London Travel Guide

Home of the royals….love Will & Kate. London is magnificent, historical, charming and everything I imagined. Bustling city streets, cute little black cabs, bright red double decker buses, picturesque red telephone booths, fish & chips, high tea with scones, and a plethora of pubs. London you were amazing (see the view from the Shard above)! Here are some of my favorites:

*Sights*

Big Ben / Elizabeth Tower Houses of Parliament

Iconic and always reminds me of the Peter Pan movie. Beautiful tall golden clock tower, it was under construction when we went in the summer. Walk over the bridge to get a closer view of the ornate architecture. It used to be open to climb up the clock tower to see the Big Ben strike (needed prior security screenings and approval), but I think this remains closed while the structure is being worked on.

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Houses of Parliament / Palace of Westminster

Going along with Big Ben Clock Tower, next to the iconic structure is the Palace of Westminster. The seat of the two parliament houses of the United Kingdom, House of Lords and House of Commons. Also under construction with Big Ben when we went, but still such a gorgeous sight to see. I think you can tour the building if you set up reservations in advance.

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Buckingham Palace

London residence of the Monarch of the United Kingdom. I didn’t get to see the Queen or the Royal Family while I visited, but did catch a glimpse at the changing of the guards ceremony which was neat. Someday I’ll have to come back to tour the palace when I have more time.

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London Eye

Giant iconic ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames 135 meters tall and 120 meters in diameter. Has a pretty view of the city and is sponsored by Coca Cola.

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Thames River Cruise

We went on a City Cruises river tour down the Thames. Super neat and would recommend it! It’s available in a ton of different languages (it’s live commentary in English and recorded audio in other common languages). The whole tour took us about 70 mins each way (10 mins from Westminster to London Eye, 30 mins from London Eye to London Tower and 30 mins from London Tower to Greenwich). The best part is cruising underneath the Tower Bridge which is such a cool experience. Some highlights you’ll see along the way are the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben Clock Tower, London Eye, Millennium Footbridge (Harry Potter made this more famous), St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, The Shard, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower of London and Greenwich Park. They sell food/snacks/drinks onboard and they have several different departures from the piers (Westminster, Tower, London Eye, Bankside and Greenwich) depending on where you are located. River Thames is the longest river entirely in England and second longest in the United Kingdom at 215 miles flowing through Southern England.

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Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London. This is one of the most beautiful bridges I’ve ever seen. It was awesome seeing it from all different angles: if you get the chance walk across the bridge and also take a river cruise underneath the bridge like we did. The bright turquoise blue details were unexpected and eye catching.

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Tower of London

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. You can take a tour inside the grounds which is pretty cool. They also have the cutest most adorable gift shop that I bought way too many souvenirs from and spent way too much time in. They had the best presents for all my friends and family.

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Kensington Palace & Gardens

Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. They had a really neat Princess Diana exhibit when we visited in the summer. The golden gate right outside the palace was super grand and incredible.

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St. Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London. Go to the top of the world famous dome to the Golden Gallery for breathtaking views of the city skyline.

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The Shard

95 story glass skyscraper with one of the best and highest views of all of London. Offers 360 panoramic views for up to 40 miles from the observation deck viewing platforms.

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Leicester Square

Home of some of the best broadway performances in the West End of London. Some of my all time favorite broadway shows are Wicked and Phantom of the Opera.

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National Gallery / Trafalgar Square

The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. My favorite artists Van Gogh and Monet had some famous paintings here that I loved seeing including Sunflowers, Wheatfield and Waterlillies. Trafalgar square was under construction when we visited in the summer so the fountain was coned off sadly. One of my favorite museums (liked it better than the British Museum) and it reminded me a lot of the Met in NYC.

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Hyde Park

350 acres of lush greens and basically like the Central Park of NYC for London. It is the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens. Serpentine River flows through Hyde Park and is so pretty.

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Millennium Bridge

Mentioned already above this is the crooked bridge famous in the Harry Potter movies.

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Shakespeare’s Globe Theater

In the London Borough of Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames. Will have to go back someday to see a performance here.

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London Bridge

Not as hyped up as the Tower Bridge, but still an original classic landmark. Box girder bridge built from concrete and steel. Neat to see once on the River Cruise along the Thames. Does anyone else have Fergie’s “London Bridge” song playing in their head?

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Piccadilly Circus

Corner between Shaftesbury Avenue and Coventry Street and one of the busiest corners in London. Has a beautiful fountain in the middle of the ground as a meeting point. There’s lot of cool stores and eating places around here.

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Westminster Abbey

Royal Church in the center of London. Where Prince William and Kate Middleton had their royal wedding ceremony. The grounds were stunning!

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Greenwich Park

One of the royal parks of London. Saw this through the River Cruise mentioned above. The Royal Observatory is neat and you can see the Prime Meridian line here.

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Harrods

Harrods is a luxury department store located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, London. One of the most famous department stores in London, it’s huge with many floors and fun to check out.

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Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour

Some say these are cheesy and touristy, but I think it’s fabulous. We got to see everything very quickly. Super convenient because it drops you off right in the front of all the famous landmarks. They travel around so often (seems like I’d see one stop every 5 minutes) so it was very easy to spend as much time as we wanted at each place and get on to our next destination. Highly recommend doing The Original Tour. There’s an audio recorded guide giving you highlights and historic facts of each place which was very interesting and it was super fun to ride on the double decker bus.

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Fortnum & Mason

My favorite tea brand in all of London. Their packaging is to die for and perfect for gifts for friends and family. My mom absolutely loved their teas. And for those in the States, they now sell this in Williams & Sonoma!

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Miscellaneous London Sights

The double decker buses are so fun and loved seeing the beautifully decorated English pubs lining all the quaint streets. The little mini black cabs were funny to see since I’m used to seeing our obnoxious bright yellow ones in the States. Also love the cute red telephone booths on some of the corners.

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Underground Tube

The London Underground is a public rapid transit system serving London and some parts of the adjacent counties of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. Loved using the metro to get everywhere in the city, it was super easy. I recommend purchasing an Oyster Card if you will be traveling a lot to many places.

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Airports

London has two international airports in the center of the city Heathrow and Gatwick. I flew in through Gatwick which was super quick and easy.

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Imperial Hotel

3 star hotel in London in Bloomsbury, Central London right by Russell Square. Very simple and loved the cute quaint neighborhood we stayed in. The vibes in this hotel were fun, funky and eclectic. Very close to the metro stops and easy to get to from the Gatwick airport via public transit.

