Winter Weekend in the Rockies on a Budget

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A year ago this upcoming weekend, my boyfriend Tony and my best friend Stacy and I had a weekend get-a-way in Estes Park. IT WAS EPIC.

We booked through Frontier–not the best experience at ALL, but tickets were $75.00 a piece round trip so we made it work. Flew into Denver, rented a car and headed to our home in Estes Park for the weekend.

Budget:

Frontier Flight: $75.00

Lodging: $160.00 a night in a Studio Queen Room with Kitchenette with a personal hot tub.

Food: We had to eat out three times because we were only there for the weekend and didn’t want to waste time cooking! Probably spent $200 bucks total in food and drinks.

Park fee: $20.00 per car

We stayed at the lovely 4 Seasons Inn on Fall River, The best customer service I’ve ever experienced. Quaint and cozy! Exactly what we needed compared to the busy, city life we live in Atlanta, GA.

15241799_10153909645471470_3136341054725117615_n15349811_10153909646176470_5034496542777102282_nCoffee and a fire–the perfect combo.

15267802_10153909646091470_6010222502954463811_nWe checked in two hours late because we were tapped on the mountain due to a snow storm and our lovely host greeted us with wine, beer and fire wood! We made a fire, got settled and called it a night!

The next two days were jam packed with hiking!

We had some coffee and walked around the shops in town–similar to Gatlinberg, TN for those of us familiar living on the East Coast, but this town is a lot smaller and BETTER 🙂 Most of the stores were closed because we came the weekend before all the snow came.25035132_10154917384681470_1158412661_o.jpgDay #1: Gem Lake15355560_10153909645691470_903442782333406155_nThe hike to Gem Lake was very dry and steep. Lots of rocks and bare trees with pine cones. It was so cold that my phone died immediately when we started to hit elevation. I had an iPhone 6 at the time, but Tony’s iPhone 7 stayed alive for all the pictures!15337376_10153909646026470_4618671800082255548_nGorgeous view from the top!25129856_10154917384766470_1769435978_oNot much of a lake, but still beautiful.25129929_10154917384806470_378100770_oThere wasn’t much snow on this hike, but as you can see behind Stacy there’s a ton on the other side–our next hike!

We drove through Rocky Mountain National Park to see the mountains because we were worried they would close with the snow coming!25086947_10154917385431470_197421307_oShort hike to Bear Lake–literally like 20 steps from the parking lot at the trail head. 15380323_10153909652126470_4893602858398382742_nWe were FREEZING so went to get some amazing breakfast at Claire’s on the Park and then went back to hit up the hot tub in the snow!15230674_10153909652156470_2478702776695128630_nDay #2: Rocky Mountain National Park even though the snow hit! We woke up super early to see the sunrise and we ran into some Elk.25035242_10154917384536470_1194029378_oSO MANY ELK!25035174_10154917384891470_1243667006_o.jpg15267969_10153909646916470_8716765691256534121_nNymph Lake was our first stop on our journey, but we took this picture on the way back when the snow storm stopped!

We made it to the overlook on the beginning of our six mile journey in the snow.15325364_10153909646431470_3555032777756812793_o15268044_10153909646516470_926979400009129526_n15337412_10153909646986470_6998462932476521851_n25129891_10154917384881470_1524296364_oSecond Stop: Dream Lake15319217_1452458844779185_3547853252016216119_nStill treking!24993032_10154917385226470_197665537_o15285044_10153909647136470_5826079460375792665_nGETTING CLOSER. Last Stop: Emerald Lake15327269_10153909646436470_4414549500143745734_nIMG_5147EPIC! We made the trek down. So worth it!15356538_10153909647126470_5296943814653429340_nAfter we made it down we got a well deserved beer at Rock Cut Brewing!15284077_10153909646001470_4872428994307044103_nBefore heading back to Denver to the airport we went to see the famous The Stanley Hotel that is wear Stephen King got his inspiration for The Shining.24992982_10154917384736470_1096501016_oSpooky experience–will definitely have to come back and stay there.25035563_10154917384781470_155721014_o.jpgOn our way out we stopped by the Estes Park sign and headed back to Denver to go home. Amazing trip overall and are hoping to go back soon!

