travel diary

Los Angeles Travel Diary (& Video!)

I touched down back in New York a few days ago, and have been in a delirious state ever since… Jet lag has magically hit me much, much harder than it did for my trip to Bali! Anyways, today I’m back with my favorite kind of post: a travel diary. I’m sharing all of my favorite places to eat, play, shop, and stay in the Los Angeles area (and boy, do I have a lot of recommendations!), and giving you all the details on my trip. Also, I have a quick video that I filmed while I was there, so stay tuned until the end to watch! Without further ado, here is my Los Angeles travel diary…

This was my first visit to LA, and I absolutely loved it! In fact, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the city. It is so, so different than New York City — my second home — in the best ways possible. We all know the weather is near perfect, it is so much less crowded when you’re walking around, it felt cleaner, the people were friendlier, it is much more progressive — the list goes on and on! The traffic didn’t even bother me. What might be my favorite thing is how you have the mountains and the beach right in the same area; that’s essentially my dream world 🙂

Did I mention that I saw Kendall Jenner, Brittany Snow (one of my absolute favorites), and Cameron Dallas? I never see celebrities in NYC for some reason, so it was so funny to see so many in such a short amount of time.

{around west hollywood}

We stayed at an Airbnb in West Hollywood, which ended up being my favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles. The palm-tree lined streets were filled with cute coffee shops, tons of amazing shops and restaurants, and the coolest street art everywhere you looked. It was amazing.

My absolute favorite places to eat in WeHo were Carrera Café or Verve for morning coffee, Rawberri for an açai or pitaya bowl, Urth Café for lunch, and Gracias Madre (all plant-based Mexican? Yes, please!) for dinner. All of these places were picture perfect, and I would go back to each in a heartbeat — there were so many more items on the menus that I would like to try!

{view from hollywood hills}

Hollywood Hills is truly amazing. The houses are gorgeous, the winding roads weaving up and down the hills are insane, and the view of the city of Los Angeles can’t be beat. We went on a quick hike at Runyon Canyon which was nice — it was sunny and beautiful and an easy hike. Parking was a little iffy — we were so happy that we were driving a Jeep Wranger that could park on the uneven grounds! I would love to do a hike to the Hollywood Sign next time around.

{malibu views}

{el matador state beach}

{malibu wine safari}

My other favorite area was Malibu, which is of course a little ways outside of Los Angeles. It was absolutely stunning; there are no other words to describe it. All of the beaches that we saw were gorgeous, but I’d have to say my favorite was El Matador State Beach.

We also visited Malibu Wine Safari which was nothing short of perfect. We did the Giraffe Tour, so we got to meet and feed Stanley the giraffe who is a retired Hollywood actor. (Yes, seriously). We basically all got into a safari-style truck like you’d see on an African safari and rode it around Saddlerock Ranch. We got to meet so many animals who all had the most clever names… My personal favorites were the llamas, including Barack and Michelle Ollama, the Dalai Llama, Kendrick Llama, and Llama Del Rey. In between meeting and feeding the animals, we tasted both red and white wines. Animals and wine — you couldn’t ask for a more perfect combo!

As far as food, Sunlife Organic was my favorite place that we ate at in Malibu. I had one of the best açai bowls I’ve ever had! Too good.

{santa monica}

{venice}

The Santa Monica and Venice areas are talked about a lot, but I have to say they weren’t my favorite parts of the city. I’m so glad I got to see and experience them, but I didn’t love them as much as the other neighborhoods that I talked about. The Santa Monica pier was fun to see (and the sunset from there is supposed to be really pretty!), the Venice sign was iconic (stop by Animal House to shop around while you’re right there), and I could sit and people watch at the Venice Skate Park all day long. Other than that, it was a little too gritty for my taste.

