France Is Always a Good Idea

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France Is Always a Good Idea

My mom and I had been dreaming up a trip to France since I was really young.  She lived in Europe when she was in her twenties and Paris was one of her all-time favorite places.  We love anything French inspired.

What we Learned: no matter how much you prepare, France gives you the trip you need, not the trip you planned. 

We were present and open to the experience.  We love a good meal, a beautiful church and meeting new people.  I mean, don't get me wrong; it wasn't all Aperol Spritzes and Louis Vuitton bags - we had our moments.  Like when my mom forgot that technology exists in different countries and we could quickly open up google maps without panic, or when the dude with the Ipad made me take his picture and almost stole all my shit (sorry mom).  But those were the moments that had us dying with laughter and will be moments I will always remember.  We outlined this trip and blog post together; some of it is shit you really need to know and some of it is just fun. ENJOY. 

PARIS

Stay: Le Cinq Codet in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. We chose this place based on its central location and incredible style.  (Oh, yeah, and the Eiffel Tower is a few blocks away.) The whole vibe of this hotel is sexy.  It's the best bang for your buck, with stylish features, a spa, a gourmet restaurant, and a 5-star concierge staff. We ended up in a tiny two-story loft style room with a large soaking tub next to the bed. 

To Do:

  • Begin your Parisian adventure with a Jet Lag Massage at your hotel.  If you arrive early in the day or afternoon as we did, it's a game-changer  We were exhausted after a turbulent plane ride, but after the massage we were raring to go.  
  • Buy a Museum Pass at 95 Euros a pop (look online for discounts).  It's definitely worth it!  We went to four museums and never waited in a line.  We also never felt guilty if we only visited a place for an hour or two.  And yes, Versailles is included! 

Walk!  From the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame, from Galeries Lafayette to the Marais, walking is not only the best way to see Paris but also to feel Parisian.  I have to admit we didn't do a ton of public transportation, mostly because you see so much more when you walk but also to save us the time of figuring it out. Uber (boo) is readily available in Paris. 

  • Stroll along the Seine.  During the summer there are a ton of fun restaurants, gardens, and lounge areas to hang out at.  My favorite was the pop-up oyster shucker.
  • Buy a luxury good.  I splurged at Louis Vuitton but it was so much cheaper to buy in Paris.  You can also get a write off for it at the airport. 
  • Find out when Mass is held at Notre Dame and go during that time.  You don't have to be Catholic or Christian to feel what Notre Dame emanates from its sacred walls.  It's one of my mom's favorite spots in Paris; the last time she visited was with her own mama.  Showing up this time during Mass (by accident) was an emotional experience.  Also, gothic architecture FTW.
  • Le Marais, my favorite area overall.  Lots of fun shopping, amazing food and fun, hip culture.  I felt at home.
  • The Louvre: best museum we went to.  I loved the museums for their architecture alone.  While my mom was admiring the art work I was admiring the building they were hosted in.  

Visit Versailles.  I was torn on this one!  I really wanted to go because Marie Antoinette stories makes me feel all the feels but it's also a dedication of a half day.  I am really glad we did it. The gardens alone were worth the 35 minute train ride from Paris. Inside the main living space I felt overwhelmed with the amount of people but the Hall of Mirrors made it all worth it.  I would spring for a boat ride on the lake and to see Marie's private party quarters if you visit. 

To Eat in Paris: Any sidewalk cafe!  We are obsessed.  I noticed that even the most simple dish comes out with pizzaz and presentation as if it cost you an arm and a leg.  We were really good about sharing most everything so that we could be sure to try different things. Split a salad, main dish and dessert of course!

I drank about 500 Aperol spritzes on this trip and I am proud of each and every single one. Mom stuck with campari and soda.

Noteworthy spots: (click on name for yelp page)

  • Les Antiquaires -dinner. Best meal we had! 
  • Les Ombres - lunch. We ate outside with a full view of the Eiffel Tower.  It's pricey so order a snack and a glass of wine. 
  • L'As du Fallafel - whenever.  Best falafel I have ever had hands down! 
  • Ippudo - dinner.  Amazing ramen in all flavors and full bar.  There was a line outside but it went pretty quickly. 
  • La Robe & La Mousse - brewery. (Thanks for the recommendation Clifton!)  Not very common in Paris but this is a new cozy spot that had delicious saisons. So nice to have a beer after so much wine. 
  • L’Ilot Vache-  My mom happened to have a couple of friends visiting Paris so we met up with them for an awesome meal here. The wine was exceptional and I really enjoyed my vegetarian meal. 