-E

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First Trip to Europe: Paris, London & Berlin

Paris, London & Berlin 2015 | NYE Celebration 2016

After spending the last two years abroad with Tony, I can honestly say that we must continue to do a destination holiday and NYE celebration. It’s truly magical to experience how other cultures ring in the New Year. I’d much rather spend NYE with my significant other and a thousand strangers in a new place than in a club in Atlanta or a sh*t show bar. I definitely miss my family and friends, but December-January is the best time for us to take off work! I actually love traveling during the holidays. It sounds anticlimactic because movies portray traveling on the holidays to be chaotic–but it’s actually not too crazy!

So December 2015, was my first time to Europe and I immediately fell in love. Like I knew I would. The architecture, people and atmosphere are to die for. It’s just a completely different world. People walk everywhere, they walk and drive on the opposite sides that we’re used to in America, etc. You can watch shows and movies, but being immersed in it is so different. To keep this organized I’ll give an explanation of each city we stayed in!

First stop–LONDON.5London: We stayed in London for one night in this quaint bed and breakfast called B+B Belgravia that is very close to the Victoria train station. Again, this was my first time abroad and there were some things I was prepared for and some things that were very odd to me.  and our room was tiny, the outlets were weird and there was this heater in the bathroom that could potentially burn the entire place down! The view from our B&B was the epitome of how I imagined London.

On our first night we ate at this AMAZING restaurant called Steak and Co.  We both ordered the Korean style BBQ–it was our first time cooking steak on a hot stone ourselves! Coolest experience ever. 71213I got this crazy strawberry martini drink only because it came with a sparkler–doing the MOST on vacay 🙂 After dinner we went to the famous Leicester Square–similar to New York’s Time Square and everything was still decorated for the holidays!81114We walked around China Town as well. Every city has one! The next morning we had a “proper breakfast” at Baker & Spice. Complete with meat (bacon, sausages and black and white puddings), eggs, vegetables and potato all fried in creamery butter!915We made room for some legit English breakfast tea! After that we headed out on our 2 hour high speed train ride to Paris. EEEK. We knew we were coming back to London after Paris and Berlin so we eased into our journey. I couldn’t wait to come back and see a Big Ben, a phone booth etc. all the basic London things!1718The train ride on the Eurostar was exactly what I thought it would be: amazing. There was a bar so we obviously had champagne. The waitress asked if we wanted the small or large and of course I said large… really cool experience. We went under the English Channel but it was dark so we couldn’t see anything but still cool to say that we did it! trainParis 2016: We made it to Paris around 10:30pm from the St Pancras station. We stayed at this boutique hotel called Hotel Odyssey . Like most hotel in Europe the rooms are small with weird outlets, but the room was very clean with a comfy bed. It was dark, and I couldn’t wait for the morning! The city was still decorated for Christmas, with lights and that holiday feeling, but comparing Paris 2016 to Paris 2017 is that the terrorist attacks had occurred a month or so before we arrived and that had a really big impact on tourism. Security was at an all time high, the Louvre was closed and the streets were pretty empty other than in major areas. I didn’t really notice how dead it was until we went again in 2017. 28The first order of business was visiting the lovers lock bridge, which I planned ahead and brought a lock with us. I didn’t plan ahead with bringing a sharpie or something to engrave our names in it so it was interesting trying to describe what a sharpie was to a street merchant worker who didn’t speak English #winning. It ended up working out after some explaining and pointing! So we got our lock on the bridge and headed to the Eiffel tower to see it in action at night!33Seeing the Eiffel tower was THE breathtaking thing I had ever experienced that far in life. The fact that the structure continues to stand now from 1887 is unreal. This particular year we didn’t make it to the top because the line was crazy and we didn’t have a ton of time before we left for Berlin. We did go in 2016–right before NYE 2017. 19After that unforgettable, epic experience –we had a  lovely late night dinner at Bistrot Richelieu. People assumed we were American of course and some people were nicer than others, like in any city. We didn’t brush up on our French at all so we were using translators to at least attempt, at least Tony was… I didn’t even try!2423We had the steak tartare and lamb shoulder with a side of wine and cheese of course!50The food in Paris is very gamy as far as meats go, so I stuck to crepes, cheese, bread and wine. The essentials. The bread is worth the calories– ALSO this dessert from Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie. This chocolate covered cake monstrosity was filled with vanilla ice cream.

