Latest Obsessions – Old Navy Fall Haul

Earlier in quarantine, I purchased some nicer sweats and athleisure-ware from Old Navy. Now that fall is here, and winter is quickly approaching and WFH-ing and quarantine is still a thing, I figured it was time to stock up on a few additional pieces to get through the winter! So I wanted to share my favorites from my recent Old Navy hauls, and a few pieces I was a little bummed out about. Oh! And I also splurged on a few normal clothes, so I’m sharing those favorites too.

Let’s talk sweatpants. Before quarantine, my sweatpants have consisted of big bulky and very high school sized sweats — ones you don’t go out in public in. I realized that investing in a few nicer pairs, for our evening walks with Moz, target run or doctor’s appointment were needed. For reference, I’m wearing a size Large in the joggers featured, and I’m about 5’6″ and 150lbs.

MUST HAVE – Mid-Rise Breathe On Joggers: These are my absolute favorite! I grabbed these earlier in the year in a rose pink color, and recently snatched up another pair in light grey. They’re silky, have pockets and I like pulling them up around my ankles for a sportier look, plus they’re about belly button height so work well with a comfy crop.

Mid-Rise Sweater Knit Joggers: Compared to the breathe joggers, these are definitely a bit cozier given the sweater knit nature. They are also a bit thinner, but overall the same sort of style and fit as the breathe joggers — and also feature pockets! I have these in the Jet Stream green color, and I love the mix-up as I’m typically a go-to black person when it comes to my athleisure bottoms.

RETURN NOTICE: I loved these MC-Hammer-esq high-waisted elevate powersoft joggers but they just didn’t do it for me once I put them on. I think an XL would’ve given me the look I wanted, but the Large gave me a bit of camel toe, when I pulled it up to where it needed to be — and I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

Now that we have the bottoms figured out, I love a few of Old Navy’s essential and classic tops.

Vintage Crew Neck Sweatshirt: This is also an essential that I love. I am waiting for the ‘More Love’ Heather Gray sweatshirt to arrive, as I plan on returning the Navy Stripe with heart, because I don’t love how it lines up at the bottom. I have a few other colors from earlier this year as well, and I order a size small small for a more fitted look that can be dressed down or thrown on with a pair of jeans.

Oversized Slub-Knit Weekend Tee: This loose, crop tee is another fave of mine. It’s definitely a little more oversized – so a size small is roomy and has a nice look especially when paired with high-rise workout pants, like these charcoal snake skin prints. I have the mauve over blush color and just ordered the sea haze.

Loose-Fit Short Sleeve Crop Tee: Since I’m completely obsessed with crop tees, I was excited to find these basic ones in addition to the weekend tee above. This tee doesn’t fit quite as loosely as the weekend tee does — I got a small, but I would’ve ordered a medium, if I would’ve known — as I definitely like a looser crop fit. Still, a classic and comfy tee to add to the rotation of your athleisure.

Ok! Now for a few REAL clothes and fun looks, that I do break out every now and again especially to enjoy the fall weather and feel a little human.

Cozy Leopard Print V-Neck Cardigan: I ordered this in the grey print and a size medium. It’s a little bigger than maybe I would’ve liked if shopping in person, but it’s still super comfy and a relaxed look. This sweater is so soft, and I love the options it allows buttoning up the front or keeping open. This sweater is also offered as a crew-neck sweater if you don’t want the button up.

Black Mid-Rise Raw-Edge Rockstar Ankle Jeans: These have been a summer and fall favorite, especially with the ripped edge and holes throughout — even though B makes fun of me a bit. They just pair so well with everything, and can easily be dressed up or dressed down, especially with the cozy leopard cardigan — I wear a size 10 in these!

Shop my faves: Crewneck Sweatshirt | Knit Joggers | Breathe On Joggers | Oversized Weekend Tee | Black Jeans | Leopard Cardigan

I may stock up on a few more pieces, but I feel a little more ready for the rest of quarantine and the winter season ahead – especially looking a little more put together, while still being comfortable! Have you picked up any Old Navy favorites lately? If so, leave in the comments below!

House Tour – Our Fall Front Porch

I love decorating our front porch for fall — it is so much fun for me, the colors are incredible the shapes are always different, and I always tend to go a little overboard, but still rein myself in. And because of the stunning floral hoop wreath that is adorning our front door, I definitely wanted to give her a supporting cast of more fall favorites.

