Alaska | Fairbanks Travel Diary

Happy Fri-yay! Exactly two weeks ago I was stepping off of a plane in the northern-most city in the United States, located less than 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle – Fairbanks, Alaska! One of my husband’s dreams has been to see the Aurora Borealis, aka the Northern Lights, and its found its way onto my bucketlist as well. Periodically from time to time I check fares to Iceland and Norway with our Aurora dreams in mind but fares are always a bit pricey or we simply don’t have the time, especially now that we live on the West Coast crossing the pond aint so quick or easy! I randomly saw a great fare to Anchorage, Alaska from LA and I started to get curious and got my Google on. Can you see the Northern Lights in Anchorage? Oh, faintly? Well, where in Alaska can I get good viewings? Fairbanks! <– That was my train of Googling & internal thoughts. Turns out Fairbanks is an amazing place to catch the Aurora Borealis as it lies within the Aurora Oval. Places within the Oval will have viewings directly overhead – from further away you can view them closer to the horizon. Apparently there were gorgeous sightings in the horizon from our connecting flight from Seattle but of course we were sitting on the opposite side of the plane, womp womp. To make a long, bummer of a story short, the entire weekend was too cloudy to see anything and although I was so disappointed over it we seized our time and had an amazing weekend getaway together! Fairbanks is so beautiful and peaceful we had an amazing time just driving around, flying our 3dr Solo drone, and filming. Apparently Alaskans like to shoot drones out of the sky lol.. luckily our bird made it home safe and sound!… View Post

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El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria Resort | Puerto Rico

In the quiet town of Fajardo, you’ll find one of Puerto Rico’s nicest and most well known resorts, El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. This resort sits on top of a 300 foot cliff overlooking both the Atlantic Ocean & Caribbean Sea. The views are truly picturesque and we were lucky to be able to take it all in from our cliff-top room. The grounds are huge so we really appreciated the hospitality upon checking in – we would have been completely lost trying to find our room and getting our luggage there would be even more difficult.

The resort is beyond self sufficient. If you’re the resort-y type that loves to relax at a fab hotel, by the pool, or on the beach you literally won’t have to leave. El Conquistador offers personal concierges, pre-arranged babysitting, four freshwater swimming pools, a huge golf course, seven tennis courts (yes, seven!), 32 restaurants, bar, & lounges, a water park, private island….. I can go on & on!

After settling into our room we decided to head down to the waterpark, Coquí, where we enjoyed slides, a lazy river, and an infinity pool. It was so fun to be a kid again with my BFF! We took a cable car down the cliff to then walk over to the waterpark which gave us even more stunning views and a nice walk past the marina. The marina offers deep-sea fishing charters, sailboats, catamarans, & yachts BTW! Now about El Conquistador’s private island… Palomino Island: you can enjoy horseback riding, scuba diving, and so much more. I swear I felt like I needed a week just to explore the property! A water taxi leaves to and from Palomino Island from the resort every 30 minutes so its very easy to go back and forth and I’m sure the water taxi ride itself is a fun adventure! I had my heart totally set on horseback riding but unfortunately we didn’t get to check out Palomino Island due to time constraints :-/ I’ll get into why and everything we explored when I do my full Puerto Rico travel diary! For now, I know you’re dying to see photos so please enjoy & I’ll chat as you scroll… View Post

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The Ritz Carlton, San Juan | Puerto Rico

TGIF! I hope everyone’s week is winding down easily!

I made my first trip to Puerto Rico two weeks ago with my BFF and had such an amazing time!! We split our trip in half, starting in San Juan and finishing off on the east side of the island in Fajardo. I’ll get in to everything we did and experienced when I do my full Puerto Rico travel diary but today I’m sharing with you where we spent our first couple days — The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan. We landed around 1 and were surprised to see how close the hotel was to the airport, less than 10 minutes drive. Old San Juan is about a 15 minute drive from the hotel as well so the location was very convenient. The property is classically elegant, we pulled up to the hotel on a brick cul-de-sac hidden away by lush palms. Luckily for us, our room was ready even though we arrived a couple hours before check-in time. We had a private check-in at the club lounge, everyone was so friendly and hospitable and made us feel ultra comfortable. We were able to grab premium drinks and snacks in the club all day and enjoyed a fabulous breakfast there during our mornings which you’ll see down below.… View Post