On our last day we hit up my other bucket list item Notre Dame– a childhood dream I’ve always had since watching the hunch back of Notre Dame. So amazing. 45The weather was incredible–blue skies and light showers aren’t too common in Paris–so we were very lucky!

34We wanted to tour the Catacombs but we didn’t plan ahead and get tickets in advance. So we walked around and ate and drank some more–SURPRISE. Tons of shopping, eating and sight seeing. Everything is picturesque. We were in Paris for two nights and saw all the cute alleyways with mopeds, pop up fruit stands and bicycles everywhere. 52We wandered back over to the Eiffel Tower to see it during the day. You definitely have to go see it during the day and at night because it’s an amazing light show. During the winter holidays the Christmas markets are up and the energy is amazing.

11872199_10206911335415693_500967081016635506_o49Please excuse the kissing–but this was actually the best day of my life.3412469368_10206911328015508_6685753977329170522_oAfter visiting the Eiffel Tower again, we needed to check off the other bucket list item–which was having a crepe in Paris–even though you can get them pretty much anywhere in the world we stopped and got a delicious breakfast crepe from Coffee Crepes. The rest of the evening I gawked over pictures from the day and we called it a night ready for our next stop to Berlin to meet Tony’s friends for NYE!

Berlin: I didn’t know what to expect as far as what Berlin would look like, but I knew the food would be a little bit of a challenge for me because it’s SUPER heavy–Germans are big beer drinkers and sausage and cheese eaters. Nothing wrong with that, but I was trying to watch somewhat of what I was eating 🙂 BUT we IMMEDIATELY received a warm welcome with beers at this riverside bar called Ankerklause– PROST!53We stayed at the Fjord Hotel that is walking distance to the train that would take us anywhere in the city. SO different then Atlanta… We went to the Alexanderplatz which was crowded but we experienced so many things. Amazing architecture and history, crazy word spelling on the buildings, authentic German food and I had mulled wine for the first time and it changed my life.6566Mulled wine, Pretzels, Brats and Cheese, OH MY! That’s all I wanted the rest of the trip!   A must try during the holidays. 9181THEN we took the train walked around until we arrived at the the historic Berlin wall–so insane.7189THE BERLIN WALL.75767978Such a cool experience and so much history. Really hard to imagine that this now tourist trap was once a battlefield and this wall as so many terrible memories. We got some of the old stamps when we visited the wall and took the train to and from our hotel to get ready for our NYE celebration!

 

92More Christmas markets were throughout the touristy areas and we watched fireworks and did the countdown with our friends and some strangers at their friend’s dads office downtown. Awesome views and we were happy to be indoors during the freezing cold weather and avoiding the chaos! It was quite the party. Made a few new friends in line to the restroom–HAHA.

After we rang in the New Year–we got some pizza and called it a night!

We spent our first day of 2017 visiting the capital building, a Holocaust Memorial and the Berlin Mall!

676393949557A busy day followed by dinner and ice skating 🙂

Final stop–London (again).

London: London is magical and I could 100% live there in a heartbeat. Between the street markets, yummy and diverse food and people with amazing accents. We stayed in shitty hotel our first night back in London–and we can’t remember the name of it or I would tell you NOT to stay there. We ended up moving hotels to a totally upgraded spot–the Russell Square Hotel now called The Principal Hotel. It’s right by the British Museum and a quick tube ride to Piccadilly circus. This hotel is indescribable by any other over word than a dream. 138104101I seriously felt like royalty in this place.103We had some tea before heading out the Tube to Buckingham Palace! Tea time needs to be adopted into the U.S.117122124125I had flashbacks to every Disney movie like Princess Diaries and The Parent Trap that had scenes of the Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, a photo booth–worth waiting in line to get a photo, London bridge, the Eye (didn’t go up, but will next time) and we saw the renovated Globe where Shakespeare performed. ben116EYE2

