I la la Love Los Angeles
Hoped off the plane at lax!
“IF YOU THINK ADVENTURE IS DANGEROUS, TRY ROUTINE, IT'S LETHAL”- Paul Coelho
This last year I made a pact to myself that I would try new experiences, cultures, and travel to places that I have always dreamed of going. Money can be a barrier to hold someone back. We always feel like we cannot travel because we can't afford a plane ticket, or a hotel, or a way to enjoy ourselves. There's always some type of excuse not to go. However, I am here to tell you all that with a little budgeting, faith, and persistence traveling doesn't have to be as hard as you believe it is. LA has been calling my name for quite a while now, and, I am so blessed that I finally was able to go.
Now, the back story on why I love LA so much. As a little girl, I always knew I wanted to be in showbiz. I would watch so many Disney movies and recite the lines perfectly. I would come up with different characters and recite them all to my mother and she noticed that acting soon became my passion. Therefore, she enrolled me in acting lessons and I began to do theatrical productions and commercials. To me, Los Angeles was the place to be. It's the epitome of where all great things happen for the talented. It's where the stars are. So, being able to finally go was fufilling a lifetime wish.
This blog post is dedicated to people who are looking to visit within a small amount of time. I am going to list all the fun places we got to go along with some of the hotels we stayed in so you can feel like you can travel and not break the bank.
We arrived in the afternoon in Los Angeles on a Saturday. We took United, a early flight from Chicago, but we landed in LA around 1:30. I suggest doing this because it comes out to be a bit cheaper, and you get to sleep on the plane, and enjoy yourself for the rest of the day. We stayed at a hotel close to the airport. We choose to do so because the farther you get to the heart of downtown the more expensive. Although we were about an hour from downtown, it was worth it to get a hotel that was clean, nice, and comfortable. Luckily, we were about a 15-20 minute drive from Venice Beach. Word of wisdom if you are planning to go to LA make sure to rent a car. They don't have a great public transportation system, and ubers and lyfts (which we took until we rented a car) can be extremely pricey.
We ended up meeting some fun people in our shared uber. It's nice to see how many people travel or move here for their dreams. It's a city built off dreams, wonder, and the love for creative things. I felt so at home here. Venice beach was so beautiful. Being immersed in such a carefree place was so beautiful. My husband and I walked along the pier and saw the surfers riding the waves it was so calming. As you walk along the path you can find a lot of shops and restaurants. Soon, if you walk far enough, it can also turn into a selling ground. We had one gentleman hand us his supposed "CD" for free but soon after he continued to pester us for donations. We had to firmly tell him we were not interested, looks like we had already fallen into a tourist trap. Just be careful and aware of your surroundings.
After walking around for a bit we found a beautiful restaurant for dinner. Our dinner at the Siamese Gardern was amazing. Not only were the wait staff super friendly, but, the food was perfection. The scenery was beautiful too you feel like you are setting in a beautiful garden with the distant waves from the beach as your music. The food was delicious and perfect for sharing. My husband was so excited because they had fresh coconut they he ordered. Overall, it was such an amazing experience I recommend checking this place out if you end up close to Venice Beach.
On the second day we decided to venture farther downtown close to Hollywood Blvd. I got to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There is something so unreal about walking in the footsteps of people that I look up to. Words cannot describe how breath-taken I was to be able to witness this. I think my husband and I walked for hours simply in awe of the culture beneath us. I even got to witness the Hollywood sign which was amazing in itself.
That took most of the day and I was so thrilled for dinner because I had snagged us reservations for Catch LA. Now, if you are looking for beautiful views, amazing decor, and a fancier menu, I suggest you try this place. Beautiful is an understatement as you walk into this garden of gorgeous flowers. This restaurant has stunning views of the city. I simply didn't want to leave when I was there. I have to admit the prices are a bit on the higher side but it is so worth the experience.
My husband had to travel to Whittier for work so we ended up getting a car and driving an hour or so towards there. However, a friend who used to live there suggested we all try Wurstkuche. This cute hole in the wall hot-dog place was amazing. They serve great polishes, hot-dogs, and beer but the flavors are mouth-watering. If you're into exotic foods I would say this is the place for you, they have a rattlesnake sausage!
Afterwards, we drove towards Whittier checked into our hotel and walked around that area. It's not as crazy booming as West Hollywood. It definitely has more of a suburb feel.
After walking around for a bit we ended up going to a nice restaurant called the Commoner. They had a nice selection of craft beers, good tacos, and just an overall nice menu. I am obsessed with Lobster so I had to of course get their lobster mac and cheese.
Sadly, this was my last day in LA and it was so hard for me to say good-bye. I ended with having some In-N-Out and headed to the airport for my flight home. It was such a beautiful four days and I wouldn't trade those memories for the world.
If you are looking to travel to Los Angeles I hope this itinerary will help you deciding on where to go. Remember, traveling is such a beautiful thing don't deprive yourself of the experiences. Happy Monday love bugs thanks so much for reading!
Until next time,
Kicking it off in Kitchener
Sometimes, you need a bit of a vacation, or some time to simply just get away. I knew that the holiday weekend was coming up and I had an itch to explore and do something new. My husband is always an avid traveler but between the new job, family obligations, and wedding season approaching it’s hard to focusing on getting away.
However, after doing some research (lots of Pinterest) we saw how beautiful Canada is and oddly it isn’t as far away as we thought. We have always wanted to be spontaneous and do a weekend road trip get away and we thought the Fourth holiday weekend would be perfect. Of course, we felt like bad American’s going to another country during our country’s birthday, but the timing was just too perfect.
After realizing that the drive was only 6 hours from Chicago, we decided we would for sure drive it. I love site-seeing, and there’s nothing better than being immersed in the views as you drive through someplace. After a couple days of discussing we decided to grab my brother and his girlfriend, and we made our way towards Canada from Chicago. This blog post is dedicated to a Canada itinerary if you’re looking for a fun quick getaway I will list the best place to stay and places to visit!
