Resort Dilemma

I am in the process of doing research for our anniversary trip next year and I have run into a dilemma. We want to go to an island somewhere, all-inclusive (preferably couples only) and do nothing but lay in the sun, eat, and swim and get totally wrapped up that romantic way for 7 whole days. However, there are so MANY RESORTS!!!!  This is where you come in. Please lend me your knowledge, I’m begging you! Tell me where you’ve been and how wonderful or awful it was. Because between Jade MountainSandals, and many, many, many more it is making my head spin!!

Here are my requirements:

1. Fabulous service (AAA diamond and sorts)

2. All inclusive or packages to make it all-inclusive

3. Lots of dining options

4. Gorgeous sandy beaches

5. Safety when exploring out into the local cities

6. And no “cheese factor”, I’ve been to the Caribbean so I’m not looking to swim with dolphins nor am I fascinated with swim up bars. I want relaxation, fabulous views, and quality time with my husband.

This needs to me be next January…

 

Travel Bucket List: Top 5

As you might all know at this point I am a travel junkie!! Put me on a plane to somewhere fabulous, memorable and with excellent cuisine and I’m a happy girl. This weekend my husband and I were making our travel bucket list for the next five years. Why for the next five years you might ask? Well, at this moment in time this is the time frame we have before we want to start a family and financially we could afford. So watch out world here we come!

1. Royal Davui Island, Fiji – This is our number one place to go in the next five years. Most likely for our 5th wedding anniversary. Travel + Leisure named it one of the world’s most romantic all-inclusive resorts. It is a dream spot to celebrate 5 yrs of marriage! Breathtaking!

2. Celebrity Cruises: So there are 3 itineraries that we’d love to take depending on money, time, and season. Personally, I think it’ll come down to drawing numbers out of a hat to decide ha.

12 Day Scandinavia & Russia Cruise – Amsterdam, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Denmark all are places that I feel cannot be missed if you are going to really experience Europe. I was also mildly obsessed with Russia for a bit in middle school and their culture fascinates me!

12 Day Immersive Wine Cruise – 12 days exploring the best wine towns in Europe! Leaving from Southampton, England staying two days in Paris and Bordeaux, France, Bilbao, Spain, and lastly Porto, Portugal. What is not to love!

11 Day Eastern Mediterranean Cruise – Santorini, Capri, Naples, and Mykonos!! Oh the sun, pizza, and blue, blue, blue ocean we shall see!! I want to come home with a sun-kissed tan!

3. Rome and Venice, Italy – I want to go back and spend a week in each of two of my favorite Italian cities. A day in each was not enough! I want to wander down the streets of Rome and be able to enjoy and soak in the culture. I want to ride in a gondola with nowhere to go in Venice and get lost in the maze of bridges.

4.  Couples San Souci Resort, Ocho Rios, Jamaica – Another anniversary trip because we believe in being on secluded islands with no distractions and plenty of relaxation to truly celebrate our accomplishments as a couple. What better way than being swept away in Jamaica? Also voted by Travel + Leisure as one of the world’s most romantic all-inclusive resorts. I think we would never leave the porch!

5. New York and Boston – All of our previous trips to NYC or Boston have been in the winter for NYE or on a group tourist trip. We would love to spend a week exploring these two cities at our own pace. Attend a Red Sox game, stroll through Greenwich Village, or lounge in Central Park and be able to truly appreciate these remarkable American cities.

Favorite Friday: Fun Days at Sea

There was a Fun Ship in port today and it made me think of those relaxing, warm, and sunny days we spent strolling along the Carnival Magic. I’d love one of those days right now. The cold and I do not agree! So on this Favorite Friday that is my favorite thing! If you’ve never been on a cruise or a Carnival cruise you’ll soon see why I love Fun Days at Sea. Ropes courses, mini golf, water slides and more! Never ending activities, that’s why I love days at sea. Then there’s formal nights. You get all dolled up and spend the “night on the town”. The food on these nights is above par. Lamb, lobster, and swordfish what more could a girl want? And last but not least, the relaxation time. Hammocks, lounge chairs, sleeping in with no alarm clock or wake up call this is probably my favorite thing about days at sea. Oh how I miss them!!!