We continued sight seeing over to the Tower of London–it was a long wait so I didn’t get to see the Crown Jewels–so we will have to go back on a future trip! Made a pit stop to make Tony happy–see the Chelsea Premier League team stadium.chelsThen–we had to make me happy and go see Abbey Road! Of course I had to get my photo walking across…118After that we headed over to Soho for dinner at Wright Brothers for some delicious oysters and Bloody Marys! Another thing I love about Europe is the 3-4 hour meal time. Every meal is an event–so be prepared for that! 105

We walked through the beautiful Christmas markets in Soho and tried to find some Banksy artwork–but it had been removed sadly. BUT all the holiday decor was still up and we were taking it all in!

Then we ventured over to Camden town upon a suggestion from my college friend who studied abroad there. Amazing street markets, food, shopping and mulled wine.

139142143The next day we made time to check out the British Museum which is incredible. So much history and tons of artifacts were brought over to this museum. Tons of stuff from Rome, Egypt, etc. We could have spent HOURS in there.

This was our final day so we were making the most of it! We stumbled upon this coffee/bake shop called Pret a Manger, which is essentially a Starbucks, but has healthier options. They actually bake everything in house and every that isn’t sold that day is given to the homeless! We headed home after that from an unforgettable trip and were anxious to plan our next one!

My favorite place this trip–was definitely Paris because it’s been on my bucket list to see the Eiffel Tower since I was little! Hope you enjoyed this adventure–I’ll be sure to post our more recent one soon from 2016 to NYE celebration for 2017!

-E

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Overview of our Asia Tour

FullSizeRender (004)Before you open the door to our journey….TO BE UP FRONT, this post is very long and detailed with information about our trip. In case you missed my last post…these are THE detailed DETAILS of our amazing Asia Tour in 10 days. The gorgeous door above was taken in Bali, Indonesia. Bali was my favorite place of the whole trip–for those who are wondering.

SO. Where did we go?

Singapore
Krabi/ Raliay beach in Thailand
Bali/ Sanur beach in Indonesia
Seoul, Korea
4 countries, 3 boat rides, 8 plane rides and multiple taxi and Uber rides made up our unforgettable trip!

Flight #1 Our long ass flight ATL > Tokyo > Singapore

The 13 hour Delta flight wasn’t terrible–slept most of the time thanks to a couple cocktails and my Spotify playlists.

We were on our way!

IMG_7170 (002)Our layover in Tokyo wasn’t so bad because Tony has the hookup to the preferred lounge. Free food and drinks? Yes please. Headed to Singapore after an hour or so, checked in to our hotels and went out!

When we arrived to Singapore around 11:00pm their time, my first thought was “Holy shit!” I was exhausted but ready to go OUT. Our destination for the evening was the Marina Bay Sands Hotel to see the amazing skyline view after we finally got into our hotel room after some debacles…it happens! Make sure to double check time changes and hotel arrangements multiple times before getting there. Tony did an amazing job planning EVERYTHING, but something was bound to mess up.

IMG_7255We were out until around 4:00am on the rooftop drinking and finally left for a trip to McDonald’s. We had to.  We always like to see how the menus vary in every country we visit. I got a waffle with avocado! Not too bad I must say! Our Uber driver was super nice and showed us around on the way home. They were setting up for Formula 1 in two weeks so that was pretty cool!

The next day, mid-morning before heading to THAILAND, we walked around and saw some interesting names of restaurants and other stores and grabbed breakfast in the cute little Katong square area we stayed in.IMG_7301FullSizeRender (003)LOL ^

Then we people watched everyone watching the Mayweather vs Mcgregor fight.

IMG_7267The truffle toast at Carvers & Co was on point. Highly recommend.

After scarfing down breakfast we headed to the airport! Singapore is very industrialized and were heading to the complete opposite in Thailand–EXCITED.

