Travel

Jamaica Travel Diary

 

BATHING SUIT: Pretty Little Thing Top & Bottom │SUNNIES: Karen Walker

Where We Stayed: 

We stayed at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Montego Bay.

It is an adults only, all inclusive resort and we LOVED it. We did have a slight hiccup when traveling. I (mistakenly) booked our flight into Kingston not realizing that Kingston and Montego Bay are almost 3 hours apart. OOPs. But, it ended up really working out well because we got to see how pretty inland Jamaica is.

If you want to fly directly to Montego Bay like a normal person (LOL), there is a direct flight from Raleigh to Montego Bay. We do want to go back to Jamaica and will 100% take advantage of the direct flight.

Our Room:

It was sort of hard to decide what kind of room we wanted. The smaller rooms have swim up pools which I was in love with (see below). But, ultimately, we went with one of the suites. The suites do come with a round the clock butler which is SO nice. We also had a huge balcony that looked right out on the ocean.

The Spa:

I had a massage right on the ocean and it was SO relaxing. Highly, highly recommend. Inside the spa, there is a sauna, a cold pool and a Jacuzzi. The Jacuzzi looks right out on the ocean and I probably could have stayed their all day.

Dining:

The resort is all inclusive, so there are 10 restaurants on the property. We ate at the Italian restaurant, the Brazilian steakhouse and the French restaurant. They were all really good. The Italian restaurant was probably our favorite of the 3.

Excursions/ Activities:

We never left the resort once! There was actually that much to do. There are tons of water sports – kayaking, paddle boarding, beach volleyball, snorkeling… There’s also a beautiful golf course if that’s your thing. I personally couldn’t tell you a single thing about it.

Every day they have fun, different things to do. On my birthday, they had a HUGE foam party. It was SUPER fun and ridiculous at the same time. LOL, see above.

We loved Jamaica!

Such an easy, fun trip. We did stay at the adults only resort.. BUT there are two sides to the Hyatt and the other side is family friendly. So, if you are traveling with kids, this resort really has something for everyone. Highly recommend!

xoxo

 

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Floral Dress // San Francisco

DRESS: Finder’s Keepers (sold out) Similar Here │SHOES: Schutz │WATCH: Michele│ SUNNIES: Karen Walker │BRACELETS: David Yurman & The Styled Collection

As promised, here’s my full post on our trip to San Francisco. Our trip was super short, I definitely want to get back ASAP to do some more exploring.

We stayed at the Hotel Zeppelin in downtown San Francisco. It’s a viceroy property and I was super impressed. The location was prime, within walking distance to great restaurants and some seriously insane shopping (Nordies, Saks, Neimen, Zara, etc).

We stayed in the Zeppelin suite which had amazing views of downtown and lots of space to stretch out ;).

Favorite Things We Did: 

  1. Biscuits and Blues : We love love love live music. So our first night in town, we checked out this jazz bar right down the street from our hotel. Y’all. You have to check this place out. The food is SO good and the music was amazing. They have different artists every night. When we went, KingFish was playing and they were SO GOOD. The food is so southern and delicious. You have to try the fried chicken.
  2. Alcatraz : So, I didn’t know this, but, Alcatraz is actually the most visited national park in the country. Around 5000 people visit every day. So, if you want to visit, plan ahead. Tickets are online and I highly recommend getting them early. The tour is super interesting and takes about an hour and a half. The island itself is really pretty and the views of San Fran are totally worth it.
  3. Sausalito: Sausalito is the town right across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Fran. We ate lunch at The Trident which was right on the water and had amazing seafood.

I wish we had more time to see more in San Fran. Our last day there, we ventured out to Napa & it was so fun. Let me know if you have any questions about our trip!

I don’t know about y’all, but this girl is beyond happy the weekend is here.

xoxo

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LA Travel Diary

Happy Friday babes! Beyond happy the weekend is here! &&&& next week is a short week!

I just love California.

Every time we go, I start making plans to move west permanently. && then I have a sharp turn back to reality when I start looking at housing options ($$ Ouch, that would hurt$$).

