All posts filed under: Travel

The Final Chapter in NOLA

Waking up on my final day in New Orleans was bittersweet. I was so thankful for the experiences I had throughout the weekend, but I was also wishing I had a few more days to pack in more hidden treasures of this city. I thought a great way to experience a lot of the city at once was by riding the famous street cars. There are three different street car lines in New Orleans. The city takes credit as being the first city west of the Allegheny Mountains in the Appalachian Mountain Range to implement passenger rail service. I explored the area through the Canal Street line which runs from the booming business district through the heart of New Orleans. Along the way you see charming villages, historic cemeteries and buildings, endless monuments and the vivacious life of the city through restaurants, bars, shops, and parades. The Saint Charles Line (which was operating with buses in place of street cars when I was in the area so sadly I didn’t get to experience this), is …

New Orleans: Day 2

After a non-stop first day in New Orleans, it was time for a relaxing morning at the hotel. The Windsor Court Hotel is a beautiful French-inspired property just minutes away from the historic French Quarter. Decor dating from the 17th to the late 20th centuries filled the space, creating a world that felt authentic to those times. With a spa, fitness facility, rooftop pool and award-winning restaurants (I even broke my no-dairy rule for their Cajun shrimp and smoked tomato pizza), taking in everything the hotel had to offer was a must on the to-do list. I started the day with a dip by their heated pool, and breakfast overlooking the city in their 22nd floor lounge. After easing into the morning, it was time for a new day of adventure.The National World War II Museum is considered one of the best museums in the world and it did not disappoint. The museum looks like a Hollywood set, with each room and time period of the war replicated to look like you are transported there. …

Adventures in New Orleans

New Orleans is a city that has so much more to offer than partying through the early hours of the morning. It is a place rich in culture, filled with some of the kindest people I’ve ever met and, surprisingly, home to a natural oasis. I teamed up with the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau to explore a side to this city many people may not know about.I started off the weekend with a kayaking excursion in the Maurepas Swamp, just 25 miles outside of the city. This swamp is the second largest in the country and is home to alligators, bald eagles, white-tailed deer, turtles, several species of birds, and more. Bald cypress trees line the water and can be more than 3,500 years old. The trail is picturesque with a baby blue skyline full of lush greenery. About 15 minutes in, the most incredible thing happened. An alligator jumped up out of the water and barrel-rolled in the air next to my kayak before crashing back down, soaking me with water. Our …

Summers Down The Shore

I’m about to let you in on a little secret that might surprise you: the television show, The Jersey Shore is not an accurate representation of what life is like in the beach towns of New Jersey. Sure, the particular area that the show was filmed in does lives up to some of the things that were portrayed there, but outside of the tiny town that people identify the show with is a hidden oasis of picturesque beach communities.Lavallette is a tiny, quaint beach town I grew up spending my summers in. On one side of the island is the ocean and on the opposite side is the bay. Beach shops and boutiques line the streets and home made ice cream is available on every other block. There are staple restaurants like the Crabs Claw that you can roll into after a day on the beach wearing a tank top and swim trunks, snack on coconut shrimp, and dance to live cover bands belting out hits from Bon Jovi and Journey all night long. The …

Ti Amo Italia

When my husband and I began dating, we talked about our love for traveling, and said that Italy was one of the top destinations on our list. Two and a half year later, we turned that dream into a reality and I couldn’t feel more appreciative to have experienced this beautiful country together. From spending days taking in the ancient history everywhere we looked, to spending nights eating the most delicious local foods, to tasting the delicious homemade wines, it was clear that this was a trip to remember.We arrived in Rome on a Saturday morning and were greeted by one of our best friends, Kevin, who flew in from Brussels to join us for the weekend. After checking into our hotel, we immediately set out to see Rome. First on the list: eating homemade gnocchi, drinking red wine, and finding pistachio gelato. We were in heaven after tasting the flavors of Italy. We then made a wish and tossed a coin (standing backwards, as the legend tells us to) into the Fontana Di Trevi …

