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vacation

November 12, 2018

TRIP TO SAN DIEGO

This has taken me a little longer than I wanted it to, but I’ve been meaning to share my recent trip to San Diego with you guys. Josh and I went to San Diego the second week of October for an award ceremony for Josh’s job. It was five full days of exploring this beautiful city. From taco restaurants to the zoo, we did it all…or at least tried to.

We arrived to San Diego at 12 p.m. on Friday and decided to explore immediately. In San Diego, scooters litter the streets, BIRDs and Limes galore. Me, I could do without a scooter but of course, Josh could not get enough of them. Once we got some food in our stomach at this really cool Mexican Restaurant, La Puerta. Super relaxed and low key restaurant with good food and a fun vibe. And yes, after we ate, we went scootering but not for long. We continued our exploring to the Gas Lamp Quarter where we found another spot to enjoy the city and get some drinks, at American Junkie. And it just so happens that D-list reality TV star James Kennedy was expected to be DJing that night. In the morning and afternoons, American Junkie is a chill relaxed restaurant with sports games blaring on several TVs and an awesome outdoor seating area, perfect for people watching. However, at night, it turns into a club. Enter James Kennedy. We didn’t stay to wait for him, but I did shamelessly take a photo of the sign the hostess was creating. Not sorry.

As we were walking back to our hotel, we decided to peruse The Embaracadero Marina Park, it was on our list but Josh was also eyeing another scooter and as you can imagine, the park is the perfect place to scoot (is that a thing/verb?). It’s a really cool low key area right on the water with various walkways and grass to sprawl out and relax. Next to the park is The Seaport Village which consists of a bunch of touristy shops and restaurants. It’s right on the water and it’s a beautiful place to stroll through, definitely recommend!

The next morning we woke up early and headed back to the Gaslamp Quarter and decided to try our luck with a Saturday morning brunch spot. Josh and I are both foodies, so we’re not particularly fussy when it comes to new places. We stopped at Cafe 21, mostly because the outside decorations were oh-so Instagram worthy. It’s actually an organic, gluten-free eatery and it is DELICIOUS. Josh and I eat gluten like it’s our job, and as I said, we don’t seek out places, we just kind of go wherever feels right. This was one of our favorite meals! I ordered the Turkey Benedict which consisted of a spinach and feta bread pudding base, topped with turkey, a poached egg and cranberry jam. OMG. It. Was. Incredible. I was a little iffy on the combination, but it was so delicious and so fresh; literally drooling thinking about it right now. Josh got the Shrimp Corn Cakes, which included poached eggs, Kennebec potato, wild shrimp, sweet corn, mozzarella, cilantro cream sauce and, fried basil. I had a taste and it was good, but we both agreed my meal was the best. I also got a perfect cappuccino to complement my meal–AMAZE.

After brunch, we headed to the USS Midway Museum. This maritime museum located downtown and consists of the aircraft carrier Midway. The ship includes an extensive amount of aircraft, many of which were built in Southern California. It was super fun exploring the carrier and learning more about the aircraft it houses. We probably spent two and a half hours there–definitely a must-see in San Diego.

From the Midway, we headed to Coronado to visit the famous Hotel Del for lunch. It is BEAUTIFUL and filled with history.

Info about the hotel ^^^

We ate at Sheerwater, which was way overpriced and not anything amazing. It wasn’t bad, it just could have been better. We were there mostly for the amazing scenery and that did NOT disappoint. Definitely a place worth visiting when in San Diego.

We strolled the beach. It’s huge and so beautiful. It was the perfect beach day, but it was on the chillier side. If we had more time, I would be living at this beach all week. Oh, and people carved sand pumpkins…

See! Here they are ^^ CUTEE.

The reception for Josh’s award was hosted on the field of Petco Park. We ate ballpark-style food on the actual field and self-toured the stadium. It was an awesome experience!