As much as I love fall, the thing I love most about fall is the small pumpkin patches and farms I grew up going too. So, one thing, that I’m not sure I’ll ever get ok with, living in/near a city is the lack of traditional pumpkin patches and farms that I’ve known living in a rural farm town. Although we visited my parents earlier in the month, we didn’t get to make it to a pumpkin spot — so I headed to my go-to city spot and stocked up on pumpkins, mums and gourds – to avoid crowds or drive a bit farther out of town.

Besides creating a fun statement on our main front porch around our homemade wooden welcome sign — I also stacked up our steps with mums, pumpkins and even more gourds. If our mailbox wasn’t on our front porch, I would’ve considered doing a complete rainfall affect with all the pumpkins and gourds, but we have to be functional over here too!

The mums were a little smaller and not bloomed yet, from what they normally have been in years passed, but I like the mix of purple and yellow that I was able to get and place them in my white planters. And I even went back a second time after getting my main pieces in place for a few more gourds of all sizes to help finish off the look. I was hoping to grab a few more mums, but they were completely out!

I have fun stacking, layering and mixing up different shapes, colors and textures together with the different pumpkins and gourds, on the porch and along the steps. The colors of fall are truly magical, from the trees to the pumpkins — it is truly a beautiful time of the year, the trees around us are really showing off right now and it’s incredible.

Third Wedding Anniversary Etsy Gift Guide

My yearly wedding anniversary Etsy gift guide is here! This year we’re tackling the traditional three year gift of leather! B and I always try to stick to the traditional theme of each wedding anniversary so luckily, finding something custom, unique and special made from leather wasn’t as tough as cotton, which was last year. We always like to make our anniversaries special and B always does an incredible job – last year he was so thoughtful with his cotton gifts, I realized I need to step-up my game. So B, if you have stumbled upon this before our anniversary – stop reading here, spoilers below!

Leather represents shelter and security for the third year, much like what a marriage and the home you build with each other symbolizes.

– The Knot

Leather Monogram Valet Tray. This next gift is from a formally local small business, William and James, (they just relocated to North Carolina) that I was introduced too via the Home for the Holidays pop-up shop! Luckily, they also have an Etsy shop, so ordering was super easy and effortless — plus the owners Billie and Jimmy were super responsive to confirm the customization was correct, which was reassuring as a buyer. I ended up ordering the monogram leather valet tray, which I thought would be nice for B in his dressing room, to hold his ear buds, wallet and other goodies. I was also beyond impressed with the way it arrived, in a beautiful branded box, all wrapped in tissue and just perfect for gifting in! They also have leather coasters, earrings and other fun accessories – I was happy to support a formally local small biz too.

Custom Leather Travel Tags from Etsy. Funny story, we were gifted these as wedding gifts, unfortunately the wrong info was added so we’ve never been able to use! Last Christmas was gifted my mom and dad some tags from Etsy to go with their new luggage, and it was the perfect gift — so I knew just where to go, as I’d already seen the finished product. I ordered from TAleatherworks on Etsy – these are affordable, customizable and arrived quickly! I wish we would’ve had them before our recent trip, but they’ll be fun to have in the future.

Valet Tray by IronandGrainUSA | ToriLoLeather Card | Orange Bridge Supply keychain | ToriLoLeather leather clutch

Don’t worry guys/gals, if you’ve stumbled upon this – I have a few more other honorable mentions I found on Etsy that are a little more well suited for your wifey. This luggage tag from Bramble and Beene, is a bit more anniversary specific and fun. Or this leather valet tray from Iron and Grain USA is also customizable and a bit more 3rd anniversary specific listing off the days, hours and minutes making up 3 years. I love this leather clutch from SanTanLeather – it’s compact and versatile – and offered in a variety of colors.

This leather keychain from Orange Bridge Supply is a cute and customizable option too, I actually gifted this to B for our wedding present with our wedding date and our little saying “Yeah, Me Too” onto it — it has definitely been worn with love these last few years. I also love this leather card and handmade leather purse from ToriLo Leather – she is located in the UK, so I would be careful to make sure you have enough time if you’re ordering internationally!

Not celebrating 3 years? Check out my Two Year Gift Guide and how I celebrated Year One.

Besides leather, the modern gift for three years is crystal or glass, the color is white or jade and the gemstone is pearls! I’ll definitely be making B a homemade card, and find a few more things to help make this anniversary special.