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European Honeymoon Adventure Part 5: Venice, Italy

Venice stole my heart the minute I saw this.

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It’s so…whimsical, romantic, and just flat-out unbelievable. You’re walking through this city with no cars and just lovely bridges and water everywhere! We had a tour the first afternoon we arrived which included a gondola ride. If you ever go to Venice you HAVE to do a gondola ride!!! You see the city from a whole new perspective.

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Venice at night is a “must-see”. The whole city turns into this glowy, dreamy, and undeniably romantic heaven. We started our night out in St. Mark’s Square with dinner. It was so surreal to be sitting in this tiny restaurant right off the square eating at 11pm watching the people pass down this narrow alley and hear the city bustle. Once we finished with dinner we headed back to the square for gelato. The bands at the fancy restaurants in the square were playing, people were dancing, and then the bells started ringing. It felt like we were in a movie! Very romantic and truly took my breath away.

There is also no point in trying not to get lost in Venice because you will get lost ha. It’s inevitable and you should definitely just go with. You never know where the city will lead you. It lead us to the best pizza we’ve EVER had! We spent the rest of the day riding the water taxi exploring as much as we could.


Venice is complex, beautiful, and unimaginable. There are so many boroughs of the city to get lost in. If you want to experience Italy and all its magic Venice is definitely the place to go!

And the winner is…

Charleston, SC!!! Conde Nast Traveler hosted their annual Readers Choice Awards last night. They have served as the gold standard among travel since 1988. And last night, Charleston took the top spot as the #1 city in the US!!!  How cool is that?? Find out why Charleston holds the top spot and take advantage of the new vacation packages celebrating this victory here…Charlestonly. You all know my love for this town grows every day as there is always something new to discover here! So if you haven’t had a chance to check it out I would say that I believe it’s time you should! Come and find out what all the fuss is about and who knows you may never leave.

 

 

 From: Google

European Honeymoon Adventure Part 4: Dubrovnik, Croatia

I had no idea that Croatia was so beautiful! We spent our day in Dubrovnik wandering the Old City window shopping, tasting local cuisine and even got to get my feet wet! The city was so clean as you wandered little alley ways visiting the shops and restaurants. The people were friendly and food was amazing. The exchange rate favors the dollar so it’s easy on your pocketbook too. I could definitely go back and lounge on the beach overlooking the crystal blue waters. It’s definitely a place to relax and enjoy your time abroad. I can see why Travel + Leisure boast about this bustling, beautiful city. Such an easy-going atmosphere with breathtaking views, the perfect place to vacation.

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Playing Catch Up

Oh lovely followers, I do apologize for the lack of blogging this week. It’s seems the second week home from a whimsical, European honeymoon is spent playing catch up with life. My mind seems not to want to return to the normal, everyday world. It would rather stay here:

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Thank you for your support and I promise more post ASAP!

European Honeymoon Adventure Part 3: Pisa & Florence

Pisa & Florence should be on everyone’s list of places to visit when in Italy. They are picturesque Tuscan towns. I could spend many summers in Tuscany, strolling through Florence, eating at all the restaurants, and taking in some of the best views of Italy. Of course while visiting Pisa we went to Miracle Square and climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I am scared of heights but it was well worth it! Stunning views of the lush, Tuscan countryside made me never want to leave. It’s truly not a scary climb and it’s a breathtaking moment being at the top so even if you’re afraid of heights, do it! I promise you won’t be sorry! We ate lunch at a restaurant right in the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence. The Basilica of Santa Croce (the church of the Holy Cross) is beautiful. It completes this perfect Italian square lined with shops, restaurants and apartments. After lunch we went to the Piazza della Signoria. A copy of Michelangelo’s David is there in front of the town hall. After seeing all the beautiful sculpture’s in the square we decided to do a bit of shopping on our own. The guide recommended this tiny store off of the Piazza Santa Croce called Italian Loves. The two gentlemen there guided us through Tuscan wines, olive oils and pesto as we gathered up gifts for our family. This shop should be on your “must-see” list in Florence. They have all the Tuscan wines, local olive oils, vinegar, and pesto’s that you could dream of! We have decided on our next Mediterranean cruise we shall be partaking in the Tuscany cooking class excursion to truly taste Tuscany! I cannot wait!!