CANNES

Along with all other vacationing Parisians and Europeans, we took the train from Paris to the South of France for some coastal action.  I didn't think I could love France any more but then there was the Cote d'Azur.  We booked an adorable hotel that used to be an old castle in the hills of Cannes and was a quick walk to most beaches. We spent two days walking, lounging and buying overpriced drinks. Just what the doctor ordered. 

Stay: Hôtel Château de la Tour- best bang for your buck. Really comfortable bed and it was the biggest room we had on the trip.  Trust me, this matters.  The pool area was beautiful and they had awesome bungalows to lounge in. 

To Do: 

  • Book a day bed at a beach club.  We ended up at VegaLuna, right across from the Carlton hotel.  It was AMAZING.  The service was remarkable and food delicious.  I mean, who eats truffle risotto on the beach? I do. 
  • Have a drink at the Intercontinental Carlton Hotel.  Seen the movie "French Kiss" ? It was filmed here. 
  • Walk around their downtown area. Lots of fun shopping and cafes.  You will notice most of the cafes offer hookah; there is a large middle eastern population that visits this area.  I loved this aspect! 

Ville Franche Sur Mer

Be still my heart.  Ville Franche Sur Mer is #NEXTLEVEL.  VFSM was like nothing I had ever experienced.  Super humble, beautifully preserved, coastal gem. 

Stay: Welcome Hotel. It's an icon. Many french actors and artists would spend their summers there. 

To Do: 

  • Visit the small wine shop and sit for a glass of Rose'.  Rose' is native to this area!  The woman who runs the shop is a phenomenal human being who knows everything about wine. 
  • Book a day bed at a Deli Bo.  Lounge, swim eat, repeat. 
  • Buy artwork.  I found my most prized piece of artwork here ( I just had it framed).   All of the small shops are worth popping into. 
  • Walk around. There is a storybook feeling about VFSM, like Belle is about to pop around the corner. 
  • DON'T: Go into Chapelle de Saint-Pierre des Pecheurs. The woman who runs it is an asshole. Stay away.  (LMAO, I am not kidding. The only rude French person we met.) 
  • DO: Go into Eglise Saint-Michele. Beautiful, private and sacred. 
  • Take pictures of all the adorable animals.  They aren't strays; I noticed all the animals here were very well cared for. 
  • RELAX.  This town is about being present and giving yourself the ability to let go and enjoy life. 

Mom, I love you and thank you for taking this journey with me. 

 

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Munich Birthdays are the Best

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Munich Birthdays are the Best

I am from Deutschland. Deep roots within the east and more recently in Munich. My entire extended family lives and breathes the Bayern air. This trip to visit was different because I did not set any expectations, I allowed myself to fully go with the flow. We all want that element of control when we travel but sometimes letting it be free flowing is your best bet. I knew that with a group of people meeting up, family dynamics and birthday weirdness, I had to let it all go. Well guess what, we ended up having the best of times. 

We stayed in Dachau in my Uncles flat, just a mile walk and a 10 minute train ride away from downtown Munich. This was a good home for the 7 days we stayed. 

  • It's not every day you turn 30. It's not every day you turn 30 at Oktoberfest in Munich. I did both. *claps hands* I swear I have the best family and friends in the world. A lot of them showed up for this occasion and we partied like it was 1986 #birthyear. 

OKTOBERFEST

  • Best times to arrive for a table, 10am or 2pm. 
  • Sit anywhere. If there is an empty spot or not, ask people to scoot, they will! 
  • Bring Euros and tip nicely! $1 Euro per stein 
  • Order food. Seriously, you will need it. 
  • The servers will bring you food and beer, they are on top of it. 
  • Walk around. Lots to see at Oktoberfest. 
  • Make new friends. Whoever you sit with is now your new best friend. 
  • Tip at the bathroom. The reason that the line moves fast and it is never messy is because hardworking women and men are attending to it. TIP THEM! 
  • Bring an external phone charger. Don't be me. Don't let your phone die and get lost. 
  • Have a blast. 

Most of these photos are of me. Sorry not sorry, it was MY Birthday. 