Fitness Friday 10.20

News flash! There are less than 3-months left of 2020. Mostly that is a good thing, because this year has mostly been a disaster — but if you’ve been working towards any goals, it’s go time, to crank that butt in gear to check off every single one of those goals! I just took a peak at my 2020 goals, and per usual, my fitness goals are always a constant roller coaster – and this year hasn’t been any different. But there is one goal, I am bound and determined to check off this year.

The one fitness goal, I’ve been really focused on is getting six races in — which pre-pandemic was going to be a piece of cake, but all of our races have been postponed, rescheduled or turned virtual. So with a few races, JUST NOW turning virtual — our Q4 of running is quickly becoming jammed packed. As of today, two runs have been completed and two runs are queued up. Which means, I need to still sign-up for two more and just plan for virtual. I was really hoping to have a half-marathon included in my six runs, but our 10-miler will just have to do.

This past month I just finished my second race, which happened to also be our first virtual race! Have you run a virtual race yet? There were a lot of things I liked about running a virtual race, like we could plan and run on our schedule – pick your own location/route – we got the race packet and medal at the same time! Not to mention, this race was benefitting a organization that is near and dear to us, so that made it extra special. Some things I missed from a traditional race, was the crowd and team mentality — you sort of get amped up to run a bit faster than you might if it’s just yourself running through the park. We did make sure that we woke up early to run our race, because what would race day be without an early morning wake up call?

As I mentioned and you may see — our virtual run was a quick 5k, which helped raise money to support Friends of City Dogs Cleveland, which provides financial assistance to City Dogs is the adoption division of Cleveland Animal Care and Control which is an open intake facility – meaning they don’t turn dogs away. This nonprofit steps in and provides additional resources to support medical expenses like HW+, torn AC surgery, general enrichment and training. B and I also happen to volunteer for City Dogs and walk dogs – so we love this organization a little extra – but more on that, another day!

So as I work my way towards finishing 6 races, I encourage you to continue to work towards your fitness goal(s) to make a small part of your year a success!

Fall Dining Room + Easy Pumpkin Centerpiece

With these cooler temps, it has definitely been feeling like fall, which has been more than welcomed at our house now that it’s October! And one of my favorite rooms to transition through the seasons besides our front door, is our dining room — this year I wanted to keep it simple, but of course create a statement! And I love the options this centerpiece has for this year and years to come.

This project cost a little more than I would’ve liked, but I was relying on the interwebs and getting things shipped to my door – so I was OK to pay a little more. I would’ve been curious to see what could’ve been found at the Dollar Tree or in an actual craft store. But I stuck to shopping on Amazon. I also got two different pumpkin varieties, because I wasn’t sure about the quality and tried to save a few bucks — I also ordered about 36-pumpkins, unsure of how many I would actually need and I used about 30, so it worked out perfectly!

DIY Shopping List:
– (2) 12 pack – White Pumpkin Pack w/ Green Stems
– (1) 12 pack – White Pumpkin Pack w/ Brown Stems (these were my favorite – price also went up)
Floral Dry Foam 2-pack
Bamboo Skewer Sticks
– Greenery/Fall florals
– Optional; paint with colors of your choice
– Wooden box: Whitewashed Planter or Wood Tray Centerpiece

Estimated Project Cost: $60

To create this centerpiece, it’s super easy! I broke/cut the skewers in various lengths to give depth and fill in and stuck them into the foam pumpkins. I filled them in mixing the larger pumpkins and smaller pumpkins, with a majority of the larger pumpkins alternated across the top. The best part if you mess up, or need to move a pumpkin placement it’s super easy to create a new hole/space with your skewer! Once I had all my pumpkins and the top filled, I took some left over greenery from a previous project and filled in larger gaps where you could see the green floral foam.

And wah-la! It’s a mini pumpkin statement and easy to move since it’s all contained. As you can see, the stem colors were different — originally I had the idea to paint them gold, but after getting them in place with the filler, the colors don’t bother me as much. I was planning to paint the white pumpkins in some dull, fall colors, but I ended up liking the all white look with the subtle pops of color with the table runner and faux florals. What do you think?

DIY – Easy Fall Floral Hoop Wreath

The fall hoop wreath trendy train drove by my house and I jumped right on! And I’m so glad that I did. To be fair, I was planning this for awhile — but I like to wait until October to give in to fall, and I always love a good statement piece for my Sherwin Williams Commodore front door! Best part? I purchased everything online for contactless delivery or pick-up and everything came straight to me!

