Entries Tagged as 'Adventures'

travel adventures: provence

Posted on: Monday, November 14, 2016

This blog post is very delayed, but wanted to continue sharing photos from our September trip to Europe. I previously shared photos from the South of France and London, and today want to share photos from stop #3 – the Provence region!

It took a little under two hours to drive from our stop #2 in Antibes in the South of France to Provence. After some recommendations from friends, we decided to stay in the centrally located town of Aix-en-Provence. We loved it! The town is filled with art schools and universities, so felt a little more bustling compared to some of the smaller towns around. We stayed at this amazing Airbnb, which I couldn’t recommend enough. It was on bustling, brick street surrounded by cafes, shops and restaurants.

While in Provence, we made the most out of having our car and drove to small towns nearby almost every day. Some of the places we visited were Bonnieux (that’s where the adorable home with the purple shutters below is), St. Remy De Provence, Gordes (which was the city below built on a cliff – looks like it’s made of rocks!) and Loumarin (which had an insane outdoor market that literally took over the entire town, plus there’s a nearby castle, pictured below). In each town, we ended up wandering around slowly and exploring, enjoying a glass of rosé (or two) and checking out the local shops and markets.

photo-sep-10-12-27-24-am

photo-sep-09-6-15-20-am

My absolute FAVORITE thing about Aix, and the Provence region in general, was ALL OF THE MARKETS! Typically in SF, there are certain days for the flea market, farmers market, etc., but in Provence, there are outdoor markets everywhere, every day. We purchased gifts here for family – local spices and jewelry and soaps and bags of lavender. It’s a complete dream! The local produce was outstanding and we ended up going to markets almost every day for picnic supplies (cheese! fruit! crunchy bread!).

photo-sep-09-2-21-53-am

photo-sep-09-2-29-53-am

photo-sep-09-2-23-05-am

photo-sep-09-2-22-02-am

I don’t really have specific restaurant or cafe recommendations, we kind of just winged it everywhere we went. In some of the smaller towns, there were only one or two cafes anyway! In Aix, there were a lot of options, so we used a mix of Foursquare and just walking around and looking at menus until we made a decision.

One thing I was surprised by was the wine tasting experience in Provence. It’s an amazing wine region, so we were so excited to try the wine! We love to go to Sonoma and other places nearby SF to go wine tasting, but it was totally different here. It seemed like people typically just went to pick up wine from the wineries, rather than do a full on tasting and make a day of it. We didn’t know that before just showing up to some wineries (ha) but still ended up being able to taste and enjoy. One favorite spot was one called Barbarella in a cool cave – more wine pics are below.

photo-sep-10-5-20-54-am

photo-sep-10-5-34-40-am

photo-sep-10-5-20-43-am

More photos below; thanks for reading! If you have any Provence region recommendations, I’d love to hear them and add to the list for our next visit. xo // Previous travel blog posts here: South of France & London

photo-sep-09-5-10-12-am

photo-sep-09-6-16-58-am

photo-sep-08-8-32-25-am

photo-sep-08-6-49-03-am

photo-sep-08-8-33-06-am

photo-sep-08-10-47-32-am

 

#GoComfy: My Recent Day Trip to Big Sur

Posted on: Monday, October 31, 2016

This past weekend, E and I decided to do a spontaneous trip down to the Carmel/Big Sur area. It was SO fun and I have tons of photos to share! On Friday, we went wine tasting, had dinner in charming downtown Carmel and stayed at a hotel nearby. On Saturday, we woke up early, grabbed coffee and got ready to roadtrip south down to Big Sur. I wanted to share some photos of our Saturday adventure in the Big Sur area!

All day, I wore cozy gear from Cuddl Duds that I snagged from Kohls, including leggings, a long sleeve top and a beanie. I wanted to dress comfortable, since we would be in the car for a good amount of time and also doing a short hike, but also semi-put together since we were grabbing brunch at Big Sur Bakery. Cuddl Duds are SUPER COMFY, soft loungewear that’s perfect for layering. You can wear just about everywhere, from lounging around the house to running errands to working out. I first heard about the brand from my mom years ago, because she would always wear Cuddl Duds tops under her sweaters in the winter.

I broke down our day into photos based on what was happening throughout the day; hope you enjoy!