So, we tried to mentally prepare ourselves for the drive. Make sure if you do decide to drive to pack a bunch of snacks. We carried a cooler full of drinks and snacks, so we didn’t have to constantly stop for food. Also, this might be obvious but make sure to pack your passport, I swear we checked for that several times. You don’t want to be stuck someplace without your identification. Word of advice if you decide to leave make sure you leave early and not late like we did. We ended up leaving around 8 because of work and we were chugging coffee making sure to stay awake. I suggest leaving around 12 so you can make it there within a reasonable time. It’s also good to have two strong drivers. In our group it was my husband and my brother’s girlfriend they had designated times so no one got too tired or burnt out while driving. Once we finally arrived at Kitchener (it took us about 7 and a half hours only because we stopped a couple times) we were so ready for a good night’s sleep. However, the drive really wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be especially heading to a different country.
We stayed for approximately 3 days. We left Wednesday night and officially arrived in Kitchener early Thursday morning. We had the absolute privilege to stay at The Walper Hotel located in Kitchener-Waterloo area. Fun fact, this hotel was built in 1893 and has a rich culture and history. This colorful and beautifully designed hotel has a collision of contemporary style and timeless elegance. Everything inside the hotel is intricately done and picked to inspire. I loved the hotel because of its rich history behind it. I learned that Eleanor Roosevelt stayed at the hotel and had a preferred breakfast location there it which solidifies that everything behind this hotel has an interesting story behind it.
I love a great aesthetic and we all know that color is my forte. I was obsessed with the color schemes around the hotel. Vibrant portraits, elaborate furniture, everything smoothed together so nicely. Even the tiles on the ground are colorful and so are the decorative books on the shelves, which were one of my favorites.
Okay, I have been to a lot of hotels in my 27 years on this earth. However, this is probably the best hotel that I have ever stayed at. Between the great service, clean and fresh rooms, and interesting art I was so pleased to stay here. The room was one of my favorites because it created such a quaint atmosphere.
When you first walk into the room you are greeted with a feeling of comfort and you can tell that everything inside the room has been carefully planned and designed. Each of the rooms my friend and I stayed in had custom furnishings and distinctive wall murals which we all know that I am a huge fan of! In fact, I travel around Chicago always trying to find murals so the fact that our hotel room had one made me such a huge fan! I loved the little details put in our room, like the Skoah lotion and shampoo and conditioner. To the beautiful all natural, vegan, hand crafted soap. I also was a huge fan of the personalized post it note that was left for us in our bathroom, it shows that everyone at this hotel appreciates their guests and want them to feel like they are apart of their family.
So, we all know that I am a huge coffee drinker, (even my husband survives off coffee these days) so we were pumped to see the personal coffee roaster. The coffee was amazing, fresh, and filled with a blast of flavor.
The second thing I thrive off is a good glass of wine and let me tell you their bar did not disappoint. Remember how I spoke about the beautiful décor; their bar was so gorgeous. A timeless glamour mixed with a contemporary aesthetic. What I loved about this area is you can come up there and get work done as well. They have such a great creative area with couches, tables, and décor that it was a great place, in the morning, to come up and get some blogging and writing done. Then in the evening, come back and have a nice drink.
We also got to explore one of their ballrooms. It was breath-taking, with their crystal chandeliers and rustic finish. I must admit my husband and I had a Beauty and the Beast moment and had to waltz around the ballroom. It would be such a great place for a wedding, social event, or even a birthday party!
They also have a cute little breakfast lounge that procures delicious breakfast selections. I personally was obsessed with the avocado toast, it was garnished well, and had just the right amount of seasoning. A light healthy breakfast that can help quick start your morning. My husband had the continental breakfast which consisted of yogurt, pastries, and toast with butter. My friend Julie got the parfait with fresh berries and Greek yogurt.
Overall, if you are looking for a hotel that is sophisticated, glamorous, and overall superb you need to stay at The Walper Hotel. It’s the perfect hotel away from home. Although it’s located it Kitchener it’s not too far from Toronto, so you can get the best of both worlds.
Half of the trip was dedicated to my brother because it was his birthday on the 3rd. We asked him the one thing he wanted to do while visiting Canada. He said that he wanted to at least see a baseball game. Luckily, the Boston Red Sox were playing the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday evening so we made sure to drive to Toronto, do some sight-seeing, and attended the game. It’s so interesting to witness a baseball game in a different way. The Rogers Centre has such a great amount of food, drinks, and a retractable sky dome. We had so much fun cheering on both teams, even though they weren’t our own, and meeting some amazing people. If you are a huge baseball fan I suggest visiting a different baseball field when you travel, it’s always so interesting to immerse yourself in different tradition and culture.
Another fun thing we did was try a couple of outdoor bars. I love patio season in Chicago and sadly our weather hasn’t allowed us to do it much. However, the weather in Canada was beautiful not a rain drop or cloud in sight. One of my favorite patio bars was Bobby O’Briens in Kitchener. They had large umbrellas to keep us shielded from the hot son, great staff, and an awesome sand area for volleyball. They had a volleyball net and it was so cool because after people were done eating and drinking they were engaging in some fun games. They had a great selection of beverages, food, and great company there. Also, we all know that I had to get some Poutine while I was in Canada and there’s was awesome. After eating and drinking they also have a night club, called Wax, attached to it! It’s the perfect form of entertainment.
Kitchener was such a fun place to walk around and explore. We honestly spent most of our days roaming around and enjoying the beautiful buildings and atmosphere that it had to offer. Everything seemed so close to Chicago and yet so different at the same time.