Two key decisions were made early on; (1) I went the embroidery hoop route vs. a metal hoop, why? Because I felt it was a little more homey and sturdy. Decision (2) I wanted a big hoop, like double the normal size to really fill up my front door. So, because I went oversized with the embroidery hoop I needed to make sure I had enough florals to fill it in, and that they were proportionally sized to the hoop. I also picked colors that were fall inspired, but also would pop and coordinate with my blue door – orange seemed perfect with a mix of pinks and creams.

DIY Shopping List:
23″ Embroidery Hoop
(1) Jumbo Cream Peony Stem (my focal point)
(2) Sunset Orange Peony Stem
(1) Cream Peony Bush
(2) Orange Pom Pom Stem
(2) Mauve Spider Mums Stems
(2) Blush Chrysanthemum Stem
– Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Burlap ribbon / left over ribbon

Estimate project cost: $60

Step-by-Step DIY Instructions:
1. I started with my oversized cream peony to determine the focal point of my hoop wreath – so I plucked it from the stem and glued it on the rim of the embroidery hoop. From there I used the orange pom stems to help add a baseline for where the rest of the flowers would flow. I glued these right along on top of the edge of the hoop and bent the blowers in the arch shape.

2. Next, I plucked the orange peony and cream peonies and played around with arranging them to flank the larger peony. I put the orange peonies on either side of the oversized cream peony and then started to fill in with the pink spider mum and chrysanthemum. I also made sure to pull off some of the peony greens and filled in and layered between flower placement.

3. I made sure to raise one side up higher with more of the orange pom stems and greens! The best part to remember is you can play around with the flowers before finally putting them into place with the hot glue and take it one at a time to build and fill in your hoop wreath. I also didn’t want complete symmetry so made sure to keep it a little mixed up!

4. To finish off the floral hoop wreath, I found some old burlap ribbon and cut a little piece to tie around the gauge part on the embroidery hoop to cover it up to hang on the door hook and on our front door!

I really love how it turned out, and that I went with the oversized hoop — it really makes a statement on the front door, just like I wanted! If you decide to go with a smaller hoop, you probably won’t use as many flowers or need an oversized one and utilize a few smaller floral stems.

Jackson Hole Food – Local Faves

Eating in Jackson Hole this vacation was definitely different than others! Luckily, when we were booking our condo, we made sure to get a place that had a full kitchen — as we planned to make a majority of our meals at our condo. We also wanted to make sure to support local shops, as this entire year has impacted on all levels — so I reached out to my cousin A, my OG JH partner in crime, for her recommendations and every single one of them was on point.

Cowboy Coffee Co. This is a popular spot, and surprisingly one we’ve never tried before! The wait was nearly 30-minutes to grab some coffee, so maybe order ahead, although it was definitely worth the wait. I was pleasantly surprised at our coffee from Cowboy Coffee Co., we probably would’ve been there almost every day, if the wait wasn’t as long as it was. You can order and ship their coffee online, so we just might be doing that to enjoy a taste of Jackson, because we did not make it back after our first time.

Pearl Street Bagels. YUM! Pearl Street Bagels is strictly take-out at the moment, which worked perfectly for us. They closed up their storefront to allow ordering via windows and a wait outside. We ended up stopping here two mornings, the first time we grabbed coffee and bagels to go, and went to sit out at a Teton look out and had an incredible breakfast view. B had the salt bagel with fresh herb cream cheese, and I got an everything bagel with their veggie cream cheese. The second time I went for the cinnamon raisin bagel with honey walnut cream cheese. I definitely preferred the everything bagel route, so my vote is that savory is the way to go! We also each got their ‘Shot in the Dark’ aka black coffee with a shot of expresso – also delicious coffee if Cowboy Coffee Co. is too busy for your liking.

Calico. Located closer to Teton Village, this spot looked so cute for a dining experience — I wish we would’ve planned to go for a warm day to sit outside. But, instead, we opted for drive-up take out for a contact-less experience and even better, incredible food. We enjoyed it so much that, we ended up going back for a second night for more and new things! The caesar and huidekoper garden salad’s were delicious, the entree size was perfect for leftovers for the next day. The side size, was also more than enough to have along with your main meal. We also got the Calico Garlic bread, both times, so good, and were even better with the side of two meatballs. The BBQ Chicken pizza was delicious, as we did a pizza and salad night the first time. Some how, I missed their signature double chocolate cake the first time we ordered, but didn’t the second – it was ah-mazing. Seriously, everything we got was delicious, I can only imagine how it would’ve been dining there and getting a taste of their cocktails.

