Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Vacation Planning Tips

Sometimes I like to channel my inner Travel Agent and plan future/dream vacations.
I enjoy organizing logistics and costs, so it's a fun hobby for me.
I'm no world traveler, but I feel like sharing my point of view anyway...
Oh!  And before I get started I wanted to mention that one of my favorite places to research weekend getaways is the Southern Living Travel website.  
This is such a great resource for southerners looking for smaller scale trips.  It is where I found the City Loft Hotel in Beaufort AND Lakeview at Fontana in Bryson City, both excellent stays for us as a couple and ones that we would whole-heartedly recommend.

So, once we have decided where it is that we would like to vacation, these are my next steps.
I create a Pinterest Board for our vacation right away.
I search for any recommended spots, either through friends, family, or even blogs.  I do some initial blind searches for restaurants, boutique hotels, etc.
I start pinning away.
I pin anything and everything that looks good, I will curate it later.

Google Maps
I first use Google Maps to search hotels.  I always use “Street View” to explore the area before booking.  Once confirmed, I use the “Search Nearby” tool to find restaurants, bars, live music, happy hours, comedy clubs, etc.  At this point I have a second tab with Pinterest pulled up, and I’m searching for my Google findings as I go.  I will pin them and make a note for myself.
The Roger NYC Street View
Trip Advisor
From everything that I’ve pinned so far, I search for all of our options on Trip Advisor.  I eliminate anything that doesn’t look good from traveler photos/reviews.
Philly planning
At this point, our Hotel is booked and my Pinterest Board is organized with Dining/Entertainment/Etc options with good reviews and photos.  
From here we will start working on our Agenda!
We search menus, Facebook pages for weekly specials, you name it.
Next come the reservations and then,
None of these tips are revolutionary but I feel like it's an organized method to planning an awesome vacation, without falling into tourist traps or becoming overwhelmed.
Do you have any planning tips that help you vacation better?

Note: You can click on the "vacation" label at the bottom of this post for some actual vacations we've taken.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Life Lately

Here are a few scenes from life lately:
Last Wednesday I made bbq shrimp and grits.  It was one of our favorite dinners from the week.
So this is an every night scene at our house.  
After dinner Alfie starts buttering K up so he can go on his night walk.
After work on Friday I was running all over town taking care of some errands.  We decided to do an early dinner at Al di La. 
It ended up being Avondale Restaurant week!
Saturday morning I was up early to get over to Shem Creek for Carrie’s Bach.
We started out Stand Up Paddleboarding at Nature Adventure Outfitters.  This was my first time trying SUP, I’m so bummed I didn’t get a picture but didn’t want to risk dropping the camera.
After that we had lunch at Red’s and then went downtown to check into the house for the night.
The house was very comfy/cozy.  We lounged around playing shower games and Carrie opened gifts. 
I feel like I look like a character from Flash Dance in this pic, but it's the only one of me on my camera from the party so here you go: Bachelorette Essentials: 
And then it was time for the big night out.
We went to Taco Boy and then several places that I don't feel like listing.
I am seriously too old for King Street after 10 pm.
Some fun shots from a selfie stick:
On Sunday I was completely useless.
Annnnd that's a wrap.
What's been happening lately with you?

Friday, September 25, 2015

TGIF: Ready for Carrie's Bachelorette!

I'm so excited to be celebrating my Bride-To-Be Bestie...
It's Carrie's Bachelorette Weekend!
Carrie and I met as freshmen at JIHS.  
We were roommates for Junior and Senior year at CofC.
She stood by my side last November,
 and I can't wait to do the same for her February wedding.
Let the fun begin!