Friday Favorites – Summer Can You Hear Me?

Anyone else feel like this was the longest winter of their LIFE? I’m a summer lovin’, flip-flop wearing, beach days and sunshine girl! Summer is by far my favorite season. With the warm weather FINALLY making an appearance it seems like summer may actually be on its way. Without further ado…. my favorite things about summer.

ONE. I am lucky enough to live a short drive from the beach. The beach is my happy place, and I am looking forward to many weekends spent by the water this summer.

 

TWO. Wearing allll the summer things. I do not like winter clothes. Never have, probably never will. Give me all the bright colors and flip flops.

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romper / top / dress / bikini / sandals / earrings / sandals / straw bag / earrings

THREE. With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer I look forward to long walks through the neighborhood to wind down the day. It so nice to be able to de-stress, spend some time outside, and get in some extra exercise. Win, win.

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FOUR. Besides weekends at the beach I have a few trips already planned this summer. I always look forward to summer vacations when the weather turns warm. I’m excited to share all our summer travels with you!

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FIVE. My final favorite thing about summer is being able to have cocktails outside on a patio, roof top, beach, or porch. I have been very into the Aperol Spritz since the weather turned warm. It tastes better with a side of sunshine. What’s you favorite summer cocktail?

 

#WanderlustWednesday

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Sunset Beach, St. Maarten

#chasingsunsets #watchingairplanes

  • Every time I hear this song on the radio I think of sitting on Sunset Beach watching the planes land at SXM
  • Would you go on the worlds longest cruise? 254 days. I. Would. Not.
  • Pack your bags and head for Alabama to check out America’s best restaurant. The James Beard Foundation annual awards were announced Monday. Check out all the other winners.
  • The most epic road trip.
  • Learn to shop like a royal.
  • Add these rainbow mountains to the bucket list.

 

Road Tripping from Vegas to the Grand Canyon

I have wanted to see the Grand Canyon for as long as I can remember. When people talk about it, they always seem to be in such awe of what they have seen. I got the chance to go on a road trip from Vegas to the Grand Canyon with my aunt for her birthday, and it was everything people said it would be. We flew into Vegas, spent five nights in different hotels each night and saw some truly beautiful sights.

The trip started off when we landed in Vegas just in time to make it to see the Cher concert that we had tickets to. Everyone was all, we’re gonna miss Cher, and I’m all but we can’t skip dinner. So I started my trip to Vegas shoving airport Burger King in my face as we waited at the carousel for our bags. We got in an Uber and headed to the Monte Carlo, where we were also staying the night, passed our bags off to the front desk (I did a quick outfit change in the hotel lobby bathroom) and headed for the show. To be honest, I am not a huge Cher fan so I had no idea what to expect. It was a great show! Even if you weren’t into the music, the costumes, the hair, the scenery…it was all something to see. I was blown away by the fact that she is over 70 years old still putting on such a huge show and her costumes and hair are unreal. She changes so many times during the show and SO quickly. I was so impressed by that. We walked around Vegas a bit after the show and took it all in. This was my second time going to Vegas and it is still such an overwhelming place to me, I can’t decide if I like it there or hate it there! Have you been? What do you think?

We got up the next morning and had the typical Vegas hotel buffet breakfast where we ate ALL the things. We headed back to the airport and picked up our rental car and our road trip was officially underway. We headed south to make our first stop at the Hoover Dam. I had never seen it before, so I was excited to check it out. It was amazing to see it, and I thought it was so cool how half of the bridge is in one time zone and the other half is in another. A new bridge over the dam was built not that long ago, which is the one in the pictures. The original bridge is now mostly for tourists to walk around on and check out the views.

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View from the old bridge over the Hoover Dam.
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Long way down!
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Nevada side of the bridge.

 

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Arizona side!

After taking in all the views of the Hoover Dam we got back in the car to head south for Sedona, AZ. What should have been a 4 hour drive basically took all day. We definitely took the scenic route. We drove part of the way down historic Route 66. It winds through small towns and Indian Reservations, and there were a lot of beautiful views. We took Route 66 into Williams, AZ for dinner. We ate a steak dinner at Rod’s Steakhouse. It was delicious. The town still looks vaguely similar to what I imagine people traveling on Route 66 in it’s heyday saw. It was a fun step back in time.

