Provo, Utah is Getting Cool!

I know this might sound crazy, but Provo, UT is actually starting to get cool. I know this, because A) I’m extremely cool, duh, and B) I’ve lived here a long time, and it didn’t used to be cool. Before you think I’m crazy, let me elaborate. Rockin’ Music Scene…

“My final tip is to spend your money (but do it wisely)!” -Rachel

Remember how I told you about my awesome friend, Rachel, that I met in a crazy hostel in Prague? Well, she’s had some amazing travel experiences, and offers great advice in the post below. Enjoy! Favorite place to travel and why: This one is a difficult one, since my one complaint…

“Carry Less, Blend In, See More”

Enjoy the awesome pointers from this interview with world traveler, Nathan Green. What is your favorite place to travel and why?   I would say anywhere I haven’t been yet.  Going back to the same place is fine, but there is such a huge world out there to explore.  If…

New York, New York! Let it be a gamble!

New York is one of those places you can visit every year, and find something new and interesting to do every time you go. To me, it seems like I get more bang for my buck in New York than almost any other place, because the city is jam packed…

Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Mexico

First things first, Mexico is not my favorite place for vacationing for one major icky reason: Montezuma’s Revenge. You can read more about THAT from my post about my honeymoon in Cancun. Anyway, when traveling to Mexico, it’s important not to be too cavalier about where you eat. Here are some guidelines…

Visit the Homestead in Midway, Utah

Utah is full of surprises. One of Utah’s great surprises is a little city in the middle of the mountains called Midway. You’ll know you’ve run into Midway when you start feeling like you’ve stumbled upon an area that looks more like Switzerland than any place in the United States.…

This fascinating place just got fascinating-er!

After living in Russia for 2 years, and visiting multiple times, Russia has become one of the most fascinating places in the world to me. The language is interesting and complex. The people are kind. The food is great, and the architecture and scenery in Russia is uniquely…well…Russian. The country is plastered…

Hello Nashville! Hello Music City!

Some highlights of my recent trip to Nashville. 1. CMAs – Woo woo! Country music is a new thing for me, and I mean v. new. I’ve never been big into country music, but I figure if I’m looking to move to music city, and since my husband drums in…

Gem #1 from Nashville

I don’t know about you, but a huge part of going on a vacation is finding fun places to eat. By fun places to eat, I mean delicious food, great prices, and one of a kind. If you are thinking Applebee’s, or something, then we’re not on the same page…

Sometimes the best vacation is right under your nose!

My husband and I spent a wonderful and romantic weekend together a few weeks ago. We enjoyed a fun concert, star-gazed, spent time together enjoying the mountains, and had a delicious  homemade breakfast.  It. Was. Awesome. Guess where we were? Oak City, UT. Where? Exactly. Often times, it seems like…

Hello Seattle!

For those of you who don’t know, I have a really rad husband. And, I’m talking rad. He cooks all the time. He’s really funny and sweet. And, he’s a drummer for a living. Straight up drummer. Like gets paid to drum. And it’s disgusting how good he is at…

Remembering 9/11 – Honoring Freedom

Thanks to my dear friend, and talented professional photographer, Ashley Crist, I am able to share some beautiful pictures to help us remember 9/11. These pictures were taken yesterday at the memorial service in Arlington, VA. As I am sure you do, I remember 9/11 perfectly clear. My dad was the…

Oh Berlin, I’ll see you again soon!

I can clearly remember my first urge to travel abroad. For whatever reason, I’ve been obsessed with Germany since I was a little kid. It may have to do with the fact that I had two German Au Pairs when I was a kid. Maybe it has to do with…

Need a place to stay for free on your trip? Try the awesomeness of couchsurfing.org.

I decided to backpack across Europe right after the movie “Taken” was released. As a result, everyone I knew chastised me and told me to be careful to not get kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. I promised them that I would be smart and safe and reassured them that…

Las Vegas RollerCon: Come for the bouts; Stay for the butts

If you’re looking for the perfect place to escape the heat this summer, Las Vegas is not the place to go. It is hot, hot, hot. But if you’re looking for a fun time and endlessly entertaining people-watching, Las Vegas (specifically during RollerCon) is where you want to be, with…

Ever thought of checking out Belarus?

