About Me

Enjoying a Pimm's at the Africa House in Stone Town, Zanzibar

Enjoying a Pimm’s at the Africa House in Stone Town, Zanzibar

It’s funny; we live with ourselves our whole lives, yet when tasked with writing a synopsis explaining who we are, it can prove daunting.  Our lives are, of course, comprised of all the decisions we’ve made that have resulted in being where we are now – and who we are now.

I was born and raised in Alabama by loving parents who strived to instill in me a strong sense of values and morals.  While my life today isn’t what they would have planned, I am thankful for the internal compass they helped plant that almost always points North.

Since graduating from college and leaving Alabama to begin my voyage into adulthood, my life has expanded in ways I could never have imagined.  I’m currently doing my second tour in DC after a four-year stint in San Diego.  While I love the city more now than ever, this go-round couldn’t be more different than my first residency.  Then, I was a new graduate working on Capitol Hill, surviving on reception fare, 10 cent wings and the drama of an on-again, off-again romance.  Now, as a married, working-at-home woman whose typical weeknight outing involves gelato, life is a lot more stable – if somewhat more predictable –  and satisfying.

Of course, the working-at-home part can result in pent-up energy and restlessness.  I spend a lot of time planning  – the next trip (traveling is my one, true, insatiable passion), the next night out at one of our neighborhood’s seemingly endless supply of new restaurants, the next must-try dinner recipe or the best way to further my interests (which currently center around learning Italian!).

This blog was born of my desire to channel some of this energy and share the things I love.  I have no singular focus for this endeavor, other than to chronicle my thoughts and experiences in what I hope is a meaningful way.

In closing, below are some quick facts about me (in no particular order) that will no doubt find their way into my musings.  And if you have any questions…feel free to ask!

  • I am a die-hard Alabama Crimson Tide football fan – Roll Tide!
  • I love to eat and will try any culinary delight.
  • I love photography and wish I were better at it.
  • I wish I could quit my job, sell or store my belongings and travel the world indefinitely.
  • I think Napa Cab (and California wine in general) is the best in the world.
  • I love Ryan Gosling.  I also love Justin Timberlake.  (In this, I am no different than most other red blooded, heterosexual women.)
  • Olivia Benson is my hero, and I will never accept Elliot’s departure.
  • I enjoy Presidential biographies, historical fiction and nonfiction and the occasional beach read.  (Who can resist a new Lauren Weisberger?  Not me.)
  • I love Ellen.  And I thank her for livening up my afternoons.

Thanks for stopping by…


*Please note, all photos on the blog are mine, unless otherwise stated.  Please do not use without permission.  Thank you.*


14 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Kimberly, thanks for dropping by my own blog and liking the post ‘Purple Iris’, really appreciated. In New Zealand I trust you will be sampling the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir? You really should and on the way back drop into Portugal to test out the Alentejo Reds. Meanwhile I have fun in Kiwi land and Can’t agree with all your likes but the fundamentals are spot on – travel is a great way to learn, nature is a wonder and photography is a joy. Good luck I look forward to seeing your progress. MM

    • MM – Thanks to you, as well. I’m not currently in New Zealand – we just spent a couple weeks there earlier this year – but we did have our fill of Pinot and Sauvignon Blanc and visited several lovely wineries in the process. We haven’t made it to Portugal yet, but hope to eventually.

      Thanks again for coming by, and I’ll stay tuned to your goings-on, as well. And best of luck with the garden; we’re getting ready to pick our first veggie tonight. 🙂

  2. Hi Kim,
    Thank you for your blog. It has been extremely helpful in my planning for MTB this early July. I do have several questions for you. When it comes to bedding and linens when staying in the dormitories of refuges and huts, do the they provide pillows w/pillow case, warm blanket, and bath towels? We plan on bringing our own sleeping liners, but do we need to also pack the above items.
    Also, when encountering rain on the trail, do you think it is sufficient enough to use those large plastic rain ponchos that will cover both body and backpack? Or do you recommend wearing waterproof jacket, pants and backpack cover?

    Any advice would be truly appreciated!

    • I’m so glad to hear that! Yes, the huts provide warm blankets and pillows. As you mentioned, you will need your own liners. Towels are not provided. We brought quick dry towels, which are great because they’re very light, take up little room and dry quickly. We were fortunate that we didn’t encounter any real rain during our journey, but we did have full rain gear – including pants, jackets and dry bags. I suppose which protection is best is a personal preference, but I would think rain pants would be beneficial in the event the trail is muddy and/or you are walking in heavy rain. We also prefer dry bags to the backpack covers.
      Hope this helps and let me know if I can provide any further information!

  3. Hi Kim
    Thank you for your blog – so very informative and helpful. I was curious, we are torn between MTB and hiking in New Zealand. We have two boys 13 and 15………..if you could suggest which one you liked better it would be very much appreciated.

    • Hi, Keith! That’s a tough question; we loved both trips! I would say it depends on how much time you have and how you’ll structure the trips. For us, hiking in New Zealand was a fairly small part of the trip. We did a three-day hike out of a two-week trip. For Mont Blanc, hiking comprised the vast majority of the trip. So, I really think it depends on your family’s preference. The TMB really is 10-11 full days of hiking.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more exact….hope this helps. You’ll have a fantastic time whichever you choose!

  4. Hi, Kim: I have found your Tour of Mont Blanc blog to be really helpful! I know it’s been some time since that trip, but I wondered how you stitched together your reservations.
    Did you make tentative reservations for all til you had all your bases covered? We are looking at the middle two weeks of August, just prior to the big ultra marathon extravaganza. So, I think reservations will be tougher and we need to have things nailed down before we go..

    Couple of other questions: How did you select your rest day in Courmayeur (sp!?)? Did you need it?
    Was it a positive thing to go counterclockwise or would you go the other way if you had it to do again?
    Thank you very much for your thoughts!


    • Hi, Peter –

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m very glad to hear you’re finding the blog useful.

      Yes, I made all of our lodging reservations in advance. I booked the ones I could thru the “official” TMB page that includes the “Create Your Route” feature. (This site is linked on the Planning for the Tour du Mont Blanc page.) I directly emailed the refuges I could not book thru the third-party site. I agree that, given the time of year you plan to travel, reserving in advance would be a good idea.

      We chose Courmayeur because it’s roughly halfway along the route, and we love Italy and wanted to spend a day in the area. I would not say that we “needed” the break, though it was nice to have. 🙂

      Finally, while I can’t give a definitive reason, I did enjoy hiking in the counter-clockwise direction and would do so again.

      Have a wonderful trip and please let me know if I can answer any more questions.

  5. Hi Kim, thank you for sharing your insight and experiences with those of us trying to plan our own adventures! My best girlfriend and I are planning to hike the TMB in July, beginning in Champex and hiking clockwise. I am debating whether to bring my comfortable Salomon trail shoes or my heavier and sturdier Vasque hiking boots. You mention that the trail is not especially technical; is it rocky or uneven? We’re both planning to carry 45-50L backpacks. Thank you very much for any advice.

    • Hi, Susan!
      While there are rocky sections, I wouldn’t say the trail is particularly rocky. However, I would recommend sturdy footwear especially for going downhill. For me, downhill hiking is always the hardest and there are loose rocks and gravel to contend with.

      Have a wonderful time!

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