Once we finished dinner we finally made it to Sedona. We made a quick loop though town to check out the sites before checking in to our room at the Sedona Summit. It was a little ways out of town but I thought it was a really nice place. We had heard lots of talk about the Prickly Pear margaritas in Sedona, so after checking in to the room we thought we would try one at the hotel bar. Turns out they didn’t have a hotel bar, so we took the next best option and found the closest Safeway and got the ingredients and made them ourselves and sat by the pool and drank them. P.S. you can make them at home too! You’re welcome 😉

Stay tuned for our adventures in Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

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#WanderlustWednesday

Hawaiian sunsets… is there anything better?
#hawaii #sunsets #daydreams

  • May 11 is National Public Gardens Day, gardens across the country will offer free admission.
  • Searching for all things travel sized? This company might make it.
  • This is politics we can get behind….literally. Bipartisan legislation to prevent airlines seats from shrinking further.
  • Get paid to travel the US all summer and promote booze. Dream Job? I think so.
  • All your airline booking questions answered by the experts.

Friday Favorites – Must Have Travel Products

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  • This is the best lip balm of all times. It’s great for on the plane to keep your lips from drying out, but also for everyday.
  • I always pack wipes to wash my face in a hurry on trips. These are my favorite ones.
  • I have super curly hair and this is probably my favorite new purchase. I have to dry my hair with a diffuser and this one fits ALL hotel hairdryers so I don’t have to pack both anymore.
  • This is the best for refreshing your SPF on the go! It has a cooling sensation when you spray it too, which is great for hot days walking around new cities.
  • So I saw one of my favorite artist who travels a lot cleaning her airplane seat with these on Insta Stories, and I was all that is so brilliant because….gross. And now I always have them in my bag on trips.
  • I love to use trips as a time to try out new cleansers and moisturizers. I buy the smaller sizes because they are easier to pack, and I can always go back for the larger one if I really like it. I think Ulta has the best selection of small travel size products to choose from.
  • I pack everything in this bag which is nothing fancy to look at, but it holds SO much stuff, and the detachable pockets come in handy to use for other things also.

I’m heading to the beach this weekend! I am so excited that warm weather is finally here. Hope you have a great weekend!

 

#WanderlustWednesday

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Dreaming of this view today! Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge on cheap rental bikes with a bestie was such a great adventure!

#californiadreaming #goldengate #sanfran

  • Get your summer travel plans made by next week to save yourself a few dollars!
  • Which one is at the top of your bucket list? I’m dying to spend a week in an over water bungalow!
  • So what’s the story with travel to Cuba anyway?
  • Ready for the ultimate stargazing experience in the Maldives?
  • There’s still time to perfect your Coachella outfit for this year!

Friday Favorites – What I Packed for Costa Rica

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  • This is the best sunscreen ever because it stays on even in the water, it isn’t super greasy, and it smells amazing (does not make you smell like you are covered in sunscreen).
  • I loved having my big floppy hat with me to wear on the beach and by the pool. Packing hack – fill it with swimsuits, socks, and underwear and put it on the bottom of the suitcase, and pack things tightly around it to keep it from getting crushed.
  • These are my favorite beach flip flops. I have multiple pairs.
  • I searched everywhere for the perfect cutoff shorts. These are them. Costa Rica was very casual so these were perfect for almost everywhere we went.
  • I packed this backpack because it zips into a small pouch (takes up no room in your suitcase), and then you have an extra bag for adventures that require multiple changes of clothes (like our Buena Vista tour).
  • These may always be my favorite pair of sunglasses.
  • I packed an extra bag to have by the pool. It came in handy to carry stuff out to the beach, or back and forth from our room.
  • Again with the sunscreen. EVERY. SINGLE. SUNSCREEN. breaks my face out, except this. Trust me, I’ve tried a lot of them.

 

To see more about our trip to Costa Rica click here or here.

 

 

 

Costa Rica – Pura Vida

On the next day of our trip we met Jhonny bright and early in the hotel lobby to go on the Buena Vista Tour. Again, we can’t say enough nice things about Jhonny and he really made our trip, but we did not have an English speaking guide. We drove close to two hours to the area near Arenal Volcano, stopping at Llanos de Cortes waterfall on the way to check out the view. If this had been our only stop we probably would have gone in swimming, but thinking of being soaking wet in the car for the next hour or more did not seem fun so we opted for just taking a few pictures.

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Llanos De Cortes Waterfall

After checking out the waterfall Jhonny was nice enough to stop and buy us fresh coconuts from a roadside stand. It was my first time trying fresh coconut water and it was so good! When we arrived for the Buena Vista tour a guide led us down 15 hanging bridges. We opted for the bridges over ziplining because we chickened out, but I think the bridges may have been just as scary if not more. We were high in the trees and the bridges shook and jumped with every move. We did see some monkeys and other animals so that was really neat.

