Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Playa del Carmen, 2015

  So, I had no idea I'd be leaving the country again so soon after my Costa Rica trip in June. But, to my liking David has been bitten by the travel bug. It was late and he'd been in the kitchen for what felt like a forever. As I snuck up behind him I caught a glimpse of him booking Playa del Carmen. "You ruin everything!" he exclaimed. "Sorry!" I said back, but at least now I knew that a trip to Mexico was in my near future!

After an easy flight into Cancun we grabbed our bags and headed towards our ride. It was scorching upon our arrival in Playa del Carmen. Pictured here is the first place we ate for dinner.

This photo is the street view from outside our hotel. We were right in the heart of Playa where restaurants and shops were at your disposal. There was no shortage of options! 

Our first full day in Mexico we headed for the beach. Our phones read 85 degrees but it felt like it could have easily been 100. Because our hotel was not beach front we chose "Kool Beach Club." This was by far the best club we visited and highly recommended if you're ever local!

Day time street view on our way to the beach. Kool was relatively close and a beautiful walk but taxis are available every inch of the way if that's what you'd prefer! 

For dinner later that night we chose an Italian restaurant by the name of "Ambasciata D'Italia." A very adorable place with great food and beautiful atmosphere.

Interior of Ambasciata D'Italia

..of course we saved room for dessert!

On our second day we set our for some local shopping. Conveniently, an H&M opened 2 days prior to our arrival! This was one of many stores that we also have in the states. Victoria's Secret, MAC Cosmetics, Forever 21 and ZARA were also local, just to name a few. Mostly all of the local shops accept any currency but don't forget to exchange your money into pesos if you plan on shopping at any chain retailers as for they only accept the country's currency!

This was one of my favorite locally owned shops in town. Filled with authentic Mexican ceramics and unique trinkets that are harder to find at the bigger retail stores. I suggest you stick to small shops like these to find one of a kind items at awesome prices.

Mexican style ceramic sinks

Hotel envy, spotted while shopping

On our third day we set out for another beach club to relax at. This "Dirty Martini Lounge" was just one of many cute spots that we saw along our way.

We decided to try another club, while we loved Kool, to see if we could find one that was a little cheaper. Well, now we know why Kool is rated #1. While this club wasn't necessarily bad, it wasn't as nice. Cheaper, yes. Nicer, no. 

Quiet streets on our walk home from the beach

A gorgeous day in Mexico wearing one of my own handmade crochet halters

David, pictured here standing in front of our hotel. "Acanto Hotel and Suites" is a small boutique hotel located in the perfect spot and exceeded our expectations. It's value was not only great but everything else about it was as well. We ate breakfast daily for $12 and everyone was so helpful with their suggestions! A definite awesome find.

Like stated before, there was no shortage of different restaurants to try. This one called "Plank" is located directly across the street from where we stayed and is highly suggested for it's upscale steak and seafood served on, what else of course, planks!

Street view right outside of our room on the main street.. Our last morning in paradise!

Like all good things, they must come to an end. Our bags were packed when I realized David and I hadn't gotten an Instax together. Hurriedly, I unzipped my bag and grabbed my camera so we could get a quick photo! 
All in all, my second trip to Mexico was everything I'd hoped for. I had a wonderful time in Playa del Carmen and would recommend it to anyone! With its lively atmosphere, beautiful colors and easy commute from the airport, it's the ideal spot for any wanderluster! Until next time, Mexico! Besos!

OLIVIA WEARS in order of appearance
 FOREVER 21 hat, WILDFOX sunglasses, MINIMALE ANIMALE bikini, NASTY GAL striped jumpsuit, GLAMOROUS dress, SHE MADE ME bikini, ZARA tee, FOREVER 21 shorts

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Costa Rica, 2015

   So I've only been wanting to go to Costa Rica for, like, ever now and at last I finally made it! In June we took off to a small boutique hotel located in Jaco, about 90 minutes away from the Costa Rican capital of San Jose.
Villa Calletas is a four star boutique hotel located on the very top of a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I knew this before we got there but once we started driving up the mountain I realized how literal what I read online was as I lie back in my seat. 

I'm not sure who's idea it was to stop and see the crocs but it definitely wasn't mine.. On our way to the hotel from the airport our driver stopped at a few places, including this bridge, to see and pick up some essentials for the week.

Our first stop was a small grocery store and this was the first thing I saw when I walked in. Hanover just won't let me go..

My first morning in Costa Rica. The hotel was so intricately laid out and everything was beautiful! The pathways were hidden and covered with countless vines and had iguanas lurking around every corner. It doesn't even feel right calling it a 'hotel' because it seemed more like a surreal place that you'd read about in a fairy tale.

One of the items that we picked up on our way in to the hotel was this mango. I don't think I've actually ever seen a ripe mango in real life before, it was orange! They're never orange in the states! We took it along with us to breakfast one morning and had them slice it up for us to devour.

On Friday we took a day trip into town to visit some of the surrounding stores and restaurants. This is the beach in Jaco which had semi rough waves and not many people inhabiting them. The locals told us that mainly surfers came here to take advantage of these waters.

At the 'Green Room' in Jaco. An all natural, organic restaurant with the best guacamole ever!

..that guacamole I was talking about.

Chicken tacos for the main course

Street side before dinner

Secret pathways

The hotel was equipped with a gorgeous infinity pool over looking the Pacific and other surrounding mountains. David and I were maybe 2 our of 20 people in the entire hotel, their down season. Everything was so tranquil and still that it was almost unearthly. It was like we had our own private getaway for the week.