Several parts of California are on my bucket list. I’ve been dying to see Napa and Yosemite and San Fran. But, I’ve really never spend a significant amount of time in Los Angeles. We’ve always used LA as a jumping off point for a longer vacation like Hawaii or Australia. So, we combined some work and travel and spent 4 days in Los Angeles.


SHORTS: Express│ SHOES: Keds │TOP: Hanes │JACKET: J Crew │HAT: Nordstrom │BAG: Louis Vuitton │SUNNIES: Karen Walker│ WATCH: Michele │BRACELETS: David Yurman

SHORTS: Express │TOP:Forever 21 │BELT: Gucci│SHOES: Tory Burch │BAG: Louis Vuitton WATCH: Michele │ BRACELETS: David Yurman│SUNNIES: River Island (old) Similar HERE

For the first part of our trip we stayed at the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. Highly, highly recommend. The Shade is  a luxury boutique hotel about 20 minutes from downtown LA. It’s about two blocks from the beach which was perfect. We walked to the beach every morning.  We stayed in one of the spa suites and the bath tub was NO JOKE y’all.

I’ve talked about this before, but I judge a hotel harshly on their bathroom. I just need a bathroom with a good amount of space.

The two restaurants we picked in  Manhattan Beach were Nick’s & The Strand House.

Nick’s is more casual but has seriously delicious drinks. My favorites were the spicy poloma martini and the cucumber collins.

The Strand House has stunning beach front views. We ate brunch there both days we stayed in Manhattan beach… oops! lol Bottomless mimosas for the win!

We loved our time in California. Let me know if you have any questions! We are heading down to the beach for the weekend. Are you guys celebrating the 4th this weekend or next?

xoxo

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Terranea Resort Diary

BATHING SUIT: J Crew │SHORTS: Express │SHOES: Keds│ BRACELETS: David Yurman │SUNNIES: Karen Walker

Happy Monday Babes!

While we were in LA (post coming on that soon), we stayed at seriously the most stunning resort, Terranea. Originally, we were planning on staying in Manhattan Beach for our entire trip. But, a close friend recommended Terranea and after a few clicks around their website, I was sold.

Terranea is located in Rancho Palos Verdes, about a 30 minute drive from downtown LA. The resort features 102 acres right on the Pacific Ocean. Catalina Island lies right off of the coast of the resort.

The resort has something for everyone. Amenities include:

  • Three pools (one with a super fun slide)
  • A Spa: I swear, y’all, I had the BEST massage of my life here
  • Tons of Ocean activities: paddle boarding, kayaking, whale watching, etc
  • A kid’s club
  • Golf course
  • 4 Restaurants
  • & of course, endless amazing ocean views

We stayed in one of the bungalows that sit right on the ocean. Highly recommend. It was so nice to enjoy breakfast out on our terrace. We even saw whales one morning.

We had dinner twice at Mar’sel. Yup, you read the right. It was really THAT good. The restaurant looks right out onto the ocean and the sunset views were spectacular.

We had the absolute best time here. If you’re heading to LA and want to get away from the city for a night or two, head to Terranea. OR if you’re looking for a wedding venue!!

xoxo

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Grand Canyon West in One Day

TOP: Nike │PANTS: LuLu Lemon │SHOES: Nike│SUNNIES: Ray Ban │BACKPACK: Vera Bradley

Happy Hump Day Friends!

I wanted to share a little bit about our one day Grand Canyon trip. I seriously did A TON of research beforehand. So many people said don’t do the grand canyon in one day and I’m with them with a caveat. If you’ve never seen Grand Canyon National Park, do not try to do it in one day. You’ll be super bummed and feel like you haven’t seen any of the park. But, if you’re like me and you’ve already seen Grand Canyon National Park, doing the west rim in one day was perfect and I highly recommend.

So let’s dive in. We rented a car in Las Vegas,but you don’t have to. There are tons of different companies that will take you from Vegas to the West Rim. The one I heard the most good things about was the Pink Adventure Tour.