I recently wrote a post about Russia, but I would feel extremely guilty if I didn’t show some love to White Russia (aka Belarus). Belarus is a beautiful country, and if you’re headed to Russia, you may as well hit up Belarus too! After all, it’s another stamp in your…

Thaiglish

Not only is Thailand an adventure full of history and beauty, but it is also a complete hilarity for someone who studied language acquisition. Exhibit A: Phonetics Exhibit B: Morphology Exhibit C: Syntax I’d like to bear my testimony that my Master’s of Arts matters. Amen.

Russia Russian of Russianness!

I found myself dreaming in Russian last night. When I lived in Russia, this was a daily occurrence, but Russian dreaming only happens every once in a while these days (and no, contrary to popular movie culture, Russian doesn’t pop up in my subconsciousness only when I’m dreaming about a mysterious villain). Anyway,…

US Airways Gets an F-

I’ve done a lot of traveling in my day, which means I spend a lot of time on airplanes. I’ve flown a bunch of different Airlines and mostly have had great experiences. The best experience I ever had was with a Bulgarian Airline on a flight from Moscow to Sophia.…

Announcing “Pic and a Paragraph!”

I am starting a new section on my blog called “Pic and a Paragraph.” I love traveling and would love to hear about all the cool places you have been too. If you would like to submit a picture and a paragraph about somewhere rad you’ve been, I would love…

Travel to any place, any time throughout history. Where would you go?

Lately, I’ve been having all sorts of crazy dreams. For example, I had a dream that my sister and I traveled to Antarctica together to ski and look at old boats. Apparently, that’s what my subconscious thinks people do in Antarctica. After our adventure there, we took these huge, and…

Grateful the Family Lives in Minnesota, Instead of Boringcity, Borestate!

My Summer of Action 2012 trip to Minnesota is officially complete, and I must say I have to give Minnesota 2 thumbs up.  While I was severely disappointed that not everyone speaks with the Minnesota accent that I always heard in movies (you know what I’m talking about), I was…

Park City, anyone? Stay in the Waldorf Astoria!

Brandon and I had a wonderful getaway, that wasn’t so far away after all.  Usually when we go away, we go places like Russia, or Poland, or Mexico, or California, but this time, we decided to take it easy and drove to Park City to enjoy the great state of…

United States Geography According to Me

My Travel Geography Lesson

This is my personal break-up of the United States of America and each state’s fun factor.

Places where you can have crazy wild fun are indicated in red. States that are off the charts as far as outdoor adventure goes are colored green. States that have rows and rows and rows and rows and rows and rows and rows and rows of corn are colored yellow. And, states I haven’t been to, but would like to visit are in white.

I also starred some of my favorite places, but just realized I forgot to highlight Seattle and Portland. Oopsie. Anyway, if you’re ever bored, and/or need a vacation, consider going to Southern California, NYC, Utah, Portland, Seattle, Nashville, or Washington D.C. Do it. Love it.

Where are your favorite places to go in the US? Tweet me and let me know @ashleyrcummings.

The Bahamas is the perfect place for a summer vacation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td9fZDEb7y0

If you are looking for the perfect vacation this summer, consider going to the Bahamas. Yes, the Bahamas is a popular one day cruise port, but, in my opinion, one day is not enough time to spend enjoying the beauty of the Bahamas. Here are some awesome things to do in the Bahamas.

1. Shark Diving — Regular diving is nice and pretty in the Bahamas, but if you go to the Bahamas, spend a couple extra bucks and dive with the sharks. It’s well worth it. The cool thing about the Bahamas is you don’t have to dive in a cage with the sharks. The dive master will take you to a great spot where there are a lot of sharks, draw the sharks in with food (fish food, not people food) and you can enjoy them swimming around you. Make sure to bring a camera, because most people won’t believe the size of the sharks you will be diving with. Don’t be afraid, be rad. Do it!

2. Atlantis — Atlantis is a fancy resort in the Bahamas, and it is awesome. You could spend a week in the resort and not get bored. They have a ton of cool activities, amazing aquariums, and wonderful restaurants. If you can’t afford to stay in the Atlantis (it’s not exactly cheap), then consider getting a day pass to go to the water park. The water park is so much fun. They have great slides, a fun wave pool river, and a slide where you are encased by an aquarium full of sharks. Atlantis is well worth your time.