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Architecture

Take time to appreciate the amazing ornate architectural designs throughout London. We saw so many cool buildings with unique character.

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*Food*

Skips Cocktail Chips

Pawn cocktail chips, light tingly melty snack chips in star shell shaped form. I grew up with these as a little kid and love them so much. I have to get some every time I go to London.

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Rowntree Fruit Pastilles

Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles are small round sweets measuring about 1.5 cm in diameter; they have a jelly-like consistency, due to the gelatin they are made from, and are covered with sugar. I had a few of the candy version, but on the River Cruise they had these in Ice Lolly form which was delicious.

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Burger Fi

I’ve had both Shake Shack and In&Out in the States so thought I’d try out Burger Fi which is another burger chain. The root beer float hit the spot and it was cool how they stamp their burger logo into the bun.

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Caffe Nero

Caffè Nero or Caffè Nero Group Ltd is a European style coffee house brand with its headquarters in London, England. Hands down my go to London coffeeshop, reminds me of Starbucks because they were on every corner. I went here every morning. From the biscuits to the scones to the mocha coffee to the mango smoothie, everything was delicious. Can anyone tell that the mango smoothie was my favorite and I couldn’t stop re-ordering it every time?

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Caffe Russell

Cute little cafe right by our hotel in Russell Square among the park area. One of my favorite cuisines is Italian so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to eat at this adorable outdoor cafe. We were gearing up for our next adventure to Italy. The pizza, pasta and gelato were very good. Also the start to my collection of gelato pictures since I had to try gelato in every European city we went to.

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Pret A Manger

An international sandwich shop chain based in the United Kingdom commonly referred to as Pret. I had first tried Pret in NYC and Boston and finally got to try it in London where it is headquartered. I loved their freshly prepared juices and fruit bowls, but their coffee drinks and food is delicious too.

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 A collection of some of my favorite souvenirs and momentos from my trip below: (Luggage tag from Buckingham, Harrods Guard bear, Oyster card, city cruises and Hop on Hop off brochures, Fortum & Mason fruit silk tea bag tin and Ted Baker makeup bag)

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Cheerio by for now London!

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Places to See / Food to Eat Next Time:

  • Scotland
  • Stonehenge
  • Meat Pies at Pie Minister / Beef Wellington
  • Windsor Castle
  • Milk Train Ice Cream Covent Gardens
  • Tour Buckingham Palace

 

Boston Travel Guide

Definitely a west coaster by nature, but an east coaster at heart. Dad’s hometown is beautiful! Loved visiting the place he grew up in and called home. From the historic brick and brownstone architecture to the rich history to the cobblestone streets to the long tall row houses to the gas lanterns, New England I love all your charm.

Here’s to my Boston favorites:

Freedom Trail 

There is so much to see and so much to do, but don’t be fooled while I thought this would be a short 3 mile walk it ends up being close to over 12 miles and took us all day to complete. Super neat, but I would suggest biking it or maybe even taking the hop on hop off bus or even utilizing the T subway system. The trail is marked with this cute red brick road that you follow the entire way. All main stopping sights are marked with this golden symbol below. Use the fun interactive iPhone app to find your way or you can pick up a paper map at the visitor’s center.

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Boston Common and State House

First stop along the freedom trail is Boston Common and State House. It is magnificent. Boston Common is the nation’s oldest public park originating in 1634. The State House overlooks Boston Common and its gold roof glistens under the sun in beauty. Park Street Church is the next stop and right down the road but it was under construction and closed when we were visiting.

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Granary Burying Ground 

Third stop of the Freedom Trail. The cemetery next to Park Street Church (second stop) closed during the time of our visit. John Hancock, Paul Revere, James Otis, Samuel Adams,  Robert Treat Paine, Boston Massacre victims and Franklin’s parents were among those famous buried in this ground.

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King’s Chapel and Burying Ground

Fourth stop along the Freedom Trail. King’s Chapel was the first Anglican congregation in Boston and has one of the most elegant Georgian church interiors of the colonial era.

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Franklin Statue and First School Site

Fifth stop along the Freedom Trail. This statue of Benjamin Franklin overlooks the first site of the Latin School, the oldest public school in America established by Puritan settlers in 1635. Franklin, Samuel Adams and John Hancock all attended.

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Old South Meeting House 

Sixth stop along Freedom Trail. Largest building in colonial Boston in 1729. In the days leading to the American Revolution, citizens gathered here to challenge British rule, protesting the Boston Massacre and the tea tax.

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Old State House 

Eighth stop of the Freedom Trail (seven was the Old Corner Bookstore which I did not see). Old State House was built in 1713 as the seat of colonial and state governments as well as a merchants’ exchange. A cobblestone circle under its balcony marks the site of the 1770 Boston Massacre when British soldiers fired into a crowd of Bostonians.

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Faneuil Hall 

Ninth stop of Freedom Trail. Old market building on the old town dock where there used to be town meetings in 1764. Also right by the Tea Party Museum and Ship.

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Paul Revere House 

Tenth stop of Freedom Trail. Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood the North End built in about 1680. Paul Revere and his family owned and occupied it most of the time from 1770 to 1800.

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Old North Church

Eleventh stop of Freedom Trail and Boston’s oldest church building. Memorialized the start of the Revolutionary War and the “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”.

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Copp’s Hill Burying Ground

Twelfth stop of Freedom Trail. Another famous burying ground.

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Bunker Hill Monument

Thirteenth stop of Freedom Trail and one of the coolest things I did in Boston. The view is incredible! (note featured image for this travel guide) It is a 221 feet obelisk commemorating the Revolution’s first major battle. I climbed the monument’s 294 steps which definitely kills your legs afterwards but the view is so worth the pain.

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Charlestown Navy Yard / USS Constitution

Fourteenth and final stop of the Freedom Trail. USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

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Architecture

Not really a site, but there is so much charm in the architecture of Boston. Please don’t forget to admire the beauty and craftsmanship of the buildings and homes. I love the ornate stone work and brick work, amazing! The BackBay neighborhood was my favorite to stroll through.

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Mike’s Pastry’s Boston Cream Puffs

Best known for their cannoli’s which are round tube like Italian pastries with cream cheese filing. These looked amazing, but I could not pass up the Boston cream puffs which are my favorite. We went to the North End location which is the cutest, but there’s also one in Harvard square.

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B. Good’s Kale Smoothie 

Hands down the best Kale smoothie ever. Kale Crush was life changing. Thank you Boston Marathon for introducing me. I never even liked Kale before. Tried about a 1,000 bad kale smoothies after this, nothing compares. Whenever I’m in Boston I’m going to get one of these every morning. Still dreaming about the wonderfulness.

