Travelling alone for the first time and visiting Boston…

Just before Christmas I received a lovely letter from one of my uni pals suggesting that we have a reunion with another friend of ours who lives in Boston. The three of us were super close during our time at university and despite each of us living on a different continent, we’ve managed to stay in touch. I last saw Cindy in January 2017 whilst we were visiting Hong Kong, and the last time we were all together was at my wedding in the summer of 2015.

Anyway, it worked out that the three of us would be Stateside at the same time (during our trip to Florida), so it made sense for me to leave the boys down south and hop on a flight to see my buddies for a couple of days.

I had never flown alone before simply because the occasion hadn’t arisen. I always go on holiday with Phil and as we met so young, I had only been on holiday with family beforehand.

I wasn’t nervous or worried about flying alone, I love travelling and am used to the flight experience. I thought that it might feel weird, but it was absolutely fine. I was sat with a nice lady who lived in Fort Lauderdale and was also travelling to see friends. I had a little nap, read an issue of Vogue and before I knew it, I was in Boston.

As we descended into Boston, the pilot announced that the temperature was 26. I thought it was odd that it appeared to be as warm as southern Florida before realising he had meant 26 Fahrenheit. It was actually minus 3. It’s so crazy to think that just a three hour flight can take you somewhere so different.

Luckily for me, my kind friend Heidi met me at the airport with her super cute little boy Jasper. We went shopping and ate lots of food with her husband Ian and then returned to the airport to meet Cindy.

It was so lovely to be reunited and we immediately went to a dessert lounge in Quincy for a catch up before turning in at Heidi’s for the night.

Have you travelled alone before?

L x

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The Everglades, Keys and Fort Lauderdale…

Of all the times that we have travelled to Florida, we have never quite managed to make it to the Everglades or The Keys. We always seem to become swept up in the lights of Orlando and the beaches in North Florida. I think that there’s just so much to do and explore that we always seem to run out of time. Anyway, on this occasion, we decided to fly to Miami and explore the southern part of the sunshine state.

Our first stop was The Everglades, a gorgeous national park oozing with wildlife and greenery. We went on an airboat tour from The Everglades Holiday Park . The airboat was super fun and our host very knowledgeable. I loved feeling the wind in my hair and looking out for gators. Luckily we managed to spot quite a few on our trip. They are such majestic creatures and I feel like I learnt a lot about them from our trip. The only downside to the airboat tour was the part at the end where you have the option to hold a baby gator. It had its mouth tied shut and I just felt like it was completely unnecessary. Nobody needs to hold an alligator and the poor little thing must have felt terribly vulnerable. That being said, I would still highly recommend the boat tour and I think that overall they have good intentions with the wildlife.

Next stop was a trip to Key Largo. I had heard how dreamy the Keys are, but I didn’t imagine that they would be quite so lush. I immediately fell in love with the chilled atmosphere, crystal clear sea and how genuinely beautiful they are. The sea was warm and inviting. Possibly the clearest sea I have ever seen and still as a Polaroid. I could see fish everywhere and it was just so, so lovely. We found a little hidden beach tucked away behind some (also dreamy) houses and just existed there for a while. The winter has felt terribly long (and appears to be never ending – snow over Easter, say what?!), it was so, so nice to soak up the sun and feel it on my skin. I loved walking around in flip flops and a sundress. The temperatures were 27/28 degrees every day and it was absolutely divine. What a treat.

Continuing our beach theme, we headed over to Fort Lauderdale for a sunset stroll on the beach followed by dinner at a restaurant with live music that kisses the coastline. We also had a look around the shops. Fort Lauderdale is quite lively in the evenings, so I would definitely recommend a visit.

Have you visited Southern Florida?

L x

Barcelona Part Four – Relaxing by the Marina…

On our fourth and final day in Barcelona, I was only interested in doing two things. Firstly, soaking up the sunshine before I’m smothered in grey cloud back home, and secondly, eating good food.

There was one place that I had grown to really love whilst in Barcelona and that was the marina. I could sit there for hours watching the ripples in the water and the boats floating along. There is also a little stall (or a few stalls if you walk along), where you can buy crepes and waffles. I opted for a chocolate crepe with whipped cream and did not regret it.