It’s such a great experience, being able to travel and see a different country especially within a matter of hours. I was so excited to do this mini trip and I highly suggest you take that time to explore too! With Canada being so close it’s the perfect place to escape for a mini getaway. Thanks for following along everyone, I hope that wanderlust spirit consumes you and you decide to take a mini vacation as well. We all work hard and sometimes can get caught up in the daily life we forget to breathe. Remember, to take the time to enjoy life, explore the world, and do what makes you happy!
Once again huge thank you and shout out to The Walper Hotel for hosting us and allowing us to be apart of their family for our getaway!
Until next time Love bugs,
Buns, Fun, and in the Sun
Being a maid of honor is probably one of the most rewarding things in your life. You get to help plan a special time for someone you are close with. Bachelorette parties are no joking matter, it's the bride's last hooray and something you shouldn't take lightly.
I am my best friend's maid of honor and I couldn't put into words how excited I was when she asked. I have known this girl since college but she's like my sister. We instantly bonded and I know that God put us in each other's path for a reason. We uplift one another, we pray for one another, and we've had some of the best times of our lives together. She was also my maid of honor and threw me a pretty big bash. Therefore, I had a lot of high shoes (or heels) to fill when she invited me to be hers.
I am not going to lie I was a bit nervous when she mentioned Scottsdale only because I didn't know much about it. When you think of Bachelorette places these places probably come to mind: Texas, Vegas, New Orleans, or Mexico.
Now that I have been to Scottsdale I recommend everyone attending at least one especially for bachelorette parties. This cute, sunny, and glorious town is just the right amount of fun and glam that you need without breaking the bank.
This post is dedicated to all the stressed brides, maid of honors, and bride tribe babes that need a decision on where to go. I am listing all the fun stuff when did in Scottsdale and why it should be your next bach destination!
Grill & Chill
One of the greatest things about Scottsdale is that it stays nice and sunny all year around. Chicago was pretty much in the '30s, and we got to escape to a beautiful oasis that was in the '70s all week. One the first full day that we arrived our lovely friend Sydney, found a great Airbnb for all us, 14 girls, to stay at. I recommend airbnb's they are awesome and you ladies can decorate however you want and basically have your own house. We decided to keep the morning pretty tame, with grilling, eating, and laying by the pool while catching up. That is what I loved about Scottsdale you get such a sense of ease there. You can create your own pace which is something I loved. We got bride tribe hats, some black bride squad bathing suits, and got to take some cute pictures by our pool.
If you want to have some good picture time with the bride I highly suggest these fun memorabilia. I still have my pictures and memories to this day from mine and the best part is that you can reuse these items for other friend's bachelorette parties!
Clubbin' to Some Tunes
Now, if you are looking for more of a club scene to do in Scottsdale I got you covered with that as well. The best part is that all the clubs (least the good ones) are within walking distance from each other in Old town. Here are some of the places I recommend going to.
The first, my favorite, is Pretty Please. What a fun and exciting club. I collabed with the GM, Justin, and he made sure to make our time there extremely special. Not only was the club nice, great seating, and music, but everyone was so keen to help and be friendly. I don't know about the clubs where you are from, but, here in Chicago that rarely happens. Therefore, it was so refreshing to have such kind people take care of us. I would give this place 10 stars out of 5 because of how nice this club was. It's perfect for that bachelorette experience and I HIGHLY recommend checking this out if you go to Scottsdale or if you live there.
The Maya is another great club. Unfortunately, we didn't get to go there but I have heard great things about it. We love doing pool parties in the afternoon but most of the pools were closed when we visited Scottsdale. I learned a lot of them don't open up till the end of March into April. However, if you do decide to go after then I recommend checking out their pool parties. Who wouldn't like dancing to music, by the pool, with a drink in hand? Am I right?
On Saturday we ended up going to 3 Wisemen which definitely has more of a dive bar feel. It was pretty crowded with no dancing towards the beginning when we arrived due to a boxing match that was occurring. Once that crowd cleared out people started to dance and the vibe changed a bit. Not as fancy as the other two but it's an option if you like more of the calmer, bar, type of atmosphere.
Riot House is also a fun club that we went to towards the end of the night. It was nice to be able to simply walk from place to place as opposed to ordering a Lyft everywhere if we wanted to try different places.
Bride Tribe Outings
The club may not be your tribe's thing and I get it totally not for everyone. If you want some equally as fun but a bit more tame these two fun outings will be for you!
The first is the Arizona Party Bike. Such a fun idea and great girl bonding time. We got to be on this peddle bike, which I have never done before, drink, play music, and go to a bunch of bars within the area. Did I mention there's discounts you get with these bars you visit? Super fun and a great way to just have a great time. You can even DJ with an aux cord and belt our your own music. It's nice because you can buy your own drinks and bring them with you and people get to see you on these peddle bikes, laughing and having fun, while they're cheering and honking in glee. It's such a cool and exciting experience.
Now, if you don't want to do the whole drinking thing at all I recommend some of the great wildlife that Scottsdale has to offer. During our last day there we walked around and looked in some shops. We also had the chance to go to the Desert Botanical garden. You get to see such breath-taking views, glorious wildlife, and bask in the beauty nature has to offer. My favorite part was going inside of a butterfly exhibit where they flew free and you got to see them so alive and happy. This makes a great place for pictures as well because the scenery is so amazing.
I know that planning bachelorette parties can be a bit stressful and overwhelming but the most important thing is to make sure the BRIDE is happy. If you are in her tribe, or her maid of honor, chances are she trusts and knows you. You also know her to customize that trip to be about her and what will make her happy because these memories will be with her for the rest of her life. It is important to have fun, don't stress, and enjoy your fun bachelorette weekend because ultimately that is what they are all about. I hope these fun ideas will help you especially if you choose Scottsdale as your go-to- place!