Starnberg See and Family Time: 

  • Take the train to Starnberg See from Munich.
  • Walk around the town and go into any chocolate shop you see. 
  • Eat Oma's variety of cakes. 
  • Raid Oma's pantry and bring home marmalade. 
  • Hug Opa as many times as possible. 

Berchtesgaden: 

  • Take the train from Munich but be sure to check the route. We had to take a bus from the train station 30 minutes from Berchtesgaden.
  • Meet your best friend at his hostel- Mike, you rule. 
  • Take a boat tour and pay for the whole extended ride. You have to see both lake's. 
  • Do a hike around the lake. 
  • Grab beers from a shop to take with you. 
  • Go inside the yellow chapel- heaven. 

 

 

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BErlin About It

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BErlin About It

Berlin was the third leg of our European trip and it was a doozy. Evan got sick on the way there. I literally saw flu symptoms take over his body while he drove the autobahn in our rented BMW. His thrill is driving in other countries, especially in ones where there is no speed limit. Unfortunately, it was the worst time to come down with a cold. 

Once we arrived in Berlin, I put him straight to bed and walked my way to the Pharmacy where I was miraculously able to purchase $30 worth of cold medicine and remedies. Let me tell you, America does not make drugs the way that Germany does. LOL. Being the trooper he is, Evan pulled himself out of a nap to meet up with our dear friends from California (Pareesa and Sam)  for our first German dinner. We went straight to the heart of it with beers and brats. 

I don't know if it was exhaustion, weather, dark history or what, but Berlin brought out a sadness in me. I think it's a city that carries a lot of weight from its gnarly history and being someone that relies heavily on energy from my environment, it hurt. I'm also a spoiled south German who was expecting a very lighthearted experience. Thank goodness for Pareesa and Sam who had no pre-conceived notions and were able to make the experience carefree.

Museums in Berlin are FREE. You can take a guess why but it definitely was a nice perk. 

Berlin TO DO: (done in one day)

  • Stay at The Dude Hotel
    • Beautiful hotel, great customer service. Life changing bed and shower. Comes with delicious breakfast and free champagne. 
  • Take the train everywhere!
    • Big kudos to Sam who led us through the city because walking with a sick person was a big struggle, lol. It was super fast and convenient. 
  • Checkpoint Charlie 
    • Pretty touristy but I pulled the enrgy from the spot to really understand the history. 
  • Typography of Terror 
    • The name says it all but I would highly recommend spending an hour there. I learned so many things about the Nazi regime that I did not know. 
  • Berliner Dome
    • I'm a sucker for a good Catholic church. This one is incredible, take a few moments to sit on the lawn.  
  • The Wall Museum
    • This was by far my favorite museum. My family has deep rooted history with the Wall and I learned so much more and really gained an understanding of what they went through. 
  • The Memorial for Jews
    • Haunting and beautiful. Must see. 
  • Outdoor bars! 
    • There is a big outdoor bar scene! Break up the depressing with some bar fun. It felt like a weird circus but we enjoyed ourselves. 
  • Walk around Tiergarten park 
    • Largest park in Berlin and very scenic. 

Random fact, you can walk around with beer. Do that. 

 

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Amsterdam - NEVERLAND(S)

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Amsterdam - NEVERLAND(S)

Amsterdam is one of those places I could move to with no questions asked. It was my second visit here and I will be back for a third. The people are kind, the food is out of this world, and the culture makes you feel inspired to be a better person. 

Evan and I took the train from London to Amsterdam to meet up with our extended family for Casey's 30th birthday (#librasrule) and adult fun! 

The train ride was an adventure on it's own. Our 12pm arrival time quickly turned into a 3pm arrival time after some train station issues. We met some cool Americans and we chatted with them over cocktails to pass the time. I highly recommend taking the train, even with the delay, we saw so much and really enjoyed the journey. 

Once we arrived in Amsterdam, we quickly settled into our rad airbnb in the best district ever, De Pijp, and then met up with our Brooks family for a night of shenanigans. After a yummy Italian dinner, we walked the streets and found ourselves in a gorgeous hotel with a piano bar. We rung in Casey's 30th birthday with some piano- bohemian rhapsody. 

