Monday, May 23, 2016

MACHU PICCHU

After one day in Cusco, we got up relatively early and took a 2 hour private car ride to a train station in Ollantaytambo to then catch the 1.5 hour PeruRail Train to Aguas Calientes. The ride was picturesque and we really got a chance to see how folks live outside of the tourist area. And like Cusco, Machu Picchu Pueblo or Aguas Calientes (the charming town before you head up the hill) stole my heart!
Fashionista spotted from the car ride
Lots of colorful buildings throughout the shanty towns
2 hours later we made it to the train!
And 1.5 hours after that, all smiles at the train station in Machu Picchu Pueblo a.k.a Aguas Calientes. 
I wish you could hear how peaceful the water is flowing downstream. 

I wish I had more time in this town but shortly after arriving, I took the 20 minute bus ride up to...
MACHU PICCHU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And if you can believe it, it's even more incredible in person!
Some folks hike for days. I opted for the 20 minute hike to the "top" :) And yes, I still needed a break or two on the way up.
And that my friends, was my journey to Machu Picchu! I enjoyed the whole trip so much, I'd do it again :)

**Simply Chic Travel Tips: Machu Picchu**
Several people told me to take the early trip to Machu Picchu and watch the sunrise. If you do the math that would have required me to leave my hotel in Cusco at some ungodly hour (2 or 3 a.m.) and I was not about that life. So I left around 8 a.m., got to MP around noon and that was perfect for me. If the sunrise is that important to you, I'd say take the 4 hour journey a day before and stay in Aguas Calientes. I don't know how great the accommodations are there, but as you can see the town is really lovely! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CUSCO

As I stated before, the road to Machu Picchu is not an easy one but it's such a beautiful journey. We took a flight from Lima to Cusco, which is closer but still far from Machu Picchu and I fell in love with this town! It is rich in culture with great architecture and the people are much friendlier than they are in Lima. Here are some pictures of Cusco.
First & foremost drink the coca tea to adjust to the 11,000 ft altitude. It won't make you high ;)
The view from my super cute HOTEL 
The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin a.k.a Cusco Cathedral
Cobblestone streets and walls
And last but not least, my last meal in Cusco at PACHAPAPA may or may not have included cuy, known to us as guinea pig :-/

**Simply Chic Travel Tips: Cusco**
The altitude is seriously not a game. I personally have altitude issues so I was worried, and while I never got sick to my stomach, there was more than one occasion where I got very winded and needed to sit or lay down. Drink the tea, take the diamox and walk very slowly & avoid stairs if you can. 

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Monday, May 9, 2016

ROAD TO MACHU PICCHU

I'm sure I said this before somewhere on here, but I have this problem where I see something pretty or interesting in a picture and I feel like I need to see it in real life. So for all the people who asked me, "Why Peru", the answer is simple...Machu Picchu! I had to get there, but I had no idea getting there was not an easy feat and I had no idea I would love Peru as much as I did.

I didn't do a great job of using my camera, but please enjoy these (mostly) iPhone snaps. 

The road to Machu Picchu started with a full day in Lima...
Specifically with breakfast at HAITI with the best bacon & egg scramble you could even begin to imagine. And of course a Pisco Sour because when in Rome, right?
(super affordable & beautiful)
(Parque Kennedy a.k.a Cat Park)
(El Beso Statue in Parque del Amor)
Aside from Pisco Sours, Lima is known for its vibrant art scene, parks & PDA! Ha! I've never seen so many couple so in love (or lust) in one place which makes this famous El Beso statue most appropriate. 
Am I in California, or maybe Miami? Nope, it's Miraflores! This is the most popular section of Lima to stay in because it's close to the action and while I enjoyed this area  I will say it's not tremendously rich in culture and could easily be mistaken for any major metropolitan US city.
And then you turn the corner and run into a building that reminds you that you are in a different country. This one was my fav in Miraflores.

**Simply Chic Travel Tips: Lima**
Brush up on your Spanish before you head to Lima. This is the least English speaking city I've been to, and the people aren't that friendly or helpful. 

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Monday, April 25, 2016

INCA STYLE

Soooooooo, it's been a minute. First, I caught the flu & then I headed to Peru, and now I'm back and feeling a bit under the weather again. Or maybe it's just post-vacation depression which I tend to suffer from. 

Ugh! At any rate, I had the most amazing time in Peru and I can't wait to tell you all about it! But for now I leave you with this picture of me & these beautiful Incan women & of course you can see lots more on my INSTAGRAM.

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NAPA STYLE

If you are visiting Napa in the spring, you never know what you are going to get in terms of weather. On this particular day it was freezing in the morning and low 70's & cloudy by the afternoon. So I suffered through the frigid morning temps with just a blazer and a scarf, hoping that my OTK boots would keep my whole body warm. They didn't, but I was fine :)

WEARING: blazer from nordstorm, scarf from tj maxx, banana republic jeans, unisa boots, furla bag

I have my favorite wineries in Napa that I visit regularly, including Clus Du Val, where I took these pictures. However, every time I go to Napa, I try to go to at least one new winery because there are so many, and I plan to hit them all :) On this trip, that new winery was BROWN ESTATE. Brown is one of the few black owned wineries in Napa Valley, and they have some of the best Zinfandel's I've tasted. 
 The wine tasting experience starts outside with a history of the family and a tour around the family home which is on the property, and then you are led into their beautiful wine cave made of marble, I believe (don't quote me on that). And  as you are walking through the wine cave, you look up and all of a sudden you are in an equally exquisite wine  tasting room.
The wine tastings are by appointment only, and they keep it very small and intimate. You see 4 glasses there, but I assure you they poured no less than 7 tastings for us. It's a special experience and I highly recommend it! 

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Monday, April 4, 2016

BLACK & WINE

I stuck to what I said in my last post & I went with a black dress with pops of, color (wine specifically) last Sunday for Easter. And speaking of wine, if you follow me on INSTAGRAM and/or Snapchat (@iamsimplychic) you know that I gave up alcohol for Lent, along with sweets & chips...basically all things delicious. And since being off the wagon last Sunday, I've been to Napa TWICE!  Ay yai yai. Don't judge me. More on that in my next post!

WEARING: VALETTE dress, aldo shoes (NOT TOO SIMILAR BUT HOTTT), thrifted belt

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Monday, March 21, 2016

WHAT TO WEAR: EASTER SUNDAY


Hey lovelies. Happy Holy Week! Whether you go to church once in a blue moon or every Sunday you want to look your best on Easter Sunday, right? I'm thinking this year I'll wear a black dress that has some pops of color in it, but today I am showing you a more traditional Easter look. I'm sure the church will be full of pink this Sunday, but how many people will be pattern mixing? What do you plan to wear?

WEARING: gap trench, j crew shirt, thrifted skirt, loui vuitton bag, jean michel cazabat pumps

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