To Natalie, the beautiful Bride, I love you so much! I hope you enjoyed your weekend getaway because you deserve the best. I feel honored to be sharing these precious moments with you. Love you booboo.
Thanks again for reading everyone happy HUMP Day!
Until next time,
Perfect Girls Getaway Weekend!
Ice Ice Baby
Hey loves and happy Monday. I am so excited to share this fantastic girls weekend that my friends and I got to experience this past weekend. One, it's always nice to spend some time with the girls. Two, there's nothing like getting away for a bit and exploring. Normally, I am always prone to putting on my adventurer hat and navigating through some unknown terrain. That can always be fun and exciting but there's nothing better than staying close to home and visiting some places that are literally in your back yard. Wisconsin has some great things to offer and Lake Geneva itself was the cutest little town I have ever seen. Not only were the people extremely friendly, smiling to my friends and me, super polite, but they treated us oddly like a distant member of the family everywhere we went.
I was so excited to get to attend the Ice Castles on Saturday. For some reason, Elsa, breaking out into 'Let it Go' rang through my head the entire time. This place was fantastic literally a winter wonderland to behold. My friends and I, of course, got to see first hand this winter phenomenon.
Normally, when you drive rather far you worry about parking but luckily there was easy meter parking not too far from where we needed to go. Chicago can struggle to find parking then having to pay for the meters but we were pleasantly surprised that it was during the off season so we didn't have to pay for parking (was seriously doing a happy dance in my head).
The outside of the Ice castle is amazing but the inside is even more intricate and interesting. I felt like such a little explorer in my safety had and gear for my shoes. Word of advice ladies you can be cute and NOT wear heeled boots. My friends all got the memo but apparently, I didn't. Although I didn't fall (yeah me) I still recommend bringing some snow or rain boots so you can be comfortable. This place is literally an Instagram heaven because there are so many cool places that you can take pictures at. My friends and I couldn't stay still because we were running about trying to take so many interesting photos of this winter wonderland.
It was such a fun girls activity but it could be for families and significant others as well. In fact, after doing some googling I saw that a couple even got engaged there. Get ready for pictures ladies you never know when the BIG moment can happen.
Overall, I really enjoyed this maze of crystal and ice such a beautiful gem that Lake Geneva has to offer. I recommend you all checking it out besides, it's not every day you get to frolic around a real-life ice castle.
Harboring Great Feelings for Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva
After getting some yummy late lunch at Popeyes, no not the chicken chain your thinking, something way different. My friends and I were lucky to have the opportunity to stay at the Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva. One, this place is literally so close to the Ice Castles maybe only a couple minutes away. Two, it is the cutest and friendliest hotel I have ever been in. The receptionist that checked us in was so friendly and I was surprised to find such a sweet welcome letter in our room, along with a bottle of wine, when we entered our room. I was obsessed with the elegant spacious room that we got to stay in. We booked the double bed which was so comfortable. It was like sleeping on clouds. Our room also had a beautiful little deck where we could overlook some of the lake. I appreciated the small things in life that make you feel like you're in a home away from home. Our room had a nice little fridge and what felt like a small kitchen area, my Chicago condo isn't the biggest, but it gets the work done and that's the feelings that I felt while staying here.
If you are looking for a nice little getaway I highly recommend heading down to Lake Geneva and visiting this Ice Castles. It was such a beautiful and fun experience. Now, make it like a staycation and be sure to check out the wonderful Harbor Shores you won't be disappointed. Thanks so much again for reading guys! I hope you all are enjoying the start of your week! Until next time.
Disneyland Hong Kong
A Place of Dreams and Fairytales
Hey guys and happy Wednesday! For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am a HUGE Disney nerd. I was that kid that would sit in front of the television and watch and recite "The Little Mermaid" backward and forwards. I loved the Disney princesses and their stories, dreams, and fantasies of far off lands and dashing princes shaped who I am today. That piece of myself, the innate ideal of fairytales and being a hopeless romantic is something so real to me. Therefore, whenever I get to be apart of the Disney magic I take it. I was so excited to get the opportunity to visit not only Disneyland in Hong Kong but stay at the wonderful Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
One of the first things we did when we got to Disneyland was I had to buy this flashy pink ears. I mean c'mon guys, it was pink, glittery, and super flashy it was a no brainer. After I got my ears my husband and I decided to walk around the park and take a look at all the beautiful architecture. I suggest getting a map of the park just so you can know where you want to start heading. I have never been to Disneyland in California so I cannot compare the two. However, the park seemed a lot bigger than it actually was ( fun fact I think we walked around the entire park twice). One of the first things you're greeted with is the beautiful Disney Castle which brought back the five-year-old little girl in me. Fun story, my first trip (that I remember) was to Disney World. I was literally obsessed with Aladdin I thought we were going to get married. When I went to Disney with my family I almost fainted when I saw Mr. tall dark and handsome himself in the flesh. My mom said I literally got red-faced, stuttered, and kept saying I would faint. There's a picture of us together him kissing my hand and I looking straight up terrified somewhere in a family album. Unfortunately, I didn't run into him again but being back in this magical place of wonder brought back those lovely memories of being a carefree child. Sometimes, you need a bit of magic in the world and Disneyland was that for me.
The first ride we got to go on was the Iron Man ride. It was super cool CGI and 3D glasses. One of those rides where it immerses you in the video even though you're simply moving around in a circle the entire time. Of course, it was quite crowded that day but being able to see the ride, despite waiting for an hour, was still worth the wait.
We were lucky to get a little flash pass because we stayed at the resort. So we could use one ticket on a ride and basically walk inside without waiting in lines. We used it on the one with like a two-hour wait time it honestly came in handy.