The Opening of Pandora at Walt Disney World

This post was sponsored by Walt Disney World.  It’s no secret that I am a huge Disney fan, so I was thrilled to partner with Animal Kingdom Lodge to celebrate the opening of Pandora, the world of Avatar!We arrived at the resort Saturday morning, and were greeted by giraffes, zebras, gazelles and exotic birds wandering right outside our bedroom. That is what is so special about this hotel — you can sit on your balcony and enjoy a meal while watching more than 30 different species of African wildlife roam for hours. At one point, three zebras were chasing one another and playing for almost 20 minutes. You pinch yourself because it looks so unreal!We wasted no time and went straight to Pandora. The park is nothing short of mind-blowing – enormous floating mountains tower above the crowds with waterfall after waterfall spilling from the sky. Endless plants, trees and brightly colored vegetation surround you everywhere you walk, and insanely cool rides with advanced technology make you feel as if you’ve actually stepped onto a …

La Concha Resort

With winter dragging on for what feels like an eternity, I decided it’s time for a tropical escape. Puerto Rico is a destination that has been on my radar for quite some time. The weather is bright and beautiful, the ocean is turquoise blue, and the flight is less than four hours from New York, making it an easy weekend getaway.We jumped on a plane after work and arrived at the stunning La Concha Resort in San Juan just after midnight. I was in awe as we walked into an oceanfront suite decorated with heart shaped balloons, dozens of red roses, and a bottle of wine surrounded by rose petals. The staff did their research and discovered it is almost our one-year wedding anniversary, so they created a special surprise for us to walk into! After having a glass of wine on the balcony while listening to the sounds of the waves crashing underneath us, it was time to get some rest for a weekend of exploration.We started the day at Delicias with our usual egg …

Mohonk Mountain 

This past weekend we packed our bags and escaped to a remote Victorian Castle nestled in the mountainous Hudson Valley to celebrate my 31st birthday. Mohonk Mountain, a National Historic Landmark built in 1869 is a tranquil spa resort surrounded by snow covered mountains and a never-ending forest. It is the perfect place to sneak away to detach and relax in an expansive nature oasis.Mohonk Mountain is famous for their spa that has been ranked the number one resort spa in the USA by Condé Nast Traveler. This caught the eye of my husband (who surprised me with the weekend getaway) because it is one of the only facilities in the United States that has the option to receive a Lomi Lomi massage – a treatment native to Hawaii that incorporates long strokes, stretching and healing practices. We fell in love with this style last December when we vacationed in Kauai so we jumped at the opportunity to experience Lomi Lomi again. After the eighty-minute couples massage we soaked in the outdoor heated mineral pool …

Hawaii: Part 2 – Kauai

After a few days in Maui, it was time to escape to our other favorite island, Kauai. Kauai is one of the most secluded islands of Hawaii and is nicknamed “The Garden Isle,” due to the untouched tropical rainforest making up most of the land. This is the location where Jurassic Park was filmed so you can imagine how lush and green this island is. Dramatic cliffs, hidden waterfalls, and overgrown trees fill the (sometimes unfinished) streets of Kauai creating the feeling of being lost in nature – something refreshing coming from the concrete jungle of New York City.We checked into one of my all-time favorite hotels in the world: The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. The moment you walk into this hotel, a picture-perfect view of palm trees and ocean greets you. Most of this hotel is built with open courtyards as the outdoor concept of the resort makes their guests always feel connected to the nature surrounding them. The hotel’s pools are exquisite. A lazy river takes you from the top of …

Hawaii: Part 1 – Maui

It’s hard to put into words why I love Hawaii so much. Hawaii isn’t just another tropical paradise. It is an enchanting oasis where mountains meet ocean, a place in which nature makes you feel so incredibly small. You become one with the water, the land, and the people.The first chapter of our trip began in Maui where we stayed at the Marriott Maui Ocean Club. We checked into a beautiful one-bedroom villa with views overlooking the ocean. The villa had a full kitchen (perfect for stocking up on local favorites like a peanut butter coconut spread and macadamia nut chocolate), a private balcony and a washer and dryer, which came in handy after a few nature excursions! The resort itself has an open-air concept that allowed the fresh air and beauty of Maui to always surround us. The multiple pools were relaxing and grand, built through grottos and stone waterfalls just feet away from the beach. But what I really loved about this hotel was the location. We stayed in the heart of the …