Cafe Genevieve. This was our one and only dining out experience, luckily we were able to take advantage of a less than popular time (late afternoon) and snag an outdoor seat. We love Cafe Genevieve’s brunch, so although it was a little after 2pm, we ordered a bloody mary and mimosa to celebrate our arrival, as this was literally our first stop once we left the Jackson Hole Airport. We kept it simple and ordered their famous pig-candy bacon and then each got two eggs any style, which included eggs, more bacon, toast and the perfect amount of hash browns. This was also our first time dining ‘out’ since March, as we haven’t been back at home. It was weird, but relatively quick and delicious – as we definitely didn’t dilly-dally.

We definitely saved some money, as we did not dine as much as we would’ve — and saved on ordering drinks out, as we made one trip to the grocery store and liquor store when we first arrived and stocked up on what we would need for the week! We packed our lunches and snacks for our hikes and whenever we were out for the day, so we also saved there and made breakfast at the condo with coffee almost every morning too. There are so many more spots to explore, but for this trip, we kept it safe and got to-go for 99% of our meals!

Travel: Jackson Hole 2020 Highlight Reel

Well it’s been about two weeks since we’ve been back home and almost fully recovered from our incredible trip. Being out west in Jackson Hole, is just unreal. As soon as we landed, it was insane endless rolling mountain views any direction you turn and there was also a huge weight lifted. Waking up at our condo the first morning in Teton Village, was just pure happiness.

As I mentioned in my flight recap, we chose Jackson Hole, because it’s a familiar place. This was B and I’s third trip together and my eighth trip total. So that alone was super special, as I’ve been fortunate enough to essentially grow up going to Jackson Hole with my extended family, creating amazing memories. And now being able to come back with B, for a third time, is just so lucky. Jackson has truly been a safe haven for me, and always deemed a second home with my cousin A, and I couldn’t think of a better time, for when I needed to return to my home away from home than this year. As much of a city girl that I am, and I know my friends will agree, the mountains and Jackson bring out another part of me, it’s that feeling of being safe, feeling alive, and just plain happy. Ok, now queue the mini photo reel below from my years going to JH.

Throwback Reel:

With this being our third trip together, we knew there would be a lot of things we would be able to do safely, and we knew there would just be some things that wouldn’t be happening. We were also perfectly content being in our condo and planned accordingly from a food perspective and even packed our go-to games to have on hand (deck of cards, uno, and yahtzee – yes we are 100). Even still, we had another memorable trip with a lot of great moments, so instead of sharing every single one, here is our highlight reel.

B’s Highlights: Our first night, maybe 30-minutes after being at our condo, we cracked open bubbles/wine and were going to enjoy a happy hour on our little balcony. We were Facetiming with my parents and all of a sudden, B said something and points. And he is pointing at none other than a momma moose and her baby, casually walking by the walkway and over to some bushes for a little afternoon snack – not even 20-feet away from us. It was incredible! We were elevated and surrounded by deck, so we were at a safe distance to watch and admire these two beauties. It was a pretty awesome welcome.

B’s favorite activity was our impromptu Grand View Point hike around Two Oceans Lake and Emma Matilda Lake. We opted for the 4-mile hike towards Grand View Point vs. Emma Matilda, since we’ve ventured there before, so Grand View was a new one for us. We ended up hiking a bit longer than planned and probably rounded out at about 9-miles total — it was an exhausting day. The hike was good, until about the last mile that was just switchback after switchback and a stiff incline. The view was incredible of the Grand Teton range, and we finished up along Emma Matilda.

My Highlights: Our second night in Jackson, we headed up to The Deck on the Bridger Gondola from Teton Village for happy hour. They had mini bottles of my favorite bubbles, so we grab a few from the cafe and scored a bench away from everyone and soaked in the views and laughed the night away. B even teased me that he’s never seen me talk so much, I’m sure it was the bubbles talking a bit, and just being so happy to be in Jackson. We went another night for drinks, but it was a little later than the first time and we were welcomed by a stunning cotton candy colored sunset.