The next morning, we headed to La Jolla for a kayak tour with La Jolla Kayak Tours lol. We took the Original Cave Tour, which consisted of paddling along the coastline, catching glimpses of sea lions bathing in the sun. We stopped in front of the caves, but it was a little too rough to go through them. At each spot we paddled to, the tour guides filled us with fun facts and anecdotes. My favorite was one about Dr. Seuss. Theodor Seuss Geisel lived atop the mountains in La Jolla and, like most guys, he loved hosting guys night at his place, but his wife hated when he did that. So, to avoid the men, she would make her way to the top of the mountain and enjoy her own girls night. But when she was ready to head home, she would call Dr. Seuss and tell him to get everyone out of the house, she was on her way home. He would turn to his friends and say: “Time to go! The Grinch is coming to steal all of our fun.” (paraphrasing) and they would rush to leave. Apparently, she was the inspiration behind The Grinch, and I’m not sure their marriage lasted very long. For those who love the ocean and to be outside, I definitely recommend this tour–it was also a great workout! After, we got brunch at Galaxy TacoThey make their own taco shells and their food is DELICIOUS. I got the traditional Mexican breakfast meal known as Chilaquiles–so good! We sat outside and enjoyed some people watching while crunching on tortilla chips.

That evening, we decided to visit the famous Sunset Cliffs, Natural Park. For the best ocean and sunset views, this is the place to be. It’s a 68-acre city of San Diego park which extends 1 1/2 miles along the Point Loma peninsula’s western shoreline. The views were breathtaking and while there were a ton of people there, it didn’t feel crowded. There are more than enough spots to view the sunset.

We didn’t want to leave…

So pretty. Ready to go back.

As you can imagine, we worked up the quite the appetite. From kayaking to viewing sunsets, we were ready to eat! This is absolutely Josh’s favorite spot: The Crack Shack.  It’s your well-above average fried chicken, chicken sandwich, really good fast food-esque restaurant. They can describe it much better, here. I got the California Dip and Josh got the Double Clucker…he can’t stop talking about it…even now. We also got a side of Mexican Poutine-AMAZING. Mouth is watering again. If we were in San Diego longer, we probably would’ve gone at least once a day, especially if it were up to Josh.

On our second to last day, Josh went golfing at Torrey Pines while I wandered around the Gaslamp Quarter. I’m not a golfer, but the course is beautiful…right?

After golf, I met up with him to go for a hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve. The views were beautiful and we ended up hiking two trails, so our legs were literally jello by the end of the day.

Paused for beach views before hiking up the steepest part of the trail. Needless to say, we didn’t make it out to dinner that night as we hoped. Instead, we ordered room service and watched 90 Day Fiance… it was a long day!!

And on our final day, we made it to the San Diego Zoo. So amazing! So fun. We spent five hours there made it to the majority of the exhibits, not all. My favorite was the orangutans–they are too funny! I could hang with them all day LOL. Here for updated information on the zoo.

 We obviously took some breaks to take photobooth pics… And eat gigantic boozy snow cones. It was such a fun day and a great way to end our trip. 

We had an early dinner at a restaurant near our hotel called La Puesto. It was pretty delicious and definitely a place we would go back to. Below is a list of places I really wanted to try, but just didn’t have enough time to visit.

Ballast Point Brewery

The Taco Stand 

Nolita Hall

Charles and Dinorah 

Trust 

Lola 55 

Piatti La Jolla 

Tacos Libertad

Herb + Wood 

Ironside Fish and Oyster

Hope you found this helpful and I can’t wait to make another trip out there since there is so much left to see…and eat!