WE SAW A RAINBOW! // On the drive down Highway 1, we saw a rainbow! It was AMAZING and I was totally freaking out about it.
Big Sur 10

Cuddl Duds 4

BIXBY BRIDGE // This is one of the iconic spots right before you get into Big Sur to take photos and soak up the amazing view. It was pretty windy and overcast at this point in the morning, but still gorgeous! I wore this Cuddl Duds gray wrap tunic top with a flannel tied around my waist because the weather was super moody!

Cuddl Duds 3

A + E

Big Sur 6

BIG SUR BAKERY // I love this place and was so excited to try brunch here! I’ve been for dinner a few times and also for coffee and pastries a bunch. We split an amazing almond croissant and a huge breakfast pizza. By the time we got to Big Sur Bakery, it was POURING outside so I swapped my tennis shoes for my Hunter rainboots. While we waited for our table, we tried to stay dry (thank you, super soft Cuddl Duds beanie!) and also admired the amazing plants and garden area outside of the bakery.

Big Sur 11

Cuddl Duds 5

Here’s what I’m wearing: FlexFit Space-Dye Long Underwear LeggingsPom-Pom Slouchy Beanie & Softwear with Stretch Wrap-Over Tunic, all from Cuddl Duds.  

Big Sur 3

 

Big Sur 7

POINT LOBOS HIKE // Since it was still raining when we left brunch and a lot of Big Sur parks are closed due to fires (so sad), we drove back up Highway 1 to find some sunshine! We decided to do a 4ish mile hike at Point Lobos and it was super pretty and fairly easy to do. The Cuddl Duds leggings I wore were perfect for the hike because they kept me warm and comfortable without being too tight or constricting or TOO HOT.

Big Sur 1

Big Sur 2

Big Sur 4

Big Sur 5

ROADTRIPPIN’! // Roadtripping with E is one of my favorite things to do so we just chatted in the car and sang really loudly to old songs. After the hike, we stopped at a new-to-us brewery in Monterey and then grabbed seafood in Half Moon Bay on our way back to San Francisco.
Cuddl Duds 1

Cuddl Duds 6

Thanks so much for reading! If you haven’t been to the Big Sur area, you absolutely should add it to your list! If you have any questions or want recommendations on where to go, just let me know and I’ll send you some ideas. And if you are looking for some majorly comfy clothes to wear around the house or on your next adventure, I highly recommend Cuddl Duds. xo

travel adventures: south of france

Posted on: Monday, October 10, 2016

Hi!

Today I’m going to share photos from our second stop in Europe – the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) in the South of France! People keep asking me what my favorite part of the trip was and while every single place we went was really unique and special, something about our time here felt extra magical. So right now, this might be my favorite! It felt truly like a vacation – very relaxing with nothing in particular to do or anywhere to go.

photo-sep-07-5-22-36-am

We flew into Nice from London and rented a car. We decided to stay in Antibes, which was a short drive from Nice. When getting recommendations from people about the South of France, it seemed like we really couldn’t go wrong in terms of what town to have as our “home base.” We ended up picking Antibes because it seemed fairly centrally located on the coast between Nice and Cannes. The town was fairly small (much smaller than places like Nice or Marseille) and peaceful and our Airbnb was right on the water.

Every day near the French Riviera was a little different, but strung together by some common themes: making expresso at home and sitting on our balcony, walking to the boulangerie (bakery) for croissants or quiche, wandering around Antibes or driving to a nearby town to wander around, exploring markets (my very favorite thing to do!) and local shops, finding a beach to read and lounge and swim at, taking a looooong lunch along the water (our go-to lunch as always mussels – so yummy! and rosé) and relaxing more along the water. In the evenings, we would watch the sunset on our balcony, drinking (more) rosé and eating cheese we picked up near the house.

 

photo-sep-06-1-33-02-am

View from our balcony!

One morning, we made the drive to Monaco and wandering around. The town was fancy and filled with casinos, upscale hotels, expensive cars everywhere and HUGE yachts in the harbors. It was fun to see all of the crazy fancy stuff! We kept pretending that someone might invite us onto their yacht to hang out with them, but sadly, didn’t happen. ;) Another morning, we drove to Cannes and wandered the insanely amazing farmer’s market and through the narrow streets, filled with pastel buildings and greenery. Literally, it was one of those CUTENESS OVERLOAD places.

unspecified-6

unspecified-3

We spent a looooot of time just lounging by the water. Some beaches we went to were Plage Passable, Plage de la Garoupe and Plage du Mouré Rouge, but honestly, if you’re visiting, no need to remember these specific beaches. Everywhere along the coast is beautiful and incredible so you really can’t go wrong!