We picked up our rental car bright and early and got on our way. The Vegas sign and Seven Magic Mountains are both on your way to the West Rim. You’ll also pass the Hoover Dam if you want to stop. It takes about 2.5 hours to get to the West Rim.

The West Rim of the Grand Canyon is owned and operated by the Hualapai tribe. When you enter the reservation, you must park and use the shuttle to get to the different look out spots.

SkyWalk

Sky Walk is one of the biggest advertised attractions of the West Rim. It does offer seriously breath taking 360 degree views of the West Rim. However, It costs extra $$$ to go stand on it AND you can’t take any of your own pictures. You have to pay for the pictures taken on the Sky Walk. We decided not to walk on the Sky Walk. & honestly, I didn’t regret it. You can stand to the right and left of the Sky Walk and the views are beautiful and we got some great pictures.

Guano Point

Guano Point was my favorite part of our West Rim visit. It’s definitely the best place to do some hiking. The views were just beautiful.

A few words of wisdom: We visited the first week of May and it was HOT. Like 95+ degrees hot. Wear comfortable work out gear and shoes. Bring water. Plan on staying for 3-4 hours to see the entire park and all of the lookout spots.

I hope this guide was helpful if you’re thinking about traveling from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon for the day!

xoxo

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Key West Review

JEANS: AG │ TOP: Brandy Melville (old) Similar Here │JACKET: Cupcakes and Cashmere │SHOES: Steve Madden │LUGGAGE: Away │WATCH: Michele SUNNIES: Asos (sold out) Similar Here

So excited to get my Key West travel diary up! Linked all the deets from my airport style above. I would wear these shoes to the airport 100x over, they are really that comfortable. I am always about all the layers when traveling, so this jacket is perfect. The leather is so soft and in such a pretty shade of blue!

Where We Stayed: 

Let’s get to the fun stuff – our trip! We have been going to the Keys for several years and we always stay at the Casa Marina. It’s a Waldorf Astoria property and a Key West institution.

The hotel itself has been in operation since 1920 and the property is stunning.

It boasts gorgeous sunsets and the largest private beach in Key West. Head here for the best unobstructed ocean views. The hotel is super romantic and hosts weddings almost every weekend. There were two ceremonies while we stayed at the hotel.

Highly recommend.

Where to Eat:

My favorites in Key West go on and on. There are just a ton of really good restaurants in Key West. This trip, we tried out a few new places and went back to a few trusty favorites.

Trusty favorites:

The FireFly is hands down my favorite Key West restaurant. The chef is a genius and has really mastered southern cuisine mixed with an Asian flare. Sounds weird, but it is so so delicious.

Think biscuits as big as your head, boiled peanuts and crispy pig ears.

On my very first visit to Key West, we stumbled upon FireFly – it’s an old house that was converted into a restaurant. Ever since, we go every time we visit Key West. We always sit out on the deck and enjoy the breeze and street views. Highly, highly recommend. This time we had the shrimp and grits and pork. The shrimp and grits is the best I’ve ever had and considering it’s an NC staple – that’s saying a lot. Key West is known for it’s key lime pie which isn’t exactly my favorite dessert (I’m weird, I know). But FireFly has key lime cake that is seriously to die for. So good.

Antonia’s is an Italian restaurant right on Duval Street. It’s pretty small so reservations are a must. They are known for their homemade pasta, bread and desserts. Their wine selection is vast, so we almost always use recommendations from our waiter to decide.

Sloppy Joe’s is another Key West institution, it’s been in operation for over 80 years. Hemingway was a frequent patron of the bar in the 1930’s.

No Key West trip is complete without a Sloppy Joe’s stop.

There is almost always great live music and surprisingly good bar food. The frozen drinks are cold and strong! We always try to stop in at least once or twice and listen to some music and have a drink.

New :

  1. Shor

I found Shor on TripAdvisor and I couldn’t get over the pretty sunset views.

Shor is right on the water at the Hyatt hotel on Front Street. Head here for some seriously fresh seafood. This will be our go to spot from now on to have sunset dinner or drinks.