We also walked along Las Ramblas and ate more Japanese food (such a sucker for Asian food!) and it was the perfect end to a perfect trip.

Have you travelled to Barcelona?

L x

Barcelona Part Three – Park Guell and the Gothic Quarter…

On the our third day in beautiful Barcelona, we decided to walk from our hotel near Eixample to Park Guell. We Google mapped our route and discovered that it would take around an hour which was fine because we both quite like walking. What Google maps failed to mention was that the final leg of our walk to Park Guell was up a steep hill. I was melting by the time we reached the top (although towards Park Guell they provide you with the option of using an escalator which was like a drop of gold falling from heaven!).

Anyway, the uphill walk was worth it for those dreamy views. We could see all of the way to the sea which was rather lovely. Park Guell is super nice to walk around too, we loved it.

Once we had finished mooching around we decided to walk back towards our hotel (much more fun going downhill). We stopped for cake, a drink and a well deserved rest for a bit before heading over to the Gothic Quarter to enjoy the wonderful architecture.

There are so many cute little shops and restaurants lining the Gothic Quarter, so it’s easy to get swept up in an afternoon there.

We then headed over to see the Marina lit up at night, which was really nice and we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant in the shopping centre. I’m such a sucker for Asian food!

Have you visited Park Guell?

L x

Celebrating my birthday…

I absolutely adore a fun evening with my closest buddies and so for my birthday this year, I decided to invite a few people over for a pyjama party at our house. I also loved having a shower and throwing on pyjamas before people arrived, it was a no-fuss evening!

We’ve had a few bbq’s with around 20 or so people and we have an annual Eurovision shindig, but this was the first time that we’d had a few people hanging out and it was super fun!

The boys played Super Smash Bros and We all played a few ‘party’ games including beer pong. I added a few shots of vodka too, which I’m not sure I’d recommend!

I had an amazing Oreo flavoured cactus cake made by Bluebell Bakes. I always get our special occasions from Bluebell Bakes because they not only look incredible, but they taste divine all whilst helping out a small business. I feel really strongly about supporting small businesses and also about having a special occasion cake made fresh. You just can’t beat it!

We had a really fun evening and it was great to see my closest buddies. They are all wonderful.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

L x

Budapest Day 3: Buda Castle, Gellért Spa and Pinball…

We had a super jam packed Wednesday in Budapest following on from the Christmas break. The shops were finally open, the sun was shining and there was Life all over the city.

We started our day by having breakfast at Matthias Church. I’m such a sucker for Starbucks Pain Au Chocolats (or chocolate croissants as they like to call them Stateside!), so we decided to pop over to a Starbucks with a view for breakfast.

Unfortunately we had to walk up ten million stairs and Starbucks didn’t have any pains, so I had to settle for cake instead (certainly liveable!), but the views were incredible and it was such a treat to witness such a beautiful city smothered in golden sunshine.

It really was a glorious morning. I would highly recommend heading over to Matthias Church and walking along to Buda Castle. It was really lovely.

Budapest has so much history and culture sunken into its veins and each building has a story or a sight that it’s seen. Buda castle is no exception. There’s so much history there and it’s gorgeous too, so definitely worth a visit!

Following our visit to the castle, we made our way over to Gellért Spa. Gellért Spa resides in the most beautiful building and although it was smaller than Széchenyi, it was grander and felt cleaner. We had a relaxing afternoon there.

We then decided to walk to the Pinball museum. It took us over an hour as we stopped to breath in the sumptuous architecture that Budapest displays in abundance and although we were in need of a rest after our mammoth walking day (we had walked everywhere that day), I’m glad that we did because you simply miss out on the small things of you are whizzing by in a taxi.

We had lots of fun at the Pinball Museum, it was great to play on all of the different machines and they sell drinks there too, which is nice.

Soon it was time for us to stuff our faces, so we headed over to the Budapest BBQ for dinner and drinks. The food was great! We had a lovely evening.

