Packing List: Charleston

April 21, 2016

Packing List: Charleston | Em's on the Road

Next week I’ll be Charleston bound for The Southern C Summit. I’m a notorious procrastinator when it comes to packing so I’m getting a head start for once.

In addition to procrastinating, I’m also an over packer. One day I’ll master getting down to one carryon but I like to have lots of options. READ MORE

Milktooth | Indianapolis, IN

April 8, 2016

It’s no secret I love brunch.

milktooth | Indianapolis
The weekend comes a long and if I’m not traveling, my weekend agenda is simple… get outside with my hubs and pups and go to brunch with friends. I get up to Indianapolis fairly often to explore the city and try out new restaurants. One of the city’s finest, Milktooth is possibly my favorite destination for brunch. Yes you have to wait a long time; I promise it is worth it. READ MORE

Girls Weekend | New Orleans

April 5, 2016

This time last year I was on a week long road trip for my day job (communications manager for Upland Brewing Co) documenting some beer collaborations with Yazoo Brewing Co. in Nashville, Tennessee and Great Raft Brewing in Shreveport, Louisiana. My coworker and I decided we might as well keep driving south after our work was done and spend the weekend in New Orleans.

To my surprise one of my best friends from graduate school and fellow blogger, Claire Cothren of Blue Prints & Backpacks, had the weekend free and joined me in the Big Easy for the weekend. I had only been there once before so I was determined to eat as much creole and cajun fare as possible before having to drive back to Indiana.

Girls Weekend | New Orleans

Hopefully you’re aware of Cafe Du Monde & beignets but just in case…

If you have the chance to visit Nola with a good friend, go! No agenda needed. Seriously, we had no plans other than eating some delicious food and drool over the architecture in the garden district. READ MORE

Weekend Getaway | 21c Cincinnati

March 17, 2016

weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Everyone needs a weekend getaway every now and then… If you follow me on Instagram (emsontheroad) or snapchat (emsontheroad), it’s likely you saw me running around Cincinnati recently with Ryan and our good friends Celia and Toby. We spent most of the weekend exploring the Over the Rhine neighborhood checking out breweries, the market and other historic buildings, but the highlight of the weekend was our hotel, 21c Cincinnati.

If you remember from my visit to the 21c in Louisville, the concept of this hotel group is quite unique: integrating contemporary art into everyday life while reusing historic buildings. Their properties create such unique juxtaposition seen in the careful preservation of the distinguished exterior and the modern mix of minimal furniture and colorful art on the interior.  The art galleries are the main attraction and are open 24-7 and free. Genius.

The 21c Hotel in Cincy was originally home to the swanky Metropole Hotel that was completed in 1912 with an addition in 1924. The hotel fell into decline in the 1970s and in 2011 the 21c brand stepped in to breathe life back into this historic hotel. The Neoclassical building is still a gorgeous red terracotta, standing tall in the heart of downtown Cincinnati and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Weekend getaway | 21c Cincinnati

Via Cincinnati Views


Valentine’s Day: Keep It Simple

February 8, 2016

There is so much pressure to do something on Valentine’s Day. Like most holidays the blogosphere pushes countless gift guides, travel agendas, romantic date night ideas, and outfit inspiration to help us get ready. I usually participate with a gift guide of locally made goodies but this Valentine’s Day I’m keeping it simple. For me there will be copious amounts of chocolate consumed and likely some bubbly. Bottom line – treat yourself and spend time with people you care about.

But if you do need some ideas to celebrate the Valentine’s Day…

Send a card (in the mail).

valentines day rifle paper co

Favorite Trips of 2015

January 18, 2016

I still can’t believe 2015 has come and gone! One of my standing new year’s resolutions is to travel more and somewhere new; which I did a few times in 2015. Since this is the time of year we think about the year ahead and the trips we hope to take, I wanted to share a few of my travel highlights of 2015.

Charleston, South Carolina


favorite trips of 2015: charleston

This city isn’t new to me but with every visit I discover something new. There are countless restaurants and shops to visit, not to mention gorgeous architecture at every turn. READ MORE

Holiday Planning: New Years Eve

December 23, 2015

new years eve ryan hines

Photo: Ryan Hines

Christmas may be in two days but I’m still trying to decide on New Years Eve plans… Currently craving all of these getaways!