We found ourselves on a similar schedule as we were in London: 

  • Sleep in
  • eat brunch 
  • do cool things 
  • eat dinner 
  • do more cool things 

It was the perfect balance of fun and rest and we really didn't need more than 2 meals per day. Each meal was better than the next. Here is the official line up: 

  • Omelegg - breakfast, brunch, lunch 
    • Little bit of a wait but worth it. Delicious dutch food, seated family style with other locals and one of the best coffees I have ever had. 
  • Bakers and Roasters - breakfast, brunch, lunch
    • Hip, fun, amazing food. Get their matcha green latte. They have 2 different locations. 
  • Scandanavian Embassy - breakfast, brunch, lunch 
    • Unique cuisine, modern style. Order anything with salmon! 
  • Pasta Pasta - dinner 
    • Best Italian food I have ever had. Order a few things and share everything because you need to try it all! 
  • Wynand Fockink
    • It's not gin! It's genever. Amsterdam's oldest liquor. Wynand gives you a lovely tasting and explains how the hell it's different than gin! 
  •  Castillo - dinner 
    • Spanish tapas to die for. We ordered 10 things off of their menu and could not get enough. Really cozy atmosphere. Order a glass of Malbec to top it off. 
  • Hit up a grocery store and make a meal! 
    • Since we rented an airbnb with a kitchen, we were able to cook one night. Save a few pennies :) 

The most memorable part of Amsterdam was our ride through the canals at sunset. You can grab a tour anywhere, completely worth it. Not only were we able to see the most beautiful spots of the city but we met awesome people and they gave us free drinks. 

Here is my Amsterdam TO DO list: 

Scroll through pictures! 

To the Brooks: Thank you for making this so memorable. Family that travels together, stays together. Love you. 

 

 

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England-  Sexy, Cool.

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England- Sexy, Cool.

WE LEFT ON SEPTEMBER 17TH FOR A THREE WEEK ADVENTURE TO EUROPE. ENGLAND WAS OUR FIRST STOP. I WAS MOST EXCITED FOR THIS PART OF OUR TRIP BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN OBSESSED WITH BRITISH CULTURE EVER SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. MY FAVORITE MOVIE WAS THE SECRET GARDEN; I HAD EVERY LINE MEMORIZED, BRITISH ACCENT INCLUDED.  I REMEMBER WATCHING BRITISH COMEDY ON PBS WITH MY MOM; THINKING HOW ADVANCED THEIR HUMOR WAS. HAVE YOU EVER MET A BRITISH PERSON YOU DIDN'T LIKE? ME EITHER. MY FIRST MEMORABLE BIRTHDAY PARTY WAS AN ENGLISH TEA PARTY, MY FAVORITE BOOKS ARE HARRY POTTER AND COME TO FIND OUT, BEANS ON TOAST IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO EAT. NEEDLESS TO SAY, IT WAS TIME FOR ME TO VISIT THIS ICONIC COUNTRY.  

EVAN AND I TRAVEL LIKE THIS: PLAN BIG DETAILS:FLIGHTS, HOTELS.  MAKE A LIST OF THINGS THAT COULD BE FUN TO DO AS WELL AS  RECOMMENDED PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK.  ARRIVE AT OUR DESTINATION AND FILL IN THE BLANKS AS WE SEE FIT. 

Scroll through our time in London below! 

We stayed at a cozy airbnb in the Shoreditch area of London. Shoreditch was described by some locals as the new Camden, a notoriously hip/artsy part of London. Shoreditch was definitely fun and up and coming. Lots of trendy restaurants, shopping, pubs, and art galleries. It was a nice home base while we traveled around London during the day. Miles walked in London? 42! 

I LOVED THE MIX OF MODERN AND OLD ARCHITECTURE. THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS AND REALLY EXPERIMENT WITH DIFFERENT SHAPES AND SIZES. LOVED SEEING THE SKYLINE FROM TOWER BRIDGE. 

This city made me feel good about life, about myself. You're instantly cool just for showing up. People there are simply who they are.  They drink a beer at 11am if they want; they are independent, funny and know how to take care of themselves. Evan and I were such awesome partners, navigating and figuring shit out. Lots of nerdy American high-fives happening.

Cool/weird things: 

  • People walk/ bike ride/ take the underground to work and then at 5pm they throw on their workout clothes and run home. Not kidding, we saw 500 people with backpacks on running home after work. BAD ASS. 

  • The Underground is color coded. I repeat, the UNDERGROUND IS COLOR CODED. This matters. Now you can travel around London seamlessly. You are welcome! 