What to Do: 

Dante’s Pool Bar

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dante’s. It’s exactly what is sounds like – a bar with a huge pool. They have a pretty extensive drink menu and we always try to stop by on our trips.

TBH – I love to go to Dante’s for good people watching. Lots of bachelor and bachelorette parties head to Dante’s for good music and drinks.

They will also clean and cook anything you catch on deep sea fishing excursions. As a bonus – they do have a great happy hour during the week – BOGO domestic beers and various well drinks.

BATHING SUIT: For Love and Lemons (old) Similar Here

Fury Day Tour

I always use TripAdvisor to find things to do when I travel. I found Fury tours on TripAdvisor and we decided to do the half day snorkel, kayak and paddle boarding tour. We left around 9:30 and got back at 2. They do offer morning and afternoon trips. I love being out on the water, so this was the perfect excursion for me. You can snorkel, paddle board, kayak – whatever floats your boat. They serve lunch or dinner (depending on which time of the day you choose) on board. If you like being on the water and seeing some sea life, highly recommend this tour.

BATHING SUIT: Gianni Bini │SUNNIES: Karen Walker

Y’all LOVED this bathing suit.

Don’t hate me – but it’s sold out everywhere and I’m crying inside. Gonna link several similar bikinis Here  (this one is exactly the same just a different print) and Here and Here.

I know this one was a long post, so thanks for reading along. If you’re planning a trip to Key West, feel free to ask questions!

xoxo

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Disney Travel Diary

I wanted to do a simple and sweet blog post on our trip to Disney. I am originally from Florida, so Disney was in my backyard for most of my life. It would be a strange year when I was little if we didn’t go to Disney at least a few times.  I think the last time I counted, I’ve been more than 50 times. When you’re only about an hour and a half away, it makes a great weekend trip. But, up until our recent trip, I hadn’t been back to Disney in years. We did Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios this trip. BUT – my favorites are a tie between Harry Potter World and Islands of Adventure.


SHORT & CROP TOP SET: Forever 21 │SHOES: Keds │SUNNIES: Quay │EARS: Amazon

I always wear themed clothing when I head to Disney. I mean, how can you not? When I saw this set, I knew it had to come to Disney with me. I’m also linking the shirt (here) I wore the first day in Disney (y’all saw it on my insta story).

Where We Stayed:

We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge this time. Just a quick forewarning about Disney resorts – you will pay a lot of $$$ for a pretty small room. Yes, it is nice to be so close to the parks and to have a shuttle. But, growing up, we always stayed at less expensive hotels and drove to Disney. It really depends on what’s important to you and how much money you want to spend. Don’t get me wrong – Animal Kingdom Lodge is beautiful and we did have a safari view – but don’t expect a huge room like you would get other resorts.

Where We Ate:

We mainly ate in the park for breakfast and lunch. I always try to get to the park right when it opens so we can run to the most popular rides. It’s how we always were able to ride Space Mountain and Rockin Roller Coaster without waiting 2 hours. Our hotel had a highly recommended restaurant, Sanaa, that we had to check out. The restaurant features African/ Indian cuisine and has been on the Food Network. They are known for their Naan and it is SO worth ordering.

Orlando as a city really has so much more to offer than just Disney. I love Disney Springs and Downtown Disney. We didn’t stay for very long this trip, so we didn’t get to do much other than Disney. If you have any questions about Disney or Orlando in general, feel free to comment or email me.

xoxo

 

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Cayman Review 2

DRESS: Nasty Gal │SHOES: Jessica Simpson │BRACELETS: David Yurman

For the last two days of our trip, we flew to one of the smaller islands – Cayman Brac. It’s a short and relatively inexpensive flight (about 30 minutes). Cayman Brac is a much smaller island inhabiting about 2500 people. It’s a much slower, relaxed pace than Grand Cayman. Head over to Cayman Brac for some serious R&R. The island is named after a large limestone bluff that runs the course of the island (Brac is gaelic for bluff).

