Category Archives: Travels

Half Moon Bay and Sonoma Part 02

Happy Friday! Here we are wrapping up Part 2 of our fun-filled weekend last weekend in Half Moon Bay and Sonoma. Read part 1 here. Since it’s Friday afternoon, and everyone’s probably already checked out (at least mentally) into the weekend, I’ll keep this on the shorter side and be brief with my words. Here we are!

Sonoma

We love taking day trips up to Sonoma, driving around to 3-4 wineries, tasting, and choosing bottles to take home. On this day, we traveled up with some friends and stayed around the Petaluma area.

Stop One: Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards winen tasting

Jacuzzi Family Vineyards grape vines

As far as tasting goes, Jacuzzi was probably our favorite spot, mainly due to the employee who poured for us. He was so nice and friendly; Don will hold a special place in our hearts forever. You can get a glimpse of Don below, to the far right.

wine friends

Jacuzzi had olive oil tasting, too, which was a fun experience!

olive oil tasting at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Stop Two: Cline Cellars Vineyards and Winery

We had been to Cline before, but we didn’t mind another stop. The grounds are beautiful (as they all are), but they feel a little more “homey” than other wineries, especially since the tasting room is in an old house.

Cline Cellars grounds

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Brett hung out with a pigeon, per usual.

Cline Vineyards pigeons

Lots of cool trees and cacti.

Cline Vineyards palm tree Cline Vineyards cactus

And then there was this bench, which we found funny for some reason.

Jim Eller's bench at Cline Vineyards

Stop Three: Viansa Winery & Marketplace

Viansa Family Vineyards

Viansa was probably our least favorite of the day, not because it was bad, but we because we had been spoiled by free tastings at Jacuzzi and Cline. It’s actually pretty common to have to pay for tastings, so the fact that our first two stops were free was amazing and made us become a bit bratty when we had to pay at Viansa. 🙂 Plus none of the wine really knocked our socks off, so we left empty handed as well.

Viansa Family Vineyards wine tasting

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Excuse my ghost face above. Stunning grounds and scenery below!

Viansa Family Vineyards sign

Viansa Family Vineyards grape vines

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Sonoma Scenery

Stop Four: Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards

Now as far as general atmosphere and just overall beauty and awesomeness, Gloria Ferrer was my favorite of the day. They specialize in sparkling wine, so rather than pay for a (pretty expensive) tasting, we decided to just share a bottle. And a cheese plate, naturally. Sitting on the terrace overlooking the vast scenery, sipping on sparkling, and nibbling on cheese. Seriously, is there anything better?

wine tasting

Sonoma Scenery 2

Gloria Ferrer scenery

sparklin wine at Gloria Ferrer

Last Stop: Rossi’s 1906

Rossi'sBBQSonoma

After our fourth winery, we knew we were pretty much done, but food was imperative. We did a quick Yelp search and ended up at Rossi’s 1906, which was quite tasty. Our table was right off of the dancefloor, which was sadly empty. Probably because we were eating what I like to call the “early bird special” at 5:30pm.

And that wraps up last weekend! Have you been to Sonoma Valley or any of the above wineries?

Half Moon Bay & Sonoma Part 01

You know those weekends when you feel like you didn’t do much, but when you look back, it was actually quite the whirlwind? Yah, that happened.

I talked about my upcoming plans on Friday, and they did not disappoint. I love just randomly hopping in the car and going on daytime adventures (especially if they involve wine and cheese), and this weekend was no exception. Today I will recap part 1 of our weekend, which was Saturday in Half Moon Bay!

Warning: If you hate blog posts containing lots of pictures of wine, beautiful scenery, and other people’s good times, then maybe skip this one? 😛

Half Moon Bay

It was Brett’s idea to go to Half Moon Bay. I didn’t really know much about it, but I’m so glad we made it happen. Apparently we picked the perfect day to go because afterwards we heard that it’s usually super foggy there (even more so than SF), but it was a beautiful day! The drive there had no shortage of beautiful scenery.

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I’m not even sure what this, but I’m into it.

