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Passe-a-Grille + Tampa Breweries + Time Tracking = Weekly Love


Three weeks in, and I’m starting to feel like a local around here. Usually this means I’m getting itchy feet and about ready to move on. I am loving the beach life though. As much of the Northwest girl that I am, I think I love the beach and sunshine just as much… or whatever I’m currently engrossed in anyway. Life is good living in the present!

This week:

Passe-a-Grille Beach & sunsets – I love having an evening routine of walking or running the beach. Treasure Island is our default beach, and while we’ve gone up to Madeira and Reddington, Passe-a-Grille is my favorite beach thus far.
The Refinery – Always fun to find restaurants that are at the top-end of the [universal] tasty scale vs just compared to what’s around it. The Refinery is in Seminole Heights and they’re all about local food. The menu changes every Thursday, and prices are pretty good, especially considering their local suppliers.
New World Brewery in Ybor City – We went to Yappy Hour with boyfriend’s Tampa people. If I lived in Tampa, New World would be my Migration Brewing (ie. fav).
Vintage shopping in St Pete – lazy Sunday exploring vintage shops in St Pete. Paper Street Market and the Gas Plant Antique Arcade that had 3 or 4 floors of vintage/antique. The third floor houses Furnish Me Vintage, with mid century modern & Danish furniture most of which I would welcome into my home if I was inclined to spend money on furniture. :)
Postcard Inn cuteness – We stopped at the Postcard Inn in St Pete Beach to get burgers at Beachwood BBQ & Burger, and ended up eating outside at the Beach Bar (mistake! but this post is called Weekly Love, not Weekly annoyance. Details.) So the interior of the Postcard Inn is exactly how I would decorate a beach hotel… you know if I happened to own one or something. Redeemed by cuteness I suppose.
Gulfport & Peg’s Cantina & Brew Pub – After a quick wander around Gulfport, we stopped in at Peg’s Catina & Brew Pub. Tried some of their beers and had an interesting evening hanging out in a “locals” pub. Super friendly bartender too, so it was fun learning about area breweries etc.
Time Tracking – I go through phases of time tracking for both work and personal time. I’ve been pretty consistent about it since March as it really helps me “check out” of idle tasks (like mindlessly checking email & Twitter) and get completely absorbed in projects. Things always take longer than you think they will.

What made you happy this week?

Beaches + Sarasota + Design = Weekly Love


Into my second week of Florida retiree living, and I’m loving the weather. I’d still like to transport some Portland coffee shops and food carts here, but I’ll survive a few more weeks I’m sure. Here’s what’s been keeping me busy this week.

This week:

Sarasota – we attended a very Great Gatsby-ish wedding in Sarasota over the weekend (although I think the theme was something about spring in a castle). Adorbs. And a perfect excuse to buy new shoes.
Hyatt Regency Sarasota – overpriced? Yes. A lovely pool? Yes. Nickle & dimed for wifi? Yes. Amazing view? Yes. C’est la vie.
Thai + Mexican = Nitally’s – I discovered this Thai Mex place in St Petersburg in November, so I was pleased to find that it was just as tasty the second time!
Florida beaches – I go to the beach every day. Yes, every day. The closest beach is less than a mile away, but my favorite thus far is Pass-a-Grille beach south of St Pete Beach.
lazy Sundays – After a weekend of wedding shenanigans and meeting five million people, it was nice to have a lazy Sunday at “home” in Treasure Island. We made Arugula Pecorino Pizza, followed by a sunset run to the beach.
BootsnAll Homepage redesign – it’s been a while in the making, so last Thursday was an exciting day at work — we launched our homepage redesign! It makes me happy to see what we’re all about front and center now. Travel on!

What are you up to this week?

Pack light and keep things simple.


If you have travel in your blood, check out the Indie Travel Manifesto.

You can help “define” indie travel by voting statements you agree/disagree with up or down. Please sign/share if it resonates with you.

My favs:

  • See yourself in the context of a rich and complex world.
  • Define your values and explore your beliefs; craft your own meaning for life.
  • Pack light and keep things simple.
  • Seek pleasure in simple moments and details.

