Category Archives: wanderlust

Experience: The Dean Hotel


Every time our country comes out of a recession working class cities embrace a renaissance. Local artists and rising stars transform these cities into cultural mainstays; we saw it in Richmond, Alpine, and now Providence. The Dean Hotel in Providence seems to be at the forefront of this New England capital’s rise to a cultural center.

The Dean Hotel is the epitome of a hip boutique hotel; Le Labo candles, neon signs lighting the hallways, a vintage elevator system, greenery in modern white pots…. the in-room amenities include boxed water, small batch tonic, and Harry’s shave kits and the bathroom is decked out in Waterwork brass furnishings, black tiles, and soft white linens.







Located in the heart of the city, The Dean Hotel is walking distance to the largest mall in the region, the convention center, hockey stadium, local shops, public transportation, and a slew of other amenities that make it the perfect mainstay for your visit. Or, if you’re more into the “never want to step outside” route, The Dean has a coffee shop (Bolt Coffee Co. – we recommend the passion fruit or the earl grey donuts!), Restaurant (Faust), bumping Karaoke Bar (The Boombox) and a speakeasy bar called the Magdalanea Room – perfect for an intimate cocktail with your lover of choice.

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Iceland Travel Diary



Hoth, it looks like Hoth. The fictional land of ice and snow from a galaxy far far away feels all too real as you step out of Keflavik Airport and into Iceland’s December air. We follow our paths to our rented Toyota Rav 4 (we rented through Arctic.is) and piled in before our weary legs freeze and drive the 45 minutes into downtown Reykjavik, arriving to our apartments just before snow begins to fall. The blanket covering the city for Christmas Eve is a welcome sight for travelers hoping for a white Christmas, ourselves included, so we ditch the warm apartments for wandering downtown among the closing shops and enjoying what little daylight we have left (roughly 3-4 hours of sunlight in December).




Christmas in Iceland can be such a magical time what with the constant snow, the local folklore of the 13 YuleLads, and the general wintery ambiance. Though many shops are closed from Christmas Eve until December 27th, if you have good weather and a proper car you can still manage to see some sights and enjoy your trip. With only a few roads open during the winter months you’ll still be able to see the Golden Circle (a 3-4 hour roundtrip drive from Reykjavik), the Blue Lagoon, and most places along the Ring Road (the national highway of Iceland) if you are staying more than a long weekend.

Traveling with our family we knew we wanted a more leisurely experience so after the 27th we drove north to the second largest town of Akureyri. Our Arctic Rentals car was, thankfully, a 4×4 Diesel SUV which greatly came in handy along the stormy, windy drives on the winding thin 1 Hringvegur (“ringroad”, the only highway in Iceland that circumnavigates the entire country). After driving north we relaxed along the bay before sightseeing.


We explored Godafoss waterfall, Myvatn Lake, Myvatn lake’s lava fields, mud flats and geysirs,and other beautiful scenery. After running around in the freezing cold all day it was finally time to indulge in what everyone goes to Iceland for – hot springs! We had heard that the Blue Lagoon was “just for toursits” and with intense and impure water. We did our research and were excited to check out the Myvatn Nature baths instead and boy was it ahhhh-mazing. 100 degree water while the air is below 30 degrees, taking in the landscape of far off volcanoes and snow capped mountains was the perfect way to end our day with a sunset and a soak.



After our long day of sight seeing it was back on the winding roads headed back down south to end our trip; short but oh so sweet. It’s a beautiful country, and though it was cold and windy and full of storms I cannot wait to get back….except maybe next time in spring or summer!

Stay tuned for a few follow up posts jam packed full of information! In the meantime, I hope these images evoked some wanderlust in you!

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Experience: Antelope Canyon


Swirls of pinks, purples, and blues…colors reserved for paint cans and summer sunsets can be found, omnipresent, at the edge of one of Earth’s greatest creations. The Grand Canyon, though grand in itself, has many tangentials, stretching across multiple states. Of the most notable, Antelope Canyon is also one of the most beautiful.