After walking for quite some time my husband knew he HAD to get his favorite thing in the entire world, a turkey leg. I cannot tell you how excited this man was to eat that turkey leg. We went to Universal Studios a couple years ago, he tried one, and simply couldn't stop talking about it. He even tried to copy the recipe several times at home insisting nothing tastes like the trademark one that Disney has. Once we both had finished our turkey legs (yes I needed my own was feeling like a gorge day) we watched one of the awesome parade displays. They had a lot of Disney characters marching in the parade but sadly no Disney princesses.
There was one princess I was super excited and hoped to see. That is my favorite of course Ariel. We waited in line but sadly she went on break before I could meet her (who knew mermaids needed breaks right ha-ha). I had even worn my awesome 'save the mermaids' shirt with my denim mini skirt. Alas, I didn't get to meet Ariel and there weren't too many Disney princesses that I could see. I was excited towards the end to meet Moana! She never broke character and was refreshing to interact with. I think my husband forgot which princess she was and for some reason couldn't understand why she kept asking us if we loved the sea so much.
Disneyland Hong Kong Resort
After a long day of pursing around the park, we were so excited to get back to our resort. The rooms inside were so adorable and cute. They had Disney memorabilia and pictures everyone. I have never stayed in such a comfortable and clean room before in my life. The staff was social and kind to all of our needs. I really did feel like a princess when I stayed with them.
That night we ate at the Walt Restaurant. It was elegantly decorated and the menu had awesome information about Walt Disney. The food, staff, and overall experience were awesome. I am a huge seafood fan, so I opted for the lobster tail. It was to die for, large enough, juicy, and an abundance of flavor!
I have never slept and ate so well in a hotel before in my life. If you decide to venture to Hong Kong and go to Disneyland I HIGHLY recommend staying here!
Overall, this was probably one of my favorite things that I did in Hong Kong. Just being able to get those old feelings from childhood made me happy. I feel like there's never enough time for magic in the world, but when you add a bit of faith, trust, and a sprinkle of pixie dust, the world seems a bit more whimsical. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post! I hope it helped you if you ever decide to travel here. Until next time loves.
My Hong Kong Travel Guide
I'm CHINA tell you why to go to Hong Kong
I cannot express the excitement of being able to go to Hong Kong. It has been one of the most exciting places that I have ever visited. Now, I am not going to lie, I like to keep it real. When first allowed this opportunity I didn't know how I felt about it. Don't get me wrong, I love traveling, but I am so used to seeing places like Paris, Rome, or tropical oases like the Maldives. I was ignorant of the fact that Hong Kong, in its own right, is just as beautiful and magical. After doing a bit of research and talking to my lovely friend Caroline,(who has another great guide on her blog) I was super excited to visit this beautiful place and possibly shed some light on how fantastic it is! I am so excited to be able to show you just a small bit of Hong Kong and tell you all about my experience with this city where the night shines.
My husband and I are huge thrill seekers. Whenever we travel we like to see the place for everything they have to offer. After doing some research I knew that I wanted to check out Victoria's peak, which has some breath-taking views overlooking Hong Kong. Now, I am going to be real with you getting there took quite a bit of time, only because we didn't know that there were other ways to get up to Victoria's Peak. We waited for about 2 hours in line simply to buy tickets. However, we went during Chinese Lunar New Year one of the busiest times. Afterward, we found out that you could simply hike up the trail (all my athletic followers where you at!) or take bus 15c from Central Pier 8. We ended up taking the Peak Tram and honestly, it was worth the wait. Once we arrived at the Peak Tower, which was like my heaven, offering shops and restaurants, I forgot about all the lines that we had to wait in. You could basically see all of Hong Kong through the glass windows because you're super high up, about 396 meters above sea level. I cannot even begin to tell you about the view outside. There's something so humbling when you get to experience sights like these. It makes you appreciate life and the beauty that God created. It makes you take those small moments to breathe, appreciate the beauty, and realize how truly lucky you are.
Like I mentioned above there are different restaurants that you can eat in. We decided to go with Bubba Gump Shrimp. Now, before you roll your eyes with our mundane choice I have to say this: one, I love seafood, and two, this restaurant had some of the best views we could enjoy while eating. I know it's a chain restaurant that I could eat here but it was so amazing to eat some of my favorite seafood and bask in the beautiful view that Victoria's Peak had to offer.
If you ever decide to visit Hong Kong I HIGHLY recommend going here and seeing such amazing sights.
The Flower Market & Lunar Parade
it is no secret that I am obsessed with color and one of the things I loved about Hong Kong was its colorful atmosphere. I was so excited to visit the Flower Market because, one, I am a sucker for flowers, and two I had googled how beautiful and colorful the markets can be. We took the train to get to the market and it was like a rainbow coming to life. Everywhere I turned I could see colors of fuschia, yellow, and coral.
This beautiful market is literally an oasis of color featuring exotic scents and unique cultural foods that you wouldn't want to miss while visiting. Basically, there are a bunch of shops and wholesalers that come out and sell their beautiful flowers, you can also get a house-plant to bring you luck. Families come to these markets and meticulously select these flowers or greenery to bring good fortune as the new year cycle begins.
Something you guys may not know about me is that my husband and I are huge when it comes to learning about new cultures. He even studied anthropology in college. It was such a beautiful thing to see families do this tradition together and it brought me back to the times when I was young, implementing my own traditions with my family. There is something so tender and beautiful about that.
Of course, I wanted to partake in this lovely tradition, plus, I will never say no to good luck and fortune. Therefore, my husband got me some beautiful lilac and pink flowers that kept a smile on my face all day.
We also got to try some local street food which was quite interesting. He insisted I try some fish balls. Now, the name can be quite daunting, and don't get me wrong I am a baby when it comes to trying new foods. However, I wanted to put my big girl pants on and give it a try. It wasn't bad, just different. They're made with fish paste and either boiled in a soupy broth or fried. I always say try something new, so if you like curry flavor or unique experiences I say give this a try.