{a few random iphone snaps}

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I would be placing a heavier focus on videos moving forward. So, I decided to put together a one-minute look into my trip. It’s definitely not my favorite thing I’ve ever created, but it felt like a great way to get started with cinematography. I recently read a quote that said something along the lines of, “in order to get good at something, you have to be willing to be bad at it.” It really resonated with me, and perfectly describes how I feel about videography at the moment.

That being said, this video was so much fun to create, and I can’t wait to make more (better!) videos soon. Thank you so, so much for watching — it really means more to me than you know! I hope you enjoy. And hey, if you have any ideas for videos that you want me to make, please just let me know 🙂

{you can subscribe here to see early releases of videos!}

 

So that just about wraps up my Los Angeles travel diary! Have you ever been to LA? What are your favorite places to eat, play, shop, and stay in the area?
01. Bali Travel Diary
02.
Kennebunkport Travel Diary
03.
Montauk Travel Diary
04. Lake Placid Travel Diary
05. New Orleans Travel Diary
06. 
Quebec City Travel Diary
07. Nantucket Island Travel Diary
08. Newport, Rhode Island Travel Diary
09. Mont-Tremblant Travel Diary

Surf Sand Sun

YOU GUYS. I just got back from my trip to Bali, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. If you follow me on social media, then you know I was gone for 10 days, getting sandy and sunkissed at a yoga and surf retreat. (If you’re not already, you can follow along here!)

Today I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite photos from the trip, and talk a little bit more about my experience — it was quite the Eat, Pray, Love moment! So without further ado, here is my Bali travel diary…

{around the retreat / endless smoothies by the pool, lush gardens, outdoor yoga chalet, & more}

The retreat itself was nothing short of heavenly. It was through Goddess Retreats, and it was even better than I expected (and I had high hopes!). There are a few different options for the retreat — I chose the yoga one in Seminyak.

The retreat was wellness-oriented, so we had yoga twice a day, which was amazing. It was in an outdoor chalet, and I seriously don’t know how I’m going to readjust and start going back to doing yoga inside! We also had unlimited spa treatments, so I had facials, manicures, a pedicure, hair treatments, and more. There were also tons of massage options, body scrubs, an aloe vera treatment for skin that has seen a little too much sun — it was too great.

The chefs vegan-ized every single meal for me, which was so, so nice. It was seriously some of the best food ever; there were so many flavors that you just don’t get in America. Possibly my favorite part? The vegan cookies on my nightstand that were restocked daily (yes, please!).

I also had a few “Bliss Days” as a part of the retreat, where I got to choose from a list of excursions… I chose a bike ride through the countryside and rice fields of Ubud — which was amazing — and a day at Sundays Beach Club, which was also picture perfect. Some of the other options were snorkeling, SUP yoga, a tour of a temple, and white water rafting.

{playing around with over/under shots on my gopro}

{sundays beach club / clear turquoise waters, white sand, seemingly endless views of the indian ocean, & more}

{sunny sights}

{ubud rice fields}

{a few of the many, many bali dogs around the island}

Bali has such a unique energy to the island that I truly cannot describe with words. I met multiple people who said they visited once for a vacation and never ended up leaving — it’s that captivating. It is spiritual and just plain joyful… It is the true definition of “good vibes” (as much as I hate that saying, it’s just too fitting). It’s like magic! Not only that, but it is incredibly beautiful. The Indian Ocean was the perfect turquoise color and you could see right through it… It reminded me so much of the water in the Bahamas, which up until this trip was the prettiest water I’d ever seen. Pair that with the soft white sand and you end up with the perfect beach. The rice fields and waterfalls aren’t so bad either 🙂

Getting there was quite a hike being that it is on the exact opposite side of the globe from New York. It took almost 30 hours of traveling to get there, but it was so worth it. In fact, I am already planning my next trip back and cannot wait to explore more.

 

Have you ever been to Bali? What are your favorite hidden gems on the island?