The morning I got engaged we had a tour scheduled for the inner canyons; arriving the designated 45 minutes early, we waited in the sun, desert all around, as we watched people vanish into the canyons out of sight. Our turn came and we knew what to expect from the images, but there really is no preparing you for the awe you come face to face with once you step inside. The desert heat is whipped away as you descend into the cool rocks.




Getting a good tour guide is half the battle I think. We booked through Ken’s Tours, one of only a handful that offer a tour of the lower canyons. With so many groups pushed together (the Canyons see hundreds of tourists daily, though most opt for the easier to navigate upper canyon); you want someone patient and in love with their job. We witnessed other groups who had “goofball” guides, whereas ours truly understood the best places to get a good shot. She would even throw dust into the air to help us get that ubiquitous magical shot of the falling particles.



Even after the magic of getting engaged, this was a beautiful sight fitting to begin our engagement on.

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Getting My Kicks on Route 66


Being an AirBnB host we get to hear from all types of people about their favorite parts of the States. As previously stated, we set out to make 2016 the year of exploring more of our own country after hearing about it from all of our guests and last month’s trip was a great one to tack on to our logs!

After exploring Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon we set out to drive back to Las Vegas along historic Route 66 – the most famed road in all of the Americas. Passing through Williams, Arizona was a perfect spot full of “Rt. 66” kitsch to stop for lunch among a friendly town of equal parts tourists and locals. We stocked up on patches for our denim jackets, souvenirs for family and friends, and photos and memories to last a lifetime.



Daniel Rainn dress via TJ Maxx (get it here)(similar here)
Thrifted boots (similar here)

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Experience: Shash Dine Eco Retreat


“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” Andrew Zimmern

One of our favorite things about traveling the world is the ability to see how others live. We specifically love AirBnB for that reason; staying with locals, drinking and eating with them, chatting over conversations in half languages. When we set our to explore more of our own backyard (read: America) we knew we had to learn how the rest of the country lives, taking a break from our city-dwelling lives. We stayed in a TeePee in the Texan desert, in an old-as-the-nation colonial inn, and now on a Navajo farm at the Shash Dine Eco Retreat.




What it lacks for in electricity and running water it makes up for in authenticity, great views, and a cozy abode. We arrived just before sunset (as directed) so we could get settled before the night engulfed us. Greeted by the friendliest group of Great Pyrenees and our host, Baya we were given a small tour of the land and area that would be our home for the night. The sun set quickly but luckily we came prepared with camping lights, and the hut we stayed in had a solar light as well as plenty of candles to create a warm ambiance for us to enjoy our dinner to. Guided by the soft lights around us we played a few games of crazy eights and eventually brought out our telescope to get a good look at the night sky. Being so far from civilization and light pollution we were able to see so many stars. Like really, more stars than we have ever seen, white milky way dust filtering the sky and draping us in the humbling experience of how small we are in this universe.



After a perfect night’s sleep we arose bright and early for a sunrise hike to the ridge at the edge of the property; from there we could see for miles and miles noticing Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, and the canyons that are an extension of the Grand Canyon. It was the perfect place to take it all in; made even more perfect when… Z proposed to me! (IKNOWRIGHT)

We hiked back to our hut where we were greeted with a homemade Navajo breakfast of blue corn porridge, honey, watermelon, and herbal tea. Taking in the traditions of another culture (even while starry-eyed and in engagement-shock) was a humbling experience. We loved looking around the hut with its brochures for Navajo adventures or art inspiring me for some Indian jewelry for myself.
Before jetting off for the day’s adventure we wandered around the farm, saying hello to our favorite white dogs, the horses and the sheep.


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Whatever, As If


Don’t let the title fool you into thinking  this post is about anything boring.

What they say about the Zion National Park is true; it is awe-inspiring, breathtaking, humbling… it makes you feel small, makes you feel grateful for this life you’ve been given.

After our one night in Vegas we set out early for southern Utah’s big National Park. We had plans to do The Narrows hike (a deep, canyon hike through about a foot of water for 5 hours- fun!) but with threats of an incoming storm we were left to hike second best – Angel’s Landing. Before the rains started we were already well on our way to a gorgeous hike.