I’m also a little obsessed with this color palette right now. My next project will might not incorporate Tangerine Tango — (Pantone color of the year). :)

30 Days of Indie Travel – November Blogging Project


We thought up a really fun blogging project at our year-end planning retreat this year for work, and finally decided on a name for it. Drumroll… 30 Days of Indie Travel project. It’s a 30-day blogging project with daily prompts to inspire personal reflection over the past year (or life) on your travel, adventures, home, and life, and then to share that with the online travel community. You can do as much or as little as you like, whether that’s just a photo one day or a full-on travel story the next. To participate, check out the daily prompt on BootsnAll’s 30 Days of Indie Travel project or follow along on Twitter, with the hashtag #indie30.

I’ll be blogging some days for our work blog, and some days here, so join us! It’s going to be fun!

I also designed the logo/banner for this project, so I’m excited to put all these pretty colors on my blog. :) Join us!

Public Speaking + Beer Cycling + Apple Festival = Weekly Love

The past week has been a bit of a blur because of planning for Meet, Plan, Go Portland. Smashing success and here’s what else I’ve been up to lately.

-Tasty n Sons – It’d been a year since I’d had breakfast at Tasty n Sons. I should really go here more often. The cast iron frittata [with roasted squash, caramelized onions, piment d-espelette (of course we all know that is variety of chili pepper that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette. Hmmm…), feta, and fried sage] is fantastic. I also love the sweet biscuits with berry topping.

-Nuestra Cocina – seriously love this place now. I’ve been on a margarita kick lately (yes, slightly odd for fall), as their house margarita is probably the best in Portland. Cheap and tasty.

-BFF is moving to Hawaii. Le sigh. We decided to go on one last close-to-home overnight getaway to Grand Lodge (McMenamin’s), and from here on out we’ll only be traveling together when we meet up to go on vacation. le sigh

-Fall biking – I love it when the weather cooperates and we have beautiful fall weekends to ride around town with friends. Did a bit of beer cycling last weekend, and tried a new brewery, Cascade Brewing Barrel House in SE.

-Apple Tasting Festival – Apple and pear season alert! I missed the apple tasting festival last year, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting this year’s. Went last weekend and felt like I ate a pallet of apples through the tasting line. Yum.

-Meet, Plan, Go Portland – My big work event finally arrived. For all the time and worry, everything came together in the end and it was an awesome night. We had over 100 people show up and it was super inspiring to talk to so many folks interested in taking a career break. It’s been a few years since I took my career break trip, so it’s fun to see people in the planning and wonderment stage again. I was really pleased with how the panel/speakers turned out too… Chris Guillebeau did our opening keynote, and was inspirational, as usual. Then we had four panelists — I had selected Kim because her and her husband are still in the planning stages of their trip, so I felt like they would be able to relate easily to all the people who are just considering a career break (as after you’ve taken one, sometimes your mindset changes a bit, as to how easy things seem). Next up was Russ and Laura because they’re doing kind of an unconventional career break, by pedaling around North America versus the typical RTW trip which I love because it shows how a career break can be just taking time to focus on something you’re really passionate about, whether that’s biking or international travel. I rounded out the rest of the panel by selecting… myself as the third panelist. :) I felt mildly odd about at it at first, but the one spot I most wanted to fill was someone representing the solo female traveler perspective.  And after a few people fell through, we decided I would fill that spot. And it ended up being awesome, I’m really glad I got the chance to speak at a “conference”, it was a fun challenge.

-Cheapskate signage – I was also thrilled with how the signage turned out at the Ace Hotel space. I didn’t really have a budget for this event (as most of our budget went to paying for the space) so I ended up wrapping a stripe around two sides of the walls of windows by taping up 40 11×17″ black and white papers — alternating quotes,, and a world/suitcase image. For a grand total of $8! (Picture above by Russ & Laura).

-iOS update – LOVE! Love the camera options from the lock screen, the choice of 3 routes on Google Maps, and the new notifications options. I don’t even care that I don’t have the iPhone 4S.

What are you up to this week?

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Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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