Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts

Beach Trip: Cabo San Lucas

Jun 28, 2018

We just got back last weekend from a fun trip to Cabo! My husband and I went for our friends' wedding. It was our first time there, but we have been to Cancun and Cozumel. It is a bit different with the desert landscape, dark blue Pacific water, gusty winds and really intense waves. The biggest surprise is that it was cool at night. I didn't bring one long-sleeved top since I thought it was going to be hot and humid. The weather is more similar to the California coastline, which makes sense considering the location. We stayed at Pueblo Bonita Pacifica and it was wonderful. The only downside is you can't get in the ocean because the waves are too big and there's a dangerous undertow. However, you can get in the ocean if you stay on the calmer bayside of Cabo. It wasn't quite hot enough to get in the water anyway. It was a rare sight to even see anyone in the pool! The weather was comfortable enough to sit on pool loungers in a swimsuit. That's such a change from our usual beach vacation.

I love a comfortable sundress for traveling. It can be tricky to wear them with a plunging back and/or neckline so I wear mine with a tube top underneath. I've linked a similar one at the bottom of the post.

I love a good swimsuit cover-up that can double as a dress. It's especially important at a beach resort when you may be walking into restaurants and having lunch pool side. I always make sure I have a maxi dress with me too in case I get too much sun on my legs.

I never thought I'd wear a crop top, but I fell in love with this cover-up when I tried it on. It's the beach anyway, right?! I love the high waist, too.

It felt like we were back in Capri on this sunset cruise! If you go to Cabo don't miss it. We were actually freezing on this boat ride. It was already cool so we texted our group and let them know we were planning to bring our hotel robes. Our Houston crowd didn't bring anything with sleeves either. There were 18 of us wearing white hotel robes. I'm sure we looked like we were part of a weird cult! We did take them off for photos, but I kind of wish we had gotten one with them on now. I had brought a maxi dress because I knew it would be windy, but it came in handy with the cooler weather too.

Dressed up for the wedding! I have wanted this Lilly Pulitzer dress forever and finally bought it a few months ago. It gets updated every year and comes in different colors too. I've linked this exact one from Ebay and Amazon to get you almost every size. 


My Big Fat Greek Vacation

Mar 10, 2014

Here is the pretty post I promised last week! I'm getting ready for an almost two week trip to Europe and I can't wait to show you pictures of the places I'm going. If you follow me on Pinterest you probably knew something was up with my pins of Europe. My husband's boss and wife took us out for dinner and a play right before Christmas. As a gift they surprised us with a trip to Europe! The funny thing is my husband surprised him with a fly fishing trip. I think these guys know each other very well! It took a little while to figure out where to go on our trip to Europe, but we finally nailed down a plan.

The guys have a business meeting in Chicago right before we start our trip. We will only be here one night, but we have exciting plans. We will leave early from Houston and have a full day of sightseeing. That night we will have dinner at Alinea. It's supposedly the best restaurant in Chicago. I'm not a foodie, but the pictures are very cool.

I present...the scallop. Dun, dun, dun.

I'm excited to shop on the Miracle Mile, but it will be in vain since I can't fit anything else in my suitcase. If you follow me on Instagram and saw my pared down shoe wardrobe you know what I mean. ;)

We leave the next day for Munich. We will have a few days to explore the area and I can't wait to visit some of the amazing castles.

Schloss Linderhof, Bavaria, Germany
Neuschwanstein's Castle! in GERMANY - been there, loved it.
Nueschwanstein Castle in Germany. The castle cinderella's was modeled after! So gorgeous!

It's just like the movie "Frozen." I will be hearing, "Let it go! Let it go!" the entire time I'm here.
Viktualienmarkt in Munich with the Frauenkirche in the background. Come here every day of the week to buy top quality groceries and enjoy the real Bavarian flair.
Rhine Village, Germany. Scott Bergey
Grand Hall of Schloss Schleissheim, Munich, Bavaria, Germany (
Then we'll be heading to Berlin. The guys have another meeting there, but we have a few days to explore.
Charlottenburg, Berlin - near where my good friend Marianne lives (and beautiful in any season).
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, cool place to find good food and items!!
The Potsdam area looks so pretty.
New Palace, Potsdam, Germany. Got to tour this Castle when I was in Germany last summer. Oh how I long to go back!
Now, this is where the Greek part of the big fat Greek vacation comes in. We'll be leaving Berlin for Athens! I'm very excited about this because it is a place I have always wanted to visit since my mom and her entire side of the family was born there. On this part of the trip it will just be my husband and I, but we hope to meet up with my extended relatives. We will be staying in the Plaka area of Athens. It's known for great shopping and cafes.
Plaka, Athens  Athens, Greece
yes, I did stay in the Central Hotel in Athens, Greece.  There's a hot tub on that roof.
Athens, Greece. Visited, but would love to see again.
I think I might know the Acropolis in Athens better than the town I live in thanks to my Art History professor.   One day...
We will leave Athens for a night in Santorini. I think this is one of the most photographed areas of Greece.