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O’ahu Travel Diary, Hawaii Part 2

Aloha my LOVES!!!! Ahhh, you guys are the BEST! Thank you so much for all of the wonderful feedback yesterday on my video and part 1 of this blog-post! I know I keep saying this but I worked so hard on this video, I wanted it to be perfect and interesting for you guys (& helpful for anyone planning a trip!) – so to know that all of these sleepless nights paid off is an amazing amazing feeling. I loveddd reading all the comments from those of you that have trips planned already or are now planning trips because of my episode, to know that you all are actually engaged with the content is incredible. I felt so cheesy recording my voiceovers but I wanted to be super informative and share things that I wish I knew before my trip!

Enough with my rambling though, let’s get on to Part Two of my Hawaiian vacation where we spent a few days on the gorgeous island of O’ahu. Each Hawaiian island is supposed to be completely different in terms of the landscape, culture, and all around vibe. While O’ahu is by far the most modern and Maui is super lush and relaxed, I found O’ahu’s mishmash of modern & utopian to be fascinating. Within very short drives you can see the city’s high rise buildings, lush rainforests, mountains, cliffs, charming towns and villages, gorgeous sandy beaches and crystal blue water. I’ve said this twice already but in my opinion, O’ahu is the absolute perfect way to close out a Hawaiian vacation because it’s a great transition back to city life. I was still living in Chicago when we went on this trip, if we had come back straight from Maui I think the harsh contrast would freak me out LOL! Alrighty, as usual.. I’ll blab as we go :) Enjoy!… View Post

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Maui Travel Diary, Hawaii Part 1

I completely underestimated how incredible Hawaii would be, in my mind I thought tropical is tropical they’re all the same – I was in the Maldives two weeks prior so I was under the impression that I’ve already set the bar so high on beachy vacations that Hawaii wouldn’t even compare. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong!!! Hawaii has so many different landscapes and visuals… cities, mountains, rainforests, beaches, the ocean, cliffs. All it takes is a short drive to see all of these things within minutes. Hailing from the FLAT midwest, this completely blew my mind; I couldn’t believe just how beautiful everything is. No question, this trip is my favorite yet, my chest actually felt heavy when we were leaving to come back home after 8 days. I usually feel antsy after a couple days to get back into my routine but this time around I had absolutely no desire. Every island has a completely different look and feel, we only explored Maui and O’ahu but I know we’ll be back asap to experience the remaining six.

You all know that I’m very.. generous with the camera(s) so after narrowing down thousands of photos and hours of footage, this is the final result. A long vlog and a blog-post so long that I had to break it up into two parts after completing, ha! Part one today will be the first leg of our Hawaiian vacation on the lush island of Maui, grab a snack and get comfy – I’ll chat and reminiscence as we go! Part two in O’ahu will be posted tomorrow so don’t forget to check back! xo… View Post

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The Modern Honolulu

Located at the apex of Waikīkī, steps away from everything you could ask for: luxury shopping, yummy dining, the beach, The Modern was a nice change of scenery after our more laid back, slow-paced, stay in Maui. I think it was a nice way to slowly transition back to the hustle and bustle of Chicago. This hotel is known to be the destination for both business travelers and vacationers. We were greeted with lemonade, cool towels, and the most gorgeous leis in the lobby upon checking in, you have to see the broken surfboard art piece hanging above the desk — I didn’t get to snap a photo of it but you can see it creeping in the background of a photo of Waseem and me somewhere below. The art piece was designed by a local surfer, and the surfboards he used are real, broken in action, and signed by all of their riders, how cool! All I wanted during our trip was to get lei’d and I couldn’t stop obsessing over the beautiful ones The Modern adorned us with, I kept moving them around the room (& hung them in our rental car) throughout our entire stay just for photo opps lol. The Modern’s style is very contemporary and clean, it’s extravagant but minimalist at the same time. There are 353 rooms, including 26 oceanfront suites. We stayed in one of the suites and it was simply perfect.… View Post

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