For our one night on the island, we stayed at Le Soleil d’OrThe resort’s main house is actually on a 20 acre organic farm. Guests can take a tour of the farm and sample different fruits and vegetables right from the ground. Le Soleil d’Or makes the distance from farm to table super short. You can stay at any of the rooms at the main house or you can stay at one of the private houses on the ocean. We stayed at the two story beach house.

Things to Do : 

The resort had scooters to rent, which helped us really explore the island. The entire island is about 12 miles long so we were able to go from one end to the other in about an hour. They do drive on the opposite side of the road, which made me a little anxious at first. However, there is virtually no traffic. I think the entire time we were riding around we saw one other car. We rode over to the old lighthouse which offers seemingly endless ocean views.

BATHING SUIT: Shein │SHORTS: Express│ SUNNIES: Quay │SHOES: Tory Burch

Where We Ate:

We had to take advantage of the resort’s farm, so we had a private chef from the resort come to our house to make dinner. So worth it. The food was amazing. It was also really cool to watch him make our dinner with food from right across the street. You can order from a large menu and the chef brings everything right to the house. They also have an extensive wine list and offer to help make pairings.

I loved our time at Grand Brac and could’ve easily stayed another night. I don’t know if I would plan a week long trip there. It’s great for some private relaxation, but if you are looking for night life or tons of restaurants to check out, head to the Grand Cayman. I can’t wait to plan our next trip. We’re thinking about Croatia or Spain. Has anyone ever been? If you have any questions about things to do in Cayman, I’d love to hear from you.

xoxo

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Cayman Review

DRESS: Trina Turk

So, if you’ve been following along and I hope you have, you know we spent a few days in the Cayman Islands. I wanted to share a few more pictures and review where we stayed and some of the things we did.

The Cayman Islands are a group of three islands in the Western Caribbean and they are absolutely beautiful. We stayed on the main island – Grand Cayman – at the Ritz Carlton for the first few nights. We flew into Grand Cayman and the hotel was about a 15 minute ride from the airport. The Ritz is right on Seven Mile Beach which consistently wins awards for one of the beaches in the world. The Ritz is known for outstanding service and accommodations and this hotel did not disappoint.  Like, rum runners and sugar cookies waiting for you when you check in, type of service. The resort is made up of two main buildings – the resort side and the beach side. The beach side looks directly at the ocean and the resort side overlooks the golf course.

The Spa:

One of my favorite parts of the resort was the Spa. The spa offers relaxing services focused around health and wellness. The spa also has lounges and whirlpools and uses Swiss caviar body treatments. We spent a few hours getting pampered and browsing the boutique.

I had the caviar massage which was equal parts relaxing and rejuvenating.  Caviar is packed with vitamins and minerals that are responsible for preventing dullness and drying of skin. These vitamins and minerals can also even out skin tone and improve skin texture.

Day Trip: 

My favorite, favorite part of our time in Grand Cayman was by far our horseback riding trip. I found Nikirides on Trip Advisor and she was fantastic. She picked us up right from the hotel and took us to the western part of the island. We went for a 20 minute ride right on the beach and the views were beautiful. Then we rode the horses into the ocean. It was SO cool. I have been riding horses for most of my life, but don’t let that scare you away. Most of the people in our group of 5 people were novice riders. The horses were super calm. If you are a more experienced rider, Niki will let you canter down the beach. Highly, highly recommend doing this.

Where to Eat:

There are several restaurants in the resort. My favorite, by far, was Seven. The restaurant is named after Seven Mile Beach and boasts beach front dining. They are known for their grass fed beef selections and the food did not disappoint. They also have over 350 wine selections.

The Ritz is also known for their pina coladas and I had one or maybe seven, you decide.

Overall, the Cayman Islands are stunning and I highly recommend adding them to your travel bucket list. Especially as an escape from the cold. Part 2 of our Cayman Trip – Cayman Brac – will be on the blog soon. Stay tuned. If you have any questions about the Ritz or things to do on the main island, I’d love to hear from you.

xoxo

 

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