I thoroughly enjoyed Budapest and I feel as though it’s a city that offers so much. I think we will definitely visit again one day.

Have you visited Budapest?

L x

Budapest Day One – Széchenyi Spa and a Christmas dinner cruise…

For Christmas 2017 we decided to head on over to Budapest to experience Christmas abroad for the first time. We’ve never been away for Christmas and felt like it was a good time as we don’t have children nor do we have giant families where Christmas is a big deal. We chose to visit Budapest because some of our friends have travelled there and our wonderful neighbours are Hungarian and they recommended it. Anyway, fast forward to Christmas Eve and we were riding high in the sky with Rudolph on our way to a festive adventure.

I had made some loose plans of things to do and had decided that on Christmas Day we would head on over to Széchenyi Spa for a relaxing afternoon. We walked to the Spa from our hotel through a pretty park with incredible architecture and an ice rink. The sun was shining and it was so lovely.

We stopped off at Vajdahunyad Castle on our way to the Spa, it’s so, so gorgeous and definitely worth a visit. It was when we were wandering around by the castle that we spotted a little restaurant that served burgers. Scrumptious burgers that were rather sizeable. We stopped for lunch and grabbed a hot chocolate to go. I would definitely recommend the little restaurant with the big burgers!

The spa was really fun although in all honesty I did find it a little dirty feeling. I just felt that it was a bit grimy in places and that I needed a good scrub after. It was a really fun place though with so much to do from your own private hot tub with a beer tap, through to saunas and massages. It’s a great place.

In the evening we took a dinner river cruise that I booked through Viator. It was amazing, the cruise was beautiful with all of the gorgeous buildings that line the river all lit up. Super pretty. The boat was really lovely and festive too. There was a band playing and it was a wonderful evening. I ate too much and others drank too much (seriously there was a 14 year old boy on our table that knocked back two glasses of champers and two glasses of rose in forty minutes) and it was a lovely end to our first Christmas away. Sadly I didn’t take many photographs, but I can assure you that pictures wouldn’t have done the lush views justice anyway. I would highly recommend the dinner river cruise!

Have you visited Budapest?

L x

Exploring Vegas and the weirdest dining experience ever…

Dress: Asos Sunglasses: Michael Kors Tabitha 

I’ve been to Vegas three times now and each time I’ve fallen deeper in love with this colourful world hidden in the desert. I just love all that it has to offer. I’m not a gambler or even remotely seedy, which is the reputation that precedes Vegas. I love having fun, seeing different things, eating delicious food, shopping and seeing shows. Vegas has all of this in abundance.

I think that it’s that ease of convenience that helps me adore the place so much. Everywhere is open late, you can walk along the strip (I’m a big fan of walking!). Basically the place is your oyster. You can go out pretty much anytime and always find something to do. 

Anyway, on our first full day in Vegas, we took Phil’s Dad Steve (or P Diddy as I like to call him), for a tour of the strip, weaving in and out of various hotels that are devoured in detail. We also went to the Fashion Show Mall which is one of my favourite places to shop in Vegas (they have a Topshop!). 

It was great to feel the warmth on my skin, which is something I’m really missing now that autumn has set in. We took in the sights of the strip before heading Downtown.

I really like going Downtown because I find it a little bit raw. It’s not quite as glitzy and it just oozes retro charm. It’s more humble and less crowded and I just love the neon.

There’s a fair bit to do Downtown too, including zip lining, which I really wanted to do, however, I was inappropriately dressed for it! Next time though…

We ate dinner Downtown at the Heart Attack Grill, which I can only describe as the weirdest place I have ever eaten. I still can’t quite work out whether or not I enjoyed myself.

The hospital theme is really immersive, so we all sat there wearing hospital gowns awaiting our giant burgers and full calorie drinks (the waitress was unimpressed when I ordered a Diet Coke and announced that they don’t do diet there). 

They also have a policy where if you don’t finish your meal you get spanked. Hard. I couldn’t finish my burger and spent at least fifteen minutes freaking out about the spanking, coming up with irrational solutions such as hiding it in Phil’s rucksack or sneaking to the bin myself before realising that as it turns out, spanking isn’t compulsory. Who knew?