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JP Licks Ice Cream 

I don’t even remember what flavor this was, maybe chocolate cookies n’ cream. But it sure was delicious. The cutest little ice cream shop.

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Atlantic Fish Co. 

So if you know me, you know I don’t like seafood and on most occasions won’t eat any fish. But when in Boston, one must eat fish and chips and clam chowder with oyster crackers. I definitely didn’t regret my decision. Best fish and chips I’ve ever had, sorry London. Nobody does fish better than New England. Was also trying to find some corn chowder but had no luck, next time.

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Boylston Street & BAA Half Marathon

So the real reason I was in Boston was to run my biggest bucket list race…the Boston Half Marathon. It was so much fun and it’s a race I will remember for the rest of my lifetime and never forget. Glad I was able to check it off the list. Running through the Emerald Necklace is tough – lots of hills, greenery, basically one giant hilly forest-like park intermixed in a residential area. But the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) running culture is unlike any other and some of the best world class athletes run in this race. Boylston Street is the street of the Boston Marathon finish line as well as home to the Boston Marathon Adidas store front where I picked up all my racing gear and legendary finisher’s jacket.

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Charles River

The view of the skyline & marina were spectacular and we could see the Harvard crew team practicing, which was neat.

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Fenway Stadium Home of the Red Sox

This stadium tour blew me away, it was so historic and neat especially for major baseball fans. It truly is one of the most beautiful baseball stadiums ever. This is one of my favorite memories on the trip. They have their own growing garden even. Got to sit in the famous Green Monster chairs. There are special sections in the stadium where you can sit in the old navy wooden seats. Got to see the press room. The view of the Boston skyline from the stadium is amazing! The red seat marks the longest HR ever hit in Fenway. The museum at the end of the tour showed the stadium seating over the years, memorabilia from opening day at Fenway and Babe Ruth gear. Bought the coolest unique souvenir in the gift shop – MLB authenticated and bottled Fenway field dirt.

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Boston Public Gardens

Easily the prettiest most beautiful park in Boston. The Central Park of Boston. So serene and so magnificently beautiful. Hoping I can come back during the summer one day to ride the Swan boats in the lake. The duckling statues are so cute.

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Loved being in Boston during the fall! Can’t wait to go back soon. Next time I’m definitely going to see Cape Cod & the Islands (Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket).

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Amsterdam Travel Guide

Goede dag! Such a beautiful cute city center with lots of colorful bicycles, flowing canals, color coordinating narrow row houses lining the water, gabled facades, brick bridges, fun wooden windmills, bright hued tulips, traditional blue & white dutch china and mini clogs. Just some of my favorites from Holland in the Netherlands!

*Accommodation* 

Best Western Plus Blue Square Hotel 

We stayed at this Best Western which was such a nice 4 star hotel very close to the city center. Located on Slotermeerlaan 80, 1064 HD Amsterdam, Netherlands. The inside was beautiful and they had amazing food in the restaurant downstairs which was buffet style. Had lots of dutch cheese and meat platters, dutch yogurt and danishes.

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*Sights*

Look at this cute Dutch windmill!

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Rijksmuseum & Iamsterdam Sign – Such a cute fun landmark to see in Museumplein square. There were a ton of people climbing this sign, it was so huge in person. Had to step way far back to get all the letters in the frame.

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Van Gogh Museum – So beautiful, one of my favorite artists of all time. Home of the world’s largest Van Gogh collection. The paintings were amazing! One of my favorites is the Sunflowers still life painting.

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Dam Square – Grand square dominated by the Royal Palace

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Waterways & Canals – Take a canal cruise through the channels, it is the most gorgeous views. These little narrow houses are so adorable and have so much charm! Or ride a bicycle along the canals. Probably my favorite part of Holland.

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Tulips – So many beautiful colored tulips, love these! They are so pretty and one of my favorite types of spring flowers. Cutest little souvenir is taking some tulip bulbs home to plant at home. It was hard to just choose one color, I wanted them all. Also walked by Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market. Little greenhouses line the canals and they’re selling every flower you can dream of. It’s delightful!

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Blue & White Dutch China – This is such a classic, my most favorite pieces I brought home were the blue & white china house and clog ornaments.

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*Food*

Poffertjes (Dutch Pancakes) –  Small disc fluffy pancakes. These were absolutely amazing with powdered sugar and strawberries. This place we went to called Poffertjes & Pannenkoeken Restaurant de vier pilaren is highly recommended.

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Dutch French Fries – Mannekenpis is voted No#1 Holland Fries. They sure were tasty plus there’s a whole list of dipping sauces to choose from and some flavors are just absurd. I was boring and got plain ketchup.

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Stroopwafels – Saved the best for last…half cookie like and half waffle like. These little snacks are amazing. This place called van Wonderen Stroopwafels were our favorite. They had so many flavors and they sold mini ones too. Yummy caramel filing.

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We loved you Amsterdam! Can’t wait to come back to this beautiful place someday. Tot Ziens!

Things to See Next Time:

  • Tulip Festival (Springtime)
  • Tulip Museum

 

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Disney California Adventure Travel Guide

The sister park to the original Disneyland Park in Anaheim. Listed are all of my favorites, enjoy!

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*Attractions* 

Frozen Live at the Hyperion – cutest broadway like performance of Frozen, if you adored the movie like I did the theatrical interpretation of the animated film is amazing. I do miss the Aladdin show though since it was just as wonderful (In Hollywood Land)

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World of Color – get a fastpass it’s one of the neatest outdoor shows Disney puts on every night before the park closes, looks just like the Bellagio fountain experience in Vegas but Disney themed. The colorful dancing water sprays and water screen showcases the beloved Disney and Pixar film scenes coordinated with music and fire/fog/water/laser effects

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Soarin’ Around the World – used to be Soarin’ over California which I absolutely loved, however love this rendition just as much. It’s so awesome hang gliding over all the international landmarks, monuments and famous landscapes (In Grizzly Peak)

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Carsland Radiator Springs Racers – the cutest land in the park, auto race in Lighting McQueen through the Cadillac Mountains desert landscape

 

Guardians of Galaxy: Mission Breakout! – super fun even though I miss the old Tower of Terror ride, Rocket is adorable plus you’re on the coolest free fall adventure to rescue the Guardians from the Galaxy from the Collector’s fortress (In Hollywood Land)

