Europe Trip 2018

I love traveling and this past summer was no exception. If you read my past blog posts, you can see that I did some traveling within the US but my big vacation this year was going back to Europe to visit family. We try to go back every 2 years and we’ve been very fortunate that we have been able to do that! This trip was definitely my favorite trip to Europe. We got to travel to other countries other than France (which is an amazing trip by itself) and we also got to spend so much more time with family and I also got to meet some of my husband’s family members that I’ve never met before!

First stop was Belmont to meet some of the family I’ve never met before. It was such a fun 3 days filled with hiking, food, and WINE. And I mean lots of wine. It was great 😬

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Belmont in red 🙂

I obviously took WAY too many pictures but restrained myself from posting them all 😅 But how beautiful are the views? And of course a quick snapshot of my sweet sweet french family ❤︎

After Belmont, it was time to go to PROVENCE!!! I have been wanting to go to this region forever and this year was the year to go! We had a whole week there! Yes, we saw the lavender fields (duh), sunflower fields, more food, more wine, more hiking and family time! This region is so so beautiful! If you ever have the chance to visit France, please make a point to visit the Provence region!

While we were in Provence, we took a day trip to Nice since it was only 2 hours away. We wen to the beach, explored the city, and ate such good vegan food.

After Provence, we went to SWITZERLAND!! My brother in law and his gf lives in Vevey and we had the chance to stay with them for a couple of days. And man, this town is so beautiful!! Literally no words to describe it, you just have to see it for yourself. And yes, I had fondue (NOT VEGAN!!) but I just couldn’t pass it up!

After a couple of days in Vevey, it was time to say goodbye to Switzerland and hello to Belgium! My other brother in law and his gf lives in Brussels so of course we had to go stay with them too, it was only fair 😜 And you guessed it: food ,wine, family time!

After Brussels, it was on to the last leg of our trip: Paris ❤︎ Seeing the Eiffel Tower will never get old to me!

After Paris, it was time to go back home and back home to the dogs! But you better believe I’m already thinking about our next trip back  ❤︎

What about you?? Did you travel anywhere this past summer? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

xoxo, susel-6

Philly 2018 Girls Trip!

“In West Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool
And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school

I had no idea how to start this blog post but Fresh Prince came to my head when I thought about Philly so it just made sense to start with the song, right? 😬 Anywhooo!

This time last week, I went to Philadelphia for the first time with 3 of my girlfriends to attend The Good Fest, a Wellness Festival, “A full day experience that will challenge and excite you – and leave you happier, healthier, and more fulfilled than when you arrived.” – and boy, did it deliver!

We arrived in Philly very early Friday morning, dropped off our bags in our hotel, and then explored a little bit. And by explore, I mean we walked around to look for food… and I was oh so pleasantly surprised how many vegan options there are in Philly! For our first day, I went to Hip City Veg and ordered the Udon Noodle Salad. Laaawwwd, I am still dreaming about that salad. I cannot recommend it enough.

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My friend, Shamira, ordered this sushi burrito and I am posting it because look how beautiful!

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Then it was time to check in to our hotel. GUYS. We stayed at The Windsor Suites and I cannot recommend them enough. I am definitely staying there next time I’m in Philly. First of all, central location. Second, our suite was AHHHMAZING AND HUGE. Third, the customer service was out of this world. I made a quick video tour of our hotel room with a disclaimer that I am not a videographer and I have no idea how to edit videos 😝 But I really wanted to show off this suite!!

We also had the sweetest welcome from the staff: goodies from Whole Foods and local PA coffee!

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If our room wasn’t cool enough, the hotel also has a rooftop pool. SOLD.

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city view from the rooftop pool!

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Breakfast at the hotel restaurant!

I’m surprised we even left the hotel! But indeed we did. Philly was calling to be explored!

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Sweets from The Reading Terminal!
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Reading Terminal
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THIS VIEW
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hey gfs!
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Mission Taquiera

Before we knew it, it was Saturday and it was off to The Good Fest! I actually didn’t take a lot of pictures because I was too busy enjoying the speakers and activities but here are some that I took. My favorite speakers were Ruby Warrington who wrote “Material Girl, Mystical World” and Shan Boodram who talked about how to Keep to keep your vag poppin … Yep, you read that right 😝

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For more, check out my stories on my instagram… it was such an amazing experience!


Sunday: Soul Cycle (duh!) , PS & Co, and exploring more of Philly!