 

 

Kennebunkport Travel Diary

Kennebunkport is without a doubt one of the most charming places I have ever been. The seaside town is equal parts rugged and refined, and it’s just so quintessentially Maine. If you’ve never been to the state, you really should plan a trip out there. While I have been to Maine a few times, it was always when I was much younger, and I have never been to Kennebunkport. It truly did not disappoint — it was the perfect quaint coastal town.

We were there at a great time because with Memorial Day Weekend already upon us, the high season is just starting. We beat the crowds by just a few days, and had pretty nice weather the entire time. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m already planning my next trip back… I would love to visit during both the fall-time and during the holiday season.

Today I’m sharing my recommendations for places to eat, play, shop, and stay in Kennebunkport — my favorite kind of posts! I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do before I got there, but I met up with Jackie and Paul (and their adorable pup, Poppy!) for drinks on my second day in town and they gave me all of the best recommendations from a local’s perspective. They were seriously the sweetest and I’m so, so happy I got to meet them in person! If by the odd chance you’re not following them, you must! They’re the best and their photos and videos are to-die for.

{pin this to your travel pinterest board for future trips!}

We stayed at The Grand Hotel for the first few nights, and we truly couldn’t have had a better experience. The staff was so nice and accommodating, and they really went above and beyond to make us feel at home — they even had a little bag of vegan goodies waiting in our room when we arrived. It is right near Dock Square and the main part of the town of Kennebunkport, so the location couldn’t get any better. Our room had its own private porch which was perfect for either morning coffee or some happy hour rosé, and the heated floors in the bathroom and fluffy white bathrobes were the perfect luxurious touches. They had beach cruisers to use, which was perfect to take for a short ride to the beach. I even did an Instagram takeover of their account during my stay, so you can find that here.

For our last night, we stayed just outside of town in a more wooded area at The Lodge on the Cove. This place had such a funky 60s/70s vibe with turquoise and green accents everywhere, and it has much more family-oriented atmosphere. The pool area was stunning, and there are lawn games all around, an outdoor ping-pong table, a fire pit, and even yoga on Saturday mornings and movies on Saturday nights. They also have a poolside restaurant, The Dory, which opens back up for the season over Memorial Day Weekend. It obviously wasn’t open while we were there, but we only heard great things about it! The staff was also great here, so we couldn’t have had a more enjoyable stay.

Have you ever been to Kennebunkport? Where are headed this summer?

01. Montauk Travel Diary
02. Lake Placid Travel Diary
03. New Orleans Travel Diary
04. 
Quebec City Travel Diary
05. Nantucket Island Travel Diary
06. Newport, Rhode Island Travel Diary
07. Mont-Tremblant Travel Diary

Montauk Travel Diary

You guys already know how much I love a cute little quaint town — especially when there’s a beach nearby. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than that. I’ve also talked about how much I love traveling to a destination right before their high season starts, because it’s so much quieter and you feel like you have the whole town to yourself. A few weeks ago I went to Montauk, or “The End,” as it is fittingly nicknamed, because it is located at the tip of Long Island — the last town of the Hamptons. I have been meaning to head out to Montauk since last spring, but never seemed to make the 3-hour trip from Manhattan. This beachside beauty was not disappointing, in fact, it was one of the most charming places I have traveled to recently.

So, today I wanted to share my travel diary/guide to the area, and give you a few of the best places to eat, play, shop, and stay. So, without further ado, here is my Montauk Travel Diary…

{pin this to your travel pinterest board for future trips!}

First thing’s first: you absolutely need to stay at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa if you visit Montauk — no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I truly could have never left the resort and been perfectly happy with my trip. There are plenty of options to eat right on-site, in addition to a little coffee shop that had the nicest barista each day I was there… Seriously, she was the best. Also, if you’ve ever seen those classic yellow and white striped umbrellas from The Hamptons on Instagram, this is where they’re from — they are to-die for!

Aside from Gurney’s, another one of the highlights of my trip was Deep Hollow Ranch. I fell in love with all the horses as they were relaxing in their big grassy meadow — they were so, so cute. As we pulled up the car, one even walked right over to us, right up to the fence. It was like he/she was greeting us! I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment.