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First Stop: La Nebbia Winery

Nebbia Winery Half Moon Bay

La Nebbia Winery is right off the highway into town, so it was pretty hopping when we went in. If I’m being honest, we didn’t have the most enjoyable time, not because it was busy but because one of the employees was just super busy and frazzled and made no effort to hide it, which resulted in her being sort of rude. I don’t know about you, but when I’m wine tasting, I want to be immersed in the experience. I don’t want to get a quick pour and literally be told to head to the back until I was ready for more. Not fun. I understand being busy, but it just seemed sort of disorganized. The man working there that day though was super pleasant, so he somewhat made up for our less than stellar visit.

Nebbia Winery Half Moon Bay 2

The wines themselves were okay; nothing really stood out to us except, oddly enough, the dessert wines. I’m typically not a dessert wine person, but they were pretty tasty. Our favorite part was the add-on of port in a chocolate cup. Yes, please!

IMG_9224A Teeny, Tiny Cheers

Stop #2: Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Co.

Half Moon Bay Wine and Cheese

We liked Half Moon Bay Wine & Cheese Co. much better. Though not an actual winery, they offer flights and single 2/3/6 oz. pours. The place was bright and clean and pretty chill. We were able to linger at the tasting bar at our leisure and didn’t feel rushed at all. We started by sharing the “Autumnal Mix” flight, which included a Cortese, a Grenache Gris, and a Sangiovese. Tasty.

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Next, we shared two 2-oz pours: a Tempranillo and a Chilean Cabernet (not pictured). Afterwards, we wandered around, popping in and out of the little shops. There was some ukelee playing.

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Last Stop: Hop Dogma Brewing Co.

Hop Dogma Brewery Half Moon Bay

Hop Dogma Brewing Co. was so cute, like a little hipster slice of heaven tucked away. We could have gone to the bigger Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, but I had read reviews that Hop Dogma was more intimate and just a better experience. I have to agree. We each had a flight, and we got a couple of tacos from the food truck outside. The crowd was lively, and there was even a dog! Cuteness ensued.

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From front to back: Polydactyl Pilsner, Danked and Confused (Indian Pale Lager), High & Dry Stout, and Potent Porpoise Porter (what a great name!)

 

Have you ever been to Half Moon Bay? Tune in later for part 2 in Sonoma!

12 Day Blogger Challenge – Day 2: Top 3 Funniest / Most Awkward Moments

Today’s post is coming at you a little late in the day, as it took me much longer to write. I didn’t anticipate each moment being so long, but I’m storyteller; what can I say?

Since today IS so long, I’ll skip my usual chit chat and just get straight to business. One thing though: before reading #3, I would suggest reading this post first, as it will make much more sense to you about how I’m just so bad at getting massages. It’s not them, IT’S ME!!!

Moment #1: The Sea Urchins

I graduated college in May of 2008, and as a gift for doing so, my mom offered to pay for me to come along with her and my stepdad on their annual trip to the Dominic (this makes my family sound super rich…we’re definitely not, bee tee dubs). I of course said yes, so I want to reiterate that I was 22 for this experience, not 7 or 8 as one might think. Now, it was admittedly a little weird at times being the third wheel to a married couple at a beach resort, but all was well.

Until it happened.

We were wandering around the property and found this little secluded part of the beach. There was a rocky area that was super picturesque, and I just had to have a photo. Ignoring the “Danger” sign posted, I carefully walked down and stood on the rocks, waiting for my mom to take my photo. At that moment, a huge wave crashed onto the rocks, causing me to lose my balance. Being the genius I am, I was wearing flip flops, which obviously have zero traction, so in order to catch my balance, I had step back off the rock. My flip flops fell off, and once my feet hit the ground, I immediately felt stabbing pain. I screamed out for help, and my stepdad helped me back up onto land, but my feet were not having it. Every step I took felt like a thousand knives. I thought I had massively cut up my feet, but my stepdad confirmed that I had most likely stepped on a creature that had left some sort of pricks or stingers in my feet.

Yes, I had stepped on sea urchins.

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I immediately thought, “POISON!” but was assured later that not all sea urchins are poisonous. My mom and stepdad rushed me to the resort doctor’s office, which was, admittedly, a little sketchy. I spent two hours in that doctor’s office while the doctor and nurse painstakingly pulled out each needle, using tweezers and needles. This was one of the most physically painful experiences of my life. Tears were streaming down my face, and every time a needle was taken out, I wanted to scream out in pain. At one point, my mom, trying to lighten the mood a little, said, “Oh, you must see this here a lot, huh?” The doctor, without missing a beat, replied, “No, only her.” Perfect. Eventually, they finished, slathered my feet in antibiotic ointment, and wrapped each foot in a bandage. I was told to stay off my feet for a day but that I would be fine.