Whatevs shirt via Marshalls (similar here)
Zion National Park hat via Huckberry (gets yours here!)

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Desert Flower


My first trip to Utah was a beautiful one. Labor Day turned out to be the perfect time; still warm and sunny, bustling with people but still with the characteristic friendly and welcoming locals. Despite wearing my hiking gear for most days I still knew I wanted to shoot some pretty fall looks among the once in a lifetime scenery. From the red rocks and canyons to the prairie-like valleys, this setting made for a beautiful drive on our roadtrip.






For Love and Lemons dress (on sale here!) (similar here)
Thrifted booties (similar here)
H&M hat (here) (similar here)

Can’t wait to see more of my trip?

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Salty Hair, Don’t Care


I LOVE the beach. I love the ocean, the sun, the kisses of salt spray as the wind whips around you. While my previous summers have been spent cruising the east coast from the beaches of Maine to the bays of the mid-Atlantic, this year we tamed ourselves with just one week of beach vacation. Sad, but adult life must go on. We made the most of our allotted week with plenty of family time and fun in the sun and doing everything quintessential to the perfect beach trip. That included getting drunk with red solo cups, plunging into waves, getting henna tattoos, eating boardwalk fries and pizza, playing mini-golf, star gazing, and of course, beach reading.




White off the shoulder cover up (similar here)
Polka dot bikini via Adore Me (get it here)
Rebecca Minkoff Espadrilles (on sale here!)
Thrifted hat (similar here)

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Day Trip to Harper’s Ferry

It’s summer time! For those of us in DC, or any major city, we know that the heat can stifle any-and-every thing. After a long week of drilling work and social obligations, blogging, and  life in general all I want to do is languidly lounge in some water.

One of my favorite day trips in which to do this is to head to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Just an hour and a half West of DC is the West Virginia border, straddling the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Grab your friends and a cooler of snacks and canned wine or beer and hit the road towards the Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center.

This is my second year in a row of making this a summer tradition and it gets better every time. I have always chosen their tubing adventure, where you take your friends and a cooler and lazily float down the river sipping, snacking, and enjoying life. With the backdrop of the Shenandoah mountains there’s no shortage of awe inspiring sights. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a heron or other wildlife!

Other activities include ziplining through the trees and mountains, hiking, kayaking, canoeing….Anything outdoorsy and it can be done in Harper’s Ferry! If you’re in the DC/Baltimore/Virginia area I definitely suggest you check them out.

What’s your favorite summer tradition? How do you check-out and enjoy the sun?
Let me know in the comments!

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Experience: Linden Row Inn


There’s something charming about colonial era townhomes in an old-as-the-nation but bustling and modern city. Richmond’s Linden Row Inn has managed to capture the historic feel of the 1600’s with the updates and modern luxurious touches of the 21st century. All that and it’s equidistant to the downtown area as well as the bustling and hip Careytown. Walking up to the brick buildings you can’t help but think you’re in a time warp; that is until you step into the bright lobby with it’s clean white check in desk and friendly staff.
Up to our room we went, past modern local art and the lovely dining room, to our fourth floor temporary abode overlooking the garden courtyard where a wedding was to take place the next night.




Our room was beautiful; full of classic furnishings, ultra soft bedding, and a super luxe bathroom. If you know me, that’s the kicker with anywhere I stay! With each room boasting an original fireplace and exceptionally tall ceilings, with windows to match, the space was as cozy as a dream. Perfect for mid-day naps, as well as late night sleeps after the long days.


After a day of eating, shopping, and exploring our way through Richmond there was nothing better than going back to our room to kick off our shoes and relax! And total perk that the old brick is a great noise buffer to the sounds of a wedding happening just beyond our walls!

Have you been to Richmond? What do yo think of my stay? Be sure to see more of my travels here and check out the Linden Row Inn on InstaGram and Twitter (I hear they’re offering great summer travel deals exclusive to their followers!).

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