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Jumpin’ Jellyfish – cutest little kiddie 40 foot parachute drop in the beautiful colorful jellies (In Paradise Pier soon to be Pixar Pier)

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Toy Story Midway Mania – cannot wait for the new Pixar land to make its debut, fun 4D Midway inspired experience where you challenge your car to a series of various action packed carnival games. Sister ride of the Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters in Disneyland (In Paradise Pier soon to be Pixar Pier)

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Games of the Boardwalk – win the cutest Dumbo stuffed animal, isn’t he adorable? (Paradise Pier soon to be Pixar Pier)

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Animation Academy – receive step by step instructions to draw your own character sketch, usually a 30 minute session and makes for a cute souvenir to take home (your own masterpiece) In Hollywood Land

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Mickey’s Fun Wheel – ferris wheel with the most amazing sky view overlooking the entire park, the swinging gondolas are pretty scary but I enjoyed the outer standing baskets (In Paradise Pier soon to be Pixar Pier)

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*Eats*

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta – part of Paradise Pier by the Jumpin’ Jellyfish and Silly Symphony Swings, loved the chicken sundried tomato pasta yum

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Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill – in the Pacific Wharf SF themed section of the park, I always order the chicken tamale plate with rice, beans and guacamole. Not authentic tasting Mexican food, more like Tex-Mex

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Flo’s V8 Cafe – located in Carsland and super cute route 66 inspired diner with neon light signs, get the beautiful secret menu Neapolitan shake

 

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop – another favorite on the pacific wharf, they even give out the Ghirardelli square chocolate samples at the door. My favorite is their banana split, it’s delicious

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Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company – Most adorable ice cream stand off paradise pier, I hope they don’t get rid of this when Pixar Land takes over because the soft serve is a huge Costco portion

 

Schmoozies – In hollywood land, get the Malibu Mocha smoothie off the secret menu it’s a great refresher on a hot day (note not a strong coffee taste more chocolate like)

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Cove Bar – The secret menu drinks are beautiful! My favorites are the Neverland Tea and Pina Colava. The Mickey’s Fun Wheel is a classic and looks very cute, but beware because the alcohol taste is strong. And the tri tip nachos were delicious. Part of Paradise Pier soon to be Pixar Pier. Heard that these drinks are available at the Alfresco Tasting Terrace while the pier is under construction.

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Cozy Cone Motel – The chili cone queso always hits the spot on a cold chilly night, everything in these cones are adorable, curious to try some of the others like the bacon mac & cheese

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Disneyland Parks are definitely the happiest places on Earth. Always a treat to spend the day here! Looking forward to my next visit.

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Mexico Travel Guide

Just came back from a relaxing getaway to Cancun! It was my first time in Mexico and it was everything I expected. Gorgeous turquoise blue beaches, long never ending white sand, straw cabana huts, happy hours filled with tropical drinks galore, tons of infinity pools overlooking the beautiful beaches, palm trees, lots of Mexican food especially authentic street tacos, colorful iguanas roaming the streets, tropical rainforest lined highways, intricate vibrant piñatas, gigantic sombreros, delicious cinnamon churros, cenotes natural cave pools underground, rainbow sunsets, mayan ruins, traditional mariachi music, salsa dancing and learning Spanish. Loved being immersed in this fun festive culture.

Sharing my highlights below:

Chichen Itza – One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, definitely the coolest thing I saw in Mexico, the pyramid was amazing and I cannot believe the Mayans built this huge structure plus the historical background behind this place is unreal. Can’t even imagine the human sacrifice ceremonies

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Valladolid – Charming little historic town at the east entrance of Chichen Itza, cute little shops and eateries lining the pastel colored streets

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Xcaret – Mixture of a zoo and waterpark, great place for kids. It was fun to see once and the show at the end of the night was very interesting

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Swimming in the underground rivers was one of the toughest endurance tests, probably not something I’d ever do again
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Underground rivers were very long and get you tired from having to physically swim the entire time – not like a lazy river which I expected

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Mayan ruins
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Beautiful stained glass ceiling in the chapel

Various animal exhibits

Bird and butterfly exhibit rooms

Orchid greenroom exhibit

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Awesome traditional show at the end of the night

Tortilla Making & Guacamole Cooking Class – Learned how to make authentic tortillas, pico de gallo salsa, chicken fajitas and guacamole in a Havana Moon cooking class at the resort which was fun

Suytun Cenote – Stopped here on the way to Chichen Itza to swim at this underground cave pool, kind of eerie inside but the water was crystal clear

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Havana Moon – Restaurant at the resort we stayed at, fun atmosphere, colorful decor and live music at night plus the view of the beach outside was incredible

Del Lago Restaurante – Another restaurant at the resort, loved the breakfast buffet here

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Tramonto – Italian restaurant at the resort, got the lasagna and it sure was delicious, their bread platters (shown on the left) come with huge sculpture pieces which was crazy

Jade Boutique & Deli – The gelato was amazing, plus pictured below was my last meal in Mexico. Got the club panini and fruit platter which totally hit the spot

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Grand Luxxe of Vidanta Resort Riviera Maya – We stayed in the Grand Luxxe of the Vidanta Resorts. They give you a bracelet to get into your room which felt very hip and modern. Below is the Grand Luxxe lobby and also we went golfing on the resort grounds

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Animals spotted on the resort property

The Main Pool – spent a lot of time here lounging around at the resort

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The Beach Club – private pool area for Grand Luxxe and Grand Bliss members, was quaint and relaxing with cute cabanas right along the beach plus happy hour was fantastic

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Pina Coladas are my favorite
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These chicken nachos were the best I’ve ever had, so yummy and the presentation is incredible
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Didn’t drink the margaritas but the Miami vices (pina colada with strawberry daiquiri) were super refreshing, loved the orange slice touch

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Beach – the beachfront was right outside the resort grounds, it’s beautiful in its own unique way and very different from the beaches back home where I’m from

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Lastly we watched lots of pretty sunsets, bye for now Mexico!

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Japan Travel Guide

In honor of the bestie coming back from her recent trip to Japan, thought I’d share my favorites with you all for this long awaited guide. Got to spend an entire month in Japan (Sept. 2015) before I started my full time job and it was a blast. Even despite the wonderful Typhoon Etau that hit the day I decide to go to Tokyo Disneyland, the fabulous 5.3 earthquake in Tokyo and the Mt. Aso volcano eruption. Mother nature at its finest, quite the experience i’ll never forget.