That night we got to experience the Lunar New Year Parade and it was absolutely phenomenal. So many bright colors and such an amazing performance. Warning, if you don't like crowds this may not be the place for you. We were basically person to person, think of the Macys Parade but even bigger and tighter. However, it's such a beautiful experience I would recommend going.
Choi Hung Estates
Okay, we all know that I am a sucker for the gram. One of my favorite things about traveling is capturing that moment within a photo because I know I will remember it forever. My husband loves to joke that he never had photos before me (which is true). Therefore, when I was doing some research about beautiful places in Hong Kong I found out about these rainbow colored apartments that I was dying to visit. So an interesting fact is that Choi Hung means 'rainbow' in Cantonese. I didn't know that until of course afterward, but it all makes sense because these beautiful buildings all look like rainbows. It's like a hit to your senses as soon as you walk out of the subway station and see all the beautiful iridescent architecture. Now, this place is a bit hard to find, especially if you're not local. Also, my husband and I looked like silly tourists because we were literally on our phones trying to utilize our GPS the entire time. Sometimes, our phones wouldn't even work so we'd aimlessly wander until we happened to stumble across our location. Luckily, I will help you out if you do decide to visit this lovely place. You take the subway to Choi Hung, take the c4 exit and turn left when you pass the underground tunnel. Make sure to look our for staircase number 4 and take the stairs up to the top of the car park. You know you're heading in the right direction when you see the basketball courts.
This place is so beautiful and is a perfect spot for Instagram pictures. In fact, I saw not only tourists walking around but even people that lived there posing and taking pictures. We even spoke to someone that lived there and talked about how beautiful her home is.
Another fun fact is that my husband does business in China due to his job. He even has friends that he worked with that ended up moving there. We wanted to make sure that we meet up with them and were thrilled when they asked us to meet them in Macau. We took an awesome ferry, across the ocean, to what I like to call the 'Vegas' of China. I say this because it is notoriously known for its casino scene. So, if you like to gamble this is the place for you.
While going here we got to meet up with some old friends and meet their son, who was in his mom's stomach, the last time I saw them. It was so amazing to see this little cutie already 8 months old. They suggested an awesome Michelin star restaurant called A Lorcha, which had a lot of delicious Portuguese cuisine. The line was outside the door, which is normally a good sign, we were lucky to even get a table thanks to our friends who made a reservation.
Afterward stuffing our face with food we all decided we needed a nice little walk. My husband is a history buff so he wanted to view the Ruins of St. Paul. This is stands adjacent to the Mount Fortress and the Macau Museum, it's like going back in time in history which was super interesting. We got to climb the fortress and see the beautiful views of Macau, I think my husband had the most fun here because he loves history and he got to witness it first hand. Plus, he got to see a cool old canon and it brought back his love of watching old medieval war movies.
We only spent one day in Macau but it was such a cool experience to witness another place in China. If you have some extra time and want to get out of Hong Kong for a bit, this place isn't too far, plus it can be done within one day.
Man Mo Temple
There are so many beautiful temples in Hong Kong but we only got to visit Man Mo Temple. This beautiful picturesque place pays tribute to the God of Literature and the God of war. It was built all the way in 1847 and it is the largest Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong which is pretty neat. I loved it's colorful red and yellow decor that seemed to bring out this calm within me. We noticed a lot of people paying tribute by lighting incense and saying their own silent prayers. It was a peaceful moment to reflect and really take in this tranquil temple.
There is so much that I can continue to say about Hong Kong. It was such a magical place and I feel so blessed to be able to travel so far around the world. It's a stunning place for rich culture, amazing foods, and an abundance of color. If you ever get the chance, you should visit because it is unlike any other place I have been! We also went to Disneyland in Hong Kong but I will tell you about my experience in another post. Thank you guys so much again for reading I hope that this was helpful if you are choosing to travel abroad. Have a great day!
Until next time,
NYC The City That Never Sleeps
NYC: Quick and Easy Things to Do
NYC can be such a magical place, whether you are there for a week or just passing through (as I was after leaving Bermuda). No matter where you go there is always this undisclosed pressure of trying to fit everything into one day. I don’t know about you guys but I always find myself panicking becoming engulfed in all the things that I wish to do, not settling down, and being appreciative of the atmosphere itself. I know many other people like that and it sort of inspired this article. I wanted to tell you the quick and simple things that we did in New York while spending an approximate amount of three hours there.
We were lucky to have people drive us there and they dropped us off directly in the heart of Time Square. It’s no secret that I am a actress and there’s something so magical about being immersed in ads, theatrical productions, and people all around the world. if you want something free to do and very touristy then I suggest going to time square. Now, my warning to you do NOT take pictures with the people in costumes there. Sure, they may seem overly friendly, maybe even dressed like your favorite superhero (I wanted to desperately take a picture with Spider-Man) however everything there comes at a cost. I went to NYC a couple years ago and learned that the hard way. I was quite confused that I had to pay the person dressed as Spongebob after taking a notorious selfie with him.
You will also be approached, at least twenty times, by someone offering to tour you around the city,promising to show you all the good spots of NYC. Now, if that is something you are into, seeing the city through tour, perhaps this is something for you. My parents were approached the minute they stepped out of the car and the tour bus was more their speed.I am not bashing it by any means, everyone travels differently, and if that’s your thing go for it. However, I am more of a up close and personal type of person. I want to actually be on foot, set my own pace, and make sure I miss nothing.
After experiencing time square my friends and I walked to Grand Central station partly because I see it so much on film and on TV that I wanted to witness it myself. I think one of the reasons that I like NYC so much is because we see it so much on small rectangular screens, it’s something surreal to witness its beauty in person.
Now, if we had a bit more time I would’ve loved to see the Statue of Liberty. However, because we had a couple of hours, and this post is dedicated to touring NYC quickly, we won’t get into that.