xx

Jackie

May 1, 2018

MY CHARLESTON TRAVEL GUIDE

Oh vacation, how I miss you! Last week, Josh and I spent a week in Charleston, South Carolina and I can’t explain how badly I want to be back there right now. Typically, when we vacation, we tend to find an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean and drink and eat ourselves silly. But I have been wanting to visit Charleston ever since I started watching Southern Charm (LOL JK, guys! Give me a little more credit). Seriously, it’s a city that has been on my bucket list for a long time. So, as my Christmas present, Josh booked us a trip to Charleston, and after waiting for four long cold months, we jetted off to this perfectly charming city. First of all, the weather was incredible every day. It was between 70 and 80-degrees with, what seemed like a constant refreshing breeze. According to the locals, April/May are the best months to visit the city (way to go, Josh!). We stayed at an AirBnb on James Island, which is a prime location because it’s right between the beach and downtown. If you’ll keep reading, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite spots to eat, beach, drink and explore! I’m also going to share some of the places we didn’t have time to go to. Josh and I really wanted to go on a tour of the city. We actually explored some of the major spots ourselves first and then went on a tour to learn more about Charleston’s incredible history. Above is a view of The Battery. The Battery is a landmark in Charleston and is a defensive seawall, named for a civil-war defense artillery battery. It stretches along the lower shores of Charleston, forming the harbor. I loved walking this promenade and feeling the sea breeze–bring me back! And, in the distance, you can see the famous Ravenel bridge. Okay, the reason I’m unnecessarily obsessed with this bridge is mostly because it is named after the one and only drama-starting, reality TV “star” Thomas Ravenel. I’m super fascinated by this family, and this bridge is named after Arthur Ravenel Jr. (Thomas Ravenel’s dad). I learned quite a bit about this bridge. It connects Charleston to Mt. Pleasant (which is an area I wanted to go but didn’t have time), it is the third largest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere and its total length is 13,200 feet (WHOA!). If you’re planning on visiting Charleston, one of your first stops must be The Battery–it’s perfect and picturesque. For our tour, we did a combined bus and boat tour with Grayline tours. It was $40 per person and was three hours long. I really enjoyed exploring the city with them. We also drove through the Citadel campus which was beautiful. And the boat tour was a big highlight for us! We toured the harbor, saw Sullivan’s Island and Fort Sumter….and went right under the Arthur Ravenel bridge (LOL…K I’m done). When we go again, we would probably go on the highly recommended Gullah tour. 

UM. You can’t visit Charleston and not visit Rainbow Row. It was clearly number one on my list and out of all the colorful homes, this vibrant lavender one was my favorite! There are 13 colorful historic houses, and it represents the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States. An absolute must see.

Here! I’ll live right here. Just one of the many ivy-covered homes I want to live in.

Another shot of The Battery, and that bright pink house, right there, is John Ravenel’s house, 5 East Battery (OMG ha! I’m embarrassing myself, but it’s beautiful). It was declared the best real estate on the peninsula with the most beautiful views…in 1838. Not exactly sure it’s an ideal place to live during a hurricane…just sayin’!

More of The Battery….behind is the White Point Gardens at The Battery. A better image of the White Point Gardens at The Battery. I could stare at these trees all day. They’re breathtaking; out of a scene from The Notebook.

Staying so close to the beach, we were told we had to go to Folly Beach. We went there on our first full day in Charleston, which was a Thursday, and after talking to some locals, that was the best decision we ever made. Apparently, there are only a few beaches in Charleston, Folly being the most popular, and in the summer it could take an hour to get to the beach from where we were, which was 10-15 minutes away. Since it gets super hot in the summer months, almost sticky, naturally everyone retreats to the beach. If you’re planning on going to the beach, plan to go on a weekday.  And, it’s not just a beach, but a whole town with restaurants, bars, and tourist shops. After getting burnt to a crisp and walking out on the pier, we hopped around Folly, with our first stop being  Rita’s Seaside Grille.  A cocktail is just what we needed after getting fried in the sun (Josh more than me). OKAY. I don’t know what they did, but their Pina Colada was silky smooth and AMAZING. My mouth is watering thinking about it now. After getting some liquor in us, we stopped at Taco Boy, which is a super cool spot with the best type of food on earth. You guessed it…TACOS. I LOVED everything about this spot and it was super affordable too. Quick service and great views of the streets of Folly. Let the people watching begin! I got a Kimchi Beef taco which was out of this world. If you find your way there and are debating between tacos, let the kimchi be one of your selections.

