Thursday, May 3, 2018

VIÑALES VALLEY

As I stated in my IG POST “Viñales Valley, what can I say?! I love you! I’ve never smelled air so fresh & so clean in all my life.”
Viñales is a valley about 2.5 hours outside of Havana, but it’s well worth the trek! And when you go, because you must go, you have to explore with my favorite Cuban, Humberto a.k.a Chino! Viñales is beautiful in and of itself, but Humberto made the trip for me and my crew. CONTACT HIM HERE
He’s so personable, funny & passionate about what he does and don’t get me started on the delicious meal we had at his family home. Go for the fried snapper, yellow rice, & chicken noodle soup! I loved our eye opening conversations about life under Raul, every Cubans dream to own a car and Cuban trap music vs reggaeton. Ha!
(when you see your boy you haven't seen in months)

Aside for the yummy food, titling convo and jam session, Humberto took us all over the valley, introducing us to all his friends along the way. Our first official stop was at a tobacco farm where we sat for hours surround by pigs, chickens, dried tobacco leaves, rum and tipsy conversation :) We learned all about the process of marking cigars and then we got a chance to roll our own and smoke them of course!
(tobacco leaves)
(lit)
From here we hopped on horses and rode to his friend’s house where we watched him make his own sugar cane juice that we then used to make our own cocktails and mocktails!
 (sugarcane...getting ready to have some drinks!)
After an hour or so with him and his lovely family we hoped back on our horses and rode to the top of the valley and hung out near the famous Hotel Los Jazmines and watched a live salsa performance before we ended the day back at Humberto’s House.
(Hotel Los Jazmines)

All in all, it was a great day and an experience I will truly never forget. And again, I owe a lot of that to Humberto and his friends. Don't forget you can book a tour with him HERE. We did excursion #1!
wearing: zara pants, target cap, AERIE SO FLY SUNNIES (2 for $22, available in 9 colors), converse

let's get social
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Monday, April 23, 2018

CUBA: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

If you follow me on INSTAGRAM (shame on you if you don't...kidding...sorta) than you know I recently spent some time in Cuba and I had an eye opening, fantastic trip submerged in the culture and surrounded by the people. I'm kicking off this travel series by sharing some photos that super talented local photographer and filmmaker Manuel (BOOK HIM HERE) took of me and my crew + sharing the 10 things Americans should really know before they go. Enjoy!
(Read about these girls on my IG)
(Feliz de estar en La Habana)
(My dad talking to one of his many Mason brothers he ran into in Havana! He was basically a celebrity there.)

(My Cuba Crew)

1. The easiest way to travel to Cuba as an American is under the category Support for the Cuban People. In a nutshell this means you are interacting with locals and staying away from government/military owned entities which include all (or most) hotels. So stay in an Airbnb a.k.a casa particular where the owner or a staff is living there with you to engage with. Dine at paladars, which are restaurants within a family home. Take a cooking class or a dance class. Have a beach clean up day. Go to artists markets.The options are endless!

2. Bring a copy of your itinerary showing your Support for the Cuban People. Delta didn’t ask me any questions, but my friend who traveled on United was grilled a bit about why she was going when she arrived for her flight.

3. You need a visa but most airlines offer them. I got mine for $50 when I checked in online at delta.com and picked it up at the gate. Easy breezy!

4. You also must have travel insurance, but again most airlines include it in the ticket price and your boarding pass serves as your insurance card, but double check with your airline.

5. Have any prescriptions in their original package and have a copy of the prescription with you. No one checked ours but I read online where some people ran into issues, so better safe than sorry.

6. Figure out how much money you’ll need and bring $100 or $200 more than that because US debit/credit/atm cards CAN NOT be used in Cuba, so when you run out of money you might as well head home :) I cut it very close!

7. Even with the dollar being weaker than the euro, you're money will go further if you convert to euros first, because Cuba charges a 14% fee to convert dollars to CUCs (the local currency) AND euros are much stronger than the CUC. I think by converting my money I saved around $50.

8. Bring wipes just to be safe! There's toilet paper, but not everywhere! Hahahahaha.

9. Snacks and small toiletry items like toothbrushes or nail polish remover aren’t easy to find so plan accordingly and bring everything you need with you. I didn't and my poor nails were busted the whole trip. But trust and believe, I had my snacks!  

10. Print addresses, phone numbers, confirmation #s and emails of EVERYTHING since WiFi is not readily available. This is not the trip to wing it when you get there. Planning is key, but leave some room to take recommendations from locals!


And in case you missed it, you can book your photo tour with Manuel HERE, and get my two piece skirt set HERE.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

MALIBU

If you are not from California, you might not know that there is a small beef between Southern California, and Northern California. I don’t get it. I never have. I am an Oakland (Northern) California girl all day, but I love me some SoCal. They have better beaches, and weather (and men) #sorrynotsorry. And for all reasons listed, I headed to Malibu recently for a change of scenery.

 I’ll let the photos speak for themselves (with the help of a couple of captions).

(wearing zara camel coat, leopard sweater from nordstorm (VERY SIMILAR), sunnies from nordstrom, SPANX FAUX LEATHER LEGGINGS, ADIDAS NEO CLOUDFOAM)

STAY AT THE SURFRIDER MALIBU

The rooms are nice (and pricey) but the best part is the rooftop lounge.

EAT AT MALIBU FARM
 And get the cauliflower pizza (i added sausage) and frozen rose a.k.a f'rose.


Eatin' crab out in Malibu at Nobu. Thank you Drake for the excellent recommendation!

GO TO ROSENTHAL WINERY 

I can't speak to the actual wine but the photo ops outside alone  are worth a visit

And speaking of photo ops...
There are plenty in this beautiful beach side town. I'll be back. 

But in the meantime, I’m headed up, up and away again this week to a place that requires a passport, and barely has WiFi. Who wants to take a wild guess where I’ll be? 


let's get social
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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

BIG BIRDIE

 
I don't know if this is something I'd wear in my real life, but I was going to the Museum of Ice cream (which is very pink) and I needed something that wouldn't clash, but would also stand out. Insert grey Big Bird bomber here. What do you guys think? Should this be a one time wear (it was very inexpensive) or can I get away with it IRL?

wearing: FLUFFY FUR COAT $32, top from nordstrom, banana jeans, CHARLES DAVID CHIEF MOTO BOOTIES (HIGH TOP VERSION), shinola watch (VERY SIMILAR)

let's get social

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