Joshua Tree National Park

March 2021 Highlights: The Highs + Lows

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I hate April Fool’s Day, but I absolutely love the transition from March to April! And even though it’s been full-on spring here for a whole month—complete with tornadoes and flooding, ugh—I welcome the increasingly long days and warmer temps. Give me all the sun rays!

Charlotte and Kiki

This month felt like pre-pandemic days in terms of how on the go we were in juggling multiple projects for work, plus the nonprofit. On the public art front, we have eight murals under contract already—in cities like Lawrenceburg, Sweetwater, Columbia and Jackson—as well as six more pending. And it’s only the start of the second quarter! It’s hard to believe we already have more walls in progress than all of Walls for Women last year. We’re definitely making good on our promise to do more art.

In March, we spent five nights away from home in a vacation rental on our post-vaccine vacation. We both have forgotten how to pack, and I totally had pre-flight anxiety that I’d forgotten something. Definitely rusty when it comes to air travel, but overall the flying experience wasn’t that unpleasant.

The Highs

Colin Shuran’s Walls for Women documentary debuted to the world. Wow, what a powerful piece of art by an impressive creator—and one who hasn’t even started college, too. Here’s a great story Erin McCullough wrote on how the project came to be. Colin plans to put the film on Amazon Prime in the coming months, and I’ll write a post about the doc then.

Walls for Women documentary by Colin Shuran

It was weird seeing myself profiled in a full-blown documentary—and a bit uncomfortable at times; who likes seeing themselves on camera? not me—but I love how he captured the women’s suffrage and artistic movement that have shaped our lives these past few years. Colin and I went on a little bit of a press tour, hitting up a few TV stations and advocacy groups for talks—check out how great Colin did on his first Talk of the Town segment—and it was so fun. I’d really missed being in public, and being fully vaccinated has opened that up to me again. The nonprofit also got a lot of great press mentions for Women’s History Month, including in Forbes.

Colin Shuran's Walls for Women documentary

I wrapped a huge project for Airbnb. At this point, I think I’ve been on all sides of the Airbnb coin: a frequent guest for a decade since they first launched, a Superhost for seven years, a former partner in blogging, an Associate affiliate (a program that sadly ended yesterday), a features writer for their magazine and now a copywriter for the main site. There were a handful of us working on a short time crunch to turn around 300 landing pages in six weeks, and it was fitting that the final deadline was just two days before we logged off for vacation, so I could truly not work for a change. Speaking of which….

We took our first flight in 389 days. After getting vaccinated in early February, we knew we wanted to go somewhere to celebrate, but wanted to make sure it was still a safe destination (sorry, Florida, but no). We settled on Palm Springs, somewhere I’ve only been once and SVV has never visited. More to come on the trip, but it was just the creative reset we both needed after 13 months of being relatively homebound; a true dream vacation where we did no work and I deleted all social media apps for a week.

View from the plane in Palm Springs

I had a few more print pieces hit mailboxes. It’s my fourth year of writing Tennessee’s AAA Living section, and this month I got to profile Maryville, as well as a hotel in Memphis, best gardens and trails in the state, and other ways to get out and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather. If you’re someone who represents a destination in Tennessee not on my mailing list, let me know! I’m always putting out calls for pitches for earned media placement.

Tennessee travel writer Kristin Luna
Tennessee travel writer Kristin Luna
Tennessee travel writer Kristin Luna
Tennessee travel writer Kristin Luna
Tennessee travel writer Kristin Luna

It was announced that Natchez Trace Parkway was one of the most visited parks in 2020. We spent 18 months exploring the stretch of 444-mile national park in partnership with the Natchez Trace Compact that promotes it working on marketing content galore, and I love seeing everyone’s efforts pay off in a big way.

Natchez Trace Parkway one of the most visited national parks

If you don’t have summer vacation plans, let me help you plan your trip to the Natchez Trace Parkway! It’s an easy one to do on the fly, and it’s spread out and socially distanced for those, like us, who are still traveling only when we can do so safely.

We finished our deck (finally!) and finished my sister’s new cabinets. Kari and Josh are currently in the midst of a three-month-long kitchen gut job/remodel (a preview of what we’re going to go through this summer), and we painted the room and all the cabinets for them. I might be biased but it looks so good! Full blog post coming on the process and before and afters.

DIY refinishing cabinets

Charlotte turned 3! We had her birthday party at my house once again, this time Peppa Pig-themed and with just our family, Josh’s mom from Charleston, my long-time BFF Katy, and Charlotte’s BFF Jack and his family. It was so fun to celebrate the best girl in my life. But how on Earth is she already 3???

Charlotte's Third Birthday

Charlotte's Third Birthday
Charlotte's Third Birthday
Charlotte's Third Birthday

Charlotte's Third Birthday

Charlotte's Third Birthday
Charlotte's Third Birthday

Charlotte's Third Birthday

The Lows

A nation in chaos, a country in mourning. From the continuous shootings to the anti-Asian hate campaigns to the ongoing George Floyd trial, it’s hard to love our country right now. I condemn any form of white supremacy, racism or bigotry and hope there’s a day soon when this is not a part of our country’s narrative. I’m so sorry to all directly affected by this disgusting breed of hate. 

*****

April promises to be even busier as we are bopping around and across the state and back a few different times for public art projects, including the big National Endowment for the Arts grant we were awarded. If you’re intrigued by our transition to art curators, you can sign up for our nonprofit’s monthly newsletter here.

How was March for you?

Click here to see all monthly highlights from the past three years.
COMMENTS
  • April 11, 2021
    Andrea

    Natchez Trace is our post-vaccine trip — we head out in a couple weeks! I don’t think it would have been on our radar without your posts, so thanks for the idea and all the recommendations.

    • April 12, 2021

      I love to hear that, Andrea! Have a blast!

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