Exploring Seattle

I recently took a trip with my boyfriend and his family to Seattle to explore the city and see his cousin get married. Being the super busy blogger/copywriter/traveler that I am, of course I waited until weeks after returning to NYC to post about it. During the trip, we visited the Pike Place Market, took a fab day trip to Bainbridge Island and went to Lairmont Manor in Bellingham for a beautiful wedding.  We also discovered delicious coffee shops and had a blast in Pioneer Square.

Pike Place Market Seattle Waterfront

Visiting Seattle reminded me just how much I love the chill culture of the West Coast. The East Coast is nice and all, but we really need to be more laid back out here. In Seattle, everything is so chill and laid back that you forget that it’s cloudy most of the time. After exploring and experiencing all the beautiful art, character and beauty of Seattle, I totally see why Starbucks, Edward Cullen and Christian Grey call it home. Can’t wait to visit again soon!

Seattle Waterfront

Seattle Space Needle

Bainbridge Island

Seattle Travel

Seattle Great Wheel

Cherry Street Coffee House

flowers Pike Place Market

Wedding Lairmont Manor


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Weekend Getaway to Connecticut

Looking to fit in one last weekend getaway before summer comes to an end? Whether you’re a family or a couple, Connecticut is the ideal destination. It’s the perfect place to relax, explore or wander. Here are my tips to get you started on planning your perfect summer weekend exploring this New England gem.

Advanced Waterfront

Rent a House

Connecticut has countless breathtaking properties. There are hip places to stay in town, as well as waterfront homes if that’s more your style. Make your dream waterfront home for sale in CT yours for the weekend. Rent a place with multiple bedrooms and split the trip with close friends; or find a sweet, romantic one bedroom for you and that special someone to relax.

Hit the Water

253 miles of shoreline along the Long Island Sound is yours to explore. Numerous rivers and lakes are ready for you to discover. An impressive 23 lighthouses illuminate the Sound, some of which you can tour yourself. I suggest taking a calming cruise on the water to unwind with some delicious wine.

The Food

Connecticut is home to some amazing dining experiences. They have a Food Truck Festival which is something you don’t want to miss. There are more than 40 food trucks for you to enjoy, which is more than enough variety for whatever your taste buds desire. In addition, there are also many delightful outdoor restaurants – perfect for a romantic summer evening.

Coastal Drives

There are some coastal routes that will take you right to the water where you can take in the Connecticut coastline. Bring along your bikes to cruise a trail at one of the state parks.

Casino Night

Join the locals and other visitors at one of Connecticut’s casinos. Dress to impress and you’re sure to have a ball.

Towns and Villages

Brand new outlets have just opened at Foxwoods. Connecticut is also home to a bunch of quaint towns and villages. Putnam is the perfect place to go for antique hunting and you’ll love the restaurants and cafes in the town center. The Quinebaug River winds through the middle of town.

If you make the trip to Connecticut I hope you have a great time! Already visited? Comment below if you have any suggestions for places to see or restaurants to check out.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the opinions are all my own.

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A Day Trip to Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I celebrated his 30th birthday in Upstate New York. He came up with the amazing idea to drive up to Alexandria Bay on the Saint Lawrence River and see Boldt Castle. It’s seriously one of the most romantic places I’ve ever seen.

Boldt Castle 1000 IslandsIn the early 1900s self-made multi millionaire and former proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, George Boldt began building the castle to show his love for his wife Louise. When Louise died suddenly he couldn’t bear to finish it and the castle was left abandoned for decades. Today, the castle is in the midst of a glorious restoration and a major tourist attraction in the 1000 Islands region. They say if you get married there that you too will have the undying love of George and Louise.

I can’t get over just how beautiful the castle and the grounds are. It’s truly tragic that the Boldt family never got to enjoy this unbelievable summer getaway. If you’re ever in the Thousand Islands region, a visit to Heart Island to see Boldt Castle is a must. I’m already dying to go back.

Boldt Castle Ceiling

Heart Island Boldt Castle

tea time Boldt Castle

1000 Islands Boldt Castle


Boldt Castle New York

Where is Boldt Castle?

boyfriend Alexandria Bay

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Celebrate Caribbean Week New York at the Rum and Rhythm Benefit & Auction

St. Thomas Travel Vacation CaribbeanSt. Thomas (Photo by: Mary Ann Schwab)

One of the best parts of living in New York City is leaving it for a beautiful exotic location. While it’s always nice to come back to the excitement of the five boroughs, sometimes New Yorkers just need a break. When life calls for some time away, I like to trade in the island of Manhattan for the islands of the Caribbean. Every time I visit the Caribbean, I fall in love all over again with its beauty, beaches, warmth and culture.