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 As a result, I had to spend a day of my beach vacation in our hotel room watching TV, which was super lame. Eventually, my feet felt better enough to be able to walk, and you would think that the experience would have left me feeling a little more cautious; however, a few days later, I completely ignored a “Wet Floor” sign and slipped down the concrete steps. I apparently have a thing with signs.

Moment #2: MacGyver’s Adventure in Santa Cruz

This story has been pretty epic, and we love to tell it to new people we meet. Let me tell you about our little trip to Santa Cruz when we first moved to San Francisco. We had been wanting to go to the beach, so the Sunday before Memorial Day, we got in the car with our dog MacGyver and drove down to Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, we picked the worst time to go, since it was a holiday weekend. What should have been a 50 minute drive took us 2.5 hours. Needless to say, by the time we got there, we were just a little cranky. We finally made our way to the sand and hung out for a bit. Eventually, we decided to see what Mac would think about the ocean, which was the primary reason we wanted to go to the beach anyway. He was little unsure about the water, and honestly, it was a bit cold at the beach, so we decided to pack up and walk around a bit.

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Eventually, we got hungry and found a pretty awesome little local brewery and had a snack and a pint each (no pint for Mac though, just snacks). We finally decided to head home, and on the way back, MacGvyer and I both fell asleep, him in my lap. Halfway home, MacGyver convulsed pretty hard, which woke me up. We didn’t really think anything of it because he’s done that before; however, once we were almost back to the city, he started repeatedly convulsing. That’s when we got worried. We pulled up to the front of the hotel where we were living at the time, and at that point, we really scared because he was still just convulsing. Once in our room, we started googling seizures in dogs. We tried to give him food and water because we thought maybe he’d had a heat stroke or was dehydrated. He threw it all up. At that point, we knew we had to take him to the vet. Once we were there, they whisked him away and did not have him in that exam room for more than five minutes when they came back with a diagnosis: marijuana toxicity.

Yes, our dog had somehow gotten high in Santa Cruz.

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As soon as we heard this, both of our jaws dropped. I was so shocked, I accidentally yelled, “What the f***?!” to the vet’s face (oops). But it all started to fall into place, and we realized he was SO high. We immediately went from being terrified he was dying to just like, “Omg, our dog IS high!” It all made sense then and was terrible yet hilarious to us at the same time (as long as he was going to be okay, of course) because of course OUR dog would be the one to do this. However, the vet told us that this was the most common thing they saw, probably 2-3 times a week, and, “Welcome to California!” He must have just secretly picked up something off the ground. We spent the rest of the night making our stoned dog comfortable, and the next morning, he was back to normal, though he seemed slightly “hungover.” Poor guy. Poor dumb, dumb guy. So, in the end, our dog has partied harder in San Francisco than we have, and we were left with this crazy story.

Moment #3: My Latest Awkward Massage

I’ve written about my awkward experiences getting massages before, but this one takes the freaking cake. Last November, I bragged wrote about our trip to Key West. Part of that package was a free spa treatment, and of course we both decided on massages. When we scheduled previously, I was so excited about a free massage that I didn’t even think to tell Brett that I wanted to request a female therapist (as I usually do). So, when we got there, it wasn’t even on my mind that this experience would be super awkward. This experience would be amazing. Brett was called back, and I waited there, alone. Finally, a man walked out, and, automatically just thinking I’d have a female therapist, I sat there, oblivious. He seemed to be looking past me, so I assumed he was there for someone else, but then he called my name. Confused, I followed him back. He then mentioned something about a dog, which left me even more bewildered (and I was already a little nervous to have a male massage therapist…just my personal preference to have a female). Finally, we got to the therapy room, where I found a service dog laying in the corner.

Yes, I was taken off guard because my massage therapist was blind.

I would like to take a second here to reiterate that this experience was ONLY awkward because of ME, not him!  🙂

So we started the massage and everything was sincerely fine. However, me being me, I couldn’t turn off my brain. I immediately started to feel guilty about my initial alarmed reaction. Then I started mentally congratulating him on finding such a cool career, thinking, “Man, this really IS the perfect job for someone with a loss of vision; his dexterity is amazing.” I was so happy for him that I just couldn’t relax. This seems to be a common trend for me, by the way. Finally, the icing on the cake.

