I really enjoy thoughtful surprises and also to surprise my family and friends every now and again. Therefore, I've been known to "pop-up" in a place or two for birthday celebrations graduations or simply for a general check-in and my moving abroad most certainly didn't mean that would change (watch out now!). So after a few days back in Milan (which again was somewhat of a hot mess), off to the states to pop-up on a few loves I went...
"Operation PopUp" (read: returning to the states to surprise friends and family who are waiting to learn about your next adventure abroad!) was insane! In just over five weeks, I visited six states and over ten cities. First stop: NYC. My first visit was to a dear loved one in the hospital who asked if he was seeing a ghost when I POPped Up on him at the hospital. Casper, is that you?! I call that PopUp success!
From there out, I reconnected with other loves and met new ones. Now on to the good stuff: highlights and photos from my time in the states!
"Empire State of Mind - New York, NY"
Oh heeey, Big Apple! New York City seems to be a city people either love (like obsessively looooove) or dislike -- not much in between. And I guess that sort of makes sense given the extreme nature of a place like NYC. Fortunately for me, I fall into the former basket. Yes, The Secret Is Out: I obsessively love NYC with all my heart, soul and mi, mi, mi, mi, mi - mind (wait for it...or skip ahead to 3:36).
So when the measly notion of POPingUp in NYC comes to mind...
...or more like...
Great friends, great food, an electrifying city...what more can a gal want?! And let's just say I'm always doing the MOST when I'm in NYC.
Check out photos from my PopUp in NYC and comment below if you're a NYC lover or hater and why! Better yet, if you're just curious about visiting NYC, drop a line! ♥️
"To the Capital - Washington, DC"
Notwithstanding the current dysfunction in the nation's capital, DC holds a special place in my heart. In addition to being my mother's hometown, it's where I attended graduate school (the real HU, wink). DC is the perfect mix between a small town and a large city -- small enough to ask someone how they are and actually care but also large enough not to (chuckle, chuckle!). It also means that in my less than 24 hours visit, I was able to see family, close friends and visit my alma mater #Howard.
"What happens in Vegas... you know the rest - Las Vegas, NV"
I mean I just kinda haaaad to be there the weekend of the Floyd Mayweather / McGregor fight. While Mayweather went on to claim his 50th victory, the real star was Nobu, Nobu, Nobu (Caesars Palace), whose signature black cod miso blew the socks off my guests...two consecutive nights in a row -- lawwwwd. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Nobu, so going at least once while in Vegas was a must; visiting twice was glorious.
Further, despite planning to see Chris Brown Saturday night at Club Drais after the fight but instead having to scram down flights of stairs after an abrupt shutdown of the club, Vegas came all the way through and refused to disappoint. The Fabolous performance was the following night, and of course, he brought out, wait for it...Chris Brown plus...Trey Songz...I'll take that!
"MadeInAmerica was (L)it! - Philadelphia, PA"
One word (well kinda): MadeInAmerica! To set the tone right, the festival wristbands were delivered in a cutesy box, which yes, deserves an honorable mention here (classy move, Jay!). The two day music festival, personally curated by Jay-Z, featured various artists and genres, with the major headliners including Jay-Z, J. Cole, Solange, Migos and The Chainsmokers. The festival was extremely well organized, had a casual, made-for-fun vibe, including free theme park rides and various food truck offerings (from crab cakes, chicken french fries (who even knew that was a thing??) and pretzels w/ cheese sauce to vegan delights and Caribbean soul food). What made the experience even better is that I unexpectedly ran into some old loves via a friend of a friend I met during my Popup trip to Vegas (can you say small world?!?!) and connected with some new loves!
A few additional cities where I Popped Up:
Jacksonville, FL because the beach is always a good idea (hey Juan!).
Atlanta, GA to see more loves, including the most adorable babies!
Rolla & St. Louis, MO to visit a dear friend and take a trip along the infamous Route 66!
"NYFW - Uuuuuum, yeah...totally, why not?"
What better way to end a PopUp than New York Fashion Week! Teyana Taylor completely bodied and owned the runways at NYFW 2017. Check out her Instagram page (@teyanataylor) to see how she came all the way through this year!
This year also featured several collections and showings by young, upcoming designers. I had a wonderful time meeting designers, stylists, creatives, bloggers and other influencers in the fashion industry. I can't wait to see how NYFW compares with Fashion Week in London, Milan and Paris! See yaa there!
Side Note (and Side-Eye): Only in places like NYC do you meet people who descriptively tell you what they do and you sum it up, for instance and say, "Oh, so you're over social media marketing" (because they really could have said just that) ...and then they say no...I'm actually the "Creative Director of Online Marketing Content with a Focus on Millennial Advertising Impact" --- ummmm, got it!! OK, so yeah, that type of vibe in the most unpretentious way possible (ha!) sums up my NYFW experience. Gotta love NYC!
Next up: London Fashion Week.
Be sure to follow our Instagram page (@systravels) for more pics and updates! You never know when, you never know where: I just might see yaa!
“It’s unwise to try to recreate moments. Create new, better moments. Go with the flow. Keep flowing.”