Florida’s Hidden Gem: Exploring Amelia Island

While Amelia Island is not quite part of Florida’s Emerald Coast, it reminds me of the beaches you’d see in Destin and Panama City but far less congested and more laid back.

Recently my girlfriend and I decided to take a long weekend to Amelia Island. I’d received a voucher for a two night stay at any Omni property in the US or Canada and figures I wanted to go somewhere warm and beachy that I’d never been to before. I figured Amelia Island would fit the bill.


Shortly after deciding on the Omni Amelia Island, JetBlue had one of their great sales and Jacksonville, FL was one of their destinations. How perfect! My friend was coming from New York, while I was coming from Washington, DC. The best part was neither of us paid more than $180 for our tickets. Continue reading “Florida’s Hidden Gem: Exploring Amelia Island”

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All About Milan: Tips & Tricks

Since this is my second visit to Milan, I’m qualified to be an expert on the city right? Well not quite, but I’ve had the chance to experience a lot that the fashion capital of Italy has to offer.

Where do I stay?
First of all, in my opinion, you should stay somewhere close to the Milano Centrale station. Not only is it easily accessible from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) but it’s a quick walk, metro, or tram ride across the city.

I’m a SPG girl so I’m all about staying in Starwood properties whenever possible, there are plenty in Milan to choose from. We’ve stayed in the Four Points by Sheraton three times now. The first two times last April and the first part of our trip this September we stayed in newly remodeled spacious rooms on an SPG designated floor. The last stay was booked under my Aunt, who does not have SPG status and we stayed on a lower floor that was straight out of the 60/70s. Continue reading “All About Milan: Tips & Tricks”

End of Summer Holiday

Before you ask, yes, I’m traveling again. My Aunt and I booked a trip to Milan back in January as part of Emriates annual companion deal. We booked a Wednesday-Wednesday trip around Labor Day weekend.

Since I’d been to Milan before, I wanted to use the trip as a springboard to go someplace new. Initially, the plan was to go to Croatia. After searching for flights, there didn’t seem to be many affordable or nonstop options from Milan to any of the major cities there. 

A few weeks after booking the flight, my Aunt who had never been to Venice told me she wanted to also incorporate that and a trip to Cinque Terre. So the planning began and I needed to find some place close that we could go to in addition to those two places in Italy.

Sometime during this period, I came across a few blogs on Budapest. After checking for flights and finding several for as low as $40RT from Milan, I was sold.

So in addition to booking two days trips to Cinque Terre and Venice, in Italy, I was now on the hunt for things to do in Budapest. Based on flight schedules and pricing, it looked as though 3 days would be just enough time to explore this city filled with quite the unique history.

More on this specifics of our trip up next…

It’s My Birthday! Greetings from Sint Maarten.

As I type this, I’m sitting on our balcony at the Westin Dawn Beach listening to the roar of the ocean. This is such a peaceful island and our view couldn’t be any better. Thanks SPG for the oceanview upgrade.

There was quite storm last night but everything’s good now. You’ll notice in the photo above one of the cabanas fell down. The winds were pretty strong last night, but everyone here was unfazed so we weren’t either. Continue reading “It’s My Birthday! Greetings from Sint Maarten.”

Summer, Summer, Summer time

This summer has seriously flown by. After Cuba, I thought I’d be fine not doing anything else until my next trip to Italy/Hungary with my Aunt in September but hey things change.

As a child, I spent each birthday in a different part of the country attending annual attorney conventions with my parents that always fell around my birthday. Since I’ve been an adult for some reason I’ve remained close to home and usually just do an intimate dinner with friends to celebrate. This year I’ve decided to spend my birthday with my amazing husband on the island of Saint Maarten. We’re going for 5 days/4 nights and I couldn’t be more excited.

Typically, I like to plan every last detail on trips because I have a serious fear of missing out, but this time I’m going to do what normal people do and actually vacation. Of course, being who I am I couldn’t have absolutely no plans so I booked a catamaran day trip to the island of Anguilla and a couples massage for my birthday. Other than that, we’ve booked a car and I’m looking forward to exploring the French and Dutch sides of the island at our leisure. Nine days and counting…

st-maarten
Photo from Carnival’s website

Viva Cuba

Today’s my last day in Mexico after a much awaited trip to Cuba. Planning for our trip began last December.

After reading countless reviews, we decided that flying to Cuba from Mexico would make the most sense and would definitely be more economical than taking a chartered flight from Miami or New York. From what I heard those flights tend to cost $700-1000, plus you’d have to find a way to get to Miami or NY.

We first got a great deal from Baltimore to Cancun. In January, we purchased the second leg our flight from Cancun to Havana on Aeromexico. All together we paid about $440 for both flights, it would have been $100 cheaper but we paid to have a carry-on and assigned seats on Spirit. Yes, we flew Spirit and it actually wasn’t bad. Continue reading “Viva Cuba”

A Weekend in Cartagena

So after booking the trip to Medellin, Colombia, I kept hearing people talk about another city that wasn’t too far called Cartagena. Cartagena is a city to the north of Medellin with lots of history. The Walled City and the large fortress that protected the old city are still very prominent. When I found a flight on VivaColombia for only $49 roundtrip, I knew it would have to be added to my itinerary.

Prior to going, I’d received a lot of tips and everyone I talked to recommended we contact Alex Rocha if we wanted to truly get an authentic tour experience. We ended up doing two tours and a Chivas party bus with Alex. (Find him on Facebook)

Continue reading “A Weekend in Cartagena”

Exploring Colombia – Guatapé & Medellin

I’ve now been in Colombia for two full days, yesterday a day trip to Guatapé and El Peñol and today was spent doing a walking tour of Medellin.

When looking for tours of Medellin, I came across Real Tours Medellin as the number one tour in the city. So not only was it listed in the top, it was also a free tour meaning you simply make a reservation, show up, and give a tip to the guide at the end, if you feel so inclined. They offer tours twice daily Monday through Friday.

I opted for a Friday morning tour and had to book my tour on Wednesday after 6pm ET since reservations open 1.5 days before.  Continue reading “Exploring Colombia – Guatapé & Medellin”

An Unexpected Solo Trip

Last fall, I booked a flight for my husband and I to go to Medellin, Colombia (yeah, yeah I know its history, but that was a long time ago) because Delta Airlines was having an amazing sale only $275 round trip. I’d been intrigued by Colombia for sometime and when the opportunity arose I pounced on it.

Fast forward to last week, my hubby tells me he’s no longer joining mOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe on this long awaited journey due to unforeseen circumstances. At first I began to panic that all of this anticipation would be the biggest let down of my life. Okay I’m being a little dramatic but I’ve literally been looking forward to this trip for over 6 months so not going would have crushed my spirit.

Anyway, I had a decision to make, either cancel a trip I’ve been looking forward to for months or go on my own. Continue reading “An Unexpected Solo Trip”

When Did Traveling Become Elitist?

Over the past few years, I’ve notice a number of people making comments, mostly on social media, stating that people who travel are only doing so to show off.

The debates often go back and forth with many condemning those who enjoy being frequent travelers. What’s so wrong with taking full advantage of your vacation time? Americans are known for a lot of things and not using all of their vacation time is one of them.
Continue reading “When Did Traveling Become Elitist?”