  • Don't pack a blow dryer/ straightener/ curling iron. Every salon you walk by does blow outs. Wish I would have known this before sacrificing suitcase space :/ 

Things to Do: (links provided)

Do a walking tour of London. We walked 15 miles the first day. Take the underground, use your maps go to these places: 

Places to eat and drink: 

  • Breakfast Club - British and American options, amazing vibe. 

  • Dishoom - Indian, great for brunch, trendy atmosphere. 

  • Thai Balcony - In Bath , best Thai food I have ever had. 

  • Homeslice - Amazing pizza, affordable and romantic.

  • The Bike Shed - Bar, restaurant, coffeeshop, barber shop- this place rules. 

  • Bottega - Best Italian food I have ever had, definitely get a reservation. 

  • Old Street Records - Live music, 2 for 1 drinks, awesome bar tenders. 

  • The Dragon Bar - Met two rad British chicks here, look for the cobra alcohol :) 

  • Happiness Forgets - voted best international cocktail bar. 

 

 

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Portland + Friendship

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Portland + Friendship

I didn't know if I should have filed this post under wellness or travel. I am dedicating it to my bff Parker who keeps me well. I truly believe we were meant to be together. She has brought a lightness to my life that I never knew I needed. She demands my authentic self and in turn it has helped me to figure out who I am and what I want.  Hey everybody, come see how much  fun we have together. 

Travel Portland

 

Having never spent ample time in Portland, but already knowing that I freakin' loved it, our trip to visit our best friends in their new home was everything and more. 

To Do: 

Have a picnic in a park. Any park. (seriously the parks in Portland are magical as fu#%k.) 

Go to brunch at Broder. You will wait for a table and you will like it, (order a bloody mary and wait outside)  

Go to a show at Mississippi Studios. We happened to catch King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard

Visit the Kombucha speakeasy. Take off your shoes, fill your mason jar with whatever is on tap. Don't forget to add in some colloidal silver, and grab a floor pillow to chill on. It's a speakeasy, I won't tell you where it is but I have faith that you can find it, its meant to stay secret.  

Order a Mai Tai at Barlow. Get ready for a fun surprise. 

Grab ice cream at Salt and Straw

Take  pictures in the photo booth at Aalto Lounge. That background though!

Next Time: 

Hike. So many amazing trails to choose from.

Dip in the Kennedy School hot pool.

Explore the coffee scene.

Take an arts + crafts class, they are everywhere! 

So many more adventures ahead. 

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109 World - Nicaragua

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109 World - Nicaragua

 

It's finally time to share the life-shifting experience I had in April. I hope with this post that I help inspire you to stand up for the people and topics you are passionate about and to put yourself out there to a community that resonates with you.

Life changing: what does that even mean? I feel like I live a balanced life, I am good to myself and those around me, so what's there to change? For me, it was an understanding that my impact can be bigger; that there is so much more I can change to be better to the earth and to other humans. It was understanding that ignorance is passed down and instead of judging those without understanding, I can kindly educate them. It was being free to be my true self around people I didn't know without someone there to help define me. 

I entered in 109's social media challenge back in December, hoping to make some active changes in my own life. I had no expectations, I just wanted to hold myself accountable and possibly inspire others. On Christmas day I found out that I was the chosen one! That's what happens when you put yourself out there in an authentic way; people respond.

I set no expectations for the journey, which is very rare for me. I typically have a plan, an idea of what's to come. I knew that in order to experience the trip in the exact way it was meant to be, I needed to stay away from travel websites, advice forums on Nicaragua, anything that allowed me to control what would happen. Guess what the result was? The most freeing travel I have ever accomplished. 

 

What you need to know: 

109 world is a non-profit founded by three friends on a mission to make the world a WAY better place. Go to 109world.com for more information.

109 world created a working relationship with an eco-resort in Nicaragua who made connections for us to enter the village of Playa Gigante and help bring running water into the homes of 1000 people. 

April 7th hit and I was off to Central America. After settling into our eco-resort at the beautiful Aqua Wellness retreat, reading through the itinerary and sifting through the awesome welcome bags from BUDDHIBOX we all came together for a happy hour on the ocean. My fears subsided as I greeted new faces who had the same eager vibe. We were all in the same place at the same time to help other people. Is there anything more magical? Probably not. 