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It was a quick weekend trip but oh so many memories made! All I know is that I will have to go back to Philly soon and explore more…and eat more 😬 What about you? Have  you been to Philly or from Philly? Any recs?? Let me know!

Until next time,

xoxo,

xoxo, susel-6

 

Seattle!

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Ahhh Seattle. It’s always a good trip when Seattle is the destination. Two of our best friends were getting married and we had the opportunity to travel to Seattle for their wedding (my husband was the best man!). We were there for less than 5 days so you know I had to pack that trip in with as much goodness and yumminess as I could aka food! coffee! friends! Soul Cycle! 😜


Our Hotel:

We stayed at Hotel Andra, a boutique hotel in Downtown Seattle, 1 block away from the wedding. You guys. I cannot recommend this hotel enough! First of all, the hospitality and customer service is out of this world, from the moment we entered the hotel to the moment we checked out (at 4 am!). Second, the hotel itself and our room was beautiful! It had everything we needed, including chocolate and COFFEE. I also could’ve just lounged around all day in their bath robes 😆

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A panoramic view of our room.. so spacious for 2 people!
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Coffee 24/7 in our room.. trouble! LOL

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Would’ve just chilled in the room in their robes 12/10
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Their lobby was beautiful.. and had a fireplace that was much needed because Seattle BRRRR
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Checking out at 4 in the morning 😬

If you’re ever traveling to Seattle, I highly highly recommend staying at Hotel Andra!


Food! Coffee!

You know I had to yelp some places to check out while I was in Seattle. Here’s some of my faves:

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Taro latte from Moore Coffee Shop.. YES PLEASE!
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Macaron from Lady Yum
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Breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe
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The biggest and best avo toast from Mr. West Cafe Bar
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The bar area at Oddfellows Cafe
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Kale & Farro bowl from Oddfellows Cafe.. OMG SO GOOD

If I could only recommend one place, I definitely recommend checking out Mr. West Cafe Bar. The aesthetics alone…


The main event:

Like I mentioned in the beginning, we were in Seattle for our friends’ wedding. The wedding was beautiful and I heard that I had way too much fun 😬

The ceremony and reception was held at the very beautiful Kimpton Palladian Hotel  
The bride looked gorgeous, the groom looked handsome and the best man of course looked super handsome 😜

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Etc…

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Even the streets are cooler than GSO 😆
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You might have heard of this…

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Of course I had to hit up Soul Cycle while I was there
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The Mariners won!
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Vegan hotdog at the baseball game!

Seattle, you’re awesome. Can’t wait to visit you again!

Until next time,

xoxo, susel-6

 

Staycation- Charlotte, NC

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Last Friday, my husband and I had the opportunity to spend the night in Charlotte, NC. Since moving to NC, we’ve only been to Charlotte once and it was only for a couple of hours so we jumped at the chance to explore this city a bit more.

We had the pleasure of staying at The Dunhill Hotel, Charlotte’s Premier Boutique Hotel, located in the heart of Uptown (which I learned is Downtown, I know I had to get used to it too). If you ever have the chance to stay in this hotel, I highly highly recommend it 100%.

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We were fortunate enough to be upgraded to the Penthouse Suite and let me tell you, I don’t know if I can ever go back to staying in regular hotel rooms 😜

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Before dinner, we explored Uptown Charlotte and enjoyed the weather! MN will always be home but NC is trying its hardest to change that 😜

 

 

We didn’t have to go far for dinner as we dined at The Asbury, the restaurant attached to the hotel. And let me tell you, I am already counting down the days when I can go back. My meal was AHHHHMAZING! I follow a mostly vegan diet and they were able to accommodate that. I ordered the quinoa + lentil filling, mushroom ragout (I’m salivating just typing that) and it was one of the most delicious meals I have ever had. I also had a side of the grilled asparagus with roasted garlic béarnaise, preserved lemon and I give that an A++++. My husband had the Fried Chicken Sammy and the Cast Iron Mac & Cheese. I will admit, I had a bite or two of that mac and cheese and OOOHHH LALA. Plus 2 glasses of wine BECAUSE HI STAYCATION. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. To top the meal off, Chef Matthew Krenz, who is one of the top chefs in NC, stopped by our table! Thank you to the staff at The Asbury Restaurant for the top notch service!

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Cabbage Roll QUINOA + LENTIL FILLING, MUSHROOM RAGOUT
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Cast Iron Mac + Cheese
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The Asbury bar
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Chef Matthew Krenz

After dinner, we did a bit more exploring but we were just happy to stay in The Penthouse Suite! Can you blame us??