*Foods You Must Try*

I’m not even much of an adventurous food person so my friends will laugh that I’m posting this section, but without further adieu here’s my food favs:

I should start off with the interesting concept of having Drink Vending Machines on every corner…..and I truly mean every corner (I remember seeing some remotely standing there on the side of the street by themselves thinking “wow it’s like a drive up vending machine haha)

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My favorite were of course the kiddie orange, grape and apple minute maid juices…I know so American of me to not venture out.

Steak – BEST RESTAURANT IN JAPAN if you go to Arita please come here for me. You’ll thank me later. Will go back to Japan just for this place, hands down my favorite meal of the entire trip

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Not even sure what this restaurant is called (see below), but it was a fancy place my dad’s friend took us to. The food looked like art masterpieces (to tell you the truth I had no idea what I was even eating, but I did try jellyfish for the first time–the only meal on the trip that I ate things I would typically never eat)

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Traditional Japanese Sit Down Meals – You need to experience at least one of these, it’s such a treat and great way to appreciate the Japanese culture (plus the shabu shabu here is amazing). And if you’re brave enough the blowfish is a delicacy to try.

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Matcha Green Tea – classic favorite, honestly tastes like leafy water yum!

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Parm Ice Cream – Favorite ice cream I tried in Japan and they sell these everywhere (kind of like those dove bars back home)

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Pinocchio’s  – BEST PASTA IVE HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! Chef was from Italy of course living in Japan. Loved the cute Pinocchio theme of the restaurant (born and raised Disney fan right here), located by Kujukushima Islands on the port. Still dreaming of this pasta and this lunch with the gorgeous views.

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Joyful – The mango strawberry shaved ice is so good (one on the right)! I mean…we should’ve guessed mine wouldn’t be the green tea matcha one with azuki red beans on top 😉 Way better than shaved ice in the states because the ice is so fine, flavors don’t taste like artificial food coloring and they add ice cream in the middle

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More shaved ice – this was from the Kujukushima Islands next to Pinocchio’s (not as goods as Joyful, but still tasty)

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Tonkatsu – Ironically the best tonkatsu I had was in the bento boxes at the train station, which is funny because I even had some at fancy restaurants and it wasn’t as good (don’t worry I didn’t eat the stuff on the right just the rice and meat)

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Figs – These were the highly popular dessert option (fig salad was amazing on the right) while I was there and I had never had figs before this trip, now I’m hooked and can’t get enough

Green Tea Ice Cream – surprisingly this flavor is up there on my top ice cream choices (behind spumoni of course) Can you blame me if Haagen-Dazs is my favorite brand?

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Miso Soup – If you actually know what miso is it might gross you out, but I grew up on this soup so I crave it occasionally. My favorite is always the tofu, weird but I’d rather have it than meat sometimes

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Udon Noodles – My favorite type of noodles to get in Japan. Second would be miso ramen and third somen. Not a fan of soba sorry.

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Leave it to me to find Gelato in Japan (needed some comfort food)

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Somen Noodles – Mentioned earlier above but these are amazing cold on a nice sunny day

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Ice Cream – Had some amazing ice cream cones (my favorite kind of vending machine Haagen Dazs) and one very bad one in Fukuoka (bottom one very aesthetically pleasing but tasted awful)

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Starbucks – Had to try this over there and ordered the same frapps that I have here Vanilla Bean and Mocha (tasted different because they used lighter milk)

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Breakfast – This is what my breakfast looked like every morning (bowl of tomatoes, orange juice, strawberry toast and bananas)

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Lotte Koala Cookies & this apple juice – Favorite train snacks by far

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Mandarin Orange & Pear Fruit Jelly Cups – These are the best (another one of my favorite desserts)

*Sights*

Will update this section later.

 

Arizona Travel Guide

Since I just came back from a trip to Phoenix with a bunch of my friends, thought I’d finally post my Arizona travel guide. Got to see a ton of cactus, orange dirt, red rock and the fascinating solar eclipse. Here are my favorites:

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*Sights*

Grand Canyon/Petrified Forest & Painted Desert/Sedona– The beginning to my love for nature and visiting national parks. Went here when I was super young, hence why there aren’t many pictures to post, but I remember the Grand Canyon was beautiful and one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen as a kid. Hoping to go back to see it soon now that I’m older.

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Antelope Canyon – Very neat, did the lower canyon tour with Dixie Ellis which was pretty cool to see all the intricate rock formations. Will have to climb down and up some narrow metal staircases, not handicap friendly. Pretty short trek with a tour guide explaining the history.

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Horseshoe Bend – Short less than a mile hike to the beautiful horseshoe bend lookout point. Gets really hot out in this desert area so try to go early or bring lots of water and sunscreen. The rock reminded me of the grand canyon with all the array of colors. I highly recommend staying overnight in Page which is a cute quaint town about 10-15 minute drive to both the bend and antelope.

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MLB Spring Training Festivities – Baseball is my favorite sport to watch so I love getting to see the spring training games and staying in Scottsdale. I always head to Camelback Ranch since I’m a loyal Dodger fan. They share a stadium with the Chicago White Sox. It’s an excellent way to get to meet the players and if you’re lucky you’ll come home with a bunch of signed autographed balls.

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Lake Mead & Hoover Dam – See my Las Vegas post for more details and pictures because this place is stunning.

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Top Golf – This place is so much fun, it’s like a driving range for golfing except it kind of works a lot like bowling where you are put on teams to challenge each other to see who can get the most points. Their are flags and hole where you can score more points than others based on how easy the hole is to hit. Each team will rent a bay to hang out in and they have great food and drinks too!

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Diamondbacks MLB Game – Chase Field is wonderful, one of the top stadiums on my list because it has a covered dome which is perfect for the hot days and nights in Phoenix. They even have seats with a jacuzzi. And of course can’t forget that now they have our ex-Dodger pitcher Zach Greinke.

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*Eats*

Bobby Q’s – The best bbq I’ve ever had. Every time I come to Arizona I try to make it to this place. Their meat is amazing and I’m in love with their bbq sauce. I like to try a bit of everything so I recommend ordering the Whole Hog Heaven family meal. You can order two types of ribs, two types of meats (always order the brisket and pork yum), three sides  (i like the mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and roasted corn) and cornbread. Also their dessert Miss McGee’s Mud Pie is delicious. On your way out you’ll get mini cinnamon little donut rings too.

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Raising Cane’s – These are a chain and they have these everywhere, but I first ate here in Arizona. It’s simple to order, I like the box combo which comes with four chicken fingers, crinkle cut fries, texas toast, coleslaw and the amazing cane’s sauce which distinctly kind of reminds me of chick-fil-a sauce.  Goes perfectly with their homemade lemonade as well. Definitely my favorite chicken fingers.