I'm especially excited to see the lighthouse on the island.

Santorini lighthouse, Greece

Why? My great grandfather was responsible for this light house when he was a captain in the Greek Navy. My grandmother used to tell me stories of living on Santorini. I think some of them were a bit embellished. I swear she loved scaring the bejesus out of us grandkids with her spooky stories!

From here we will fly back to Athens and catch a flight to Istanbul. We will catch up with our friends here for two days.

The family history does not stop here. My grandmother's family is originally from Istanbul when it was Constantinople. It wasn't a pleasant time when they had to leave this city, but there is one thing that hasn't changed. This cathedral was originally a Greek Orthodox church. A family member of ours was a Bishop here at one time.
Hagia Sofia Cathedral, Istanbul, Turkey
This great place is the historic battleground between Christians and Muslims in ancient Constantinople, Modern Day Istanbul. It was convert over the centuries back and forth from Mosque to Cathedral, from Cathedral to Mosque.
Isn't it beautiful?!

I have always been proud of my rich family history and I can't wait to see it come to life. Of course, I will be updating you with pictures of my trip on Instagram and Facebook. I will also do a recap of our trip when we get back. I know it will be a whirlwind since we will visit three countries in 12 days!

I am thankful for my family that will be able to watch our boys (including Mario). They will be staying at our home part-time so the boys will feel comfortable and able to play with their friends. I am so grateful to have family close by so we can travel to these amazing places. Each city and country we visit enriches our lives in some way. I have a feeling this will be a particularly special trip as I see the places my family has once lived. I can't wait to share it with you!

A Mini Summer Vacation

Aug 19, 2013

This has been a weird summer. I haven't gotten much accomplished, but I've been busier than ever. I've been slacking on my housekeeping, rarely going to the gym, blogging only once a week, barely making it out the door to work, not doing my normal DIY projects, etc. I still can't figure out why I'm constantly moving and not getting anything done. My kids are being entertained via Xbox and it's been making me feel really guilty. I also didn't want to send them back to school without some sort of summer vacation.

On Friday, I planned a spur of the moment trip to San Antonio. We decided to spend Saturday afternoon at Natural Bridge and Caverns and all day Sunday at Sea World. My kids had mixed feelings since we usually go to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and The Alamo every year. They have a strange fascination with The Alamo and can tell you all about it-who was there, the date, how many people fought and were killed, where Jim Bowie and William Travis are buried, etc. It's different, but I'm weirdly proud. I was never interested myself, but seeing it through their eyes makes me see it in an entirely different light. I swear I'm turning into a boy sometimes! Sea World and some caves sounded so boring in comparison to roller coasters and imagined gun battles. Thankfully, they were pleasantly surprised by the roller coasters at Sea World and how immense these caves really are.

Natural Bridge and Caverns




Excuse the terrible cellphone pics! In my hurry out the door I completely forgot my camera. The kids thought the caves were going to be small like Huck Finn's island at Disney World, lol. My older son said, "This is so cool!" Yes, it is!

We headed down to The Riverwalk that night for dinner.


It really is an awesome place, but the crowds and parking are a nightmare. We've been here enough that I really don't feel the need to come down here every time we visit. I'd rather stay a little further out by the parks. We always stay at the same place because we can get a two bedroom suite with a living room, but one day I'd like to stay at The Hyatt Hill Country Resort. This is why!

There's a golf course, spa, sandy beach, lazy river, marshmallow roasting, surfing (yes, surfing), etc. Maybe next time?

We didn't spend much time at our hotel though since we got up early on Sunday for a full day at Sea World.


I might have gotten a little carried away with the "fun frames" on the Sea World app.


I think some back to school haircuts need to be on the agenda this week after looking at this pic, lol.

Take note of where we're sitting...



This is right before we got completely soaked by Shamu. My older two sons thought it was awesome. My five year old was not thrilled at all. He walked around the park all day saying,"I don't like Shamu. He got me all wet." The boy can hold a grudge because this morning when I told him he needed to take a shower since he smelled like Shamu water, I heard him mutter under his breath, "stupid whale." Hahaha! Don't worry, he had a good time. Actually, we all had a great time. I think one night getaways are perfect because there's no vacation fatigue, and very little packing and unpacking to do. We're going to have to do this more often. Now, it's back to reality, aka housework!

I'm back from California!