I loved this Francis Scott Fitzgerald quote I read at a restaurant: “With our being back in a nice villa on my beloved Riviera (between Cannes and Nice) I’m happier than I’ve been for years. It’s one of those strange, precious, and all too transitory moments when everything in one’s life seems to be going well.” Amen, +1, YAS. I feel ya.

unspecified-5

unspecified-4

Here’s a few tips in case you’re considering a trip!
Get a rental car – we loved having the rental car because it gave us so much freedom and flexibility to go wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted. There’s a train that goes along the coast (here’s more info) but we stuck with transit by car. Plus, our GPS had a weirdly soothly voice, so that was a plus. ;)

Bring a blanket or big towel – I had a Turkish towel that we used literally every day on the entire trip. I used it as a scarf on the plane, but when traveling, we used it as our go-to beach blanket or picnic blanket. It was seriously the best thing I brought! It was great to throw in my bag every day at the different beaches, although some beaches allow you to rent a chair for the day.

Don’t over plan – one reason we loved this part of the trip was because we didn’t feel like we had an agonizing to-do list of things we wanted to see or had recommendations on. We literally had zero plans or specific recommendations from anyone on what to do or where to go and that took a lot of pressure off. We were able to just be spontaneous when we wanted and lazy when we wanted to without feeling bad. It was glorious!

Thanks for reading! A few more pics below.

unspecified-1

unspecified

unspecified-2

photo-sep-07-12-43-38-pm

Weekend Trip: Monterey County

Posted on: Friday, September 30, 2016

One of my very favorite things about living in San Francisco is how easy it is to get to some incredible places, like Yosemite, Wine Country, and Lake Tahoe, in just a short drive. Another super easy (and beautiful) drive is taking Highway 1 south to the Monterey County area. I’ve been down there several times and have stayed in different areas, from camping in Big Sur to different Airbnbs in small towns like Pacific Grove, Carmel and Seaside. I’ve even stayed at arguably the *best* Best Western along Highway 1 in Monterey County (LOL)!

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a lot of happy memories adventuring down to this part of California – from my first time down there ever with my mom, to getting engaged at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, to a recent visit to Monterey with my parents, E and my sister. I prefer to drive down Highway 1 if we have time, because the views are so stunning. I swear, every five minutes, I’m like PULL OVER! GOTTA TAKE A PIC!

At beach in Seaside!

At beach in Seaside!

Seaside, California

Now let’s talk food. When we’ve camped or stayed right in Big Sur, an absolute must has been going to Big Sur Bakery for ANY meal, or at the very least, pastries. Nepenthe is another great spot for sunset #magichour views and snacks. Here’s some other good food and drink recommendations for this area! One place on my list to try out is Big Sur Taphouse – I’ve heard amazing things from friends. When near the town of Monterey, I like to walk down the boardwalk (even though it’s soooo touristy) and try clam chowder. ;)

If you’re looking for the perfect Instagram photo or to leisurely (or not-so-leisurely depending on how far you go) enjoy the views of the ocean or the Monterey Country area, here’s my favorite spots:McWay Falls, Partington Cove Trail, Bixby Bridge and Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, and the legendary 17-Mile Drive through Carmel. You can also check out this list of outdoor activities if that’s your thing!

img_2468-768x768

Bixby Bridge!

Pfeiffer Falls - approx. 2 mile hike

Pfeiffer Falls – approx. 2 mile hike

Another fun thing to do in Monterey County (or anywhere, IMO) is shopping! I think Carmel is the cutest town to wander and shop and they have tons of good stores. Downtown Monterey tends to be more tourist-y type shopping if you’re looking for that kind of thing.

Let me know if you have any Monterey area favorites so I can check them out next time I make the drive down! Also, #SeeMonterey is giving away a trip package, including 2 nights at Monterey Tides, 2 tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and a wine blending at Joullian Vineyards. To enter, just comment below sharing what activity you would like to do in Monterey County and a winner will be selected randomly. Good luck!

Downtown Monterey

Downtown Monterey

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie