TRAVEL

OFF TO NYC!

09/15/2015

NYC_bleubird

I’m heading to New York tomorrow for a mix of both work and pleasure. It’s near the end of New York Fashion Week, which I’ve never experienced first-hand, so it’s an exciting time to go. I have a jam-packed schedule full of appointments and events, plus plans to see some much-loved (and much-missed!) friends.

As much as I am excited, I’m also a little nervous. One, because how do you even begin packing outfits when Fashion Week is taking place? And two, because I get really bad travel anxiety. From the time I book my ticket, to packing, to the airport chaos, the rushing to the gate, the crowds, and the flight itself, I am kind of a mess. It’s a pretty recent thing—I noticed it in my early thirties—and I don’t know how to overcome it. I’ve been trying a few natural methods like deep breathing and Kava Kava root (a supplement, which helps with minimal anxiety) and I’ve also heard that applying pressure to your wrists can be an instant relief for stress. I am not a fan of Xanax or other drugs because they make me feel awful. Of course, there’s always hitting up the airport bar pre-flight, which does help, and then a nice Bloody Mary (or two), while onboard, but by the time I land I’m either sauced or super tired. Do any of you struggle with anxiety and/or have any tips on how do you deal with it?

COZUMEL, MEXICO

07/23/2015

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Our last stop on our recent Carnival Cruise was to Cozumel, Mexico. Sadly, Julian wasn’t feeling well that morning and decided it would be best to stay on the ship and get some rest, so the five of us ventured out for a day on the beach. First, we stopped at a little restaurant for tacos and queso, margaritas for the adults and virgin strawberry daiquiris for the kids. We then hailed a cab to one of the many beaches. We asked our cab driver to take us to one that is more secluded than others, and he delivered. He took us to San Fransisco Beach and we were able to walk down away from the crowds and relax and play in the ocean.

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Before we left, we noticed that one of the dipping pools next to the restaurants was empty, so we quickly jumped in and ordered some drinks and chips and salsa. San Fransisco Beach is really cool—they have giant outdoor beds on the sand to relax in with canopies to block you from the sun (because naps on the beach are the best) and adult-sized swings. There were lots of cool shops there, too, but we decided to shop closer to the ship.

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I wish we would have gotten more photos, but the day didn’t go exactly as planned. It’s actually funny story—we asked our cab driver to drop us off at this long row of stores on the way back to the ship. Once we got out, we started browsing and the kids had found some cool little souvenirs, then Plum said “Umm, where’s the backpack?” Panic set in as we quickly realized that we did not have one of our bags with us and must have left it in the cab that had dropped us off 15 minutes before. There wasn’t anything of real value in the backpack—just some clothes, towels, and things, but some of the little kid’s favorite toys were in there, so they were pretty sad. We ran out to see if we could find another cab driver that could help us, but none of them were stopping, so we decided to just accept our loss and move on. We bought a couple of things for the kids and went to grab some food before heading back to the ship.

We had an hour to kill and then Aubrey said “I want to at least try to find our backpack.” We all told him “no” and that we didn’t have much time left before the ship was scheduled to leave, but he was determined and said he would make it back in time and to just get on without him. This made Plum and I a little nervous, but went with it. We finished up our food and walked around for a bit until it was time to board the ship. We waited for him by the entrance for as long as we could and then anxiously got on the ship, worried that he would be left. (Remember, I fried my phone in Jamaica, so I couldn’t call him to check on his whereabouts.) When we returned to our rooms, he greeted us at the door. He had beat us to the ship and he found the backpack! We couldn’t believe it. He paid another cab driver to help him find the bag and luckily the driver we had before was a sweet, honest man and returned it to us. What a day!

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

JAMAICA

07/10/2015

1 As promised, here are the photos from our first day off the ship while on our Carnival Cruise last month. We docked in Montego Bay early that morning, so when we woke up and looked out the windows, we could see land. This was exciting for us after being surrounded by water for the past 2 days and we could not wait to explore together and spend the day on the beach. The water was so insanely beautiful—clean, clear, warm, and the most beautiful aqua color. We spent the day with no real plans and just played on the beach for hours, swam in the ocean, collected seashells, and looked for blue crabs, which were all over the underside of the dock we were by. I’ll let the photos do the talking…

3 5487 111613592628b_small602119958 We ate lunch at a little beach cafe. We had jerk chicken, plantains, Jamaican rice and beans, frozen lemonade, and ice cream. Aubrey and I had ice-cold Red Stripe beer, which is brewed in Jamaica. So refreshing in the heat! Afterwards, we explored some nearby shops and people-watched before heading back to the ship. Birdie is obsessed with Pikachu and was so happy to find a Jamaican Pikachu stuffed toy, complete with Rastafarian hat and braids. Ha!