Jun 3, 2013

My husband and I had such a great time, and I still can't believe we experienced so much in six days as I look over our photos. We spent most of our time in Napa Valley since I have wanted to go there for years after reading a magazine article about a family who owned a winery there. They were pictured celebrating harvest with a picnic in their vineyard and the scenery took my breath away. I saved that article for years, but it disappeared somewhere when I moved into this house. Since I rarely take trips without the kids, I was starting to wonder if I'd ever visit Napa and put it on the back burner until some friends of ours mentioned they were going to get married near wine country and my husband just happened to have business out there at the same time. I had no reason to wait any longer!

My husband has been to Napa Valley before and suggested we stay in Yountville instead of the town of Napa. I wasn't too sure about it, but I trusted him on this one and I'm so glad I did. Yountville is the most picturesque town with the best restaurants and everything is in walking distance. I wish I could describe how wonderful this town smells too because of the honeysuckle planted everywhere. I'm going to be planting it at my house as soon as possible!

Our B&B, Maison Fleurie

I've never stayed at a bed and breakfast before, but I just loved the French country appeal of this place. Our room was not in the main hotel like most B&Bs, but in a cottage on the property. It was nice to have the privacy without sacrificing the charm. And, that it just happened to back up to Bouchon Bakery was nice, too.

Street View of the Town

Cute, cute homes...


We had dinner here our first night because I fell in love with the exterior. Thankfully, the food was great, too. It was just like being in a Paris cafe.

There were some seriously swanky people chowing down on pizza here. I have always wondered what kind of place women wear their Louboutins to and I finally found out. Here! I'd be afraid to wear them out of the house if I ever owned a pair.

Casual dining...because sometimes a girl just needs a hamburger.

Now, on to the entire reason we came to Napa. The wine, of course! There are so many wineries and I had no idea where to start so we decided to take a wine tour our first full day. I wanted to be careful and have a designated driver even though I had no plans to get snockered. We were picked up in a limo along with three other couples for a full day of wine tastings. I only requested one place in the hopes it would be on the list. I shouldn't have worried because the other couples never requested any particular wineries, so our first stop was the one I chose, Castello di Amorosa.

That's a real stone castle. I thought it might be a faux castle with concrete etched out to look like stone when I saw pictures of it since we're in California. But, our driver said it was a real castle in Europe that was taken apart and put back together here.

Can you believe they don't do weddings here?! Talk about missing a great opportunity for income.

Going down to the dungeon for wine tasting. The man pouring the wine was hysterical. He asked where everyone was from with the same response in an Italian accent,"Oh, we ship there, very cheap." It really was the best wine we had on the trip and we will be buying more from their website since you can't find it in stores. If you go to Napa Valley, definitely put this one on your list.

Remember my dream of a picnic in a vineyard? Well, I can now check that one off my list. I knew lunch was included on our tour, but I didn't think it would be just like I imagined it.

I had so much fun with my wine tour cohorts. The couple on the left is also from Texas and were so funny. The Australians on the right are our new friends and we went out the next night to dinner and a food and wine festival downtown with them. The couple across from us are from NYC. They were quiet, but really nice. I'm sure they were thinking what the heck did we get ourselves into with loud Texans and Australians, lol.

More wineries

We toured eight wineries all together. Five of those were on the wine tour. Yes, five wineries in one day! My husband and I learned to share a tasting after the first one. I also skipped out of a couple because I didn't want to be laid out on the floor of the limo since that wasn't the look I was going for. ;)


I have so many photos of the landscape and vineyards. I just couldn't stop taking pictures! I have a ton of the hot air balloons, too. We chased these down in the car one morning so I could take pictures. You know how some kids won't leave Disney without seeing their favorite character? I wouldn't leave Napa without seeing hot air balloons. My husband was meh about it, but indulged me at 7am to follow them.

We decided to stay an extra day instead of going to San Francisco so we booked a hotel in the town of Napa. Check out this amazing view from our balcony.

It was so nice to lay out by the pool after two days of wine tasting. I think that's the perfect number of days to spend in Napa Valley or you'll be broke with a hurt liver if you stay longer.

We also headed down to San Francisco, Monterey/Carmel, and finally to our friends' wedding near San Luis Obispo.

Big Basin Redwood Park


Carmel-I took this picture with a point and shoot camera so you can only imagine what it looked like in person.

I fell in love with the storybook homes in Carmel-by-the-Sea. I didn't get a chance to take pictures, but I found some photos of the homes there.

Aren't they cute? Most are perched on a hill overlooking the ocean, too.

Sorry, for the long post. Everything was so picturesque that I just kept taking photos. It was a great trip, but I'm so happy to be home and see my kids, puppy, and enjoy my own house. Now, if I just had a view of a vineyard or ocean...