Towards the end of the session, once I finally started to relax, of course, I started to smell the most awful smell. To my horror, I realized that the. Service dog. Had. Farted. This was pretty much the last straw for me, and I could not have gotten out of that room fast enough. All in all, the massage itself was lovely, but as I’ve said countless times, I’m just too awkward for my own good.


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There you have it, my top 3 funniest / most awkward moments. I’m sure (know) that I have many, many more, but these are the top three that came to mind. Additionally, each one of these moments happened while I was out of town, furthering my theory that I should just never leave my house. What about you??

If you’re participating with me, link up below! 

1. Participate each day. Latecomers welcome – start when you can!

2. Add your link(s) below.

3. Please mention in your posts that you are linking up with Quirky Britches’ 12 Day Blogger Challenge and provide a link.

4. Unfortunately, WordPress does not allow me to install a Widget, but make sure you check out the other fabulous bloggers through the link below!

 


If you’re not familiar with what all this is, check out the 12 Day Blogger Challenge explanation post!

What’s in my purse?

If you’re anything like me, your purse tends to be a holding area for all of your…crap. I mean, really. I don’t tend to change my purse out as often as I’d like, so the stuff just piles up. Therefore, when Credit Card Insider asked me to participate in their “What’s in your purse?” campaign, I knew it would be a great excuse to actually clean out my purse and narrow down my 10 must-have items.

photo1 (25)Let’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

Here are the 10 items that I always have with me in my purse, no matter where I go. Sure, I have other go-to’s, like a notebook and pen, bobby pins, ibupofren, etc., but I can live without those things if I had to. These 10 things are crucial.

029-1*This post is not sponsored. I received no compensation of any kind.

1. wallet – Obviously a girl needs her wallet: cash, credit cards, and ID are a must. Oh, and my froyo punch card. That’s probably the most important.

2. sunglasses – I can’t stand it when I’m out in the blazing sun and don’t have a pair of sunglasses, so I always have a backup pair in the inside pocket of my purse.

3. mirror – I don’t use a mirror often, but if I have something stuck in my teeth or need to re-apply my lip color, I definitely want a mirror on me. And yes, my compact has pictures of my dog. 🙂 I kind of love this one too because it looks just like Macgyver!

4. tissue – You never know when you’ll need a tissue. Seriously.

5. Band-aid Friction Block Stick – This stuff is magical. Really. If you have new shoes to break in or just a pair that habitually rubs, apply this stuff to the problem areas on your feet and ankles, and you don’t have to worry about blisters. I keep it in my purse because we all have those shoes that start off the day fine, but then start rubbing towards the end of the day. I never want to wish I had it on me.

6. lip balm – I’ll admit it: I’m a lip balm addict. I know it’s supposed to make your dry lips worse, but I don’t care. EOS mint is my current favorite.

7. lip color – I also like to have a lip color on me because sometimes you never know where your day will take you. Plus, it quickly helps you go from tired looking to pulled together if need be. I love Revlon lip butters because they’re light and smooth, but they still pack a mean punch in the pigment department.

8. hand sanitizer – I’m definitely not a germaphobe, but I like to have hand sanitizer in my purse for days that I’m out and about all day and just feel grimy, especially before eating!

9. lint roller – Sometimes my dog makes it impossible to look neat and tidy with his hair all over my clothes. A lot of times I’ll think I get it all, but then when I get to where I need to go, there’s more hair! Travel lint rollers are a lifesaver, especially for someone who likes to wear a lot of black.

10. phone – I mean, who can live without a phone these days? Enough said. (Like my phone case?)

So what’s in your purse? Am I missing anything important? Let me know what your go-to items are!

 

 

 

Fisherman’s Wharf

Saturday was our touristy day…

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fisherman wharf2Let’s Be Friends: Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest I Facebook I Bloglovin I YouTube

So my “touristy outfit” is essentially very similar to my “moving day outfit,” but comfort is comfort, I suppose. We spent the majority of the day at Alcatraz, which is something I’ve been wanting to do since I was a kid! Once I write an Alcatraz post on my other blog, I’ll definitely link up! Also, if I could just have this gorgeous background for all my photos, that would be peaches.

jeans  I  similar top  I  similar jacket  I  bag  I  similar scarf  I  similar sunglasses  I  Toms: This style is no longer available, but I found some on ebay! Here is a new super cute lace-up style, too.