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Buena Vista Hanging Bridges
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Jhonny!!
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#PIMPINJOY
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. Can you see how far the ground is below?

After surviving the bridges,we changed in to swimsuits and hiked up to the top of a water slide that had been built through the forest. It was so fun, it’s pretty long (about 500 meters) and really sent us flying down the hill it was built into. Then we were served a traditional Costa Rican meal. We then met up with the cowboys who got us ready to ride horses to a volcanic spring, where we were able to swim and relax.

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This wrapped up the Buena Vista tour, and we headed back to the hotel. It was a busy and full day, but we loved having the chance to experience so many things in one place. After the two hour drive, we got back just in time to take in another beautiful sunset at the resort and order room service for dinner.

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Most of the rest of the trip was spent at the resort. We took a shuttle in to Tamarindo on our second to last day to do some shopping and eat diner. We saw what was maybe the most beautiful sunset of the trip from the beach. Seriously the sunsets in CR were unreal, watching the sun drop right into the Pacific without a cloud in sight was so amazing. We stopped in a restaurant for the best shrimp and mango ceviche and just took in the views. We enjoyed the evening in Tamarindo, but I would say we had a better experience when we went the first time during the day. There were a lot of people on the beach and the sidewalks that were selling stuff and just generally harassing tourist, we didn’t have this experience during the day light.

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We spent the final two days of the trip relaxing around the resort. Swimming in the pool, ordering food and drinks (and ice cream) by the pool, walking on the beach, and just being lazy. We went back and had dinner at Sabanero Steakhouse our last night. It was so nice to have the chance to relax and take it all in.

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All the stars!! From the pool deck at night!

Costa Rica you sure were beautiful! We can’t wait to return! Any tips or suggestions for a return trip? Leave them in the comments. If you missed the first part of our trip, find it here.

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Costa Rica – JW Marriott Guanacaste

 

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JW Marriott Guanacaste
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Relaxing at the hotel
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Hanging out poolside!

My boyfriend and I just returned from an amazing trip to Costa Rica! It was both of our first times to visit the country and we could not have loved it more. We are already dreaming of our next trip back. We stayed at the JW Marriott Gunacaste. The hotel was about an hour drive from the Liberia airport. I had booked a driver through Guanacaste Traveler after finding out about them on Instagram. Our driver was Jhonny and we thought he was GREAT, even if not at all what was promised. When I booked with them we were guaranteed an English speaking guide, and Jhonny spoke only a few words in English. He brought his daughter along to practice her English when he picked us up. I speak some Spanish so it was a good chance for me to practice my skills. We arrived late at night, so we were excited to rest up and head out for adventure on the first day. We rented a car from the onsite Avis car rental, and took the agents advice and rented a GPS as well. The roads were not in the best shape, and the streets are not marked so I’m glad we took his advice. For reference, the hotel is about six miles down a dirt road with lots of potholes from the main road. We headed in to Tamarindo to do a little shopping and check out the town. Our first stop was the grocery store to get drinks and snacks for the week. Our room had a refrigerator so we were happy to have these over the week, instead of calling for room service or going out to the pool bar and spending $8 dollars on water. The next stop was Pangas Beach Club. This was probably my favorite restaurant of the entire trip. The food was amazing, the view was great, and there were monkeys sleeping in the trees overhead.

 

 

 

 

From there we headed up the beach to Flamingo Beach, where we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the sun. We had dinner that night back in Tamarindo at Patagonia Argentinian Grill where we were lucky enough to snag the last two seats at the bar since we hadn’t made a reservation. The food here was really good and it was a cool atmosphere right in the middle of everything in Tamarindo.

The next day we spent the morning by the pool before walking up the beach to Lola’s. It was about a 40 minute walk. When we got there we rented some chairs and decided to spend most of the day there. The food at Lola’s was good, and I loved the scene there. The tables were so neat, and it was just a cool vibe.

 

 

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We walked back to the hotel after a nice day on the beach and got back in time to watch the sunset and head to dinner at Sabanero Steak House in the hotel. Usually, I am not a big fan of the restaurants in hotels, but we ate here twice. We liked it that much. We loved the Pargo (grouper carpaccio), we also loved it so much we ordered it twice. Overall, we loved staying at this hotel. It was very pretty, well kept, and the staff was very helpful. The pool was so nice, and even if there were a lot of people out it never felt crowded because it is so large. We loved watching the sunsets from the beach every night. Check back later for more on our trip.

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