Having a Venezuelan mother, I’ve been exposed to Caribbean culture, food and of course vacations since before I can remember. As for the food, I absolutely love arepas, empanadas and cachapas. As a child I used to spend summers swimming in the Caribbean Sea and taking in the Caribbean sun at a beachside club known as Puerto Azul. I’ve also visited beaches, local markets and the breathtaking Virgen del Valle on the Venezuelan island of Margarita. In the next few years, I hope to take a much-needed Caribbean cruise and visit the islands of St. Thomas and St Barths. When trading an island for an island, I’d trade in Manhattan any day for an afternoon on a Caribbean beach with white sand, relaxing waves and clear blue water.

St. MaartenSt. Maarten (Photo by: Mary Ann Schwab)

From June 1st through June 5th, the Caribbean Tourism Organization is bringing the flavor of the Caribbean to New York City with Caribbean Week New York 2015. The goal of Caribbean Week New York is to celebrate the unique travel experiences, business offerings and more that the Caribbean offers. The main event – the Rum and Rhythm Benefit & Auction taking place on the evening of June 5th at the exclusive Tribeca 360 at 10 Desbrosses St. in Manhattan. This event will feature samples of the region’s award-winning rums, cocktails by popular mixologists, authentic Caribbean culinary cuisine, musical entertainment and a fund-raising silent auction benefiting the CTO Foundation for Caribbean nationals pursuing studies in tourism and hospitality. To savor the taste, spirit and sounds of the Caribbean at the Rum and Rhythm Benefit & Auction, reserve your tickets here.

Caribbean Week New York offers a number of events catering to the media, travel agents and people interested in unforgettable Caribbean experiences. On the evening of June 3rd, couples interested in a destination wedding and/or honeymoon can visit the Caribbean Romance Pavilion at EZ Studios. Take a look at the events calendar to see what else Caribbean Week New York has to offer. Mark your calendars for Caribbean Week and celebrate the culture, diversity and of course the cuisine of this amazing region at the Rum and Rhythm Benefit & Auction.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the opinions are all my own.

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Take a Spontaneous Vacation (or Staycation) with HotelTonight

HotelTonight app

Life is always better when it’s lived spontaneously and HotelTonight, an app that features hand-selected hotels at low prices to book a stay for tonight or up to seven days in advance, is the secret sauce to making life a bit more exciting. Plus, it will save you tons of money when booking your next vacation or much-needed staycation.

I live in New York City and my mom lives 2 hours away in Delaware. When she comes to visit me, we always use HotelTonight to book her stay and turn what started as a day trip into a weekend getaway. I love the element of surprise it brings when she doesn’t know where she’s staying until she gets here. So many times, she’s ended up staying in a beautiful room walking distance from my apartment in Midtown for less than $200 a night.

Get the App

HotelTonight is available for free on iPhone, Android and Windows Phones. Get it today to see what hotels you can check into at some of the lowest prices you’ve ever seem. Trendy boutique hotels usually cost a fortune just for a night, but you’ll find them in your price range on this mobile app.

Hotel travel

Book a Staycation or Weekend Trip

HotelTonight is a must if you’re looking to take a last minute staycation in NYC or a weekend trip to the surrounding areas. Booking your stay on the app makes a night in one of Manhattan’s chicest hotels more affordable than you ever thought it could be. Should you decide to venture outside the city for a weekend adventure in New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester or Connecticut, booking your stay with HotelTonight will leave you with plenty of extra cash to spend at cute shops and stylish restaurants outside the city.

I always look forward to weekend trips. Next fall I hope to take one to Long Island to go apple picking and visit a winery. This summer I want to do a poolside stay in New Jersey. But, what I could really use now is a staycation. What I love most about “staycationing” is that you can get all the adventure and excitement of a vacation without the hassle that comes with having to travel there and back. Therefore, I prefer to escape the stress that comes with living in New York City within the confines of the city. I love the thrill of escaping my tiny NYC apartment for a relaxing hotel room with room service and hopefully a spa. I don’t know what it is, but hotel beds are always the softest. There’s something about them that makes me feel totally rested and my usually tight back completely rejuvenated even before ever entering the spa.

Extra Goodies

Need a weekend to relax? Download HotelTonight on your iPhone, Android or Windows phone and get $25 off your first booking with the exclusive coupon code BOOKNYC10.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the opinions are all my own.

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