From the Beach to the Desert to the Conrete Jungle


2015 / Year in Review

Another year down and we were able to mark some new places off our Bucket List! Here’s a look back at where 2015 took us!

S T .  L O U I S

We started the year with our annual trip to St. Louis for Schlafly’s Cabin Fever beer festival. It was our 8th year to go and…I think we may retire this trip for awhile starting in 2016. It’s always great fun, but I think we may give some other festivals a try!cabinfever2015_04

C A R L T O N  L A N D I N G

In February I spent two days in Carlton Landing assisting with a photoshoot for Southern Living magazine! There was snow and ice on the ground, but you will never know it in the summer-styled interior photos (this shoot hasn’t been published yet)!IMG_9751

4 0 5  B R E W I N G  C O .  L A U N C H

At the beginning of March my husband and his business partner, Jonathan, officially released their first beer from their brewing company! Though this didn’t involve travel, it’s a huge part of our lives and has been in the works for years.IMG_9888

 S A N  D I E G O

In March we were fortunate to go to San Diego on a trip Trae had earned through his now-previous job. We were put up in a super nice hotel in Coronado, got to walk on the beach, visit a fave brewery, and tour the USS Midway.coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_08

L O S  A N G E L E S

We piggybacked the San Diego work trip with our own three day getaway to Los Angeles! Since this was my first time to LaLa Land I wanted to hit up some touristy movie stuff. We did a tour of the WB lot, went to the Griffith Observatory at sunset, visited iconic LA landmarks, and I even photographed a ballerina. I cannot wait to go back!web_warnerbrostour_losangeles_thecarsonstravel_57


In April I assisted with another Southern Living photoshoot – this time in Arkansas. This was my first time to visit the college town of Fayetteville, and I got the full experience because we were photographing the Kappa Kappa Gamma house!IMG_0580IMG_1338

H O S T I N G  T R A V E L E R S !

My Mom and Grandma came to visit at the end of April! It was so great to have them here while I had so much going on because they could tag along! Mom even filled in to play bells with us one morning! Their arrival happened when Trae was in the thick of his unknown illness (we found out he has Crohn’s Disease) and I was reminded just how nice it is to have your Mom around when things are tough.19_Mom&GmaVisit_Apr2015


I photographed a gorgeous wedding in Austin the first weekend of May. My good friend Melissa lives there so she shot with me and we got to spend some time together (I also photographed her daughter in ballet attire. Squeal!)IMG_0658

K A N S A S  C I T Y

My sister and I decided to take a weekend trip together in July to Kansas City. We had a good time exploring the local scene and spending some quality sister time together.kansascity_july2015_thecarsonstravel_42


My Aunt Bärli came to visit in August so I drove down to Durant to spend the day with my fam. Bärli made Sacher Torte for dessert and I got to pick out my quilt from Grandma!IMG_1290IMG_1294

N E W  M E X I C O  /  C O L O R A D O  /  A R I Z O N A

The Great Southwestern Road Trip! This trip was Trae’s idea and it will go down as one of our most favorite moments in our marriage. After months of Trae being sick, launching his brewery, quitting his full-time job to run the brewery and manage his health, we decided we needed some time away together. We took two weeks to road trip (and built in some chill time) National Parks and other awesomeness in the Southwest. Check out the blog post if you missed it!207_southwest_road_trip_aug2015_thecarsonstravel

C A R L T O N  L A N D I N G

I seem to be averaging two visits a year to Carlton Landing now! :) In October I drove down again to photograph a client and one of the rental homes. Turned out to be one of my favorite shoots to date!IMG_1641


Trae had a beer event to attend in Tulsa one weekend in October so I went with him to be his sidekick. We spontaneously decided to stay the next day to bum around Tulsa since we never stay there long enough to do so! We lucked out with a food truck festival happening that day and I drank a pina colada out of a pineapple :)IMG_1720

B E A V E R S  B E N D

For the second year in a row we rented a cabin at Beavers Bend over Halloween weekend! #HungoverHiking.web_BeaversBend2015_JanaCarson-28

N E W  Y O R K  C I T Y

Once again my sister and I went on a getaway together! This time to NYC. This trip was made possible by ridiculously cheap airfares from Spirit airlines. Holy cow, guys. Check them out. I’m still finishing posts from this trip, but we walked The High Line & ate at the Chelsea Market, went to the top of 30 Rock, pretended to be Kathleen Kelly, and had some wonderful time with family. I also got to meet and film a video with one of my favorite ballerinas! web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_112

We were going to finish the year in New Mexico, returning to the Angelfire ski slopes for the New Year’s Eve Torch Run, but a combination of blizzards, ice, tornadoes, and flooding kept us from attempting the drive. Gotta love that Oklahoma weather!