Overall, Montauk was the perfect seaside escape. Especially if you’re located in New York City, it’s so great to head out here (you can take the Hampton Jitney for cheap!) for a long relaxing weekend. (Or, if you live in Connecticut or nearby, it’s easy to take the ferry over!) Here are a few more of my favorite photos from my trip…

Have you ever been to Montauk? What are your recommendations for the town? I would love for you to leave them in the comments!

01. Lake Placid Travel Diary
02. New Orleans Travel Diary
03. 
Quebec City Travel Diary
04. Nantucket Island Travel Diary
05. Newport, Rhode Island Travel Diary
06. Mont-Tremblant Travel Diary

Lake Placid Travel Diary

{around town}

 {mirror lake fun}

Lake Placid is one of my favorite places to go for a weekend getaway. It’s a few hours away from Syracuse, making it the perfect location for a quick road trip/eleventh-hour escape. Although it’s a great destination all year round, winter is my favorite time of the year to visit the quaint lakeside town. So, that being said, these recommendations are pretty seasonal for this time of year! Maybe another time I will visit when it’s warmer and share my recommendations for the spring and summer! Without further ado, here is my winter Lake Placid travel diary…

{pin this to your travel pinterest board for future trips!}

{whiteface mountain}

If you want to know my very favorites parts of the trip, you can get an idea from the photos that I shared. The dog sled rides on Mirror Lake are so, so much fun! There are two different guys who do them (one on each side of the lake) and both are amazing. It’s just a few minutes but so worth it. The dogs are adorable and so excited when you walk up to them in the middle of the frozen lake.

Whiteface Mountain is no joke — it is amazing! I highly recommend you make it a point to visit whether you ski or snowboard or not. If not, you can still buy a ticket up the gondola to see the view from the top. It is stunning and on clear day you can see all the way to Vermont.

A few other highlights: the Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid twice, so there are a few fun places to check out and experience a little bit of what it’s like. My favorite was the bobsled ride (I did it a few years ago when I visited). Word of the wise, though: if you get motion sickness easily then you may want to stay away — it is a very rough ride!

The Breakfast Club is my favorite place to eat in town. I have to admit, there are not too many vegan options at any of the restaurants, so you have to get creative when ordering. However, everything I have eaten at this place has been great, and if you’re not vegan then you absolutely must go for breakfast or brunch and get the French toast fondue! They also have a little coffee shop in the front that has great lattes… I got a vanilla rose latte with almond milk and it was such a great specialty drink. The rose syrup is homemade by the owner and absolutely delish.

 

Have you ever been to Lake Placid? What are your recommendations for the town? I would love for you to leave them in the comments!

01. New Orleans Travel Diary
02. 
Quebec City Travel Diary
03. Nantucket Island Travel Diary
04. Newport, Rhode Island Travel Diary
05. Mont-Tremblant Travel Diary

New Orleans Travel Diary

{quintessentially new orleans: jazz bands, jackson square, & more}

{architecture in the french quarter}

{outside the grove street press}

{at the grenoble house}

So excited to be sharing this post with you because Travel Diaries are always one of my very favorites! (And you guys seem to like them, too!) Last week I went to New Orleans with my entire extended family to celebrate my grandma’s 80th birthday, and let me tell you: it was quite the experience! Though I have experienced many cultures before, New Orleans truly was something else… It was pretty wild, and most definitely different than anywhere else I’ve ever been.

Today I wanted to share my travel guide filled with my recommendations for places to eat, play, shop, and stay while you are in NOLA, along with a few of my favorite pictures from the trip. Below I have rounded up everything in one graphic that you can save (either on Pinterest by scrolling over the image or just by bookmarking this blog post) so that you can have it handy for your future travels. I hope you enjoy!

{pin this to your travel pinterest board for future trips!)