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European Honeymoon Adventure Part 2: Rome and The Vatican

Rome is like being in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angles all at once. I have never been in a busier city in my entire life. As you walk down the streets of People’s Square towards the Spanish Steps they are lined with every designer store you can possibly imagine. Rodeo Drive ain’t got nothing on Rome. The sidewalks are about 5 feet wide, maybe. You try not to step into traffic because the drivers pay no attention to traffic laws and if you don’t watch out they’ll be a scooter on the sidewalk. All through this madness we were running through People’s Square trying to find the Trevi Fountain. They also do not grid their streets like NYC or SF does, so you have to pay very close attention or you’ll walk right past it and end up almost to the Colosseum as we did. After finally deciphering our map we turned a corner off this small alley and there it was! It made all the scurrying to find it completely worth it. Magnificant and much larger than anticipated, the Fountain is literally tucked away off this alley. I kissed a coin and made a wish as Chris threw it in. It is definitely something that should top your “must-see” list for Rome.

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After lunch we headed to the Vatican Museum. If you love art this is one place you should see. It holds the largest sculpture collection in the world. I was mostly fascinated with the ceilings. The intricate, delicate, and astonishing artwork that lined these ceilings kept me at awe the entire tour. There was one room in particular that looked as though it was sculpted when it was actually a flat painting painted to look 3D. To think all those thousands of years ago, Michelangelo had the ability to create this astonishing ceiling that would “wow” people for years. After touring through the museum we headed into the Sistine Chapel. We were not allowed to take pictures, sadly, however it was breathtaking. Smaller than I had imagined, yet nevertheless it left you speechless.

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Upon exiting the Sistine Chapel we ventured into St. Peter’s Basilica. The largest building I’ve ever been in. It was humbling to see such a beautiful cathedral. If you notice throughout the pictures there is black lettering up near the ceiling. Those letters are 10 feet tall just to give you a reference to the actual size of the building. If you love history, as my husband does, the Vatican is most certainly a place to visit when in Rome. When exiting St. Peter’s Basilica into the square we had the best views with the sun setting behind the church.

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On our drive back to the boat we were luck enough to ride by the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine. Needless to say, we packed a lot in a 12 hour tour. I will be visiting Rome again and plan to spend at least a week, if not more, exploring those sites left unseen and hopefully some shopping!

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European Honeymoon Adventure Part 1: The French Riviera

The French Riviera is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places on earth. Lush with greenery, flowers, and rolling hills flowing with homes all the way down to the pure blue Mediterranean Sea. It’s definitely something to marvel at.

We visited Eze, Nice and Monte Carlo on our tour in Monaco. In Eze we climbed to the top of a hill that had the only panoramic views in the area. The entire climb felt like we were stepping back in time. Old stone streets lined the way. There were the most beautiful shops in every nook and cranny selling jewelry and art work. Once you had finally made it to the top to this cactus garden you got the most stunning panoramic view of the Riviera. It was breathtaking. On our way down we had the most heavenly croissant. Light, flakey and oh so yummy! I’d love to go back and spend some more time exploring.

Nice had more of a city vibe yet, very historical with stone streets and tiny alleys to get lost in. We visited the open air market that was a block away from the beach. The water was shockingly blue. We wandered out to the water and strolled through the streets admiring all the antique treasures that you could find there. Picturesque is the word I would use to describe Nice. I could definitely abandon my American ways and move to a tiny little apartment and be French for a year or two. I will be back to lay on this beach and soak up the sun.

My future apartment in Nice.

We then made our way down to the Monaco and Monte Carlo. The palace, oceanographic museum and the barracks were all together to form this square atop the mountain side. We strolled down a side street to a tiny restaurant where we had the most amazing lunch. We sat outside under huge umbrellas, felt the breeze blow and drank crisp white wine. It was like being in a movie. After lunch we made our way down to the Monte Carlo Casino. I have never seen wealth so abundantly. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci lined the streets as Bentley’s rolled by. Classic Monte Carlo.

If you are going to Monaco anytime soon definitely take a tour to visit Eze and Nice or else you will be missing out on some stunning views and unique gems of the French Riviera. Bask in the sun, eat heavenly food, and drink lots of wine all while staring out at the bright blue water. It’s all a girl could ask for.