Now, if you’re looking to eat in NYC and are trying to stay under budget doing street vendors is the best choice. My friends ended up getting a quick hotdog and it was only 3.00! I am not a huge hot dog person but even I have to admit that the hot dog I tried was pretty darn good. However, after awhile combined with copious amounts of walking, hot dogs didn’t seem to cut it. We ended up stopping at a cute little hole in the wall Chinese place called Szechuan Gourmet which is located in Midtown West. I truly loved this place because it has so many authentic dishes to choose from. Don’t get me wrong I can always go for a sweet and sour chicken, but if you’re looking for that and more this place is perfect for you. The restaurant offers different traditional Szechuan dishes, that are flavorful, juicy and crispy, making your mouth water as soon as it hits your taste buds.
One of the other things I enjoyed was all the vendors you could witness as you walk down the streets of NYC. There were so many places that you could buy small trinkets of jewelry, like bracelets and rings, along with articles of clothing. I have an obsession with buying hoodies every place I visit, it’s crazy, I know, but I ended up finding this super cute lilac colored hoodie for under 30.00! Of course my haggling skills came into play but I ended up using my street charm to get it for about 25.00. Speaking of clothing, I decided on comfort because I knew I would be doing a lot of walking. This beautiful colorful striped dress is from Forever 21! Not only did I feel like a 20’s movie star in this long flowing dress but it was nice for the extremely hot weather as well.
As your hours slowly tick by and you find yourself having to leave, a great way to get by is the subway. I loved it because it’s easy to navigate and reminds me a lot of Chicago’s subway system. Not only is in inexpensive but its pretty prominent throughout the city taking you to all the places that you need to go.
Overall, NYC is such a beautiful place to visit filled with so much culture, history, and amazing architecture. I recommend anyone taking the time to visit for at least a couple days. However, if you do find yourself having some time to kill, either between flights, or just between hotels, I hope this post will be beneficial to you. Remember, breathe and take the time to relish that you are in a beautiful new place, sometimes, that is enough!
Until next time!
Bermuda day 2
Take My Hand to Hamilton
Hey loves, I am so sorry it took me so long to update about my Bermuda trip. Not only did I have a crazy week (who knew unpacking and getting your life back together could take so long) but I had some wonderful friends come in to visit as well. Therefore, I spent most of my time socializing and going out with them.
Never the less, I wanted to write the post I promised which is about my second favorite place in Bermuda, the lovely town of Hamilton! Not only is this place full with awesome shops and restaurants but similar to St. George, it's like you're transformed into a whole new world. My favorite attribute that Hamilton seems to have is the colorful housing. As you walk through the streets you cannot help but stare, in awe, of the vast pastel colored buildings and shops that seem to go on for days, which, we all know is a shoppers wildest dream.
Unfortunately, we went to Hamilton during one of the biggest times of the year, the cup match, therefore a lot of the shops were sadly closed. I have never seen such dedication to a sport, it seemed like a ghost town, as we walked through the ancient architecture and brick grounds. The whole city is like something you've read about in old romance novels and you cannot help but fall in love with it's timeless beauty.
For all you Game of Thrones fans I couldn't help but dress in what seemed to look like ancient garb, in a wrap dress, from Urban Outfitters. It reminded me a bit of something Daenerys would wear in fact while we were walking we heard someone chant mother of dragons to us, kind of made me feel a bit excited. (The nerd in me loved it)
Due to it being the Cup Match we didn't get to eat or go to a lot of places because most places were closed. However, my group and I have a weird obsessions of eating fast food in different countries. When I went to Ireland a year ago I had the McDonalds there which was drastically different then here. Of course we had to continue our tradition and we luckily found a KFC, one of the only fast food places on the island, and luckily it was open. Their menu and pricing is way different then here in America. I really enjoyed the Hawaiian burger which has a phenomenal sauce. For all you picky eaters out there (my brother is one) some of the items still stay the same. So if you're feeling a bit home-sick and want to have a reminder of the states there's always little fast food gems you can find on the island.
I truly love traveling because there is nothing like taking a step back, enjoying someplace new, and experiencing different lands. You don't feel as fulfilled unless you look through life from a different lens. Bermuda was seriously a dream and I recommend anyone who has a taste for adventure to go.
I am looking forward to hopefully returning there one day. I finish off this post with a quote: "Where ever you go becomes a part of you somehow" Anita Desai-
Bermuda has left a piece of itself inside of my heart. I will always have a love for its beautiful rose gold beaches, endless days of sunshine, and a culture that makes a home inside of your heart.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about my Bermudan travels. I hope these posts have inspired you to take that next step and hopefully get to witness it for yourself!
Until next time.
Bermuda: The Place of Wonders
Come Sail Away With Me!
Hello loves, it's been awhile since I have updated this blog. As you all know I was away for a magical week in Bermuda. First, I want to apologize a head of time for the amount of pictures that will flood your feed for the next week, because most of my posting and pictures will be dedicated to the lovely Bermuda!
There is so much to talk about, between the culture, the beaches, and the overall experience, that I will be breaking down everything into two posts talking about the top places that I had the privilege to visit.
Bermuda is the place of dreams. I have always been a colorful person, as you all know, incorporating blasts of color into my everyday life. Bermuda seems to also live by this motto. Everything is colorful there, in fact, the first place I visited, St. George, had so many colorful houses that I feel like I stepped into a rainbow. Pastels flooded my eyes, and it made me feel so happy to feel immersed in such beautiful scenic atmosphere.
Did I mention how crystal clear the water is? I have never seen such beautiful teal, and baby blue, in my entire life. I could basically see right through the ocean and it made me think of something from a fairy-tale. (Think Ariel was down there watching?)