 

 

Dig, dig, dig. That is what we signed up for and that is what we did. We showed up to the village of Playa Gigante with shovels, picks, and a good attitude and dug until we could dig no more. We inspired the community so much that they came out in theirSunday best, ready to get dirty with us. It's hard to explain what happened among all of us over the course of that week. Where we were from didn't matter. What color our skin was didn't matter. What language we spoke didn't matter. The only important factor was water. They needed it and we were there to help them get it.  

Hey, it wasn't all hard work, between the digging there was: 

  • ocean swimming
  • friendship building
  • rum drinking 
  • yoga practicing 
  • exploring 
  • bungalow/village hanging 
  • trash collecting (actually really hard work as well) 

Well rounded? Yea, you could say that. We did it all and loved every second. 

Questions I have heard often after going to Nicaragua... "Were you able to finish the project?" "Were you wanted there?" The short answers are yes, and yes.

The long answers: 

We finished what we set out to do. We dug trenches for pipe that connected to the local well. There is still more to do and that is why we partnered with Aqua Wellness to ensure that the remainder of the work will be done - faucets will be flowing water into the residents' houses and they will not have to use their time collecting water. 

An overwhelming feeling I had throughout this trip was that as much as I was accomplishing, it felt like it wasn't enough. As we explored and got to know the community we realized they needed so much more. We spent time cleaning up trash because Nicaragua receives a lot of the world's trash and does not have the capacity to dispose of their own and we  also went to a local school who was in desperate need of supplies for the children. When going on a social mission trip, you have to remember that you aren't going to get there and solve all of their problems. By focusing on one task, you are helping a larger effort which is to make their lives better.  It will become a beautiful trickle effect which inspires people to take charge of their own well being.

If you are finding yourself in a situation where a trip like this is not in your near future, do not fret. People need help everywhere so start there.  A local food bank, school, animal shelter, elderly home, you can make an impact in your own digs. Also remember the power of fundraising! What are you good at? Offer it as a donation based service, you will be surprised at how many people want to help with this cause and for you to get out there to make a difference. 

To the amazing people I met through 109 world, thank you. Thank you for accepting me, encouraging me, friending me in the most generous way. You and your impact will be forever on my mind. Let's do it again?  

Thanks for the read; now start saving your pennies for a trip with 109 world. You owe it to yourself. 

Watch the full length video of our journey by Sodalime here: https://vimeo.com/174004617

 

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"Dirty" South

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"Dirty" South

The beauty of having long distance friendships is getting to visit those friends in awesome places! Evan and I planned a tour of the South which included visiting a handful of our closest friends who all happen to live in neighboring states. How awesome is that?!

Our tour looked like this: 

Lexington, Kentucky/ Sunday-Wednesday

Nashville, Tennessee/ Wednesday-Friday

Marietta, Georgia/ Friday-Sunday

If there is one thing I am good at, its planning. More so, creating itineraries that really milk every last detail, (I do it for a living.) Seven days sounds long, but when you are crossing three states you really need people who know the best things to do. 

My friends are hip, cultured and love all the same things that Evan and I do. Between beautiful yoga classes, breweries, bourbon trails, farm to table food, live music, boot shopping, historical sites, stunning views and A WEDDING, we were set.

KENTUCKY = Home of my Britt  

Must Do: (Click the links) 

  1. Makers Mark Tour (Its Bourbon, not Whiskey)
  2. Dinner at Village Idiot
  3. Yoga at Solid Roots
  4. Beers at Country Boy Brewery
  5. Buy a UK souvenir (because Drake says so) 

Next Time: 

  1. Breeders Cup 
  2. Bulleit Distillery 

Nashville+Natsville

Must Do: (Click the links) 

  1. Take a Picture in front of the "I Believe in Nashville" mural
  2. Have dinner and bowl at Pinewood Social Club
  3. Shop vintage
  4.  Bar Hopping on the Broadway strip (Tootsies for the view)
  5. Brunch at Biscuit Love

Next time: 

  1. Southern mansion tour 
  2. Be an extra in whatever is being filmed there 
  3. Grand Old Opry
  4. Eat more biscuits and gravy  

Marietta = Marriedetta

To Do: (Click the links) 

  1. Stroll around Marietta Square
  2. Order nachos at Taqueria Tsunami
  3. Stay at the Hilton, Marietta
  4. Watch your friends get married

Next time: 

Spend more time in Atlanta! We went to the Martin Luther King museum which was incredible. 