Flight # 3 Singapore > Krabi, Thailand > Taxi ride + Boat ride to Railay Beach

Flew in that evening–took a taxi and long boat ride to Railay Beach. it rained during our taxi ride–luckily we paid for a private ride that was covered. We got to see the town and found out that it was very third world like we thought, but it looked as good as anywhere can look when it’s storming! It stopped raining while we were waiting on the long boat taxi to arrive we got to take some pictures along the water, see some locals, eat some snacks and play with kittens!

IMG_7426Not a bad view for a 40 minute waiting period.

FullSizeRender (008)Kittens EVERYWHERE.

The long boat ride was so fun! It held around fifteen people total and it was such a gorgeous ride. So many mountains and other long boats to see among the other islands.

FullSizeRender (01A)We were headed to Railay beach! Beautiful resort with the kindest people. We stayed at the Bhu Nga Thani Resort & Spa.

Upon arrival the hosts gave us refreshing drinks and hand towels while they checked us in. Then we headed to our room!

After seeing our gorgeous room, another photo shoot of course, we walked through the little town to dinner on the beach.

We had some yummy food, drinks and walked back through the market area and called it an early night to be rested for our snorkeling excursion–BUT it rained pretty hard that night so we were up at 4:00am on the porch watching the rain. We streamed GOT because it was the season finale of season 6, which was EPIC and totally worth it.

After that I had an AMAZING hour long aromatherapy massage.

Then we toured the island by ourselves and visited the Phra Nang beach, Princess cave, Phallus cave and beach to see the epic limestone rocks and climbers.

HUUUGE limstone cliffs. Rock climbers. Phallus cave!

After that, we explored the beach and hit pool for happy hour after the storm.

The next day the sun came out and it was was GORGEOUS! We took a private boat tour to the Phi Phi Islands and Ko Phi Phi Don including swimming, snorkeling, more swimming, lunch and shopping and beach time!

We headed out from Railay beach to see the giant limestone mountains… which were EVERYWHERE. I thought to myself “pinch me, I must be dreaming. Nope, I’m awake and in my watermelon float!” I had a countinous smile on my face and couldn’t wait to snorkel!

EFB55AB2-07CA-455F-AD0C-6074F34505F7After an amazing afternoon of sightseeing from the boat, we were back at the pool after the storm! Awesome weather with a little rain at the end.

We went out to the “Last Bar” that evening for drinks and watched the flames throwers.

FullSizeRender (00F)They had a DJ playing top hits as expected, pool tables outside, and a screen projector showing soccer–so Tony was happy! A great last night needless to say!

After one last day sight seeing, shopping and eating, we headed back to Singapore to connect to Bali, Indonesia! BUT in the morning I woke up super early and took a bunch of photos of the town!

Boat ride + Taxi ride and Airport Flight #3 Thailand > Singapore > Indonesia

The taxi ride to our resort from the airport was very long and terrifying. I’m used to cars on the left-hand side of the road from other travels, but this was insane. Motorcycles can pass on both sides of you and no one really uses turning signals. We made it–but I couldn’t sleep like everyone else in the car.

The first night I had a photo shoot of our room at the Komaneka at Monkey Forest Resort, because our resort hosts were very sweet and decorated our room with flowers! Such a warm welcome after a long day of traveling by boat, taxi and plane!

FullSizeRender (01B)FullSizeRender (01C)DREAM ROOM.

FullSizeRender (028)That night we got settled in and went to a close by restaurant that had live Spanish music and dancing. We drank, ate and people watched, the usual.

IMG_8283The next day we had an amazing breakfast in our private garden and porch area.

FullSizeRender (01D)It took a lot to get me to leave this beautiful bathtub situation. The only thing that would get me away was MONKEYS.

FullSizeRender (03D)FullSizeRender (03C)FullSizeRender (041)FullSizeRender (02A)FullSizeRender (036)FullSizeRender (037)FullSizeRender (042)We toured the beautiful resort then headed to the Monkey Forest!

FullSizeRender (02C)The Monkey Forest was not what I expected–I didn’t think that the monkeys would be every but they were and it was AWESOME.