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Cafe Rio – Another chain fast food found everywhere as well, but I first had this on my trip in Arizona. Delicious Mexican food, I always order the same thing every time I come. Corn tortilla taco plate with shredded chicken, cilantro lime rice, pinto beans, lettuce, cheddar jack cheese, guacamole and sour cream. It’s delicious….and do I dare say my favorite over Chipotle even too.

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Flying out of Phoenix airport is quick and easy!

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STILL ON MY BUCKET LIST TO SEE

  1. Lake Havasu
  2. Vermilion Cliffs
  3. Meteor Crater

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Tokyo DisneySea Travel Guide

Love absolutely every Disney park but this was by far going in the books as one of my favorites. It felt like a hybrid of Epcot with the different cultural lands and California Adventure with similar familiar attractions. My expectations for this park going in were very low since I hadn’t heard too much about it, boy was I surprised how much fun I had. Mount Prometheus (shown above) is an extraordinarily gorgeous focal point of the amusement park. Wished I would’ve brought home a cute little Duffy bear souvenir key chain (guess I’ll have to go back).

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I came during Halloween time which was funny because it wasn’t as decked out in decorations like its counterpart Tokyo Disneyland. Only the front gate.

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The entrance to the park had a beautiful plaza equip with a globe (kind of reminded me of Universal Studios Hollywood). It was amazing! Made me get major wanderlust

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Next up you enter the beyond BEAUTIFUL Mediterranean Harbor (one of my favorites) I felt like I was whisked away to Italy. I definitely enjoyed the ambience of the romantic Southern European port town feel and of course always love Italian food MMM gelato and pasta yum! The architecture was spot on, so impressed Disney. It was so well done, even better than the Venetian in Vegas. Slightly sad the Venetian gondolas ride weren’t in operation during my trip, but I definitely took advantage of everything else. We ate at the cute Zambini Brother’s Ristorante for a delicious spaghetti dinner.

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Let’s move on to Mysterious Island which hosts the wonderful Mount Prometheus and center of the park.  This was an interesting land for sure. The only thing that stood out was the Journey to the Center of the Earth ride which took up 99% of the area as well as 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas. Two rides you’ll have to do at least once for the experience, but not to die for favorites in my opinion.

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We adventured to the American Waterfront, which was probably the most random themed land and the most like California Adventure Park. The highlight of course Tower of Terror Hotel HighTower (geez so much scarier than the one we used to have at California Adventure and the one in Florida’s Hollywood Studios). The tiki head voodoo doll things still give me the creeps and nightmares. Was fun doing Toy Story Mania (favorite of mine at California Adventure). We also rode the Electric railway which was awesome (better than Disneyland’s railroad for sure). The SS Columbia ship restaurant reminded me so much of the Queen Mary in Long Beach (brings back so many memories of high school prom). Oh and lastly the Cape Cod area……so adorable! Can I go visit dad’s dreamy Boston hometown? LOVE LOVE LOVE. Wish I would’ve got some pictures of this area, but I’ll have to visit the real deal right?

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Port Discovery was supposed to be like Tomorrowland with its futuristic vibe and center of weather control across the horizons of time. The StormRider was kind of terrifying not going to lie. It made me a little afraid of storms. The Aquatopia was a strange ride too, but I was never a fan of water rides to begin with. Haha my biggest memory from this land honestly was the ice cream we ate, so cute.

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Next land was Lost River Delta….based on the Central America jungles with the neatly done ruins of the ancient civilization. Was like a grown up Adventureland. By far my favorite ride was Indiana Jones Temple of the Crystal Skull. So much more fun LED lights and effects than in California. Other big ride in the area was Raging Spirits….don’t know what the trend is with this park and terrifying rides, but my goodness I thought this wooden roller coaster was going to give me a heart attack. I mean, just look at the thing. Gives me chills. Even the warning signs had me second guessing whether these fast passes were a good idea.

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We ventured to Mermaid Lagoon after that. Cute little land of rainbow colors, feeling very under the sea. All the rides were adorable just like Fantasyland. Very mellow. Flounder’s flying fish coaster was probably most popular. Just like the Toontown coaster at Disneyland. I couldn’t get enough of the Scuttle’s Scooters. We were moving in little crabs haha. The Mermaid Lagoon Theater…..please don’t miss this. So good! Too good! Couldn’t help, but sing along at King Triton’s Symphony Concert. Course visit the Triton’s Kingdom which is an indoor dark dimly lit room which really feels like you’ve entered Ariel’s grotto. The jumping jellyfish ride was just like California Adventure. I’d skip the whirlpool, but the Blowfish Balloon Race was way fun…..made me want to ride in an actual hot air balloon.

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Saved the best land for last, drumroll please…..Arabian Coast! Can we tell this was my FAVORITE by the sheer amount of photos I took? The details…so intricate and magnificent. Made me want to travel to the Middle East so badly. The architecture was just as good if not better than the European port earlier. Blew me out of the water. The Magic Lamp Theater show reminded me of the old Aladdin broadway production they used to do at California Adventure. The fact that my favorite though was the Caravan Carousel was too funny. Can every carousel have camels? And guys, it was TWO levels of fun! A little embarrassed by the fact that yeah I was the only one on the ride haha. Jasmine’s Flying Carpets were just like Dumbo, but better. Too bad I didn’t have my Aladdin riding with me to take a journey across the natural wonders of the world 😉 Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage was kind of strange….not the cute little storybook canal ride I’m used to from Disneyland. The Abu’s Bazaar and Agrabah Marketplace were so neat! Made me want to see the real Grand Bazaar someday in Istanbul. Whoever takes me to India will be my best friend ever.

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There you have it friends, alas you’ve made it to the end. Enjoy if you visit, this place is truly special! Shots curteousy of my good old point and shoot, pretty nifty knowing I got all these decent photos (OG camera days before the DSLR).

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Wonderful Disney adventures await you young travelers.

 

Disneyland Anaheim Travel Guide

In honor of many upcoming trips to the cheery land of Disney, thought I’d post my favorites of this magical place. Grew up coming here as a kid every year on my birthday so it will always hold special memories in my heart.