I also really enjoyed our hike around Colter Bay – it was quiet and peaceful and had incredible views of the mountains along Jackson Lake. We took our time exploring and enjoying the views, including finding a nice little spot along the lake for a lunch break. Another highlight of mine, was visiting the Geraldine Lucas-Fabin homestead, established in 1913, this cabin has unobstructed views of the Grand Tetons and is a quiet, off the beaten path spot — we had the whole place to ourselves. I was just so content sitting on her front porch, listening to the trickling of the Snake River and soaking in the mountain views.

We made sure to stop at the go-to spots that are always a must see including the T.A. Moulton Barn which we stopped back for a second time to see it snow covered. Yes! We got a taste of winter on our second to last day there, and woke up to 6-inches of snow — it was absolutely beautiful and felt like a winter wonderland, although the wind storm that brought the winter weather definitely did some damage and took down trees throughout town and even on popular hiking trails.

We also stopped briefly at Jenny Lake, but only at a look out for a quick peak and some photos – as this was definitely a very popular stop, and way to busy for our liking. We even avoided visiting town, except for early mornings and made sure to be in and out to avoid the masses for popular hours like lunch or dinner especially over the weekend. Traffic alone around town and even getting into the park at times was really backed up, I’ve never seen it like that before — even visiting in prime summer season in years past.

We also made sure to wake-up one morning to watch the sunrise at Schwabacher Landing which is another well photographed spot that showcases the Tetons in a reflection of the Snake River. We also got to watch an Elk while we snapped photos of the sunrise, he was in prime photo position and showing off his rack – it was also like 30-degrees at sunrise that morning, so we didn’t stay too long! Speaking of wildlife, we were super fortunate to see our fair share of Moose, obviously our first day, but then we would see a few in the pond along the windy Moose-Wilson Road. One morning, we stopped and probably watched a moose for about 40-minutes, as she ate in the pond, made her way across the pond, up the ridge and right up to the look-out with all of us onlookers! We also saw two bears – one swimming at Oxbow Bend and the other again on the winding Moose-Wilson Road because she ran across the road right in front of us! We were able to watch her along side the road for a bit before she headed further in. We of course saw a few distant herds of Buffalo, and a few Elk in the wee morning hours before when we were headed to our sunrise spot.

We almost perfected our tri-pod selfies during our trip. It was something I decided to purchase once we booked our trip, knowing we would primarily be solo and in need of some good couple shots with the gorgeous backdrops that are ever changing and never ending. Although, we were those people, who when we did ask for a photo to be snapped of us by a stranger, had our masks on and hand sanitizer was out and shared! I know people were looking at me like I was a crazy pants, but hey we still have to be smart and safe. We were also the people on hikes who had our masks on when we passed people, and got way out of the way — again I know our fellow hikers were looking at us like we were being extra.

Jackson is always someplace I dream about visiting and getting back too. It’s always a place that makes my heart melt and makes it so full at the same time. Jackson is a place we will always go back to, because as I mentioned it is near and dear to my heart, with many thanks and gratitude to my extended family for incredible summer vacations. Until next time, I miss the mountains already…

Traveling During A Pandemic on an Airplane

So B and I did a thing. We went on vacation… in 2020, can you even? I know, very controversial and even more so because we got on an airplane. So I’m going to break it all down, from our decision making process, why we decided to, and how it was from checking in, boarding and being on the plane itself. Although, I would also like to clarify and confirm – we’ve been quarantining since we’ve been home for a total of 14-days (Day 12, today!). And just because we traveled in a more controlled environment, we still have certain feelings about doing other social things during this time and the amount of people we see — that may make us hypocrites 🤷🏼‍♀️, but we look at each situation differently, including our decision to fly.

Our Decision Making Process & Why. This was not an easy decision and a bit of a rollercoaster. It started mainly because we had a trip planned in March for my birthday – aka prime corona shutdown time. So we were able to get a flight voucher and our hotel accommodations as a hold for a future trip. Initially our flight voucher was set to expire by the end of the year. Obviously as this pandemic has persisted, airlines have adjusted policies and have also taken a huge hit overall (airports included). So we always had a thought that we might “need” to go somewhere before the end of 2020. Long story short, we attempted to plan this trip for three different timeframes, and backed out the first two.