3. Rent a scooter — If you are interested in seeing other parts of the island, consider renting a scooter. You can find local restaurants, private beaches, and speculate about which house is Anna Nicole Smith’s house. At least, that’s what I did. Make sure to wear a helmet, and don’t forget to bring your license, or they won’t let you rent one.

These are some of the things I consider “must do’s” in the Bahamas. However, if you are simply a beach dweller, grab a book, some cold drinks and your sun screen and spend your whole time in the water. You won’t regret it. The water is clear and warm, making it the perfect place to swim and get a tan.

Hawaii shimmies to prove it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Mpx2DpvJqg

If you don’t believe any of the words below urging you to go to Hawaii, check out the video.

We had a blast in Hawaii riding ATVs, sailing, zip lining, surfing, and shimmying!

Check out the smiles on our faces. Those are real.

Announcements from Hawaii

Announcements from Hawaii

Before I get into the nitty gritty of how awesome it is to be in Hawaii, I have a couple announcements to make.

First, it took me about nine times to spell announcements correctly.

Moving on. As you see above, Zach Galifiaonoauwoehfkus, that hilarious guy in Tim & Eric and The Hangover dyed his hair red and is staying at the same resort. Holy star struck!

For those of you who may not be as chummy with Zach as me, here are some things you should know. First, Zach is a lot different in real life than in the movies. For example, he doesn’t try to be the center of attention. I always thought a star of his caliber would try and make everyone laugh by doing really hilarious things like interviewing famous people between two shrubs, or referring to everyone in the group as the wolf pack. Also, he doesn’t have a camera crew. This really surprised me, because why else would Zach Galifianoeaghkus be in Hawaii, other than to spread his hilariousness with the world? Finally, his name is Mike, which really surprised me.

That’s all for now. More on Hawaii soon.

Engaged Shimmy! Best travel shimmy of life!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSM7QSRJHTw

I guess I should post my favorite shimmy in my favorite place with my favorite person.

I was on business in Europe for almost a month, and Brandon flew out to surprise me with this stunning ring from Wal-Mart (bringing a real ring = not a good idea).

It was the perfect proposal. Brandon knows how much I love Russia, how enchanted I am by the candy castle (aka St. Basil’s Cathedral), and how much I love to shimmy.

Travel memories

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQVmeG_FqKs&context=C4b07890ADvjVQa1PpcFOzNChmd4W9vTBr8apGHA6JkOd1p2c7x6Q=

I wish I had a shimmy video for every adventure I’ve had with my friends. I can’t think of a better video to represent that than the Amber and Ashley Shimmy. This shimmy has been around since the early 90s, so I hope you enjoy it.

Just want to give a quick shout out to rad vacations with friends.

San Diego (x3) – Zach
Seattle – Amber (shimmy girl #2)
Havasupai & Idaho – Annie
Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, Hawaii, & Miami – Tiffany
Eastern & Western Europe & Mexico – Jeni
Mexico – Julie & Stacie
Denmark – Havilah
Turkey – Nadya & Yulia
Thaliand – Emily
Russia, Poland & Mexico – Brandon & Christie (Christie not in Mexico)

I’m sure there are many more fun adventures in the future.

I think some of my favorite memories include:

1. Stepping in barf not once, but TWICE, in Russia with Jeni, and having Jeni try and wash it off with that stupid fizz water. Why the rest of the world thinks bottled water should have carbonation in me is beyond me.

2. Feeling like a queen at Atlantis in the Bahamas, and almost getting eaten alive by a pack of dogs on our “hike” to the light house that “wasn’t THAT far away.”

3. Random Mexican festival Julie and I discovered while riding our scooters in the middle of nowhere in Cozumel.

4. HIking to Black’s Beach with Zach, and literally being shocked to death to learn that it was in fact a nude beach. Ew. I must say, though, the rock that is a marine biology factory with all the crabs, sea urchins and sea life was freaking cool. I felt like Ariel..Ariel that happened to land on a beach full of weirdos.

5. Paying 10 dollars for table water in Denmark with Havilah and Jeni, and that was probably the cheapest thing we bought there. Also, laughing really hard and immaturely at the word “fartplan” that appeared everywhere. Who knew Danish was hilarious?

6. Hiking out of Havasupai in the middle of night with water socks, starting my (.) and nearly dying from exhaustion with Annie. That strong kid had to come get our packs on the last .5 mile, because we were so tired, we almost died. Yeah, this is one of those “we will laugh about it later” activities.

