Monday, November 24, 2014

London Part 02

We spent our first morning in London wandering Kate Middleton's old haunts. We grabbed breakfast at Tom's Kitchen which was adorable and the food was delicious. After this we wandered over to Duke of York Square for my hair appointment at the Richard Ward Salon. I wanted to get a blowout and damn, was that a great decision. I had a student stylist but she was still by far one of the best stylists I've ever had. The salon was adorable and posh with the coolest hair washing station ever (the seats recline for you, none of that adjusting the towel and praying you don't get soaked).

We walked up and down King's Road and explored a little bit before our tea reservation at the Goring. Given this was the hotel where the Duchess of Cambridge stayed the night before her wedding, I expected it to be quite stuffy and was so pleased I was wrong. We have never had such amazing service. During tea, we had two servers who checked on us every few minutes and probably would have happily stirred my tea if I had asked (I'm not that weird LOL). Everyone was extremely helpful and polite and friendly. Unfortunately, our amazing experience at the Goring kind of made everywhere else a little less special because nowhere could possibly top the service or quality. 

It may be Monday, but this post is getting shared on What You Wish Wednesdays hosted by StaciaLeslieMelissaNikki, and Amanda.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sundaze on Sundays- Lario's on the Beach & Large Pythons

Our first night in South Beach was a blast. 

After cleaning up and settling into the hotel, we strolled down to Ocean Drive to see the pretty neon lights (they totally reminded me of Grand Theft Auto- Vice City). The place was packed for a Thursday evening.

I was amazed at how many restaurants there were lining the streets. It was a beautiful night and perfect shorts weather. I had this evening planned ever since I found out we were docking in Miami. We wandered all the way down to Lario's on the Beach. One of my fave restaurants ever is Bongos in Orlando (the Estefan's restaurant) and since the Bongos in Miami was closed, we hit up Lario's; their sister restaurant. This was seriously one of the best dinners I've ever had. 

After our meal, we met up with a couple of the other cruisers for drinks before we headed back. As we left the restaurant, we came across two "snake men" (you know, the guys with the giant snakes who take pics for cash) arguing outside. After one of them wandered off, the other one decided to drop the python on my shoulders. Good thing I'm not afraid of snakes! 
Interesting way to end our first day in Miami.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Fridays on the Blog

 It's time for the Friday blog hops!

Oh Hey Friday with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm
Friday Favorites with Meet Me at the Barre


1. I am still reeling from my vacation. Definitely in the top three of my life. I made so many amazing friends and had so many awesome experiences. I had originally thought I would do this just the one time but if there's a second cruise, me and about 1,000 other people are dying to go and have a reunion. So let's hope there's an encore trip in 2015!!! Oddly enough, this isn't my fave moment from the trip but it is pretty damn awesome anyway.

2. I've been stuck on Eastern time for over a week now which has resulted in me waking up at about 6:30AM every morning for no apparent reason. At first I thought, "Great, I will be so productive" and like work out. No. That happened once. Since I'm going back east again next month, I'm attempting to stay on Eastern time until then buuuuut... Yeah.

3. I have been binge watching The Originals. Oddly enough, I am schoolgirl crushing on a character that is now dead. WTF man. Can you tell I have a thing for guys with long blond hair?

THE ORIGINALS Scoop: Chase Coleman Talks The Fun Of Playing A Werewolf Willing to Go to War With the Vampires

4. I am super excited about Thanksgiving dinner next week. Since I'm apparently not the worst cook alive, I decided to be ambitious and attempt several recipes from the Paula Deen Ladies & Sons cookbook. Blogging will be postponed if I accidentally burn down my house.

5. Apparently I have New Year's Eve plans in advance for once. I know, crazy, right??? One of my super close friends from Canada is coming in and she's a planner just like me. Initially I was totally against the idea of being on the Strip for NYE but I thought, why not? I've only sort of done it once and it was pretty lame (the party was in a basement, what can you see in a basement?). I do love a good excuse to buy a glittery dress; however, I think this year, I may do the DIY thing.