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*Tips & Tricks*

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  • Always dress smart with layers…Disneyland is in California the sunshine state, but it can still get chilly at night depending on the weather. Bring a light weight jacket and wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be walking around a lot all day.
  • Be prepared and take water if you can to stay hydrated throughout the day. Don’t forget snacks since Disney still lets you bring in food.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen if you go during the day to avoid sunburning.
  • Ride lines can also be a long wait so bring cards or download some fun phone app games to pass the time by.
  • Don’t forget a portable charger for your phone if you plan on using this in line ( we always bring a heavy duty data bank)
  • Take advantage of FAST PASSES – literally the key to trying to get on every ride in one day (very possible by the way if you have a strategy and game plan in mind when conquering the parks); Get MaxPass (new app that gives you digital fastpasses on the Disneyland App) the $10 is worth it and will save you so much time from not having to run around the whole park
  • MaxPass can also be used for unlimited Disney Photopass downloads from the day (such a fun souvenir) plus you can check all the attraction wait times as well as make dining reservations at select restaurants

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  • Celebration buttons are a must, cutest souvenir to remember your special trip (get these at the town hall for free) They have all different kinds from I’m celebrating to Graduation to Happy Anniversary, Happily Ever After, Happy Birthday, 1st Visit, etc.

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  • Send yourself a postcard from the park (they have mailboxes everywhere on main street) my favorite are the ones from WonderGround Gallery; don’t forget your postcard stamps before you come

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*Entertainment Favorites*

Main Street Electrical Parade – Love that they brought this back, the LED lights are spectacular…..the show is the same as the original, music and all. A must see before it disappears this summer of 2017

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Fireworks Show – Disney has their fair share of different variations of their firework spectaculars, each unique and special. One of my favorite parts of Disneyland is watching all the colors spark over the Sleeping Beauty castle. Also a fun way to see Tinkerbell fly across the night sky if you stand in front of the castle. I think the best spots to watch the fireworks are on Main Street, Rivers of America by Pirates of the Caribbean and from Fantasyland by Small World

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Mickey and the Magical Map Show – Cutest sing along show in the huge theater out front of Toontown in Fantasyland, fun to take little kids to, the singing and dancing numbers amazing (almost broadway quality)

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Sleeping Beauty’s Castle – The iconic landmark of Disneyland, love that they kept the sparkly roofing on the castle from the diamond celebration (such a beautiful touch). It’s always fun to walk through sleeping beauty’s castle, don’t miss it

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Disney’s Holiday FestivitiesPLEASE go to Disneyland during one of their holiday celebrations; I’ve personally been to every single one and the decorations alone all across the park are phenomenal (my all time favorites being Christmas and Halloween). The Haunted Mansion ride decked out themed Nightmare Before Christmas was a genius marketing move and so fun. Space Mountain is decked out as Ghost Galaxy. Love It’s A Small World Holiday when it’s all decked out in lights and Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle with the icicles is my absolute favorite. Always enjoy the Halloween parties….I mean any excuse to dress up as a Disney princess and you’ve got me, I’m in. Plus you’ll acquire so much candy from the adorable trick or treat booths spread all across the park. The special holiday treats you can buy throughout the park let alone are the main reasons I have to go every year.

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*Rides*

It’s A Small World – Arguably my favorite ride, who wouldn’t want to take a cruise around the world? Of course I’m always a little bias when it comes to representing my ethnicities and think that the Ireland/Scotland/England and Japanese areas are the best. The pastel colors, the dolls, everything about this ride makes me smile with pure joy (in Fantasyland)

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Peter Pan’s Flight – Can you blame me if I love Fantasyland more than any other? This ride though….first off, you get to fly in a pirate ship (who wouldn’t want to live this childhood dream?)…..and flying over little London town, so dreamy

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Dumbo – Looks like a cheesy ride if you’re not 5, but you get a pretty neat view overlooking the park (in Fantasyland)

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Indiana Jones – By far my favorite “big kid” ride…..love that you’re in a jeep four wheeling through some crazy scenes—the skulls, the snakes, the creepy Aztec looking tiki doll heads, the flaming fire, the huge boulder chasing you down a hole…..kind of wish the danger were real because that’d be a gnarly experience to battle through (in Adventureland)

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Storybook Land Canal Boats – Another cute fantasyland favorite, those miniature towns get me every time and the lit arch ways you pass under at night from Casey Jr.’s is so romantic (my favorite town is the new frozen one of course)

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King Arthur’s Carrousel – Everyone needs to ride on the Mary Poppins horse Jiggles at least once, it’s the best one with the glimmering gem stones and bells (the golden hoofs are a nice touch too) also in Fantasyland

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Mark Twain Riverboat – Love the casual stroll across the Rivers of America on this gorgeous boat that makes me feel like I’m strolling down the Mississippi river amongst New Orleans (in Frontierland)

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Matterhorn Bobsleds – Iconic mountain of Disneyland…..personally the ride isn’t the best with all the back and butt whiplash you experience, but the Swiss alps aesthetic keeps me coming back—love that it makes me feel like I’m in Austria especially with the workers dressed in the cutest costumes (in Fantasyland)

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Way fun roller coaster, love the scenery as it reminds me of Arizona or Utah because of the rock formations (In Frontierland)

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Lilly Belle Railroad Train Car – Newest favorite, look how gorgeous….the cool part is you’ll need reservations to see this beauty. Part of the back train car of the Disneyland Railroad which has stops on Main Street, New Orleans Square, Toon Town and Tomorrowland.

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*Eats*

Tiki Room Juice Bar – Two words “Dole Whip”….what’s not more refreshing on a warm summer day than pineapple soft serve (very iconic dessert) in Adventureland. Choose the soft serve (whip) or dole float (ice cream in pineapple juice)

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Bengal Barbecue – Must try the new tropical Jungle Julep drink, cousin of the Mint Julep. Super fruity smoothie/icee like consistency. Very delicious with hints of orange, grape, pineapple and lemon. The kabobs are a delicious snack too. In Adventureland

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Cafe Orleans – Mickey beignets are a must, super cute and always loving the NOLA vibes. Try the Monte Cristo sandwich, very classic New Orleans (grilled ham and cheese sandwich). In New Orleans Square

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Golden Horseshoe – Apparently the ice cream nachos are a thing, who knew? Is Disney on the secret menu phenomena kick like Starbucks? Also love their ice cream floats, try this cool new cherry cola one for the Fantasmic celebration. In Frontierland. The park rival of Gibson Girl on Main Street USA

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Candy Palace – Order a World of Color slushy off the secret menu, it’s almost too beautiful to drink. The best slushy. Right off the beautifully decorated Main Street USA

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Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor – Crowd favorite for ice cream and sundaes, the waffle cones are to die for. Also on Main Street USA