New Years Eve at the Alexander Hotel

  • Overnight stay in an art-centric deluxe guest room
  • $50 credit in Plat 99
  • Prosecco and chocolate covered strawberries
  • Brunch for two in Market Table
  • Valet Parking
  • Late check out at 1pm

Click here for more details

21c Hotel Louisville New Years Eve Party

The red penguins are ready to party in Louisville! Four course dinner at Proof on Main, dance party in the hotel Atrium, and late check out in the morning? Yes please.

Click for more details

Shaker Village New Years Eve Package

Leave the holiday madness behind for a relaxing New Year’s evening at Shaker Village. Package includes overnight accommodations in The Inn, hot breakfast buffet at The Trustees’ Table, 10 percent off retail purchases in The Shops and complimentary village admission.

Click for details

New Years Eve at Jekyll Island Club Hotel

  • Accommodations for Three nights with King, Queen, or two Double Beds
  • Breakfast Buffet for two each morning in the Grand Dining Room
  • New Year’s Eve Dinner for two; your choice of early or late seating in the Grand Dining Room
  • Admission to After Dinner Party at the Morgan Center with DJ and Dancing with food stations.
  • Party favors and champagne toast at midnight
  • New Year’s Day upgraded Breakfast Buffet in the Grand Dining Room ~ features Collard Greens and Hoppin’ John, Crepes Station, Omelet Station, Eggs Benedict and more

Click here for full details

If you don’t feel like traveling for New Years, check out local restaurants for a special dinner menu. Here are a couple of Bloomington NYE dinners happening…

New Years Eve Dinner at Restaurant Tallent

One of my favorite restaurants in Bloomington is hosting their finale dinner on New Year’s Eve. 4 courses of made from scratch Italian fare.

Click for the full menu

Topo’s 403 New Years Eve

Three course Mediterranean dinner with live music.

Click for menu details

How will you ring in the new year?

Happy Holidays from Shaker Village

December 16, 2015

I can’t believe that Christmas is next week; where did fall go? I love the holiday season for many reasons: comfort food, festive decor, and spending time with friends and family. Deep in the hills of the Bluegrass State, I experienced all of these (and then some) on a recent visit to Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill with one of my dearest friends.


illuminated evenings | em's on the road



Holiday Gift Guide

December 11, 2015



Christmas is 15 days away! If you’re a last minute shopper (like me) check out a few of my favorite finds to help you finish off your list.  READ MORE

A Visit to Muir Woods and Giving Tuesday

December 1, 2015

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir

Muir was so right, at least I think so. I love the built environment, wandering through city streets, eating street food and photographing mansard roofs and fanlights. Escaping to the woods however is also oh so necessary for me.

With three major sale days after Thanksgiving (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday), Giving Tuesday was created to celebrate generosity and serve as a day of giving. I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Muir Woods in northern California, a truly great gift that was given to the United States in 1908.


Muir Woods

Photo: Ryan Hines

I’d heard of John Muir but hadn’t studied his work prior to graduate school. I read My First Summer in the Sierras for the first time while taking a Wilderness Management class. It is a beautiful read; a little flowery at times but the emotion and passion Muir had for the wilderness is understood with each word. Many westward pilgrimages were imagined and embarked upon because of Muir and his powerful prose.

Back in the 1800s much of the Northern redwood forests were spared from logging due to their precarious location. In 1905, a wealthy congressman and his wife, William and Elizabeth Kent, purchased 611 acres of forest to be protected. In 1908, they donated the land to the federal government. After which Teddy Roosevelt declared it a National Monument, the first created from land donated by a private individual, and was named for renowned conservationist John Muir.

When the Golden Gate bridge was completed in 1937, visitors to the Muir Woods tripled and today it remains one of the most popular National Monuments in the US. Even with high visitor numbers, the majority of people seem to just walk to the gift shop and turn around. Keep going… Take one of the many loop trails and enjoy the quiet. You may even see a banana slug.

Muir Woods

Photo: Ryan Hines

With so much development today in technology and the built environment, it is extraordinary to have a wild sanctuary like this available for anyone to enjoy.

Giving Tuesday will come and go but in the spirit of the holiday season, I hope you’ll think about causes and organizations that are important to you and your community and give a little. Not everyone can donate millions of dollars, but we can all provide a little time and help make a difference.

Happy Holidays!

Links to organizations I love:

National Trust for Historic Preservation


Humane Society

Girls Inc

St. Simons Land Trust



Muir Woods National Monument






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