Tag Archives: travel

Speaks To Me Sunday #66

25 Sep


Man, I love to travel. Experiencing new places is my favorite. 

I just want to see the world!

We had an absolute blast in Orlando, and I am still trying to find “normal” after returning home. But sometimes travel just changes what “normal” looks like… Your experiences can change you. I hope that every time I travel I take away something new – that I bring home thoughts, practices, or memories that change my life for the better. That’s the whole point, right?! 

Already looking forward to our next adventure, wherever and whenever that might be. 🙂 

Do you love to travel? Favorite place? Best story? Most life-changing trip? Let’s hear it! 



Favorite Five Friday (154th Edition)

23 Sep

There is nothing like an awesome and much-needed vacation! We are recovering from a really wonderful week in Orlando. Here are the highlights…


1.  We started off our trip at Universal Studios Orlando, and it was so exciting to be there for the first time! I loved seeing a sort of parallel universe Universal, and there was so much to see. It was definitely a good time of year to go because the park wasn’t too crowded. We basically got to hop on all the rides we wanted. I liked seeing some of Universal Studios Hollywood rides with a bit of a different spin – Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and, my favorite, Revenge of the Mummy. There were lots of others I had never experienced before like ET, The Hulk, Rip Ride Rocket, Dragon Challenge, and Reign of Kong. It was really neat to explore something so familiar but also brand new at the same time. Universal will always have a soft spot in my heart.

2. The absolute best part of Universal Studios Orlando was Diagon Alley. I can’t even count how many times I teared up while we explored the realization of J.K. Rowling’s creation. It was just so stunning. Every bit of it. From having to find the entrance and hearing the bricks opening up to the dragon that literally breathes fire. We ran around like children exploring every nook and cranny, reading every single sign, finding every spell on the map (and not on the map), and inspecting every item in each shop. We especially loved the shows they put on. Watching WADA (the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts) perform the tales of Beedle the Bard was completely amazing and so well done. I totally want their job. Escape From Gringotts was an excellent ride – we went on it three times. Honestly, we spent the majority of our time in Diagon Alley, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. It might sound crazy, but it was such an emotional experience for me. I love these stories and these characters. Being immersed in this Wizarding World is like finally getting my Hogwarts letter. And it was every bit as magical as I’d dreamed. 

3. Relaxation is certainly a key component in any worthwhile vacation. People thought we were crazy for spending our trip at two theme parks because you know… We work at one. Believe me, I wondered the same thing. But we gave ourselves time to relax. We didn’t bother rushing from place to place because we knew we had time. We stopped to look in stores, we saw shows, we went to the pool, we had long, delicious meals. For us, it was a perfect mix of adventure and unwind.

4. Dan had a birthday while we were away! It was strange not to be with other friends and family, but also exciting to be at Walt Disney World! I tried to make it special by bringing candles (that I couldn’t light) for our meals – I ended up making him blow out candles through an app on my phone! Haha. We spent the day at Epcot enjoying their Food & Wine festival. The day was so hot, but we trekked through all the different countries eating and drinking as we went. I think Dan enjoyed South Korea and Poland the most, but Belgium was my favorite. It was a lot of fun trying so many different things. 35 will always be the year we traveled the world to celebrate Dan’s birthday. Oh, and we finished off with reservations at Coral Reef for dinner. Dining in the aquarium was really cool. And for the grand finale – The Mainstreet Electrical Parade! There was a lot of nostalgia there for both of us. A perfect way to end the day celebrating my favorite person. ❤️

5. If you are ever at Walt Disney World, do yourself a favor and take one their guided tours! They have several fantastic options that explore the history of Walt, Mickey, and their kingdom. We took the Marceline tour (named for an influential and inspirational place Walt lived in his childhood), and learned so much about Walt Disney – his life, his dreams, his failures, his successes. He was clearly a man ahead of his time and truly a world changer. On the tour we got to explore my favorite ride – the Haunted Mansion! Our guide, Michael, gave us tons of great info while we are on the ride (man, their headsets are awesome), and then we got to go into the attraction to see how it works. I was literally underneath the doom buggies as they rolled through the ballroom scene. It was so cool! That alone was worth the price of the tour. I loved every minute, and couldn’t recommend it more.