I just wanted to quickly go over the highlights from my recommendations, for my very favorite/the most important topics. First I wanted to mention where we stayed: the Grenoble House in the French Quarter. This place was so great, and I would definitely stay there again if I were to ever go back to New Orleans! From the front it looks like every other building on the block, but once you go through the doors and through the little lobby (which was always fully-stocked with fruit, lemonade, and coffee!), it opens up into an open-air atmosphere in the back where all the rooms are. There was a gorgeous patio with a pool and hot tub and lots of plants (which you guys know I love!). Each room has a full kitchen and living room, which was also really nice. My family booked the entire place for the few days we were there, so it was so great to be able to walk around and have the whole complex to ourselves. I don’t get to see this side of my family very often — we are scattered all across the country — so sitting around outside having coffee with them every morning and drinks and snacks every night was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Hands down my favorite place to eat was at Meals From the Heart, which is in the French Market. I recommend heading here early in the morning and getting the vegan blueberry pancakes — they were amazing! I got them two days in a row because I loved them so much. They serve them with strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, syrup, and vegan butter, so it was pretty much a feast! As I mentioned, I recommend getting out there early because NOLA is pretty rowdy and the streets get loud and crowded early in the afternoon (a lot of the bars are open 24 hours a day and there are no open container laws so the afternoon and into the night is wild out there!). Be prepared to wait a few minutes for your food here… It always took awhile for them to make ours! We walked around the French Market while we waited.

You absolutely can’t go to New Orleans without heading to Café du Monde — it’s a staple. The line will be long but the wait will be worth it. Pro tip: head to the “to-go” line which is always shorter, then walk over to Jackson Square to enjoy your beignets and coffee while watching street performers and listening to brass jazz bands.

For dinner I highly recommend Brennan’s. This is where we had our big birthday dinner for my grandma, and we all really enjoyed our meals. We had a big private room upstairs which was amazing, of course, but I took a look around downstairs before we left and it looked just as grand. The place is pretty famous and has a lot of history, and the staff was so accommodating and friendly.

Lastly, you must visit The Grove Street Press. I have followed them on Instagram for quite some time now, and so was excited to finally be in New Orleans to stop by the store. They have cute stationary and the like, and give off a very New England vibe (which is probably why I love them so much!). Just check their hours before you head over there, and they’re closed all day on Sundays!

 

Have you ever been to New Orleans? What are your recommendations for the city? I would love for you to leave them in the comments!

01. Quebec City Travel Diary
02. Nantucket Island Travel Diary
03. Newport, Rhode Island Travel Diary
04. Mont-Tremblant Travel Diary

Quebec City Travel Diary

quebec-city-travel-diary-2

quebec-city-travel-diary-4

quebec-city-travel-diary-3

Today’s post is one of my very favorite types of posts I get to write — travel diaries! You guys know I was in Quebec City over the holiday weekend, and I loved it so much. It was such a fun and inviting place to be and I hope to go back soon! The European feel of the city is so charming, and although it’s a city landscape it still has that welcoming quaint little town feeling.

While the city is mostly French-speaking, many of the natives know enough English to carry on a conversation. That said, it never hurts to learn a few key phrases in French before you go; it’s nice to make an effort and makes it a little easier on yourself (and them!), too.

So, today I wanted to share my favorite places to eat, play, shop, and stay, so that if you end up going you can have all of my recommendations in one place. Without further ado, here is my Quebec City travel diary…

quebec-city-travel-diary-1

{just scroll over and pin to save to your travel pinterest board!}

Of course, I was in Quebec during the holiday season, so most (if not all) of my recommendations are for the wintertime/holidays. Maybe sometime there will be a follow-up post with spring/summer recommendations… I would love to go back!

Have you ever been to Quebec City?xoxo


check-these-out-too01. Winter Wonderland
02.
Packing for a Winter Wonderland
03. Mont-Tremblant Travel Diary
04.
Nantucket Travel Diary
05.
Newport Travel Diary

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