I could not have asked for a better trip. I kept saying throughout my time there, "I am so fortunate to be traveling right now, and even luckier that my friends are with me." 

Suggestions for next time? Post in comments. 

Xo, 

Catherine 

 

 

 

 

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Portofino//Engagement by the Sea

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Portofino//Engagement by the Sea

My husband picked the most amazing place to propose to me, like ever. 

Portofino, Italy was one of those places I saw in the movies or on some famous person's social media feed, a total dream. 

After driving from Germany to Italy, we ended up in the cutest Bed & Breakfast amidst a luscious wall of fragrant grapes and church bells that rang every hour. We knew nothing about where we were and I think that made it even better. No expectations, just constantly seeing beauty from one angle to the next.

One huge tip: You have to drive off the coast of Italy. If not, you aren't going to see everything you want. Let me just say though, driving in Italy is CRAY. Like we seriously has our lives flash before our eyes, multiple times. Thank god for Evan, he drove the entire time. Make sure you pack your own personal Steve McQueen. 

IMG_1589.JPG

 

I had a whole outfit picked out for our day trip to Portofino. I visualized myself in the 1950's, yachting on the Mediterranean Ocean. All I can do is pat myself on the back because unbeknownst to me, my lover would go down on bend and knee. 

We hiked up to Castle Brown, an old royal home converted to a military lookout during WWII. 

The poor guy was sweating so much that day and abnormally quiet.  In my head I was like "what the heck, how does this guy have nothing to day about this scenery?!" He was actually just scoping out the perfect place to propose. 

God bless Evan. 

Need tips before you travel to Italy? Email siliconandsea@gmail.com

 

 

 

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San Diego in 3 Days

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San Diego in 3 Days

I NEED VITAMIN SEA

I took my husband down to San Diego (for his first time, I KNOW!) for a three day romp around. San Diego lands within the top five of my all time favorite cities, and I have been to quite a few. It's the perfect blend of sea and city with a progressive culture, amazing food and lots of sun. 



We knew we were going to be spending time in the Gaslamp area so we decided to stay at the amazing Hotel Solamar, Kimpton. If you haven't been into a Kimpton hotel, the smell alone makes you feel like a million bucks. Seriously, what is that smell?! The staff goes out of their way to accommodate you, the amenities are through the roof and every room comes equipped with a yoga mat. Also, did I mention they are all dog friendly? #thankyou

Other awesome entities Hotel Solamar has: 

1. Complimentary wine and beer hour in the lobby every night at 5pm. 

2. Free yoga class on the pool deck every Sunday at 9am. 

3. Free bike rental. This is a must when traveling around San Diego. 

4. Pool Bar open until 11pm. 

5. Memory foam or down pillows. You decide. 

6. THE SMELL. 

7. Can't bring your furry friend with you? They print out their picture and have it up in the room for you when you arrive. 

 

We spent our first day stuck in a random tropical storm. No joke, people were swimming down J street. We ran our way to a rad bar called "The Deck at Moonshine Flats." Indoor cornhole. life size beer pong, foosball, table tennis, pool. Buckets of rum and 25 different beers on tap. We could not get enough. 

always overdressed. 

always overdressed. 

Evan and I took a ride to the bay where there was a Ferry heading over to Coronado Island. "Some Like It Hot" is one of our favorite movies so we needed to see its set. #hotelcoronado

Warning: Just go sight see at the hotel, hit up the beach, take some rad photos, DO NOT go for drinks. A beer was $10 and a cocktail $13. OUCH. 

We were super excited to see the SF Giants play outside of their home territory against the San Diego Padres. There is something about getting booed, that makes you feel like you are really livin'. Good thing we were staying one block away from Petco Park. 

Ocean Beach

Relax and Chill 

You really get an awesome experience in OB, as San Diegans call it. Warm ocean, clear skies, and the best fish tacos this side of the border at South Beach Grille Evan could not believe how clear and warm the water is compared to our chilly and seaweed filled Santa Cruz. We spent the day laying on the sand, listening to Reggae and feeling really appreciative of our great life. 

Fish Tacos Forever

On our last night, we met up with my family for some great food at Neighborhood and then found a speakeasy hiding behind some beer kegs. This is top secret shit, people. 

Thats all for now! San Diego is my spirit animal and I will be back and share more goodies with you. 

Xo, 

Catherine 








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