Those were my favorites, but I didn’t even get to touch on other amazing things like delicious food, how much we loved staying at Cabana Bay, drinks by the pool, bowling and mini golf, super cool magic bands, fast passes, picking out gifts, breakfast with our favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Woods, and so much more. I certainly have many memories to treasure for years to come. 

We are already having vacation withdrawals. Mostly we need another vacation where we can just sleep. 😉 Orlando, thanks for being awesome! Can’t wait to pick our next adventure!

Happy Friday!

Speaks To Me Sunday #64

4 Sep

Getting so pumped for our trip to Orlando! 

Universal and Disney World here we come. 😄

Anyone else taking an awesome vacation? Or just getting back from one? 🙋🏻


Favorite Five Friday (153rd Edition)

2 Sep

Friday! The week is coming to an end and so is summer. That definitely brings a mix of emotions for me. That nostalgia for back to school days and the relief that a busy peak season is winding down at work. We are certainly trying to enjoy the last weeks of summer…


1. Dan and I have become such homebodies over the last year. I blame our cats. They are just so cuddle-able. 🙂 But we’ve decided we need to get out more. So, we have been running around LA and exploring the city. In the last couple weeks we’ve gone to Echo Park for picnicking and pedal boating, we adventured downtown for some delicious coffee at Philz and to check out Skyspace LA (a great exhibit in LA’s tallest building including an outdoor glass sided slide!), and we’ve eaten at many delicious restaurants – my favorite was The Griddle Cafe and their delicious pancakes! It’s safe to say we are having a great time, and we’ve got plenty more stops on our list.

2.  Because of all our outings, we have been going on so many more dates, and it’s been awesome. I think that sometimes when you are married you do things together for habit, convenience, etc. It’s been great to set specific time aside to go on real dates, to intentionally spend time together. It really makes a difference. So happy he’s my forever date.

3.  The Giving Keys is a fantastic company with an inspiring story. I’ve long been a fan of the gorgeous jewelry they make and the reasons behind it. I’ve been wearing their “Brave” necklace for more than a year, but I just added another to my collection. I’ve been experiencing some worries and anxiety about the future lately. Something my mom well knows! She had The Giving Keys make a special necklace for me – “Peace.” It’s exactly what I needed. Aren’t moms the best?

4.  It’s almost vacation time! (And not a moment too soon. We have been seeing pictures of our Europe trip last year pop up, and it’s making us anxious for adventure.) This year we are headed to Orlando for Universal and Disney! Because as you know, we not only work at a theme park, we also love visiting them. We might be crazy. Haha. But we are so excited to go explore, ride all the rides, eat delicious food, and enjoy some much needed time away and time with each other. The countdown is on!

5. Lemon and Jack are still here. And still the cutest. It’s absurd how much I love them.

Happy Friday, y’all!

Speaks To Me Sunday #55

3 Jul

First, how gorgeous is that?! 

It makes me so happy that I get to look at that every day because it’s on my wall!! 

I’ve shared a few photos of our gallery wall in other posts, but I wanted to write about our “center piece.” 

You all know how much I love quotes, and I wanted to choose one to be the focal point of our gallery. A quote that meant something to us. I also knew that I could count on my talented friend, Elise, to bring whatever we picked to life. She is a totally awesome, completely talented woman – one of her skills happens to be lovely little doodles. Dan and I had decided on an adventure theme, and I came to Elise with two quotes. She sketched them both, and this beauty captured exactly what I was looking for. It’s perfection. 

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.”

So this is our theme! I was going to say new theme, but when I think about it, it kind of always has been. We are curious, we are adventurers. And I love it. Looking at it every day remind me of who I am, who I want to be. 

What’s your theme? How do you keep it at the forefront of your mind? 

Let’s chat about it! Comment below or find me on Instagram or Twitter: @ JoannaHackman

Check out more of what Elise creates and has to say here: http://www.elisespiecesblog.com/?m=1 


Favorite Five Friday (142nd Edition)

8 Apr

This has been an epic week for me. Truly so many amazing things have happened. Unfortunately, I am unable to share all of them, but I’ll tell you what I can!