They had banana stands inside and that is how we lured the monkeys to us. You had to watch your purse and wallets because the reach into everything. They are sweet, but you have to be careful–they are monkeys and all of them aren’t so tiny and cute.

See this big guy on my head?!

IMG_8561We did see this ADORABLE little baby hung onto his mama.

FullSizeRender (02F)I finally got a tiny one to take a selfie with me 🙂

IMG_9411 (003)FullSizeRender (02D)FullSizeRender (02E)After monkeying around for an hour or so we negotiated with a taxi driver to drive us around all day to the mountain area to see the rice paddies, volcanoes and temples. We did just that and our driver was so nice!

FullSizeRender (030)First stop: Tegallalang Rice PaddiesIMG_9410FullSizeRender (03B)

Temple # 1 Pura Ulundanu Batur in Ubud.IMG_9022IMG_8889IMG_8888IMG_8923IMG_8943IMG_8969IMG_8956FullSizeRender (031)FullSizeRender (032)FullSizeRender (033)FullSizeRender (034)Is this REAL?

IMG_8950The cutest and sweetest little girls in their saris!

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We bought some art for him that he signed with my Sephora liquid eyeliner. Do whatcha gotta do! Disclaimer- my eyeliner no longer works so I threw it away, but it was worth it!

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IMG_9042Love seeing the culture–obsessed with all the prints and colors.

Lunch break with volcano view at the Panca Yoga Restaurant. Didn’t get the best Trip Advisor reviews–but we trusted our tour guide and thought the food was pretty good. the view was UNREAL.IMG_9046IMG_9057IMG_9051IMG_9058Hey Coca-Cola, you wanna buy this pic?

IMG_9068Authentic cuisine–this place got mixed reviews, but we really liked it!

coffCoffee break. Coffee and tea tasting and tour at the Bali Cat Poo Chino This coffee has a story–for a whole separate blog post. Basically this Bali Cat eats coffee beans, poops it out and they process that coffee bean to make the Bali Cat Poo Chino.

Wasn’t the best coffee I’ve ever had–and we felt bad for the animals. The other teas and coffee were great!IMG_9413Now we were fueled and ready for the last two temples!

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^Temple # 2 Tampaksiring

^Temple #3 was the Elephant Cave Temple Temple

After a whirwind of a day that we had you would think we would call it a night, but we didnt! Off to the Balinese Dancers! IMG_1054IMG_1055

(PC: Shelby) Crazy hand and eye movements. Can’t remember the whole story, but it was a love interest situation that was dramatic–haha.

That was quite a day, but it was worth it!

The next day we had our last delicious breakfast spread and headed out!IMG_9518

Next stop: Sanur Beach at Kejora Suites.

IMG_9571Our gorgeous view from our patio. Just leave me here in our bathtub that’s partially outside. Bye forever.

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We all weren’t feeling 100% so we took it easy and spent the day on the beach instead of snorkeling.

IMG_9698STOP. Starbucks.

IMG_9637Delicious Dragon Fruit juice and soybean burger with pink hummus AND homemade potato curls. I’m dead. Square One Bali is so good!

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plUp early the next morning…goodbye paradise!

Taxi Ride > Airport trip back to Singapore!

We booked a hotel for like 8 hours just so we didn’t have to lug our bags around–how sketchy was that?! lol.

IMG_9725meatSo we really got to see the city during the day this time and explore the food scene. As foodies, we enjoyed trying different cuisines at Food Republic.

Next…we went to the Singapore Botanical Gardens. SO beautiful.

THIS. HAMMOCK.

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Our last stop we went to the Gardens by the Bay!

Avatar totally got their ideas from this place…just saying.

IMG_8136.JPGWE ATE DINNER ON TOP OF A SUPER TREE.

After our last stop in Singapore, we headed to the airport! Slept on the plane on our way to Seoul, Korea and we arrived around 9:00am.

My friend Kevin from ATL happily met us and had a full itinerary planned. He’s has been living in Seoul for almost two years now and he was our tour guide.

FullSizeRender (04D)HI KEVIN! He gave us the nickel tour because we only had eight hours…but it was AMAZING.