I have stated before that I love century old style, in fact, I find the 18 and 1900's to be such a beautiful and romantic time. Therefore, I loved the colonial inspired architecture that St. George has. As you walk through the century old brick streets you cannot help but feel like you're whisked back in time, to a point where life seemed much more simple. I could feel the wind whip through my hair, smell the fresh sea water, and experience such a friendly culture. Everyone seems to beat by a different drum in Bermuda. The people are so welcoming, kind, and eager to help if you seem lost. In fact, while I was walking with my group I had several people ask me if I needed anything. It was almost weird to me, someone being that friendly without an incentive. I soon realized that the people there are just normally social and are open to speak with people they haven't seen before. I admire their way of life, I wish more people would adopt that in Chicago and around the world.
The food is also amazing, we got the privilege to try rum cakes, which sounds exactly like what it is. Do not be fooled, rum cakes are not what you think, and they're not for children (we were constantly told that there.) In fact, they are soaked in rum and can come in different flavors, my personal favorite being the banana cake.
I am a sucker for fish n chips, especially if they are done right. We went to a cute little pub called Whitehorse where they served local drinks, like the dark and stormy and the rum-swizzle which were amazing.
The night life was also amazing as we headed back to the dockyard. We ended up spending the rest of our night at a local beach that had a dance floor. I am a sucker for great music, tropical drinks, and dancing in the sand. That is exactly what we did the entire night. I swear Bermuda makes the days seem longer, as the pink sand tickles you toes, the wind caresses your skin, and the sun kisses you with its vibrant light.
My fashion seemed to take a tropical turn as well as I walked along the bricked paved streets. I knew it would be pretty darn hot and I'm surprised I didn't look like a frizzy mess. However, the heat wasn't too bad and I tried to dress as airy as possible. This outfit, both top and skirt, are from Forever 21. I loved the tropical pink crop top and I think it paired perfectly with the yellow flowing skirt. Not only did it feel quite nice, allowing perfect air flow, but it also seemed to blend in with all the colorful scenery around me.
If you are traveling to Bermuda I recommend wearing something colorful it will blend so nicely in pictures. Dresses, shorts, and crop tops will give you that nice breeze that you need for the tropical weather.
I am so glad you guys took the time to read about my Bermuda experience! Remember, I will be talking about my second favorite experience and will be posting another spread about that on Friday! Until then, enjoy yourselves and have a great day!
Somewhere Beyond the Sea
Hey loves and happy Saturday! I know that normally posting on a Saturday is not something I normally do. However, I wanted to do a quick update and let those of you know that I will be out of town. Yes, it has been long overdo for a vacation and I am excited to say that I am going to the beautiful country of Bermuda.
I've always been a city girl at heart but sometimes it's so nice to pack your bags and escape the bustle for a bit. I have always been a fan of sandy beaches, tropical drinks, and warm climates so Bermuda is definitely going to be a dream.
I had to show off this beautiful Lily Bloom suitcase that oozes the tropical theme! I was so excited to get this lovely 20 inch suitcase for under 100.00! I recommend going to TJ Maxx they had great suitcases there for a reasonable price. I thought that 20 inches wouldn't be enough, especially because I pack a bunch of things. However, I was surprised that most of my items fit inside the suitcase (granted I had to sit on it a couple times to close it).
I realized that this maybe my last post for a bit because we may or may not have internet there. I want this to be something I enjoy, therefore, I maybe shutting off reality for a bit and truly enjoying the beautiful culture, design, and beach around me.
However, before I leave for the tedious track to Bermuda I wanted to share with you my top 3 items that I MUST have while traveling. It can be annoying sleeping on a plane, or taking that long trek to get to where you need to go. Fret not I am listing three items that will make your journey more pleasant.
I am a huge reader but sometimes I feel like I don't have the time to simply sit back and enjoy reading. However, whenever I go on vacation, I make sure to bring all the books and magazines that I have been dying to read with me. It's the perfect time to put your feet up, get a nice cup of warm tea, and read until your eyes hurt from looking at the pages. I have to admit I am a sucker for celebrity magazines, especially ones dishing about Meghan Markle and the royal family. I am completely transfixed within the story so you will definitely see me nose deep in a book or magazine in the airport and plane. I love reading books as well and I recommend everyone reading this amazing book, by Nicola Yoon, called Everything Everything. It's a light-hearted read with a roar of a lion, completely hitting you in all the emotional ways. I adored this book, it's quite close to my heart, so I maybe reading it again this trip.
The Neck Pillow & Blanket
I don't know about you guys but I have to have my neck pillow and blanket on a plane. I cannot sleep, what so ever, if I don't have something supporting my neck. Also, we have to admit that those planes can get extremely cold so you have to have your blanket on backup in case your legs and arms are freezing. I know some people will think I am crazy but I love the way the plane moves it's almost rocking me to sleep. Therefore, having my blanket and pillow is the perfect combination especially if you're taking a night flight and need to get that extra shed-eye.
One of the most important things is to have your music playlists ready for the flight. I cannot go a day without listening to some type of music. Therefore, I have already downloaded (which is important especially if you don't have wifi and need to play on airplane mode) my entire airplane playlist so I am ready to go and listen to music. Normally the steps I take is getting on the plane, reading my book, getting my cover and pillow, then playing some music until I fall asleep. It's literally the perfect combination. Recently, I have been obsessed with the new Drake album so that will for sure be on my top playlist for the trip to Bermuda. What new songs are you currently listening too? I'd love to add them to my playlist!
Now, this will be my last post until I return on the 8th of August. I know it seems like such a long time but I promise once I do I will have so many stories and pictures to share with you all. Almost to the point where you may or may not want to kill me. It's going to be weird not updating this blog but I think we all need a bit of a break for awhile.
Comment below or IG message me your favorite traveling tips! Also book recommendations and song ones as well are always nice! Until I see you all in August!
Thanks again for reading you mean the world to me!