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Blue Bayou – Inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride (not my favorite place and kind of pricey, long wait, plus annoying reservations but it’s next to the famous Club 33) in New Orleans Square; has similar food to Cafe Orleans if you’re looking for a not as expensive option with the same cuisine. I always order the Monte Cristo and they have the best chicken gumbo soup

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Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port – Love the pastas especially the Mars-inara with meatballs and Count Down Chicken Fusilli, please pass on the pizza (tastes like microwave frozen stuff)….you can thank me later (in Tomorrowland)

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Earl’s Sandwiches – Technically not in Disneyland, but this Downtown Disney favorite needed some recognition (the Hawaiian bbq sandwich is delicious)

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Tortilla Joes – Also in Downtown Disney and they have the best chicken flautas

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French Market Restaurant – Love the french dip sandwich! Super filing dinner choice located in New Orleans Square and conveniently located to the Mint Julep bar

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Mint Julep Bar – Yummy mickey mouse shaped beignets (sugary powdered doughnuts), they have peppermint ones during Christmas time

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*Souvenirs*

World of Disney – Downtown Disney shop that literally carries everything you can find in the parks. The one stop shop for all your Disney favorites.

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*Disneyland’s Half Marathons*

If you have a chance, put one of these races on your bucket list they are amazing! My favorite is the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, but someday I’ll go to Florida to run the Princess Half Marathon. The medals are amazing!

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Have fun enjoying the happiest place on Earth ❤

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San Diego Travel Guide

Hi friends! Since I’ve recently been requested to offer recommendations for San Diego, thought I’d post my guide here. I’ve had my fair share of adventures in this beautiful place having many family members originate from this fun part of socal. When I picture San Diego, the sights that come to mind are the crisp blue ocean, marine life, amazing Mexican food, and Spanish influenced architecture. Two of my most favorite memories were learning how to surf in SD when I was 10 at surf camp and running the 5K MLB All-Star color run for All Star Baseball Weekend . Some of my most frequented cities are La Jolla, Escondido, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Coronado, Del Mar, Torrey Pines, Temecula, San Clemente and San Marcos. Sharing my favorites below:

*Sights*

La Jolla Shores Park – Most beautiful beach in SD that I’ve ever seen, not as spectacular as OC beaches (yes I’m biased) but still a very fun place to go for a lovely run along the flat coast. It has cute trendy boutique shops and adorable little restaurants nearby. Go early because it gets really crowded and hectic with parking

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La Jolla Cove – Pretty neat place for an adventurous kayaking or snorkeling experience in the sea caves, lots of sea lions as well as birds and other wildlife. Also popular for cliff diving which I’ve never done

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Balboa park – See the Pond, beautiful ornate Spanish architecture of the buildings, amazing florals and watch a cool play at the Shakespeare’s Globe theater replica

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Petco Park-  Home of the SD Padres MLB baseball team, was lucky enough to get to experience watching a game in one of the club level boxes (a rare moment for a baseball lover and typically only enjoyed for corporate events –kept having fan girl moments the entire duration of the game at how amazing this was)

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Seaworld – Fun for little kids or people who really like marine biology and marine animals, got to pet a dolphin which was quite the experience

San Diego Zoo & Safari Park – My favorite zoo of all time, will forever love the panda bear exhibits & the safari park reminds me of what I assume Africa would look like. If you get the opportunity to feed the giraffes you must do it

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Legoland – Used to visit here when I was little, rides are kind of lame compared to Disneyland which is what I grew up with as a kid but the miniature lego built towns and landmarks are incredible and phenomenal

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Carlsbad Ranch Flower Fields – Only can be seen for about 10 weeks in the spring time (usually March to May) and has been open for over 25 years; these flower fields are over 50 acres of gorgeousness and right next to the Carlsbad outlets (hi Kate Spade and Tory Burch) how convenient right? Go early because parking is a zoo. Described as a hillside rainbow painted with a variation of 13 vibrant colors of millions of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers upon coastal farmland. When we went admission was $14 and hours were from 9-6pm

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Seaport Village – cute little area downtown with a beautiful marina, little trendy shops and fun hotel bars (pretty views of the sunset along the water)

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Coronado Bridge & Skyline – Amazing little  coastal beach town reminding me of my favorite city Newport Beach. Would make for a fun perfect short weekend getaway. We saw the cute tiny beach at the edge of the bridge with fleets of yachts and sailboats. Go to the Hotel del Coronado for gorgeous views and enjoy drinks on the patio or brunch at the restaurant. In the winter they even have an adorable ice skating rink. Literally one of my favorite places in San Diego, so many cute trendy shops and restaurants

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Gaslamp Quarter – trendy area right by Petco Park in Downtown; lots of cute restaurants, ton of cool rooftop bars and a short walk away from the metro station

Greetings from SD Wall – In North Park and a popular place for instagramers or bloggers for the iconic SD shot

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Sunset Cliffs Natural Park –  beautiful place to take photos and enjoy the exquisite wonders of nature

Wilson Creek Winery – Hands down the prettiest vineyards I’ve visited in Temecula Wine Country, you feel like you’re in Sonoma or Napa Valley, fun for wine tasting and go for a fun hot air balloon ride while you’re at it since the scenery is gorgeous. Also liked South Coast Winery as a second favorite

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Clue Avenue Escape Rooms – First time I had ever done an escape room and this one was super fun. Had the best team and the puzzles were pretty good, even a fun were quite challenging

*Eats*

Extraordinary Desserts – best dessert place I’ve been to, love the presentation skills of pure art and way fun industrial interior design (cute place to take your girlfriends for a girl’s getaway or birthday dessert celebration)

Hammonds Ice Cream – Located in North Park, known for their ice cream flights, just your average ice cream in the cutest little waffle cones, wish I would’ve went with enough people to get the flight of 30 since it looks crazy cool, but the flight of 6 was good enough since there was only two of us present

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Filippi’s Pizza Grotto – An Italian pasta favorite in Escondido, the amount of cheese they use on their pizzas is ridiculous

Bahama Bucks – Delicious refreshing shaved ice in a rainbow assortment of flavors. Perfect for a super hot sunny day. Went to the location in Temecula after wine tasting

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Unevolve Bowls – Create your own acai and pitaya bowls, I’m obsessed and liked this place because you can literally get all the different kinds of fruits and customize it to your liking. Went to the location in San Marcos

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Better Buzz – Cutest coffee and acai bowl place in San Marcos. Bowl was amazing and ordered the Best Drink Ever which was pretty great iced coffee if I do say so myself. Plus the packaging is very creative

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