So this Christmas I am attempting all homemade gifts. Key word being ATTEMPTING. I thought maybe I'd try my hand at canning. We will see how that goes! If nothing else, I am really loving Mason jars. Here are 5 of the most awesome jar gifts I found.

Cinnamon Spice Muffin Mix in a Jar with Free Printable Label #swellnoel
Unique Mason Jar Gift Ideas - Uncommon Designs...
Snowman Mason Jar Gift Idea- Cute!  It would be fun filled with homemade marshmallows.
Beefy Bean Soup Mix in a Jar: A Fabulous (Healthy) Gift for Teachers
96 Homemade Mixes in a Jar


1. Favorite Meme

2. Favorite Song

3. Favorite Recipe to Try

Fried Grit Cakes | Eatin' on the Cheap

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday

The time I made a bunch of really cool friends while being totally snubbed by someone I respected.

Not all of my encounters have been good. Once upon a time I was a huge 100 Monkeys fan. While I still like the music and most of the band, I don't really listen to them anymore because doing so brings back a lot of memories of frustration. And I'm about happy things.

I used to be a big fan of Jackson Rathbone. I'd met him for the first time before the Twilight fame seemed to go to his head and he was a pretty nice guy. After that, not so much. I've come across plenty of actors and musicians who are really truly nice individuals and some who are a bit pompous, but never one who just downright disrespectful. I've been blatantly ignored, lied to, and even at one point yelled at (more on that another time). No joke. Not cool. 

On that note, I'm really glad that I went to so many 100 Monkeys shows because I met a couple really great friends at them and would not have if I hadn't gone. Anyhow, 100 Monkeys was a really cool band (the rest of them at least) and the friends I made more than make up for the bad experiences. :-)

These pics are from their small show at Tommy Bahamas. I met a couple of really awesome girls who had traveled from other states for the show including their former photographer, Jodie and Julie (RIP). Since we had to wait a few hours for the show, it was bonding time. :-)

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sundaze on Sundays- Miami & Ceviche

Okay ya'll, so I tried (and failed) to come up with something super clever here for my most recent trip. Rather than bombard the page with constant trip posts, I decided to make it a weekly thing. I toyed with awful awful puns and then decided to just let Florida Georgia Line do all the work for me. So, welcome everyone to Sundaze on Sundays. Yeah, I just did that.

This trip was about a full year in the making. When I first got the Big Machine e-mail about a Florida Georgia Line Cruise (cuz seriously, with that kind of song title, you had to know it would happen), I was interested but since I had no friends who could go, I was going to pass. After a couple weeks, I kept thinking about it and finally decided, why not? I joined a facebook forum for single cruisers (traveling alone single) and found a roommate who fit my criteria. We kept in touch for a couple months until our booking date in January and booked with the presale.

The company who was hosting the charter put together a really well informed Facebook group with frequent updates so we made lots of friends prior to the actual departure. Kelly and I arranged to spend a couple nights in Miami before embarkation as well so we could explore. 

I arranged our flights to get in earlyish (around 10:30) so after grabbing our luggage (I had to check mine since I was dragging a large quantity of alcohol), we hopped on the Airport Flyer to South Beach (perfect timing). After dropping our luggage at the Townhouse Hotel, we got Kelly a bus pass for the Hop On Hop Off tour, grabbed some more rum for me, and then went sightseeing. 

The bus tour had two separate routes- South Beach and Downtown so we really did get to see all the sights. We drove past all the famous hotels, the Art Deco buildings, the Biltmore, the church where Gloria and Emilio Estefan got married, and Miracle Mile. We even got to see some beautiful homes along the water and enjoy the skyline from the bridges.

We hopped off in Coconut Grove since we were getting pretty hungry. Kelly wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory and I had passed a really quaint little restaurant with a cute patio close to the bus stop. Perfect choice. This place (Jaguar's) had the most awesome little ceviche sampler and it was one of the best lunches I've ever had. After meeting up with Kelly again, we headed back to the hotel.

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