1.  I booked a job! I got to spend some time on the set of a well known television show this week… I can’t tell you which one… Yet. Guys, I had an amazing time. This was also my first job! My first role on TV. I am completely ecstatic about it! I loved being on set, and I really learned a lot from my experience. I am so ready for more.  I’ll keep you posted on when and where you can see me!

  2. I am back in acting class! I had a great experience bringing Casting Director, Matthew Barry, to Universal to do a workshop with the guides. This guy knows his stuff. From there I found out he teaches a class, and I knew I had to give it a shot. It was almost strange being back in a class setting, but I really enjoyed it. And it’s certainly a great thing to add to my resume. My plan is to dig in, work hard, and become a better actor.
3. This week included some favorite things like… Time with friends (& being ridiculous on SnapChat: @JoannaNichole26), manicures, and kitties! Here are pictures of those things:

 4. Family vacation! Dan and I are heading to Orlando this September for Universal Studios Orlando and Disney World! (Because apparently we don’t get enough of those here at home. 😉 haha!) We are super stoked to head some place new, have some adventures, and relax a little too. (Sidenote: watching Dan plan for vacations is one of my favorite things. He is so detailed and gets really excited about all the things we will be doing. It’s adorable.) Look out, Orlando! #OhThoseHackmans are coming for you!

5. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is officially open! I spent the majority of this week working all of the opening events. I stood in wonder as I watched the incomparable John Williams conduct the L.A. Philharmonic in gorgeous renditions of his masterful compositions for the Harry Potter films and saw the castle brought to life with intricate projections and stunning fireworks (Yes, I cried a little). I had the privilege to work with the talent and witness as they graciously met fans and enthusiastically shared their experiences. (These amazing actors showed me exactly who I’d like to be should I ever find myself stepping into success like theirs.) I was covered in goosebumps and confetti as the Wizarding World Hollywood was officially declared to be open! And I still have a grin on my face. I feel so truly blessed to have been a small part of something so huge, so impactful. It means more than I can say, and I will treasure these memories for the rest of my life. So, welcome to Hollywood, Harry! And to those of you ready to come visit… “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” (Gosh, J.K. Rowling is the best.) It’s pretty safe to say, mischief managed.


 Happiest of Friday’s!!!

Favorite Five Friday (139th Edition)

18 Mar

 Friday is here! Warning, this post is a little sappy, but aren’t we all sometimes? Here’s my favorites for the week…


1.  As a little girl I lived for our family trips to Disneyland. It’s pretty much a dream come true to live so close to The Happiest Place on Earth. Being an annual passholder in one of my favorite things. It’s so wonderful to plan out Disney days with friends. It’s equally as wonderful to be able to get up and decide I think I’ll go to Disneyland today. That’s what Dan and I did this week, and it was exactly what we needed. An easy going time with a little magic. I love being married to someone who craves that childlike wonder as much as I do.

2.  I have been feeling super grateful lately. I am so blessed by the people in my life. My village. The friends spread out across the country that always seem to reach out exactly when I need it. The family who supports me whole heartedly. The close knit group of pals I spend my time with here in L.A. The fabulous group of women who lift me up and help me grow on a daily basis. I am truly humbled and grateful for these beautiful people.

3.  I’m also grateful for the dreaming Dan and I have been doing this week. We all have a picture of what our lives should be, but sometimes it doesn’t end up that way. And if we aren’t careful, we might miss the fact that what we have is even better. So, we are paying attention. We are creating a new picture. A picture that includes living our dreams, doing what we love on a daily basis, traveling this world, sharing our gifts, spreading God’s love, investing time in our friendships, loving on and growing our family. I feel excited to color outside the lines and create something completely ours.

4.  The most important tool an actor has is their headshot. It’s your calling card, your opportunity for a casting director to see you and want to learn more. You need a brilliant headshot! Well, I’m pretty sure that Kat Tuohy delivered that for me. I adore all of my new pictures, and I have no idea how I will choose which ones to use. I cannot wait to put these up on all my casting websites. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Kat. You are talented, kind, gracious, and brilliant. Thank you! (Go check Her out, people!)


5.  Cat pictures!  

Have a gorgeous weekend! Go color outside the lines.

Happy Friday!