At 34, it was still a summer of firsts

As I reflect back over the summer, I’m so happy that at age 34, I’m still having firsts! I’m exploring new places and trying new things. I never have the time to blog as much as I’d like, so I’m summing up the last three months in pics and stories.

First Airbnb stay. I never thought I was cool enough to try the Airbnb lifestyle, but when my whole family was headed to Connecticut to visit my brother (he works at ESPN), we realized how cost effective it would be to stay together.

The condo we booked was only 10 minutes from my brother’s place and it was seriously perfect. Note: Staying with your entire family is TOUGH. It’s hard not to have your own space and sharing one bathroom was NOT ideal. But, we powered through and there were a lot more laughs than tears.

Our host was fantastic and I felt really welcomed the minute we walked in. It feels so much more like home when you have a house to stay in versus a hotel and it’s killer that you can cook your own meals and even do laundry. It’s also fabulous if you have kids, since there is a lot more space for them to run around.

This trip was a great one. We got to tour ESPN, hang out at the ocean, eat a lot of awesome meals (either cooking them together in the condo or eating at restaurants) and simply spend quality, precious time together. If you ever need to stay in the Southington, CT area or want to see pictures of our place, check out where we stayed here. The kitchen was my favorite part.


With my man 🙂


The whole crew minus mom













Mom, my sis, my bro and me

First time flying alone. This was a BIG one. My first time on an airplane came just a few short years ago, and I was with my husband, so I felt much more comfortable. This time, it was just little, old me and the anxiety leading up to this trip almost crushed me. But, you do everything for your friends and I was determined to get past this fear and get to Texas to celebrate one of my best friend’s bridal showers and bachelorette party.

The ride to the airport in the morning was terrifying. It was 5 am. It was raining. My mom (she dropped me off) was driving and trying to navigate construction. We finally arrive and I’m pretty much shaking with fear. I go inside to check my bag and I’m 1 lb over the weight limit, so I’m sprawled out on the airport floor, opening my suitcase, underwear flying out, as I pull out a hat and a floral coat to get under the limit. I’m now walking around the airport at 6 am with a Fedora, that flashy coat and a shirt that says, “Coffee saves, bro.”


In the airport restroom, see the Fedora and the coat in the back!

I’m pretty awesome. I got to security and made it through pretty quickly, got over to the tram, found my gate, and plopped my ass down for an hour wait until it was boarding time. That was the worst. Just sitting and waiting.

I flew Allegiant, so I already secured the seat I wanted. I got on the plane, found my row and my seat and sat down. Aisle seat, of course, I don’t mess with windows. Then I spent the next 10 minutes trying to buckle my seatbelt, in a nervous frenzy, before the sweet flight attendant told me I was doing it backward. Whoops. I put in my EarPlanes, because in my head, without them, my ears would explode upon take-off and settled in for a three-hour flight.

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 1.16.47 PM.png

I pulled out my hardback book from the library (what a dork) and started to read. Three hours was far too long to be on that plane, but I survived!

On the way back, I got stopped at security and they had to search my carry on, all because of a change purse. I was also way over the checked baggage limit and had to pay $50 in fees. Whoops. Then when the pilot said we’d possibly be flying through the solar eclipse and not to look directly at the sun outside the window, I really started to freak out. I just imagined the plane being sucked into some alternate time portal (seriously, I did), as the super brave 8-year-old kid beside me whispered to his mom, “I’m totally looking.” Luckily, we landed just 10 minutes before, so we weren’t in the air.

First time in Texas. It was hot as hell, but it was fantastic. A lot of firsts happened here.

First time at a Drybar. I kid you not, my hair looked good for two full days. After an entire day of prepping and holding the bridal shower, to the bachelorette party, to the entire next day of shopping and then a really late night dinner. Beachy waves for the win!


Drybar in Austin

First time trying a breakfast taco and Texas queso dip. Mine had sausage, egg, cheese and mashed potatoes and coupled with a hot cup off coffee and those chips and dip, wow. I’m salivating right now thinking about it.


Taco Deli in Austin

First time co-hosting a bridal shower. I don’t mind being the center of attention around friends, but I was in a room full of strangers and I had to host bridal shower games. It was super fun and we all had a blast. The mimosas might have helped? 🙂


Me + Bride to Be


Me + Bride to Be + Snapchat filter

First time using Uber. In my area, Uber is around, but it’s not as available as it is in Austin. It was fascinating, just watching the driver on the map and getting the updates as to how far away they were. It’s a great and safe way to travel.

First time experiencing the cocktail culture. My friend is a fan of the cocktail and she took us to some pretty spectacular places for her bachelorette party. I’ve never had drinks this delicious in my life and I’m bumming as I come home to my pathetic Bacardi and coke. It’s always fun getting all dressed up and experiencing the nightlife in a new place. As a mom of two, getting these special girl’s weekends are so sweet and so needed.


All ready


Me + Bride to Be


I had a “Don Suave” at Red Ash in Austin


I had a “Cafe Blue Mountain”  at The Townsend in Austin


The Roosevelt Room drink list


Of course, I had “The Hemingway Daiquiri ” at The Roosevelt Room in Austin


I had “I Carried A Watermelon” at Eberly in Austin

And lastly, cheating a little on this first, but I have a First Grader! Are you kidding me? He’s more mature and grown up than I’m ready for and I’ve already told my 16-month-old he’s not allowed to grow up that fast.


Big man

So it truly was a summer of firsts. I also got my first iPad (talk about late to the party), it was the first time I was summoned for jury duty (got out of it) and my first time betting on The Belmont (on my actual birthday) and winning.

34 is already shaping up to be one hell of a year. 🙂

Tell me about your favorite firsts.



About Tara Darazio

I'm a copywriter, owner of A Passion For The Pen, LLC and host of the Let's Meet For Copy podcast. Contact me at
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