 

#LookingLucky 10 I Local Love (Farewell, Indiana!)

I purposely saved the Looking Lucky “local love” trend for last. Today we embark for California, so I thought it only fitting to dedicate my last look to my hometown.

Indianapolis Monument Circle outfit

army jacket crossbody bag striped james dean tshirt

army jacket crossbody bag striped toms

army jacket indiana necklace

army jacket crossbody bagLet’s Be Friends:  Instagram  I  Twitter  I  Pinterest  I  Facebook  I  Bloglovin  I  YouTube

This outfit was actually my moving outfit on Monday, so I needed something comfy and loose – Toms and tshirt it was! I ordered this Indiana necklace a few weeks ago and paired it with Hoosier native James Dean on my tshirt. I also threw my old Girl Scout pin on my jacket, which I’m kinda digging.

state necklaces (or would you prefer the whole country?)  I  bag (another cute option)  I  sunglasses  I  similar jacket  I  similar jeans (on sale!)  I  Toms cordones (limited sizes…don’t think they make this one anymore)

So we’re off – first stop Kansas City, MO! I plan on filming some vlogs during our road trip, so stay tuned! Anything we should see on the way there?? Please comment with suggestions!

 

Fridiary 01 I 2/28-3/6

In an effort to create some consistency and to make this blog a little more personal, enter Fridiary, a very unoriginal idea in which I will recap some of the more interesting aspects of my week. I don’t always have time to shoot and post outfit photos every day, and not everyone likes outfits. Win win? If nothing else, this feature will allow us all to soak up the voyeurism our society values so much. *wink wink*

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Gatlinburg

One of friends turned 30 last week, so a big group of us decided to rent a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN to celebrate her “dirty thirty.” The weekend consisted of delicious food, hot tub shenanigans, board games, and a little flip cup action (if you want a reminder of how old you’ve gotten since college, break out a game of flip cup). The best part was the weather: Saturday was around 60 degrees, and I.didn’t.have.to.wear.a.jacket. Did you read that? NO JACKET. Heaven. We spent the gorgeous day walking around downtown Gatlinburg, soaking in the sights. We did a little whiskey and moonshine tasting, bought some obligatory toursity-town fudge, and saw a bear. Here are my two favorite photos from the weekend, but if you want to see more, follow me on Instagram!

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P90x3 & DietBet

I’m still going strong with P90X3! I’ve entered Phase 3, so I only have like 28 more days left! I’ve definitely been noticing some differences and improvements, and I’ve decided that when I’m done, I’m going to do another round, but doubles instead (so, 2 workouts a day for a total of 60 minutes)! I’ve also considerably cleaned up my diet. I’ve been eating really well, and that in itself has helped me tremendously – I have way more energy now. I’m thinking about posting a few recipes on here? Oh, and I also joined a DietBet at the beginning of February! Admittedly, it’s one of those things that sounds kind of sketch when you first hear about it, but I love it! Basically, you sign up, pay whatever the bet is, and if you lose your predetermined percentage of body weight each month, you split the monthly pots with all the other “winners.” In my DietBet, each monthly pot is ~$15,000. Yes, please! It’s too late to sign up for the DietBet I’m doing, but they start a new one every month.

Here’s me taking one of my really cool “weight verification” photos*:

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Oil Pulling

I randomly found this blog post on Facebook yesterday; it sounded just weird enough to pique my interest, so I decided to give it a try. I’ve read about all the wonderful things that coconut oil can do for you, so I see no reason why this should be any different! I’m not a huge fan of coconut in things, but for some reason, I don’t mind coconut oil! If you have a texture issue, then I would recommend melting the oil first, as my least favorite part is definitely waiting for the solid oil to melt in my mouth (it’s a little weird). Additionally, the thought of swishing for 20 minutes seemed like an eternity for me, but I have found that if I keep active, the time does seem to go faster. Yesterday I swished while doing the dishes, and today I’m swishing right now as I write this post!