That wraps up our Travel Year in Review for 2015! We feel so fortunate for the experiences and for Trae’s health getting back on track. Cheers to experiences, love, and good health in 2016!

Follow along:  Jana’s Instagram | Trae’s Instagram | Bloglovin’

Family Dinner in the Bronx


2015 / Fall Travel / Northeast

web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_064One of my favorite things about going to New York City is that we have family to visit with! I really think that is the big reason I’ve always loved the city so much. The comfort of family can make the giant city feel like home.

My Uncle David moved from Manhattan to the Bronx awhile back. I had never been that far north until last year when Nan, Trae, and I came up to visit last May! There are some ridiculously amazing homes along the Hudson and the whole vibe is much slower paced, which Trae really loved.

David hosted us (my cousin Sarah, myself, my cousin Nan, my aunt Bärli, and my sister Katy) for dinner one night when Katy and I were visiting last month. Upon arrival we were greeted with delicious cocktails, crackers, and cheese!

web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_056 web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_057For our meal we did a mashup of Bärli’s chicken enchilada’s and local Chinese takeout. Katy had never had cold noodles – a Chinese dish invented in New York City in the 70s. You may think Mexican and Chinese dishes don’t mix, but it totally worked as a two course meal. So fun!web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_060It feels so special to have family together since we don’t all live nearby. I am reminded of this when I’m chatting with others about their holiday plans and how they’ll pop over to this aunt’s house and then that aunt’s house and then end the day at their grandmother’s. For us it’s always a one day event at someone’s house because it will involve travel for most parties. At first it bums me out that we can’t see more family at the holidays, but then I think about how lucky we are to have family spread out across the country and that we get to experience unique and special things with them because of that.

Onto dessert…web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_063Nan made a scrumptious berry crumble to be paired with your drink of choice. I opted for another one of David’s cocktails. Sarah was extremely excited about this part of the meal!web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_062We all gathered on the couch and watched clips from our favorite musicals and ballets through Google Chrome set up on David’s TV. We could each pull up YouTube on our phones, search clips we wanted to share, and then send it to the TV to play. We watched a lot of West Side Story and Romeo & Juliet. Pretty much my idea of a perfect evening!web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_059Also, I love this apartment. David and Jane worked with a decorator to help with furniture choices and placement. The whole place flows so comfortably and I love the touch of the bright blue wall.

How do you spend your holidays? At home with family? Traveling? I’d love to hear in the comments!

See more of this New York City trip!

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Arrival

Chelsea Market + The High Line

Top of the Rock

You’ve Got Mail Filming Locations!

P.S. The next morning we went to Underwest Donuts located inside a car wash! It was crazy good. 47th & the West Side Highway. Add that to your NYC list!web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_066

Rockefeller Christmas Tree Arrival!


2015 / Fall Travel / Holidays / Northeast / TV Show Locations

web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_072This 78-foot spruce may not look as magical as it will on December 2nd, but it was pretty neat to be at Rockefeller Center the day the chosen Christmas tree arrived! web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_070As if there wasn’t enough buzz happening at 30 Rock that day, we happened upon a crowd, a limo, and a camera crew outside the 49th Street entrance. web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_069We asked people on the street if they knew what was going on and no one had an answer. We decided to wait 10 minutes in case someone really cool was about to walk out. It’s funny how these situations can suck you in! But our short wait paid off and we got a celebrity sighting!web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_067Hoda Kotb! Dressed as a limo driver.web_NYC_Nov2015_JanaCarson_068

It was a very calm scenario and she stopped to wave at the people on the street. You can see what they were filming here (it’s really sweet).

I think what I’ve learned in my visits to Rockefeller Center is that this is a great place to run into a famous face. If you’re into that sort of adventure while visiting NYC, just wander around the building a few times and you’re bound to spot someone!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!