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He finally fought back hahaha

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Oh and did I mention the suite had TWO balconies??

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To summarize: The Dunhill Hotel: A MUST STAY; The Asbury Restaurant: A MUST VISIT!I cannot wait to go back! What about you? Any places that you highly recommend?? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time
xoxo,

xoxo, susel-6

Maui (aka paradise) Trip 2017!

My husband and I just got back this week from the most amazing trip ever… Maui, HI!  We went to Oahu a couple of years ago, fell in love with Hawaii, and knew right away that we had to go back and visit a different island as soon as we could.  We finally made it back to Hawaii last week and had the most amazing trip exploring Maui! If we could move there right now, we would!  It was definitely more mellow and relaxed feeling than Oahu.

Here are some of our trip’s highlights:

THE FOOD!!! If you still didn’t know, I am a big big lover of food.  I am happiest when I am eating (lol) so of course I have pictures of my favorite eats:

Haleakala Sunrise – you MUST MUST do watch the sunrise at the Haleakala Summit if you are ever in Maui.  You are above the clouds and it is the most amazing view, it’s almost unreal!  We woke up at 3 am to drive the 2 hours to get to the summit and then there was nothing else to do but wait.. or look at the stars while waiting for the sunrise.  IT IS FREEZING up there so if you ever go, make sure you bring your WINTER gear.. not even kidding!  jacket, hat, gloves, blanket, you will need it all!  For more info, check out this website: Go Hawaii.  After the sunrise, we hiked 4 miles of the Sliding Sands at Haleakala National Park.  Woof.  Major inclined hike, but I just kept telling myself “one step at a time, left right left right” lol.. it worked!

Mini adventures around West Maui including Nakalele Blowhole, Heart Shaped Rock, Dragon’s Teeth AND BEACHES!  We had to go down the side of cliffs, climb up rocks, to get to the bottom and see the blowhole and the heart shaped rock (cannot believe I did that) but definitely worth it.

 

WHALE WATCHING!!  One of the best things ever was going whale watching!  Omg I didn’t know I was obsessed with whales until this trip.. what a freakin majestic animal.  We even saw a baby whale that the guide named Dill (LOL!)  We went through Pacific Whale Foundations that our $ went back to them!  I took so many pictures but only two really turned out lol but WORTH IT.

 

Ocean Pools:  Olivine Pools off the Kahekili Hwy and my favorite, Venus Pools, off Hana Hwy.  First of all, what a view!  These pools are so beautiful.  Second, you have to climb down rocks to get to them.. again, I cannot believe I did that!  I was too scared to do the same thing to get to some pools when we were in Oahu but for some reason, Maui just brought out the fearlessness.. must be the pursue your legend ‘tude (thanks Alchemy!)  Between the two, I definitely liked the Venus Pools more AND ALSO YOU HAD TO JUMP OFF THE SIDE OF THE CLIFF TO GET INTO THE VENUS POOL!  Thank god I didn’t know that or else I don’t think I would’ve gone but I did it! .. ok , it was like the lowest point but whatever, I got into that damn pool.  I definitely recommend visiting this if you are ever in Maui!

The Road to Hana.. duh!  Of course we had to do this!  Instead of just doing the drive and going back to Lahaina, we decided to check out of our Lahaina airbnb and stay one night in Hana so that we could take our time.  Thank god for my husband who can plan things.  We stopped at so many waterfalls and views and god nature is beautiful!  I highly recommend buying the travel guide book “Maui Revealed” as it has all the tips you need.. it’s the blue book.  It tells you where to stop and how to get to a specific spot that we would have never known or seen without this guide.

Red Sands Beach & Black Sands Beach:  The way to get to the Red Sands beach is considered so dangerous that there was a warning sign right before getting on the trail and we also a sign at a local Hana cafe that they were not able to give directions on how to get there.  Naturally, we went and took pics duh 🙂 and the Black Sands beach? BEAUTIFUL!

Pipiwai Trail:  a 4 mile hike that rewards you with the most beautiful majestic waterfall ever.. wow!  And a mile of bamboo trail! LIKE WHAT?!  MUST DO!

Ho’okipa Beach Park : Our flight back home wasn’t until 9 pm so we had the whole day to just chill before having to go back to reality.  We didn’t really have a plan but thanks to Instagram, I found a tag for this beach park and so thankful that we got to see this! Beautiful views, surfers surfing big BIG huge waves, oh AND SEA TURTLES!!!

 

I am so thankful that we were able to experience Maui. What a beautiful, beautiful place and I cannot wait to go back!