Bridesmaid Dress

If you recall, one of my best friends is getting married in Vegas in September, and I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid. In an earlier blog post, I couldn’t decide which dress to get. Here were my top 2 choices from my first fitting at Alfred Angelo:

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Left: 7278S / Right: 7176

I thought I looked better in the dress on the right, but the one of the left had a more “youthful feel” to it; I was so indecisive though that I decided to go for a second fitting to try the dresses on again, plus a few others that I hadn’t seen before. Here are a few more I kind of liked, too:

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Left: 7271S / Middle: 7259 / Right: 7258

Ultimately, I decided that what I really loved was the bodice of 7278S, but I wasn’t crazy about the super flowy skirt. I’d rather simplfy the dress a bit and dress it up with bold jewelry and amazing heels. With the help of my stylist, I finally figured out that there was another dress that had the exact same bodice, but a simple skirt, and I was sold. I will be getting 7289S in the short version (the store only had the long version to try on, so you have to imagine it hitting me above the knee). Here’s my final choice! It will end up being all in the “grape” color.

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And that’s pretty much been my week! Every other day has been spent cleaning the house, working, and watching Damages.  How’s your week been? Anything exciting happen?

*I am in no way promoting weight loss as a fun “game”! I am not a doctor or medical professional, so I am NOT doling out nutrition or weight loss advice. Please talk to a professional if you’re thinking of doing any weight loss or nutrition programs. 

**I am also in no way affiliated with any of the companies or businesses mentioned in this post.

I Cheated

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So…on Sunday I was pretty ill for all the traveling I did back to Indy. I was in no state for pictures. Once I got home, I thought about recreating my outfit, but I had been wearing the shorts from yesterday’s outfit and I was now back in 35 degree weather. No thanks. I decided to get crafty and thought, “Hmmm…distressed denim shorts….how about TAKING those distressed shorts and PASSING THEM ON appropriately for cold weather in the form of distressed jeans?”

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Anyone anyone? What’s that, you say? Perfect? I thought so.

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So I mentioned before that I had to exchange this necklace. Once I got it home, I realized there was a defect in that there were two spikes right next to each other (missing a bead in between). I was going to just live with it, but I put it on and it looked stupid, since one of the the spikes was sticking up. I went back to H&M and returned it, in which the cashier gave a little laugh and said, “That’s kind of funny.” I might have laughed too had I not had a flight to catch in 4 hours. And, of course, I just haaad to exchange it before my trip and then I didn’t even end up wearing it in Florida.

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Jeans: American Eagle / similar
Oxford: Nordstrom Rack / similar (25% off with code WINTER)
Sweater: Nordstrom Rack / similar
Shoes: Target / similar
Necklace: H&M / brand new but it’s not on their website…check your local store / similar

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Key West Trip: Friday/Saturday

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Warning: This post is a looooong one. If you’re only interested in my outfit, then scroll on down.

Welcome to the last installment of my Key West trip! Rather than drag it out longer, I decided to condense the last two days into one post, mainly because I don’t have any outfit pictures from Friday. Overachiever or underachiever?

Friday

Friday morning was a bit rough due to the late bedtime the night before, but we dragged ourselves to breakfast and then headed out for a day of water activities in the ocean. The company rented a “Do-It-All” boat, which included a water trampoline, snorkeling, kayaking, that longboard thing you stand on while you paddle (anyone?), a banana boat, water skiing, jet skiing, big inflatables to climb on, and….parasailing! Naturally, we opted for the latter, since neither of us have ever done it. It. Was. Amazing. We did pay for a disc of photos, but being the slacker I am, I’ve yet to upload them. So for the time being…

(insert parasailing photo here)

I do, however, have this picture:

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Of course, once we got back to the hotel, we were greeted with yet another surprise:

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After we devoured the goodies, naps were had, followed by a quick dinner and…a ghost tour! This was the one thing I really wanted to do while we there. I did some research on Trip Advisor and finally settled on the Ghost and Mysteries company, mainly because I read that the tour guide wasn’t worried about gimmicks and cheap scares like the other companies. I wasn’t in the mood for cheesy costumes or lame scare tactics. The only downside was that it was raining, but we forged on anyway…

Our tour guide was awesome; he was a great storyteller, but he also seemed to “keep it real,” which I appreciated. He didn’t seem to be trying to “ohh” and “ahh” us but more so just educate and fascinate us. The first thing he told us was to take as many pictures as we could and to always take two pictures of something, that way if we thought we saw something interesting in a photo, we’d have a second photo to compare to. We took a lot of photos, but only Brett was able to pick up something of interest. According to our guide, he picked up some ectoplasm on one of his pictures. It’s not just the lighting or something else because it’s not in the other picture. I’ll let you be the judge…

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I’m still a skeptic, but it’s definitely weird. We also learned about Robert the Doll (this video gives me the creeps), Club Chameleon (which is where the above photo was taken – I couldn’t find actual info, but this links to another blog that does a good job recounting the story the tour guide told us, even though she used a different tour), Carl Tanzler, and the ghost of the Hard Rock Cafe. Like I said, I’m still skeptical but definitely intrigued. This might have been my favorite part of the whole trip!