323133346236 37 40 41 44 466150 49 52 55 56 We were parched by the sun and exhausted after our day on the island. We loved Jamaica and took with us some really beautiful memories and photos that I am looking forward to blowing up and having printed to hang in our home. I’ll be back soon to share photos of our time in Mexico! Stay tuned.

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

OUR CARNIVAL CRUISE

06/26/2015

1small Earlier this month we were invited by Carnival Cruise Line to cruise for the first time, aboard the Carnival Breeze. We decided to schedule our trip right after school ended as a way to celebrate and to have a fun vacation with the big kids before they left for the summer with their dad. We flew to Miami, checked into our hotel for the night, and ordered Chinese takeout. The next day was boarding day, so we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to the dock. Walking onto the boat was so exciting knowing that this would be our “home” for the next week. 5123Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset We had two state rooms next to each other and although there wasn’t a connecting door in-between, we were able to open the divider on our balconies, sharing one large deck. Aubrey and I shared one room with Birdie and Sailor, while Julian and Plum lived it up in their own teenage-dream pad next door. Since we were going to be living on the boat for the next 6-days, we decided to move right in, unpack, and tuck our suitcases under the beds to make it feel like home. We spent the first two days at sea exploring all the boat had to offer. It literally had every thing you could possibly imagine, from an Imax movie theater to an Internet Cafe, and a beauty salon to a candy store! One of our favorite discoveries was the Bonsai Sushi restaurant onboard. Plum, Birdie, and I ate there four times during our trip. The sushi was really good and it was nice to have a spot just for us girls to go. After the little kids were in bed, Julian stayed in the room with them, playing video games and watching t.v, while Aubrey and I snuck off for some alone time. We hit up the casino one night and I won $70! We caught an onboard couples gameshow (kind of like The Newlywed Game) one night, which was hilarious. Most nights, we sipped wine under the stars at the front of the boat, away from the commotion, and it was lovely. 272625 We, of course, spent a day at the waterpark on the top of the boat. The kids loved it! We laid out our towels, slathered on sunscreen, hit the waterslides, and got soaked. There were several hot tubs on the boat that we wanted to hit up at night, but sadly, never got around to it. As a fan of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, I was excited to see Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint next to the pool. We had fun building our own burgers, which were really good, and made ice cream a daily must-have. 1761113815162110 I think across the board, we all found the highlight of the trip to be our family dinners in the Dining Room. Every night, we had the same table with the same waiters (who were amazing) located at the back of the boat with a beautiful window view. We were able to spend a good two hours enjoying lobster, filet, duck, and other fancy dishes and talk about our days. Aubrey and I also loved getting a couples massage at the boat’s Cloud 9 Spa. We soaked in the tub for thirty minutes before getting an hour rub-down and it was incredible. 20245035 We spent our last day at sea playing mini-golf, eating hotdogs from the hotdog stand SeaDogs, and exploring the boat even more. There was a video arcade, which the kids loved, and we spent many nights after dinner there before heading back to our rooms to get ready for bed. 283031383637 It’s started raining like crazy during our mini-golf game, which turned out to be pretty fun because everyone scattered indoors and we played in the rain and got soaked. 48424645 We made three stops on our trip—Jamaica, The Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico. It ended up pouring rain the entire time we were docked in the Cayman Islands, so we spent that day on the boat, but we had a blast in Jamaica and Mexico, which I will be sharing images of soon! xx

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

SEE YOU SOON

05/30/2015

packing

The six of us are headed to the airport this afternoon. We are going on a 7-day vacation before the big kids head to Florida to spend the summer with their dad. I couldn’t think of a better way to end the school year and lead into summer than a trip to the Caribbean. I am pretty excited to relax and have fun on the beach—and maybe even get a little tan, while I’m at it. We’ll be taking lots of pictures and sharing bits + pieces of our trip with you here and over on Instagram, if you care to follow along. See you soon! x

P.S. The beautiful travel bags are by Frank Clegg.

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