I asked Kevin if he could read the signs around town–he said something to the effect of “no–no one reads those.” LOL.

Passed some stores and tea shops!

We did some MORE sight seeing and went to lunch–have no clue what this place is called–but it was so fun and had amazing food.

IMG_0348Oh and some Korean beer…

We made time to see Gyeongbokgung Palace….WOW.

The culture is exactly as I expected in Seoul. It’s so true to it’s roots compared to Singapore where it’s very Westernized as you can see from the photos earlier in the blog.

IMG_0259Thanks for the petty pic Kevin ❤

That was the last stop of our EPIC trip. Time to head home–again, Tony with the hook up to the lounge! We were able to shower before our thirteen hour flight back to the USA.

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So many people have asked–“how did you survive the thirteen hour flight?”IMG_0334Wine people…WINE.

There is A TON of information here because we did A TON of amazing things on this trip. If you made it this far in the blog–thank you. Again, our guys, Tony and Shelby did the heavy lifting with coordinating everything. THANK YOU men!

I’ll post more in depth things about our Bali Cat coffee farm visit and more deets on what to pack and how to plan in a future post. Hope you enjoyed our adventure!

–E

The Things I Do for the Perfect Picture…

Long before I began my blog I always took a million pictures of my food, of brick walls, trees and my travels–obviously I still do. Whether it’s something I  saw while driving, on vacation, or something I made or ordered–you will see it. I don’t post shitty photos. I work really hard getting the right angle or right lighting. When cooking at home, I have to place my food just right for my photo. I wipe off the excess residue from the main course that spilled out to the middle of the plate before it soils the vegetables and makes my plate look dirty. Can’t have my masterpiece lookin’ a mess! These photos are for me–I really do go back and look at what I made for inspiration for myself or to share with others. It’s a large part of why I wanted to start a blog–to share my adventures, recipes, food spots and fun secrets.

The downside to getting the “perfect” picture is the process leading up to it, but it’s oh so satisfying. At home I just have to worry about my food getting cold, and my boyfriend getting annoyed with me because he waits on me to eat. He knows the drill now after two years to just start without me! Food pictures I’ve pretty much mastered, but when traveling I’m the worst with sight seeing pictures. The worst I mean by–it’s an ordeal. I’ve laid down in streets when there was oncoming traffic coming towards me to get the cool street few of puddles on a cobble stone street in Edinburgh. I’ve caused a line at the San Francisco bridge because I wanted the PERFECT cute kissing photo. I’ve been in situations where strangers think I’m taking a photo of them when I’m not and that’s so embarrassing/stressful. I’ve held my ice cream cone for so long that it’s dripped all down my arm to my shoes. I’ve also waited in line to take a photo in the basic spot that everyone else does at a festival like Austin City Limits or on the roof at Nine Mile Station at Ponce City Market of the skyline. Selfies are the hardest…I don’t post them often, but when I do it’s an event–just see below.

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^Me trying to get the perfect photo of my new balayage hair…LOL.

I’m not a model or genetically set. I like to think I’m somewhat photogenic, but we all have our “sides” or angles that we prefer when being documented. I have no shame admitting it. If you like to take photos–do it and share them with the world! BUT remember there is a time and a place for everything. A selfie a day is excessive. I’m more into taking photos of things and of others. and I love seeing other people’s perspectives of the same places I eat or locations I travel to. Pictures help us remember things and they take us back to a time that we can no longer be in and they take us back to places that we may never get to see again. From my perspective photos have so much meaning from the sense that remind you something you may have done, wish you had done or said at that time. By having a photo of that moment, you can reflect on it. I did not major in History, but photography has been around since sometime around the 1800s (I looked it up on Wiki). Back then, it was mostly for commercial use. Now in 2017, it’s so accessible for anyone to take photos and share them with the world. How cool is that? Remember when we had to upload photos from a camera–how archaic?! What I’m getting at in the end of all of this is that photos are the gateway of our memories. Good or bad. It’s a great way to connect with people from the past, present and those you meet in the future. That’s why I take so many damn pictures.

The things I do for the perfect picture. It’s always worth it.

–Erin