Our first night, we went to Leon’s Oyster Shop. Josh and I love seafood, so this was the perfect place to kick off our vacation. We got…oysters, of course, peel and eat shrimp and I got the Siam Salad–so good! OH…AND…. for dessert, they offer soft serve ice cream! What!?!!! I got the vanilla soft serve in a cone with rainbow sprinkles…AMAZING.

If you take one thing from this whole post, it’s to go to Carmella’s Dessert Bar. UM. TWO WORDS: DESSERT BAR. We went to this place TWICE! It’s right on East Bay Street, in a row with a group of great restaurants. They have gelato, cake, coffee, and alcohol…what more could you ask for! I got salted caramel gelato with a scoop of chocolate gelato and it was (double hand raise emoji) amazing! We went again on our last night and I ordered a cappuccino and salted caramel chocolate mousse–OH YES! It’s a fun spot to stop at after dinner or to take a break from shopping. It’s completely open too, so you can feel the fresh air and see the passersby.

See! How cute is Taco Boy? It’s as good as it looks.

We grabbed lunch at Prohibition. The lunch menu was limited, but I can tell you that the brussel sprouts were AWESOME! It’s a huge place, with this cute outdoor seating area. We would’ve gone back for dinner, had we had more time. Definitely a spot worth checking out!

Looking for a light bite and cozy atmosphere? Go to The Gin Joint. It was OK, but I’m not sure we would go back. Check out some places I wasn’t able to make it to below.

In the mood for a delicious breakfast and good coffee? Go to The Daily. There are two locations, and we went to the one on King Street. I wish we went more than once because there were a few things I wanted to try. Seating is a bit limited at this location and it’s cafeteria style ordering, but it’s SO good. Highly recommend.

These fun little ice cream looking trucks are made for both adults and children. Booze Pops! That’s right, in addition to your go-to chaco taco, they sell frozen booze popsicles. Definitely, a fun novelty to try. There are two in Charleston and are for the most part parked in the same spots, this one was right on King Street, the main shopping destination in the city. Great way to cool off while shopping in the South Carolina heat.

I didn’t do any shopping while I was visiting. I know. I’m just as shocked as you are. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you about any great clothing boutiques I stumbled upon, but my coworker stocked up on some super cute shoes at Shoes on King. I stopped in but there were too many shoes that I NEEDED, so I had to leave ASAP. The sales associates were super friendly and funny. There’s a mix of boutiques and your typical mainstream retailers: Forever 21, Louis Vuitton, Sperry, Vineyard Vines, Madewell…you get the gist.

We didn’t go into this antique shop, but this sign was too perfect not to snap a photo of.

Here are some of the other places we went to and loved…

Jestine’s Kitchen: Amazing southern food. We stopped in for lunch after our tour and it was one of our favorite meals

The Vendue Rooftop: Super cool spot! We stopped here after walking the city and got some drinks and a light bite. The views are unreal and it wasn’t as crowded as I expected it to be. There were a ton of people there, but there was so much space so it didn’t feel like everyone was on top of one another.

Loggerheads in Folly Beach: This was Josh’s favorite spot. We sat outside on the rooftop/deck. It’s a beach bar, right next to the marina. It’s an older crowd, but there are a ton of TVs and great live music! Definitely a spot we would go back to.

Pearlz Oyster Bar: Our favorite meal! I got the salmon on top of beet goat cheese risotto—heavenly

Ones we wanted to try…

If you have time, go to Mount Pleasant. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time but apparently, there are a ton of great places to eat and it’s a bit less expensive than downtown Charleston.

Stars Rooftop, Revelry Brewing, Husk, Hominy Grill, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, Obstinate Daughter, Vintage Coffee Cafe, Ink N Ivy, The Watch Rooftop, SNOB, Shem Creek Bar and Grill, Market Pavillion Hotel (Pavillion Rooftop) and The Commodore. Downtown Charleston is small, so it’s fairly easy to hop around to different places.