Playing Coco Cabana on the patio

Crafty cocktails


I've never been a sucker for a sunset but this never got old..

..my last night on the mountain.

Overall, and I think I speak for both of us when I say, Costa Rica was the most relaxing destination yet! With it's 'Pura Vida' lifestyle and effort to keep this world beautiful, David and I were both so inspired by what is Costa Rica. And if you're able to, a must visit to sneak away to, even for just a little while. 

OLIVIA WEARS in order of appearance
BDG striped mini dress, ALDO leather sandals, ECOTE tee, FOREVER 21 shorts, FOREVER 21 hat, BEACH RIOT x STONE COLD FOX one piece, H&M lace dress

Monday, May 18, 2015


Another day, another year. My 23rd.












Monday, January 26, 2015

Negril, Jamaica 2015

MMMM, Jamaica. Nothing like the fresh smell of ganja in the morning. When I was originally presented with the idea of Jamaica being our destination for "Girl's Trip 2015," I wasn't interested in the slightest. For whatever reason, I'm not sure. In hindsight, I am so glad that I got to visit this cute, quaint little island.
Negril, Jamaica is a smaller town that falls in 2 of Jamaica's 13 parishes. Their parishes are to the likeness of our states. Ironically after landing in Montego Bay we were back in Hanover, the northern parish that Negril lies in. We then continued our way through Hanover to finally settle in Westmoreland, where our resort was located.

Rondel Village, is exactly what its name suggests, a village. The main office, pictured here, was located beach side and our room was across the street. There were four buildings on our side, each three floors high. 

After arriving and settling into our room we headed out to the beach to see Negril's beautiful water for the first time. We headed down the beach in search of something to eat which is where I found the most delicious, homemade mango cheesecake ever.

Not too long after we were finished eating the sun started to set and we noticed what looked like a storm coming in. We headed back to our room to further settle in and to take a quick, or not so quick, nap before dinner.

We, and when I say we I mean me, didn't get up from our nap until somewhere between 9:30 and ten. Hayley and Deana had been trying to order a pizza for what felt like forever before giving up after no one was answering the phone. We set out on foot to find something to eat. Because of the time nearly every kitchen was already closed. But then we stumbled upon "Jah B's." Jah B's was a tiny, old, rickety looking place that we weren't entirely sure we trusted, but hey, we were hungry. After waiting nearly 45 minutes while listening to the party goers outside drinking and smoking, our dinner was ready. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we were pleasantly surprised. What I wouldn't give to be back in that shack eating that fried chicken. MMMMMMM.

Our village looked like something out of Neverland. With its paths overgrown with greenery and tiny lagoon like pools around their corners, this little spot was completely dreamy and magical.

A path leading through the village out to the beach

Our first morning in Negril, Deana and I discovered -the best- french toast and bacon. As for Hayley, adventurous Hayley, she opted for a more traditional, Jamaican cuisine. Needless to say, the next day she ordered french toast. But hey, kudos for trying something new Hayley!

Our second night, at Margaritaville

Embracing my inner Jamaican, thanks to Hayley

Tuesday at Rick's cafe, where people go to jump off of cliffs, eat sea side, and above all, have fun. I wasn't as adventurous as my two partners who embarked on 25 and 35 foot jumps off of the cliffs into the blue Caribbean. 

A caravan with some party goers on board to watch the sunset and take the plunge at Rick's Cafe.

Dusk at Rick's

YS Falls
On Wednesday, we headed out to a popular tourist attraction. Located nearly two hours away from our village in a parish called St. Elizabeth, YS Falls is a natural attraction featuring fresh water pools and numerous waterfalls. Built into the mountain are flights of stairs allowing you to climb up and explore the water or even rope swing or zip line if you like. The falls were almost mythical in a sense with their fresh blue water and sunlight peeking through its canopy of trees up above. Definitely a must see while visiting Jamaica.

Some flash tats I acquired at YS Falls

Kuyaba, home of the mango cheesecake.

At Kuyaba with DJ, our most kind server we had the pleasure of seeing all week. We, of course, couldn't help but return for more sweets.

A Jamaican playing his steel drum for tips

Negril's famous "Seven Mile Beach"

A native selling goods

Cheeseburger in Paradise

We returned to Margaritaville later in the week to snap some photos during the day.

Unlike our fifty dollar bill this Jamaican fifty is worth a mere forty three cents in the US

JB Bike Rentals//A tiny Jamaican market

Kenny's Italian Cafe
A local "hot spot" we were told, was an effortlessly cute little restaurant with the most quaint little lanterns and tables. I love the idea of how they turned this almost pavilion like spot into a chic Cafe by simply dressing it up with trendy furniture. Oh, and the food was on point too. Bravo Kenny!

Early afternoon//My last day in Jamaica

At the airport with our dear driver, Glendale, that we had the pleasure of being chauffeured by all week. Not only was he a doll but he took the time to educate us and tell us about the island of Jamaica that he calls home.

Alas, the sun has set on Girl's Trip 2015 and what a wonderful, sweet and crazy trip it was. I am so glad to have a few adventurous girl friends who set aside one week a year to accompany me on yet another amazing vacation. As they say in Jamaica, likkle more! 

OLIVIA WEARS in order of appearance  
NASTY GAL crochet dress, TJ turquoise and silver ring, FRANCESCA'S top and TJ pants, FOREVER 21 shorts