We then chilled out for a bit before heading back to New York, New York where we found a bar that had games (Beer Haus) so we spent the rest of the evening drinking and playing games such as Jenga.

Have you eaten at the Heart Attack Grill?

L x

Disneyland Day Two…

Our second day at Disney was just as exciting as our first although for the most part we based ourselves in the main park. There are so many iconic attractions in the main park and we wasted no time in showing them off to Phil’s Dad.

We took him on all the classics from Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Small World. He loved it!

For lunch we had turkey legs and watermelon. I really love the turkey legs at Disney, they are just so flavourful!

Playsuit: Topshop two years ago (!). I always feel like I wear this playsuit on holiday. Its just so comfy with a really pretty rose print. Sunglasses: Vans  Sandals: Tesco

We also made sure that we squeezed in a parade and two evening shows, World of Colour and the Fireworks.

The parades are so magical, you can’t help but be enveloped in a warm hug of happiness watching them. When I visited Disneyworld as a child, I used to think that the characters I was seeing were the real McCoy. I’d go around collecting autographs and spending my days in awe of their celebrity status. As an adult, I’m quite aware that they are cast members and I certainly don’t go around collecting autographs, but I still appreciate the effort that goes in to portraying the character as well as the level of detail that creates the Disney parks and just makes them so, so special. We were sat next to a guy who works at Disney but was on his day off. He told us lots of interesting facts about the parks and some changes coming up. Disneyland is only going to get better!

We did a spot of shopping before leaving Disney and I picked up a hand drawn sketch of Hay Hay from Moana. It’s so cool that a Disney artist drew it. I’m not sure where in the house it will live exactly, but it’s definitely finding a wall somewhere.

Because our hotel was so close (and Phil had manflu) we went back to our rooms for an hour or so before heading back over for the night shows.

World of colour is such a gorgeous display on the lake over in California Adventure. It’s such a treat featuring so many iconic characters.

We then finished our time at Disney by watching the fireworks over the castle in the main park. The fireworks at Disney are the best I’ve ever seen. They just know what they are doing! We loved it.

Have you seen the Disney parades/shows?

L x

9 things to do in Munich…


We were lucky enough to escape for a cheeky weekend away in Munich this summer. I hadn’t been before and was pleasantly surprised – it’s a gorgeous city packed with things to do. Here are nine things that you can pack into your trip to Munich.

1. Shopping. Now I’m quite aware that this may seem like a bland thing to do whilst in such a beautiful city, but Germany have amazing treats hidden in their supermarkets from tasty chocolate to strong beers, it’s all there and worth a nose at.

2. Hire a bike. Literally everyone cycles in Munich and with their well planned cycle lanes and just general awareness for cyclists, it’s a great way to get around whilst exploring.

3. Check out the architecture. Munich is home to some of the most gorgeous buildings riddled with history. You only have to walk around to become enveloped in their beauty.

4. Hang out by the river. On a sunny day, an evening by the river is where it’s at. Bring your swimmers if you fancy and soak up the bohemian atmosphere.

5. Check out the local markets. There are a few markets on all over the city on weekends. We visited the market on Mariah Platz that runs every Saturday. You can find local produce from little gifts, fresh fruits and plants. We loved having a little nose around!

6. Eat, eat and eat some more. There are so, so many restaurants dotted around the city covering every type of cuisine. We found lots of independent restaurants that served delicious food from Italy to Mexico!

7. Visit the zoo. Munich is home to a lovely zoo that is actually quite large. It’s really family friendly and they are working on a lot of conservation projects too. 

8. Go to the English Garden. The English Garden is a wonderful park in the heart of Munich. Filled with dog walkers, joggers and surfers, it’s a great way to spend a few hours. We loved watching the surfers at the park (something I never expected to see!).

9. Take a day trip to Neustwanstein Castle. You can easily catch the train from Munich Central and head on over to the iconic castle that’s been used in many films. Sadly we didn’t squeeze it in this time, but I’m all over it the next time we visit!

Have you visited Munich?

L x