Finally, the flights to one of our favorite destinations – Jackson Hole, Wyoming – were too good to pass up. In all transparency we’re used to paying $600+ per person, and our flights were about $640 round trip for both of us – which also happened to be just a little over our flight voucher from our March trip. So to be able to go to Jackson Hole for the same price we were going to spend going to Philly, seemed like a no brainer. We also chose to go to a place we were familiar with, a place we had a feel for where to go, where not to go, where we to stay, and knew that we could do things for the most party socially distant and avoid crowds once we arrived. I also didn’t want to regret not taking a trip to a place that is so special to me.

Weighing the pros and cons of getting on an airplane was another factor. I’ve been pretty open about my anxiety this pandemic has brought onto me. Booking the trip gave me anxiety, thinking about getting on a plane and being around people gave me anxiety (still does), and flying on the airplanes gave me anxiety. BUT, I know the safety precautions being taken by the airlines both for passengers and from a cleaning perspective have only increased — and I know others who have flown and have said nothing but positive things. Plus airports and airlines have made wearing face coverings mandatory, so if we’re all wearing masks, we are all helping each other out, right? 

How It Was. We had an early morning flight out to Jackson Hole by way of ORD (Chicago). We flew American Airlines, again because that was who our flight voucher was with, unfortunately American (and United) don’t keep the middle seat open. Knowing this, we ended up paying for our seats a few days before our flights to ensure we were next to each other and pick where we felt comfortable being – since we had ‘Basic Economy’ seats. Also knowing this, B was a trooper and sat in the middle seat while I was in the window seat. Two of our four flights were only two seater planes, so it was a moot point, but we were still able to sit with each other!

Checking In & Security. We wiped down the touch screens at check-in, but going to an attendant to help us was available too, as it wasn’t very busy. Going through security there were helpful floor dots to designate a 6-ft distance, so it was easy to maintain. When you show TSA your boarding pass and ID, they will ask you to pull your face mask down so they can see your full face, to check your identity – so don’t be alarmed! Otherwise, everything was pretty normal.

Layovers. We had two longer layovers in the much busier airport of ORD. But we found that sitting in the airports waiting for our flights, that we were able to maintain a pretty good distance from people – a bit harder in Chicago – but still attainable. For the most part people wore their masks while waiting, unless they were eating/drinking, but there were definitely a few noses sticking out, and although face coverings are required in ORD, there were a few entitled people who sat/walked around without.

Boarding. Boarding was another story, as there definitely wasn’t 6-ft. distance maintained, but everyone had their masks on and seemed somewhat aware of their surroundings – we boarded in the last group, so we also hung back and let everyone else get on first. Gate agents were also great about asking passengers to adjust their masks or put one on before they scanned boarding passes. Getting on our flights, we were able to grab sanitizer wipes that were provided by the flight attendants upon entering the aircraft, for our shorter trips from CLE to ORD. For our longer flights from Chicago to Wyoming, we received pre-packaged snack bags when we boarded that included a little water bottle, snack bag (pistachios/pretzels) and sanitizer wipes.

On the Flights. Obviously we weren’t able to be socially distant on the flight — but it was clean on the plane, even though we also wiped down our seat area with our own cleaning wipes. And, since there wasn’t inflight food/drink service, it appeared that most people kept their masks on and minded their business plus, bonus, no one seemed to be sneezy or coughy around us. So besides being a little squished (B especially) we felt good and fine on the flight. I also double masked, a paper one underneath my fabric one — which made me feel a little more protected, even if it was purely mental.

COVID Packing Tips. Fun fact, TSA is allowing 12oz hand sanitizer in your carry on which is over the normal liquid limit — you can also pack a full size tube of disinfectant wipes in your carry-on, just make sure to pull out from your bag when you go through TSA! This was huge being able to have for our condo and just an extra set on hand, especially for our long travel days.

Nothing beat the feeling of seeing the Grand Tetons for the first time from the airplane – I literally started crying I was so happy. And not because I was happy to get off the plane (I mean I was), but I just couldn’t believe we made it! It has been 4-years since our last trip to JH and ironically, which was when we were attempting to plan our wedding, so it was surreal to be back and in a safe place I like to call home especially in this crazy year.

Questions about our airplane travels? Leave a comment below!






*This year has been unprecedented for all of us, as we have all learned to navigate this “new normal” and we can all agree, that everyone does that differently, based on what they’re comfortable with and what feels OK to them. So, before you go and judge – let’s all just remember this whole year has affected a lot of us differently and we’re all just trying to survive, the best we can