Hope this was helpful and I really hope you get a chance to visit this amazing city! If you do, let me know what your favorite places are and share some of your adventures with me.

 

xx

Jackie

 

 

July 7, 2017

SUMMER COMFORT: THE MAXI SKIRT

Details: Printed Easy Knit Maxi Skirt c/o J.Jill, here |

It’s maxi skirt season! I’ve been on vacation this week and I’ve never felt more relaxed. I went on a bit of a staycation and ventured to my family’s beach house on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut. My days have been spent basking in the sun from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. reading and relaxing. I feel so refreshed and the first time I put on my makeup was yesterday and it felt so foreign to me. I can’t say that my style has been on point this week because it’s been driven by comfort and I have NO problems with that. However, I’m planning on going out to dinner tonight and the closest thing to acceptable comfort is this colorful printed maxi from J.Jill. It’s super comfortable and looks good with a variety of colors: white, black, navy, purple and even turquoise. It’s flowy and because it’s available in petite it isn’t too long like most maxis are on me. I’m hanging on to these last few days of vacation and am planning on more sun, one more book and my favorite bathing suit. What are your plans for the weekend?

June 21, 2016

JAMAICAN ME GROW

IMG_7303DSC_0360editedIMG_7229 (1)DSC_0472editedIMG_7205 (1)IMG_7391 editedIMG_7280editedFullSizeRenderIMG_7377 (2)Details: Forever 21 keyhole white and pink one piece bathing suit, similar style here | H&M black and magenta bathing suit, here |

Josh and I just spent a week in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande and I have to say it was one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever been on. Whenever we go on vacation together we always come back with a new set of inside jokes that we continue to talk about long after we leave the resort. It’s fun to have those memories to hang on to especially when you have to return to the office. This is the second all inclusive resort I’ve ever been to and the food was delicious, the drinks were strong and the room was beautiful. Last summer we went to Cancun and while we absolutely loved the fish tacos and all of that resort’s amenities, Moon Palace definitely has it beat. It offered various activities right on the resort so there was no need to travel anywhere else. For instance, we swam with the dolphins and since we were staying there 5 nights, we received a certain amount of ‘resort credits, leaving us only having to pay 16% of the ‘swimming with dolphin’ fee of $149, which came to $43–I was  shocked by this and was sure there would be some type of catch. I’m still holding my breath, but when we checked out there were no additional fees (fingers crossed). We even went on a sunset catamaran cruise for $23–unreal right!? The best part was that we didn’t need to waste half of our day driving to catch the boat because the pier we were instructed to meet at was AT the resort–everything you could ever want was all right there! Aside from our excursions, we spent the majority of our days hopping from the pool to the beach sipping on pina colada’s and cracking jokes. We also took part in the free paddle boarding, kayaking and sailing they had to offer. Oh, and Josh would definitely want me to mention the Flow Rider surfing simulation thing that he became a pro at–I even tried it! For those of you that know me, know that I’m not big into activities, especially if it interferes with my beach bum time, but I did some things that were a bit out of my comfort zone this vacation and it felt amazing. I included a photo of me in crow pose because it was one of the poses that took me the longest to accomplish. I hit my head on the floor a half a dozen times until I got it down. But you see, that was in a dark yoga room where no one else but me could really see my failures (they definitely heard them though).  I’ve always been fearful of what others might think of me if I messed up or fell face first and this fear has severely interfered with me wanting to try new things. That’s what I love most about Josh, he doesn’t care about what anyone thinks. He fell so hard about a dozen times on that Flow Rider and every time, he popped back up laughing and smiling. By the end of our trip, he was just as good as the instructors. It goes to show you that by embracing your failures, whether it’s with a belly flop or a nose dive into your yoga mat, you’re sure to come out on the other side a much stronger and more well-rounded person, maybe even with a new trick or two under your belt.  So while all of you thought I was bellying up to the bar and baking in the sun without a thought in my mind, I absolutely was, but I also learned a bit more about myself in the process ;).

xx

Jacqueline

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