7. Going scuba diving in Turkey and getting a little smooch from my handsome scuba instructor. Also having to communicate in our common language, “Russian.” This was my first of many diving experiences.

8. Getting engaged on Red Square to my sweetheart of life, Mr. Brandon Cummings. Best day of my life, and the start to my favorite adventure and favorite person to have adventures with…I love you, Brandon.

Poland Shimmy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEADUNOp5mM

Well, folks. Here is my Poland shimmy. This is back in the day when Brandon still thought my shimmy was embarrassing. Now that he is married to me, he loves it. Yeah, pretty sure that’s how it works.

I gotta say that Poland is one of my favorite Eastern European countries. I was surprised at how awesome it was….probably because I spent 2 years living in Russia, which is not as clean as Poland.

Here are some of my favorite things about Poland:

Krakow — holy radness! This city is so cool. I only got to spend a few hours there, but there were tons of cool things right in the center of town. I feel like I could spend a week just getting lost in this enchanting city. Go there.

Doner kebabs — There are doner kebabs all over Poland and they are so freaking good. I want to eat one every day.

3 Bit — Best candy bar of life. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Poznan — Poznan had a fun market and a fun city center. We were going to check out a jazz club in this cool castle, but it was closed. That was a bummer. Make sure to do your research about when things are open. The taxi driver kept trying to tell us it was closed, and we kept telling him to take us there. We didn’t figure out what he was saying till we got there and it was closed. Oops…I guess I should learn Polish.

Getting locked in the mall — No really, we got locked INSIDE the mall in Poznan. There is this old brewery/new mall with all this rad art and fun shopping inside. When it closed, we exited only to find out that the shut the gates and we were locked in. We did some awesome jimmy rigging to get us out…climbed over the fence all ninja style.

Getting lost at the train station — Thank you, dear Poland, for changing the platform on us every five minutes. It’s a miracle we made it to Krakow and didn’t end up in some random town in France like me and Jeni did that one time when we got on the wrong train in Switzerland, and had to sleep on the floor at the train station. Yuck. Glad that didn’t happen.

Castles, castles, castles…I want to see more castles. I want to go back to Poland right now and go on a castle hunt, because I am a princess and I belong in castles.

We also visited Auschwitz, which was the saddest place on earth. If you are going to go to Auschwitz, make sure to bring a very reverent and respectful spirit. Also, prepare yourself emotionally. It is important to remember the Holocaust, but it is completely shocking and really hard to deal with emotionally.

I definitely would recommend Poland to anyone. Poland has a rich history, great architecture, amazing food and is interesting through and through.

Travel to Cancun: Montezuma wasn’t kiddin’ around

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU3VT-Wzewg

To be perfectly honest, when all is said and done, I don’t really like Mexico. It’s not very often that I just don’t enjoy a new destination (in fact, this is the first time I haven’t enjoyed a new destination), but Mexico is one place I would never return to.

Two reasons for that: it’s dirty and the food is swimming with parasites and amoebas.

No one can argue that the beaches in Cancun are beautiful, but if you step out of the Hotel Zone, it’s just dirty. Additionally, you’ll be hard pressed to find food that isn’t going to give you the runs.

Seriously…that Montezuma was serious about the whole revenge business, and I’m not even Spanish. Not cool. I could just slap him in the face.

If you can manage to stay away from nasty food, then there are some cool things to see and do in Cancun.

X-caret — X-caret is awesome. It’s like a zoo and natural water park all meshed into one. You can also swim with dolphins, which is radical.

Chichen Itza — This is a beautiful Mayan pyramid. We were there during the equinox and so we got to see the snake come down the pyramid. Go there. They’ll tell ya all about what that means. Also, there aren’t really jaguars there. They are salesmen blowing these really annoying jaguar whistles. Bring ear plugs.

The beach — the beaches really are as blue as they look in the pics. You can enjoy some awesome water sports, or just relax with a book.

Well, that’s all I can tell you about Mexico, because right after, my husband and I got ridiculously sick, and had to come home. from our honeymoon. early.

Bummer.

If you go to Mexico, bring your own food, stay in the Hotel Zone in a NICE HOTEL (don’t skimp on hotels like we did). If I were you, or a wiser version of my younger self, I would just save yourself the trouble and go to Hawaii.