Saturday

Saturday was sort of our “tourist day.” We visited The Hemingway House and then just sort of wandered around town, ending up at the pool. The Hemingway House was certainly interesting! It’s a beautiful house, and it was so cool to walk around the home of one of the country’s most famous and influential writers (my little brother is super jealous). Instead of doing all the talking, I’ll just let my photos speak for me.

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Clockwise: the dining room fireplace, photos of Hemingway of varying ages, photos of all of his wives, lovers, and children

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The cats! I was tad creeped out by so many cats wandering around, but they said about half of them directly descended from Hemingway’s cats. I also loved the cat house that is an exact replica of the real house.

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Clockwise, starting top left: 1. When Hemingway’s wife built a swimming pool, he was so mad he gave her this penny and said, “You may as well have my last red cent, too!” She placed it in the still wet cement, where it remains today. 2. This is Hemingway’s personal toilet that overlooked the front of the house. I took this photo from the balcony. Supposedly he would look outside while on the toilet and call out to people he saw walking by. 3. A fountain made out of the urinal Hemingway brought home in retalliation the night of the pool building debacle. 4. Hemingway’s desk in his writing studio. This is my favorite photo.

Saturday night was our closing trip dinner and another night out on the town!

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The Smallest Bar

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Sloppy Joes (Hemingway’s favorite) & Captain Tony’s (home of the “hanging tree” and the location of the original Sloppy Joes)

And then we went home on Sunday! I’m sure at this point, you’ve fallen asleep, but real quick, here’s the rest of my outfit! I passed on yesterday’s sandals (playing it safe). If you’ve made it this far, gold star for you. Or you’re just reallllly bored at work. Either way, I’ll take it!

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Tunic: Target / sort of similar
Shorts: Forever 21 / similar
Sandals: Grecia from JustFab
Cardigan: Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Purse: JC Penny / similar

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Key West Trip: Thursday

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As I said before, this trip was such a wonderful whirlwind! We really did feel like VIPs, as was the company’s goal. As soon as we landed at the tiny Key West airport, we were handed a tropical beverage and whisked away on a golf cart to receive a brief tour of the island.

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Afterwards, we arrived at the Crowne Plaza La Concha (which has been open since 1926).

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We were given yet another pretty drink and shown to our room, where we found this:

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And this:

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After oohing and ahhing over our goodies, we headed to the Pier House to receive our complimentary spa treatments. We both chose massages, and boy do I have a story for you at a later time. (Let’s just say I will soon have a great addition to my post on why I’m bad at getting massages.) Once finished, we had just enough time to head back to the room, shower, and enjoy a drink in the room before heading to the opening night beach gala. We enjoyed drinks, food, and merriment, and then we headed back to the room so I could change into jeans and head out for a night on Duval Street. I may have taken a bathroom selfie or two…

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Cool charger cord!

We spent the evening at Irish Kevins, where we probably stayed out a little too late. When we returned to our room, we found this!

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Next up: a day of water activities and a ghost tour!

And for the rest of my outfit photos…I passed on my big, silver necklace that sort of makes me feel like She-Ra Priness of Power. I had packed a “fancier” dress for Thursday night, but I found out from others that the event maybe wouldn’t be as formal as I had thought. As a result, I decided to go for more of a beach-y look with my flowy chiffon skirt. I lacked a proper shirt to wear with it, so I had the idea to tuck a peplum shirt in and cinch it all with a belt – voila!

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Excuse the low lighting – it was dark by the time we were able to take proper photos!

Peplum top: Target (they are out of this particular pattern though – here’s a shirt with a similar pattern)
Skirt: Lauren Conrad
Sandals: Grecia from JustFab
Necklace: H&M
Belt: Target

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