed to remedy my footwear issue.  I bought my first pair of Chacos the day before our trip. Little did I know, I’d be wearing them a lot more than a few times a year.

hiking sandals emsontheroad


5 Things I Never Go Camping Without

September 22, 2016


Camping Essentials | Em's on the Road

Let me preface this post by saying I’m not a rugged camper. I didn’t do a lot of camping growing up aside from summer camp in North Carolina so when I met my now husband ten years ago, I wondered if I’d be able to enjoy being in the outdoors as much as he did. I was absolutely pampered on many early camping trips to ensure my good time, but these days I really do enjoy getting outside and unplugging from all of the screens in my life for a few days. Ryan and I spend a lot of time outside in the summer but once the temps drop out of the 80s we hit the trail even more. With September coming to a close (can you believe it?), the weather is perfect for camping and hiking. Over the years I’ve realized I don’t need a lot of stuff to enjoy a weekend in the woods, but I do bring a few things to make the experience more comfortable. READ MORE

Blogs & Barrels: Wine Tasting in the Indiana Uplands

September 15, 2016

indiana uplands trail | em's on the road

I’ve lived in Bloomington for three years now (hard to believe!), and last weekend was my first visit to one of our local wineries. I’m mostly a beer and cocktail drinker but when you receive an invite to attend a private winery tour, you say yes. Last weekend the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail invited a group of bloggers to visit the Butler Winery to learn more about wine making and the wine trail. As a curious connoisseur of all booze, I happily accepted.

Indiana Wine Heritage

Wine making in Indiana dates back to the 1840s with the Huber family planting vineyards in Starlight, Indiana that would later turn into the Huber Winery. Prohibition slowed things down but the tradition of Indiana wine making made a comeback in the 1960s. In 2003, nine wineries in the region came together to create the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail as a way to guide people through the region and introduce visitors and locals to the unique wine being made in the region. The trail consists of nine wineries in south-central Indiana: Butler Winery, Oliver Winery, Brown County Winery, French Lick Winery, Huber Winery, Turtle Run Winery and Winzerwald Winery. Most of the wineries would be an easy day trip from Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Indiana and a nice weekend getaway for Chicago or Louisville, Kentucky. The Indiana Uplands region was designated as an American Viticultural Area (good for growing grapes) in 2013 with just 200 acres under cultivation there is room to explore and grow. READ MORE

Local’s Guide to Burlington, Vermonth with Kaitlin O’Shea

August 23, 2016

I started reading Kaitlin O’Shea’s blog Preservation in Pink several years ago in graduate school and was hooked immediately. There were no preservation blogs I was aware of at the time and I loved how she gave a young voice to this small and fairly obscure profession. We’ve followed each other’s blogs for a while and finally met in person at the National Preservation Conference in Indianapolis in 2013. It’s wild meeting someone you’ve followed online; it’s almost like you’re meeting a celebrity. She was as sweet as can be and we’ve kept in touch online ever since. In this month’s Local’s Guide To series post, Kaitlin shares her guide to  Burlington, Vermont. Aside from a few trips to New York, I’m largely unfamiliar with New England and this month I am thrilled to have Kaitlin share her must sees and dos in her city of Burlington.


Local’s Guide to Burlington, Vermont with Kaitlin O’Shea



How long have you lived in Burlington?

I moved to Burlington, VT in August 2009, because I was starting the historic preservation graduate program at the University of Vermont.  Prior to Vermont, I lived in North Carolina, Nebraska, Virginia and New York. It will be 7 years this summer of living in Vermont, and I’ve lived in Burlington (5 years total), Waterbury (1 year), and Montpelier (1 year). Burlington is by far my favorite place that I have lived anywhere. Professionally, I am a Preservation Planner with VHB (an engineering + environmental firm) in South Burlington, Vermont.


Yes, There are Islands in Georgia. Here are the Five You Need to Visit Now.

August 9, 2016

I grew up on an island in Georgia. Yes, there are islands in Georgia, quite a few actually. Our little piece of paradise flew under the radar throughout most of my childhood but is much more familiar these days now thanks to press for a certain five diamond resort. Whether you’ve heard of the Golden Isles or not, let’s go island hopping.

Five Islands to Visit in Georgia

Islands in Georgia | Em's on the Road READ MORE

How to Beercation in Tampa

July 26, 2016


ulele spring brewery | Em's on the Road

If you follow me on social media you know I’m all about a beercation. I’ve recently returned from my first trip to Tampa, Florida. Not to visit Busch Gardens, I was there to drink beer, and lots of it. Every summer a group of beer writers/bloggers and industry folk gather for the Beer Bloggers Conference and this year we ventured to Tampa Bay. I never thought about Florida as a craft beer destination prior to this trip. I was so wrong. READ MORE

Local’s Guide to Charleston with Annie Reeves

July 10, 2016

It’s been a busy summer so far but I’m excited to be taking y’all to the Lowcountry this week exploring Charleston, South Carolina with my friend, social media pro, and Charleston transplant, Annie Reeves. Annie and I first met working together on social media for The Southern C Summit and we quickly clicked over a mutual love for Snapchat, strong coffee, and Charleston. The Holy City is one of my favorite destinations in the US and I’m thrilled to have Annie share her favorites around town and the spots you need to check out on your next (or first) trip to Charleston.


A photo posted by Annie Reeves (@anniereeves) on


Front Row for Southern Grown Festival? Yes Please

June 22, 2016

I can’t believe how fast the summer is flying by! A couple of weeks ago I took some time off to soak up some sun at home to Georgia, spend some time with my family and enjoy Sea Island’s annual Southern Grown Festival.

Southern Grown Festival | Em's on the Road

Weekend Recap: Sea Island’s Southern Grown Festival


Stay Skin Smart This Summer

May 24, 2016

Coolibar | Emsontheroad

I desperately want to get up to the Great Lakes area while we’re living in the Midwest but we’ve been spoiled having such a big lake right outside of Bloomington down the road. I had a sweet taste of summer over the weekend with my first boat float of the season on Lake Monroe. It was a little windy but once we found the perfect cove to hang out in the afternoon was perfection. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and the summer sun is just getting started. Here are a few tips to keep your skin safe this summer. READ MORE

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